application regrets

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the901

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application regrets

Postby the901 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:27 pm

Hey everyone, long time lurker, finally created an account.

I was essentially a t14 or bust person going into lsat studying and spent 7 months total doing LSAT work between taking the exam twice. My PTs had been in the high 160s to low/mid 170s but then they started to fall off and never got back up again. I applied to almost all the non t14 T30 schools and I have gone thoroughly through myLSN and such and feel confident with my applications and hope for something to start going my way. I have visited a few of the schools I applied to but I honestly did not really get a great feeling from any of them. I'm looking very close at BU/BC/Fordham(strongly disliked)/GW/ND because of their biglaw placement mainly (I have no real interest in any one particular region over another).

My major interest has always been more so towards securing a clerkship and my long term goal has always been to be a judge (I even got to intern with one during UG). Which is why when I think about achieving that goal its hard to picture it working out from any of these schools, the judge I worked with was an HYS grad, as was virtually every other judge at the courthouse except for one or two (and IIRC one was CCN).

Since none of these schools are great for clerkships am I looking at the situation of be top 5% or transfer to be able to accomplish this?


I have taken the lsat twice, the first time getting a 165 and the second time I did worse so I am not sure if retaking/reapplying really applies to me not only because I did worse/burned out but because there is a significant amount of family pressure to go straight through to law school. My UGPA is around a 3.6 but with a single semester that tanked my gpa from 3.8+ to what it is now (t20 UG). Money will fortunately not be an issue I need to address in this decision.

Thanks everyone for the input!

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Delano

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Re: application regrets

Postby Delano » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:15 pm

I understand it's frustrating to have to do this, but retake and reapply. Given your goals, it would be well worth it. Don't go to a school you feel meh about, and definitely don't count on being in the top 5% and transferring.

Also, perhaps you do and didn't say, but you probably ought to think about what you want to do with a law degree beyond clerkship and eventually judge.
Last edited by Delano on Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cogburn1984

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Re: application regrets

Postby Cogburn1984 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:15 pm

None of the schools you could get into are a good match for your goals. You also can't assume you'll be able to place in the top 5 % of your class and transfer. If you're serious about your stated goals, you need to retake.

I'm assuming you're K-JD. It's probably to your advantage to take some time between undergrad and law school. With your GPA and experience, you'll be able to find something you enjoy doing and pays the bills while you prepare for a June/September retake. I think if you explain to your family that this is what's necessary in order to meet your very high career goals, then they will be more understanding. It sounds like they're very supportive of you, tell them you don't want to squander that support by attending law school with an LSAT that is below your ability.

the901

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Re: application regrets

Postby the901 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:57 pm

Thank you both for your replies.

I think I'll add a little more for some clarity. I took a lot of PTs (I honestly do not know how many) but most every single PT from 2010 on up, and obviously the newer they were the worse I did (strong at games and RC, not so on LR for whatever reason) so essentially the newer tests play to my disadvantages and the older ones (when I was scoring 170+ from before 2010ish played more towards harder games with easier LR (at least imo, not sure this is shared in general).

I know that besides just becoming a judge, my goal was to clerk, and then work biglaw and settle down in the region where that takes me and move on from there. I would also be interested in like potentially lateraling to the boutique firms in the area if that were to become an option as well, again its not super specific but it doesn't have to be. I know some of the schools I was looking at have pretty decent (ie 40ish percent) placement into biglaw firms but their clerkship rates are abysmal, should I really try to work a relatively dead-end job for a year to hopefully improve like two or three points, even though I already went down after retaking once?

I am a K-JD and since law school has been something I have wanted to pursue for quite a while, I am not sure if they would be supportive of a year off, in fact I almost can guarantee they wont be, but that is beside the point.

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Re: application regrets

Postby kippercd » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:42 am

the901 wrote:Thank you both for your replies.

I think I'll add a little more for some clarity. I took a lot of PTs (I honestly do not know how many) but most every single PT from 2010 on up, and obviously the newer they were the worse I did (strong at games and RC, not so on LR for whatever reason) so essentially the newer tests play to my disadvantages and the older ones (when I was scoring 170+ from before 2010ish played more towards harder games with easier LR (at least imo, not sure this is shared in general).

I know that besides just becoming a judge, my goal was to clerk, and then work biglaw and settle down in the region where that takes me and move on from there. I would also be interested in like potentially lateraling to the boutique firms in the area if that were to become an option as well, again its not super specific but it doesn't have to be. I know some of the schools I was looking at have pretty decent (ie 40ish percent) placement into biglaw firms but their clerkship rates are abysmal, should I really try to work a relatively dead-end job for a year to hopefully improve like two or three points, even though I already went down after retaking once?

