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March 18, 2024 3:54pm ET
Applying: Columbia, Cornell / Johnson, Dartmouth / Tuck, Georgetown / McDonough, Harvard Business School, Michigan / Ross, NYU Stern, UPenn / Wharton, UVA / Darden, Yale SOM
Intake Year: 2025
Pre-MBA Career: Law
Post-MBA Target Industry: Consulting, Other Companies: Bain , Booz Allen Hamilton , BCG , Deloitte , Ernst & Young , KPMG , McKinsey , PWC
GPA: 3.75
Years of Work Experience: 8
Location: Colorado
Post MBA Location: New York

I am a non-traditional applicant with 8 years of experience as a practicing attorney. I spent the first 3 years of my career in commercial litigation and ~5 years as a federal prosecutor (AUSA), first in narcotics and later in violent crimes. As an AUSA, I was primarily responsible for organizing and coordinating large-scale, complex narcotics/conspiracy investigations involving multi-state and international criminal organizations. I also have substantial trial experience - I secured numerous criminal convictions in federal jury trials in my cases (where I served as lead counsel), and many others in cases I served as second-chair.

After taking some time to reflect on my career and interests, I decided law was not the career I wanted to continue to pursue, and began to look at getting an MBA. My father (HBS MBA, former Bain Consultant, now in PE) was instrumental in helping me reach this decision.

I want to pursue a career that rewards an encourages creativity, problem solving, logical reasoning and analysis, and allows me to use my skills to create value and be a positive force in the world. I am interested in pursuing consulting primarily, as I think that my legal skills and experience would be valuable in this setting, and these positions would allow me to work with others (teammates and clients) to solve complex problems, develop creative solutions, and would generally be engaging and fulfilling work. Long term, I view this as a way to position myself for GC or strategic roles where a JD/MBA combination would be valuable, and I could draw on both my MBA and my legal experience (particularly my investigations experience) to advise on a wide variety of business concerns.

I went straight to law school following my undergraduate career, and went to a law school that would position me to get a job in my local market (Colorado). I performed well in law school and finished with a GPA of 3.68, placing me just outside of the top 10% in my class (Ranked 18 overall in my class). I was involved in extracurricular activities in undergrad (leadership position in my fraternity) as well as in law school (leadership in student club, represented my school in state and national mock trial competitions, externed with a prestigious federal court judge), but I have not had much in the way of these additional activities on account of the time/focus demands of my legal career. I am not sure if this will negatively impact my applications, or if admissions officers will understand given my professional experience.

I have not yet taken the GMAT but I started my self-study course a few weeks ago. I plan to take a more structured online course over the coming month. I am targeting a June/July test date, with a 710+ on the exam - although I do not know what is realistic. I do not have a traditional quant background (Political Science BA), and did not take any math classes beyond required coursework to graduate. I have prepared for standardized tests previously, such as the LSAT, bar exam, and MPRE (90th percentile on LSAT), but I do not know how much, if any, these exams will carry over or help with the GMAT beyond the verbal section of that exam.

The largest / most pertinent question right now is how admissions at top schools will view my application - on one hand, I have significant professional experience and have already attended and achieved in graduate school - but on the other, I do not have a traditional finance / pre-MBA background, and do not know if this will be too much to overcome.

I appreciate any thoughts or advice you might be able to provide! Thank you very much for your time!