Any chance to be admitted?


guyliana

Hi,

I really need your advice here.
Despite of my expectations, my TOEFL Ibt score is 87...
I have the 2nd rank as a student in the University I graduated from, work experience of more than 9 years in both Ukrainian and USA companies and excellent recommendations from US professor and director of USAID project. I wonder if there any possibility to be admitted into one of the top-ranked law schools in the USA taking into consideration my TOEFL score. Are there any chances to be admitted to the law school that has requirement of 100 Ibt TOEFL score? Do they pay more attention to ones work experience and recommendations or to TOEFL score? Any way I will not be able to re-take TOEFL test as the procedure of registration takes much time and will prevent from meeting the deadlines for application. What is your suggestion?

Thank you all in advance.

Hi,

I really need your advice here.
Despite of my expectations, my TOEFL Ibt score is 87...
I have the 2nd rank as a student in the University I graduated from, work experience of more than 9 years in both Ukrainian and USA companies and excellent recommendations from US professor and director of USAID project. I wonder if there any possibility to be admitted into one of the top-ranked law schools in the USA taking into consideration my TOEFL score. Are there any chances to be admitted to the law school that has requirement of 100 Ibt TOEFL score? Do they pay more attention to one’s work experience and recommendations or to TOEFL score? Any way I will not be able to re-take TOEFL test as the procedure of registration takes much time and will prevent from meeting the deadlines for application. What is your suggestion?

Thank you all in advance.
quote
nriattorne...

In almost every school where 100iBT TOEFL score is required, there is a provision for "waiver". The admission decision is hardly dependent upon TOEFL score in any good school, more particularly if the medium of instructions during your law school degree course was English. The experience and recommendations are MOST IMPORTANT factors being considered by good law schools. Since you already possess experience of working for USA companies, that will be a very big factor in your favour.

In my opinion you should submit your applications to law schools of your choice seeking TOEFL waiver.

In almost every school where 100iBT TOEFL score is required, there is a provision for "waiver". The admission decision is hardly dependent upon TOEFL score in any good school, more particularly if the medium of instructions during your law school degree course was English. The experience and recommendations are MOST IMPORTANT factors being considered by good law schools. Since you already possess experience of working for USA companies, that will be a very big factor in your favour.

In my opinion you should submit your applications to law schools of your choice seeking TOEFL waiver.
quote
Lit

I must respectfully disagree with nriattorney (see OscarSimple, that's how you do it (for those that don't get what I'm saying, see U o M post below) (I'll probably be called arrogant now, oh goodness). Though TOEFL is perhaps not the primary consideration in admission decisions, most of the top schools will explicitly state that if you do not meet the minimum requirement, you will be placed at a disadvantage. Imagine Harvard or Yale accepting someone not knowing that they are proficient in the medium of instruction. I'm not saying it will never happen, but suffice to say that it puts you at a disadvantage.

On attaining a waiver, your undergrad must have been wholly taught in Eng. Not to be presumptuous, but I do not think that an undergrad would have been taught entirely in Eng in the Ukraine.

Having said all that, the original poster will no doubt apply in any case and best of luck to him/her, but be aware that some very gpood schools do have minimum TOEFL score requirements of less than 100, so one need not be completely defeated.

I must respectfully disagree with nriattorney (see OscarSimple, that's how you do it (for those that don't get what I'm saying, see U o M post below) (I'll probably be called arrogant now, oh goodness). Though TOEFL is perhaps not the primary consideration in admission decisions, most of the top schools will explicitly state that if you do not meet the minimum requirement, you will be placed at a disadvantage. Imagine Harvard or Yale accepting someone not knowing that they are proficient in the medium of instruction. I'm not saying it will never happen, but suffice to say that it puts you at a disadvantage.

On attaining a waiver, your undergrad must have been wholly taught in Eng. Not to be presumptuous, but I do not think that an undergrad would have been taught entirely in Eng in the Ukraine.

Having said all that, the original poster will no doubt apply in any case and best of luck to him/her, but be aware that some very gpood schools do have minimum TOEFL score requirements of less than 100, so one need not be completely defeated.
quote
nriattorne...

Your disagreement apart, I broadly agree with you.

My opinion was based upon information on web pages of several good law schools like Vanderbilt. The following web page provide info about requirement TOEFL at Vanderbilt :

http://law.vanderbilt.edu/prospective-students/llm-program-/llm-admissions-process/index.aspx

"If the language of instruction at the school conferring your law degree is not English, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). "

I based my opinion assuming that the medium of instruction at the school conferring your law degree is English, as was the case in my law school in India.

