Should I go or should I stay?

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whatsup2b
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Should I go or should I stay?

Postby whatsup2b » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:38 pm

I am having problems deciding whether to go to law school this year or not. I've been accepted to a handful of T20-30 schools (BU, BC, UW, etc). Currently, I am leaning towards BC because of its big law placement. I am also on the UCLA wait list.

Some info about myself:
1. Graduated with 3.7 GPA
2. 2 years of FT work experience (government and V20 firm)
3. Just turned 23
4. Strong softs

I've taken the LSAT 3 times already with my highest score being a 160 (canceled once). I've never been a good test taker (1820 on the SAT after taking it 3 times). The next time I will be able to take it will be the coming October.

So the question is, should I re-take and work another year or go to law school now? I see the benefits of a higher score but also the risks of a lower score, which could prevent me from getting into T20 schools. Thoughts appreciated.

K Rock
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby K Rock » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:42 pm

If you want biglaw you need to retake.

empyreanrrv
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby empyreanrrv » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:48 pm

If you didn't get any scholarships, those T20 schools you listed are not worth sticker. You should take another year off and retake. Even if you don't think you are a good test taker, the LSAT can be learned. Check out the LSAT section of this forum for guides and strategies.

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052220151
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby 052220151 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:53 pm

Wait a year and retake. In the mean time: work, save money, study, and drink beer.

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Icculus
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby Icculus » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:12 pm

whatsup2b wrote: see the benefits of a higher score but also the risks of a lower score, which could prevent me from getting into T20 schools.


There really is no risk in a retake. These schools all look at your highest LSAT, and with apps down, they are focussed even more on getting high LSAT scores. So really there is no downside to waiting, and another year of work will probably be helpful, especially if you can save some cash.

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romothesavior
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby romothesavior » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:33 pm

I'm assuming those are all at sticker? If so, I'd avoid.

What was your LSAT prep method? Did you take a class? I agree with everyone that you should probably retake, but it also sounds like its possible you can't do much better. If that's the case, I'd go to a reputable school in the area that you are from for cheap (think like a state flagship). Also, what are "strong softs?" Keep in mind that everyone thinks they have strong softs, but few do.

whatsup2b
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby whatsup2b » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:07 pm

romothesavior wrote:I'm assuming those are all at sticker? If so, I'd avoid.

What was your LSAT prep method? Did you take a class? I agree with everyone that you should probably retake, but it also sounds like its possible you can't do much better. If that's the case, I'd go to a reputable school in the area that you are from for cheap (think like a state flagship). Also, what are "strong softs?" Keep in mind that everyone thinks they have strong softs, but few do.


I prepped via Blueprint and PT's. I also used the logic bibles series. In short, I think I've done everything I could to prep for the LSAT. I'm not sure if prepping for a 4th retake will improve my score by much more.

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romothesavior
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby romothesavior » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:15 pm

whatsup2b wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I'm assuming those are all at sticker? If so, I'd avoid.

What was your LSAT prep method? Did you take a class? I agree with everyone that you should probably retake, but it also sounds like its possible you can't do much better. If that's the case, I'd go to a reputable school in the area that you are from for cheap (think like a state flagship). Also, what are "strong softs?" Keep in mind that everyone thinks they have strong softs, but few do.


I prepped via Blueprint and PT's. I also used the logic bibles series. In short, I think I've done everything I could to prep for the LSAT. I'm not sure if prepping for a 4th retake will improve my score by much more.

I'm a big supporter of the "retake" mantra, but I do think there are times when people scream it when they shouldn't. If you can't do much better, then you can't do much better.

