Any chances for top law schools?


as_llm
Hello everyone!

I am planning to apply for an LLM for 2009 fall. I am mostly interested in HLS, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown and Berkeley.

Do you think I have any chances in getting into any of these schools?

- graduated from the best law school in my country, GPA:2,83/4,00. (I know it is my weakest point and all my concern in about my GPA)
- took classes in the Netherlands for 1 semester as an exchange student, GPA:8,02/10,00.
- 1.5 year experience (worked in major and very significant deals/projects which took place in my country)
- 1 publication in English in the Netherlands in the faculty law journal, 2 publications (more commercial rather than academic) in the int'l law magazines where major law firms publish their articles regarding the recent developments in their countries, etc.
- TOEFL:105 (it was two years ago, I will take another one and will probably get a better score)
- three very good recommendation letters (one from a professor at my uni, one from a professor teaching at Boston Uni and HLS who taught me, and one from my employer)
- participated many int'l programs abroad (in Switzerland, London, NY, Amsterdam, etc.)

I believe that my credentials except of my GPA are not very bad.. Actually, I am afraid of being rejected by all of the schools just because of my GPA..Do you have any advice? Should I go for it? I am not from a country where hundreds of people apply for an LLM in the US..

Many thanks in advance.
Hello everyone!

I am planning to apply for an LLM for 2009 fall. I am mostly interested in HLS, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown and Berkeley.

Do you think I have any chances in getting into any of these schools?

- graduated from the best law school in my country, GPA:2,83/4,00. (I know it is my weakest point and all my concern in about my GPA)
- took classes in the Netherlands for 1 semester as an exchange student, GPA:8,02/10,00.
- 1.5 year experience (worked in major and very significant deals/projects which took place in my country)
- 1 publication in English in the Netherlands in the faculty law journal, 2 publications (more commercial rather than academic) in the int'l law magazines where major law firms publish their articles regarding the recent developments in their countries, etc.
- TOEFL:105 (it was two years ago, I will take another one and will probably get a better score)
- three very good recommendation letters (one from a professor at my uni, one from a professor teaching at Boston Uni and HLS who taught me, and one from my employer)
- participated many int'l programs abroad (in Switzerland, London, NY, Amsterdam, etc.)

I believe that my credentials except of my GPA are not very bad.. Actually, I am afraid of being rejected by all of the schools just because of my GPA..Do you have any advice? Should I go for it? I am not from a country where hundreds of people apply for an LLM in the US..

Many thanks in advance.


quote
You have great credentials The way you are afraid of your GPA, you should be equally proud of your achievements like publications to your credit;

You may also consider applying to a few more good schools like Cornell, Vanderbilt and Washington University in St Louis.
You have great credentials The way you are afraid of your GPA, you should be equally proud of your achievements like publications to your credit;

You may also consider applying to a few more good schools like Cornell, Vanderbilt and Washington University in St Louis.
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Rej
Just forget about HLS, Columbia, and Berkley... you might have a chance at Georgetown and NYU... You should think about applying to some other top 20/25 LLM programs...
Just forget about HLS, Columbia, and Berkley... you might have a chance at Georgetown and NYU... You should think about applying to some other top 20/25 LLM programs...
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What's your class ranking? Were you inside the top 15, 10, 5%? If you are in the top 5, I'd day you can probably go to any shool for the LLm, inlcding Harvard (assuming your references are excellent and your personal statement is likewise top notch)...
What's your class ranking? Were you inside the top 15, 10, 5%? If you are in the top 5, I'd day you can probably go to any shool for the LLm, inlcding Harvard (assuming your references are excellent and your personal statement is likewise top notch)...
quote
as_llm
Many thanks everyone for your kind replies..

Unfortunately my class ranking is even worse than %25. Because my university accepts only 36 student in the law faculty each year so it is not easy to be in the first %5, %10. But it is already a big achievement to get into this university in my country as I was in the first 200 among more than 1 million people in the university entrance exam. I think I should somehow stress this point in my personal statement. What do you think?
Do you think I am wasting time and money..?
Many thanks everyone for your kind replies..

