Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

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scootsy
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Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby scootsy » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:34 pm

I have really messed up this cycle.

To begin, I never considered attending law school until about a year ago when I decided to pursue it full bore and take the LSAT. Being relatively late into the game (only considering law school 8 or so months before I sent off my apps), there are a lot of things I never considered. For one, LSDAS GPA does calculate GPA the same way that my university does, and it is .6 lower than I originally thought.

I have been a terrible student, mostly because I've been lazy and immature and only recently started taking school seriously until recently. Law School is going to be difficult for me, but I know I can perform much better than my history shows.

That said, I'm not a good candidate. I thought I was 164/3.1, but I am actually 164/2.45 because of all the classes I've failed and retaken. I do have excellent softs, and my LSAT is above the median for all my reach schools, but after learning my LSAC GPA, those schools are most likely not a real possibility.

Additionally, due to scheduling that was outside of my control, I cannot take a necessary class to graduate until the fall and therefore submitted my applications a cycle too early.

So I have really bungled this cycle up. I've only applied to reach schools as it was, which was a naïve mistake, so it is likely that I will simply be rejected from all of them. If one does somehow accept me, how do I go about asking for a deferral for a year, since it is not a guarantee that a school this good would accept me during the next cycle?

And if a deferral isn't possible, which schools are my best option moving forwards considering cost and future opportunities?

For simplicity's sake, my reach schools previously were all in the low 40-range of the USNWR. My reach schools now are in the low 60-range. Are any school in that range worth paying sticker price for?Are state schools better value opportunity-wise in the long run (if I can obtain residency) than schools like American or Case Western? Should I aim for UConn or Nebraska over Cardozo and Chicago-Kent?




tl;dr: I'm financially concerned, so what schools in the USNWR 55-75 offer the best value in terms of what I pay now vs. what I can earn later?

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smaug_
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby smaug_ » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:37 pm

Just withdraw/don't attend. Retake if you think you want to go to law school. With those numbers, you're better off not attending. Your best option is to not go to law school.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:59 pm

smaug wrote:Just withdraw/don't attend. Retake if you think you want to go to law school. With those numbers, you're better off not attending. Your best option is to not go to law school.


Yeah, this.

And since your GPA is low, it might be best for you to get some work experience anyway before you apply, if you choose to do so.

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JCougar
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby JCougar » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:24 pm

If you can add just one or two points to your LSAT score, there's a bunch of Top 25 schools that might take you. Take another year, study more for the LSAT, boost your score to a 166-67, etc., and you'll be fine. Top LSAT scores are rare these days, and there's a lot of semi-decent choices that might bite and totally ignore your GPA if you add a point or two.

scootsy
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby scootsy » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:26 pm

I do have some good work experience. 2+ years in hedge funds, and management position in a non-profit. If I retake the LSAT in June or October, I know I am capable of scoring a 168-170. Between now and December, I could also increase my GPA by around .3. Would that give me a decent shot at a top 40 school with any money?
Last edited by scootsy on Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gooner91
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Gooner91 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:27 pm

I recommend you check LSN to see what type of LSAT score you would need, if you have not already. Maybe a retake will make you competitive at some decent schools.

Unfortunately, it may be a good option for you to reconsider law school.


Also look at regional schools where you have ties/want to work. The USNWR are not super relevant.
Law school transparency will give you the best idea of how much a school is worth to attend.

timbs4339
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:42 pm

Honestly, unless you can retake and boost your LSAT score, you just should not go to law school. It's unlikely to measurably increase your earning potential versus the debt you're taking on, most people who get jobs start out making between 40-60K. Even though you admittedly managed to eff up school, you still have good working opportunities. Don't blow that by making another bad education decision.

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haus
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby haus » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:06 pm

scootsy wrote:...I could also increase my GPA by around .3.

Do you not already have a degree?

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Nucky
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Nucky » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:30 pm

So many Debbie Downers on this thread. You don't need a 170/3.8 to make law school work for you in this climate. Not even the T-14 is out of reach with a solid retake, especially if he can still raise his GPA.

Withdraw your apps, retake the LSAT, raise your GPA as much as possible, and apply broadly next Fall. A wide net catches many fish and with your LSAT now I think you'd be fine and have several good choices with $$$. Increase your score and you'll be golden as long as your goal isn't HYSCCN.

