GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

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uclabrandon
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GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby uclabrandon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:29 am

ok.. I know similar threads exist... but I need help!

I am a Southern California resident and I was admitted to UC Hastings. I have paid my deposit for tuition and housing and blah blah. Today, I was surprised to discover I was admitted to GWU (I have a 157 lsat and a 4.03 GPA from ucla, and I'm not URM). This has placed me into a very stressful situation because I don't know what to do. Both schools aren't offering me merit scholarships. Hastings has given me a $12,600 hastings grant (I don't know if I will get it every year), but that's it. Hastings tuition is 41k vs. GW tuition at 44k. I called GW today and they told me I was unlikely to receive any grant money and that it would probably be all loans. Ultimately, I am pretty open to working in California or New York. I would prefer New York and I was wondering if going to GWU would help me find a job there. If you guys were in this situation, what would you do!!??? Oh yea, and if I went to GW, I would lose about $1,400.00 in deposit fees (not a big deal I guess). Is the 22-spot ranking difference significant enough for me to choose GW??

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Borhas
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby Borhas » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:33 am

Glock wrote:You will hear this a lot but RETAKE. Don't waste a 4.03 GPA on those schools. With a 164-166 or higher you have a shot at some T14 schools, including Berkeley with ED. With a better LSAT or you could even get some $ from places like USC and be way better off.

+1

if not...

the USNWR rankings don't mean much, but what does mean a lot is placement

GWU does pretty well in Big Law placement, and I bet most of their class goes to NYC

If you'd only be good w/ BigLaw then GW is better

If you only want the best possible job (prestige, money, having one.. yada yada) then GW is probably better (NY market + DC market > CA market)

If you only want CA then Hastings is probably better

but is all that worth an extra 50k in debt? That depends.
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Glock
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby Glock » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:34 am

You will hear this a lot but RETAKE. Don't waste a 4.03 GPA on those schools. With a 164-166 or higher you have a shot at some T14 schools, including Berkeley with ED. With a better LSAT or you could even get some $ from places like USC and be way better off.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby Redfactor » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:37 am

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uclabrandon
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby uclabrandon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:22 am

thank you everyone so much! My biggest dilemma is the cost. I mean Hastings is giving me 13k this year in grant money and I am probably getting nothing from GWU. Is this enough to offset the benefits of going to GW? and I know I should retake the LSAT, it's almost an obvious path I should take. However, I can't stand studying for the lsat any longer and taking a year off would absolutely kill me. Not to mention, it is not guaranteed I will even improve. Is GWU even considered to be a great school? people are saying if its not t10 or t14, then don't do it! Or if you are paying sticker, it's not worth it! I'm so stuck guys...

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bk1
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:25 am

uclabrandon wrote:thank you everyone so much! My biggest dilemma is the cost. I mean Hastings is giving me 13k this year in grant money and I am probably getting nothing from GWU. Is this enough to offset the benefits of going to GW? and I know I should retake the LSAT, it's almost an obvious path I should take. However, I can't stand studying for the lsat any longer and taking a year off would absolutely kill me. Not to mention, it is not guaranteed I will even improve. Is GWU even considered to be a great school? people are saying if its not t10 or t14, then don't do it! Or if you are paying sticker, it's not worth it! I'm so stuck guys...


Retaking and reapplying won't actually kill you. On the other hand, having $150,000 debt out of Hastings or $225,000 debt from GW might just be soulcrushing enough to do that.

These schools are good regional schools for their respective areas (Hastings for CA, GW for DC), but that doesn't mean that they are worth sticker.

uclabrandon
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby uclabrandon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:34 am

bk1 wrote:
uclabrandon wrote:thank you everyone so much! My biggest dilemma is the cost. I mean Hastings is giving me 13k this year in grant money and I am probably getting nothing from GWU. Is this enough to offset the benefits of going to GW? and I know I should retake the LSAT, it's almost an obvious path I should take. However, I can't stand studying for the lsat any longer and taking a year off would absolutely kill me. Not to mention, it is not guaranteed I will even improve. Is GWU even considered to be a great school? people are saying if its not t10 or t14, then don't do it! Or if you are paying sticker, it's not worth it! I'm so stuck guys...