Unfortunately my class ranking is even worse than %25. Because my university accepts only 36 student in the law faculty each year so it is not easy to be in the first %5, %10. But it is already a big achievement to get into this university in my country as I was in the first 200 among more than 1 million people in the university entrance exam. I think I should somehow stress this point in my personal statement. What do you think?
Do you think I am wasting time and money..?
quote
junior79
I was in the top 20% of my year (at a well regarded uni) and was accepted into the class of 2009 at Columbia (I only applied to Columbia so unfortunately I can't advise you regarding HLS or the others you mention).

In terms of the other stuff - two years working at a big law firm, one year of teaching and one and half years of working for a judge.

Good luck - I have deferred to the year starting August 2009 so perhaps I'll see you there.
I was in the top 20% of my year (at a well regarded uni) and was accepted into the class of 2009 at Columbia (I only applied to Columbia so unfortunately I can't advise you regarding HLS or the others you mention).

In terms of the other stuff - two years working at a big law firm, one year of teaching and one and half years of working for a judge.

Good luck - I have deferred to the year starting August 2009 so perhaps I'll see you there.
quote
invictus88
My advice to you is that there is no harm applying to the top schools; applicants are accepted on a case-to-case basis and it is never as simple as saying that the higher your grades, the more chances of being admitted. Grades will always constitute an important factor, but they will not necessarily be the determinative one. I was not from the top 20% of my batch but I was accepted into Columbia. A batchmate of mine within the top 20 was accepted into HLS, while someone from the previous batch who graduated with Latin honors (top 3 of the batch) was not. A relatively low GPA may be offset by notable publications, work experience, impressive recommendations, etc.
My advice to you is that there is no harm applying to the top schools; applicants are accepted on a case-to-case basis and it is never as simple as saying that the higher your grades, the more chances of being admitted. Grades will always constitute an important factor, but they will not necessarily be the determinative one. I was not from the top 20% of my batch but I was accepted into Columbia. A batchmate of mine within the top 20 was accepted into HLS, while someone from the previous batch who graduated with Latin honors (top 3 of the batch) was not. A relatively low GPA may be offset by notable publications, work experience, impressive recommendations, etc.
quote
as_llm
I thank you all. All comments were very helpful. I understand at least I should give a try..
I thank you all. All comments were very helpful. I understand at least I should give a try..
quote
as_llm
Do you have further suggestions for the personal statement in my case? Do you think I need to justify why my GPA is low? Or just leave it to their understanding.. Many thanks for taking time.
Do you have further suggestions for the personal statement in my case? Do you think I need to justify why my GPA is low? Or just leave it to their understanding.. Many thanks for taking time.
quote
Hi. My querry is related to this post.

Im interested in admission in what would be termed top 15% llm schools. I will embark on my final year of law school (kenya) beginning August. I will graduate among the top 10% of my class 5% if i really push (the class is about 160).

i could graduate with a cumulative percentage score of about 65-68 where a first is awarded at 70% at my school.

Also i am the president of the students body.

what are my chances for a hls,yale,nyu,cornell,.....etc admission?

what should i do btn now and graduation to enhance the possibilities of admission?

JM
Hi. My querry is related to this post.

Im interested in admission in what would be termed top 15% llm schools. I will embark on my final year of law school (kenya) beginning August. I will graduate among the top 10% of my class 5% if i really push (the class is about 160).

i could graduate with a cumulative percentage score of about 65-68 where a first is awarded at 70% at my school.

Also i am the president of the students body.

what are my chances for a hls,yale,nyu,cornell,.....etc admission?

what should i do btn now and graduation to enhance the possibilities of admission?

