I Need Advice!!!

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Aiming For the Top
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:35 pm

I Need Advice!!!

Postby Aiming For the Top » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:53 am

Hello Everyone,
I've posted a few things on this site before, but being that I don't have ties with too many people who have gone through the law school and application process I REALLY need some advice about getting into law school. Before I get into my questions, here's some background about me.

1) Graduated from a University of California campus in 2009 with a sociology degree and 3.79 gpa. Member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduated cum laude, college honors, and highest honors in the major.

2) African American female.

3) Studied abroad in Brazil, heavily involved in campus orgs and even won awards for service. Worked all throughout college.

4) 2 years work experience, particularly in banking.

5) First generation college graduate.

6) LSAT 144 (ouch) but documented learning disability. At the time couldn't afford to be retested for LSAT accommodations.

7) Applied to 7 law schools. So far wait listed at Loyola Chicago and Howard University, rejected at Berkeley and American, and waiting to here back from 3 top 50 law schools. Applied around January 6th.


So after this long introduction, I'm trying to understand this whole law school process and my place in it. If someone could please answer the following questions it would give me greater insight as to whether I should try again next year or just give up.

1) Would I be at a disadvantage if I only apply to tier 3 and tier 4 schools? Does the legal field discriminate based on where one goes to school?

2) How does LSAT averaging work? I took the LSAT twice and my score did go up 6 points. However, if I take it again and do even better, am I still at a disadvantage if all my scores get averaged in the end?

3) If I get into one of the two law schools that I'm currently waist listed at, is there a possibility that I could get a decent financial aid package?

For those of you who respond, thank you. I feel so alone in this process!

Geist13
Posts: 739
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: I Need Advice!!!

Postby Geist13 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:08 am

Aiming For the Top wrote:Hello Everyone,
I've posted a few things on this site before, but being that I don't have ties with too many people who have gone through the law school and application process I REALLY need some advice about getting into law school. Before I get into my questions, here's some background about me.

1) Graduated from a University of California campus in 2009 with a sociology degree and 3.79 gpa. Member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduated cum laude, college honors, and highest honors in the major.

2) African American female.

3) Studied abroad in Brazil, heavily involved in campus orgs and even won awards for service. Worked all throughout college.

4) 2 years work experience, particularly in banking.

5) First generation college graduate.

6) LSAT 144 (ouch) but documented learning disability. At the time couldn't afford to be retested for LSAT accommodations.

7) Applied to 7 law schools. So far wait listed at Loyola Chicago and Howard University, rejected at Berkeley and American, and waiting to here back from 3 top 50 law schools. Applied around January 6th.


So after this long introduction, I'm trying to understand this whole law school process and my place in it. If someone could please answer the following questions it would give me greater insight as to whether I should try again next year or just give up.

1) Would I be at a disadvantage if I only apply to tier 3 and tier 4 schools? Does the legal field discriminate based on where one goes to school?

2) How does LSAT averaging work? I took the LSAT twice and my score did go up 6 points. However, if I take it again and do even better, am I still at a disadvantage if all my scores get averaged in the end?

3) If I get into one of the two law schools that I'm currently waist listed at, is there a possibility that I could get a decent financial aid package?

For those of you who respond, thank you. I feel so alone in this process!


1) the legal field absolutely discriminates based on where you go to school. For example, I attend a top 30 ranked law school, am on law review, have gotten an award for top grade in a course, and have a 3.52 GPA (just outside of top 25% of the class). I didn't get a single second round interview from on campus interviewing for a 2L summer associate position (aka OCI--wasn't sure if you knew that term). By contrast, people in the bottom half of their class at Columbia regularly get multiple permanent job offers from some of the best firms in the country.

2)Only a couple of schools average their LSAT. You should retake the test, and 95% of schools will only consider your top score. They may say on their website that they consider both, but the vast experience of people on this post who have taken the test multiple times (myself included) is that schools have general cutoffs and if you pass that cutoff on your second try you are in good shape (even if the average of the two scores puts you below that cutoff).

3) some waitlisted people do get good scholarships. I have a friend who got a 30,000 per year scholarship after the school finally accepted him a week before the year began. However, this is the excetion not the rule. My thought is that the only reason they would offer you money at that point is if they need you to fix some deficiency in their numbers (diversity, avg. GPA, avg. LSAT). Don't count on it; it's unlikely to happen.

