Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

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239840

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Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:29 pm

I was originally hoping to matriculate somewhere this fall, but this cycle hasn't went as well as I had hoped it would. I have a 3.6x GPA, 160 LSAT, and am a NA URM. I applied in December and have been waitlisted or rejected by all of the T14 schools that have responded. I'm currently waitlisted at UVA and Cornell - which, to be fair, wasn't unpredictable based upon mylsn. I'd actually assumed that UVA would be a rejection, and considered not applying, but people on here recommended applying broadly. No response from Vanderbilt or WUSTL. My guess is that WUSTL will not accept me given their desire for high scores. I'm still waiting on Berkeley, Columbia, and Duke, too, which were the schools where mylsn seemed to show I'd have the best shot. My best offer is a full-tuition offer from my state flagship and a 90% tuition scholarship from a T2 (let's say it's Cardozo) with a 15-20% Big Law rate recently. I'd like to do Big Law for 2-4 years and then transition to in-house or Mid Law ideally. The state flagship only has a 5-10% Big Law rate usually, so I'd probably attend the T2 with 90% scholarship over it. However, I'd hate to do so when my results seem to indicate the LSAT is the only thing holding me back from the T14. I was pretty humbled and happy about the UVA waitlist. Another factor that really makes me want to start this fall is that I have a humanities degree from an undistinguished state school and haven't had much luck securing gainful/resume-helpful employment. I'm waiting to hear back now on whether I got a law-related job that might make it worth it to work and retake/reapply. If I don't get that one, I'd probably be stuck doing a deadend job for a year in retail or something similar/worse, so it'd be rough to go the waiting route in that case.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby albanach » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:28 pm

A T2 school doesn't bode well for your goal of biglaw. Likely a decent percentage of graduates are un- or under-employed at graduation. And, even with full tuition, it's going to cost you $70k to attend just for cost of living.

You shouldn't need a big boost in the LSAT to get into T-14 territory. I'd strongly encourage you to retake the LSAT and get admitted to a school from which you can readily achieve your goals.

Use the forums here for guidance on the LSAT. It might be that simply mastering games and a small improvement elsewhere will get you into the mid-high 160s.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:34 pm

albanach wrote:A T2 school doesn't bode well for your goal of biglaw. Likely a decent percentage of graduates are un- or under-employed at graduation. And, even with full tuition, it's going to cost you $70k to attend just for cost of living.

You shouldn't need a big boost in the LSAT to get into T-14 territory. I'd strongly encourage you to retake the LSAT and get admitted to a school from which you can readily achieve your goals.

Use the forums here for guidance on the LSAT. It might be that simply mastering games and a small improvement elsewhere will get you into the mid-high 160s.


The 160 was with -6 LG, so based on what everyone says about LG, hopefully something in the mid-160s would be reasonably achievable. I'm hoping I'll be able to get LG to -0/-1 consistently, and also improve a bit in LR and RC. I may even look into tutoring or something if that's what it takes to get to the mid-high 160s. It just sucks that reapplying may mean working a deadend job, but if that's what it takes to get to the T14 I would probably be willing to do it.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby AdieuCali » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:01 pm

239840 wrote:
albanach wrote:A T2 school doesn't bode well for your goal of biglaw. Likely a decent percentage of graduates are un- or under-employed at graduation. And, even with full tuition, it's going to cost you $70k to attend just for cost of living.

You shouldn't need a big boost in the LSAT to get into T-14 territory. I'd strongly encourage you to retake the LSAT and get admitted to a school from which you can readily achieve your goals.

Use the forums here for guidance on the LSAT. It might be that simply mastering games and a small improvement elsewhere will get you into the mid-high 160s.


The 160 was with -6 LG, so based on what everyone says about LG, hopefully something in the mid-160s would be reasonably achievable. I'm hoping I'll be able to get LG to -0/-1 consistently, and also improve a bit in LR and RC. I may even look into tutoring or something if that's what it takes to get to the mid-high 160s. It just sucks that reapplying may mean working a deadend job, but if that's what it takes to get to the T14 I would probably be willing to do it.


165-166 improves your outlook somewhat. https://mylsn.info/lqqexl/
Once you hit 167, you start seeing some real money from T-6 down.https://mylsn.info/nx7hp7/

Have you considered working for a campaign? I don’t know your politics but there are a dozen presidential candidates hiring junior staffers now. It’s challenging, frustrating, low-paying, and you’ll get to know Cedar Rapids better than you’d like but it’s rewarding, meaningful work. Plus if your candidate wins, there will be job opportunities at WH.

239840

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:37 am

AdieuCali wrote:
239840 wrote:
albanach wrote:A T2 school doesn't bode well for your goal of biglaw. Likely a decent percentage of graduates are un- or under-employed at graduation. And, even with full tuition, it's going to cost you $70k to attend just for cost of living.

