Should I hold or reapply?

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Hold or Reapply?

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legallyminded

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Should I hold or reapply?

Postby legallyminded » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:23 am

I am planning to pursue a career in public interest. I am very interested in possibly clerking after law school. I would also eventually like to work as a professor - much later down the road. I deferred a T8 school but was waitlisted at HLS until August of this year when I was ultimately rejected. I am a very recent college grad. I am now gaining work experience. I am unsure if I should aim to reapply to HLS in 2020. This would entail mainly working to raise my relatively low LSAT score. I spent a great deal of time studying for the LSAT and was distracted during the actual test - I am uncertain if I would be able to considerably raise my score, especially if things go wrong again during my retake. I am also uncertain of the effect that law school ranking would have on east coast PI job prospects once you get past T8 - I would love to hear more about this. If BigLaw was even a thought, I would jump at the chance to reapply to HLS - however, I have absolutely no interest in pursuing corporate. I should also mention that the T8 I am currently holding has one of the top programs for the specific PI field that I want to enter. However, I am very willing to put the work in for HLS if it would help my career considerably more. Should I hold the T8 school or should I reapply to HLS? I would greatly appreciate thoughts on the matter.

QContinuum

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Re: Should I hold or reapply?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:31 pm

legallyminded wrote:I am planning to pursue a career in public interest. I am very interested in possibly clerking after law school. I would also eventually like to work as a professor - much later down the road. I deferred a T8 school but was waitlisted at HLS until August of this year when I was ultimately rejected. I am a very recent college grad. I am now gaining work experience. I am unsure if I should aim to reapply to HLS in 2020. This would entail mainly working to raise my relatively low LSAT score. I spent a great deal of time studying for the LSAT and was distracted during the actual test - I am uncertain if I would be able to considerably raise my score, especially if things go wrong again during my retake.


How long can you defer your previous acceptance? Many schools only permit a 1-year deferral. Why would you not consider reapplying this cycle, for a fall 2019 start?

Since your LSAT is low (I presume lower, percentile-wise, than your GPA), I encourage you to drill and retake it. Increasing your LSAT will not only improve your odds of admission, it'll also improve your odds of getting merit $.

legallyminded wrote:I am also uncertain of the effect that law school ranking would have on east coast PI job prospects once you get past T8 - I would love to hear more about this. If BigLaw was even a thought, I would jump at the chance to reapply to HLS - however, I have absolutely no interest in pursuing corporate. I should also mention that the T8 I am currently holding has one of the top programs for the specific PI field that I want to enter. However, I am very willing to put the work in for HLS if it would help my career considerably more. Should I hold the T8 school or should I reapply to HLS? I would greatly appreciate thoughts on the matter.


This is the first time I've ever heard of the term "T8." I think you have a few misconceptions. First, all of the T13 place nationally. There is no sharp cutoff at T8, nor do the West Coast/Midwest T13s have difficulty placing their graduates into East Coast jobs. Second, there is no need to attend HLS for BigLaw. All of the T13 place very strongly into BigLaw, and in many/most cases folks wanting BigLaw would be well-advised to choose a lower-ranked T13 with $ over HLS (which doesn't award merit aid). Third, HLS does confer an advantage for clerking, which may in turn confer an advantage for academia. But academia is so difficult and unlikely to achieve even from HLS that, IMO, it's not generally worth going HLS or bust. Just making up some hypothetical numbers, your chances of getting academia from HLS might be 3%, while your chances from, say, Penn might be 1%. That'd be a three-fold increase in chances at HLS, but in absolute terms it'd only be a 2% difference. Is that 2% difference worth indefinitely postponing law school, or attending HLS at sticker vs. substantial $ aid at a lower T13? Economically, certainly not, but it can be hard to put a price tag on one's dreams. Just something to consider.

Finally, you mention wanting PI as an initial matter. The PI rankings don't exactly mirror the general USNWR rankings. For PI, Yale is still tops, but I'd put NYU in second place. Berkeley and Michigan are also super strong in PI (though behind NYU). Harvard certainly places well into PI just due to its general reputation (just like the other T13s), but it isn't particularly known for its PI prowess.



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