Mexican URM asking for advice

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
cyten7
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:54 pm

Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby cyten7 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:10 pm

Hey guys,
You seem like a very bright and informed bunch, so this is the perfect place to ask.

I am graduating from a Top 25 University this coming June and am planning on taking the June 2011 LSAT. I have been taking a prep-course and have consistently practice tested in the mid-high 160's, breaking into the 170s twice.

However, I have a dismally low GPA - 3.1.

Though this is not a valid excuse, I must truthfully say that I have put all of my effort and energy into my Music Degree, ie outside of the classroom. Because of this determination, I won several music scholarships, concerto competitions, and even a few national prizes! But alas, in the past year I have realized that music is not what I want to be doing forever, and that a career in Law seems like a very good fit for me.

I know that a 3.1 will not get me very far, but I have been testing well on the LSATs, and I have only been studying for a month so far..

So here's the question.. Where should I apply this coming cycle? What should I do in the time remaining? Would I even be able to break into a T1? You guys seem so familiar with the process, and I could really use your expertise. Maybe I'm just freaking out and need to get a grip :-)

Thank you all for your time and God bless!

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby thecynic69 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:33 pm

The short answer is T1 is possible, and in fact, low T14 is possible (though not likely) with a sufficiently high LSAT score (upper 170s). Study hard and do as well as you can on the June test--I suggest the Pithy Pike system, but do whatever works for you (just make sure to take as many of the released practice tests as possible).

Also, when it comes time to apply, do not write your personal statement on your grades. Don't write it on music either, unless there is something about music, your study of music, etc. that motivates you to study law; it is especially important for a person in your situation (someone who has switched tracks late in the game) to convince the adcom that law is the thing for you, so make sure you sell this point well. Do write an addendum explaining your grades, but keep it short ("While I realize the following explanation will not excuse my poor grades, I feel it is relevant to this admission committees decision process to know that (insert explanation about spending time studying music out of class and ignoring schoolwork)")--a couple paragraphs max.

Also, for reach applicants like yourself, I suggest crafting a good diversity statement. I skipped the diversity statement since I felt I was a strong applicant and was more likely to rub the adcom the wrong way by discussing diversity (basically, the more i said, the worse, since I could only hurt myself). I'd suggest the opposite strat for you--write a good diversity statement and hope the adcom loves it.

I'm sure there are some other points people will elaborate on, but hopefully this will get you started. All the best.

FiveSermon
Posts: 1507
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:56 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:35 pm

thecynic69 wrote:The short answer is T1 is possible, and in fact, low T14 is possible (though not likely) with a sufficiently high LSAT score (upper 170s). Study hard and do as well as you can on the June test--I suggest the Pithy Pike system, but do whatever works for you (just make sure to take as many of the released practice tests as possible).

Also, when it comes time to apply, do not write your personal statement on your grades. Don't write it on music either, unless there is something about music, your study of music, etc. that motivates you to study law; it is especially important for a person in your situation (someone who has switched tracks late in the game) to convince the adcom that law is the thing for you, so make sure you sell this point well. Do write an addendum explaining your grades, but keep it short ("While I realize the following explanation will not excuse my poor grades, I feel it is relevant to this admission committees decision process to know that (insert explanation about spending time studying music out of class and ignoring schoolwork)")--a couple paragraphs max.

Also, for reach applicants like yourself, I suggest crafting a good diversity statement. I skipped the diversity statement since I felt I was a strong applicant and was more likely to rub the adcom the wrong way by discussing diversity (basically, the more i said, the worse, since I could only hurt myself). I'd suggest the opposite strat for you--write a good diversity statement and hope the adcom loves it.

I'm sure there are some other points people will elaborate on, but hopefully this will get you started. All the best.


What. No.

If you do score in the high 160s or low 170s, you have a shot at most T14 schools.

User avatar
Pleasye
Posts: 7970
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:22 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby Pleasye » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:37 pm

thecynic69 wrote:The short answer is T1 is possible, and in fact, low T14 is possible (though not likely) with a sufficiently high LSAT score (upper 170s). Study hard and do as well as you can on the June test--I suggest the Pithy Pike system, but do whatever works for you (just make sure to take as many of the released practice tests as possible).