You shouldn't need a big boost in the LSAT to get into T-14 territory. I'd strongly encourage you to retake the LSAT and get admitted to a school from which you can readily achieve your goals.

Use the forums here for guidance on the LSAT. It might be that simply mastering games and a small improvement elsewhere will get you into the mid-high 160s.


The 160 was with -6 LG, so based on what everyone says about LG, hopefully something in the mid-160s would be reasonably achievable. I'm hoping I'll be able to get LG to -0/-1 consistently, and also improve a bit in LR and RC. I may even look into tutoring or something if that's what it takes to get to the mid-high 160s. It just sucks that reapplying may mean working a deadend job, but if that's what it takes to get to the T14 I would probably be willing to do it.


165-166 improves your outlook somewhat. https://mylsn.info/lqqexl/
Once you hit 167, you start seeing some real money from T-6 down.https://mylsn.info/nx7hp7/

Have you considered working for a campaign? I don’t know your politics but there are a dozen presidential candidates hiring junior staffers now. It’s challenging, frustrating, low-paying, and you’ll get to know Cedar Rapids better than you’d like but it’s rewarding, meaningful work. Plus if your candidate wins, there will be job opportunities at WH.


I'd love to get up to 167+. No, I really haven't considered that. I'd imagine those jobs aren't easy to get, though? I'm waiting to hear back on a paralegal job now, but I'd look at different possibilities. I would prefer something without much overtime due to the LSAT.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby PanjandrumOfReason » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:56 am

I definitely advise retaking the LSAT. It's actually possible that you could retake in June 2019 and get into a T13 off a waitlist for fall 2019, but you wouldn't get any money in that scenario, and even if that were to occur, I would then probably advise reapplying for money anyway.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby AdieuCali » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:24 am

239840 wrote:I'd love to get up to 167+. No, I really haven't considered that. I'd imagine those jobs aren't easy to get, though? I'm waiting to hear back on a paralegal job now, but I'd look at different possibilities. I would prefer something without much overtime due to the LSAT.


Campaign jobs are pretty easy to get, especially with so many candidates. Most of the people who work those entry-level campaign jobs are recent college grads. But you're right in that they will require a lot of overtime and unusual hours that might not be the most conducive to LSAT prep. Sounds like that paralegal job would be great if you can snag it. But while Starbucks might suck, it's not a dead-end. Working a crappy job that allows you study time to get an extra $100k in scholarships and set yourself up for a job that starts at $190k 4 years down the road is a pretty good deal.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:17 pm

AdieuCali wrote:
239840 wrote:I'd love to get up to 167+. No, I really haven't considered that. I'd imagine those jobs aren't easy to get, though? I'm waiting to hear back on a paralegal job now, but I'd look at different possibilities. I would prefer something without much overtime due to the LSAT.


Campaign jobs are pretty easy to get, especially with so many candidates. Most of the people who work those entry-level campaign jobs are recent college grads. But you're right in that they will require a lot of overtime and unusual hours that might not be the most conducive to LSAT prep. Sounds like that paralegal job would be great if you can snag it. But while Starbucks might suck, it's not a dead-end. Working a crappy job that allows you study time to get an extra $100k in scholarships and set yourself up for a job that starts at $190k 4 years down the road is a pretty good deal.


That's a good point.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:38 am

Got a 165 on the July 2019 LSAT!! I'm now wondering if I should apply early with this score, or perhaps try to squeeze out another 2-5 points before moving on from the LSAT for good. I probably have one more take in me. I definitely feel more apprehensive about taking it again than I did before, since it'd suck to go down or just get the same score. A 167-170 would seem to set me up for success that much more, though. Thoughts?

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby Wubbles » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:50 am

239840 wrote:Got a 165 on the July 2019 LSAT!! I'm now wondering if I should apply early with this score, or perhaps try to squeeze out another 2-5 points before moving on from the LSAT for good. I probably have one more take in me. I definitely feel more apprehensive about taking it again than I did before, since it'd suck to go down or just get the same score. A 167-170 would seem to set me up for success that much more, though. Thoughts?

Congrats on the improvement! I would definitely recommend retaking again, as a mere 2 points higher would put you at the median LSAT at Cornell and tremendously help your application. As a URM, that could also mean serious money. Best of luck!

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:44 am

239840 wrote:Got a 165 on the July 2019 LSAT!! I'm now wondering if I should apply early with this score, or perhaps try to squeeze out another 2-5 points before moving on from the LSAT for good. I probably have one more take in me. I definitely feel more apprehensive about taking it again than I did before, since it'd suck to go down or just get the same score. A 167-170 would seem to set me up for success that much more, though. Thoughts?

