Hi and thank you in advance.Short version:
About to get a JD from a top-25 law school, mostly corporate work background, good work experience last summer but otherwise only about 9 more months of good (but segmented) work experience, 3.6 undergrad GPA (political science major), 3.35 law school GPA, best recs will be academic although I may be able to get professional recs, took some important b-school type courses. I think I'll get a 670-760 on the GMAT, but if I had one number I'd guess 730 (I take it next Saturday).
(Feel free to skip long version and go to the questions) Long version:
I am set to graduate from a top-25 law school this spring. I had a decently good legal job doing corporate work last summer and was planning on going back to that job, but it fell through due to firm economics. I have a pretty big concentration in corporate legal work specifically including M&A, and have taken a couple MBA classes that I really enjoyed. I majored in a social science in undergrad and finished a semester early and worked for a firm for that semester until law school started, but otherwise went straight through. I have taken corporate finance, accounting (sorta), micro/macroeconomics, and statistics (among many other related courses, but those seem to be asked about). I think I will do well on the GMAT, but have not looked at schools at all, nor do I know much about how competitive I will be.
I am interested in any of these fields, in order: public work (the IBR program makes public work extremely appealing for someone in my position), consulting, private equity, investment banking (M&A), M&A on the legal side, or hedge funds. I realize that some of these fields (e.g. private equity) will probably require some other experience first.
I am pretty screwed on the job hunt (the legal market is miserably bad) and so as long as I can get into a decent program I am going to go. The finances sound terrible as far as taking on a ton more debt, but with Interest-Based Repayment it's not bad for me. I do not care much about scholarships for this reason.
I have taken several practice GMAT tests. I have done consistently well, however I choked a bit on the LSAT so I think that could possibly happen. I think I could reasonably score anywhere from 670 to 760 (I've been hitting 730-750). I am posting in large part because I would like to have an idea of where to send my GMAT score since I get to send to 5 schools for free.
I am obviously applying pretty late, but I really don't want to wait another year because there is nothing I could do. My recommendations will probably include 2 from business law professors that will be very strong recs, along with 1 from an internship I had my last semester of college with the US Department of Commerce. I may ask my summer firm for a letter of recommendation, but I have been pretty annoyed with them and didn't want to ask. It should still be a decently strong rec.
I had a 3.6 in undergrad at a (not great) state school, and I have about a 3.35 (about top 40%) at my law school. Questions:
1. Where would I be competitive, based on minimum work experience, a law degree from a decent school, a late application, and either, say, a 680 or a 730? (I am from the Southeast and live in Atlanta if geographic diversity matters much). I'd like to get maybe 2 sets of 5 schools, one based on a 730 and the other based on a 680.
2. Which schools where I may be competitive seem to best fit my career interests?
3. Should I consider Georgia Tech's MBA program (they're an engineering school so I'm not sure if they place well in the areas I'm interested in)? Staying in Atlanta would be nice, although I realize also that none of the top 20 schools are here.
4. Will any of the schools reimburse travel expenses for interviews, or provide fee waivers to someone like me that is on need-based financial aid?
5. Would someone like me be competitive for any of the jobs I am interested in after coming out of the schools I'd be competitive to get into?
6. Do I need to write a personal statement essay or anything like that for most schools? Can I re-use the same one?
7. If I were to score a 760, what is the likelihood of landing a teaching job with one of the top companies, like Manhattan GMAT
? How much do they pay starting (and about how many hours/w can you expect to get?) and how much do the less respectable companies pay (e.g. Kaplan
) for GMAT instructors?
8. Do my GMAT essays matter at all? On the LSAT I could have drawn a picture and schools wouldn't have cared. Is this something that I should spend time practicing / learning how to score well?
9. Any other general advice?
Thanks a lot. Feel free to ignore any questions that you don't want to answer.