Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

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berkeleygirl21
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Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby berkeleygirl21 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:24 pm

I have an LSAC 3.6 undergrad GPA from Berkeley. In addition, I'm planning on attending Oxford in the fall to do a masters in Women studies, focusing on the history of female reproductive rights.

Will the Masters help me out, and what LSAT do I need to get to be competitive for the top 5 schools?

charlesjd
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby charlesjd » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:25 pm

.
Last edited by charlesjd on Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MURPH
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby MURPH » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:29 pm

Masters usually doesn't help, except maybe to get you a good LOR.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby Kilpatrick » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:30 pm

MURPH wrote:Masters usually doesn't help, except maybe to get you a good LOR.


which also doesn't really matter.

270910
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:36 pm

Executive summary:

1) LSAT + uGPA do 95%+ of the work on your application. It would only be a slight overstatement to say NOTHING matters but LSAT, GPA, and status as an underrepresented minority.

2) lawschoolpredictor.com

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Hammurabi
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby Hammurabi » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:48 pm

not even worth 1 LSAT point. no joke.

lakerfanimal
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby lakerfanimal » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:50 pm

You still need a high 160's score for the top 5 schools I think if your masters is through being a Rhodes scholar. If it's a regular masters program you need a 170's score still I think. For Berkeley though you might be able to get away with a mid 160's score still.

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ToriM
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby ToriM » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:50 pm

berkeleygirl21 wrote:I have an LSAC 3.6 undergrad GPA from Berkeley. In addition, I'm planning on attending Oxford in the fall to do a masters in Women studies, focusing on the history of female reproductive rights.

Will the Masters help me out, and what LSAT do I need to get to be competitive for the top 5 schools?


Hey Berkeleygirl! I'm at Ox at the moment doing a master's (won't say which program as I don't want to be easily identifiable). There are loads of Americans here who do one or two year master's programs then apply to law school in the States (I can name 8 applying for this cycle that I know off the top of my head, three of which are in my program) and I can tell you from what I've seen that it really, really doesn't help at all. If you're a Rhodie or a Marshall, then of course, those are the game-changers of all game-changers, and those kids usually end up at Yale (even still, I know of a Rhodie who didn't get the LSAT score she wanted and would rather retake and apply next year than try to see if she can get in on her title). But, otherwise, it doesn't matter. Also, keep in mind that it's not inconceivable that someone from your degree program will be applying during the same cycle (had a friend in the Women's Studies Mst who applied last cycle). Use your Ox time to get a good LOR and some interesting softs on your resume and prioritize the LSAT.

Good luck!

ETA: Your choice of academic focus sounds very exciting (doing some gender-related stuff myself). PM if you'd like to chat more about Ox in a more general capacity.
Last edited by ToriM on Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

icydash
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby icydash » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:51 pm

Doesn't matter at all.

I have a masters and it was completely useless in my application cycle.
Last edited by icydash on Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JordynAsh
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby JordynAsh » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:51 pm

Multiple thread Nazi says...
Image

NO MULTIPLE THREADS FOR YOU!

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gymboree
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby gymboree » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:54 pm

This depends on where you apply - some schools reference the stats in their profiles, some don't. I do believe this aligns with the attention they pay to this particular soft. For example, some schools (Boalt - 18%, UC Irvine - 20%) have a very high percentage of their admits with graduate/professional degrees. Other schools the % of students in the class with grad/prof degrees is very low (12% at UVA).

This is no accident. I do believe you will see a positive externality when applying to those schools with the highest rates because they're obviously looking for it.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:34 pm

gymboree wrote:This depends on where you apply - some schools reference the stats in their profiles, some don't. I do believe this aligns with the attention they pay to this particular soft. For example, some schools (Boalt - 18%, UC Irvine - 20%) have a very high percentage of their admits with graduate/professional degrees. Other schools the % of students in the class with grad/prof degrees is very low (12% at UVA).

This is no accident. I do believe you will see a positive externality when applying to those schools with the highest rates because they're obviously looking for it.


as an above poster said, its not worth 1 LSAT point.

