UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

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Mocsprey
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UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Mocsprey » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:00 pm

166/3.57
Current College Professor teaching Mathematics, Master's in Education with a 4.0, 4+ years teaching experience in underprivileged/inner-city schools

UF- awaiting scholarship offer (In-State)
UGA- awaiting scholarship offer (In-State equalization)
USC- awaiting scholarship
Ohio St.- Initial off of $16,000/yr
FIU- 100% tuition plus $5,000/yr grant (In-State)

Also been accepted to FAMU and Barry, but not considering.
FAMU-Full plus $$
Barry- Full plus $$$

I do have a secondary question. I'm anticipating responses telling me to retake. I was pleased with my score last June and always thought a lower retake could hurt me. Now I have missed the February LSAT. Would a lower retake score hurt me? And is June 2015 too late to get an amended offer for Fall 2015?

Thank you in advance for your replies and advice!

BigZuck
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:16 pm

No one can give you advice without info on career goals and where you want to work. You also need to wait and see how much each school will cost.

Lower retake score won't hurt you in the slightest. Schools you have already applied/been accepted will likely consider a June score for scholarship purposes, but obviously if you have missed application deadlines you probably can't apply to new schools and have them consider the June score.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby MarkfromWI » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:35 pm

BigZuck wrote:No one can give you advice without info on career goals and where you want to work. You also need to wait and see how much each school will cost.

Lower retake score won't hurt you in the slightest. Schools you have already applied/been accepted will likely consider a June score for scholarship purposes, but obviously if you have missed application deadlines you probably can't apply to new schools and have them consider the June score.


All of the above is spot on. You should be looking at pretty good scholarship money at UF as you're well above their LSAT 75th and at their GPA median. Just curious, did you not apply to FSU? Either way, if you're looking to stay in Florida, I would cross FIU off the list too.

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:37 pm

With your education background, you're a strong candidate for much higher ranked schools

Mocsprey
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Mocsprey » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:01 pm

I applied to FSU last summer, like two weeks before the Fall semester and received around 30k out of the 45k, which I think is pretty good for last minute offers. Wasn't going to apply that late but the admissions officer asked me too. Nothing against FSU, but Tallahassee is not an ideal city for me. Would perhaps be willing to transfer (should my experiences elsewhere not be good). I am open to many types of law employment. JAG is definitely on my radar. So is business law.

UPDATE: Within minutes of this post, USC came through with an initial offer of $25k/ year.

Rejected from Harvard, Cornell is pending. Also awarded 35k out of 45k per year at Emory for last fall, but did not get a good feel from my visit, plus I would have taken on a lot of debt and had about 7 days to make my decision so I passed.

Thanks again!

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baal hadad
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby baal hadad » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:03 pm

Why do u want to go to law school

Mocsprey
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Mocsprey » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:13 pm

baal hadad wrote:Why do u want to go to law school


I taught while trying to play professional baseball. Education right now is a dead-end job, not fulfilling, never my goal, just kind of fell into it. Now that baseball is over, I want a career. I love the law and want to learn more about it. Right now I am very interested in JAG, which IMO would serve as good experience in the field of law as well as allow me to serve my country. One day I would like to start a business and perhaps venture into politics. While I believe education is a dead-end job for me, I am very passionate about the state of public education in Florida and the US and would like to be involved in some capacity to advocate for educational reform. I believe a law degree can help me reach those goals.

Thank you for asking, baal hadad!

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romothesavior
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby romothesavior » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:47 pm

A couple thoughts...

If education reform is your jam, there are probably a lot better ways of getting involved than a law degree.

If you want Florida, go to a T14 or stay in Florida. Your school choices look like they were pulled from a hat.

Finally, no, a lower retake is unlikely to hurt. You sound like you are capable of a lot more with a good study plan. If you want to go to law school (and again, this may not be best for your goals), retake the LSAT, take a year off, and reapply.

Mocsprey
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Mocsprey » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:05 pm

romothesavior wrote:retake the LSAT, take a year off, and reapply.


I appreciate your input Romo. I am 28 and have been on this law school journey for over a year now. Knowing what I now know, I wish I had taken the LSAT one more time, but as it stands right now, I don't think I can push enrollment back another year. I already made the tough decision to start 15 instead of 14. I just don't think I could handle waiting 18 more months to start school with the hope of gaining 4 LSAT points.

My choices do seem random, but I guess that's because I'm not married to working in any particular region. I love Florida but I can be anywhere and be happy. I picked UF because it's perceived as the top school in state. UGA, USC and OSU all reached out with application waivers and prospects of scholarships. Their top 40 status attracted me and thus I decided to apply. Now I'm leaning towards UF, but any input I can get is greatly appreciated and will help factor into my decision.

Thanks again!

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:43 am

You are throwing away scholarship money and Ivy league schools by not retaking.

sflyr2016
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:00 am

given your numbers and experience, i do not see how you don't get into a t14. but even if you did, you might face paying sticker. i think you should retake. the gamble is going to a school that requires you to be in the top 10% to have good job options, not not doing as well on the lsat... take time off to study, retake and get yourself into a t14 at a reasonable price or UF for free. why rush into debt? at least plan this out in a way so as to minimize debt, increase job prospects, and set yourself up as best you can.

gregfootball2001
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby gregfootball2001 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:47 pm

Mocsprey wrote: I already made the tough decision to start 15 instead of 14. I just don't think I could handle waiting 18 more months to start school with the hope of gaining 4 LSAT points [extra scholarship money, which could equal hundreds of thousands of dollars down the line in loans I don't have to pay back/admittance to a school with better overall employment rates, which means that when my grades are median (which is what you should assume) I'll still get a good job, as opposed to no job at all].

Fixed that for ya. Go if you want, but don't think of it as waiting just to get LSAT points - it's what goes with those points that matter. I started law school at 33 after another career. Waiting won't kill you.

sflyr2016
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:26 pm

could not have said it any better than gregfootball. retake! this is coming from someone at UF. even with top 10% and LR, it was very hard to secure a summer job. I have friends with better stats that struck out. so even if you beat 90% of the class, it is still hit-or-miss. Unless you go to these schools for free, then I can't justify rushing into this at all. this holds true for every school you mentioned, unless USC significantly ups the money and you want to stay in Cal. no reason to rush this. seriously, none.

Nomo
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Nomo » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:36 am

I'm not sure that law school is the best option for your goals. If you said, I want to work in insurance defense or I want to do estate planning then that would be one thing, but "I love the law and want to learn more about it" ... What does that even mean?

It sounds like you want to go to law school because you're fairly smart, you don't like your current job, you enjoy reading articles about the supreme court in The Atlantic, and you're hoping that a J.D. will open up lots of interesting doors for you. That might have been a decent reason to go to law school in 1992. But in this age, that's a recipe for disaster.

What kind of law do you want to practice for the next several decades? Are you comfortable with the very real possibility (given the schools you're currently looking at) that you never make significantly more than you would have if you just got a master's degree in education?

(Also, even if law school is the correct path, you'd be crazy to go if you're leaving LSAT points on the table. There's no need to rush. Even if you start school at age 30 you're going to have at least 3 decades in the profession (probably 4 decades). One year isn't going to matter in the long run. I promise you that within your first 5 years of practice you'll wish you had taken an extra year off and done something interesting - like teaching English in a foreign country)

Mocsprey
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Mocsprey » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:00 pm

Thank you for all of this great feedback! I definitely have a lot to think about. I hate the prospect of waiting so much longer when I could have been preparing for a February retake. I guess I will make my final decision after all of the scholarship offers have been received.

Nomo wrote:I'm not sure that law school is the best option for your goals. If you said, I want to work in insurance defense or I want to do estate planning then that would be one thing, but "I love the law and want to learn more about it" ... What does that even mean?

It sounds like you want to go to law school because you're fairly smart, you don't like your current job, you enjoy reading articles about the supreme court in The Atlantic, and you're hoping that a J.D. will open up lots of interesting doors for you. That might have been a decent reason to go to law school in 1992. But in this age, that's a recipe for disaster.

What kind of law do you want to practice for the next several decades? Are you comfortable with the very real possibility (given the schools you're currently looking at) that you never make significantly more than you would have if you just got a master's degree in education?

(Also, even if law school is the correct path, you'd be crazy to go if you're leaving LSAT points on the table. There's no need to rush. Even if you start school at age 30 you're going to have at least 3 decades in the profession (probably 4 decades). One year isn't going to matter in the long run. I promise you that within your first 5 years of practice you'll wish you had taken an extra year off and done something interesting - like teaching English in a foreign country)


Nomo, you bring up some good points, and you have assessed my situation well. Might I ask where you go/went to school and what your plans/current situation is? You are right, having spent 4 years as a high school teacher in public school, I can tell you that it is a pain in the ass. I woke up everyday hoping to get in a car accident so I could miss work. I know that sounds awful but the reality was that my quality of life was on a sharp downward decline. As I go into law school, I don't know necessarily what area I would like to practice, but I know that once I find what area I want to pursue, I am going to be successful. I know you will all tell me how law school can feel miserable, but I know this will be different because there is actually a future to look forward too, even if it is for only slightly more money than I was making.

To those recommending a retake, how many times did you take the LSAT before you were satisfied? My biggest fear right now is holding off, retaking in June, and not improving. I spent 5 months studying last year. I studied more for that test than anything in my life. I think I could probably do a little better, and if I'm lucky, a lot better. But after 15 practice tests, the score I earned is pretty much right on the money of what I was to expect.

One last question: Assuming I don't put down a seat deposit and instead opt to retake in June, should I get the desired 170+, in your opinion, would these schools still be available this fall and would there be scholarship available?

