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27 Jan

I got into CLS today.

I think it is a fluke, and I’m terrified that when I withdraw and reapply next year, I will not be so lucky.

The Hold

7 Jan

The BlackBerry buzzed. I glanced at it nonchalantly, expecting more Kerasotes Five Buck Club reminders (No, thank you, Kerasotes. You drive a hard bargain, but New Moon once at full price was enough.). I saw, instead, an email from Harvard. A quick skim resigned me to my waitlist status–but wait! File updates and supplements? Additional LORs? Not a waitlist–merely a hold! A chance to redeem my whimpering application, terrorized into quiet submission and acceptance of its mediocrity by the hoards of Admits’ sparkling resumes and witty, yet on-message, personal statements!

Yes, I have been held for re-consideration until Harvard reviews more of its applicant pool, at which point I will be admitted only if no one better comes along. I will play the game, submitting an updated resume (that is still lackluster), updated grades (honestly, one of the strongest parts of my initial application in the first place, so little bump to be had here), and perhaps an additional LOR or two. To not do these things would be foolish.

I do not have great hopes for a Harvard admit this year. However, this year’s hold gives me reason to hope for next year’s cycle. My numbers will be the same, my GPA possibly even on the other side of 4.0. I know that my numbers are not holding me back; it is, instead, my lack of “soft” factors. Harvard’s willingness to hold my application now, with my less-than-stellar softs, suggests to me that a beefed up resume and improved personal statement may land me a coveted spot in the Class of 2014.

This hold, rather than disappointing or saddening me, makes several decisions that I have been struggling with much easier to make. Because I’ve firmly decided against attending law school in the fall, rather than be forced into picking a school now and deferring, I have the confidence to withdraw my applications, re-apply next year, and believe that I have a fighting chance at HLS.

This is the best thing that has happened to me all year (one week in)!

See VS Deliberate

21 Dec

I am notorious among friends and family for simply not speaking when I don’t have anything worthwhile to say.* I am not one for talking just to hear myself talk.** Hence, I am a terrible blogger. I never have things to say that I think will contribute in a meaningful way to your (Readers? Are you there? *cricket* *cricket*) day, law school application process, or hunt for a new spin on a classic vodka sour.

So, today, I have nothing that will contribute in a meaningful way to your life. But I do have a dilemma that has been weighing on me for a couple of weeks, and because my friends and family think I have stumbled upon a golden goose with my law school acceptances and don’t engage me in serious, deliberative discussions of my post-undergrad options, I am turning to teh internetz for help. (Ack!)

In the interests of full-disclosure:

  • I don’t want to go to law school next year. I am not going to law school next year. I am burned on school, and I want to be energized and happy to be at law school when I am there. Going in with lukewarm feelings toward marathon study hours is a guaranteed recipe for below-median 1L grades, at least for this 0L. For my long term success and sanity, law school in Fall 2010 would be a harbinger of doom.
  • “What will VS do in her year off?” you ask? I hear there is a  buck to be made feeling of accomplishment in turning tricks joining Americorps and living at the poverty level for twelve months. Because I’m not sure about BigLaw in any case and might end up doing public interest work, I think spending time working in public interest organizations will give me the background to make that decision when the time comes. At least that’s what I’m telling anyone who asks why I want to live on 10K a year.

That, dear readers, is more or less the situation as I see it. I don’t want to go to law school next year –> I am not going to law school next year. Now, let’s discuss the wrenches that have been thrown into my fairly simple plan of “not going to law school next year,” beginning with the deferral/withdraw and reapply dilemma.

  • My original plan was to get in somewhere awesome (NYU), turn down the money they didn’t offer me, and ask for a deferral, thereby securing my spot in the class of 2014 and gallivanting off on my year of poverty knowing where I would be the next fall. Now, having added a couple of soft factors to my resume, I wonder if I wouldn’t have a shot at Harvard if I reapplied next cycle.***
  • My original plan was to get in somewhere awesome (NYU), turn down the money they didn’t offer me, and ask for a deferral, thereby also turning down money offered me by lower T14s. Now that a lower T14 is dangling a large amount of money in front of me, I wonder if I would be an idiot for turning it down. This also throws a wrench into my year-off plan because it is unlikely that, even if I took the money over NYU, the scholarship would be deferred, also. So not only is this a “T14 w/ $$$ vs. NYU” question, but it is also a “T14 w/ $$$ this year, ruining my carefully laid plans for a much-needed break from school and thus jeopardizing my long-term success and mental stability for a lot a lot of dollars vs. NYU” question. Money makes people do awful, ugly things.
  • My original plan was to get in somewhere awesome (NYU), turn down the money they didn’t offer me, and ask for a deferral, barring an acceptance into a minority internship program that requires I run off to law school immediately following the summer of the internship, in which case I certainly would have taken the internship and become a member of the NYU Class of 2013. Now, I am considering withdrawing my internship application and reapplying next year. This is actually a simple question for me to answer, once I have my decision in place re: T14 w/ $$$ this year, NYU next year.