270910
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:38 pm

gymboree wrote:This depends on where you apply - some schools reference the stats in their profiles, some don't. I do believe this aligns with the attention they pay to this particular soft. For example, some schools (Boalt - 18%, UC Irvine - 20%) have a very high percentage of their admits with graduate/professional degrees. Other schools the % of students in the class with grad/prof degrees is very low (12% at UVA).

This is no accident. I do believe you will see a positive externality when applying to those schools with the highest rates because they're obviously looking for it.


*face palm*

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FunkyJD
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby FunkyJD » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:45 pm

I'm finishing up a master's. If it helped, I didn't notice. I told Georgetown about it, but for some reason they kept looking at my LSAT. Damn it!!! Bastards!

bobo11111111111
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby bobo11111111111 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:41 pm

A masters and some decent work experience might help compensate for a low gpa. But, it still comes down to the all important LSAT.

So basically, do a masters because you want to... Not because you think it might help in your law school application cycle.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:48 pm

bobo11111111111 wrote:A masters and some decent work experience might help compensate for a low gpa. But, it still comes down to the all important LSAT.

So basically, do a masters because you want to... Not because you think it might help in your law school application cycle.


it might help compliment a low GPA if you are 'on the margins' or if they really don't care abt GPA. but if you are an auto-ding or auto-WL then that is how it is and no number of Masters is going to change that.

09042014
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:54 pm

berkeleygirl21 wrote:I have an LSAC 3.6 undergrad GPA from Berkeley. In addition, I'm planning on attending Oxford in the fall to do a masters in Women studies, focusing on the history of female reproductive rights.

Will the Masters help me out, and what LSAT do I need to get to be competitive for the top 5 schools?


No, and it shouldn't help. Anyone can get a masters is woman's studies. That you take the time to do so is irrelevant to how you'd perform as a law student.

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OneKnight
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby OneKnight » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:21 am

Desert Fox wrote:
berkeleygirl21 wrote:I have an LSAC 3.6 undergrad GPA from Berkeley. In addition, I'm planning on attending Oxford in the fall to do a masters in Women studies, focusing on the history of female reproductive rights.

Will the Masters help me out, and what LSAT do I need to get to be competitive for the top 5 schools?


No, and it shouldn't help. Anyone can get a masters in woman's studies. That you take the time to do so is irrelevant to how you'd perform as a law student.


FTFY

I posted this in the other thread, but I think a graduate degree is a decent soft, which it should be. It is impossible to deny that an applicant's LSAT and UGPA are far and away the most important factors. However, in the hypothetical case of two numerically identical applicants separated only by a graduate degree, the applicant with the graduate degree would most often prevail.

DF: Getting a Mst/Mphil from Oxford may not be the world's most difficult endeavor, but it is certainly not something that just "anyone" can do. Completing a graduate degree and writing a thesis takes perseverance and intellectual curiosity, to say the least. High performance in a graduate program may not directly predict high performance in law school, but then neither does high performance in an undergraduate program (which is why we have the LSAT "great equalizer" in the first place).

OP: Unless your only reason for getting your Mst/Mphil at Oxford is to improve your chances of acceptance at law school, go to Oxford and enjoy it. Oxford is a wonderful place to study. However, don't expect the degree to add much to your application.

EDIT: Also, there is (presumably) a reason that the OP wants to go to graduate school rather than law school this fall. If the OP goes to Oxford and decides to forego law school in order to get a Ph.D. and enter academia (or to enter the workforce), the OP will not have wasted time and money in law school before dropping out after 1L (or worse, after completing law school and deciding law is not for him/her). A friend of mine dropped out of law school after his first year and will attend Columbia J-School this fall. Believe me, he would much rather enter the J-School without a year's worth of debt from a private law school.

yeff
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby yeff » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:58 am

OneKnight wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
berkeleygirl21 wrote:I have an LSAC 3.6 undergrad GPA from Berkeley. In addition, I'm planning on attending Oxford in the fall to do a masters in Women studies, focusing on the history of female reproductive rights.

Will the Masters help me out, and what LSAT do I need to get to be competitive for the top 5 schools?


No, and it shouldn't help. Anyone can get a masters in woman's studies. That you take the time to do so is irrelevant to how you'd perform as a law student.


