Should I even bother applying to law school?

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mikeman
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Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mikeman » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:11 am

I know there's a ton of discussion on TLS about the crushing debt and lousy job prospects law students face these days. So my stats are 160 and a 3.75 GPA. I assume (hope?) I could get into some top 50 programs, but without any money. Should I even bother with law school, or try my luck with my worthless social science degree? What places would you apply to in my situation? I'd want at least a mid-size city, but my major concern is having the best job prospects after graduation. I really want to do law school, but with my crappy LSAT I'm starting to doubt whether to even bother.

I know this question is insanely vague, but you guys are pretty knowledgeable, so any help is really really appreciated.

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kswiss
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby kswiss » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:13 am

Everyone will say to retake, and I agree.

Is 160 the top you can get, or is there something more that you can do? Get it up 165+ and apply early and you'll get good money and better options.

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mpj_3050
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:15 am

Don't be like me and get two 160 scores after averaging 169 - this has me asking should I bother. Study, calm down, and retake.

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akili
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby akili » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:19 am

I retook at 160 and got a 160. Got really angry, retook again, 169.

It was absolutely, totally worth it.

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rman1201
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby rman1201 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:21 am

Retake aside - if you really want to do law (not just for financial reasons) and can't score above a 160 I'd recommend just checking out some secondary markets, maybe go on a road trip and find a solid regional school. Ie those stats should get you in UF, which would give you decent job prospects throughout the state. Even out of state tuition is pretty reasonable so the debt shouldn't be too bad. I've lived in FL all my life, it's not that bad of a place.

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DamnLSAT
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby DamnLSAT » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:23 am

akili wrote:I retook at 160 and got a 160. Got really angry, retook again, 169.

It was absolutely, totally worth it.


I admire the courage. 159/160 here after PT at 167 on average. Bad proctor the first go, and a small desk the second. I'm not one for excuses - If I was truly prepared, the situation shouldn't have mattered. But it's hard to do the LSAT on a desk smaller than the test booklet.

I gave up on a third try 30 seconds after receiving the second score.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:28 am

Those stats aren't bad, but it would be a waste of a great GPA not to try and retake.

If retaking is absolutely not an option for you (it IS the best option, trust me), then go to a T2 with $$ in a market where you'd like to work.

mala2
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mala2 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:36 am

how much did you study the first time? You sound smart (good GPA, above avg starting LSAT). I'm really smart but not a super genius. I took the cold Kaplan practice and got a 156. I have a kid and couldn't afford to drop 1400 on a stupid class. I studied on my own. I took the test and got a 163. I studied a little longer retook and got a 166. I know I could get 175 plus if I studied longer (I got 173-178 several times in practice). I might retake. The point is I think you can definitely improve a 160.

mikeman
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mikeman » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:48 am

Wow, I can't believe TWO of you guys got 160s twice (and another 159/160). Yup, I also got a 160, then retook and got another 160. My PT average was about 165.

mala2 wrote:how much did you study the first time? You sound smart (good GPA, above avg starting LSAT). I'm really smart but not a super genius. I took the cold Kaplan practice and got a 156. I have a kid and couldn't afford to drop 1400 on a stupid class. I studied on my own. I took the test and got a 163. I studied a little longer retook and got a 166. I know I could get 175 plus if I studied longer (I got 173-178 several times in practice). I might retake. The point is I think you can definitely improve a 160.


I scored 158 cold. I improved a lot on games, got worse on everything else. Studied for about a month the first time, the second about a week, thanks to it being right in the middle of exams. The idea of taking a year off, restudying, and going through the stress is incredibly unappealing to me.

rman1201 wrote:Retake aside - if you really want to do law (not just for financial reasons) and can't score above a 160 I'd recommend just checking out some secondary markets, maybe go on a road trip and find a solid regional school. Ie those stats should get you in UF, which would give you decent job prospects throughout the state. Even out of state tuition is pretty reasonable so the debt shouldn't be too bad. I've lived in FL all my life, it's not that bad of a place.