So. My options, in the most pressing and cascading effects order:

  1. Your classic money versus ranking scenario. My inclination is to take on 200K of debt and move to New York, especially if it means I can take a year off. But I should also mention that there is a slight chance of getting my merit aid deferred at the lower T14. I’m making the phone call this afternoon. If it is deferrable, then my question becomes more complicated. Take the money and also take a year off, or turn down the money, take a year off, and move to New York in 2011?
  2. Take neither the money nor a deferral and simply reapply, holding out for a Harvard or Columbia. This is not really the path I want to take because I don’t want to do the application process again. That said, I will, in all certainty, do this if I don’t end up with impossibly compelling options this year (e.g. if I hate the schools I’ve gotten into this cycle) and decide that I stand a better than fighting chance with an updated resume.
  3. Re: the internship. I can withdraw my application now before they send out interview invitations (I am fairly certain I will get one. I am also certain they will laugh me out of the interview. Realism, FTW!) and reapply next year. If I go on the interview and through a freak of opportunity do well and get accepted into the program, it will be impossible for me to turn down. I will end up in school next fall (likely at NYU, due to the prestige-whoring of the program), which is precisely where I do not want to be (in school in general, not at NYU in particular). I’d like to withdraw my application now so I don’t have to turn down an interview offer and just reapply next year without the tarnish of having rebuffed them this year.
  4. And of course, there is the withdraw and reapply option and the possibility of being offered scholarship money again next year. Is that likely? I have no idea. Thoughts?

I am, of course, making the assumption that I have already gotten the best acceptances that I will be getting this year. I also haven’t visited any of these places, yet. Even missing pieces of the puzzle, I am starting to see a picture taking shape. It does not involve VS in law school next year. I know that I am getting the chance to make decisions between very phenomenal options, and I am thankful that my hard work has paid off. Stupid economy–if you hadn’t tanked, I’d happily defer at NYU with no money and still sleep easily at night.

*Call it circumspection. Alternatively, you could call me out for simply never having anything worthwhile to say.

**Cue guffaws of disbelief. “‘Not one for talking just to hear myself talk?’ says she? Posh! She writes a personal blog, the most self-adulating form of written communication!”

***A girl on LSN with my exact numbers (and not wildly game-changing softs) got in this cycle. If I improve my resume and PS, I think I’d stand a fighting chance next year. Maybe not a great one, but there is a chance.

6 for 6

14 Dec

More good news today. Two sets, actually. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately, I suppose), I’ve already gotten into one of my top, top choices, and that renders all the other good news more or less moot.

I’m getting greedy, though. I want a CC to add to my “Accepted” list on lawschoolnumbers.com.

Pre-Christmas Gift

7 Dec

Big purple envelope in the mail today.

See VS Whine

4 Dec

The good news has been trickling in slowly, but at least it is coming in. I received a “Good news! We want you!” phone call yesterday afternoon from a school that wasn’t really near the top of my list. Then the “Good news! We want you!” phone call turned into a “Good news! We want you! And we are about to give you dollars! Lots of dollars!” phone call, and I began seeing hearts in my eyes.

I have lived a fairly financially comfortable life, which has been underwritten entirely by my parents. I received scholarships to undergrad, so I’ve spent the last three and a half years floating around, taking classes for free. The concept of debt is very foreign to me–or was very foreign to me until I began the law school admissions process. Now I realize that ten thousand dollars is a lot of money. It is, in fact, ten sets of one thousand dollars, which, in turn, are ten sets of one hundred dollars. One hundred thousand dollars (times 1.5, taking into account potential cost-of-living expenses) is a lot of one hundred dollar sets. This is put into perspective when I consider how much Redken All Soft conditioner I could buy or how long I could pay for my BlackBerry data plan with that much cash.

While I may have thought when beginning this process that I would go where my heart led me, my heart is mostly leading me to follow the green. This, of course, raises the eternal debate about ranking, job placement, LRAP, etc. vs. scholarship dollars, and I do not have answers to those questions yet. Undeferable scholarship money also puts a damper on my plans to take a year off and learn to be a real person before law school.