That said, the fact that these are the best schools you can get into and you can't improve your LSAT score doesn't make these schools worth sticker. Where are you from? Where do you want to practice? You need to focus on minimizing debt at this point.

wfudeacons2005
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby wfudeacons2005 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:28 pm

I sympathize with your story because I hit a similar wall. I worked incredibly hard studying for the LSAT but just could not improve because they refused to grant me the extra-time accommodations that I had since 8th grade (and currently have in law school). Thus, if you really are committed to the idea of law school and are aware of all of the risks, I would completely second the idea of going to your flagship state University so long as it is a decent one (not UMass). BC and BU provide a small chance at big law considering the absurd amount of debt that you would be taking on. A decent flagship state school provides a lower risk, lower return opportunity, which in this market isn't necessarily a bad thing. That said, if you feel that you could have worked harder and believe you have another 5-7 points in you...by all means retake and go for the T14 or BC/BU with scholarships.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:54 pm

It sounds like you have been trying to juggle a full time job with LSAT prep. I was doing this for a time as well. I couldn't handle it, so I quit my job. I just couldn't keep going at that rate. I was miserable. If I do not get into certain schools, I am going to attend another type of graduate program regardless. One of the main reasons I felt secure quitting is due to my high undergrad GPA. Otherwise, I might have not done it. I found it impossible to study for the LSAT while working a demanding job. I don't know how so many people pull a 170+ while working 50 hours a week.

If you really want to be an attorney, I would quit your job and do full time LSAT prep. I would add Manhattan's books to your studying. They really and truly are worth reading. So many more questions on LR are clicking because of what they teach in their books. I would buy Manhattan's whole series of books: LR, RC and LG. The LG book is the least helpful but still worth it. Their LG book is hit or miss with a lot of people.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” --Steve Jobs

whatsup2b
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby whatsup2b » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:35 am

wfudeacons2005 wrote:I sympathize with your story because I hit a similar wall. I worked incredibly hard studying for the LSAT but just could not improve because they refused to grant me the extra-time accommodations that I had since 8th grade (and currently have in law school). Thus, if you really are committed to the idea of law school and are aware of all of the risks, I would completely second the idea of going to your flagship state University so long as it is a decent one (not UMass). BC and BU provide a small chance at big law considering the absurd amount of debt that you would be taking on. A decent flagship state school provides a lower risk, lower return opportunity, which in this market isn't necessarily a bad thing. That said, if you feel that you could have worked harder and believe you have another 5-7 points in you...by all means retake and go for the T14 or BC/BU with scholarships.


I see. Well I want to practice in Boston, Seattle or LA. I see the financial benefits of attending a flagship state university but I don't think it's worth the temporary savings on the long run. How are you doing now?

whatsup2b
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby whatsup2b » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:36 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:It sounds like you have been trying to juggle a full time job with LSAT prep. I was doing this for a time as well. I couldn't handle it, so I quit my job. I just couldn't keep going at that rate. I was miserable. If I do not get into certain schools, I am going to attend another type of graduate program regardless. One of the main reasons I felt secure quitting is due to my high undergrad GPA. Otherwise, I might have not done it. I found it impossible to study for the LSAT while working a demanding job. I don't know how so many people pull a 170+ while working 50 hours a week.

If you really want to be an attorney, I would quit your job and do full time LSAT prep. I would add Manhattan's books to your studying. They really and truly are worth reading. So many more questions on LR are clicking because of what they teach in their books. I would buy Manhattan's whole series of books: LR, RC and LG. The LG book is the least helpful but still worth it. Their LG book is hit or miss with a lot of people.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” --Steve Jobs


Thank you for your advice. I will consider taking some time off to prep for the LSAT (2-3 months). How did your plan work out for you?

peeonyou
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby peeonyou » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:23 am

UCLA at sticker isn't terrible if you want to be in LA. I actually think it wouldn't be a bad investment knowing the risk and making sure to work hard coming in. But with your #'s getting off the WL is really unlikely. But personally, if you did get in I'd go considering how many times you took the LSAT and the medians.

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eav1277
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby eav1277 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:32 am

I think it'd be too much of a risk at sticker (IMO). What is the consensus around the cost at which USC/UCLA become worth it?

peeonyou
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby peeonyou » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:34 am

eav1277 wrote:I think it'd be too much of a risk at sticker (IMO). When would most say UCLA/USC become worth it?

if OP's options were 35k a year or UCLA at sticker, I'd take UCLA. It's prestigious, is #1 in a major city, etc.

it's a risk no doubt, but i personally would pull the trigger just based on the profile OP described here.

peeonyou
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby peeonyou » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:35 am

i meant a 35k a year job.