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TetrisBlock
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby TetrisBlock » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:11 pm

Mocsprey wrote:To those recommending a retake, how many times did you take the LSAT before you were satisfied? My biggest fear right now is holding off, retaking in June, and not improving. I spent 5 months studying last year. I studied more for that test than anything in my life. I think I could probably do a little better, and if I'm lucky, a lot better. But after 15 practice tests, the score I earned is pretty much right on the money of what I was to expect.


You only took 15 practice tests? That's great for a retake because it means you can do the 5 other modern Preptests you missed plus the 3 from last year.

To answer your question, you should plan to take it three times, because that is the max amount of times you can take it (in like a 2 year period or something). Since you aren't penalized for lower scores it makes sense to pull the score lever on the lsat slot machine all three times and hope you win big. Expect to take it in June and, barring a super high score, again in September. Even if you only go up 2 points it would still make a huge difference for apps.

edit: also, plan on applying to all of the t14 next year. Try doing early decision for Northwestern since you have work experience and if accepted you get a $150,000 scholarship.

Nomo
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby Nomo » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:34 pm

I went to a lower T-14 with at a total cost of around 130k. Finished a little above median in my class. Currently work in state government. I'm not sure if that's relevant. But here's something that is relevant. Resumes from people in the top third or top quarter of their local law school are a dime a dozen. Connections and personality are going to matter a lot if you have good, but not great grades, from the schools you're looking at. I would go to the school where you're going to most easily develop connections (ideally a school in a state where you're already deeply connected to the community, where you know other lawyers - or at least know people who do).

I'm also here to tell you that law school shouldn't be miserable. Its the practice of law that's miserable for most people. Many lawyers (at all levels) who dread going to work, just like you. They would do anything to get out from under their debts so they could quit. I totally understand that you don't like your job and that you're looking for a better career. But I encourage you to think very carefully before embarking on a new career that requires 3 years of education and potentially a lot of money. You're a teacher, so you get summers off. Maybe you should see if a local lawyer will let you shadow him for 6 weeks this summer. Maybe you could do some proofreading, copying, etc.; and the lawyer could take the time to explain what she is doing and why. It could help you decide if this is a good path for you, and also help you make some connections.

I only took the LSAT once, but its worth noting that I scored higher on the real thing than I had scored on any of the 21 practice tests I took. I felt that no matter how much I studied, I was unlikely to beat my first score. I can't say for sure if I would have retaken if my score was a few points lower, but with the benefit of hindsight I feel pretty confident that anyone who thinks they have a chance at a higher score should try and get that higher score.

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baal hadad
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Re: UF v UGA v USC v Ohio St.

Postby baal hadad » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:51 pm

Mocsprey wrote:Thank you for all of this great feedback! I definitely have a lot to think about. I hate the prospect of waiting so much longer when I could have been preparing for a February retake. I guess I will make my final decision after all of the scholarship offers have been received.

Nomo wrote:I'm not sure that law school is the best option for your goals. If you said, I want to work in insurance defense or I want to do estate planning then that would be one thing, but "I love the law and want to learn more about it" ... What does that even mean?

It sounds like you want to go to law school because you're fairly smart, you don't like your current job, you enjoy reading articles about the supreme court in The Atlantic, and you're hoping that a J.D. will open up lots of interesting doors for you. That might have been a decent reason to go to law school in 1992. But in this age, that's a recipe for disaster.

What kind of law do you want to practice for the next several decades? Are you comfortable with the very real possibility (given the schools you're currently looking at) that you never make significantly more than you would have if you just got a master's degree in education?

(Also, even if law school is the correct path, you'd be crazy to go if you're leaving LSAT points on the table. There's no need to rush. Even if you start school at age 30 you're going to have at least 3 decades in the profession (probably 4 decades). One year isn't going to matter in the long run. I promise you that within your first 5 years of practice you'll wish you had taken an extra year off and done something interesting - like teaching English in a foreign country)


Nomo, you bring up some good points, and you have assessed my situation well. Might I ask where you go/went to school and what your plans/current situation is? You are right, having spent 4 years as a high school teacher in public school, I can tell you that it is a pain in the ass. I woke up everyday hoping to get in a car accident so I could miss work. I know that sounds awful but the reality was that my quality of life was on a sharp downward decline. As I go into law school, I don't know necessarily what area I would like to practice, but I know that once I find what area I want to pursue, I am going to be successful. I know you will all tell me how law school can feel miserable, but I know this will be different because there is actually a future to look forward too, even if it is for only slightly more money than I was making.

To those recommending a retake, how many times did you take the LSAT before you were satisfied? My biggest fear right now is holding off, retaking in June, and not improving. I spent 5 months studying last year. I studied more for that test than anything in my life. I think I could probably do a little better, and if I'm lucky, a lot better. But after 15 practice tests, the score I earned is pretty much right on the money of what I was to expect.

One last question: Assuming I don't put down a seat deposit and instead opt to retake in June, should I get the desired 170+, in your opinion, would these schools still be available this fall and would there be scholarship available?

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