An international seeking some advice

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Lord_Vats
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:16 am

An international seeking some advice

Postby Lord_Vats » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:30 am

Hello Everyone!
I am an Economics major in my 3rd semester at a top program in my country. I don't know whether this is the right board because I have a variety of advice to ask for, please do refer me to the right board otherwise. I have some questions regarding the admissions as well as employment prospects and would be very obliged if could answer them.

- Is law school in the states a good idea for me?
I'll be very straight. Although I enjoy the underlying skills that makes one a good lawyer (reading, writing, critical thinking and reasoning, working alone for long hours etc.) and love law in general, my primary motivation is to get employed in the US with a decent income. I hail from a third world shit hole with absolutely no employment prospects. My parents have slogged very hard to get me a private education, they are old and tired now. I just want to provide well for them and make sure they can spend the rest of their days in peace. My decision to apply would depend on the likelihood of finding employment in the states.

- How selective should my school be for the above to happen?
Am I correct in assuming that in order to be employed as an international, I'll need to attend a much selective school? How selective? Tier 1? t14? t5?

- How difficult is it to get into ultra selective schools like Yale, Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia?
Just out of curiosity. I've heard that law school is a numbers game, does it mean that as long as I have the numbers reflecting the 75th percentile of the entering class I have a decent shot of getting in? What if I'm lacking in one of the metrics (say GPA)? How much do chances fall in that case?


Thanks a lot for you help!

sanzgo
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 11:14 am

Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby sanzgo » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:40 am

Lord_Vats wrote:Hello Everyone!
I am an Economics major in my 3rd semester at a top program in my country. I don't know whether this is the right board because I have a variety of advice to ask for, please do refer me to the right board otherwise. I have some questions regarding the admissions as well as employment prospects and would be very obliged if could answer them.

- Is law school in the states a good idea for me?
I'll be very straight. Although I enjoy the underlying skills that makes one a good lawyer (reading, writing, critical thinking and reasoning, working alone for long hours etc.) and love law in general, my primary motivation is to get employed in the US with a decent income. I hail from a third world shit hole with absolutely no employment prospects. My parents have slogged very hard to get me a private education, they are old and tired now. I just want to provide well for them and make sure they can spend the rest of their days in peace. My decision to apply would depend on the likelihood of finding employment in the states.

- How selective should my school be for the above to happen?
Am I correct in assuming that in order to be employed as an international, I'll need to attend a much selective school? How selective? Tier 1? t14? t5?

- How difficult is it to get into ultra selective schools like Yale, Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia?
Just out of curiosity. I've heard that law school is a numbers game, does it mean that as long as I have the numbers reflecting the 75th percentile of the entering class I have a decent shot of getting in? What if I'm lacking in one of the metrics (say GPA)? How much do chances fall in that case?


Thanks a lot for you help!


First of all, what's the money and visa situation like? For internationals, that's really of utmost importance so we'd need to know more information about you.

If you have no savings + no parent contribution + you're not from Australia/Mexico/Canada, then I'd say LS in the states is not a good idea unless you get into Harvard or Yale. That's because HY are the only schools that offer institutional loans to its JD students. For all other schools, you'll need to get private loans and banks don't even offer private loans without a US citizen cosigner.

If you can deal with the money situation and you're not from Australia/Mexico/Canada, then you should aim for T13 since biglaw offers the best chances for you to get visa sponsorship after graduation (and it's easiest to get biglaw from T13).

If you get 174+ with superior gpa, then you have an above-avg chance at Harvard and Columbia. Yale is a black-box; you'll most likely need great softs.

Lord_Vats
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:16 am

Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby Lord_Vats » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:21 am

sanzgo wrote:
First of all, what's the money and visa situation like? For internationals, that's really of utmost importance so we'd need to know more information about you.

If you have no savings + no parent contribution + you're not from Australia/Mexico/Canada, then I'd say LS in the states is not a good idea unless you get into Harvard or Yale. That's because HY are the only schools that offer institutional loans to its JD students. For all other schools, you'll need to get private loans and banks don't even offer private loans without a US citizen cosigner.

If you can deal with the money situation and you're not from Australia/Mexico/Canada, then you should aim for T13 since biglaw offers the best chances for you to get visa sponsorship after graduation (and it's easiest to get biglaw from T13).

If you get 174+ with superior gpa, then you have an above-avg chance at Harvard and Columbia. Yale is a black-box; you'll most likely need great softs.


Thanks for your post. It really puts things into perspective. As I said earlier, I'm from a third world shit hole so no Canada/Australia/Mexico. I have no family savings to speak of. I was hoping to get some merit based aid and borrow the rest of the amount in loans. My government has a loan program for students who undertake further studies here or abroad.
Thanks for narrowing it down for me, t13 it is.

My GPA wouldn't really be "superior", I've used converters and they point to about 3.6-3.8 in American grades. My school uses a 10 scale. But my school is one of the best in the country for the program I'm in. Of course, it doesn't help that all kids here are very bright and try hard gunners and courses are graded on a curve. What else would you like to know?

Again, thanks a lot for your help.

sanzgo
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 11:14 am

Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby sanzgo » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:34 am

Lord_Vats wrote:
sanzgo wrote:
First of all, what's the money and visa situation like? For internationals, that's really of utmost importance so we'd need to know more information about you.

If you have no savings + no parent contribution + you're not from Australia/Mexico/Canada, then I'd say LS in the states is not a good idea unless you get into Harvard or Yale. That's because HY are the only schools that offer institutional loans to its JD students. For all other schools, you'll need to get private loans and banks don't even offer private loans without a US citizen cosigner.

If you can deal with the money situation and you're not from Australia/Mexico/Canada, then you should aim for T13 since biglaw offers the best chances for you to get visa sponsorship after graduation (and it's easiest to get biglaw from T13).

If you get 174+ with superior gpa, then you have an above-avg chance at Harvard and Columbia. Yale is a black-box; you'll most likely need great softs.


Thanks for your post. It really puts things into perspective. As I said earlier, I'm from a third world shit hole so no Canada/Australia/Mexico. I have no family savings to speak of. I was hoping to get some merit based aid and borrow the rest of the amount in loans. My government has a loan program for students who undertake further studies here or abroad.
Thanks for narrowing it down for me, t13 it is.

My GPA wouldn't really be "superior", I've used converters and they point to about 3.6-3.8 in American grades. My school uses a 10 scale. But my school is one of the best in the country for the program I'm in. Of course, it doesn't help that all kids here are very bright and try hard gunners and courses are graded on a curve. What else would you like to know?

Again, thanks a lot for your help.


it's great that you have a government program for loans. make sure it covers the COA of american law schools though since it's super high here. w/out scholarship, it's $300,000.

since you still have time to up your gpa, i'd focus on that 100% for now. your gpa is set in stone once you graduate so if you can get it up to 3.8, that'd be great since your gpa may qualify for superior. once you have superior, you're in the running for harvard. and given that you're from a third-world country, i believe if you can get 174+, you have a strong chance at harvard with superior. i've noticed harvard admits a lot of internationals but they like to spread things out so that only a few international admits come from any single country. so if you're from a country like the UK, China, India, S. Korea, etc. where there are tons of international applicants, then it can get mighty competitive.

even if you have to take 1-2 years off after graduation to ace the lsat, it'll be worth it. even as internationals, if you have a 170+, i believe there are some T1 schools that give substantial merit aid like WUSTL. The only problem though is, you'd have to do very well in your class at WUSTL to get biglaw and as internationals, the higher chances of biglaw employment (and hence visa sponsorship) coming from a T13 may very well be worth attending a T13 with little merit aid over a T1 with substantial merit aid. that's just my opinion though; obviously, people have different risk tolerances.

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freekick
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby freekick » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:35 am

I recently replied to a couple of similar queries and have modified those responses for your queries.

- See this spreadsheet to get an idea of how (some) applicants without a numerical GPA fared this cycle: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... p=drivesdk

- Chancing applicants without a numerical gpa is extremely difficult. You are basically playing on one leg. Therefore, as an international applicant without a numerical GPA, you want to be at or above the 75th LSAT to have a shot at admission plus some scholarship. It would also depend on the quality of the international pool in your cycle, schools' priorities, your softs, nationality and a host of other things which are meaningless to talk about in the abstract.

Hope that helps.

Lord_Vats
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:16 am

Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby Lord_Vats » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:55 am

freekick wrote:I recently replied to a couple of similar queries and have modified those responses for your queries.

- See this spreadsheet to get an idea of how (some) applicants without a numerical GPA fared this cycle: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... p=drivesdk

- Chancing applicants without a numerical gpa is extremely difficult. You are basically playing on one leg. Therefore, as an international applicant without a numerical GPA, you want to be at or above the 75th LSAT to have a shot at admission plus some scholarship. It would also depend on the quality of the international pool in your cycle, schools' priorities, your softs, nationality and a host of other things which are meaningless to talk about in the abstract.

Hope that helps.


Thank you. Yes that sure does help. Regarding the GPA, I've heard that schools don't get to report their international admit GPA to US News therefore it doesn't affect their stats? So regarding internationals, wouldn't schools pay a disproportionate attention to LSAT then?
The GPA computation process is quite complex and deliberately obtuse in our school, because it's one of the "fancy" ones (go figure).
My question is, with an LSAT of 176+ and the fact that
- I go to the best Econ program in my country, and
- I graduated top 10 percent in the class
would Harvard or its elk accept me? Because it's kinda given that I won't have a good GPA in the traditional sense, plus the LSAC CAS might even screw it up much further.

I'd be very interested in hearing more about these "softs" and "school's priorities" that you speak of.

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Lincoln
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby Lincoln » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:11 pm

Lord_Vats wrote:Hello Everyone!
I'll be very straight. Although I enjoy the underlying skills that makes one a good lawyer (reading, writing, critical thinking and reasoning, working alone for long hours etc.) and love law in general, my primary motivation is to get employed in the US with a decent income. I hail from a third world shit hole with absolutely no employment prospects. My parents have slogged very hard to get me a private education, they are old and tired now. I just want to provide well for them and make sure they can spend the rest of their days in peace. My decision to apply would depend on the likelihood of finding employment in the states.


If this is your goal, finance/banking would give you a much better shot at high-paid employment with visa sponsorship. Going to law school is an expensive bet on a crap-shoot's chance of making partner. And your odds are even longer if you are a non-native speaker of English.

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Baby Gaga
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby Baby Gaga » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:38 pm

I'm also international, starting 1L next month. I asked about prospects for internationals at all the schools I considered and from what I can tell it shouldn't be a barrier if you're at a T14. I would reconsider going to law school if you didn't get into a T14 tho. You need biglaw as an international cuz they're the ones who give H1Bs so pay attention to the percentage of ppl that go to big law firms before you apply anywhere. H1B visas are weird because theres a lottery system, generally you have a couple shots at the lottery and generally in the few cases where people lose out on the lottery the company finds a way to keep them, but I do know of people who were just out of luck because of the H1B lottery.

The dean at Duke said that it's never an issue at all unless your English is bad. Colombia interviewer said it's not a problem at all, zero problems for internationals in getting jobs. Everyone at Yale said that it's unheard of for an international student to strike out just because they're international. Basically I'm saying to aim high.

Also pay attention to loans. You need a sponsor to cosign for you if you don''t go to harvard or yale. If you really have a 176+ and a superior GPA then harvard should be a lock. They love internationals.

fredfred
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby fredfred » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:41 pm

Baby Gaga wrote:I'm also international, starting 1L next month. I asked about prospects for internationals at all the schools I considered and from what I can tell it shouldn't be a barrier if you're at a T14. I would reconsider going to law school if you didn't get into a T14 tho. You need biglaw as an international cuz they're the ones who give H1Bs so pay attention to the percentage of ppl that go to big law firms before you apply anywhere. H1B visas are weird because theres a lottery system, generally you have a couple shots at the lottery and generally in the few cases where people lose out on the lottery the company finds a way to keep them, but I do know of people who were just out of luck because of the H1B lottery.

The dean at Duke said that it's never an issue at all unless your English is bad. Colombia interviewer said it's not a problem at all, zero problems for internationals in getting jobs. Everyone at Yale said that it's unheard of for an international student to strike out just because they're international. Basically I'm saying to aim high.

Also pay attention to loans. You need a sponsor to cosign for you if you don''t go to harvard or yale. If you really have a 176+ and a superior GPA then harvard should be a lock. They love internationals.


The above is false. At a t13, know internationals with good to great grades that struck out because conceivably they will need visas. In light of the trump administration which wasn't around last summer, I expect firms to be even more conservative in hiring internationals. Internationals do strike out. It seemed pretty disproportionate to me last year where internationals struck out at my t13 more often than i would have thought. Maybe they didn't interview well, just reading between the lines.

Lord_Vats
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby Lord_Vats » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:23 pm

Baby Gaga wrote:I'm also international, starting 1L next month. I asked about prospects for internationals at all the schools I considered and from what I can tell it shouldn't be a barrier if you're at a T14. I would reconsider going to law school if you didn't get into a T14 tho. You need biglaw as an international cuz they're the ones who give H1Bs so pay attention to the percentage of ppl that go to big law firms before you apply anywhere. H1B visas are weird because theres a lottery system, generally you have a couple shots at the lottery and generally in the few cases where people lose out on the lottery the company finds a way to keep them, but I do know of people who were just out of luck because of the H1B lottery.

The dean at Duke said that it's never an issue at all unless your English is bad. Colombia interviewer said it's not a problem at all, zero problems for internationals in getting jobs. Everyone at Yale said that it's unheard of for an international student to strike out just because they're international. Basically I'm saying to aim high.

Also pay attention to loans. You need a sponsor to cosign for you if you don''t go to harvard or yale. If you really have a 176+ and a superior GPA then harvard should be a lock. They love internationals.


Thanks for your post. You paint a very pretty picture. So, according to you, I should have no qualms about taking out exorbitant amounts in loans as long as I get into a t14?

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Baby Gaga
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby Baby Gaga » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:54 am

Lord_Vats wrote:
Baby Gaga wrote:I'm also international, starting 1L next month. I asked about prospects for internationals at all the schools I considered and from what I can tell it shouldn't be a barrier if you're at a T14. I would reconsider going to law school if you didn't get into a T14 tho. You need biglaw as an international cuz they're the ones who give H1Bs so pay attention to the percentage of ppl that go to big law firms before you apply anywhere. H1B visas are weird because theres a lottery system, generally you have a couple shots at the lottery and generally in the few cases where people lose out on the lottery the company finds a way to keep them, but I do know of people who were just out of luck because of the H1B lottery.

The dean at Duke said that it's never an issue at all unless your English is bad. Colombia interviewer said it's not a problem at all, zero problems for internationals in getting jobs. Everyone at Yale said that it's unheard of for an international student to strike out just because they're international. Basically I'm saying to aim high.

Also pay attention to loans. You need a sponsor to cosign for you if you don''t go to harvard or yale. If you really have a 176+ and a superior GPA then harvard should be a lock. They love internationals.


Thanks for your post. You paint a very pretty picture. So, according to you, I should have no qualms about taking out exorbitant amounts in loans as long as I get into a t14?


No I wouldn't (and didn't) say no qualms, I think everyone should have lots of qualms in taking out exorbitant amounts of loans whether or not they're internationals. All I was saying was that according a bunch of administrators and career services staff at some of the higher ranked schools being an international student in and of itself should not be a barrier to employment. That's obviously just one perspective and there are still a lot of other international specific issues like visas and lack of access to loans.

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Lincoln
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby Lincoln » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:17 am

Lincoln wrote:
Lord_Vats wrote:Hello Everyone!
I'll be very straight. Although I enjoy the underlying skills that makes one a good lawyer (reading, writing, critical thinking and reasoning, working alone for long hours etc.) and love law in general, my primary motivation is to get employed in the US with a decent income. I hail from a third world shit hole with absolutely no employment prospects. My parents have slogged very hard to get me a private education, they are old and tired now. I just want to provide well for them and make sure they can spend the rest of their days in peace. My decision to apply would depend on the likelihood of finding employment in the states.


If this is your goal, finance/banking would give you a much better shot at high-paid employment with visa sponsorship. Going to law school is an expensive bet on a crap-shoot's chance of making partner. And your odds are even longer if you are a non-native speaker of English.


Following up on this:

In 2017, there were 28 industries that sponsored more H1B visa petitions than the legal services industry, and "Lawyer" was the 42nd most common profession for petitioners of H1B visas. Source: http://www.myvisajobs.com/Reports/2017-H1B-Visa-Sponsor.aspx. If getting visa sponsorship and a good salary are the two primary goals, deciding to invest $300,000 and three years of your life in becoming a lawyer seems like a very arbitrary way to accomplish those things.

KijiStewart
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Re: An international seeking some advice

Postby KijiStewart » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:11 pm

Not to burst your US JD dream, but you might want to consider some Canadian law schools. I don't know enough about how internationals are treated to make my advice sound credible, but there are Canadian equivalents of TLS that can help you out.

Even if your goal is U.S. Big Law, New York and Boston firms recruit from the top Canadian schools all the time (e.g. U Toronto, Osgoode Hall). McGill law students also do well in the U.S. but French is more or less required for McGill.

I'd also assume a Canadian JD is more portable to the UK than a U.S. JD.




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