I actually was considering UF, I'd love to go to school there, just I'd be really concerned if paying sticker there would pay off eventually. Would I have any chance at Biglaw? How else can I justify the cost + living expenses?

09042014
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:50 am

Nope. Good luck.

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akili
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby akili » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:51 am

DamnLSAT wrote:
akili wrote:I retook at 160 and got a 160. Got really angry, retook again, 169.

It was absolutely, totally worth it.


I admire the courage. 159/160 here after PT at 167 on average. Bad proctor the first go, and a small desk the second. I'm not one for excuses - If I was truly prepared, the situation shouldn't have mattered. But it's hard to do the LSAT on a desk smaller than the test booklet.

I gave up on a third try 30 seconds after receiving the second score.


I thought I gave up, but a third test won't really hurt and I knew I'd be mad at myself if I settled. I really really wanted to beat this stupid "damn" LSAT.

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mpj_3050
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:51 am

OP: how old are you, single/married, children? These are big factors to consider, and young and/or married or kids definitely warrants a retake. Not too much time lost if you are young and if you have a family you definitely want to be risk adverse and try for a better score. However, if you don't retake you can get some money at schools in the T2/T3 range, just watch debt levels.

mikeman
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mikeman » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:54 am

mpj_3050 wrote:OP: how old are you, single/married, children? These are big factors to consider, and young and/or married or kids definitely warrants a retake. Not too much time lost if you are young and if you have a family you definitely want to be risk adverse and try for a better score. However, if you don't retake you can get some money at schools in the T2/T3 range, just watch debt levels.


21, senior at college, not married or anything. Is there any point bothering with a T2? I thought everyone on TLS thinks you can't get a job in law from there.

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mpj_3050
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:55 am

mikeman wrote:
mpj_3050 wrote:OP: how old are you, single/married, children? These are big factors to consider, and young and/or married or kids definitely warrants a retake. Not too much time lost if you are young and if you have a family you definitely want to be risk adverse and try for a better score. However, if you don't retake you can get some money at schools in the T2/T3 range, just watch debt levels.


21, senior at college, not married or anything. Is there any point bothering with a T2? I thought everyone on TLS thinks you can't get a job in law from there.


21=retake. Devote time and study. Biglaw is completely out of the picture with any school you can get into right now. Good luck.

mikeman
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mikeman » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:58 am

mpj_3050 wrote:
mikeman wrote:
mpj_3050 wrote:OP: how old are you, single/married, children? These are big factors to consider, and young and/or married or kids definitely warrants a retake. Not too much time lost if you are young and if you have a family you definitely want to be risk adverse and try for a better score. However, if you don't retake you can get some money at schools in the T2/T3 range, just watch debt levels.


21, senior at college, not married or anything. Is there any point bothering with a T2? I thought everyone on TLS thinks you can't get a job in law from there.


21=retake. Devote time and study. Biglaw is completely out of the picture with any school you can get into right now. Good luck.


But don't most T14s average? Would anything below a 176 even help with two 160s?

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mpj_3050
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:00 am

Worry about getting a higher score and then talk about the T14. A few points gives you more money/better options.

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bk1
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:00 am

mikeman wrote:But don't most T14s average? Would anything below a 176 even help with two 160s?


No, most T14's do not average. Because of this, a 168 should get you a look at the T14 and a 170 should nab you at least a couple.

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rman1201
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Re: Should I even bother applying to law school?

Postby rman1201 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:03 am

mikeman wrote:I actually was considering UF, I'd love to go to school there, just I'd be really concerned if paying sticker there would pay off eventually. Would I have any chance at Biglaw? How else can I justify the cost + living expenses?


About as good of a chance at FL Biglaw as you can have, but I wouldn't bank on it. But it does exist in the state, mostly in Miami, Holland & Knight even have a Tampa office... but for any kind of shot you'd have to be top of the class.
Living expenses are VERY cheap. You can live off a minimum of 4k for rent if you don't mind being around a bunch of undergrads (my place was $348/month with all utilities/cable/internet, off campus, private room/bath).




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