Retaking and reapplying won't actually kill you. On the other hand, having $150,000 debt out of Hastings or $225,000 debt from GW might just be soulcrushing enough to do that.

These schools are good regional schools for their respective areas (Hastings for CA, GW for DC), but that doesn't mean that they are worth sticker.


would you say that GW is a good school for landing job in NYC? and you are right, retaking and reapplying will not actually kill me lol

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bk1
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:01 am

uclabrandon wrote:would you say that GW is a good school for landing job in NYC? and you are right, retaking and reapplying will not actually kill me lol


It's decent for NYC. Worse than the T14 and a few other schools (Vandy/Fordham) but probably close to on par with schools like BU/BC.

That being said, $225,000 is an insanely unreasonable amount of debt for a school like GW.

uclabrandon
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby uclabrandon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:16 am

bk1 wrote:
uclabrandon wrote:would you say that GW is a good school for landing job in NYC? and you are right, retaking and reapplying will not actually kill me lol


It's decent for NYC. Worse than the T14 and a few other schools (Vandy/Fordham) but probably close to on par with schools like BU/BC.

That being said, $225,000 is an insanely unreasonable amount of debt for a school like GW.


I see what you are saying... hmmmmmmm. This will be tough. Ultimately I'll be choosing between GW and Hastings and I must choose within the next few days. I guess choosing the better of the two is what it'll be down to. I know it's crazy but I'm confident I'll do well and overcome the debt. I was in the top 2% and summa cum laude at UCLA for undergrad... I work hard and do well, and I hope I'll carry that into law school.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:22 am

uclabrandon wrote:I see what you are saying... hmmmmmmm. This will be tough. Ultimately I'll be choosing between GW and Hastings and I must choose within the next few days. I guess choosing the better of the two is what it'll be down to. I know it's crazy but I'm confident I'll do well and overcome the debt. I was in the top 2% and summa cum laude at UCLA for undergrad... I work hard and do well, and I hope I'll carry that into law school.


You realize that the LSAT is a better indicator of law school success than UGPA? But that's beside the point because the correlation between UGPA+LSAT and 1L grades is only about 0.4-0.5 which is not nearly strong enough to be worth betting $200,000 on. Law school is graded on curve and it is nothing like undergrad. Plenty of people with good undergrad GPAs end up falling below median in law school because you are competing, for the first time, against people with similar credentials and work ethic to you.

You really should retake/reapply considering you only have a 90% chance of not ending up in the top 10% in law school. Going to Vegas and putting $150,000-$200,000 on red at the roulette wheel has better odds of success than what you are considering doing at Hastings or GW.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:38 am

bk1 wrote:
uclabrandon wrote:I see what you are saying... hmmmmmmm. This will be tough. Ultimately I'll be choosing between GW and Hastings and I must choose within the next few days. I guess choosing the better of the two is what it'll be down to. I know it's crazy but I'm confident I'll do well and overcome the debt. I was in the top 2% and summa cum laude at UCLA for undergrad... I work hard and do well, and I hope I'll carry that into law school.


You realize that the LSAT is a better indicator of law school success than UGPA? But that's beside the point because the correlation between UGPA+LSAT and 1L grades is only about 0.4-0.5 which is not nearly strong enough to be worth betting $200,000 on. Law school is graded on curve and it is nothing like undergrad. Plenty of people with good undergrad GPAs end up falling below median in law school because you are competing, for the first time, against people with similar credentials and work ethic to you.

You really should retake/reapply considering you only have a 90% chance of not ending up in the top 10% in law school. Going to Vegas and putting $150,000-$200,000 on red at the roulette wheel has better odds of success than what you are considering doing at Hastings or GW.


