10/9/10: Round Two
Following a terrible cycle last year, I have once again taken the LSAT, today. The outcome of last year is summarized as;
Total Applications: 50
Conditional Program Invites: 5
Conditionals Attended: 2
After spending an illicit amount of money, traveling all over the country, and investing much time and resource into trying to get accepted, it did, sort of, happen. I got in to Cooley, and almost enrolled, but there was a catch, as there are will all conditionals, if you are unaware, be advised.
Cooley required a $1,000 transfer fee, an exit exam, and restricted study to 3 classes per semester for a year. Nothing like turning a 3 year degree into a 5 year odyssey.
And so I return, a year older, more poor, and still not in law school. I am in the process of rewriting all parts of my application package and am only applying to a handful of school this time, wherein I have a true shot at admittance.
Also, I will only be focusing my applications in a few areas, unlike last year in which I applied across the USA.
10/30/10: Score received
I got my LSAT score today. Its still low, but its higher than I've scored in the past and may actually get me accepted some place.
I'll begin rewriting my application materials and investigating which schools I have surpassed the 25%-ile LSAT. I'd like to begin applying soon, but am also considering sitting again in December. The only problem is that would be my 3rd LSAT in 2 years, and no matter what the outcome, I'd be unable to sit for a while.
11/1/10: One more LSAT
I have decided to sit once more for the LSAT next month. I'm not particularly looking forward to yet another day of testing, but if I can improve a bit more, it will be worth it.
In the mean time, I am compiling a list of schools on here. I will be increasing and decreasing the list as I actually apply and plan to only apply to about 10-15 this cycle. I will also apply to at least one or two as part time unless my LSAT score increases.
Currently, I am rewriting my personal statement and getting all of my transcripts updated.
I received an unexpected letter from Cooley. Apparently the school received my updated scores and re-extended admission to me. This time, it's full time, normal, no strings attached to the decision. I now have a safety school for certain and can further edit my applications.
I spent a great deal of time deciding whether to apply to Widener as full or part time. I chose part time as I felt I stand a better chance at getting another acceptance.
I have completed two more applications, Fla Coastal and Ave Maria. I am expecting to complete 3-5 additional applications for this cycle and that will be all. Most likely; Regent, Whittier, Western State, Nova SE, and St. Thomas. I have my next LSAT in 2 weeks and by then I expect to be finished with applications. It's surreal to be applying now as I went through the process last year.
12/6/2010: LSAT this weekend
I have my LSAT this Saturday and am feeling under prepared. I have applied to and went complete at the University of DC Law which is for some reason not listed on LSN. I am also being bombarded by phone, mail and email by Regent, not sure I should have applied there. Otherwise, I am working on my final 3 apps and that's a rap.
12/10/10: LSAT tomorrow
I have the LSAT tomorrow morning, shouldn't be terrible, all I'm hoping for is a one point increase at the least and all the stress, preparation, and extra work will be worth it.
I have applied to some of my schools Part Time as I'm hoping my odds of admittance will increase, working on about 3 more applications and that's all for this cycle.
12/12/10: After LSAT
I had the LSAT yesterday. It went well except I had 3 sections of Reading Comp, 1 Games, and 1 Short Reading. The Reading Comp exhausted me, but I felt very confident on Games. I'm not certain if I'm the only one, but at each LSAT testing, one person in the room with me has had a meltdown involving canceling their score and running out of the room dramatically. Of course, it happened again yesterday, it was distracting.
From this point, I'm contemplating either churning out my last few applications, or waiting roughly a month for my score to determine if I should aim higher or lower depending on the outcome as 10 schools will likely be my final number. The only problem is by that time it will be relatively late in this cycle. I haven't heard anything from any school I've applied to yet, not even a "File Complete" e-mail or anything.
12/13/10: More apps
I applied to Rutgers Newark after seeing both on LSN and TLS discussion sites that the Part Time program will admit scores near mine. I won't apply to too many other reach schools, but went out on a limb for this one. I'm also optimistic about my forthcoming LSAT.
