Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Cthon
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Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:34 pm

Before you rate my chances, take into consideration that my GPA is on the rise (6 classes this semester, 3-4 credit hours each, A- in two of them so far), currently its a "3.23". At the very least, it should be a 3.2 when the rest of my grades come out.

Also, my 159 LSAT is from my first time in October. And it was kinda a first time fluke/nerves. I had done 28 or so practice tests, all of them above 160 after the first 4. So, it was definitely a fluke. Retook in December, after studying the LSAT Trainer and made an easy 167 on the practice test I took days before the December LSAT.

Considering my December lsat experience, I probably got at least a 162(up to possibly a 166) and my GPA should be at least a 3.2
But, it'd be great if you could evaluate my chances based on both my current GPA(3.19) and LSAT(159) AND my projected GPA(3.2) and LSAT(162+).


-Weak-Average Softs(though, they work extremely well with PS)
-Top Twenty Undergrad
-Work Experience during Undergrad
-Average LOR
-Psych Major and English Minor(don't think this is relevant tho)

What are my chances in general for different tiers? And what are my chances for SMU?

Right now I've actually decided on SMU(I'm from Houston so not far from home, Dallas legal market supposed to be good, I assume my numbers are good enough to get me a merit scholarship, I could see myself practicing law in Dallas, not focused on biglaw, I'm not really a big spender and will probably live below my means - since thats my personality)

I don't think this has a significant influence, though it ties to my personal statement, but my parents are African so I'm first generation born in the U.S.

Last, even though I think I'd be happy with SMU, I could see myself working anywhere. I've never been particularly focused on a region, state, or city - with the exception being me acknowledging that SMU being close to home is a positive for it. Went to undergrad in a different state, for example.

P.S. Ready and willing to retake LSAT in February.
Thanks in advance!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EDIT:
Update
3.26
LSAT 161
Last edited by Cthon on Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kool-Aid
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:13 am

Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Kool-Aid » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:44 pm

Cthon wrote:Before you rate my chances, take into consideration that my GPA is on the rise (6 classes this semester, 3-4 credit hours each, A- in two of them so far), currently its a "3.23". At the very least, it should be a 3.2 when the rest of my grades come out.

Also, my 159 LSAT is from my first time in October. And it was kinda a first time fluke/nerves. I had done 28 or so practice tests, all of them above 160 after the first 4. So, it was definitely a fluke. Retook in December, after studying the LSAT Trainer and made an easy 167 on the practice test I took days before the December LSAT.

Considering my December lsat experience, I probably got at least a 162(up to possibly a 166) and my GPA should be at least a 3.2
But, it'd be great if you could evaluate my chances based on both my current GPA(3.19) and LSAT(159) AND my projected GPA(3.2) and LSAT(162+).


-Weak-Average Softs(though, they work extremely well with PS)
-Top Twenty Undergrad
-Work Experience during Undergrad
-Average LOR
-Psych Major and English Minor(don't think this is relevant tho)

What are my chances in general for different tiers? And what are my chances for SMU?

Right now I've actually decided on SMU(I'm from Houston so not far from home, Dallas legal market supposed to be good, I assume my numbers are good enough to get me a merit scholarship, I could see myself practicing law in Dallas, not focused on biglaw, I'm not really a big spender and will probably live below my means - since thats my personality)

I don't think this has a significant influence, though it ties to my personal statement, but my parents are African so I'm first generation born in the U.S.

Last, even though I think I'd be happy with SMU, I could see myself working anywhere. I've never been particularly focused on a region, state, or city - with the exception being me acknowledging that SMU being close to home is a positive for it. Went to undergrad in a different state, for example.

P.S. Ready and willing to retake LSAT in February.
Thanks in advance!


Most people here will tell you to come back when you get your score, but my advice would be to think about staying in school to raise your GPA. Even if it's just an extra semester of A's. It's good to hear you're open to retaking again if your score isn't where you want it to be.

Anyway, you'll get SMU with your current numbers (I had similar numbers when I applied a couple years ago), but I'm not sure about merit aid. Good luck

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:36 pm

Yeah, I understand my current stats aren't much...

I was hoping for some hypotheticals(real word?), based on my projected stats. I do have one more semester left(in which I will be taking 6 classes), so my GPA could get higher...or lower lol.

Then again, I understand that people may be unwilling to evaluate on imaginary, theoretical stats...just for me to possibly come back and say "hey, I got a 157? What are my chances now?" It'd be a great Christmas present though!

P.S. I'm also moderately confident I could hit 165-167 on the February LSAT, assuming I did not on this recent one.

