Attorneys in the MBA applicant pool?

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Attorneys in the MBA applicant pool?

by Desmond » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:32 pm
Hello - I have a couple of questions:

To the best of your knowledge, how well represented are attorneys in the MBA applicant pool? Will I stand out?

I graduated from law school in 2007 and have been working full time for a fortune 500 company for two years now (I went straight from undergrad into law school). I know two years is below the average number of years of work experience for MBA students. Will my law degree make up for some of the work experience that I'm missing? How will the adcoms view my law degree?

I will be applying to HBS, MIT, UChicago, Stanford, and Wharton in Round 1. I'd greatly appreciate any feedback based on the following.

GMAT - 710 Q44 V44 AWA 6.0

Undergrad GPA - 3.84 (top 5%) in Political Science/Economics from a large state school

Law school GPA - 3.52 (top 15%) from a tier 1 law school

Work experience - 2 years; 2 promotions in that time; manage a group of nine

I'm primarily interested in entrepreneurship and analytical management

Assuming stellar essays and letters of reference, do I have a good shot?

Thanks.

Desmond

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Re: Attorneys in the MBA applicant pool?

by Graham » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:38 pm
Desmond,

Thanks for your post! I've offered my responses to your questions below:

To the best of your knowledge, how well represented are attorneys in the MBA applicant pool? Will I stand out?
>>Attorneys comprise a small but consistent percentage of the applicant pool. When I served as an admissions counselor at Wharton, it was somewhere in the 2-3% range. That figure has held up in my experience serving applicants at Clear Admit.

>>In short, you will stand out - however because each cycle sees a handful of lawyers, it's not as though you'll fall into the "wow, we've never seen this before" category. You should also be aware of the fact that adcoms have some stereotypes they associate with lawyers who apply to b-school (bad with numbers, run the risk of dominating class discussion, etc), and that you will need to be careful as to how you present yourself.

I graduated from law school in 2007 and have been working full time for a fortune 500 company for two years now (I went straight from undergrad into law school). I know two years is below the average number of years of work experience for MBA students. Will my law degree make up for some of the work experience that I'm missing? How will the adcoms view my law degree?
>>It's fine that you only have two years of experience, since the adcom will recognize that you spent three years in law school and may not be interested in waiting much longer (esp. if a career change is at hand).

>>Of course, some of this depends on what you are doing now. Are you working as legal counsel within a Fortune 500 company, or have you never worked as a lawyer? Have you passed the bar?

>>Finally, be aware that the adcom sometimes views lawyers (and other graduate-degree holders) and "degree collectors" - making it very important that you explain your need for the MBA, clear goals, etc.

I will be applying to HBS, MIT, UChicago, Stanford, and Wharton in Round 1. I'd greatly appreciate any feedback based on the following.

GMAT - 710 Q44 V44 AWA 6.0

>>Your overall score is around the average for your target schools (perhaps 5-10 points below), but your quantitative percentile (likely 69-70%) is a red flag. It also plays right into the hands of the adcoms stereotype for lawyers. You'll need to address this - but fortunately, there are numerous ways to do so (beyond taking the GMAT again, etc).

Undergrad GPA - 3.84 (top 5%) in Political Science/Economics from a large state school
>>This sounds great. I'd want to know more about the reputation of the program (e.g. Berkeley type caliber or more like U. Nebraska?). I'd also like to see your transcripts to comb through them and better understand your past performance in quantitative classes.

Law school GPA - 3.52 (top 15%) from a tier 1 law school
>>This sounds good. When you say tier 1, do you mean top-20? For example, are any of your target MBA programs housed within the same university that granted you your law degree? That would obviously be helpful.

Work experience - 2 years; 2 promotions in that time; manage a group of nine
>>Sounds promising. I'd like to know if you work in a legal capacity or have more of a business position.

I'm primarily interested in entrepreneurship and analytical management
>>Hmm...this sounds somewhat open-ended, and I'm not seeing the clear connection to your past experiences to date (or your legal background). Of course, I don't have the full picture here - perhaps you have a past entrepreneurial experience that you haven't shared in this post?

>>Keep in mind that the adcoms tend to favor applicants with clear and feasible goals. They like to see that your future plans will somehow draw upon your past experiences (and not that you are depending 100% on the MBA to transform you from one profession to another).

Assuming stellar essays and letters of reference, do I have a good shot?
>>You have the beginnings of a solid candidacy (strong academics, seemingly solid work exp), but I have some concerns about the GMAT quant. result and you haven't shared anything in terms of your outside interests/hobbies/service. Beyond that, I need to know more about the nature of your work experience and how it relates to your goals.

If you'd like, send your resume to [email protected] and we can speak in more detail about your profile (just mention my name when you send it in). Clear Admit offers a free initial assessment via phone and I suspect I could help steer you in the right direction when it comes to positioning your candidacy.

Best of luck,

Graham
Graham Richmond
Clear Admit, LLC
[email protected]
215 568 2590

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by Desmond » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:05 pm
Thanks, Graham. I will give you a call tomorrow.