2.7 UGPA 5+ years ago, 4.0 Masters GPA and a URM

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
joulloa9

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2.7 UGPA 5+ years ago, 4.0 Masters GPA and a URM

Postby joulloa9 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:21 pm

Hi all, and thanks in advance for your help.

I am a Mexican-American, second generation as my grandparents were both immigrants, making me a URM. I went to UC Santa Cruz and started off as a Biology major with a focus on medical school requirements before I had accepted that I just wan't med school material. At the end of my Junior year I had this revelation, and after having not performed well in a few of my hard science course, and switched my major to psychology which I finished in less than 2 years. Because of my low performance in the biology major I ended up with a less than stellar GPA and instead of figuring it out right after I got my BA and going to grad school I figured I was stuck with entering the workforce. While there I performed well in my first job progressing through the management training program and entering management in roughly one years time leading the region in sales numbers and YoY growth in my branch. I ended up taking another job which lasted 3 months due to a closure of our office during a merger and then subsequently went into tech consulting where I consistently led my team in employee metric scales. In this lat position I had gotten more involved in community based work, and worked on a presidential campaign in a volunteer capacity where I realized my passion and decided to go back to school for Policy and Politics to leverage my better performance into a law school admittance. I realize the masters GPA isn't weighted at all for admissions but I still felt it helped to show maturation and ability greater than my UGPA would show.

I ended up getting into a top 75 ranked Master of Public Policy (or politics I am still deciding) at Claremont Graduate University and will be finishing my degree up spring of 2020, allowing me to start my JD program in Fall 2020. I have not taken the LSAT so that is one question I have, what score should I be looking to get to get into a better program that sets me up for the future? Ultimately I would really like to get into joint JD/PhD programs with the emphasis on either Politics or Policy and Law. I realize I am in an uphill battle due to a lost battle with immaturity and social prospects that I put ahead of school in undergrad and appreciate the help. Oh, I also will be working on research for voting rights access in native american populations in AZ, which is going to most likely be research used in court cases in the state which I know would help in my application process. I also have multiple contacts high up in presidential campaigns for 2020 that I will be working on too.

So to recap, what should I be targeting as a URM for the LSAT? And realistically, what schools should I be expecting to apply to once I begin the process this fall with the LSAT scores uncovered in question 1?

Thanks.

albanach

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Re: 2.7 UGPA 5+ years ago, 4.0 Masters GPA and a URM

Postby albanach » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:08 pm

joulloa9 wrote:So to recap, what should I be targeting as a URM for the LSAT? And realistically, what schools should I be expecting to apply to once I begin the process this fall with the LSAT scores uncovered in question 1?

Thanks.


You should target the highest score you can possibly achieve. That advice is the same for everyone.

Given your GPA, there's no score where doing a little better wouldn't result in either more $$$, a higher ranked school with better outcomes, or both.

Once you have a score that you are comfortable with, come back and ask what schools you should apply for.

But before you put the effort in, what are your actual goals here? What's with the JD/PhD stuff? Do you actually want to be a lawyer? If not, go do something more worthwhile than studying for the LSAT and attending law school. If you're aiming for legal academia, it's going to be a huge uphill battle given your UGPA. If you plan on being a community college adjunct, you don't need a quarter of a million dollars of law school debt to achieve that goal.

QContinuum

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Re: 2.7 UGPA 5+ years ago, 4.0 Masters GPA and a URM

Postby QContinuum » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:22 pm

albanach wrote:You should target the highest score you can possibly achieve. That advice is the same for everyone.

Given your GPA, there's no score where doing a little better wouldn't result in either more $$$, a higher ranked school with better outcomes, or both.

Once you have a score that you are comfortable with, come back and ask what schools you should apply for.

But before you put the effort in, what are your actual goals here? What's with the JD/PhD stuff? Do you actually want to be a lawyer? If not, go do something more worthwhile than studying for the LSAT and attending law school. If you're aiming for legal academia, it's going to be a huge uphill battle given your UGPA. If you plan on being a community college adjunct, you don't need a quarter of a million dollars of law school debt to achieve that goal.

Agree with most of the above, but I don't think law school hiring committees really care about an applicant's LSAC GPA. Rather they care about law school pedigree (you'd typically want a T6, and a T13 at bare minimum), law school grades, clerkship/advanced degree, and (most importantly) publication record and research agenda.

However, OP's college GPA is relevant, IMO, insofar as it suggests OP might struggle to get good grades in law school. Testtaking is testtaking; someone who was sub-3.0 in college will probably not go on to CALI their law school classes. (I don't put much weight on the Master's GPA because grad school grades are typically inflated to an almost absurd extent and are like night and day to law school grades.)

Law faculty will be very interested in adding a URM to the faculty, but that doesn't mean they will dip to take, say, a below-median WUSTL grad just because they happen to be a URM. Academic hiring is insanely competitive. You'd get more wiggle room as a URM but it's still going to be incredibly challenging.

albanach

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Re: 2.7 UGPA 5+ years ago, 4.0 Masters GPA and a URM

Postby albanach » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:17 pm

My comment about the ugpa making this an uphill battle, was really about the challenge op will face in getting accepted to the sort of schools that law professors typically graduate from.

Admittedly, there's almost no data on this, but T-14 is absolutely going to require acing the LSAT to overcome the GPA floor at most of these schools. That floor exists, of course, because of the concern you express that a low GPA might indicate a likelihood of OP struggling with law school exams. I don't know how much the graduate GPA can help overcome that.

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