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Mojosodope
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Mojosodope » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:42 pm

Cthon wrote:Yeah, I understand my current stats aren't much...

I was hoping for some hypotheticals(real word?), based on my projected stats. I do have one more semester left(in which I will be taking 6 classes), so my GPA could get higher...or lower lol.

Then again, I understand that people may be unwilling to evaluate on imaginary, theoretical stats...just for me to possibly come back and say "hey, I got a 157? What are my chances now?" It'd be a great Christmas present though!

P.S. I'm also moderately confident I could hit 165-167 on the February LSAT, assuming I did not on this recent one.


Your chances are good at the t14 if you get a 165+, and you can get into some very good schools even with your current scores.

SMU should be an acceptance with $$$ right now.

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Mojosodope wrote:
Cthon wrote:Yeah, I understand my current stats aren't much...

I was hoping for some hypotheticals(real word?), based on my projected stats. I do have one more semester left(in which I will be taking 6 classes), so my GPA could get higher...or lower lol.

Then again, I understand that people may be unwilling to evaluate on imaginary, theoretical stats...just for me to possibly come back and say "hey, I got a 157? What are my chances now?" It'd be a great Christmas present though!

P.S. I'm also moderately confident I could hit 165-167 on the February LSAT, assuming I did not on this recent one.


Your chances are good at the t14 if you get a 165+, and you can get into some very good schools even with your current scores.

SMU should be an acceptance with $$$ right now.

Okay, interesting.

Why do you think I could get SMU with $$$ at current stats? I kinda assumed that myself, but it'd be cool to have a more articulated reason for my suspicion.

Also, when you say some good schools with my current stats, are you talking tierwise? For example, like top 20? top 30? Or are you talking good regional schools?

Last, when you say good at t14 with 165+, would that also mean with $$$ or just an acceptance?

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txdude45
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby txdude45 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:53 pm

If you get ~165 check out my lawschoolnumbers page. I had a 3.17/167 when I got all my acceptances.

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:33 am

txdude45 wrote:If you get ~165 check out my lawschoolnumbers page. I had a 3.17/167 when I got all my acceptances.

Thanks for the suggestion. Though, I guess a relevant question(since its not likely that I got 165+ this time around) is how does the fact that I'm going to be turning in my applications(or at least, the one to SMU) before I take the February LSAT influence things?

Also, my school GPA is now a 3.264. I was going to just bump this after my LSAT scores comes up in a couple days with new GPA and new LSAT...

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txdude45
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby txdude45 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:59 am

Cthon wrote:
txdude45 wrote:If you get ~165 check out my lawschoolnumbers page. I had a 3.17/167 when I got all my acceptances.

Thanks for the suggestion. Though, I guess a relevant question(since its not likely that I got 165+ this time around) is how does the fact that I'm going to be turning in my applications(or at least, the one to SMU) before I take the February LSAT influence things?

Also, my school GPA is now a 3.264. I was going to just bump this after my LSAT scores comes up in a couple days with new GPA and new LSAT...


Are you willing to wait to enter law school till 2015? If you have a pending score in Feb, most schools will hold your application until that score comes in. You go from applying super late to essentially last minute. Any real edge URM status gets you goes up in smoke. You'll probably still be okay at SMU, but without as much money. If you wait till this fall to apply and send in the applications on day 1, you'll get the benefit of applying super early with a firm score and the best potential to win the AAm wait and see game. You can get better money and a better degree (very portable into the Dallas market given ties) if you just wait. UT should be as far down as you dip unless you get $$$$ somewhere. If I were you, I'd find a job, any job, and apply this fall.

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:46 am

txdude45 wrote:
Cthon wrote:
txdude45 wrote:If you get ~165 check out my lawschoolnumbers page. I had a 3.17/167 when I got all my acceptances.

Thanks for the suggestion. Though, I guess a relevant question(since its not likely that I got 165+ this time around) is how does the fact that I'm going to be turning in my applications(or at least, the one to SMU) before I take the February LSAT influence things?

Also, my school GPA is now a 3.264. I was going to just bump this after my LSAT scores comes up in a couple days with new GPA and new LSAT...


Are you willing to wait to enter law school till 2015? If you have a pending score in Feb, most schools will hold your application until that score comes in. You go from applying super late to essentially last minute. Any real edge URM status gets you goes up in smoke. You'll probably still be okay at SMU, but without as much money. If you wait till this fall to apply and send in the applications on day 1, you'll get the benefit of applying super early with a firm score and the best potential to win the AAm wait and see game. You can get better money and a better degree (very portable into the Dallas market given ties) if you just wait. UT should be as far down as you dip unless you get $$$$ somewhere. If I were you, I'd find a job, any job, and apply this fall.

