168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Too Many Variables...

WUSTL/Illinois
13
20%
UCLA
13
20%
USC
4
6%
Fordham
7
11%
UT
5
8%
You'll get into NW or Cornell fo' shizzle!
12
18%
Pin hopes on waitlist
4
6%
Retake and reapply
7
11%
 
Total votes: 65

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MusicNutMeggie
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168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:27 pm

So far, I am:
-"on reserve" at Columbia
-in the "special group on the preferred waitlist" at GULC
-waitlisted at Duke
-held at Northwestern
-still waiting to hear from Cornell, but given how tough this year's been, I'm not overly optimistic.

I graduated Phi Beta Kappa in May '09 with a BM and a BA from a top-30 university and am currently working with under-performing kids at a charter school for inner-city populations. A few other decent softs-- heavy extra-curricular involvement, etc., plus a VERY unique personal statement, but whatever. My LSAT was 168 (160 retake), but I scored in the mid-170's on EVERY released test before I choked and kind of blew the June test. Whoops. I also applied in mid-November and early December, so that couldn't have helped matters.

I'm choosing between:
-A full-tuition scholly at WUSTL
-non-resident tuition exemption plus $7000 a year at UT
-half tuition at USC
-full tuition at Illinois
-$25000/year at Fordham
-$2500/year at UCLA (and I'm a CA resident)

No, I have no idea what kind of law I want to practice-- I have healthy interests in Constitutional, international, public interest...that's no help. I've lived in LA, and I love it. I've lived in New York, and I love it there, too. DC seems pretty awesome, though I haven't spent much time there. I definitely want to end up on one of the coasts...but don't yet know which one, and Chicago's certainly not out of the question. I have a brother and two nieces in Austin, I've never been to St. Louis, and...aarrrrgggh!

Just looking for some opinions here. I know there's no way I'm getting into Columbia off the "reserve" list, even though that was my first choice school-- I'm not delusional. I'm also seriously considering a transfer attempt should I manage to rock 1L exams-- should I go to WUSTL/Illinois kind of school for free for a year? I would just love to get some guidance here. Thanks!

EDIT: Totally forgot to say that my UG GPA was about a 3.8-- I'd have to look it up, but I want to say 3.825?
Last edited by MusicNutMeggie on Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Cactus
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby Cactus » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:59 pm

(0L Disclaimer) However, everything I've read on here suggests that going to a school with full intention of attempting a transer after 1L is ill-advised at best, and a downright awful idea at worst. The rule of thumb seems to be - would you be satisfied graduating from the school you are planning on transferring out of? If the answer is no, then I would advise you to consider other options. If you really can't stomach going to one of the schools that you've been accepted to, then I would ride out the waitlists a bit longer as well as waiting to see if you get in at Cornell. Either way, congratulations on the good offers you've already received and good luck with the rest of your cycle.

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MusicNutMeggie
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:13 pm

I really like UCLA, and I'd be perfectly happy graduating from there. I know that it's pure folly to matriculate at one school planning to transfer, and it's not like that's necessarily my endgame, it's just...if I DID end up transferring, I'd have spent a lot more going to UCLA than going to Illinois, UT, or WUSTL, and then I'd feel silly.

My only real problem with UT (besides its location in a red state-- and don't start on how liberal Austin is, because I've heard the spiel and I understand) is that it seems like their national placement isn't great, and I'd be way better off on the west coast at UCLA or on the east coast with Fordham. Am I wrong?

And can anyone add anything about Illinois or WUSTL? I know so little about what life at the schools is like, what kind of national placement they have, etc. Thanks!!

Xptboy
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby Xptboy » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:12 pm

I think you've got a good shot of getting into GULC & Cornell

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scribelaw
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby scribelaw » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:18 pm

Why not try Michigan?

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romothesavior
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:20 pm

Don't go to a school unless you are comfortable graduating from there.

But seriously, how awesome would it be to graduate with almost zero debt? Is paying 200k+ for a Cornell or GULC degree really worth that much more to you than having 50k-100k from a school ranked a few spots lower? I didn't vote because I didn't really know which is best for you, but I'd say either WUSTL, Fordham, or UCLA. (No reason to pick UIUC if you can go to WUSTL for the same price.)

Quite honestly, I'll bet you get into Cornell and/or GULC. And +1 to scribelaw. Michigan would have been a good shot.

PS. How the hell did you get so much outta WUSTL? I have almost identical numbers and I got a good scholly, but considerably less.

Also, if you want a first-hand perspective into the ins-and-outs of UIUC and WUSTL, PM me. I'm very familiar with both and I'm from the area.

09042014
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:27 pm

romothesavior wrote:(No reason to pick UIUC if you can go to WUSTL for the same price.)



Better shot at a job in Chicago from UIUC than WUSTL.

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danr2040
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby danr2040 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:31 pm

Choose the school you would most like to attend out of your current options and put down a deposit there.

Then, sign up for and take the June LSAT. If you don't improve the third time, just go where you are deposited now. If you get a 170 or higher, forefit your deposit and reapply everywhere next year. Or, you may even get a school you are waitlisted at to accept you for this cycle after improving on your LSAT, which I was able to do with numbers similar to yours.

If you were consistently scoring in the mid-170s in realistic practice, give the LSAT a 3rd try and get the cycle you deserve next time.
Last edited by danr2040 on Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:34 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
romothesavior wrote:(No reason to pick UIUC if you can go to WUSTL for the same price.)



Better shot at a job in Chicago from UIUC than WUSTL.


Do you think that is more due to self-selection, or do you think UIUC really opens more doors? I'm not convinced one way or the other, I'm just curious.

