Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.5
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Kellogg | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65

What Are Your Odds Of Getting In?

Mr. Corporate Lawyer


  • 700 GMAT
  • 3.8 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in finance from a non-prestigious state university 3.7 GPA (master’s)
  • Masters degree in accounting from a business school ranked among the top ten by U.S. News for accounting
  • Law degree from university ranked in U.S. News’ top 50 law schools (top 5% of class)
  • Work experience includes two years doing corporate law for a top 20 law firm after working as a law clerk for a federal appellate court judge
  • Goal: “Not completely sure other than looking to explore options outside of law. Possible interests include investment banking and corporate strategy.”
  • Applying to both elite full-time MBA programs but also the best online MBA programs: “Random, I know, but possible family situations may leave an online program as my only option”
  • 26-year-old white male planning to apply during fall 2014

Odds of Success:

Full-Time MBA Programs:

Harvard: 15%

Stanford: 10%

Wharton: 30% to 40%

Northwestern: 30% to 40%

Online Programs:

MBA@UNC: 50%+

IU Direct: 60%+

Florida: 90%

Arizona State: 90%

Sandy’s Analysis: Well, I’m impressed, especially with a clerkship for a federal appellate judge (how did you manage that from a non-Ivy law school? Was the Judge an alum?)

Why are you waiting until 2014? I would apply next year, during your third year at law firm. You are not getting more valuable to B-schools.

OK, brace yourself, here is bad news, HBS and Stanford admit lawyers but usually only lawyers from Harvard, Yale and Stanford. There may be exceptions but those exceptions are not white guys unless they work for Cravath or Skadden and even then . . . .

Non-lawyer types interested in Vault’s top-50 law firms can click here.

Wharton may be a bit more flexible. You note Kellogg as a B-school of interest. That could happen, given that everything else is solid, especially if you have regional contacts. You are a totally solid guy with a no-BS master’s in accounting and solid legal experience. If going to business school is really important to you, I would cast a wider net and include Columbia, Berkeley, NYU, Duke, and Darden.

You say that may consider online MBA programs such as UNC, IU Direct, Florida and Arizona State? Phew, not clear to me what the payoff of that would be, it would not help you get a job in investment banking or corporate strategy, although you might learn some worthwhile basics. I sure hope you are not planning to give up your legal day job to do that. Lawyers become investment bankers in cases by osmosis, I would look out for opportunities to work with bankers in your firm and do a great job.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.