JM
quote
SBigLawAL
Why do you want to go to NYU? NYU is a joke for LLM. They take everyone and thus, their degree means nothing. Now, NYU for a JD--that's a big deal.

you might also want to check out Vault's rankings of top 25 law schools that prepare you for working in a firm: http://www.vault.com/lawschool/top25/

And I'm assuming you want to work in a BigLaw firm being that they now shell out $160K a year. I suggest you look at StuffBigLawAssociatesLike.wordpress.com for a glimpse at BigLaw life.
Why do you want to go to NYU? NYU is a joke for LLM. They take everyone and thus, their degree means nothing. Now, NYU for a JD--that's a big deal.

you might also want to check out Vault's rankings of top 25 law schools that prepare you for working in a firm: http://www.vault.com/lawschool/top25/

And I'm assuming you want to work in a BigLaw firm being that they now shell out $160K a year. I suggest you look at StuffBigLawAssociatesLike.wordpress.com for a glimpse at BigLaw life.
quote
hangfire
Many thanks everyone for your kind replies..

Unfortunately my class ranking is even worse than %25 . . . I think I should somehow stress this point in my personal statement. What do you think?
Do you think I am wasting time and money..?


My advice. Write a good personal statement about why you want to pursue this particular area of law. Then, attach an addendum explaining your grades or anything that affected your studies.

This approach worked well for me when I applied to LLM program. Had a very lackluster first year due to some personal issues. Finished very strong in my last two years. Still, the first year was cause for concern.

Ended up getting into my top choice.
<blockquote>Many thanks everyone for your kind replies..

Unfortunately my class ranking is even worse than %25 . . . I think I should somehow stress this point in my personal statement. What do you think?
Do you think I am wasting time and money..?
</blockquote>

My advice. Write a good personal statement about why you want to pursue this particular area of law. Then, attach an addendum explaining your grades or anything that affected your studies.

This approach worked well for me when I applied to LLM program. Had a very lackluster first year due to some personal issues. Finished very strong in my last two years. Still, the first year was cause for concern.

Ended up getting into my top choice.
quote
as_llm
Actually, this is also similar to my case. I had much higher grades in my last two years, and also had higher grades in the courses that I want to further specialize in the LLM program. Many thanks for the advice!
Actually, this is also similar to my case. I had much higher grades in my last two years, and also had higher grades in the courses that I want to further specialize in the LLM program. Many thanks for the advice!



quote
hangfire
The other piece of advice that I'd give you is this. Some people tend to focus on the negative in their essays (i.e., why their grades aren't better). The dean of admissions advised me against including this in my personal statement.

Use the personal statement to sell yourself, not to make up for your short-comings (which usually sounds depressing or negative).

On the other hand, don't ignore your short-comings altogether--the school will see it on your transcript (so you can't hide it). Better you offer an explanation than for them to guess.

That's why the addendum was suggested to me. Of the schools that I actually talked to, all said this was a good approach. Different essays for different topics.

Good luck.
The other piece of advice that I'd give you is this. Some people tend to focus on the negative in their essays (i.e., why their grades aren't better). The dean of admissions advised me against including this in my personal statement.

Use the personal statement to sell yourself, not to make up for your short-comings (which usually sounds depressing or negative).

On the other hand, don't ignore your short-comings altogether--the school will see it on your transcript (so you can't hide it). Better you offer an explanation than for them to guess.

That's why the addendum was suggested to me. Of the schools that I actually talked to, all said this was a good approach. Different essays for different topics.

Good luck.
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tellbuk
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fajats
Can anyone tell me where in the GPA (2.0 to 4.0) are the second degree honors? I have a GPA of 3.4 (its equivalent to 8.7/10 in my country) am I close enough to be considered for Columbia or NYU Law?
Can anyone tell me where in the GPA (2.0 to 4.0) are the second degree honors? I have a GPA of 3.4 (its equivalent to 8.7/10 in my country) am I close enough to be considered for Columbia or NYU Law?
quote

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