1/13 Maybe it's the grayness of the day and the general winter dreariness, but I'm feeling pretty low about my chances today. My LSAT is mediocre, my college GPA too (oh, those distant days!), and whether my work experience and essays will count in my favor is anyone's guess. If all that wash;t bad enough, I'm applying late in the cycle. Ah, well. Worst comes to worst, I'll have a chance to redeem myself next year. How I was hoping not to have to write those words...
1/16 Finally sent in the Fordham application. About as much chance of me getting in as there is of hell hosting the next winter Olympics, but friends and loved ones counseled me to take a chance because, after all, what do I have to lose? Besides 90 bucks and a bit of pride? Not much I guess...
1/17 Switched my application for part-time at Cardozo. Not sure whether that will help or hinder my chances of admission but their part-time program is highly rated, integrates with the full time program the second year, and based on academic stats alone my application would seem more competitive. Here's hoping that gamble pans out.
1/20 It's true what that Tom Petty guy says: The waiting is the hardest part. Adding to the anxiety is my sense that most of the schools I applied to are beyond my reach. But then, I tried to apply mainly to schools that I would like to attend. The X factor is my professional experience, which I consider reasonably successful. Wether it's enough to edge me past my less-than-stellar LSAT and college GPA remains to be seen...
1/23 Nothing to report so let me instead share an article. It's rare to hear good news about law school these days. Competition is rife, jobs are scarce. Horror stories abound of newly minted lawyers, buried beneath a mountain of debt, scraping by at $30/per hour temp jobs. In short, things are grim. As a corrective to that bleak reality, consider this piece on why law school is still worth it. Bottom line: Whatever the current woes of the legal field, law is still better off than many other professions and it remains a solid investment over the long term. Something to consider as your fret over a big decision. http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/why-law-school-still-worth-it
1/31 In at St. John's! My first acceptance (and quite possibly my last -- sorry, the pessimist in me). And a very generous scholarship offer to boot. I'm so grateful to the acceptance committee for looking favorably upon this humble applicant.
2/2 In at Rutgers-Newark with a scholarship and delighted about that. Considering I'm still an NJ resident, that means in-state tuition and a very reasonable overall cost. The admissions dean was also very helpful and communicative, which comports with the school's reputation for accessible faculty who go the extra mile to help out. Also learned in the course of some research that Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law prof, former Obama advisor and current Senatorial aspirant in Mass., is a Rutgers Newark alumnus. Don't share her political views, but good to see that the school has produced some established alumni.
Meanwhile, out at GW Law, a long-shot that proved just that. Hope I can have a few more options to choose from but can't say I'm displeased with my results to date.
2/6 Waitlisted at BLS. Shame. Would have been nice to get in there and Brooklyn Heights is an amazing location. Ah, well...
2/16 Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? Found out this morning that I'm in at SHU Law, where I'm a legacy. In all the excitement, I confused regular mail with email and dispatched a frenzied email to the admissions office asking what gives on the missing email. They kindly calmed me down and pointed out the distinction. Still waiting for my admissions package but wonderful news indeed. That means, inter alia, that I can choose between two law schools within 10 minutes walk of each other (Rutgers Newark being the other). Newark has an unenviable reputation but both the schools are in the choicer parts of the downtown. All in all, a good dilemma to have.
2/17 It's turning out to be a surprisingly favorable application cycle. In at Loyola and the official Seton Hall acceptance package carried a very nice scholarship offer. Great to have an LA option, too. Loyola has a stellar reputation and placement prospects, though absent any money it will be difficult to swing the tuition. Still, more choice is better than less.
2/18 If you frequent the discussion forums at TLS, you may already have come across the interesting research paper by a Loyola LA law professor on which schools produce partners at major national law firms. The crux: location, location, location. There are very few truly national schools and rankings often matter less than local reputation. Among the encouraging news for me is that several of my acceptances are in the top 50 feeder schools. Loyola LA is #25, St. John's is #42. Interestingly, St. John's has produced more biglaw partners in the NY area than Yale. And in LA, Loyola is the second largest biglaw feeder school after UCLA. One of my reaches, Fordham, comes in at #13 in the NYC area. If Biglaw is something you're interested in, as I am, this is something to consider. Here is a link to the paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1903934&http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1903934
2/21 Out at George Mason. Sigh. D.C. options get slimmer and slimmer...
2/22 Decided to send an app in the direction of BC. Why I would do this exactly is unclear, but I suppose it has something to do with my decidedly non-New York like affection for Beantown, my better-than-expected results to date, as well as the fact that I am only going through this process once and don't wish to have any regrets. With one or two exceptions, I am expecting mostly rejections from this point forward. So, heck, what's one more?