Agreed. Applying in September vs. early November won't make a ton of difference, and the extra 2 points would make a big difference so the risk-reward assessment strongly favors retaking.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:57 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:
239840 wrote:Got a 165 on the July 2019 LSAT!! I'm now wondering if I should apply early with this score, or perhaps try to squeeze out another 2-5 points before moving on from the LSAT for good. I probably have one more take in me. I definitely feel more apprehensive about taking it again than I did before, since it'd suck to go down or just get the same score. A 167-170 would seem to set me up for success that much more, though. Thoughts?

Agreed. Applying in September vs. early November won't make a ton of difference, and the extra 2 points would make a big difference so the risk-reward assessment strongly favors retaking.


Thanks. That was my thinking too. If I could get a 167+ in September or October it would really help I think. Of course, I was ecstatic - and still am - about getting a 165, and it definitely was a confidence-booster. My goal way back when I started preparing for the LSAT was to at least hit 164, so it's really nice to know I at least managed to do that. This was my fifth take. I don't have too much left in the tank for this test, but I'm willing to give it 1-2 more shots since it could mean saving potentially tens of thousands of dollars' worth of debt down the line (unless you think 6-7 takes would look that much worse than 5; my hope was that the number wouldn't matter so much since some blame goes to LSAC for making students think takes would be unlimited and then shifting in my opinion). I will be careful about deciding when to take it next; I'm currently registered for September, but the deadline for October is September 10th and I could always switch to October if my PTs don't seem auspicious with regard to September.

The reason I still feel there may be more improvement left for me is because much of my prep has been centered around LG, which was a big struggle for me for a while. My diagnostic was technically a 157, but that was with an untimed LG section. Had I timed LG, it would've been maybe in the mid-high 140s. Because of how much of a struggle getting fairly good at LG was for me, though, I really haven't taken that many PTs throughout my prep due to (previous) fear of having a bad LG section spiral everything out of control. I "wasted" PTs 62-71 going through the LSAT Trainer, too (to be clear, I'm a fan of the book, but I don't think it should use newer pretests for the study schedule - I think it'd make more sense to have people save newer tests for when they're basically done with the book, and just have the going-through-the-book prep as preliminary prep, personally). I have, however, because of the above-mentioned LG fears, 19 fresh preptests remaining, including 4-5 in the 70s and two in the 80s. I pretty much just foolproofed, did timed LR and RC sections from early PTs, and did 1-2 PTs for July because it felt like a worthy gamble with the option of a free retake. That - combined with my enjoyment of the digital format - leaves me optimistic that I might be able to bump my score up a bit more. I had some stamina issues, perhaps because of this lack of timed PTs, in the last LR section in July - I just felt a bit exhausted by the fifth section (which I presume was real) and didn't get to 1-2 questions at the end despite the fact I was able to finish the first LR early and then go back and review circled questions.
Last edited by 239840 on Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:04 pm

239840 wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:
239840 wrote:Got a 165 on the July 2019 LSAT!! I'm now wondering if I should apply early with this score, or perhaps try to squeeze out another 2-5 points before moving on from the LSAT for good. I probably have one more take in me. I definitely feel more apprehensive about taking it again than I did before, since it'd suck to go down or just get the same score. A 167-170 would seem to set me up for success that much more, though. Thoughts?

Agreed. Applying in September vs. early November won't make a ton of difference, and the extra 2 points would make a big difference so the risk-reward assessment strongly favors retaking.


Thanks. That was my thinking too. If I could get a 167+ in September or October it would really help I think. Of course, I was ecstatic - and still am - about getting a 165, and it definitely was a confidence-booster. My goal way back when I started preparing for the LSAT was to at least hit 164, so it's really nice to know I at least managed to do that. This was my fifth take. I don't have too much left in the tank for this test, but I'm willing to give it 1-2 more shots since it could mean saving potentially tens of thousands of dollars' worth of debt down the line (unless you think 6-7 takes would look that much worse than 5; my hope was that the number wouldn't matter so much since some blame goes to LSAC for making students think takes would be unlimited and then shifting in my opinion). I will be careful about deciding when to take it next; I'm currently registered for September, but the deadline for October is September 10th and I could always switch to October if my PTs don't seem auspicious with regard to September.

The reason I still feel there may be more improvement left for me is because much of my prep has been centered around LG, which has been the bane of my LSAT prep from the beginning. My diagnostic was technically a 157, but that was with an untimed LG section. Had I timed LG, it would've been maybe in the mid-high 140s. Because of how much of a struggle getting fairly good at LG was for me, though, I really haven't taken that many PTs throughout my prep due to (previous) fear of having a bad LG section spiral everything out of control. I "wasted" PTs 62-71 going through the LSAT Trainer, too (to be clear, I'm a fan of the book, but I don't think it should use newer pretests for the study schedule - I think it'd make more sense to have people save newer tests for when they're basically done with the book, and just have the going-through-the-book prep as preliminary prep, personally). I have, however, because of the above-mentioned LG fears, 19 fresh preptests remaining, including 4-5 in the 70s and two in the 80s. I pretty much just foolproofed, did timed LR and RC sections from early PTs, and did 1-2 PTs for July because it felt like a worthy gamble with the option of a free retake. That - combined with my enjoyment of the digital format - leaves me optimistic that I might be able to bump my score up a bit more. I had some stamina issues, perhaps because of this lack of timed PTs, in the last LR section in July - I just felt a bit exhausted by the fifth section (which I presume was real) and didn't get to 1-2 questions at the end despite the fact I was able to finish the first LR early and then go back and review circled questions.