12/17/10: Apped out
I'm applied to around 5 schools this week. I may apply to one or two more at the most, but I'm finished for the most part, or at least until my most recent score comes in. By that time, I anticipate maybe an answer or two.
Still waiting on my LSAT score. Scores may be released as early as this coming Saturday, or the following Saturday. As I stated earlier, I weighed applying to another two schools, but I have decided to wait and see. I remember by this time last year, and not retesting in December, I received about 4 answers already.
1/7/11: New Score
I managed to improve one addition point on the LSAT and while its not several points, its still an improvement. I am considering submitting perhaps 2 or 3 more applications this cycle, even though its getting late, and I anticipate some answers perhaps by the end of this month.
1/10/11: 2 Final Applications
I completed my two final applications today; Western State and Whittier. I felt the small boost might just give me the edge to get in to one of them.
1/13/11: Accepted at TJSL
Got accepted at TJSL today, a very nice surprise in sunny So Cal. I also got a waiver from Seton Hall, but will likely not apply there. Thus far this cycle has surpassed last year's significantly!
Part 2: I finished the last update and became aware that I was accepted to Appalachian! What luck!! Two acceptances in one day!
1/21/11: It begins...
My acceptance letter to TJSL is great. Meaning, its a well written, long, and very welcoming letter. No where did the school ask for the deposit, or anything else. Appalachian on the other hand sent one page, in a tiny envelope. It read, and this is verbatim, "Congratulations, you're accepted. Now send $500." That was it. I found it off-putting and rather disheartening.
Today, I get an e-mail from Widener today stating that because I attended the conditional there, I am ineligible for admission. Now I am entering a letter-writing campaign with the Dean, all to have my file reviewed. I'll be honest, TJSL is looking better by the day!
1/25/11: In again!
I was accepted to Fla Coastal today! An excellent surprise, hopefully the welcome package that I am told is in the mail will contain a scholarship. At this point, Appalachian is not even a possibility.
I'm adding an awful story of my attempt to apply to Widener in my extracurricular section.
Still awaiting more answers. Its going to be a fast forward until August given that nearly all schools want a deposit by April 1. I'll be in search of apartments, etc right after that, and planning to move in the first week of August to prepare for class in the second week. I also deleted the Widener application altogether from my list given the circumstances.
Late night update: I was checking a few online statuses and one reads, "Application held for review at a later date". What on Earth does this mean? I imagine this is a clever way of wait listing me, but google reveals that in some cases it does not necessarily mean "Waitlisted" instead, it can mean the application is pre-In-Review. Anyone seen this before?
2/1/11: First Rejection
Denied at Whittier, which I knew was somewhat of a long shot.
2/5/11: In at Ave Maria
2/7/11: Rejected at Regent
Not much of a surprise, and I had no intention of going there, probably should have saved myself the fee.
2/8/11: Another rejection
Rejected at Western State. I'm waiting for only a few more answers, than I'll be making my decision. At this point, I'm oddly favoring Fla Coastal. Of the schools I've gotten into thus far, its the cheapest by at least 5k per year, some 10k. I also have family in Jacksonville within a few minutes of the school which helps. Actually, if nothing comes of either Rutgers, I may send my deposit to Coastal sooner than expected.
Rejected at RU-Newark. Still waiting on the last few answers.
As for the questions about RU N, I got a small white envelope with the form letter inside, my status checker has read and still reads "File Complete" as it has for about 5 weeks.
Also, FLA Coastal offered me $1,000!
Received a second $1,000 offer to Coastal, for a total of $2,000.
3/9/11: Waitlisted at Charlotte
For the 2nd year in a row! I've began calling the remaining 3 daily to see if there is an update yet. Seat deposits are due 4/1, and I don't want to wait past then to get the last answers.
I'm also touring TJSL and FCSL in two weeks.
