Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

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KirenNullis
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Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby KirenNullis » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:08 am

Hi guys,

I'll try to keep this short.

I've always tried hard in school and usually did well. In high school, I got great grades but only did mediocre on the SAT's. This experienced repeated itself when I ended up getting a 3.9 GPA at my university, but only a 157 LSAT score.

Now, here is the thing- I was born and raised on a Native American reservation and am very proud of my ancestry. I never shied away from this when applying to schools.

I was accepted to a T14 school (which I have deferred for a year), but am unsure if I should attend or go to a lower ranked school.

Though I am overjoyed to have the opportunity, I fear I may be setting myself up for frustration and embarrassment in terms of academics.

I worry my LSAT score means I can, at my best, only do so-so and in an environment with so many talented classmates, I won't be able to compete.

I know I will be so embarrassed if I end up at the bottom of my class despite my best efforts. I hate feeling stupid...

So, my question is: given my LSAT score, should I be worried that I won't be able to compete with other students who have scored higher at this T14 school or is it possible for me with enough hard work to match them?

I hope this question doesn't offend anyone. I just don't want to put myself in a position that I'm going to regret in the future. Thank you.

cavalier1138
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:50 am

First and foremost, a deferral is usually binding. So if you're talking about applying to any other schools, it would have to be next cycle anyway.

The LSAT is somewhat correlated with law school performance, but it's not determinative. Having a lower LSAT than your future classmates does not set you up for academic failure. And the academics at T13 schools are not any more rigorous than at any other school. If anything, there tends to be less stress over grades due to the more relaxed curves. More importantly, your focus should be on professional outcomes, not your chances at outperforming your classmates. Below median at a T13 usually gets you better outcomes than median at a regional school.

That said, what are your career goals, where do you want to work, and are you looking at sticker price for your deferred school?

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nealric
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:09 am

T14 schools are often paradoxically less competitive than lower ranked schools. The curve is far less harsh and you won't get a rank like you would at the lower-tier school. If you are worried about competing, I'd go to the T14 in a heartbeat.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:24 am

You have a (slight) history of doing well in school but not doing as well on standardized tests. There’s no reason to think law school will be terribly different, is there? It’s true that law school grades are determined almost entirely by exams, but they’re quite different from the LSAT or other standardized tests.

Also, every year people with more ordinary LSAT scores go to law school, crush it grades-wise, transfer into the T14, and do fine once there.

So yes, there’s some correlation between LSAT scores and law school grades, but it’s fairly weak and shouldn’t convince you that you won’t be able to compete.

(This is aside from the argument that you can be much lower in your class at a T14 than at a more regional school and still have a good outcome, which I agree with except at the extreme margins. And how important your grades are depends on what you want to do with your degree, as well.)

mcmand
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby mcmand » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:46 pm

Don't sell yourself short. You can learn how to do well on a law school exam and how to prepare for it. Many people do, as Nony says.

The questions you should ask yourself are about career goals and finances and how the schools admitting you will help with both. T14, on balance, is probably likely to help you more with the career goals, but it's unclear based on the information you've provided whether it's a smart financial decision.

If you get to your T14 and panic, come back here and we'll happily dole out advice on different methods to attack class prep, case briefing, outline making, and so on.

This is feasible. You can do it. And if you ask for help, people will help.

Since you've deferred, use the time to prepare yourself. Read Getting to Maybe and other similar books and get yourself into a mindset for school.

SomewhatLearnedHand
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby SomewhatLearnedHand » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:03 pm

I would absolutely go t14. Cant remember which one, but a current wall street CEO said each time he got promoted to a new position it scared the shit out of him because he didn't think he could hack it. Same principle- don't let the fear of failure keep you out of the game, but embrace the challenge head on and work your ass off. We all have doubts and fears, but personally, I'd hate to look back and wonder what could've been.
Now all the sappy motivational talk aside, even median at a t14 can land some great jobs with a little hustle.

damask_rain
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby damask_rain » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:34 pm

KirenNullis wrote:Hi guys,

I'll try to keep this short.

I've always tried hard in school and usually did well. In high school, I got great grades but only did mediocre on the SAT's. This experienced repeated itself when I ended up getting a 3.9 GPA at my university, but only a 157 LSAT score.

Now, here is the thing- I was born and raised on a Native American reservation and am very proud of my ancestry. I never shied away from this when applying to schools.