I am a K-JD and since law school has been something I have wanted to pursue for quite a while, I am not sure if they would be supportive of a year off, in fact I almost can guarantee they wont be, but that is beside the point.

What prep classes did you take for LSAT?
Last edited by kippercd on Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cogburn1984

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Re: application regrets

Postby Cogburn1984 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:20 am

the901 wrote:Thank you both for your replies.

I think I'll add a little more for some clarity. I took a lot of PTs (I honestly do not know how many) but most every single PT from 2010 on up, and obviously the newer they were the worse I did (strong at games and RC, not so on LR for whatever reason) so essentially the newer tests play to my disadvantages and the older ones (when I was scoring 170+ from before 2010ish played more towards harder games with easier LR (at least imo, not sure this is shared in general).

I know that besides just becoming a judge, my goal was to clerk, and then work biglaw and settle down in the region where that takes me and move on from there. I would also be interested in like potentially lateraling to the boutique firms in the area if that were to become an option as well, again its not super specific but it doesn't have to be. I know some of the schools I was looking at have pretty decent (ie 40ish percent) placement into biglaw firms but their clerkship rates are abysmal, should I really try to work a relatively dead-end job for a year to hopefully improve like two or three points, even though I already went down after retaking once?

I am a K-JD and since law school has been something I have wanted to pursue for quite a while, I am not sure if they would be supportive of a year off, in fact I almost can guarantee they wont be, but that is beside the point.


What was your split? Were you perfect on games? If not, those are easy points right there. Follow the 7Sage foolproof method and until June/September and you'll make some strides.

Browse the LSAT Prep forum on here and you'll find some great resources/guides specifically tailored for retakers. I can PM you with some ideas about how to improve on LR.

should I really try to work a relatively dead-end job for a year to hopefully improve like two or three points, even though I already went down after retaking once?


There is literally no harm in retaking since schools only care about your highest score. And yes, working a "dead-end" job will be worth it to squeeze out 2-3 more points. Every point you score equates to $$$$ in scholarships. Think of that as a bonus.

I am a K-JD and since law school has been something I have wanted to pursue for quite a while, I am not sure if they would be supportive of a year off, in fact I almost can guarantee they wont be, but that is beside the point.


Most people are entering law school with at least a few years of real work-experience, so you will be in the vast minority as a K-JD. 78% of Chicago's class of 2020 had work experience prior to enrolling in law school. Your parents are being extremely thick-headed. Do they have any idea about the reality of Law school, or are they just giving you advice based on having watched a few episodes of suits?

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Dr. Nefario

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Re: application regrets

Postby Dr. Nefario » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:31 am

Its going to be very hard to get a federal clerkship at any of those schools, we're talking maybe a 1-2% chance with Notre Dame being slightly higher. And trying to transfer by being in the top 5% at any of these schools means being in roughly the top 10 out of 200 students. If clerkship is your ultimate goal, then you need to retake and reapply.

On the other hand, if you choose to go to one of these schools, you really need to redefine your biglaw goals. Biglaw landing spots from those schools are all very different, and you should be going somewhere you can realistically claim ties.

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Re: application regrets

Postby mcmand » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:08 am

Are your parents paying for every dollar of tuition for law school or not?

If the answer is no, then you need to learn how to tell your parents that they no longer get to make life altering financial decisions for you anymore. This is your career you're trying to start. You know that you currently aren't going to get near your goals with your time-pressured plan. They can either understand that, or not, but it shouldn't change your decision to wait, work, and figure out a better study plan for the LSAT.

As an aside, taking a year or more off after undergrad to work is extremely beneficial for you. No matter how much you want law school (or think you want it), you will be better for it. If I had my druthers, it would be required.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: application regrets

Postby peege » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:10 pm

Whoa this literally sounds like me a month ago. I got a 166 in December, so I knew I was on the cusp of achieving what I wanted, but I was so burnt out on the LSAT I didn't think I'd be able to study for several more months. Plus, my parents were also very against taking time off, but luckily I work for some very successful attorneys, who encouraged me to do what was best for me and advised that I take a few years before jumping into law school. I had to sit down with my parents and tell them, and it sucked, but I showed them the data from MyLSN, showed them the scholarship I'd be sacrificing by applying this cycle, and assured them I'd make enough money over the next year or two to significantly reduce my law school debt. If you feel the tug to take time off and give yourself a good shot at the career you've always wanted, trust me, dealing with pressure from your parents will be so worth it in the end.

As far as retaking the LSAT, you should diversify your prep, try some other materials for a few months, and give yourself the time to strengthen your fundamentals without stressing out over PT scores. It was hard for me to choose between applying now and waiting, but I am so much happier now that I can breathe a little bit before law school and get my ambitions in order.

Edit: I also thought later LR was harder. After you take those sections, talk through every question out loud until it makes sense why the right answer is right and the wrong answers are wrong. I was -13 on LR in September and -7 on LR in December because of that approach.

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Re: application regrets

Postby the901 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:56 pm

Hey everyone,

Thanks again for the advice.

On the questions about prep, I read the bibles and did a course with Blueprint which I thought was pretty helpful. I also did -1 and -2 on the games in sept/dec respectfully so not a whole lot of points to squeeze out there. my RC scores could be better by maybe a point, I just struggle a lot with LR and spent months specifically on it, and I honestly think I've just developed bad habits in the section overall that I cannot break. I was not a specific subset of question, I would get -0 on questions 2-0-26 and miss four from 10-15, it was never the same question types or difficulty, it was just always missing stuff.

As for the parental pressure, the choice is have them pay for it (which is an amazing opportunity) and go next year, or be cut off and pay for it all on my own, with zero help. I'm in the position that I essentially have to go next year to make going to law school make sense for me. I know my 165 is good enough to get scholarships at some of the schools I applied to anyway, so the added point or two wont make a difference because I need realistically three or four to break t14.

For LR I would go through every question I got wrong on PTs and write out literal paragraphs about why I was wrong, it just never made any difference for me.

I'm a rough 3.5/165 /164 splitter.

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Re: application regrets

Postby mcmand » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:02 pm

That's frustrating. What is their rationale for forcing you to do it sooner than later? If they're paying for it, don't they want to get their money's worth? Not that a T1 non-t13 school isn't worth it necessarily (I went to one), but they seem irrationally hung up on how they want to burn 200k.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cogburn1984

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Re: application regrets

Postby Cogburn1984 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:06 pm

the901 wrote:On the questions about prep, I read the bibles and did a course with Blueprint which I thought was pretty helpful. I also did -1 and -2 on the games in sept/dec respectfully so not a whole lot of points to squeeze out there. my RC scores could be better by maybe a point, I just struggle a lot with LR and spent months specifically on it, and I honestly think I've just developed bad habits in the section overall that I cannot break. I was not a specific subset of question, I would get -0 on questions 2-0-26 and miss four from 10-15, it was never the same question types or difficulty, it was just always missing stuff.


Have you tried reading through the new fifth ed. of the Manhattan LR book, it's incredible.

Found here: https://www.amazon.com/LSAT-Logical-Reasoning-Strategy-Manhattan/dp/1506207340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516237037&sr=8-1&keywords=manhattan+logical+reasoning

the901 wrote:As for the parental pressure, the choice is have them pay for it (which is an amazing opportunity) and go next year, or be cut off and pay for it all on my own, with zero help. I'm in the position that I essentially have to go next year to make going to law school make sense for me. I know my 165 is good enough to get scholarships at some of the schools I applied to anyway, so the added point or two wont make a difference because I need realistically three or four to break t14.


There is absolutely no way they could be reasoned with? Have you spoken to them about your career goals and explained that the schools your currently well-positioned for would offer you statistically poor odds of ever reaching them? What exactly is their hang-up about you waiting a year or two before matriculating? If almost 3/4 of the top students in the country are working between undergrad and law school, doesn't that clue them in it's a good idea?

It's also getting really late for this cycle, which would almost certainly negatively impact your ability to get scholarships.

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Re: application regrets

Postby Mullens » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:35 pm

I highly doubt your parental situation is as black and white as you are describing it. If you presented your parents with the hard data of the differing outcomes from T13 vs other schools and the impact your law school and first job have on the rest of your career (and info on how few people at elite schools are KJD), would they not see the benefit of a retake?

I had to have that talk with my parents and it worked. And saved them like $150,000 in tuition payments. The odds are your parents just have no understanding of how the legal market and law school world currently function. My parents have many friends that are lawyers and the majority of their lawyer friends also have no idea (a) how much law school costs now and (b) the state of the entry-level job market. The days where you could go anywhere, work hard, and become a successful law firm partner are long over.

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blackmamba8

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Re: application regrets

Postby blackmamba8 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:47 pm

Show your parents law school transparency. My parents aren't funding my law school, but they were adamantly opposed to me taking a gap year. I showed them the hard data and eventually they changed their minds.

https://www.lawschooltransparency.com

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LiveJustly390

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Re: application regrets

Postby LiveJustly390 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:59 pm

the901 wrote:Hey everyone,

Thanks again for the advice.

On the questions about prep, I read the bibles and did a course with Blueprint which I thought was pretty helpful. I also did -1 and -2 on the games in sept/dec respectfully so not a whole lot of points to squeeze out there. my RC scores could be better by maybe a point, I just struggle a lot with LR and spent months specifically on it, and I honestly think I've just developed bad habits in the section overall that I cannot break. I was not a specific subset of question, I would get -0 on questions 2-0-26 and miss four from 10-15, it was never the same question types or difficulty, it was just always missing stuff.

As for the parental pressure, the choice is have them pay for it (which is an amazing opportunity) and go next year, or be cut off and pay for it all on my own, with zero help. I'm in the position that I essentially have to go next year to make going to law school make sense for me. I know my 165 is good enough to get scholarships at some of the schools I applied to anyway, so the added point or two wont make a difference because I need realistically three or four to break t14.

For LR I would go through every question I got wrong on PTs and write out literal paragraphs about why I was wrong, it just never made any difference for me.

I'm a rough 3.5/165 /164 splitter.


I’m a 3.96/166 splitter and I’ve made it into 3 t14s and waiting to hear back from another 3. BUT. I also took a two year gap year (in the middle of my second year) and I’m working as a paralegal in BigLaw. This plus my softs (mock trial, internship while studying abroad in UG, volunteering outside of work with some great orgs) I think is what pushed me over the edge to get into the T14s. It would probably be harder for you going as a KJD unless you’ve ton tons of internships. One of my friends is applying this cycle and is a KJD, she has essentially the same GPA as me with a 166, and she’s broken into T14 as well, but she has done mock trial, tons of interning, is working on a thesis, studied abroad, etc. So it kind of depends on what your resume is like. Did you apply to any T14s that you’re waiting to hear back from? Are you just concerned about scholarships? Sure it would be nice to get a huge scholarship but if your parents are paying the bill regardless... (which btw you are so LUCKY.) then I wouldn’t worry so much about that. Just break into the T14 and you’ll be fine.

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Re: application regrets

Postby mcmand » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:26 pm

LiveJustly390 wrote:This plus my softs (mock trial, internship while studying abroad in UG, volunteering outside of work with some great orgs) I think is what pushed me over the edge to get into the T14s.


No dude, it was your GPA. And your anecdote about your friend is not helpful unless you actually provide her numbers, and even then, it's still an anecdote.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LiveJustly390

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Re: application regrets

Postby LiveJustly390 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:52 pm

mcmand wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:This plus my softs (mock trial, internship while studying abroad in UG, volunteering outside of work with some great orgs) I think is what pushed me over the edge to get into the T14s.


No dude, it was your GPA. And your anecdote about your friend is not helpful unless you actually provide her numbers, and even then, it's still an anecdote.


I just always felt like GPA doesn’t matter as much as LSAT/matter much as long as you’re above a 3.5, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! And she’s a 3.9X with a 166. I know it’s an anecdote but I still don’t think it’s completely useless haha. But I get what you’re saying, mid-low numbers are hard to overcome.

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Re: application regrets

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:53 pm

LiveJustly390 wrote:
mcmand wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:This plus my softs (mock trial, internship while studying abroad in UG, volunteering outside of work with some great orgs) I think is what pushed me over the edge to get into the T14s.


No dude, it was your GPA. And your anecdote about your friend is not helpful unless you actually provide her numbers, and even then, it's still an anecdote.


I just always felt like GPA doesn’t matter as much as LSAT/matter much as long as you’re above a 3.5, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! And she’s a 3.9X with a 166. I know it’s an anecdote but I still don’t think it’s completely useless haha. But I get what you’re saying, mid-low numbers are hard to overcome.

GPA matters that much to schools which want to shore up their GPA medians, though.

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LiveJustly390

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Re: application regrets

Postby LiveJustly390 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:58 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:
mcmand wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:This plus my softs (mock trial, internship while studying abroad in UG, volunteering outside of work with some great orgs) I think is what pushed me over the edge to get into the T14s.


No dude, it was your GPA. And your anecdote about your friend is not helpful unless you actually provide her numbers, and even then, it's still an anecdote.


I just always felt like GPA doesn’t matter as much as LSAT/matter much as long as you’re above a 3.5, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! And she’s a 3.9X with a 166. I know it’s an anecdote but I still don’t think it’s completely useless haha. But I get what you’re saying, mid-low numbers are hard to overcome.

GPA matters that much to schools which want to shore up their GPA medians, though.


Even when it could bring down their LSAT median though? I'm a splitter which is why I felt like mine didn't matter as much, but again, feel free to correct me!

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: application regrets

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:00 pm

Your high GPA/lower LSAT will be counterbalanced by someone with a high LSAT and lower GPA.

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Re: application regrets

Postby 181plz » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:05 am

LiveJustly390 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:
mcmand wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:This plus my softs (mock trial, internship while studying abroad in UG, volunteering outside of work with some great orgs) I think is what pushed me over the edge to get into the T14s.


No dude, it was your GPA. And your anecdote about your friend is not helpful unless you actually provide her numbers, and even then, it's still an anecdote.


I just always felt like GPA doesn’t matter as much as LSAT/matter much as long as you’re above a 3.5, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! And she’s a 3.9X with a 166. I know it’s an anecdote but I still don’t think it’s completely useless haha. But I get what you’re saying, mid-low numbers are hard to overcome.

GPA matters that much to schools which want to shore up their GPA medians, though.


Even when it could bring down their LSAT median though? I'm a splitter which is why I felt like mine didn't matter as much, but again, feel free to correct me!


25% of students from NYU, penn, Michigan, Virginia, northwestern, Berkeley, and Cornell all have LSATs of 166 or lower. The vast majority of those candidates have high gpas. There’s a huge difference between a 3.9 and a 3.5

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LiveJustly390

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Re: application regrets

Postby LiveJustly390 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:17 am

181plz wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:
mcmand wrote:
LiveJustly390 wrote:This plus my softs (mock trial, internship while studying abroad in UG, volunteering outside of work with some great orgs) I think is what pushed me over the edge to get into the T14s.


No dude, it was your GPA. And your anecdote about your friend is not helpful unless you actually provide her numbers, and even then, it's still an anecdote.


I just always felt like GPA doesn’t matter as much as LSAT/matter much as long as you’re above a 3.5, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! And she’s a 3.9X with a 166. I know it’s an anecdote but I still don’t think it’s completely useless haha. But I get what you’re saying, mid-low numbers are hard to overcome.

GPA matters that much to schools which want to shore up their GPA medians, though.


Even when it could bring down their LSAT median though? I'm a splitter which is why I felt like mine didn't matter as much, but again, feel free to correct me!


25% of students from NYU, penn, Michigan, Virginia, northwestern, Berkeley, and Cornell all have LSATs of 166 or lower. The vast majority of those candidates have high gpas. There’s a huge difference between a 3.9 and a 3.5


got it! My bad y'all. Sorry for hijacking this thread D:

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Re: application regrets

Postby the901 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:24 pm

Thank you all again for the advice.

To try to get this back to the topic, yes my parents truly are that unwilling to compromise. I have shown them LST and they literally did not care, and continued to advocate for one of the schools who was worse across the board solely because they liked the idea of me being on the city it was located in more. They are not going to budge on this unfortunately, their words are (paraphrased) "the goal is you go to law school and get a job that way." They are they type to think that I will magically get a fed clerkship and biglaw gig solely because I want one, not realizing that isn't true for the schools I'm looking at now versus the ones I could apply to later.

Also, I have already sent out apps as of a month or so ago, and am waiting to hear back so its not like I'm sending them out tomorrow and still hoping for scholarships.

That is to say, I'm not going to stop trying to explain this to them, and I will probably apply to a lot of open legal positions and hope to get one and see where that takes me.

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Re: application regrets

Postby mcmand » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:36 pm

I can understand parents pressuring their kids into certain things, but their obstinacy here is rather extreme.

I guess keep moving forward. Once you get decisions in, you should make some very nice spreadsheets and visuals of how much money each school will cost and juxtapose employment outcomes with that. Highlight the clerkship data, too. Might as well make a go at convincing them once the prospect of opening their checkbook is a lot more real.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: application regrets

Postby albanach » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:51 pm

the901 wrote:That is to say, I'm not going to stop trying to explain this to them, and I will probably apply to a lot of open legal positions and hope to get one and see where that takes me.


Don't make a decision now that you may regret for the rest of your life. After you enroll, it's unlikely there will be an opportunity to ever go to another law school.



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