What I will say about the LSAT is that most people see it as the first major test of law school in a sense - that is, a test whose grade will dictate a large percentage of their ultimate prospects. People overcome low LSATs in apps and others overcome low law school GPAs in interviews, but it's not something you want to bank on. Your law school tests won't be like the LSAT, but they will require a dedication and commitment that it's wise to learn now. I'm sick to death of studying for the LSAT. I had a fairly good score when I took it last, and I feel like every time I open a PT, I'm going backwards. I work the graveyard shift for 45+ hours a week, and the last thing I want to do during my breaks is study. But I do. And perhaps if there is a correlation between LSAT score and first year grades, it's this. For some people, the LSAT comes easy and they score a 175 diagnostic. For a lot of others, you have to study your ass off to get a 170+. If you're sick of seeing the LSAT and won't take the time off you need to properly prepare yourself for law school, I think this may be a more adequate indicator of how you'll perform against your classmates than your UGPA.

Sorry for the harshness; I usually don't get this involved in retake situations. But it's hard to read in the same couple of posts about how sick you are of the LSAT and don't think your score can go up (this is a lie -- it's definitely a lot harder to see a score increase on the 170+ side of the spectrum, for 157s there is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of very simple tools that you should be able to learn) but how you're sure you'll get top 10% in LS because you did in UG.

uclabrandon
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby uclabrandon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:07 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
bk1 wrote:
uclabrandon wrote:I see what you are saying... hmmmmmmm. This will be tough. Ultimately I'll be choosing between GW and Hastings and I must choose within the next few days. I guess choosing the better of the two is what it'll be down to. I know it's crazy but I'm confident I'll do well and overcome the debt. I was in the top 2% and summa cum laude at UCLA for undergrad... I work hard and do well, and I hope I'll carry that into law school.


You realize that the LSAT is a better indicator of law school success than UGPA? But that's beside the point because the correlation between UGPA+LSAT and 1L grades is only about 0.4-0.5 which is not nearly strong enough to be worth betting $200,000 on. Law school is graded on curve and it is nothing like undergrad. Plenty of people with good undergrad GPAs end up falling below median in law school because you are competing, for the first time, against people with similar credentials and work ethic to you.

You really should retake/reapply considering you only have a 90% chance of not ending up in the top 10% in law school. Going to Vegas and putting $150,000-$200,000 on red at the roulette wheel has better odds of success than what you are considering doing at Hastings or GW.


What I will say about the LSAT is that most people see it as the first major test of law school in a sense - that is, a test whose grade will dictate a large percentage of their ultimate prospects. People overcome low LSATs in apps and others overcome low law school GPAs in interviews, but it's not something you want to bank on. Your law school tests won't be like the LSAT, but they will require a dedication and commitment that it's wise to learn now. I'm sick to death of studying for the LSAT. I had a fairly good score when I took it last, and I feel like every time I open a PT, I'm going backwards. I work the graveyard shift for 45+ hours a week, and the last thing I want to do during my breaks is study. But I do. And perhaps if there is a correlation between LSAT score and first year grades, it's this. For some people, the LSAT comes easy and they score a 175 diagnostic. For a lot of others, you have to study your ass off to get a 170+. If you're sick of seeing the LSAT and won't take the time off you need to properly prepare yourself for law school, I think this may be a more adequate indicator of how you'll perform against your classmates than your UGPA.

Sorry for the harshness; I usually don't get this involved in retake situations. But it's hard to read in the same couple of posts about how sick you are of the LSAT and don't think your score can go up (this is a lie -- it's definitely a lot harder to see a score increase on the 170+ side of the spectrum, for 157s there is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of very simple tools that you should be able to learn) but how you're sure you'll get top 10% in LS because you did in UG.


