2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

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rinkrat19
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:23 am

3.56 (engineering)/171 Non-trad, 8 yrs WE

Going in, I was 110% set on going to Lewis & Clark part-time, staying at home and keeping my job. I applied with only professional LORs (even if I could remember my profs' names from 2002 and beyond, there's no way they could write convincing LORs about me). My essay was fine, and I applied early (beginning of Nov). I applied to a few other schools that gave me fee waivers and to which my PS could apply (basically schools that have environmental law certificates--because I was also 110% set on enviro law), mostly for curiosity's sake and (I hoped) for some scholarship leverage. I wrote no optional essays for any school, no LOCI and did not interview at NU, because of course, I was going to L&C. :P

Then I found TLS and LST and all the rest, and learned about rankings and employment ITE and T14-or-bust and biglaw vs. LRAP for paying off a quarter million dollars in loans, and my eyes were opened.

NYU - WL, and I think I withdrew (shit, I hope I withdrew)
Michigan - WL/ding
Northwestern - accepted in January, took a 1-yr deferral to get my shit sorted out here.
USC - WL/withdrew
IU-B - Accepted, $120K
W&L - Accepted, $60K
L&C - Accepted (PT), $80K

Thank you, NU, for seeing something you liked in my app and saving me from Tier 2.

I think I underperformed my numbers slightly, but that could be attributed to my laziness in not writing optional essays, etc., and 7 schools is a small sample size anyway. Moral of the story: Do the thing PROPERLY to give yourself the best odds. Apply early, write the supplemental stuff, apply to more than half a dozen schools, and don't go into the process with a closed mind about your target school.

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Zabini
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby Zabini » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:51 am

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/inuyesta

170/3.42 URM - I think my diversity statement was good and I had some OK softs but I don't think there was anything in my app that was truly **special**

What were your expectations going in?
I suppose this depends on what we mean by "going in." When I got my LSAT score, I figured I would probably wind up at a lowish t14 or t20 school...I think I was thinking most about USC/UCLA with maybe Duke or Michigan as a stretch and a host of schools like Hastings and Pepperdine on my list as safeties. Shortly after that though, I found TLS and learned about the sort of boost URMs get in admissions and adjusted my sights accordingly...Berkeley was now where I figured I'd likely go.

How did things turn out?
Weirdly. For one, I wound up applying very late (most of my files weren't complete until late Feb) and I feel like this hurt me a lot. I got waitlisted all over the place - Harvard, Virginia, Penn, Duke, and UCLA - and rejected by the two schools I thought I'd likely wind up at, Berkeley and Michigan. I hadnt even planned on applying to the school I ultimately chose to go to (Columbia)...I only sent an app "to see what happens" when they sent a Feb. fee waiver.

How did you make your decision?
It was between Columbia and USC+90k...it wasn't too hard of a decision. Even though I want to come back home to CA to work, I observed that elite CA firms often had just as many/more CLS grads as USC grads and reasoned that a job in NY (if need be) would be better than no job in CA.

What did you feel you did right?
I think my DS was good, personal statement was OK too. Going against my instinct and applying to CLS turned out to be a really good idea too.

What would you do differently?
Just about everything else. I'd do research into schools way earlier, I'd study harder for the LSAT, I'd have my apps ready to go in October, I'd have written "why X" essays for Michigan and Berkeley at least, I'd have applied to Stanford, Chicago, and NYU...

I think I did almost everything incorrectly in one way or another...I'm incredibly lucky to have gotten into where I did.

General tips from your experience?
Do things early. Don't be abroad when you should be doing applications. Don't hold yourself back by giving in to stupid regional biases. Don't get cocky or count your chickens before they hatch. Don't get neurotic either...I drove myself half-mad with status checkers. Eat your Wheaties.

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Deuce
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby Deuce » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:57 am

168/171, 3.8x

What were your expectations going in?

Not a damn clue. I ED'd to UVa (still not entirely sure why), WL. ED'd to Columbia, cause fuck it why not, WL. I honestly don't have much explanation, rhyme or reason to anything I did... but I prefer things that way.

How did things turned out?

With the 168- waitlisted everywhere. CCN down to Vandy- waitlists all around. A handful of dings (Berkeley, Cornell [botched their app a little], NU [botched their app A LOT. Didn't answer several questions. Happens.]) I still do not remember if I was waitlisted at nyu or dinged, I'm guessing ding since no wl release e-mail. Accepted with large to full schollies from WUSTL down to UF. Applied to a whole lot of schools, poor man fee waiver ftw. If you think you can qualify you should apply for it right now.

With the 171 retake this past June- was going to take the year off and reapply. Got off of BU, USC and Vandy's WL with $$ within 24 hours of receiving the new score (lol.) Got off Michigan's wl with the $67.5k the next day. Throughout the cycle when I finally started to research schools, Mich became a top 3. Haven't been here very long, but it is already awesome.

How did you make your decision?

Placement, jerbs, etc. Also wanted at least a decent scholly, did not want to approach $200k whatsoever. I would take this scholly over CCN at sticker, so I went with it.

What did you feel you did right?

Retook the lsat. Upper 160's is a waitlist death sentence, unless you are part of an awesome twin duo that flies off waitlists.

What would you do differently?

Probably should've done a little more research from the beginning. Also probably should've not skipped over 2 pages of NU's application. Maybe should've trimmed my PS down to ~500 words for Cornell where they asked for 500, and I gave them the same 700+ one I gave everyone.

General tips from your experience?

1. Review your apps. before sending them off, check to make sure you didn't questions.
2. Have TLSers rip your PS apart.
3. Get your apps in early, drink til ~March, make a decision, see some of you here next year.

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JDndMSW
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby JDndMSW » Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:33 am

thanks really does help to inspire me to study harder for the LSAT. So I'll get off of here and do that :)

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Blessedassurance
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:15 pm

Deuce wrote:168/171, 3.8x

What were your expectations going in?

Not a damn clue. I ED'd to UVa (still not entirely sure why), WL. ED'd to Columbia, cause fuck it why not, WL. I honestly don't have much explanation, rhyme or reason to anything I did... but I prefer things that way.

How did things turned out?

With the 168- waitlisted everywhere. CCN down to Vandy- waitlists all around. A handful of dings (Berkeley, Cornell [botched their app a little], NU [botched their app A LOT. Didn't answer several questions. Happens.]) I still do not remember if I was waitlisted at nyu or dinged, I'm guessing ding since no wl release e-mail. Accepted with large to full schollies from WUSTL down to UF. Applied to a whole lot of schools, poor man fee waiver ftw. If you think you can qualify you should apply for it right now.

With the 171 retake this past June- was going to take the year off and reapply. Got off of BU, USC and Vandy's WL with $$ within 24 hours of receiving the new score (lol.) Got off Michigan's wl with the $67.5k the next day. Throughout the cycle when I finally started to research schools, Mich became a top 3. Haven't been here very long, but it is already awesome.

How did you make your decision?

Placement, jerbs, etc. Also wanted at least a decent scholly, did not want to approach $200k whatsoever. I would take this scholly over CCN at sticker, so I went with it.

What did you feel you did right?

Retook the lsat. Upper 160's is a waitlist death sentence, unless you are part of an awesome twin duo that flies off waitlists.

What would you do differently?

Probably should've done a little more research from the beginning. Also probably should've not skipped over 2 pages of NU's application. Maybe should've trimmed my PS down to ~500 words for Cornell where they asked for 500, and I gave them the same 700+ one I gave everyone.

General tips from your experience?

1. Review your apps. before sending them off, check to make sure you didn't questions.
2. Have TLSers rip your PS apart.
3. Get your apps in early, drink til ~March, make a decision, see some of you here next year.


Cornell really asks for 500? That's rough!

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Lisi
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby Lisi » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:13 pm

170/3.78 LSAC GPA (non-traditional applicant)

What were your expectations going in?
I was pretty clueless. For some reason, I didn't think rolling admissions worked all that differently than regular admissions (big oops! on my part). I thought I would get into somewhere reasonable. I only applied to T20 school located in places where I wouldn't mind living for the next 3 years (i.e. a reasonably big city on the east coast or in the midwest). I also thought softs somehow mattered more than gpa/lsat. Again, as I've mentioned, I was clueless.

How did things turned out?
I submitted my apps in mid January to early February. I think this was a really bad move. However, I had teed it up by taking the LSAT for the first time in December. I wanted to see my score before sending in apps. And then I procrastinated a couple of weeks while tweeking my personal statements. So I got WLed everywhere from Harvard all the way down to Boston University. I was accepted by one school: NYU. I took that as some sort of sign from on high, and got psyched to attend. Then I got into UChicago mid July, and, for personal reasons, I decided to withdraw from NYU and go to Chicago.