High GPAs are a dime a dozen. LSAT scores are the sought after commodity. Just make sure to submit thoughtful applications to offset the GPA to an extent.

Good luck!

03152016
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby 03152016 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:07 am

How are you financing undergrad? How much does it cost to be a full-time student per semester?

Dem_Bimonese
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Dem_Bimonese » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:46 pm

How the hell did they drop you .6? Is that an outrageously large drop???? If not that means I could potentially go from a 3.4 to a 2.8?????!!!!!! What the hell. Does your school not do plus or minus grades?

scootsy
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby scootsy » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:40 pm

Dem_Bimonese wrote:How the hell did they drop you .6? Is that an outrageously large drop???? If not that means I could potentially go from a 3.4 to a 2.8?????!!!!!! What the hell. Does your school not do plus or minus grades?


My university replaces grades when you retake a class, which LSAC does not. Considering my extremely poor first two years, I retook around 6 or 7 classes, and though I got an A in most of them, each one averages out to a 2.0. And besides that, I've been a pretty consistent B student.

Nucky wrote:So many Debbie Downers on this thread. You don't need a 170/3.8 to make law school work for you in this climate. Not even the T-14 is out of reach with a solid retake, especially if he can still raise his GPA.

Withdraw your apps, retake the LSAT, raise your GPA as much as possible, and apply broadly next Fall. A wide net catches many fish and with your LSAT now I think you'd be fine and have several good choices with $$$. Increase your score and you'll be golden as long as your goal isn't HYSCCN.

High GPAs are a dime a dozen. LSAT scores are the sought after commodity. Just make sure to submit thoughtful applications to offset the GPA to an extent.

Good luck!


Thanks for the encouragement. I know my academic performance in the past foreshadows difficulties I will have in Law School, but I'm convinced this is what I want to do with my life. So I'll follow your advice and spend the next 8-10 months upping my LSAT score and getting a lot more A's.

haus wrote:
scootsy wrote:...I could also increase my GPA by around .3.

Do you not already have a degree?


I could have, had I stuck with my original major, but I switched course about a year ago.

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Clearly
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Clearly » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:51 pm

Nucky wrote:So many Debbie Downers on this thread. You don't need a 170/3.8 to make law school work for you in this climate. Not even the T-14 is out of reach with a solid retake, especially if he can still raise his GPA.

Withdraw your apps, retake the LSAT, raise your GPA as much as possible, and apply broadly next Fall. A wide net catches many fish and with your LSAT now I think you'd be fine and have several good choices with $$$. Increase your score and you'll be golden as long as your goal isn't HYSCCN.

High GPAs are a dime a dozen. LSAT scores are the sought after commodity. Just make sure to submit thoughtful applications to offset the GPA to an extent.

Good luck!

You're painting a way rosier picture than reality.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:51 pm

Nucky wrote:So many Debbie Downers on this thread. You don't need a 170/3.8 to make law school work for you in this climate. Not even the T-14 is out of reach with a solid retake, especially if he can still raise his GPA.

Withdraw your apps, retake the LSAT, raise your GPA as much as possible, and apply broadly next Fall. A wide net catches many fish and with your LSAT now I think you'd be fine and have several good choices with $$$. Increase your score and you'll be golden as long as your goal isn't HYSCCN.

High GPAs are a dime a dozen. LSAT scores are the sought after commodity. Just make sure to submit thoughtful applications to offset the GPA to an extent.

Good luck!

Edit: scooped
Sorry to rain on the parade, but reality completely disagrees with nucky's t14 claim:
Image

With w/e you could get nw, but that's years away. Idk the scholarship situations in your region by you could conceivably get 75k from wustl, mn, or the like. At this point you need to focus on the region you want to practice in and check those on mylsn

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Nucky
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Nucky » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:06 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
Nucky wrote:So many Debbie Downers on this thread. You don't need a 170/3.8 to make law school work for you in this climate. Not even the T-14 is out of reach with a solid retake, especially if he can still raise his GPA.

