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Profile Evaluation: Political Science (American Politics/Law, Courts, & Politics)


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Second-year law student here. I'm considering a PhD in Political Science because through the course of my studies and practical work I find that I enjoy researching and writing about the law much more than the practical side and that a career researching, writing, and teaching in academia would suit me much better than legal practice. I flirted with the idea of doing a JD PhD around the time I entered law school but thought it would just be more expedient career-wise to just have the J.D. (and my GPA was not good enough to be competitive for a PhD program regardless). I understand what the costs and drawbacks of trying to enter academia through this route would be and I'm trying to gauge whether the effort to get accepted to a decent program will be worth it. Any advice would be helpful.

Schools Applying To: Michigan, Ohio State, Maryland, Penn State, Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, Brown, Georgetown, open to others/suggestions
Undergraduate institution: Dickinson College (not very well known but top-50 LAC)
Undergraduate GPA: 3.33
Undergraduate Major: Political Science, minors in English and Philosophy, with a certificate in National Security Studies
GRE Scores: Not yet taken.
Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 3 (by Fall 2021)
Years of Work Experience: 0 full-time, some part time research and legal practice.
Describe Relevant Work Experience: Research intern at the U.S. Army War College during fall of senior year of undergrad, tax law clinic in the spring of 2020, summer 2020 legal work (not sure where yet). 
Strength of SOP (be honest, describe the process, etc): Will elaborate on my shift from pursuing a career in law to one in academia and the reasons why.
Strength of LOR's (be honest, describe the process, etc): Plan on requesting letters from my poli sci advisor from undergrad (Columbia PhD, former judicial fellow at SCOTUS), an undergrad philosophy professor whom I know well (Hopkins M.A., UVA PhD, has published quite a bit of political (and other) philosophy), and one of my law professors whom I know pretty well and have taken multiple classes with (Duke JD & LLM, publishes law review articles frequently).
Other: Current 2L at a mid-tier (Top-100) law school with decent grades (3.5, top 20% of class). Will publish a student note in a law journal next year (not flagship law review, but another school-sponsored peer-reviewed journal). I'm also an Associate Editor for the journal in which I'll be publishing. 

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