How did you make your decision?
Well, at first I had one option -- so that's pretty much a no-brainer. My decision to pick UChicago over NYU was based on personal reasons and, for me, also kind of a no-brainer.

What did you feel you did right?
Honestly, I have no idea. I'm actually kind of curious what NYU saw in me (almost immediately) that no other school did...

What would you do differently?
I would have taken the LSAT in October and then in November. I think if I had taken the LSAT twice, I could have brought up my score. Additionally, I would have had all my apps in sometime in November or early December.

General tips from your experience?
--Don't give your softs too much credit. The fact is, many people who are naturally bright, who work hard and who get good grades have pretty solid softs as well. Don't assume schools will think you're special. This may sound harsh, but I wish I had known how streamlined admissions processes really are when I was applying and wondering about where I'd get in. I don't thinking they're BSing us when they tell us that they receive applicants from many many qualified candidates every year. Things are arbitrary, don't count your chickens before they hatch.
--GET YOUR APPS IN EARLY. I cannot emphasize this enough. It makes all the difference. You can throw out many of the prediction metrics at various schools if you get your apps in at the wire. Sure, some people squeek by, but don't count on being one of the few.

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planQ
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby planQ » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:51 pm

174/3.2 Huge splitter, ok/good softs.

What were your expectations going in?
I was a little over confident because Law School Predictor does not do a good job of handling splitters and I did not look enough at LSN to see the hard grade floors that some schools had.

Where did you apply?

I applied to HLS, Mich, UVA, USC, UCLA, Cornell, Gulc, NU, Texas, Alabama, Vanderbilt, I applied there fairly late (late nov, early dec), and then, after some panicking, I applied to Notre Dame, Minn, and UIUC at the absolute last minute.

How did things turned out?
Waitlist city! Got into Alabama, Minn, UIUC, with pretty much full rides, then waitlist at UVA, USC, GULC, UCLA, Vandy. Rejected Mich, NU, Cornell, Texas, HLS.

Then eventually managed to fight off the wait list at Vanderbilt and then got defferred admission to UVA.

How did you make your decision?
Visited UVA and GULC, and really didn't like GULC that much but I fell in love with UVA, so I worked really hard to get into there.


What did you feel you did right?
Worked really hard studying for the LSAT, maybe could of done a little more but not much.

Worked hard after the fact on getting off waitlists, lots of LOCI and several calls and a visit.

What would you do differently?
Applied early!!! and probably ED'd to UVA. Also I would have written many more essays.

Maybe not have double majored in a hard(ish) major, I should have taken more BS classes to build up my GPA.

General tips from your experience?
1. Send in applications early,

2. Don't be lazy and skip schools that have extra essay requirements.

3. USE LSN.

4 Don't GIVE UP ON WAITLISTS!.

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planQ
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby planQ » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:05 pm

Zabini wrote:http://lawschoolnumbers.com/inuyesta
Don't get cocky or count your chickens before they hatch. Don't get neurotic either...I drove myself half-mad with status checkers.

I think this is advice all of TLS could use at one point or another...

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HarlandBassett
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby HarlandBassett » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:41 pm

Siamsa414 wrote:2. Make your prep tests as close to the real thing as you can. No snacks, strict timing, no breaks except the allowed one. I also used a LSAT proctor app that had a soundtrack of rustling papers, sneezing, and other test-like distractions.

where'd you get this from?

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yuzu
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby yuzu » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:19 pm

The biggest reflection I have from this cycle is that getting November acceptances to two schools I loved took an enormous amount of stress out of the whole process. If I hadn't gotten those decisions until April, I'd have spent the whole cycle going "should I settle for school X" and "I don't even know what my options will be" - the whole process would have been far more stressful.

While I didn't get in to all the schools I'd have liked, I think where I ended up is the best fit for what I wanted. I also felt the cycle left me with a pretty easy decision process in the end. It would have been more difficult to decide had I gotten a full ride somewhere.

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HarlandBassett
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby HarlandBassett » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:46 am

HarlandBassett wrote:
Siamsa414 wrote:2. Make your prep tests as close to the real thing as you can. No snacks, strict timing, no breaks except the allowed one. I also used a LSAT proctor app that had a soundtrack of rustling papers, sneezing, and other test-like distractions.

where'd you get this from?

nvmind.
http://padawanlaw.com/2010/04/lsat-proc ... ft-to-you/

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ilovesf
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby ilovesf » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:38 pm

Here's some advice for people with pretty average numbers:

158 -> 165, 3.35, http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/ilovesf

What were your expectations going in?
I didn't really have any. I guess I thought I wouldn't get in anywhere good because of my low GPA, I applied to tons of safeties that I never even considered attending because of it.