The “Good news! We want you! And we are about to give you dollars! Lots of dollars!” phone call has quickly become a weight on my shoulders, killing all of my plans for next year and hindering my already hobbled decision making skills. I should be thrilled, and mostly, I am. Maybe the best thing for me to do now is focus on the immediate future, like finals and a literature paper that is not writing itself. And, on the bright side, I will now have further ammunition to use against pesky relatives at Christmastime.

Cycle Update

17 Nov

I got another acceptance this morning, which brings my total count to two. Or three, if you want to count Alabama (which I don’t, really. I just.. no. Would never, could never live and work in Alabama). I am very excited because it feels nice to have new good news. After a while, the luster of that first acceptance starts to wear off. It’s like a meth high, only instead of crashing rapidly and needing another fix, the high fades more slowly. I’d imagine, though, that I’ll build up an acceptance tolerance and eventually need more and more to get the same kind of high. (Assumption being that I will, in fact, get enough good news to become blasé about getting into the best law schools in the country. That seems ridiculous; I never want to take fulfilled dreams as a matter of course.)

In a practical sense, this acceptance could not have come at a better time. I will be able to spend Thanksgiving fending off relatives who want to know why I am single with, “TWO T14 schools! TWO!”

Unfortunately, I think my relatives would be more impressed if I was dating someone who had my law school acceptances than if I swept the entire T14 myself. Sigh.

Law school? What? Oh, yeah. That’s what this is all about.

10 Nov

As this blog has become increasingly focused on non-law school admissions things (it isn’t like I’m in constant contact with admissions officers at this point in the cycle.. *cough* NYU *cough*), I’ve let this thing stray into the realm of the irrelevant, uh, more than once. I feel sheepish.

So. A recap of admissions-related things from the last month-ish in reverse chronological order:

1. Remember Alabama and those free iTunes? Well, I got in. Very quick turnaround, too. I received a nice voicemail during my history of the 1960s course (did I mention that my majors require me to study nothing of any value or relevance to the real world?) from a sweet-sounding woman with a drawl. I assume this sort of accent has had many a man drooling, and I can understand why. She obviously manages an admissions office at a large state school and sounds like she can bake a very nice apple pie, as well.

1a. My parents received a huge admittance package at the house the other day, complete with conditional scholarship (the bane of naive 0Ls everywhere). Because I was in town to get my eyes done, I had the fun of flipping through it. You know, what with the free iTunes and comprehensive maps and spiral-bound informational books, Alabama could maybe win me over if it wasn’t in Alabama. Apparently, it just wasn’t meant to be.

2. According to this thread and this one, my fellow 0Ls have been getting decisions (good ones!) from UVA and Michigan. High fives to them. I am waiting patiently for the opportunity to high five myself. Waiting. Patiently.

 3. I finally got notification from NYU that I am complete. After two       months. In the words of Mrs. Bennet: You have no compassion on my poor nerves, NYU. (That last being my own addition, of course.)

Now that that is taken care of, back to the irrelevant. I put this up this morning instead of doing reading. I am proud of my obvious dexterous ability to handle those L-shaped screwdrivers that come with cheap home-assembly-required furniture.

IMG00035-20091110-0958

Who said the South couldn’t negotiate?

2 Oct

Yesterday, the University of Alabama School of Law invited me to apply for admission. They offered to waive the forty dollar application fee.

They also offered me twenty dollars in iTunes downloads.

 

You drive a hard bargain, Alabama. Look for my application in the quite near future.

Leveling

28 Sep

There was a significant judgment call to be made re: my law school applications, and I made it.

I leveled with myself, and I’ve decided to not waste a hundred dollars on a Yale application. I could tease myself with, “But if you don’t apply, then you’ll never know what might have happened,” but I actually do know exactly what will happen.

I’ll be rejected. Probably not even WL/out. Just a big old DING.

I haven’t cured AIDS or even cared for AIDS babies; I only know that I, personally, don’t have AIDS. I’ve been abroad twice for educational purposes, and when I was overseas, I spent most of my time in museums pretending to be cultured and socially aware when I could have (should have?) been collecting potable water in rural Africa. I don’t have an Olympic medal; when I run, I get to the two or three mile mark before I quit because I’m bored. I haven’t created a mathematical equation that is applicable only in deep space; the only counting I do on a regular basis is of my calorie intake (and even then I make mistakes–usually of the coffee ice cream variety).

I am not Yalie-material, and I need to learn to be OK with that.    

Yep, I’m OK with that. I will be taking suggestions on how to spend the one hundred dollars that I’m not wasting on Yale. This is what I am leaning toward: