Should I go to law school...?

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beforethelaw

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Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:44 pm

So I just got my lsat back and I'm pretty disappointed. I got a 159. I know I may get a lot of retake advice, but I feel like my max is probably only a couple of points higher, and it seems like waiting a year for a chance at a couple-point increase might not be worth it.
Last edited by beforethelaw on Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

somedeadman

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby somedeadman » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:51 pm

How long and how hard did you study for the 159?

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beforethelaw

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:03 pm

somedeadman wrote:How long and how hard did you study for the 159?


I had a month off work and just treated it as a 9-5 job. I had also studied the previous year a bit so I had some background. Done the 20 most recent PTs.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby somedeadman » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:07 pm

beforethelaw wrote:
somedeadman wrote:How long and how hard did you study for the 159?


I had a month off work and just treated it as a 9-5 job. I had also studied the previous year a bit so I had some background. Done the 20 most recent PTs.

DefInitely retake and reapply. It may not feel that way, but you can definitely improve a substantial amount. I started at 146, and ended at 169. Other posters on this board have had even larger increases.

Edit - actually, maybe not definitely retake. I'll let other people with more experience speak to that. But do know that you are capable of scoring higher if need be

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:10 pm

somedeadman wrote:
beforethelaw wrote:
somedeadman wrote:How long and how hard did you study for the 159?


I had a month off work and just treated it as a 9-5 job. I had also studied the previous year a bit so I had some background. Done the 20 most recent PTs.

DefInitely retake and reapply. It may not feel that way, but you can definitely improve a substantial amount. I started at 146, and ended at 169. Other posters on this board have had even larger increases.

Edit - actually, maybe not definitely retake. I'll let other people with more experience speak to that. But do know that you are capable of scoring higher if need be


Thanks for the advice. Still not sold on a retake but I appreciate the encouragement. Any advice on what to do if I only have old PTs available to me?

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby somedeadman » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:16 pm

beforethelaw wrote:
somedeadman wrote:
beforethelaw wrote:
somedeadman wrote:How long and how hard did you study for the 159?


I had a month off work and just treated it as a 9-5 job. I had also studied the previous year a bit so I had some background. Done the 20 most recent PTs.

DefInitely retake and reapply. It may not feel that way, but you can definitely improve a substantial amount. I started at 146, and ended at 169. Other posters on this board have had even larger increases.

Edit - actually, maybe not definitely retake. I'll let other people with more experience speak to that. But do know that you are capable of scoring higher if need be


Thanks for the advice. Still not sold on a retake but I appreciate the encouragement. Any advice on what to do if I only have old PTs available to me?


Old PTs are great learning tools (especially for games). And redoing tests is one of the best things you can do in your prep, so don't be scared to reuse the modern tests if you decide to retake

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby Rigo » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:30 pm

As your numbers stand now, I wouldn't.
You need to get a few more points for money at UNC or Wake at least. Their medians are both 161 with 75ths of 163 and 162 respectively, so you're not far off. Just a few more correct answers can get you $$$.

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beforethelaw

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:41 pm

Rigo wrote:As your numbers stand now, I wouldn't.
You need to get a few more points for money at UNC or Wake at least. Their medians are both 161 with 75ths of 163 and 162 respectively, so you're not far off. Just a few more correct answers can get you $$$.


Yeah. What do you think about South Carolina? I am above their 75th lsat and near 75th gpa. They are a decent regional school with non-horrific job numbers (65% full time, bar-required and 17% in public interest). Would I be nuts to go there if they give me close to a full scholly?

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:57 am

beforethelaw wrote:
Rigo wrote:As your numbers stand now, I wouldn't.
You need to get a few more points for money at UNC or Wake at least. Their medians are both 161 with 75ths of 163 and 162 respectively, so you're not far off. Just a few more correct answers can get you $$$.


Yeah. What do you think about South Carolina? I am above their 75th lsat and near 75th gpa. They are a decent regional school with non-horrific job numbers (65% full time, bar-required and 17% in public interest). Would I be nuts to go there if they give me close to a full scholly?