You need to retake the LSAT and get whatever accommodation you qualify for. You are a black woman with an awesome GPA. That means that if you get a better LSAT score, not only will top schools probably accept you and offer a scholarship; once you get into a decent law school, firms will be salivating all over you (even if your grades are only so-so). Firms love diversity, but you need to get into a good school to have the best access to those firms.

User avatar
cylon_clone
Posts: 187
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: I Need Advice!!!

Postby cylon_clone » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:05 am

Aiming For the Top wrote:Hello Everyone,
I've posted a few things on this site before, but being that I don't have ties with too many people who have gone through the law school and application process I REALLY need some advice about getting into law school. Before I get into my questions, here's some background about me.

1) Graduated from a University of California campus in 2009 with a sociology degree and 3.79 gpa. Member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduated cum laude, college honors, and highest honors in the major.

2) African American female.

3) Studied abroad in Brazil, heavily involved in campus orgs and even won awards for service. Worked all throughout college.

4) 2 years work experience, particularly in banking.

5) First generation college graduate.

6) LSAT 144 (ouch) but documented learning disability. At the time couldn't afford to be retested for LSAT accommodations.

7) Applied to 7 law schools. So far wait listed at Loyola Chicago and Howard University, rejected at Berkeley and American, and waiting to here back from 3 top 50 law schools. Applied around January 6th.


So after this long introduction, I'm trying to understand this whole law school process and my place in it. If someone could please answer the following questions it would give me greater insight as to whether I should try again next year or just give up.

1) Would I be at a disadvantage if I only apply to tier 3 and tier 4 schools? Does the legal field discriminate based on where one goes to school?

2) How does LSAT averaging work? I took the LSAT twice and my score did go up 6 points. However, if I take it again and do even better, am I still at a disadvantage if all my scores get averaged in the end?

3) If I get into one of the two law schools that I'm currently waist listed at, is there a possibility that I could get a decent financial aid package?

For those of you who respond, thank you. I feel so alone in this process!


I share a lot of your background - also an African American female, graduated with honors, study abroad, etc. My cycle is half over and has been pretty successful so far. Hopefully I can also help to answer your questions.

1. I agree with Geist. But would add that, the further you go down in the rankings, the more regional and less mobile your LS degree tends to become. So, it's probably best to go to school close to where you want to practice in order to establish local ties that can help in landing a job post grad. There are obvious statistical outliers when degrees from lower-ranked schools can travel nationally (Howard)...

2. From a person who saw a major score increase after an LSAT retake and has been accepted to multiple t14 schools - TAKE IT AGAIN! Most schools seem to have moved away from averaging and are now going for the highest score. Admittedly, I don't have a learning ability but had extreme circumstances that caused me to under-perform the first time...if you can get your score up to the 150s, you'd have a great shot at Howard with your GPA - with a significant (if highly stipulated) scholarship.

3. Don't know from personal experience, but yes - possible. Some schools have need-based as well as merit-based aid. Depends on what they're looking for, the makeup of their matriculating class and how deep their funds are.

nsbane
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: I Need Advice!!!

Postby nsbane » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:43 am

You need to:

1) Apply for a job to work for a year or two.

2) While you are working, study for the LSAT. There are articles on here on how to buy books and self-study. The test is a learnable test - you can study techniques and absolutely get a better score.

3) If you think you can't handle self-study, pay for a course. I took Testmasters. It is really expensive, but I got into a Top 6 school (Columbia, Chicago, or NYU) with my score. Career prospects are much better at these schools than the lower ranked.

Look at the Law school rankings at this site. The top schools are considered national schools, and can help you get a job anywhere in the country (although even that is not so much true anymore). The lower you go in the rankings, the more regional the school is. Also, the less likely you will be to get a job on graduation.

The very lowest ranked schools will leave you with $150,000+ in debt, and prospect for a job paying $50,000 a year. Going to schools like that is a very bad financial decision. Unfortunately, with the LSAT score you have now, those are the only schools you can get into.

You have a very good GPA. If you study for the LSAT and do very well, you could get into Harvard. Get a job. Study the LSAT for a year. Follow the LSAT study plans on this site. It will be worth it.

Aiming For the Top
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:35 pm

Re: I Need Advice!!!

Postby Aiming For the Top » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:51 pm

Thank you all for your feedback. You've given me a better perspective on what I should do now.




Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AJ1010, Google Adsense [Bot], musiclover123 and 2 guests