cigrainger wrote:LSAC is trying to reassure me by telling me universities know that this is only from a few courses in high school. But because it's my LSAC GPA, law schools have to report it to USNWR -- 2.5 doesn't treat a median GPA very well, even at schools with big class sizes.
My question is: do you think LSAC is right, or do you think law schools are going to drop the dinghammer on me, despite otherwise being qualified? I'm practice testing in the upper 170's and will sit the June LSAT, and I'm hoping to break 170 on the actual test. I was hoping to have a shot at places like Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Chicago, Berkeley, Penn, Mich (no subtle X trolling here -- have a girlfriend who needs to be in a city for work). Is this going to lock me out of the t14?
What a sucky and IMO unjust situation, cigrainger. I have a few thoughts:
1) I'm pretty sure you've already done this, but do make sure you've uncovered every possible loophole or technicality with LSAC and/or the community college at which you DEed. Review the official, verbatim policies at both places regarding this matter, and make sure you talk(ed) to the "right" people at LSAC/the CC. If you've done this already, try to find out how you can get this policy changed. Don't count on it working, but it wouldn't hurt to try - and maybe with the right argument in front of the right people, LSAC's DE policy could change. I obviously wouldn't recommend this for just anything, and there are a lot of iffy LSAC policies that people do just have to accept, but, IMO, your situation as I understand it takes the cake. The LSAC can say all it wants about how writing an addendum will help, but the law schools aren't answering to LSAC - as you astutely point out, they're answering to USNWR. And I just don't see an addendum doing much of anything to make your 2.5 "acceptable" to the schools you mentioned.
2) That said, I certainly don't think it's *impossible* for you to get into a T10, and there are a few things still within your control. To start off, you should definitely find out whether at least one of the schools you mentioned has taken at least one non-URM 2.5 in the past. LSN/LSP would help with that. If there is such a case of this, try to discern what pushed the candidate over the edge. I'd venture to say that, if this has ever happened, it was because of both a really high LSAT and some compelling soft factor (e.g. Rhodes). So, first, it is imperative that you get a high LSAT (obvious, but the closer you get to 180, the harder you are to ignore - and you're testing close to that range anyhow). Second, and perhaps more within your control than getting nothing less than a 180, find something compelling and impactful to do and do it. I don't think doing TFA in and of itself will make a huge difference, although you should definitely do it if you feel like it's the right direction for you, notwithstanding its impact on your applications. And you're not going to win a Rhodes or cure cancer soon - not that you're incapable, but I feel like you would've mentioned it, hehe. But there are lay people doing big things every day, in politics, community service, etc. - who's to say you can't? Easier said than done, of course, but possible - and if it's T10 or bust for you, necessary. So, in summary, I'd say it's not a strictly impossible situation. 2.5 w/GPA addendum + 180ish + incredible soft + a bit of luck could = T10. Relatedly, unless you find compelling evidence that X school has a pattern of taking 2.5s with certain LSAT/softs ED, I think you should just apply RD, though early to these schools.
3) Even if you get a high LSAT and acquire a game-changing soft, luck will still play a role in the case of an extreme splitter. So, in case all of the above doesn't work out, do start to accept now that, as it stands, your odds at the T10 are not good - so having "safeties" is very important.
Good luck with everything! I hope it all works out.