From what I've heard, SC is a bit stingy with scholarship money. Plus, you said you'd ideally like to land in NC. Probably worth a retake and aiming for one of the better NC schools. If you can get a strong scholarship to a better NC school, it would be perfect for your goals.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:21 am

lawman84 wrote:
beforethelaw wrote:
Rigo wrote:As your numbers stand now, I wouldn't.
You need to get a few more points for money at UNC or Wake at least. Their medians are both 161 with 75ths of 163 and 162 respectively, so you're not far off. Just a few more correct answers can get you $$$.


Yeah. What do you think about South Carolina? I am above their 75th lsat and near 75th gpa. They are a decent regional school with non-horrific job numbers (65% full time, bar-required and 17% in public interest). Would I be nuts to go there if they give me close to a full scholly?


From what I've heard, SC is a bit stingy with scholarship money. Plus, you said you'd ideally like to land in NC. Probably worth a retake and aiming for one of the better NC schools. If you can get a strong scholarship to a better NC school, it would be perfect for your goals.


.
Last edited by beforethelaw on Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:40 am

Re: LRAPs - honestly the only schools that have decent ones are T14s, where you're not getting in with your current numbers. You would be looking at getting on an income-based loan repayment plan through the feds, and hoping that PSLF isn't killed before you can qualify.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby TripleM » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:24 pm

Not to be jerk, but there's no one here trying to "sell" you on a retake. Right now, your numbers are borderline for your goals. They're informing you that with higher numbers you'd have a much better chance at achieving your goals. Ultimately, the answer to the question "retake?" isn't an objective one. In fact, there isn't any meaningful answer to that question because it's the wrong question. The right question would be, "How bad do I want this?".

That's the question you need to spend some time with (and no one here can answer), IMO. Going forward is a gamble... It's possible (though unlikely) that you could spend a year studying and not see any improvement and you would have "wasted" a year. How important is this goal to you? Is it worth that gamble? Some people look at the lottery, understand the possibility of failure, and still decide that the potential payoff is so great that they buy the ticket. I look at the situation and say, "Nah, just not worth the gamble."

You could, on the other hand, get three or four more questions right in which case you're looking at scholly money to decent regional and you can pursue you goal without the weight of massive debt and a little-respected degree. If you're deeply passionate about this goal, that's a pretty amazing payout.

If the answer is, "yes, this is who I see myself being and it's really important to me" then the answer to your original question is retake, de facto. It's not something that anyone will be able to sell you on. The people who are suggesting it aren't selling it, they're interpreting a map and telling you what seems, to them, to be the best route in between your current location and your intended destination. When you debate a retake you're having the wrong debate. You're questioning the route when you should be questioning the destination. If you know what the destination is, and you've got numerous people you trust pointing you to the same route, then it's not too hard to choose your next steps.

If you're passionate about being a PD, then you'll retake, on your own, no sales job. If it's not that important (and that's a completely honorable and acceptable option) then you'll start figuring out what's next. These are both completely acceptable decisions.

A couple of random closing questions...
1) What makes you so confident you won't improve? I'm not challenging you on the point, I'm just wondering what you're basing it on... Many folks with similar scores have studied and seen improvements. The time you've spent studying so far is peanuts on the broader LSAT study scale. You seem to be leaving a lot on the table.

2) Are you so sure you want this bad enough to do law school? I've got NO personal experience, but everyone I've spoken to agrees that the LSAT was nothing compared to 1L. If you're not passionate enough about this to spend a few moths plugging away at the LSAT, are you passionate enough to spend even more time on boring classes (that don't relate to criminal law) like Torts and Contract law? The honest answer might be no, which is fine.

3) What about studying for less than a year and taking, say, the June or September LSAT and then applying early next cycle?

Good luck, and kick ass whatever path you chose.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:24 am

TripleM wrote:Not to be jerk, but there's no one here trying to "sell" you on a retake. Right now, your numbers are borderline for your goals. They're informing you that with higher numbers you'd have a much better chance at achieving your goals. Ultimately, the answer to the question "retake?" isn't an objective one. In fact, there isn't any meaningful answer to that question because it's the wrong question. The right question would be, "How bad do I want this?".

That's the question you need to spend some time with (and no one here can answer), IMO. Going forward is a gamble... It's possible (though unlikely) that you could spend a year studying and not see any improvement and you would have "wasted" a year. How important is this goal to you? Is it worth that gamble? Some people look at the lottery, understand the possibility of failure, and still decide that the potential payoff is so great that they buy the ticket. I look at the situation and say, "Nah, just not worth the gamble."