But since OP isn't set on the Windy City, I think he would do better to pick the place with more portability.

And FWIW, I think I'm gonna say to go to USC or UCLA. Although I would love you to join me in St. Louis next year, it sounds like you are genuinely happy out there and would be the best option for you.

09042014
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:54 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
romothesavior wrote:(viewtopic.php?f=10&t=113281)



Better shot at a job in Chicago from UIUC than WUSTL.


Do you think that is more due to self-selection, or do you think UIUC really opens more doors? I'm not convinced one way or the other, I'm just curious.

But since OP isn't set on the Windy City, I think he would do better to pick the place with more portability.

And FWIW, I think I'm gonna say to go to USC or UCLA. Although I would love you to join me in St. Louis next year, it sounds like you are genuinely happy out there and would be the best option for you.



WUSTL has more portability but its pretty damn limited. The schools are pretty much tied in NLJ250 placement.

I think it really opens more doors. Years of self selection build up a lot of good favor for the school in Chicago. UIUC has a massive alumni base in Chicago is all sectors.

Wustl is an up and comer and still isn't objectively better than UIUC.

But this is my Chicago bias showing.

The schools are peers. I don't think there is a clear winner.

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zozin
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby zozin » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:56 pm

Hold out for Columbia, if you don't get in, reapply. Your profile has a 3.8 listed, don't let a 3.8 go to waste, especially when you've practiced the LSAT @ mid-170s. Determine what you got wrong on the LSAT and why, improve on those areas. If you manage to score around your average, you've got Harvard #s.

r6_philly
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:30 am

3.8 is below Harvard's median isn't it?

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MusicNutMeggie
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:50 am

scribelaw wrote:Why not try Michigan?

I would have LOVED to have gone to Michigan...too bad they rejected me out of hand. I was a little surprised; I was expecting that they'd at least waitlist me...but then, UVA rejected me, too, and so did UPenn. :-(

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Bikeflip
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby Bikeflip » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:11 am

MusicNutMeggie wrote:
scribelaw wrote:Why not try Michigan?

I would have LOVED to have gone to Michigan...too bad they rejected me out of hand. I was a little surprised; I was expecting that they'd at least waitlist me...but then, UVA rejected me, too, and so did UPenn. :-(

Same boat.

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MusicNutMeggie
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:21 am

Bikeflip wrote:
MusicNutMeggie wrote:
scribelaw wrote:Why not try Michigan?

I would have LOVED to have gone to Michigan...too bad they rejected me out of hand. I was a little surprised; I was expecting that they'd at least waitlist me...but then, UVA rejected me, too, and so did UPenn. :-(

Same boat.


People keep saying how tough this year is, but...man, they're not kidding.

byunbee
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby byunbee » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:24 am

I also got full tuition at Illinois and WUSTL, I would seriously consider those schools. I'm from Chicago, and I want to work here after law school, so maybe I'm a bit biased. But would I be correct if I characterize you as more of a coastal person? I think you're getting a pretty good deal from UCLA. Fordham's pretty good as well--good reputation, good placement at New York firms.

I also got holds from Columbia (took a shot at a reach school, I'll take a hold as a moral victory) and NU, and "special group within preferred waitlist at Georgetown." I don't know about you, but I don't really expect to get in at any of these schools. Still, I don't think law school seat deposits are binding agreements. You can always put a deposit down at a school you'd be comfortable going to, and try to wait it out.

blueballa
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby blueballa » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:36 am

OP, i was actually in the same position a few months ago -- similar gpa, took the lsat twice and maxed out at 168 -- but i really had my heart set on columbia. so i studied my ass off for two months, got a low-170s score on my third try, and got into columbia. if you really have a particular school in mind then i would absolutely recommend taking the test a third time, especially if your practice test range is mid-170s. it sounds like you're definitely capable of getting into a t14 school, even a t6, if you're willing to wait the extra year and put in the time.

but then again, a full ride to wash u is a pretty damn sweet deal.

byunbee
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby byunbee » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:08 am

If you truly honestly think you can score significantly higher on the LSAT (4-6 points or more), and you ABSOLUTELY cannot accept going non-T14, then maybe you should wait for next year.

I pretty much took the above route to crack into the T14 this year, of course I didn't have a nice list of alternatives last year like you do now. But I will say, I think after a certain point getting into a top law school is kind of a crap shoot. You have good numbers and soft qualifications already, maybe you just need a few more rolls of the dice? I think if you keep up the work that you're doing with inner city kids for another year, rework your PS, and maybe break into the 170s, you will probably do much better.

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MusicNutMeggie
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:20 pm

In case anyone's curious, I got into Northwestern and Cornell, and I'm deciding between the two-- leaning toward NU, but we'll see! No money at either, but life goes on. :-)

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holydonkey
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby holydonkey » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:22 pm

MusicNutMeggie wrote:In case anyone's curious, I got into Northwestern and Cornell, and I'm deciding between the two-- leaning toward NU, but we'll see! No money at either, but life goes on. :-)
Congrats! Go to Northwestern!

CanadianWolf
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:01 pm

Northwestern.

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MusicNutMeggie
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Re: 168, 3.8-- ride the waitlists, take a scholly, reapply?

Postby MusicNutMeggie » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:10 pm

holydonkey wrote:
MusicNutMeggie wrote:In case anyone's curious, I got into Northwestern and Cornell, and I'm deciding between the two-- leaning toward NU, but we'll see! No money at either, but life goes on. :-)
Congrats! Go to Northwestern!


Thanks! I'm definitely leaning that way...but I owe Ithaca a visit, methinks.




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