Several good law schools have posted info like that of Vanderbilt. However, in some schools TOEFL score is mandatory.

Your disagreement apart, I broadly agree with you.

My opinion was based upon information on web pages of several good law schools like Vanderbilt. The following web page provide info about requirement TOEFL at Vanderbilt :

http://law.vanderbilt.edu/prospective-students/llm-program-/llm-admissions-process/index.aspx

"If the language of instruction at the school conferring your law degree is not English, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). "

I based my opinion assuming that the medium of instruction at the school conferring your law degree is English, as was the case in my law school in India.

Several good law schools have posted info like that of Vanderbilt. However, in some schools TOEFL score is mandatory.
quote

I have read an article on this Board informing about Summer English Programs being offered by various schools. In fact several schools are offering admission irrespective of TOEFL scores stipulating that the candidate shall have to join the Summer English Program if he is not found proficient in English.

Therefore, in my opinion, you should go ahead with making your applications with existing TOEFL score.

I have read an article on this Board informing about Summer English Programs being offered by various schools. In fact several schools are offering admission irrespective of TOEFL scores stipulating that the candidate shall have to join the Summer English Program if he is not found proficient in English.

Therefore, in my opinion, you should go ahead with making your applications with existing TOEFL score.
quote
guyliana

Thank you all for your advises! The American professor also advises me to apply and to try my chances. Of course being Ukrainian I was not entirely taught in English. But I have been working at USAID and English was my language to use all the time. And that is why I can not even believe in my TOEFL score. But unfortunately, I do not have time to take the test one more time before applying as it will take much time due to several reasons Still, I have a doubt about applying. It is not that my English is poor and I will not be able to do well in any of US Universities. It is just because I do not want to ask for recommendations again one year after the rejection from the Universities

Thank you all for your advises! The American professor also advises me to apply and to try my chances. Of course being Ukrainian I was not entirely taught in English. But I have been working at USAID and English was my language to use all the time. And that is why I can not even believe in my TOEFL score. But unfortunately, I do not have time to take the test one more time before applying as it will take much time due to several reasons… Still, I have a doubt about applying. It is not that my English is poor and I will not be able to do well in any of US Universities. It is just because I do not want to ask for recommendations again one year after the rejection from the Universities…
quote
nriattorne...

One more unsolicited advice :

Though I do not think you can be rejected just because of TOEFL, but to avoid any risk, you may also consider applying to at least two schools in the bottom of Tier I and two in Tier 3.

One more unsolicited advice :

Though I do not think you can be rejected just because of TOEFL, but to avoid any risk, you may also consider applying to at least two schools in the bottom of Tier I and two in Tier 3.
quote
guyliana

That is exactly I am thinking about...Thank you! I'm now trying to find the schools with "under condition" admitting or the schools that accept a waiver. I think it is possible to find such among even top-ranked

That is exactly I am thinking about...Thank you! I'm now trying to find the schools with "under condition" admitting or the schools that accept a waiver. I think it is possible to find such among even top-ranked
quote
hannenyh


On attaining a waiver, your undergrad must have been wholly taught in Eng. Not to be presumptuous, but I do not think that an undergrad would have been taught entirely in Eng in the Ukraine.


I am not sure that is correct. I easily got a waiver, even if I had only lived in the U.S. for 1 1/2 years. I think I came up with 3 or 4 reasons in my statement (English is taught as a second language from age 6 through age 15, I have lived in the U.S. and I worked in an international law firm), and that did the trick I also talked to them on the phone, and the lady was like, oh wow, I guess your waiver will not be a problem. That being said, I never even took the TOEFL as I would have had to fly out of the country to do it at that point in time. So you might as well try to get a waiver. Although I am not sure how having a low score and then apply for a waiver would work.

My school also had the option of letting lower scorers take English classes the summer before starting the LL.M., but seriously this is expensive, and not worth if you are already somewhat fluent.

("It is possible that your acceptance to the LLM program could be conditional, pending satisfactory completion of an approved, intensive course in English as a second language.")

My school also had on their web page that you would have to take the TOEFL unless your undergrad or law degree had been taught in English. Still let me waive it though, so you never know.

Since I had to get my TOEFL waived, get money from the school and live a cheap place I went to a school ranked 36, but I would assume this could apply to higher ranked schools too, if they are interested enough in having you attend their program.