2/24 Woohoo! I had an inkling that there was still some news coming this week. In at Cardozo, for their part-time program. The bad: no scholarship possibility for the part-time program. The good: I can still work part time and, with some luck, sweat and tears, qualify for a scholarship for 2nd and 3rd year if I make top 10 percent. No easy task, I know, but anything that's worth doing is worth doing well. I actually loved the school when I visited and the students are all impressively sharp. Pleasing to think I could be one of them.
2/27 Waitlisted at American. I'm getting the distinct impression I'm not welcome in D.C. Perhaps it's payback for years of cynicism about politics and goings-on in the national capital. Will stay on the wait list for the full-time program. Separately, I submitted an addendum essay to Brooklyn Law in the hopes of getting accepted off the wait list. Not sure it will help but I like the school a lot and as a matter of principle I refuse to give up on the possibility of admission.
3/1 In at Rutgers-Camden today, with a scholarship offer! The acceptance email was very sweet and included comments on my personal statement, which recounted a harrowing experience I had some years back in a far-flung part of the world. Good to know they read these things! Who knew it could pay to be a writer?
3/13 Waitlisted at Pepperdine. Yeesh. Not at all what I was hoping for. I thought I would be a good match for the school but obviously my case was not as compelling from their side.
3/20 Waitlisted at Emory. I must say this is a pleasant surprise. I realize my chances of acceptance are slim at best but I loved Emory's bucolic campus, its program's emphasis on legal writing, and I will even admit to a certain wistful fascination with the pop culture stereotype of the molasses-voiced, bourbon-sipping Southern lawyer, complete with bow tie and seersucker suit. Yes, I can be something of a fantasist. Sue me. I doubt I will get off the wait list but I will do all I can.
In other news, I received an offer from Brooklyn Law, and was very grateful for that. I'm a big fan of the school and its location is hard to match. At this point, however, I am considering other options and so I've decided to withdraw. Best of luck to those waiting for a spot.
3/21 After careful consideration, I've decided to withdraw from the part-time program at Cardozo. It wasn't an easy decision because I loved the school and I was very impressed by the students. At this point, though, I'm leaning in a different direction. Hope this can benefit another applicant. Just remember to act fast because their deposit deadline is looming next week.
3/22 I've decided to withdraw from Rutgers Camden. Distance wise, the school is a bit of a hike for me. That said, I can't say enough nice things about the people there. I know the school is in a bit of a pr mess at the moment -- what with the talk of an apparently unwanted merger with Rowan and a fall in the rankings -- but my sense is that the quality of the education and the faculty will not make any one regret the decision to attend.
3/23 The impossible, or at least the highly improbable, has happened. I have received an acceptance to Fordham, which was my reach and one of my top choices. How and why that happened is not entirely clear to me, but it's certainly thrown a welcome spammer into the works as I narrow down my choices. I took my LSAT at Fordham and always harbored the slim hope that I might end up there as a student, but it didn't seem mathematically possible. Which I suppose just goes to show that, contrary to what the name of this website may imply, numbers aren't everything in law school admissions. My dream from the start was to attend a top-30 school and now it looks like that dream may come true. (Fordham is #29 in the latest national rankings!) It goes without saying that it would be amazing if another top-30 school wanted to complicate my decision for me, but I'm not counting on that and will consider myself very fortunate if my current options stay as they are.
3/29 Withdrew from St. John's. It was literally painful to turn down all that tuition money but at this point I'm considering other options. (Sigh.) In other news, waitlisted at Hastings. Solid school and I like San Fran, so I think I will wait it out.
4/5 Out at Georgetown. That's 0-3 on the George-based schools, and this one was definitely the most expected. So it goes.
4/24 In at American off of the waitlist. Happy to have the option and, had I received it earlier, I would have had to strongly consider it. As it is, I have decided to pass and withdraw. $50 grand annual tuition is too rich for my tastes, particularly now that I have some other options to consider. Best of luck to those still waiting for a spot.
4/26 Out at Emory off the waitlist. Shame, but glad they let me know.
THIS IS THE END...
5/5 Those of you who have been eagerly awaiting my final decision, which is to say no one in particular, well, wait no more. Having been recently informed that I can expect to wait at least two more months for a decision from BC (!) , and having already gotten into my top choice, I feel pretty confident saying that I will be attending Fordham Law next year. Despite its somewhat modest setting -- soon to be upgraded as a state-of-the-art new complex nears completion -- it's a great school and I am delighted to go there. My sense is that, in addition to its stellar reputation in New York, Fordham has really committed alumni who go out of their way to help. I have already found that to be the case. Besides that, I really liked the students that I've met so far, who strike me as warm, sociable, and extremely sharp. After nearly a decade away, I am really looking forward to going back to school and starting a new career. Fordham, here we come!