Yes, it's impressive tenacity and I understand why it is hard to give it another go. Most people phone it in after they get a score they think is good enough so it's actually uncommon for those with say a 168 to retake even if it won't really impact when they apply. It's boring to do the same thing over and over when you thought last time would be the last time, and maybe even embarrassing to tell friends and family you're taking the test again as nobody outside of young lawyers will really get why you keep taking it. I'm sure you feel a bit like the Bill Murray character in Groundhog Day.

However, you are in the range where every point is incredibly valuable so if you can stomach it, it makes sense to retake. The September 1 vs. November 1 distinction won't make a ton of difference, because schools already have an idea of what numbers they will accept and won't accept, and to the extent that changes over the course of a cycle, it's unlikely that would happen in the first two months.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:10 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:Yes, it's impressive tenacity and I understand why it is hard to give it another go. Most people phone it in after they get a score they think is good enough so it's actually uncommon for those with say a 168 to retake even if it won't really impact when they apply. It's boring to do the same thing over and over when you thought last time would be the last time, and maybe even embarrassing to tell friends and family you're taking the test again as nobody outside of young lawyers will really get why you keep taking it. I'm sure you feel a bit like the Bill Murray character in Groundhog Day.

However, you are in the range where every point is incredibly valuable so if you can stomach it, it makes sense to retake. The September 1 vs. November 1 distinction won't make a ton of difference, because schools already have an idea of what numbers they will accept and won't accept, and to the extent that changes over the course of a cycle, it's unlikely that would happen in the first two months.


I haven't seen that movie, but judging by the description it does sound a lot like how I feel sometimes. :P What if I were to take it in late November? Would you go ahead and apply before the November test date? I'm hoping to retake by October at the latest, but I don't want to sit for it again until I'm confident in my ability to get a 167+.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:03 pm

I gambled by applying with the 165 and have had a disappointing cycle so far. The 165 from July appeared to be a representative score at that time because I took a PT after July and got a 166, but I started feeling burned out and just decided to apply with the 165 instead of pushing for 2-3 more points. The decision to not retake was probably helped along by the fact that I wasn't able to find a way to adjust to digital RC and got discouraged since I'd just started to hit my stride there on paper. I'm still waiting on a few schools that could potentially salvage things, but it's not looking good. It appears I've been shut-out of the T14 (waiting on two but not hopeful). My URM status didn't seem to affect or boost my results notably, as all of my results seem in line with my stats. I'm also not open to reapplying for personal reasons, so I will either retake in June to try to get schools to reconsider/get off of a waitlist, or just go to the best school I got a full-ride from and aim for being in the top 20-30% for Big Law. I'm going to start doing some LSAT prep, but it remains to be seen if I'll have to work hard to just get back to the mid-160s. It's been 5-6 months since I've touched anything LSAT related.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:18 pm

239840 wrote:I gambled by applying with the 165 and have had a disappointing cycle so far. The 165 from July appeared to be a representative score at that time because I took a PT after July and got a 166, but I started feeling burned out and just decided to apply with the 165 instead of pushing for 2-3 more points. The decision to not retake was probably helped along by the fact that I wasn't able to find a way to adjust to digital RC and got discouraged since I'd just started to hit my stride there on paper. I'm still waiting on a few schools that could potentially salvage things, but it's not looking good. It appears I've been shut-out of the T14 (waiting on two but not hopeful). My URM status didn't seem to affect or boost my results notably, as all of my results seem in line with my stats. I'm also not open to reapplying for personal reasons, so I will either retake in June to try to get schools to reconsider/get off of a waitlist, or just go to the best school I got a full-ride from and aim for being in the top 20-30% for Big Law. I'm going to start doing some LSAT prep, but it remains to be seen if I'll have to work hard to just get back to the mid-160s. It's been 5-6 months since I've touched anything LSAT related.

It's like riding a bike.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:35 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:It's like riding a bike.


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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:38 pm

239840 wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:It's like riding a bike.


The LSAT?

Yes. Also, bike riding is like riding a bike.

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Re: Deciding between reapplying and going this fall

Postby 239840 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:30 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:
239840 wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:It's like riding a bike.


The LSAT?

Yes. Also, bike riding is like riding a bike.


For sure... Thanks!

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