FTFY

I posted this in the other thread, but I think a graduate degree is a decent soft, which it should be. It is impossible to deny that an applicant's LSAT and UGPA are far and away the most important factors. However, in the hypothetical case of two numerically identical applicants separated only by a graduate degree, the applicant with the graduate degree would most often prevail.

DF: Getting a Mst/Mphil from Oxford may not be the world's most difficult endeavor, but it is certainly not something that just "anyone" can do. Completing a graduate degree and writing a thesis takes perseverance and intellectual curiosity, to say the least. High performance in a graduate program may not directly predict high performance in law school, but then neither does high performance in an undergraduate program (which is why we have the LSAT "great equalizer" in the first place).

OP: Unless your only reason for getting your Mst/Mphil at Oxford is to improve your chances of acceptance at law school, go to Oxford and enjoy it. Oxford is a wonderful place to study. However, don't expect the degree to add much to your application.


Credited.

OP, think about it this way. Yes, all else equal, the masters degree will help slightly. But you need the LSAT/UGPA combo to be put in such a position.

To get a better sense of the LSAT you'll need for the top 5-6 schools check out the guide to predictors thread and then poke around the various tools: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=85851

Law school numbers is very good, but can be tough to look at since there's no close up.

Though chiahsu is out of date, it allows you to get a closer look at the graph and get a better idea about your particular combo. A tool like Law School Predictor doesn't necessarily give you this ability.

The result?

1. Yale - A 3.6 GPA puts you two-tenths deeps in a sea of rejections - regardless of LSAT, basically nobody below 3.8 gets in. You would probably need to do something pretty damn incredible in your life (and getting a masters isn't it) and write a terrifyingly good 250. Even a 180 won't cut it.

2. Harvard - Not as insane as Yale, but doesn't like to go below 3.8, let alone 3.7. Probably need no less than 178 to be competitive here.

3. Stanford - Very steep line of green - they like high GPAs and are perhaps surprisingly lenient on the LSAT. This does not work in your favor. Tough to see you being "competitive" here with any LSAT score.

4-6. Columbia, Chicago, NYU. Much more LSAT-heavy. Since your GPA of 3.6 is right around the 25th percentile GPA for each of these (3.6 CLS 3.63 Chi 3.57 NYU) shoot for an LSAT at the 75th percentile and above (175 CLS 173 Chi 173 NYU).

Have you started studying for the LSAT? Taken a diagnostic?

s419
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby s419 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:45 am

yeff wrote:
Credited.

OP, think about it this way. Yes, all else equal, the masters degree will help slightly. But you need the LSAT/UGPA combo to be put in such a position.



I think my cycle strongly supports this statement. I have an MA (in my very specific field) and I think it helped my application really tell a strong "story" about who I am and what I want to do in and after law school. But I think it just complemented my softs because I had the numbers to get in everywhere I got in. I think it helped me dodge WL at schools that typically YP (MVP). I'm going to HLS in the fall, and I just glanced at LSN, and the immediate area of my dot is mostly WLs (I think by this year's standards I will have a below median GPA - 3.86). So clearly my softs, of which my MA is a prominent one, helped me there.

I will say they can probably tell if you just did the program for your resume or to wait things out. I also used the time spent getting my MA to work full-time for a year and to retake the LSAT.

singingvontrapp
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby singingvontrapp » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:42 pm

Oxford + Cambridge = Expensive degree mills.

Going there to make up for LSAT is crazy. But it's not much better to go there to do Women's Studies.

icydash
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby icydash » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:48 pm

Well I think we can pretty much all agree here.

/thread

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FunkyJD
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby FunkyJD » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:56 pm

This thread is like asking if having a sense of humor adequately compensates for having a four-inch penis; or if having a pretty face makes you desirable if you're 20 pounds overweight.

Case-by-case analysis, and hope for the best.
Last edited by FunkyJD on Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

270910
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:57 pm

FunkyJD wrote:This thread is like asking if having a sense of humor adequately compensates for having a four-inch penis; or if having a pretty face makes you more desirable if you're 20 pounds overweight.

Case-by-case analysis, and hope for the best.


I nominate FunkyJD for king of the 0Ls.

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FunkyJD
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Re: Will a Masters compensate for low LSAT?

Postby FunkyJD » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:16 pm

Thanks, but that might be interpreted as my compensating for something.




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