You could, on the other hand, get three or four more questions right in which case you're looking at scholly money to decent regional and you can pursue you goal without the weight of massive debt and a little-respected degree. If you're deeply passionate about this goal, that's a pretty amazing payout.

If the answer is, "yes, this is who I see myself being and it's really important to me" then the answer to your original question is retake, de facto. It's not something that anyone will be able to sell you on. The people who are suggesting it aren't selling it, they're interpreting a map and telling you what seems, to them, to be the best route in between your current location and your intended destination. When you debate a retake you're having the wrong debate. You're questioning the route when you should be questioning the destination. If you know what the destination is, and you've got numerous people you trust pointing you to the same route, then it's not too hard to choose your next steps.

If you're passionate about being a PD, then you'll retake, on your own, no sales job. If it's not that important (and that's a completely honorable and acceptable option) then you'll start figuring out what's next. These are both completely acceptable decisions.

A couple of random closing questions...
1) What makes you so confident you won't improve? I'm not challenging you on the point, I'm just wondering what you're basing it on... Many folks with similar scores have studied and seen improvements. The time you've spent studying so far is peanuts on the broader LSAT study scale. You seem to be leaving a lot on the table.

2) Are you so sure you want this bad enough to do law school? I've got NO personal experience, but everyone I've spoken to agrees that the LSAT was nothing compared to 1L. If you're not passionate enough about this to spend a few moths plugging away at the LSAT, are you passionate enough to spend even more time on boring classes (that don't relate to criminal law) like Torts and Contract law? The honest answer might be no, which is fine.

3) What about studying for less than a year and taking, say, the June or September LSAT and then applying early next cycle?

Good luck, and kick ass whatever path you chose.


Hi. Nothing about your post made you sound like a jerk except for the phrase, "Not to be a jerk, but..." :)

I am passionate about PD-work, for sure. Actually, you know, the thought of waiting another year without spending each day working full time toward that goal gives me pause as much as my concern that I will not see a substantial increase in score does.

On that question of why... I guess because I poured a ton of time and effort into this over 2 takes (didnt mention the first, which was a total bomb... cancelled score), and haven't seen significant gains in anything other than LG. I always hover around -5 for each the other sections. And claims that increases are sure things given continued labor past the amount I've already given are anecdotal the same way that stories of going to a TTT school and getting rich are. (Obv the latter is more suspect, and there is actual evidence to the contrary... But still, stories of increases remain stories). And unless I'm confident in a significant increase, retaking seems risky.

Look, if I get absolute shit in offers, I will retake. But for now I'm holding out for UNC acceptance, which would be manageable with in-state tuition. Failing that, I'd think about S Carolina, Richmond, W&L, or GSU if they can keep my debt under 150k. I sent out a lot of apps so if a couple schools take a flier on me, I have leverage. I would be very happy in ATL or Charleston, and could still get into NC market. Softs are near perfect short of being a startup millionaire, even if they won't account for much of a boost from adcomms.

Edit- thinking abt this more and 150 is def still super high. 100 seems like a more appropriate max.
Last edited by beforethelaw on Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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beforethelaw

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:38 am

Rigo wrote:As your numbers stand now, I wouldn't.
You need to get a few more points for money at UNC or Wake at least. Their medians are both 161 with 75ths of 163 and 162 respectively, so you're not far off. Just a few more correct answers can get you $$$.


Link to more lrap info? And any non t14s at all with solid lrap?

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby 20170322 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:20 am

Suggestion:

Why not take a year or two to work as a paralegal or investigator for a PD's office? You can see if you like the work and make money while doing it. Then, study for the LSAT while working, retake, get $$$ at UNC (which you're only a few points away from) and be a PD.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby beforethelaw » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:37 am

SweetTort wrote:Suggestion:

Why not take a year or two to work as a paralegal or investigator for a PD's office? You can see if you like the work and make money while doing it. Then, study for the LSAT while working, retake, get $$$ at UNC (which you're only a few points away from) and be a PD.


That is an awesome idea, don't know why I haven't thought more seriously about this. Thanks!

