Should I try again next year?

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athenian
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Should I try again next year?

Postby athenian » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:53 pm

Let's cut to the chase:

I want to work in California. The Bay Area would be preferable to Southern California, but the important thing is being out there and closer to family.

As it stands, I'm in at a number of really good schools, but none in California. I got waitlisted at Davis and still haven't heard from Hastings. The ones I'm deciding between (Minnesota, Arizona State, Indiana) all claim to place in California, but I don't really buy it.

I'm leaning towards UMN because of their off campus interviews in San Francisco and a reputation that is much much stronger than IU or ASU. However I'm not totally comfortable in forking over $100,000+ over three years for a marginal shot at the West Coast.

Should I retake the LSAT in June and reapply next year to more California schools? My barely sub 3.0 GPA will keep me out of Berkeley and Stanford regardless of score. I pulled a 169 in October, and I've been teaching LSAT courses and tutoring since. What score would I need to open the door to USC or UCLA? Would I benefit by targeting out of region schools with a better rep in California, like Michigan?

Also, would a school like Minnesota be willing to increase my scholarship if I managed to increase my score on the June test?

Thanks for the help.

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:11 pm

If you were averaging PT in the 170s, sure. If not, be prepared to do some intense studying sess over the summer

athenian
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby athenian » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:07 am

BrianGriffintheDog wrote:If you were averaging PT in the 170s, sure. If not, be prepared to do some intense studying sess over the summer


FWIW, which isn't much, my highest PT in October was a 174. But, I was averaging in the 169 range. Like I said in the original post though, I've been tutoring and teaching an LSAT course since then.

athenian
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby athenian » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:53 pm

Bump.

Advice would go a long way

adt231
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby adt231 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:21 pm

Not sure what the best thing to do here is. First, obviously just wait to hear from Hastings and you should be sending an awesome LOCI to Davis. Tell them that you're in at Minnesota with $$ but would really LOVE to go to their school instead.

Of your current options, my guess is that Arizona State would be better since if you do end up in Arizona, you're not too far from your family. Worse cast scenario this year: it might come down to weighing how much you want to be a lawyer versus how badly you want to live in Cali. But perhaps a way to make these two goals achievable by one action (instead of two separate ones), the following might help:

How well do other Cali law schools place in Cali compared to your options now?
- This is probably hard to ascertain, but perhaps it'd be better to take a year off (assuming this is personally and financially feasible for you) and simply blanket T1 and T2 west coast schools. Reapply

Take a shot again next year, you never know:
UCLA
USC
UC Davis
UC Hastings

Others that I'm not so sure about placement being better than Minnesota in Cali (but even if not, perhaps they'll give you more money due to your awesome LSAT score):
USD
Loyola
Pepperdine

Maybe even consider some west coast options outside of Cali, too (Oregon, Lewis and Clark, etc.). If I were you, I'd be really worried about paying any money to go to a Midwest school if your ultimate goal is to work in Cali.

Rory1987
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby Rory1987 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:05 pm

UCLA and USC are GPA whores like virtually all top Cali schools; even if you crack the mid-170s you might not get in, at least at UCLA, if you're GPA is below a 3.0.

adt231
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby adt231 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:08 pm

Rory1987 wrote:UCLA and USC are GPA whores like virtually all top Cali schools; even if you crack the mid-170s you might not get in, at least at UCLA, if you're GPA is below a 3.0.


Perhaps working for a few years would slightly help out your low GPA (meaning, you can play off your low GPA as partly due to youthful immaturity), but I don't know if this would play it off well enough for UCLA's and USC's liking.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:18 pm

With a 169 LSAT score, Indiana should have offered you at least $120,000 over three years. Regardless of current placement in California, that has got to be difficult to turn down.

adt231
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby adt231 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:27 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:With a 169 LSAT score, Indiana should have offered you at least $120,000 over three years. Regardless of current placement in California, that has got to be difficult to turn down.


What are your offers and do you have any debt already?

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bk1
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:28 pm

With a sub-3 you're kind of screwed in CA. None of the T14 will take you and neither will the strong CA regionals (UCD/UCH/UCLA/USC). Even if you retake to the high 170's, USC/UCLA/UCD/UCH aren't really going to be interested and even if they are, it will probably be at sticker.

If you can snag a 172+ and 1-2 years of work exp then your best bet would be EDing to NU. Outside of that you need to either take a much worse CA offer (e.g. scholarship money at Loyola/Pepperdine/Santa Clara/USF) or take a strong regional school that offers money to splitters (UMN/WUSTL/IUB) that won't necessarily place you in CA and be okay that you may get back to CA if you have tippy-top grades but it will take a lot of hustle and if you don't have the grades then you will be working in that school's region.

foster85
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby foster85 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:18 am

apply to lower ranked CA schools next year and get as much money as you can...once you're out of the top 20/30 schools it's all regional so you'll want to be sure to go to school in state

go for USF next year...beautiful campus, beautiful city, and they should give you a ton of money to keep you...although they did tell me this year that they did not give out any renewable scholly $ (but they should pay for your first year at least!)

athenian
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby athenian » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:12 am

adt231 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:With a 169 LSAT score, Indiana should have offered you at least $120,000 over three years. Regardless of current placement in California, that has got to be difficult to turn down.


What are your offers and do you have any debt already?


I've currently been offered $54,000 by Minnesota, $15,000 by Arizona State, in-state at UGA and $105,000 by Indiana.

I didn't like IU on my visit and I really don't like their dismal biglaw prospects and lack of competitive job placement outside of Indiana. So I wouldn't go there regardless.

I'm turning down UGA because I really want to get away from the South after spending so long here. California has always been more my atmosphere (in terms of both weather and social climate).

I have 0 undergrad debt thanks to scholarships and my parents willing to foot the bill for a lot of things. Regardless, I still don't want to dive into $100k plus in debt if I'm not already going to be in the region I want to work in. I figure that a lower debt load will give me the ability to at least try to get a job out in California with less pressure and more flexibility than if I was carrying around six figures of debt.

adt231
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Re: Should I try again next year?

Postby adt231 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:38 am

In the case of being dead set on Cali, I'd highly recommend taking a year or two off to get WE (to partly make your application better in light of your low GPA) and to do serious research on the California legal market and what schools (other than the usual suspects: T14, UCLA, USC, UCDavis, UCHastings) are placing students in Cali with decent success and then blanket every school in Cali (even Berkeley all the way down to Loyola). Perhaps for your year or two off you should move to Cali and establish residency (not only with this make going to one of the UC's a bit cheaper in your first year but I'm pretty sure that these schools have lower standards for California students applying to their programs) and this will make you much more marketable to a Cali based firm after graduation from a Cali law school.

But I'm a 0L whose only been to Cali 3 times, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt. Being a 0L and non-cali person does not, by itself, mean that my advice is not good, but you should get the opinion of other reasonable people to help.




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