You must have missed the "Mexican URM" part of the title. The OP has a great shot at T1 and a decent shot at the T14 if he/she does get a score in the 170's.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:40 pm

High 160s = T25.

170+ = T14.

cyten7
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:54 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby cyten7 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:39 pm

Wow, thanks for the responses everyone

You think that I could possibly break the T14?! That's just unreal. I was hoping that with a lucky break (low 170's) I could possibly get into Boston University... Your advice definitely makes this dream seem more attainable!

FiveSermon
Posts: 1507
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:56 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:43 pm

cyten7 wrote:Wow, thanks for the responses everyone

You think that I could possibly break the T14?! That's just unreal. I was hoping that with a lucky break (low 170's) I could possibly get into Boston University... Your advice definitely makes this dream seem more attainable!


If you score in the low 170s you are pretty much a lock for a lot of T14s.

cyten7
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:54 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby cyten7 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:38 pm

One last question guys:

I've seen a trend on the forum that people don't perform as well on the LSAT as they do on the practice tests..

So suppose that I test a 165, would I still have a chance at the Top 50? How about a 167-168?

FiveSermon
Posts: 1507
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:56 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:50 pm

cyten7 wrote:One last question guys:

I've seen a trend on the forum that people don't perform as well on the LSAT as they do on the practice tests..

So suppose that I test a 165, would I still have a chance at the Top 50? How about a 167-168?


Yes there is no way you are getting locked out of Top 50 as a mexican with a 3.1 and a 165 unless you forget to check URM box.

User avatar
aspire2more
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:23 am

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby aspire2more » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:16 pm

vanwinkle wrote:High 160s = T25.

170+ = T14.


TITCR

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:23 pm

cyten7 wrote:One last question guys:

I've seen a trend on the forum that people don't perform as well on the LSAT as they do on the practice tests..

So suppose that I test a 165, would I still have a chance at the Top 50? How about a 167-168?

I'm going to PM you, but short version:

Aim midwest, north, and east, and you'll get $$ from Top 25 with 166+.

inanewyorkminute
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:35 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby inanewyorkminute » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:47 pm

I am also Hispanic. I have a 4.0 GPA but my LSAT was 142. The Admissions folks in the 20 law schools that I applied to basically ignored my GPA. They told me that although they recognized it was a high GPA, it was not a true indicator of how I would do in law school since it was spread over 4 years. I was stunned that they put so much stock in a test that only last 4 hours and has nothing to do with practicing law. Anyway, 19 turned me down (even the bottom tier Kansas State).

My suggestion to you is practice and practice the LSAT and don't worry about your 3.00 GPA.

Minority/Ethnicity means nothing to a private school.

User avatar
Pleasye
Posts: 7970
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:22 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby Pleasye » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:53 pm

inanewyorkminute wrote:I am also Hispanic. I have a 4.0 GPA but my LSAT was 142. The Admissions folks in the 20 law schools that I applied to basically ignored my GPA. They told me that although they recognized it was a high GPA, it was not a true indicator of how I would do in law school since it was spread over 4 years. I was stunned that they put so much stock in a test that only last 4 hours and has nothing to do with practicing law. Anyway, 19 turned me down (even the bottom tier Kansas State).

My suggestion to you is practice and practice the LSAT and don't worry about your 3.00 GPA.

Minority/Ethnicity means nothing to a private school.

Ohhh man....

There are so many things wrong in this post, but I'm going to gather my thoughts before posting.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:55 pm

Pleasye wrote:Ohhh man....

There are so many things wrong in this post, but I'm going to gather my thoughts before posting.

This is pretty much what I was just thinking.

User avatar
Pleasye
Posts: 7970
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:22 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby Pleasye » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:58 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Pleasye wrote:Ohhh man....

There are so many things wrong in this post, but I'm going to gather my thoughts before posting.

This is pretty much what I was just thinking.

I was hoping you would take over. I'm sure you could make a wall of text out of that one...your posts in this thread have been uncharacteristically short :lol: .

