What grades do I need?


darvish
I am currently doing a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in London, UK.

After this degree I want to do a LLM in international arbitration or alternative dispute resolution at an American university, preferably in New York.

Now my question is: what overall grade do I need, to get into the good universities such as Columbia or NYU?
What grades would I need if I wanted to go to Harvard or Yale?

Also, how important are extracurricular merits in relation to grades? I am the chief editor of my universities student news paper and the president of the chess club. I also fluently speak four languages. Will universities consider these points when making a decision on whether to approve of my application?

My grades so far do amount to a 2.1 which in the UK is the second best level after a first.

Do I need a first to get into the best universities or will a 2.1 suffice?

thanks and regards,
V.
I am currently doing a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in London, UK.

After this degree I want to do a LLM in international arbitration or alternative dispute resolution at an American university, preferably in New York.

Now my question is: what overall grade do I need, to get into the good universities such as Columbia or NYU?
What grades would I need if I wanted to go to Harvard or Yale?

Also, how important are extracurricular merits in relation to grades? I am the chief editor of my universities student news paper and the president of the chess club. I also fluently speak four languages. Will universities consider these points when making a decision on whether to approve of my application?

My grades so far do amount to a 2.1 which in the UK is the second best level after a first.

Do I need a first to get into the best universities or will a 2.1 suffice?

thanks and regards,
V.

quote
Kazaf
I can't comment on NYU or Columbia, but for Harvard and Yale, you are highly unlikely to be given an offer without a First. They also like to see academic prizes and high class ranking!

I think extra-curricular activities are important, but only if you have the grades. The only substitute for slightly less than outstanding grades would be interesting career experience (judges, lecturers, UN advisers, etc.).

Hope you find this helpful.
I can't comment on NYU or Columbia, but for Harvard and Yale, you are highly unlikely to be given an offer without a First. They also like to see academic prizes and high class ranking!

I think extra-curricular activities are important, but only if you have the grades. The only substitute for slightly less than outstanding grades would be interesting career experience (judges, lecturers, UN advisers, etc.).

Hope you find this helpful.
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darvish
Thanks Kazaf.

Does anyone know if the same applies to Columbia and NYU? Cornell?
Thanks Kazaf.

Does anyone know if the same applies to Columbia and NYU? Cornell?
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It is very difficult to get into Harvard, NYU or Columbia unless your grades are almost perfect.
It is very difficult to get into Harvard, NYU or Columbia unless your grades are almost perfect.
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It is always better to try and fail than to regret. You should definitely apply.
It is always better to try and fail than to regret. You should definitely apply.
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V-2007
Agree! Try with all schools that you fancy! Consider grades to be your weak point. Grades should not be decisive if you have good extra-curricular track and experience + smart package. I think what matters here - is how you market your CV ))

Good luck!
Agree! Try with all schools that you fancy! Consider grades to be your weak point. Grades should not be decisive if you have good extra-curricular track and experience + smart package. I think what matters here - is how you market your CV ))

Good luck!
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Pilufo
I know an argentinean lawyer who was accepted in Columbia with a GPA of 2.59... So I believe that you do not need to be top of the class to enter into Columbia...
I know an argentinean lawyer who was accepted in Columbia with a GPA of 2.59... So I believe that you do not need to be top of the class to enter into Columbia...
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I find that more than a little difficult to believe. Unless that person was either exceptionally accomplished in other areas (professionally, or academically because he or she held an advanced degree in another dicsipline) or the grades are just generally awful at his or her school such that a GPA of 2.59 still put the candidate into the top 10% or so of his or her class.
Care to elaborate?
I find that more than a little difficult to believe. Unless that person was either exceptionally accomplished in other areas (professionally, or academically because he or she held an advanced degree in another dicsipline) or the grades are just generally awful at his or her school such that a GPA of 2.59 still put the candidate into the top 10% or so of his or her class.
Care to elaborate?
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Pilufo
I know that it is very unusual, but it is the truth. My GPA is 3.00 and I was admited in Georgetown (for the time being) and deferred to the common application in Columbia. This guy, entered with the early admission havin a GPA of 2.59. I do not really know him well, but he went to an average univeristy and works in a very large international law firm. Maybe an exceptional TOEFL, exceptional PS and exceptional letters... What do you thing?
I know that it is very unusual, but it is the truth. My GPA is 3.00 and I was admited in Georgetown (for the time being) and deferred to the common application in Columbia. This guy, entered with the early admission havin a GPA of 2.59. I do not really know him well, but he went to an average univeristy and works in a very large international law firm. Maybe an exceptional TOEFL, exceptional PS and exceptional letters... What do you thing?
quote
As many others have written here before, it is true that Toefl and references and work experience are all important, but they compliment, rather than substitute, good grades. You say that you have a 3.00 GPA, but what is your class ranking? If this other fella has a 2.59 but worked in a prestigious international law firm, then I suspect the curve is vry low in your country, such that that GPA equates with a high class standing, no?
It seems to me that rankings are ultimately all the schools really care about. Base marks are kind of meaningless when you get people applying from all over the world. They want to see how you perforemd relative to your peers, in the UK that means a first, in Canada it means Dean's List (top 10%) etc..
As many others have written here before, it is true that Toefl and references and work experience are all important, but they compliment, rather than substitute, good grades. You say that you have a 3.00 GPA, but what is your class ranking? If this other fella has a 2.59 but worked in a prestigious international law firm, then I suspect the curve is vry low in your country, such that that GPA equates with a high class standing, no?
It seems to me that rankings are ultimately all the schools really care about. Base marks are kind of meaningless when you get people applying from all over the world. They want to see how you perforemd relative to your peers, in the UK that means a first, in Canada it means Dean's List (top 10%) etc..
quote
J.R.
Grades might matter less in Columbia, as they focus heavily on career experience. Another factor is probably the number of applicants from the country, meaning that if you are the only one applying, you have a better chance.
Grades might matter less in Columbia, as they focus heavily on career experience. Another factor is probably the number of applicants from the country, meaning that if you are the only one applying, you have a better chance.
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I got a second upper honors from a UK university, with no extra-curricular activities whatsoever, but was accepted into NYU's LLM corporate law program, . I think that they look very much at class ranking ( mine was top 8 %) as well as work experience. Based on your accolades, u really shouldnt have a problem.
I got a second upper honors from a UK university, with no extra-curricular activities whatsoever, but was accepted into NYU's LLM corporate law program, . I think that they look very much at class ranking ( mine was top 8 %) as well as work experience. Based on your accolades, u really shouldnt have a problem.
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kjtuckley
I think with regard to the UK grades, To get into the top 7 schools or so, you really need a first or stellar extra curricular/work experience. When I visited Harvard, they said a 2:1 is ok for you to apply, but you are in competition against all of the people applying from the UK, and as you can probably guess there are many people applying from top 10 UK law schools that have firsts.