No, there is no chance that I will delay till 2015.

My application to SMU will be going in relatively soon after I find out my LSAT score. Are you saying that signing up for the February LSAT will negatively impact it and cause schools to procrastinate when they make the final decision on my application - and that this will negatively affect it? If so, then I'm perfectly fine not taking the LSAT again. However, I read(on this forum) that schools(maybe only top 14?) hold AA applications till late and that application time matters less in comparison to non-URM applicants. So, I'm not sure how to judge the validity of what you're saying in light of what others have said.

I also disagree that "UT should be as far down as you dip unless you get $$$$ somewhere." People on TLS seem too obsessed with t14 and biglaw to me. Yes, you guys have a legitimate reason, but it still just seems like a bit of an obsession(and a bit of elitism)....Like I said in my OP, I'm not particularly worried about my student loans or big law. Maybe its naivete on my part, but also because I'm not a big spender. Over the past year, I think the only particularly costly unecessary things I bought were an 80 dollar peacoat and three watches for 35 dollars. I'm completely fine with a reliable, but mediocre car and house. Unless I happen to get married and start raising kids, I'll be comfortable with a bit of student loan and not working biglaw. So, why should I not "dip" "down" to SMU?

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txdude45
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby txdude45 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:04 am

Cthon wrote:
txdude45 wrote:
Cthon wrote:
txdude45 wrote:If you get ~165 check out my lawschoolnumbers page. I had a 3.17/167 when I got all my acceptances.

Thanks for the suggestion. Though, I guess a relevant question(since its not likely that I got 165+ this time around) is how does the fact that I'm going to be turning in my applications(or at least, the one to SMU) before I take the February LSAT influence things?

Also, my school GPA is now a 3.264. I was going to just bump this after my LSAT scores comes up in a couple days with new GPA and new LSAT...


Are you willing to wait to enter law school till 2015? If you have a pending score in Feb, most schools will hold your application until that score comes in. You go from applying super late to essentially last minute. Any real edge URM status gets you goes up in smoke. You'll probably still be okay at SMU, but without as much money. If you wait till this fall to apply and send in the applications on day 1, you'll get the benefit of applying super early with a firm score and the best potential to win the AAm wait and see game. You can get better money and a better degree (very portable into the Dallas market given ties) if you just wait. UT should be as far down as you dip unless you get $$$$ somewhere. If I were you, I'd find a job, any job, and apply this fall.

No, there is no chance that I will delay till 2015.

My application to SMU will be going in relatively soon after I find out my LSAT score. Are you saying that signing up for the February LSAT will negatively impact it and cause schools to procrastinate when they make the final decision on my application - and that this will negatively affect it? If so, then I'm perfectly fine not taking the LSAT again. However, I read(on this forum) that schools(maybe only top 14?) hold AA applications till late and that application time matters less in comparison to non-URM applicants. So, I'm not sure how to judge the validity of what you're saying in light of what others have said.

I also disagree that "UT should be as far down as you dip unless you get $$$$ somewhere." People on TLS seem too obsessed with t14 and biglaw to me. Yes, you guys have a legitimate reason, but it still just seems like a bit of an obsession(and a bit of elitism)....Like I said in my OP, I'm not particularly worried about my student loans or big law. Maybe its naivete on my part, but also because I'm not a big spender. Over the past year, I think the only particularly costly unecessary things I bought were an 80 dollar peacoat and three watches for 35 dollars. I'm completely fine with a reliable, but mediocre car and house. Unless I happen to get married and start raising kids, I'll be comfortable with a bit of student loan and not working biglaw. So, why should I not "dip" "down" to SMU?


I'm a TX person and my sister even went to SMU Law. The Dallas market can be unforgiving and you'll be competing with many students from the T14 and UT. They will be looked upon more favorably, even after accounting for the SMU Dallas network, which is much more old-boy than it's given credit for. I get that you can live on less, but cutting off options for earning potential for the sake of definitely going to SMU seems like a fools errand. You don't know where you'll end up in your class and if it's median, or below, SMU won't take you incredibly far.

You're right that application time matters less, but a February LSAT means scores in March. Deposits are generally due in late April, or early May and a large majority of decisions will be out before an admissions officer even peeks your application, at which point a WL->IN may be your best option at schools worth close to their price. This is why admissions officers often advise applicants to make December the latest LSAT they take.

Why is it you feel you must enter this fall and why are you dead set on SMU?

californiauser
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby californiauser » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:59 pm

Retake for UT. SMU non-discoutned is 260k, UT is 170k instate. Unless you get damn near a full scholarship, it makes more sense to gun for UT.

What exactly do you want to do with your law degree?

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:48 pm

txdude45 wrote:I'm a TX person and my sister even went to SMU Law. The Dallas market can be unforgiving and you'll be competing with many students from the T14 and UT. They will be looked upon more favorably, even after accounting for the SMU Dallas network, which is much more old-boy than it's given credit for. I get that you can live on less, but cutting off options for earning potential for the sake of definitely going to SMU seems like a fools errand. You don't know where you'll end up in your class and if it's median, or below, SMU won't take you incredibly far.

You're right that application time matters less, but a February LSAT means scores in March. Deposits are generally due in late April, or early May and a large majority of decisions will be out before an admissions officer even peeks your application, at which point a WL->IN may be your best option at schools worth close to their price. This is why admissions officers often advise applicants to make December the latest LSAT they take.

Why is it you feel you must enter this fall and why are you dead set on SMU?

How is your sister doing now? I'll have to read around to validate what you're saying. I'm pretty sure I've read about other applicants(T14 and UT) being viewed as flight risk, because they may not have ties and have a better chance of moving to better law firms. I'll revisit those "Ask SMU grad anything" threads.

In terms of class/median, that is another reason I consider SMU a more practical decision. Assuming 1L is actually correlated to the LSAT, do I have a better chance of being a higher rank or above median at UT/T14 or at SMU? Is it really a stretch of thought to think its more likely I will succeed in a less competitive/easier law school, which happens to be located in a town and market I can see myself working in?

Why is it I feel I must enter in the Fall? Don't worry about it, since its not something anyone can convince me out of. I know you mean well though.

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:56 pm

californiauser wrote:Retake for UT. SMU non-discoutned is 260k, UT is 170k instate. Unless you get damn near a full scholarship, it makes more sense to gun for UT.

What exactly do you want to do with your law degree?

Looking at costs, if I get into UT with current stats, am I likely to get any scholarships? I'd guess no.
If I get into SMU, am I likely to get scholarship? I'm assuming yes.

Maybe you're right in theory, but I'm thinking about money costs based on my current stats right now, where I think its more likely I would end up paying more for UT if I got admission.

So really, it depends on my December LSAT. And even then, I assume I will do better in relative to my peers at SMU than at UT.

Edit: What I want to do with my law degree? Not sure. I'm really open to anything, at the moment.

californiauser
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby californiauser » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:02 pm

Cthon wrote:
californiauser wrote:Retake for UT. SMU non-discoutned is 260k, UT is 170k instate. Unless you get damn near a full scholarship, it makes more sense to gun for UT.

What exactly do you want to do with your law degree?

Looking at costs, if I get into UT with current stats, am I likely to get any scholarships? I'd guess no.
If I get into SMU, am I likely to get scholarship? I'm assuming yes.

Maybe you're right in theory, but I'm thinking about money costs based on my current stats right now, where I think its more likely I would end up paying more for UT if I got admission.

So really, it depends on my December LSAT. And even then, I assume I will do better in relative to my peers at SMU than at UT.


UT at sticker might still make more sense than SMU with even a 100k scholarship.

UT and SMU only have a have a 4 point LSAT differential. That's not enough to assume you'll do substantially better at SMU, imo.

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:10 pm

californiauser wrote:
Cthon wrote:
californiauser wrote:Retake for UT. SMU non-discoutned is 260k, UT is 170k instate. Unless you get damn near a full scholarship, it makes more sense to gun for UT.

What exactly do you want to do with your law degree?

Looking at costs, if I get into UT with current stats, am I likely to get any scholarships? I'd guess no.
If I get into SMU, am I likely to get scholarship? I'm assuming yes.

Maybe you're right in theory, but I'm thinking about money costs based on my current stats right now, where I think its more likely I would end up paying more for UT if I got admission.

So really, it depends on my December LSAT. And even then, I assume I will do better in relative to my peers at SMU than at UT.


UT at sticker might still make more sense than SMU with even a 100k scholarship.

UT and SMU only have a have a 4 point LSAT differential. That's not enough to assume you'll do substantially better at SMU, imo.

Tell me why it my may make more sense. As much as I'm defending SMU, I'm open to your and others reasoning.

As someone who started at 154 and worked his way up to 167, who was getting 159 within his first 3 or 4 practice tests, and was mid 160s only after like 20 or so, there is a significant difference.

californiauser
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby californiauser » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:21 pm

Cthon wrote:
californiauser wrote:
Cthon wrote:
californiauser wrote:Retake for UT. SMU non-discoutned is 260k, UT is 170k instate. Unless you get damn near a full scholarship, it makes more sense to gun for UT.