User avatar
20121109
Posts: 2149
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:19 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby 20121109 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:02 am

inanewyorkminute wrote:I am also Hispanic. I have a 4.0 GPA but my LSAT was 142. The Admissions folks in the 20 law schools that I applied to basically ignored my GPA. They told me that although they recognized it was a high GPA, it was not a true indicator of how I would do in law school since it was spread over 4 years. I was stunned that they put so much stock in a test that only last 4 hours and has nothing to do with practicing law. Anyway, 19 turned me down (even the bottom tier Kansas State).

My suggestion to you is practice and practice the LSAT and don't worry about your 3.00 GPA.

Minority/Ethnicity means nothing to a private school.


You got rejected everywhere because you got a 142 on the LSAT. URM status can only help so much with such a poor score.

Also, what kind of hispanic are you? Not all of them are considered URM.

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby thecynic69 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:36 am

Pleasye wrote:
thecynic69 wrote:The short answer is T1 is possible, and in fact, low T14 is possible (though not likely) with a sufficiently high LSAT score (upper 170s). Study hard and do as well as you can on the June test--I suggest the Pithy Pike system, but do whatever works for you (just make sure to take as many of the released practice tests as possible).

You must have missed the "Mexican URM" part of the title. The OP has a great shot at T1 and a decent shot at the T14 if he/she does get a score in the 170's.


I guess my statement of 'possible' for T1 was weak, but purposefully so given there is no LSAT score on which to base an evaluation. I haven't done the leg work so I won't argue where in the 170s op needs to score for the T14, but I don't see how anyone is confident in saying so and so score is a lock, given that there are very few cases on which to base such a judgment (how many 3.1, 175s are there, let alone URM 3.1 175s...). Add to this the fact that splitter cycles are ridiculously hard to predict, and the fact that URM cycles are themselves fairly unpredictable and you have what seems to me good reason to think some people have overstated their cases.

That said, you are in no way out of luck, op. The gpa hurts you, but does not exclude you from the T14. You can spend a little time on lawschoolnumbers looking at the past two cycles to see exactly what your chances are at any given school, but truth be told, your time is probably better spent taking an extra PT or two.

I wouldn't mind having another person or two weigh in on my personal statement advice. I'm fairly confident in what I said, but as a 0L with no adcom experience, I can't know much for sure.

User avatar
ArchRoark
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:53 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby ArchRoark » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:42 am

sub3.0 / 175+ mexican here... I landed two T14 acceptances.

Also, your softs sound like they could be made into a great PS. Break 170+ and you will land a few T14s.

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby thecynic69 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:47 am

FiveSermon wrote:
cyten7 wrote:Wow, thanks for the responses everyone

You think that I could possibly break the T14?! That's just unreal. I was hoping that with a lucky break (low 170's) I could possibly get into Boston University... Your advice definitely makes this dream seem more attainable!


If you score in the low 170s you are pretty much a lock for a lot of T14s.


Not to target you in particular, but this advice seems shady...which T14s are you talking about? Entering in 3.1, 172 into LSP yields denies at the top 7ish, considers for the next few, and a straight admit only at Cornell (which I hear is a bit more LSAT-focused than similarly ranked schools). I agree LSP doesn't capture the complexity of op's potential cycle, but I'm pretty sure there flat out isn't enough info out there to make a truly informed prediction. I'm not so familiar with the adcom tendencies of UVA and other comparably ranked schools, but clearly some schools are more gpa focused, others more lsat focused; some schools are more forgiving of youthful mistakes, others are more strict; etc. "Pretty much a lock at a lot of T14s" is not a good analysis of a 3.1/172/URM cycle...sorry.

Again, high 170s probably does the trick, which is not to say op couldn't snag a few T14s with low 170s.

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby thecynic69 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:48 am

ArchRoark wrote:sub3.0 / 175+ mexican here... I landed two T14 acceptances.

Also, your softs sound like they could be made into a great PS. Break 170+ and you will land a few T14s.


Mad props, sub-3.0 is hard to pull off (but with a 175+, you clearly deserved it).