I didn't say I was sure I would get top 10%. Although I said I'm confident I'll do well, I said I HOPE I'd carry my work ethic from undergrad into law school (basically meaning I'll hopefully be in the top percentile of students). However, I do appreciate the harshness and I don't mind it. I also never said I couldn't improve on the lsat, I'm just saying it may not be guaranteed. I decided not to take a year off for many personal reasons; ones that include finances, family, moving back home, etc. It is an option, but I ultimately would not be happy the entire year and although one year of unhappiness may be worth a lifetime of less debt, it is not guaranteed that this will even be the outcome. Overall, every response/thread these days seem to end with the same message (DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL UNLESS YOU HAVE A FULL RIDE AT HARVARD)... and to be honest, it's hard to go with that when I see so many people who have gone to t2-t4 schools and have done well after paying sticker. I'm going to a t1 regardless and I can't imagine doing much worse than them. I had a professor at UCLA who went to southwestern and he's freakin rich. He may be an exception and I don't need to be rich, but sheesh!

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby Redfactor » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:14 am

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ndirish2010
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:19 am

Dude, you have a 4.03 GPA. Retake!

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:30 pm

This retake nonsense is out of control on this site. First, the average score on the last LSAT administration for a 157 retake was 159.3. Second, he isn't even confident he can do better. Third, the chances of improving enough to make enough of a difference to get into a significantly better school or get a better financial aid package are about as good as finishing near the top of the class. Unless he really didn't study right, had a bad day and was practicing much higher, or didn't study much at all, a retake does not seem to matter. There are definitely situations where 2 points would make a big difference in admission, but not with the schools he'd want to get into and not with starting at a 157.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:55 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:This retake nonsense is out of control on this site. First, the average score on the last LSAT administration for a 157 retake was 159.3. Second, he isn't even confident he can do better. Third, the chances of improving enough to make enough of a difference to get into a significantly better school or get a better financial aid package are about as good as finishing near the top of the class. Unless he really didn't study right, had a bad day and was practicing much higher, or didn't study much at all, a retake does not seem to matter. There are definitely situations where 2 points would make a big difference in admission, but not with the schools he'd want to get into and not with starting at a 157.


With a 4.0 GPA, a 163 can get you into the T14 (ED UVA you would have a shot). How could you not retake.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby uclabrandon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:15 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:This retake nonsense is out of control on this site. First, the average score on the last LSAT administration for a 157 retake was 159.3. Second, he isn't even confident he can do better. Third, the chances of improving enough to make enough of a difference to get into a significantly better school or get a better financial aid package are about as good as finishing near the top of the class. Unless he really didn't study right, had a bad day and was practicing much higher, or didn't study much at all, a retake does not seem to matter. There are definitely situations where 2 points would make a big difference in admission, but not with the schools he'd want to get into and not with starting at a 157.


Although not as positive as I would have hoped LOL, I do agree with part of your statement. I can't guarantee I will move up a significant number of points on the LSAT, although it is possible. I mean, I missed only 3 questions in the games section (I've had perfect scores on practice tests), but screwed up and missed an awful 14 in the reading comprehension (I went too slow and they called out "5 minutes" before I even started reading the last passage. I had to skim it and guess on all 8 questions.... Yeah that didn't work. It was a combination of going too slow and not working efficiently/effectively). So, I guess it is possible that I could improve, but not guaranteed of course. I know the smart choice is retake... I know I know

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:36 pm

uclabrandon wrote:Although not as positive as I would have hoped LOL, I do agree with part of your statement. I can't guarantee I will move up a significant number of points on the LSAT, although it is possible. I mean, I missed only 3 questions in the games section (I've had perfect scores on practice tests), but screwed up and missed an awful 14 in the reading comprehension (I went too slow and they called out "5 minutes" before I even started reading the last passage. I had to skim it and guess on all 8 questions.... Yeah that didn't work. It was a combination of going too slow and not working efficiently/effectively). So, I guess it is possible that I could improve, but not guaranteed of course. I know the smart choice is retake... I know I know


How much did you study? What were you averaging on PTs?