3/27/11: Decision Time
I have returned from my tours of TJSL and FCSL. TJ seems to be where I'm leaning at this point, but I'm still not entirely sure. These are two short reviews, one of each school:
Positives: Located in downtown San Diego. The area was nice, in the middle of the city. Apartments and businesses everywhere making for beneficial student life and employment possibilities. The school has a BRAND NEW building and it is incredible. Many law clinics offered and decent placement with a variety of fields, especially DOJ. Student body is young and somewhat homogeneous. TJ has been producing grads since 1966, so they have the alumni numbers in their favor. Grads seem to remain in CA.
Negatives: Super expensive cost of living (price of a studio apt buys a 3 bedroom in Jacksonville.) If I were to live further from school than a few blocks, where I would not be able to walk there, parking could be a mess. Reputation-wise, TJSL seems to be low in the SD market compared to the competition which is problematic for placement. No scholarship offered from them. And the staff, although helpful, is reluctant to send additional info to me without my seat deposit, kinda stingy considering the $70 million new building. Also being that I visited during their Spring Break, I saw few current students to get the inside scoop.
Positives: Low cost of living in Jacksonville. School is located in the suburbs which is good and bad. Student body was varied; older folks, people just out of undergrad. I encountered students all over the grounds and they were happy with the school, commenting they would pick it all over again. Though I noticed most of those whom I spoke with did not apply to any other schools. FCSL has already offered a scholarship and more are offered depending on GPA each semester. The staff was friendly with a remarkable open-door policy on their offices, are very accessible. School is adamant in retaining the well-performing students. Placement varied between private firms and corporations. I have family locally and would likely not have to pay rent.
Negatives: Whether I lived a mile away or ten, driving to school is guaranteed. School is located in a converted, massive office building in an isolated suburb. A very different locale indeed. Again, like TJSL, reputation of school is low given that UF and FSU aren't far away. FCSL has only been in existence since 1996, small alumni base. Grads seem to return to their origin out of state, and generally in other areas of FL. Crime, Jacksonville has nice sections, but it has run-down areas as well.
Both schools seem to be up and coming and are making strides to improve their respective reputations in their locations. I find myself considering the benefits of the very different locations; central downtown vs. suburbs. Each offers multiple benefits, but seems to have a fatal flaw. Each school seems to be regional in presence.
I can state that I wouldn't plan on practicing, no less, staying in Jacksonville after graduation, but could see myself never leaving San Diego. And I hate humidity.
4/8/11: In at Barry from Waitlist
Accepted at Barry today. Doubt I'll go, but have to make my decision by this coming Friday.
4/16/11: Loose Ends
In the last week, I received my Barry acceptance package. It was the oddest of all that I have received. It consisted of a congratulatory letter, a scholarship award, and a magazine about older students returning to law school, as in middle aged and beyond. Weird.
More shocking, I was rejected from Nova SE, which was a surprise. I thought I would have made it in there.
Most shocking of all, I received a status update e-mail from Drexel, despite not applying there this year. Excellent.
Also sent my deposit to Florida Coastal. It was a tough call between TJSL and FCSL, but FC is almost 15k cheaper per year, for a total potential savings of over 45k at 3 years, they also offered the most scholarship money of any school, and debt is something I seek to minimize.
Still waiting on 2 answers somehow.
6/23/11: Going to be a loy-ya!
Well its been a long, rough road thus far. I enrolled at FL Coastal, checked it out well ahead of time. Had a vibe to it, didn't know what to make of such an isolated location in the 'burbs, but liked it enough to know I could study there.
A month ago, TJSL contacted me and invited me an a free weekend in San Diego. I went and knew that my law school experience would be fantastic in the city.
And so I enrolled in TJSL and withdrew from Coastal.
Today, I learn I am accepted from the wait list into Charlotte Law, with money. Its a bit upsetting, and also way too late to entertain that school as an option, but I have a few weeks to once more analyze my options.
I cannot believe how exciting and unpredictable this cycle has been.