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby thecynic69 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:47 am

Nightrunner wrote:
thecynic69 wrote:I guess my statement of 'possible' for T1 was weak, but purposefully so given there is no LSAT score on which to base an evaluation. I haven't done the leg work so I won't argue where in the 170s op needs to score for the T14, but I don't see how anyone is confident in saying so and so score is a lock, given that there are very few cases on which to base such a judgment (how many 3.1, 175s are there, let alone URM 3.1 175s...). Add to this the fact that splitter cycles are ridiculously hard to predict, and the fact that URM cycles are themselves fairly unpredictable and you have what seems to me good reason to think some people have overstated their cases.


Every URM I've known with a 170+ has been not only accepted T1, but offered large scholarships at T1 schools. Almost all have received at least one T14 acceptance.


Did a statistically significant number of them have a 3.1 GPA in addition to a 170+ LSAT score?

User avatar
Pleasye
Posts: 7970
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:22 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby Pleasye » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:30 am

thecynic69 wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:
thecynic69 wrote:I guess my statement of 'possible' for T1 was weak, but purposefully so given there is no LSAT score on which to base an evaluation. I haven't done the leg work so I won't argue where in the 170s op needs to score for the T14, but I don't see how anyone is confident in saying so and so score is a lock, given that there are very few cases on which to base such a judgment (how many 3.1, 175s are there, let alone URM 3.1 175s...). Add to this the fact that splitter cycles are ridiculously hard to predict, and the fact that URM cycles are themselves fairly unpredictable and you have what seems to me good reason to think some people have overstated their cases.


Every URM I've known with a 170+ has been not only accepted T1, but offered large scholarships at T1 schools. Almost all have received at least one T14 acceptance.


Did a statistically significant number of them have a 3.1 GPA in addition to a 170+ LSAT score?

Are you just trying to live up to your username or something?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:25 am

thecynic69 wrote:Did a statistically significant number of them have a 3.1 GPA in addition to a 170+ LSAT score?


Statistical significance is meaningless in this case because you aren't going to get it in a sample size this small. The number of URM's who score a 170+ is already exceedingly rare and when you take all the 3.1's and under it is even rarer. Here is last year's LSN results for 170+, 3.1-, URM's:

http://search.lawschoolnumbers.com/user ... Cycle=0910

It has 5 people, 1 who didn't fill out their profile, and the other 4 all snagged a T14 acceptance (and only one of them was actually above a 3.0).

With a 3.1/170+/URM you will snag a T14, I can guarantee it. It will be one of the more splitter friendly T14's but it will happen. Had you had less than a 3.0 it would be a different story with about a 50/50 shot at the T14 with a 170+, but with a 3.1 I can guarantee it.

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby thecynic69 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:58 am

bk1 wrote:
thecynic69 wrote:Did a statistically significant number of them have a 3.1 GPA in addition to a 170+ LSAT score?


Statistical significance is meaningless in this case because you aren't going to get it in a sample size this small. The number of URM's who score a 170+ is already exceedingly rare and when you take all the 3.1's and under it is even rarer. Here is last year's LSN results for 170+, 3.1-, URM's:

http://search.lawschoolnumbers.com/user ... Cycle=0910

It has 5 people, 1 who didn't fill out their profile, and the other 4 all snagged a T14 acceptance (and only one of them was actually above a 3.0).

With a 3.1/170+/URM you will snag a T14, I can guarantee it. It will be one of the more splitter friendly T14's but it will happen. Had you had less than a 3.0 it would be a different story with about a 50/50 shot at the T14 with a 170+, but with a 3.1 I can guarantee it.


My bad, it's late. Statistically significant isn't really what I meant. All I wanted to know is whether a reasonable portion of these URMs nightrunner was referring to were people with high or low gpas; this information is relevant for obvious reasons.

Looks like 170+ would give op a pretty solid chance at T14 (i.e. my estimate of high 170's was overly conservative).

silver7
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:00 pm

Re: Mexican URM asking for advice

Postby silver7 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:53 am

Most people on this thread think a 3.1 is a hopeless GPA. It's not at all. If you score a 170, let's say, you should have a chance at some T14's. And if not, take a bunch of cash from some other great schools. Many on this site have the "T-14 or I will never ever get a job and Jane won't mary me, and I'll have to live in Cleveland and I will have to work the worst job ever!" attitude. Do as well as you can, and take a scholly to a great school.




Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 5 guests