Withdraw your apps, retake the LSAT, raise your GPA as much as possible, and apply broadly next Fall. A wide net catches many fish and with your LSAT now I think you'd be fine and have several good choices with $$$. Increase your score and you'll be golden as long as your goal isn't HYSCCN.

High GPAs are a dime a dozen. LSAT scores are the sought after commodity. Just make sure to submit thoughtful applications to offset the GPA to an extent.

Good luck!

Edit: scooped
Sorry to rain on the parade, but reality completely disagrees with nucky's t14 claim:
Image

With w/e you could get nw, but that's years away. Idk the scholarship situations in your region by you could conceivably get 75k from wustl, mn, or the like. At this point you need to focus on the region you want to practice in and check those on mylsn


Reality does not disagree with my claim, and you just proved it. I never said he would have his pick of the t-14 with a high LSAT. In fact, I even mentioned HYSCCN were out of the picture, as are most of the rest. But yes, I said he could gain entry into the T-14 via semi-splitter friendly schools like NW, UVA, and G-Town... and he can. Not to further knock your RC, but he also mentioned that he does have over two years of W/E.

Of course, this only applies with a 170+ and not 168+, but hey, whatever arbitrary starting point helps your case. Not to mention that this year's cycle, and likely the next few cycles will all be far more applicant friendly than those in years past.

Either way, you do not need to go T-14 to have success, though it certainly is not out of the picture either. Especially with nearly a year to study for your retake.

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JCougar
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby JCougar » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:16 pm

Yeah, if he raises his LSAT just a few points, the OP has an outside shot at the bottom half of the T14, plus a very good shot at WUSTL, MN, Indiana, GW, and any of the other splitter-friendly schools ranked between 18 and 30.

Some of the advice on this thread is terrible.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:23 pm

This story doesn't add up.

Not yet graduated, but two years at a hedge fund?

His mentioning he can still raise his gpa doesn't mesh with his WE.

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patogordo
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:26 pm

A 168/2.5 is competitive for lower T14? Either some of you are smoking crack or applications really have gone off a cliff. I think you're really underestimating how much a sub-3 gpa hurts you..

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:26 pm

Make sure to get that GPA up as high as possible before you graduate. A 2.45 makes even Northwestern dicey with a 170+, but a 2.8 makes NU much more likely and starts to bring other T-14 schools into the picture.

Ultimately lower ranking schools probably won't ever make sense because they tend not to give the kind of scholarship needed to pull super-splitters away from the T-14.

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Nucky
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Nucky » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:32 pm

patogordo wrote:A 168/2.5 is competitive for lower T14? Either some of you are smoking crack or applications really have gone off a cliff. I think you're really underestimating how much a sub-3 gpa hurts you..


If I remember correctly NW had a 2.2/170 and a 2.3 171, or something similar last cycle... But then again, maybe I was just high on crack and imagined it. :roll:

Either way, what Tiago said...

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patogordo
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:34 pm

Man why the fuck didn't I wait two years. Here's some advice OP, take a few years off and then enjoy Harvard.

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Nucky
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby Nucky » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:41 pm

patogordo wrote:Man why the fuck didn't I wait two years. Here's some advice OP, take a few years off and then enjoy Harvard.


Shoulda, coulda, woulda! :wink:

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patogordo
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:45 pm

I had a 2.99 and my apps went straight in the trash, lol.

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patogordo
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:46 pm

A warning for OP, though, I don't think NW considers pre-degree work experience as highly, even full time.

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FKASunny
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Re: Made mistakes this cycle, how should I proceed?

Postby FKASunny » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:57 pm

patogordo wrote:A warning for OP, though, I don't think NW considers pre-degree work experience as highly, even full time.

I don't know anything about NW, but NU does not treat pre-UG work experience (or work experience during UG) the same as post-grad. (I'm not sure if their website still says it, but when I was applying, all of their promotional literature specifically stated that a large portion of the class had "post-graduate work experience.")

OP, if you haven't graduated yet, then do what you can do bring up your GPA now, study and kill the LSAT, and work for a year or two so you can earn some money. You might also make the good decision that law school isn't for you. Good W/E will help you at a lot of schools, not just NU, and there are plenty of examples of sub-3.0/170+ applicants who get into great schools with decent scholarships.




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