I was accepted to a T14 school (which I have deferred for a year), but am unsure if I should attend or go to a lower ranked school.

Though I am overjoyed to have the opportunity, I fear I may be setting myself up for frustration and embarrassment in terms of academics.

I worry my LSAT score means I can, at my best, only do so-so and in an environment with so many talented classmates, I won't be able to compete.

I know I will be so embarrassed if I end up at the bottom of my class despite my best efforts. I hate feeling stupid...

So, my question is: given my LSAT score, should I be worried that I won't be able to compete with other students who have scored higher at this T14 school or is it possible for me with enough hard work to match them?

I hope this question doesn't offend anyone. I just don't want to put myself in a position that I'm going to regret in the future. Thank you.


Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. Haha Instead of thinking about the negatives, think about what you're going to do to avoid failure and how you're going to get right back up if you fall. Don't doubt yourself because the world is going to be full of people who will and you don't want to be on their side. I have a feeling you will do just fine if your GPA is at all indicative of your work ethic. :) Good luck!

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Rigo
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby Rigo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:23 pm

Don't doubt yourself for the reasons you stated, but going to a school (even a T13) at sticker isn't wise so strongly consider sitting out the cycle and retaking for a better financial future.

mcmand
Posts: 391
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby mcmand » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:57 pm

Rigo wrote:Don't doubt yourself for the reasons you stated, but going to a school (even a T13) at sticker isn't wise so strongly consider sitting out the cycle and retaking for a better financial future.


Is OP attending at sticker? I didn't see anything in the post.

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Rigo
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby Rigo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:10 pm

mcmand wrote:
Rigo wrote:Don't doubt yourself for the reasons you stated, but going to a school (even a T13) at sticker isn't wise so strongly consider sitting out the cycle and retaking for a better financial future.

Is OP attending at sticker? I didn't see anything in the post.

Made an inference with 157 + deferral that scholarship, if any, is either zero or nominal. But perhaps I'm wrong.

mcmand
Posts: 391
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby mcmand » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:50 pm

Rigo wrote:
mcmand wrote:
Rigo wrote:Don't doubt yourself for the reasons you stated, but going to a school (even a T13) at sticker isn't wise so strongly consider sitting out the cycle and retaking for a better financial future.

Is OP attending at sticker? I didn't see anything in the post.

Made an inference with 157 + deferral that scholarship, if any, is either zero or nominal. But perhaps I'm wrong.


You may be right but I hope not. A T13 school shouldn't increase minority matriculation just to saddle them with massive debt. That does not help diversity in the profession.

But I suppose they need to subsidize someone's full ride for their 180 LSAT on the back of someone else.

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notDINGBAT
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby notDINGBAT » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:24 pm

just go.

Kid with the lowest LSAT in my section got some of the highest grades, because he worked smarter and harder than everyone else. And even if you're dead last in your class, you'll still graduate with a degree from a top school.

SomewhatLearnedHand
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Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:44 pm

Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby SomewhatLearnedHand » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:29 pm

notDINGBAT wrote:just go.

Kid with the lowest LSAT in my section got some of the highest grades, because he worked smarter and harder than everyone else. And even if you're dead last in your class, you'll still graduate with a degree from a top school.


I agree that you should go the T13, and that LSAT is not entirely indicative of your future law school success, but please don't approach law school with the idea that you don't need to get good grades jut because you're at a T13. Even there, bottom of the class is not a good place to be for job prospects.

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notDINGBAT
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Re: Need Advice- Got Accepted to Top Schools, but don't think I can compete...

Postby notDINGBAT » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:32 pm

SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:
notDINGBAT wrote:just go.

Kid with the lowest LSAT in my section got some of the highest grades, because he worked smarter and harder than everyone else. And even if you're dead last in your class, you'll still graduate with a degree from a top school.


I agree that you should go the T13, and that LSAT is not entirely indicative of your future law school success, but please don't approach law school with the idea that you don't need to get good grades jut because you're at a T13. Even there, bottom of the class is not a good place to be for job prospects.

oh god no, I hope I wasn't implying that. Grades do matter, and bottom of the class is gonna suck. But bottom of the class at a T13 can still get a half-decent job with some hustle.
Doesn't apply to me anymore, but I'd rather have been last at a T13 than first at Cooley




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