Class rankings is odd in the UK. Where I went, KCL, they do not rank the students. Only a handful of people were awarded firsts at Kings, so obviously, the transcript evaluation does all of that explaining for you. If someone wants to see what the transcript evaluation from a UK school looks like, PM me and I can probably email mine.

Anyways, my advice is to spread the net wide, have lots of schools in mind. There are great law schools with great programs outside of the top 7.

KT
I think with regard to the UK grades, To get into the top 7 schools or so, you really need a first or stellar extra curricular/work experience. When I visited Harvard, they said a 2:1 is ok for you to apply, but you are in competition against all of the people applying from the UK, and as you can probably guess there are many people applying from top 10 UK law schools that have firsts.

Class rankings is odd in the UK. Where I went, KCL, they do not rank the students. Only a handful of people were awarded firsts at Kings, so obviously, the transcript evaluation does all of that explaining for you. If someone wants to see what the transcript evaluation from a UK school looks like, PM me and I can probably email mine.

Anyways, my advice is to spread the net wide, have lots of schools in mind. There are great law schools with great programs outside of the top 7.

KT
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MarkBrasil
How do I know my GPA if there is no such thing in my country, or even oficial class rankings?
How do I know my GPA if there is no such thing in my country, or even oficial class rankings?
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kjtuckley
Get a transcript evaulation. The LSAC one costs $185, I think World Education Services does it aswell.

BTW, I got a 2:1 from KCL and was rejected at Harvard.
Get a transcript evaulation. The LSAC one costs $185, I think World Education Services does it aswell.

BTW, I got a 2:1 from KCL and was rejected at Harvard.
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MarkBrasil
Thanks,
how do I do that transcrip evaluation. I have heard of the LSAC thing, but I don't know how to get a hold of them...
Where r u from?
Thanks,
how do I do that transcrip evaluation. I have heard of the LSAC thing, but I don't know how to get a hold of them...
Where r u from?
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kjtuckley
I am from England, but now live in Texas (temporarily!!)

www.llm.lsac.org is the service I used as I believe most of the universities accept an evaluation from them in place of a copy of your transcript. That way you send one copy of your transcript to the LSAC and don't have to send out multiple transcripts to various schools. King's were pretty expensive when it came to ordering transcripts!

The LSAC seemed fairly expensive for what it is, yet it takes out that whole "explain your grading system" deal.

If you PM me your details I could email a copy of my evaluation so you can see what it looks like.
I am from England, but now live in Texas (temporarily!!)

www.llm.lsac.org is the service I used as I believe most of the universities accept an evaluation from them in place of a copy of your transcript. That way you send one copy of your transcript to the LSAC and don't have to send out multiple transcripts to various schools. King's were pretty expensive when it came to ordering transcripts!

The LSAC seemed fairly expensive for what it is, yet it takes out that whole "explain your grading system" deal.

If you PM me your details I could email a copy of my evaluation so you can see what it looks like.
quote
It's true that UK schools dont usually provide rankings. However, I made a special request to the admin officer in my school (University of Nottingham), and they provided me with my ranking. They are probably used to their students applying for grad schools in the U.S, and are more than willing to assist in the application process. How else will the law schools in the US have basis for comparison, if every school system is so different around the world? They want to see how you compare alongside your peers, so the class ranking is vital.
It's true that UK schools dont usually provide rankings. However, I made a special request to the admin officer in my school (University of Nottingham), and they provided me with my ranking. They are probably used to their students applying for grad schools in the U.S, and are more than willing to assist in the application process. How else will the law schools in the US have basis for comparison, if every school system is so different around the world? They want to see how you compare alongside your peers, so the class ranking is vital.
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MarkBrasil
Rankings are an american creation people
Rankings are an american creation people
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Another thing is that the schools prefer that you have relevant work experience. They are more likely to accept someone with 1 or 2 years work experience as opposed to someone fresh out of school. Then again, there have been people with spectacular grades who get accepted without having worked before, but that's quite rare.
Another thing is that the schools prefer that you have relevant work experience. They are more likely to accept someone with 1 or 2 years work experience as opposed to someone fresh out of school. Then again, there have been people with spectacular grades who get accepted without having worked before, but that's quite rare.
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