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jenesaislaw
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:45 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:This retake nonsense is out of control on this site. First, the average score on the last LSAT administration for a 157 retake was 159.3. Second, he isn't even confident he can do better. Third, the chances of improving enough to make enough of a difference to get into a significantly better school or get a better financial aid package are about as good as finishing near the top of the class. Unless he really didn't study right, had a bad day and was practicing much higher, or didn't study much at all, a retake does not seem to matter. There are definitely situations where 2 points would make a big difference in admission, but not with the schools he'd want to get into and not with starting at a 157.


With a 4.0 GPA, a 163 can get you into the T14 (ED UVA you would have a shot). How could you not retake.


That is a 6 point jump - no small, statistically insignificant leap. Based on the retake data, about 20% of people who retook with a 154 improved at least 6 points. Can't tell on its face about the improvement from 157 to 163, and I don't have the time to estimate (standard deviation is 4.3 for anybody who cares to figure it out), but it's intuitively unlikely to be better than the 154. Additionally, about a third of the 157 retakes either did the same or did worse. People criticized him for his thinking he's a special snowflake earlier on how well he'd do in law school. Why are people so quick to criticize that but not the snowflake syndrome evident in retaking the LSAT?

Additionally, a 4.0/163 can get you into the T14. Is he a URM? In-state (Michigan/Virginia)? Legacy? The evidence on LSN does not support him taking your "can" seriously.

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ndirish2010
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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:46 pm

Because you don't have much to lose by retaking. For UVA ED, if you are above one median you have a decent shot at ED.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:57 pm

He does have something to lose. He has a year of time to lose, his deposit (even if not much), and a major change of plans. Have you asked whether he has a job now? What he's doing with his time? What he wants to do? As an aside, what made you not (or stop) retaking? You're not headed to an elite school but had a very good undergrad GPA. Just 6 more points and you could have done so much better!

And I'm still waiting on the evidence of "decent shot" at ED at UVA.

2011: http://uva.lawschoolnumbers.com/applica ... =3&type=jd
Two people got in with similar numbers to your (unlikely) hypothetical OP. One is a non-traditional, with 10 years + of work experience and is a veteran. UVA has a rep, rightly or wrongly, for liking vets. The other also had somewhat substantial work experience, although s/he did not share much beyond 5-9 years of work experience.

2010: there were a few more, but not many. At least a few had more than a few years of work experience and/or were from Virginia.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:59 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:He does have something to lose. He has a year of time to lose, his deposit (even if not much), and a major change of plans. Have you asked whether he has a job now? What he's doing with his time? What he wants to do? What made you not (or stop) retaking?

And I'm still waiting on the evidence of "decent shot" at ED at UVA.

2011: http://uva.lawschoolnumbers.com/applica ... =3&type=jd
Two people got in with similar numbers to your (unlikely) hypothetical OP. One is a non-traditional, with 10 years + of work experience and is a veteran. UVA has a rep, rightly or wrongly, for liking vets. The other also had somewhat substantial work experience, although s/he did not share much beyond 5-9 years of work experience.

2010: there were a few more, but not many. At least a few had more than a few years of work experience and/or were from Virginia.


I got a score that made me competitive for T25s with money and it was above every one of my practice tests. If I had to do it again, I would have done the retake/reapply route and gone for more money or T10, though I'm thrilled where I am.

You may have a point about UVA. However, paying sticker or close to it for GW or Hastings with a 4.0 is still ridiculous.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby V811 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:04 pm

Listen dude. You have a 157 LSAT with a 4.+GPA


What the hell is wrong with you. Retake the damn exam. Improving from a 157 to mid 160's is easy if you are willing to put in the hours. Then BOOM -- go to USC or UCLA with a little $ if you wanna stay in CA, and possibly Berkeley.

If you go to GW at sticker with a 4.03gpa and don't retake the LSAT, you are a moron.

