Archive for the ‘Admissions’ Category

The T-14.

It seems like no one talks about anything else. But where did this term come from and what does it actually measure?

Where the Term "T-14" Came From

The term "T-14" refers to the top fourteen law schools according to U.S. News and World Report (USNWR). But why fourteen instead of ten or twenty-three or five? Because the top fourteen schools have stayed fairly consistent according to USNWR.

Let's repeat that for emphasis: they've stayed consistent according to USNWR.

But USNWR's rankings are somewhat arbitrary. Here's how USNWR determines them:

Notice that USNWR rankings are mostly a measure of reputation. This is a little odd, because USNWR also helps perpetuate these schools' reputations.

To some extent, the rankings are a self-fulfilling prophecy: the longer you maintain a high USNWR rank, the better your reputation…and the higher your USNWR rank. No wonder they stay static at the top.

It's also worth pointing out what the rankings are not. They are not primarily a measure of employment outcomes. They are not at all a measure of how prepared you'll be to succeed. "Faculty resources" is a poor stand-in for educational quality, as you can see in a more detailed breakdown of the ranking methodology:

Let's question some of these assumptions. Does the fact that a school spends more on its instructors, library, and supporting services mean that it is better? Maybe—or maybe it's just in a more expensive location. Does the amount a school spends on its instructors and library and supporting services really matter more than twice as much as the students' employment rate at graduation? Do you, or does anyone you know, care even 0.75% about how many volumes are in the school's library?

The point isn't that these rankings are bad. The point is that rankings—any rankings—necessarily rely on assumptions that may not hold true for you.

So, back to the most important question:

Does attending a T-14 school matter?

It depends on what you're looking for.

Graduating from a highly ranked school usually makes it easier to do the following:

  • Get a job in Big Law—especially the first time around
  • Get a federal clerkship
  • Pursue legal academia

But graduating from a T-14 school does not guarantee a job, and graduating from a school of lower ranking doesn't mean you can't get a job in Big Law. Your class rank, network, and interviewing skills also matter a lot.

If you're contemplating a specific school, you should take a look at the latest ABA-disclosed employment outcomes.

📌Further Reading


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We’ve rounded up five spectacular personal statements that helped students with borderline numbers get into T-14 schools. You’ll find these examples to be as various as a typical JD class. Some essays are about a challenge, some about the evolution of the author’s intellectual or professional journey, and some about the author’s identity. The only common thread is sincerity. The authors did not write toward an imagined idea of what an admissions officer might be looking for: they reckoned honestly with formative experiences.

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Featured image: Desk Essay

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At 7Sage, we have worked with hundreds of law school applicants from China, South Korea, and many more countries, and we have assembled the following FAQ to help international students gain admission to America’s top law schools.

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An LL.M. is a one-year master’s degree for candidates who already have a degree in law, and it can help them switch to a new field of law, get a new job, or gain a professional edge. Read about why you might apply and how to maximize your chances in our admissions course: https://7sage.com/admissions/lesson/all-about-ll-m-degrees/.


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Welcome to Law School Success Stories, where we discuss 7Sage applicants who made the most of their GPA and LSAT score.

👤 Who: “Sarah,” an applicant who grew up in China and moved to the United States for college.

  • 📈 LSAT: 169
  • 📉 GPA: 3.33

Results:

  • 🏆 Accepted at the University of Michigan Law
  • 💵 $35,000 merit scholarship

🥅 Goals and Strategy

Sarah knew she wanted to take her law degree back to China, and the cachet of a T-14 school was important to her. Her parents, however, had a limited ability to pay for her education, and as a Chinese citizen, she wasn’t eligible for federal loans, so she was also hoping for a merit scholarship. Continue reading

Featured image: Steps-Cropped

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Welcome to Law School Success Stories, where we discuss 7Sage applicants who made the most of their GPA and LSAT score. Please note that we changed certain details to protect this applicant’s anonymity, but we did not change his numbers or results.

👤 Who: “Neil,” a recent college grad of Southeast Asian descent

  • 📉 LSAT: Under 149
  • 📈 GPA: Over 3.8
  • 🗞 Two-year résumé gap

Results

  • 🏆 Accepted at a T-14 school
  • ✍️ Handwritten note from the dean: "I loved your essays" (and more)

🌘 The Strategy: A Shot at the Moon

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Welcome to Law School Success Stories, where we discuss 7Sage applicants who made the most of their GPA and LSAT score.

👤 Who: “Mark,” a Caucasian male in his mid-forties switching careers from the trucking industry

  • 📉 LSAT: 166
  • 📈 GPA: 3.9

Results:

  • 🏆 Accepted at Northwestern
  • 💵 Significant merit scholarship

🚚 Starting the Journey

Mark worked in the trucking industry for twenty years before he began a new kind of long-haul journey toward his JD. He didn’t know any law school applicants beyond the 7Sage community and had no idea where to begin.

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Featured image: Tucking

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Some law students consider transferring to a new law school because a change in their personal situation compels them to relocate; others want to transfer in the hope of earning a JD from a higher-tier school, and still others think they might just find a better fit somewhere else. If you fall into one of those categories, we’ve put together a handy cheat sheet of information, written as an FAQ.

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Featured image: Transfer

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A lot of people treat their law school applications like a long-distance race: they lope along, fiddling with their essays, and then sprint at the end.

These applicants have it backwards. You should sprint at the beginning, drafting your personal statement and other essays quickly, then slow down at the end. Why? Because you have nothing to lose but time at the beginning; you have everything to lose at the end.
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Featured image: Last-Minute-Tips

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What follows is one of the best and most honest personal statements we’ve ever seen. It’s worth reading as both a model of the genre and an essay that stands on its own. The writer was accepted to many top law schools and matriculated at Columbia.

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