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178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:36 pm
by tommm
I am wondering what my chances might be, especially for H or Y with my numbers. I know my GPA is well below the 25th, but I wonder if my softs and high LSAT can make up for it in any way? Also, I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering at large reputable university, so I'm not sure if that makes any difference.

My softs include: I'm a non-traditional student, worked for 6 years as a Navy Submariner, am a member of two engineering honor societies, have done volunteer work for local veterans organizations, have done some work to help with school fundraising, and I am a member of my schools water polo team. I also believe I have one strong academic LOR, and one ok academic LOR, as well as a strong work LOR from a former Navy Officer.

Any thoughts or advice on how I might try to increase my chances as a wildcard would be greatly appreciated!

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:42 pm
by cavalier1138
You have a shot at Harvard, but probably out at Y/S, because they're both really hot on GPAs.

But you're also likely to get good money at CCN on down. Why are you so focused on HYS?

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:58 pm
by tommm
I would say my focus on H and Y particularly is a result of two things. First, I am very interested in a judicial clerkship and they have the best percentages. The second factor is that I happen to live in between the two schools geographically and would like it if I could stay at home while I attend law school in order to minimize my debt.

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:18 am
by Dcc617
I’m at Harvard and I had a 3.7 and 176. I’d say you have a shot, but who knows with the GRE and stuff. I really like going here, but I wouldn’t dismiss other T14s out of hand. Harvard is need based aid, and even full aid leaves you with a lot of debt. Plus the marginal benefits of Harvard is not that big for stuff.

So you said you wanted a clerkship, but what’s your career goal? A clerkship is a one year gig. There aren’t a ton of jobs where it makes sense to pay for Harvard over other schools, especially if you’re worried about debt.

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:30 am
by cavalier1138
Dcc617 wrote:So you said you wanted a clerkship, but what’s your career goal? A clerkship is a one year gig. There aren’t a ton of jobs where it makes sense to pay for Harvard over other schools, especially if you’re worried about debt.


Beat me to it.

Also, if you live between Harvard and Yale, that means that you'd have a hell of a commute.

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:44 am
by nubcs
Just checking, are you 100% eligible for the GI Bill or eligible for voc rehab? If so, H, and I'm pretty sure YS, will be free.

My scores and background are pretty similar to yours, and I had a good cycle last year. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more in-depth.

I'd also recommend checking out Service to School, an organization that helps veterans through the admissions process. I used them last year and I think they definitely added value to my application.

Also, if you're near Groton, that commute would be almost impossible, especially for Harvard.

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:25 am
by maxchansen
The way I see it, Y is an outside chance, but a non-trivial one.

The Y GPA 25th is 3.8x. With a class size of ~200, ~50 are getting in at GPAs under 3.8x, and last year the lowest GPA admitted was 3.4.

Exclude URMs and applicants with Rhodes Scholar-like softs, and you're looking at a pool of maybe 30 admits with GPAs in that neighborhood. This is obviously a tiny group of people, but it isn't one in a million.

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:19 pm
by tommm
Thanks for all the responses/advice.
My reason for wanting the clerkship is that I have some interest in pursuing judicial work at some point, although I wouldn't say that I have my heart set on that or anything.
But it sounds like what many of you are saying is that its definitely worth it for me to apply to H & Y, but I probably shouldn't get too hopeful?

Thanks again for the help!

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:23 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
Not to harp too much on what wasn’t your question, but there are way too many steps between law school and becoming a judge to make law school choices based on the latter possibility. You also don’t really need to have clerked to end up as a judge- it’s going to be about what you do after graduation. (You can also clerk from any of the T14, of course.)

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:23 pm
by tommm
Yes, of course that makes. I guess maybe I also should have stated that I'd like to go to H or Y because they are H and Y, but that seemed obvious...

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:27 pm
by UVA2B
Did you use your GI Bill for your UG? That should be a huge factor in your ultimate law school decision. I wouldn't be surprised to see you have at least Harvard as an option. Depending on your financial situation re: GI Bill, that'd be an amazing outcome. But I just wanted to separately caution if your GI Bill is already used up, because the marginal difference you get at a school like Harvard should be understood against the potential difference in cost when compared to, say, Duke or Penn. You'll have some great options, but try not to let the bright lights of HYS necessarily cloud your decision (again, depending on your financial situation and the relative costs of all of your options).

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:12 pm
by cavalier1138
tommm wrote:Yes, of course that makes. I guess maybe I also should have stated that I'd like to go to H or Y because they are H and Y, but that seemed obvious...


Right, and that's why people are pushing back. Look at employment outcomes for your desired career track (again, clerking isn't a career track, and you generally need to have had some kind of legal career prior to becoming a judge). There are very few careers for which Harvard or Yale at sticker over any other top school at a good scholarship make sense.

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:44 pm
by tommm
Ah, yes I see what you are saying. I definitely do plan to look at other T6 schools and see what kind of financial aid they offer. I am not sure what kind of aid my numbers would get at those schools, but as I understand it Y and H both do exclusively need based aid. For me personally I believe this would mean I would qualify for significant aid from either school. I do know however that that would still be less than a full ride. Out of curiosity, what would you say the career fields are that would potentially justify the cost difference?

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:49 pm
by Dcc617
tommm wrote:Ah, yes I see what you are saying. I definitely do plan to look at other T6 schools and see what kind of financial aid they offer. I am not sure what kind of aid my numbers would get at those schools, but as I understand it Y and H both do exclusively need based aid. For me personally I believe this would mean I would qualify for significant aid from either school. I do know however that that would still be less than a full ride. Out of curiosity, what would you say the career fields are that would potentially justify the cost difference?


Not biglaw. Not a lot of public interest work. Maybe professor, were that a realistic goal for anyone?

Re: 178 3.65, HSY?

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:35 pm
by srt2021
You've definitely got a good shot at Harvard! (I'd guess maybe 60%.) Stanford and Yale, as above, are a bit tougher...there maybe 5-10%. But it's not 0%. And it might be worth a shot to see if the softs stick.