Redfactor
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby Redfactor » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:43 am

whatsup2b wrote:I am having problems deciding whether to go to law school this year or not. I've been accepted to a handful of T20-30 schools (BU, BC, UW, etc). Currently, I am leaning towards BC because of its big law placement. I am also on the UCLA wait list.

Some info about myself:
1. Graduated with 3.7 GPA
2. 2 years of FT work experience (government and V20 firm)
3. Just turned 23
4. Strong softs

I've taken the LSAT 3 times already with my highest score being a 160 (canceled once). I've never been a good test taker (1820 on the SAT after taking it 3 times). The next time I will be able to take it will be the coming October.

So the question is, should I re-take and work another year or go to law school now? I see the benefits of a higher score but also the risks of a lower score, which could prevent me from getting into T20 schools. Thoughts appreciated.



I am not trying to be mean, but I think people are missing an important point. Law school is based on tests. If you have struggled with taking tests all your life, then your law school grades have a good chance to not accurately reflect your work ethic / knowledge.

What I am getting at is: you are going into a law school where you will be directly competing against other people who ARE good test takers. So if your law school prospects only place a limited number of students in big law, then maybe that should be a signifier to you somehow.

IMO that has no bearing in the quality of lawyer you can be, but it would make me extra cautious about going to a school and becoming so deep in debt that the 100k+ jobs are the only ones that you could live on comfortably.

You have a tough choice to make. But the good news is if you are in these schools, you should be in at lower ranked ones with money.

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eav1277
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby eav1277 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:50 am

Idk if everyone checked op s profile but he/she is a URM. Just another important factor why a retake would be so great. And ops profile also says he/she has a lsac gpa of 3.8.


Op I understand your situation. I am also a URm with a similar gpa and lsat. It seems like you are considering a retake. I think it's def worth a shot

peeonyou
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby peeonyou » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:54 am

eav1277 wrote:Idk if everyone checked op s profile but he/she is a URM. Just another important factor why a retake would be so great. And ops profile also says he/she has a lsac gpa of 3.8.


Op I understand your situation. I am also a URm with a similar gpa and lsat. It seems like you are considering a retake. I think it's def worth a shot

that changes it. retake.

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mephistopheles
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby mephistopheles » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:19 am

3.7/3.8 and a 164 (URM) = H.

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eav1277
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby eav1277 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:27 am

mephistopheles wrote:3.7/3.8 and a 164 (URM) = H.


Even with multiple retakes? I've heard that HYS often average/look down upon retakes? Or is this not as true as for URMs?

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:58 am

eav1277 wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:3.7/3.8 and a 164 (URM) = H.


Even with multiple retakes? I've heard that HYS often average/look down upon retakes? Or is this not as true as for URMs?


Its not AS true for URMs... URMs are looked at through a different lens than us regular folk. There are no stats on this, but it is safe to say that is correct, even with a retake or two.

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mephistopheles
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby mephistopheles » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:55 am

ManOfTheMinute wrote:
eav1277 wrote:
mephistopheles wrote:3.7/3.8 and a 164 (URM) = H.


Even with multiple retakes? I've heard that HYS often average/look down upon retakes? Or is this not as true as for URMs?


Its not AS true for URMs... URMs are looked at through a different lens than us regular folk. There are no stats on this, but it is safe to say that is correct, even with a retake or two.


this. just get your score up.

whatsup2b
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby whatsup2b » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:10 am

Sorry guys, I don't think I count as URM. I am an Asian American but have a severe disability since birth (lost one of the 5 senses due to birth defects). In light of this new info, should I still retake a 4th time? Will law schools look at my 4th retake in a negative light?

peeonyou
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Re: Should I go or should I stay?

Postby peeonyou » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:39 am

whatsup2b wrote:Sorry guys, I don't think I count as URM. I am an Asian American but have a severe disability since birth (lost one of the 5 senses due to birth defects). In light of this new info, should I still retake a 4th time? Will law schools look at my 4th retake in a negative light?

less special. 4th retake wouldn't matter.




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