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby TripleM » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:36 pm

This really seems like a great idea. I get your concern over the LSAT and while I'm interested in a different area of the law I'm in a similar situation. I took in December and again in February and got the EXACT same score. I really want to pursue this area of the law, but not at ANY cost. I'm waiting for word back from a bunch of schools. Barring any surprises, I'll be using my third take in June and re-applying in the fall in hopes of a better score or better timing in the cycle. If nothing pans out, then I'll start thinking about what's next in life.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:49 pm

A month....? I think there are people here that treat it as 9-5 jobs (or even 5-12 jobs after their dayjobs) for like 6 months to a year to get the results they want...

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby elendinel » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:10 pm

SweetTort wrote:Suggestion:

Why not take a year or two to work as a paralegal or investigator for a PD's office? You can see if you like the work and make money while doing it. Then, study for the LSAT while working, retake, get $$$ at UNC (which you're only a few points away from) and be a PD.


The PD office may even help you pay for law school in the area (PT, but it may be worth being PT to get this kind of deal).

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zot1

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:12 pm

Yes because law school is awesome.

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Ferrisjso

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby Ferrisjso » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:18 pm

You're in a good position don't listen to the retake warrors they are so freaking out of touch it's hilarious. You beat over 3/4's of active test takers you should have options and good ones. In a similar situation(156,3.51, soft URM) and the 100k-150k(for schools I really want) ceiling is about the same logic I've been using

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby waldorf » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:26 pm

Ferrisjso wrote:You're in a good position don't listen to the retake warrors they are so freaking out of touch it's hilarious. You beat over 3/4's of active test takers you should have options and good ones. In a similar situation(156,3.51, soft URM) and the 100k-150k(for schools I really want) ceiling is about the same logic I've been using


Please stop.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby 20170322 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:47 pm

Ferrisjso wrote:You're in a good position don't listen to the retake warrors they are so freaking out of touch it's hilarious. You beat over 3/4's of active test takers you should have options and good ones. In a similar situation(156,3.51, soft URM) and the 100k-150k(for schools I really want) ceiling is about the same logic I've been using


Not everyone is content with their low score. Stop trying f to ruin their lives just because you're too lazy to retake.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:48 pm

Ferrisjso wrote:You're in a good position don't listen to the retake warrors they are so freaking out of touch it's hilarious. You beat over 3/4's of active test takers you should have options and good ones. In a similar situation(156,3.51, soft URM) and the 100k-150k(for schools I really want) ceiling is about the same logic I've been using


I cringe even before I read your posts now.

Just because you're using a delusional sense of logic doesn't mean that it's the right logic.

OP: I retook (even though I really didn't want to) and reapplied this cycle and made around $60k at the school I really wanted to go to. I wasn't even accepted last cycle. I only improved a couple of points. It's worth it.

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Re: Should I go to law school...?

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:53 pm

Ferrisjso wrote:You're in a good position don't listen to the retake warrors they are so freaking out of touch it's hilarious. You beat over 3/4's of active test takers you should have options and good ones. In a similar situation(156,3.51, soft URM) and the 100k-150k(for schools I really want) ceiling is about the same logic I've been using


That's not the logic you want to use though. Alright, I've been forced to be useful or something like that.

If OP wants to be a PD and that's all they want in life, then yeah, he or she should go to law school because it's rather hard to become a PD without becoming a JD.

If OP doesn't care about having a life consumed by debt, then he or she could try to go now. Otherwise, I strongly advise retaking. If OP can't wait for actually real reasons, then OP could jump and hope for he best.

OP should not rely on lrap. We don't really know what the state of the program is gonna be when op graduates. But more important, if op can't get a public interest job and that's a requirement for lrap, then that's gonna suck. Not worth the risk, in my opinion.

But more importantly OP, you could apply and see what happens. But you should really weigh your option carefully. Just because you could walk into the middle of the road as cars are driving by, it doesn't mean you should.

People, myself included at the time, don't understand well the debt commitment that comes from law school when they're applying. This makes sense because we are mostly young and have never had to manage that amount of debt. It's exhausting and stressful and it's further made worse when you think any day now the government will do something to make everything a big mess.

That being said, if this is your dream, make it happen. Just understand that this will impact your life for decades to come, not just three years.



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