Where did you apply?

UC Hastings, UC Davis, U of San Francisco, Fordham, Brooklyn, GW (I didn't think I'd get in, I just really liked it and thought why not), American, St Johns, Brooklyn, Cardozo

How did things turn out?
Ok. I was only rejected from GW, and wait listed at Fordham and UC Davis.
I got a full ride at St Johns, a nearly full ride at Brooklyn, 60,000 from Cardozo and Tulane, 10,000 from USF.

How did you make your decision?
My top school was UC Hastings and aside from Fordham it was the only school I thought seriously about attending. I actually really liked Cardozo as well but not as much as I liked UCH. I'm from SF and haven't lived here in a while, and I just really wanted to come back and settle down. Even if I had gotten into better schools, I probably wouldn't have gone anyway. I didn't get a scholarship from UCH but I have instate tuition and I am living at home (which is no problem for me, I get along really well with my mom), so I have almost no living expenses.. I can even walk to school if I wanted to.

What did you feel you did right?
I applied in the beginning of October, asked for my LORs waaaay ahead of time.

What would you do differently?

I didn't stay on the WLs for Fordham and UCD, I withdrew immediately. I just wonder if I had written LOCIs if things would have turned out differently but it isn't that big of a deal. I also would have taken the LSAT one more time, because I was PTing in the mid 70s for the last 6 or so PTs I took before the LSAT. Unfortunately I thought it wouldn't be a good idea, because I hadn't found out about TLS yet to get all of the good advice. I also would have applied to some better schools. I think I overplayed the safeties and didn't have enough reaches. My numbers aren't too good, but I might have gotten lucky.. you never know.

General tips from your experience?

Pretty general stuff everyone else is saying: apply extremely early, negotiate scholarships, ask for LORs months ahead of time (I even asked for one a year in advance, why not?), and take the LSAT again, or a third time, if you think you can do better. I also visited a lot of the schools, which was really helpful in making a decision. If you're lucky enough to have the time and the money, you should really visit. I also didn't write any school specific essays, except for Tulane where it was required.

TheOcho
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Re: 2011 Reflect on your cycle thread

Postby TheOcho » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:52 am

3.69-3.75 164/169

Applied: MVD, Cornell, GTown, UCLA, UT, Vandy, USC, WUSTL, GW, Illi, BU, MN, ND, Iowa, Indiana-B, BC, W&M.

What were your expectations going in?

Before I retook and got a 169, I was expecting anything from Illinois to BC, and probably very little in the way of scholarships. After the 169, my expectations were much higher.

How did things turn out?

Roughly as expected. I had a few WL's that surprised me, but other than that there weren't many anomalies with the exception of a BC rejection. I was only rejected from two schools, accepted at eleven, WL/A at 3, and WL/Withdrew from the rest.

How did you make your decision?

Before I knew of any WL acceptances, it came down to Georgetown and Texas. Georgetown didn't offer me any money, so my decision was easy. However, I was much more excited about attending schools I was WL'ed at (Mich, Duke, Cornell) so I was willing to ride those out during the summer. Ultimately I decided I wanted to be in Michigan over any other available option, and asked for deferred admission. They accepted me and my decision was made.

What do you feel you did right?

I prepared well and I retook with a little push from TLS and confidence I could do better. Seriously, without the standard "/retake" comment that is so prevalent on this site, I might not be moving to Ann Arbor next fall.

What would you do differently?

I would have applied to the entire T14. Although the odds of getting into some of these other schools were pretty slim, I'd rather not look back and think, "what if?"

General tips:
1. Aim for a 180, but don't forget you can get some wrong and still score very well. If the problem looks really time consuming (and it's not a LG), skip it and come back.

2. If you're still in school, dedicate as much time to the LSAT as your current class load can handle without suffering.

3. Taper off. I continued studying up until test day, but the types of problems I did the day before were very easy.

4. Warm up. I woke up the morning of the test and did some very easy LG's and a few other easy passages.

5. Enjoy it (if your cycle allows). I don't know about what everyone else thinks, but I thought it was pretty fuckin' cool to come home to a letter offering me 120k to bring me to a particular school.




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