God help you.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby uclabrandon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:07 pm

bk1 wrote:
uclabrandon wrote:Although not as positive as I would have hoped LOL, I do agree with part of your statement. I can't guarantee I will move up a significant number of points on the LSAT, although it is possible. I mean, I missed only 3 questions in the games section (I've had perfect scores on practice tests), but screwed up and missed an awful 14 in the reading comprehension (I went too slow and they called out "5 minutes" before I even started reading the last passage. I had to skim it and guess on all 8 questions.... Yeah that didn't work. It was a combination of going too slow and not working efficiently/effectively). So, I guess it is possible that I could improve, but not guaranteed of course. I know the smart choice is retake... I know I know


How much did you study? What were you averaging on PTs?


I studied for two consecutive Summers... and I was averaging at like 153... the 157 was a surprising leap. However, it wasn't until two weeks before I took the lsat that I started rising in practice tests (mostly in the argument section. I was always near perfect in games since the beginning of studying). So, a 157 would probably be my average aty the time of the test because I fixed my problems that were landing me the 153's through fixing up my argument section. Also, if I started studying again now, I'd have to pick up the slack for not opening an lsat practice book from an lsat prep course since october. I would also have just a few months to study because I would be taking the october lsat again. So it really wouldnt be a whole year of studying, just a few months. If I skipped the october (or is it september this time?) and december tests, I would have more than a year to study, but then that would be like taking two years off.

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Re: GEORGE WASHINGTON VS. UC HASTINGS

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:08 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:That is a 6 point jump - no small, statistically insignificant leap. Based on the retake data, about 20% of people who retook with a 154 improved at least 6 points. Can't tell on its face about the improvement from 157 to 163, and I don't have the time to estimate (standard deviation is 4.3 for anybody who cares to figure it out), but it's intuitively unlikely to be better than the 154. Additionally, about a third of the 157 retakes either did the same or did worse. People criticized him for his thinking he's a special snowflake earlier on how well he'd do in law school. Why are people so quick to criticize that but not the snowflake syndrome evident in retaking the LSAT?

Additionally, a 4.0/163 can get you into the T14. Is he a URM? In-state (Michigan/Virginia)? Legacy? The evidence on LSN does not support him taking your "can" seriously.


While I agree with your point that it is no guarantee, I do think there are some differences between law school grades and the LSAT. As someone who does often say retake, I'll try and explain why:

1. I could be completely offbase on this one but I believe that there is a significant portion of people who don't put in enough time on the LSAT whereas most people don't tend to slack in law school. If it's true (and even if it isn't) it is worth taking into consideration whether OP could feasibly score better. With 1L grades you only get one shot but with the LSAT you get several meaning that if OP spent only a month studying for the LSAT or got 10 points below his/her PT average then the chances for improvement for the OP won't align with the LSAC statistics because OP is not the average retaker. I think that it is this ability to diagnose studying deficiencies that is why people often say to retake and I would honestly bet that the average LSAT taker has not even come close to studying in the best way possible for that person.

2. There is little to lose and a lot to gain by retaking. Admittedly this becomes less true at this point in the cycle because the decision to reapply must be made prior to receiving the 2nd LSAT score (earlier in the cycle someone can retake in October/December/February/June and decide whether to reapply or not once the new score is in hand so the risk of losing a year for nothing is nonexistent). However, if the person's study habits are definitely lacking or a severe choke on test day happened then the chance of scoring better is higher than it is for the average retaker and because there are 2 chances for a retake (Sept/Oct for the first one and Dec for the second one if need be) I feel like the chances of someone improving vastly outweigh possibility of having wasted a year and not improved the score. Ideally the question of whether to retake can be decided before a year needs to be gambled (i.e. with enough time to retake in June) but even in cases where that is not true there are still definite reasons to retake/reapply in spite of the lack of certainty.

If OP studied very well and legitimately maxed out on the LSAT then yes retaking isn't worthwhile but I feel confident in the belief that since the average person doesn't study hard enough or long enough for the LSAT that retake is quite often the best advice. As for finding a job to sustain oneself for the year, I personally feel like that's a red herring. I mean for schools like Hastings (or worse) you are often looking at a 2/3 chance or so at finding full time legal employment so if you are struggling to find a job now all you are doing is postponing that struggle for another 3 years.




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