Good luck!

<blockquote>
On attaining a waiver, your undergrad must have been wholly taught in Eng. Not to be presumptuous, but I do not think that an undergrad would have been taught entirely in Eng in the Ukraine.
</blockquote>

I am not sure that is correct. I easily got a waiver, even if I had only lived in the U.S. for 1 1/2 years. I think I came up with 3 or 4 reasons in my statement (English is taught as a second language from age 6 through age 15, I have lived in the U.S. and I worked in an international law firm), and that did the trick I also talked to them on the phone, and the lady was like, oh wow, I guess your waiver will not be a problem. That being said, I never even took the TOEFL as I would have had to fly out of the country to do it at that point in time. So you might as well try to get a waiver. Although I am not sure how having a low score and then apply for a waiver would work.

My school also had the option of letting lower scorers take English classes the summer before starting the LL.M., but seriously this is expensive, and not worth if you are already somewhat fluent.

("It is possible that your acceptance to the LLM program could be conditional, pending satisfactory completion of an approved, intensive course in English as a second language.")

My school also had on their web page that you would have to take the TOEFL unless your undergrad or law degree had been taught in English. Still let me waive it though, so you never know.

Since I had to get my TOEFL waived, get money from the school and live a cheap place I went to a school ranked 36, but I would assume this could apply to higher ranked schools too, if they are interested enough in having you attend their program.

Good luck!
quote
Lit

I quote from Harvard's website (and I seem to recall NYU and CLS stating something similar): "...all applicants from non-English speaking countries or who did not receive their legal education entirely in the English language must take TOEFL".

It then continues "...applicants with at least two years of university education conducted entirely in English may request a waiver of the TOEFL exam...waivers are granted at the sole discretion of the Graduate Program".

Which to me then says that your undergrad must have been taught entirely in Eng for at least two years, and even then, if you request a waiver, it might not be granted.

I quote from Harvard's website (and I seem to recall NYU and CLS stating something similar): "...all applicants from non-English speaking countries or who did not receive their legal education entirely in the English language must take TOEFL".

It then continues "...applicants with at least two years of university education conducted entirely in English may request a waiver of the TOEFL exam...waivers are granted at the sole discretion of the Graduate Program".

Which to me then says that your undergrad must have been taught entirely in Eng for at least two years, and even then, if you request a waiver, it might not be granted.
quote
guyliana

I

I am not sure that is correct. I easily got a waiver, even if I had only lived in the U.S. for 1 1/2 years. I think I came up with 3 or 4 reasons in my statement (English is taught as a second language from age 6 through age 15, I have lived in the U.S. and I worked in an international law firm), and that did the trick I also talked to them on the phone, and the lady was like, oh wow, I guess your waiver will not be a problem.


Almost the same situation here, except for living in the US...I am sure that my former employer will give me references regarding my English. I have also found out that one of the high-ranked law schools I have chosen accepts waivers in exactly the same situation as mine. By the way, is there any established form of such a waiver? Is it a separate document to provide them with or I should right everything in a personal statement?

Although I am not sure how having a low score and then apply for a waiver would work.


Yeah, that is what I thought...Do you think they still would take a waiver into consideration?

I<blockquote> I am not sure that is correct. I easily got a waiver, even if I had only lived in the U.S. for 1 1/2 years. I think I came up with 3 or 4 reasons in my statement (English is taught as a second language from age 6 through age 15, I have lived in the U.S. and I worked in an international law firm), and that did the trick I also talked to them on the phone, and the lady was like, oh wow, I guess your waiver will not be a problem. </blockquote>

Almost the same situation here, except for living in the US...I am sure that my former employer will give me references regarding my English. I have also found out that one of the high-ranked law schools I have chosen accepts waivers in exactly the same situation as mine. By the way, is there any established form of such a waiver? Is it a separate document to provide them with or I should right everything in a personal statement?

<blockquote> Although I am not sure how having a low score and then apply for a waiver would work. </blockquote>

Yeah, that is what I thought...Do you think they still would take a waiver into consideration?
quote

TOEFL is just a qualifying test they require to be sure that you are well versed with the medium of instruction.

A waiver from TOEFL on the basis of your language strengths is very common. You should submit your applications with your current score and an application for waiver.

TOEFL is just a qualifying test they require to be sure that you are well versed with the medium of instruction.

A waiver from TOEFL on the basis of your language strengths is very common. You should submit your applications with your current score and an application for waiver.
quote

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