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Any chance of getting accepted to Tier 1 school?

FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
Hey. I'm seriously considering law school for IP/tech law and am wondering if I'll possibly stand a chance to get into Columbia or NYU law. I'm a non-traditional student at NYU's college of professional studies - 30 years old. I'm part-time finishing up my degree in the spring. I'm not sure if I qualify as a "URM" but my family is Middle Eastern / North African.

I have been dealing with Epilepsy for my most of my adult life. Would the disability help or hurt my chances of being accepted? Should something like that be disclosed?

My major is Information Systems Management with a GPA of 3.6 - 3.65 and I've been working full-time since I was 16 years old. I have work experience in everything from IT to web design to construction to manufacturing.

I'm wondering if I study for the LSAT for something like 6-9 months, what type of score I'd need to get accepted to NYU or Columbia and what else I would need to consider . highlight that would increase my chances of being accepted?

Also, I'm married with a child so I definitely do not qualify as a typical applicant. would that be seen as a big downside to admissions departments?

I appreciate any advice or help. Thanks.

Replies to: Any chance of getting accepted to Tier 1 school?

  • FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    I'd also like to add that I have unique work experiences that people my age generally do not have such as being a partner in a hedge-fund and being a partner in a couple of startups.
  • boolaHIboolaHI Registered User Posts: 1,956 Senior Member
    If you score round 170, you will be in pretty good shape.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,188 Senior Member
    It's a stretch, but possible.

    Either (1) being partner in a hedge fund and startups is so lucrative that it makes no sense to go to law school, or (2) those jobs aren't lucrative enough to make it worthwhile to point them out.
  • FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    HappyAlumnus, can you expand on that comment?
    1)Why wouldn't it makes sense to go to law school if you have a genuine interest in the study and application of law in the field?
    2) Not every hedge fund partner is a millionaire or rakes in multiple hundreds of thousands per year. There are many smaller and family-run funds. People working in those funds have the same exposure to laws and regulations involving the industry than those working at larger funds. It is arguable that they have MORE experience in those areas because smaller funds aren't as compartmentalized as larger funds. A smaller fund manager has more experience dealing with legal requirements such as filings, private placement memorandums, etc. since they work more closely with their lawyers than do those with quantitative positions at larger firms.
  • boolaHIboolaHI Registered User Posts: 1,956 Senior Member
    Happy you don't think he could get into NYU if he got a170 or above? I agree, that Columbia is more iffy...
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,018 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    non-traditional students are a plus factor, as is overcoming a disability, but it still comes down to GPA+LSAT. A 17x should get you into at least one of the two, and a 172 should be good for a high chance of admissions to both NYC schools.

    OTOH, since you are married with child, you might consider a little lower ranked LS with merit $$. (Assumes the family can relocate.)

    Assuming $300k in debt is a huge risk.
  • Demosthenes49Demosthenes49 Registered User Posts: 1,542 Senior Member
    @FrankieSaysRelax: No one cares about your age, your disability, or your work experience, for purposes of law school admission. The URM bump can definitely help a lot if you can credibly claim it. AA, which I would think North Africa definitely counts as (since you said ME as well I assume Egypt?), gets the best URM bump and you should use that to your advantage.

    I am a little confused why your GPA is a range. Are you still in college? If so, why stop with a 3.65? Spend a year taking fluff classes and boost that to a 3.7x. Then take a class/self-study (you know yourself best) and get yourself a 17x.

    Speaking of still being in college, how much experience do you have with the practice of law? I've known many law students who entered with families, but it's quite different to do so blindly. You should get yourself an internship/paralegal a bit before going to law school. Nothing worse than graduating into a job you hate that you can't escape because only law will service your debt.

    If you want to work in IP, you're going to need to pass the patent bar. Systems management is not a pre-listed major for the patent bar, which puts you into Category B. You should go through that and make sure you qualify and, if not, get those courses you need before you go to law school.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,188 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    @FrankieSaysRelax, if you get in the upper 160s or above, you could likely get into Columbia or NYU.

    However, be wary of playing up your work experience. An admissions dean will see "partner in hedge fund" and, to a lesser extent, "partner in startups" and think, "well, why does he want to fork over $300k to land a job that pays $160/year when he's a partner in a hedge fund", or think negatively about them.

    I would also ensure that your story of hedge fund/startup work experience syncs with your stated desire to do IP/tech law.

    Work experience definitely helps an application, as per Dean Minow of HLS (and HLS admissions data).

    You don't want to end up like one of my friends who went to law school late in the day and now, at age 55 with a kid starting college soon, as a net worth of $0 due to law school debt.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,018 Senior Member
    I generally don't disagree with Demo, but be careful about assuming URM status just bcos OP is of Middle Eastern descent. Someone who is in the lineage of Camus, for example, is not a URM for law school purposes, just because they happened to have been born in Africa. Of course if the OP grew up over there, it adds diversity to the class mix, but it still will not allow the LS to check the URM box, which is really all they care about.

  • FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    edited August 2015
    Just for the record, my ethnicity/race Egyptian (father's side) and Syrian (mother's side). For college, I left the race box blank since I didn't fit into any category but have been encouraged to apply as "mixed" or "african-american". I've noticed most schools have something like

    Native American
    Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

    Which really leaves someone like me SOL. African-American is technically correct but we all know African-American means "black" to most admissions counselors.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,018 Senior Member
    uh, not really.

    cc has an excellent descripton of this topic:



    "According to OMB, 'Black or African American' refers to a person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

    "The Black racial category includes people who marked the 'Black, African Am., or Negro' checkbox. It also includes respondents who reported entries such as African American; Sub-Saharan African entries, such as Kenyan and Nigerian; and Afro-Caribbean entries, such as Haitian and Jamaican.*

    "*Sub-Saharan African entries are classified as Black or African American with the exception of Sudanese and Cape Verdean because of their complex, historical heritage. North African entries are classified as White, as OMB defines White as a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa."
  • FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    bluebayou, I do not identify as "white" and would not put that down regardless of what OMB says about it. You'd be hard-pressed to find any middle-easterner who identifies themselves as the same race as white Europeans. I would most likely apply as "other".
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,018 Senior Member

    you are welcome to self-identify as you see fit on college and professional school applications. No one will check and the college has to accept whatever you mark down.

  • falcon97falcon97 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Law schools absolutely adore the overcoming of disabilities. This is easily seen in the class profile they publish every year that showcases the "diversity" of their incoming class.
  • CatriaCatria Registered User Posts: 11,349 Senior Member
    A 170 will get you in at NWU if you think a lower T14 can still be a good fit for you...
This discussion has been closed.