What exactly do you want to do with your law degree?

Looking at costs, if I get into UT with current stats, am I likely to get any scholarships? I'd guess no.
If I get into SMU, am I likely to get scholarship? I'm assuming yes.

Maybe you're right in theory, but I'm thinking about money costs based on my current stats right now, where I think its more likely I would end up paying more for UT if I got admission.

So really, it depends on my December LSAT. And even then, I assume I will do better in relative to my peers at SMU than at UT.


UT at sticker might still make more sense than SMU with even a 100k scholarship.

UT and SMU only have a have a 4 point LSAT differential. That's not enough to assume you'll do substantially better at SMU, imo.

Tell me why it my may make more sense. As much as I'm defending SMU, I'm open to your and others reasoning.

As someone who started at 154 and worked his way up to 167, who was getting 159 within his first 3 or 4 practice tests, and was mid 160s only after like 20 or so, there is a significant difference.


Your story reinforces my point. You were able to increase your score by a good 10+ points. Do you think that you getting from a 15x to a 16x was the result of an increase in intelligence? I would argue no. You just learned how to better attack the test. 4 points is one bad game or not finishing a reading comprehension section.

As far as UT vs SMU, the UT name has more cachet in Texas. This may or may not be worth $, depending on your goals. For some, UT might be worth more than 50k because of the brand, networking opportunities (likely to have more future judges and partners in your class at UT), etc.

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:50 pm

californiauser wrote:
Cthon wrote:
californiauser wrote:
UT at sticker might still make more sense than SMU with even a 100k scholarship.

UT and SMU only have a have a 4 point LSAT differential. That's not enough to assume you'll do substantially better at SMU, imo.

Tell me why it my may make more sense. As much as I'm defending SMU, I'm open to your and others reasoning.

As someone who started at 154 and worked his way up to 167, who was getting 159 within his first 3 or 4 practice tests, and was mid 160s only after like 20 or so, there is a significant difference.


Your story reinforces my point. You were able to increase your score by a good 10+ points. Do you think that you getting from a 15x to a 16x was the result of an increase in intelligence? I would argue no. You just learned how to better attack the test. 4 points is one bad game or not finishing a reading comprehension section.

As far as UT vs SMU, the UT name has more cachet in Texas. This may or may not be worth $, depending on your goals. For some, UT might be worth more than 50k because of the brand, networking opportunities (likely to have more future judges and partners in your class at UT), etc.

I think its a combination, as there weren't moments where I had epiphanies and it just randomly jumped up because something clicked. There were subtle skills and nuances picked up. If you're studying something 50+ hours and getting slightly better over time, there is no chance your "intelligence"(vague term) isn't increasing in relevant areas. Its both that I learned how to attack the test and that relevant areas of my brain developed/reacted to all of my test-taking.... I also took the most and highest level classes this semester, and did better than all of my previous semesters(while also working and studying for the lsat). If anything, my work ethic also increased. And where natural intelligence may not be a difference, I think the climb from 159-163 could also reflect better work ethic and focus on tasks more relevant to future. It could reflect a lot of things, but the trend is more likely to reflect factors other than chance.

Even so, what are the chances that the thousands of students making 4 points better is due to the luck of one bad game and one missed section?

Yeah, UT has a bigger name in Texas, higher rank, etc etc. This isn't my "goal", simply the path that looks more attractive to me now, but I can see myself practicing law in Dallas for the rest of my life.

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:01 pm

UPDATE:

I did horrible(dropped the ball in two sections), but my recent LSAT is 161.

Chances now?

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:56 pm

Bump. My thread could use some love!

Blackguy123
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Blackguy123 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:22 pm

Re-take

Cthon
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Re: Chances? AA Male 3.19 159 LSAT

Postby Cthon » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:45 pm

Blackguy123 wrote:Re-take

Definitely. I was talking with another user who suggested the same thing.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to recycle my material adequately. My weak point seems to be that I choke on Reading Comp (and to a degree, on 1 section of LR) And I need to start PTing with an experimental section.

In the meantime, I'm going to send in my application to SMU. Hopefully I get in and hopefully I get a higher LSAT, get other acceptances, and can negotiate for a full ride.

What T14 or other good law schools should I apply, in hopes of getting in(and maybe getting some money), with my current stats?

ETA: So far, I'm thinking Georgetown, George Washington, Boston College, and Northwestern. Any others I should target?




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