Should I apply this cycle?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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Should I apply this cycle?

Postby AintNoTimeForThat » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:28 am

Hello all,

Longtime lurker, but this is my second post (I also posted this in the Law School FAQ forum, but I don't know how many TLS users read both). I wanted to ask some advice about applying this cycle or next. I have a 3.5X GPA from HYP and a 169 LSAT score. I took the LSAT more than once with a large score jump. I majored in the humanities. I am AA. I've been out of college for 2-3 years now. I have some experience working as a legal assistant at a large law firm and as an organizer during the last presidential campaign. I also have some international internship experience related to my interests in human rights/ public policy.

I was thinking about applying this cycle, but I haven't determined whether it's a good idea. I'd love to attend HLS or SLS, but as I understand it, that's a crapshoot with my numbers and URM status. I'd love to take the LSAT again and get in the 170s to make H or S more likely, but I obviously wouldn't have time to attempt that if I applied this year. I guess I could apply with what I've got and take the February LSAT to cover my bases, but I'm wondering whether that'll put me at a serious disadvantage. I have a couple of good friends who applied last cycle and didn't get their acceptances until April, so I can't imagine getting a score back in March would be that detrimental... I also know that there is supposed to be a huge drop in LSAT takers/ applicants, so it might be good to take advantage of that by applying this year.

What do you guys think?! Would appreciate any advice/ suggestions.

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Re: Should I apply this cycle?

Postby soj » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:34 am

You've got a decent shot at HS with your current stats, so I would apply as soon as you have a solid application. Applying early never hurts, but there's no reason to rush, either. Last year, S accepted only a few URMs early on and sent out batches of URM acceptances relatively late (March-April), so applying late virtually didn't hurt at all. H accepted URMs at a steadier pace, but made heavy use of the waitlist, so there's a good chance you could be accepted as late as July-August.

If you're hoping to get T6 scholarships, apply to CCN as soon as possible. Applications to CCN, unlike applications to HYS, are worth rushing because those schools give out their big named scholarships early on in the cycle. In particular, look into NYU's named scholarships--some of those require additional essays.

On top of that, I highly recommend a retake in case this cycle doesn't go well. If you're unhappy with your options this cycle, don't hesitate to reapply next year.

I noticed you have a duplicate thread in the FAQ forum. We generally allow only one thread per topic, but in this case, I'll leave both threads open so that posters who frequent the URM forum and are highly familiar with URM cycles can offer their advice.

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Re: Should I apply this cycle?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:21 am

Apply this cycle for many of the reasons soj pointed out. You're a strong candidate for H and S this cycle. H just admitted a 3.7/162 AA female last week but they've only filled about an eight of their class. And Stanford has admitted almost no one.

Tl;dr - it's still early for the top schools, you have almost nothing to lose, and your statistics + URM make you competitive everywhere other than Yale.

Good luck.

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Re: Should I apply this cycle?

Postby amc987 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:02 pm

Anyone else have any ideas for AintNoTimeForThat?? I'm not sure what to advise you to do, OP. I think you clearly have a chance at H/S as it is, but it would be a better chance if you had a higher LSAT score. I'm not sure what to make of the rumors that there are going to be fewer applicants this year than last year. I don't know how that will sway the admissions process. You would think that it would help you a lot, but I think the way that statistic impacts you is going to depend much more on the number of URMs applying this cycle as compared to previous cycles. You would definitely be applying on the late side as well, but that's not necessarily something that should discourage you since schools make decisions on URM applicants so late in the cycle anyway.

I think if you wanted maximum security (if such a thing exists with HYS), you would sit out this cycle, retake, score 172+ and ride the acceptance wave to the school of your choice. If you're dead set on going to law school in fall 2013, you should apply as soon as you have your materials together. Contact the schools and see if a February LSAT score would matter to them. If it would and you have time to study, it might be worth your while to retake.

I feel strange about this particular conundrum though, because barring a 175+ LSAT score or some killer WE, it's going to be a toss up no matter what you do. The truth of the matter is that some people get in with what you have (see Operagrl71 from last cycle on LSN), and some people don't (See my LSN profile, MyWayTilPayday, from last cycle). It's really difficult to call.

I would be interested to see what other URM applicants from previous cycles have to say. Good luck!!

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Re: Should I apply this cycle?

Postby twenty » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:44 pm

The only tangible thing you're really out is 200-300 dollars in app fees if you don't get into where you want. If this were me, I wouldn't bother stressing out or trying to retake in Feb, I'd sit this cycle out and take it again in June. Or just apply to H/S/both, and if you get them, great, if not, then sit out.

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