Admissions Uncertainty

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
CoastGuard3
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:55 pm

Admissions Uncertainty

Postby CoastGuard3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:00 pm

Hey all,

I will be applying to Law School in the fall. I have taken the LSAT once already and I ended up with a 159. My GPA is a 4.0 from a solid state school with a humanity and social science double major. I have excellent work experience, diverse resume, and my recommendations are stellar. I have to work on the PS, but other than that I think I am generally ready to apply. I am looking at a wide range of schools because of how extreme my split is....I have practically all reaches on my list given my numbers....I have spoken to a number of people on this issue, and they tell me how uncertain the outcome will be with the majority of these schools. I feel like I am still competitive despite the fact that I am weakest in the most important area of the portfolio. I am hoping that applying to a lot of good schools will give me the chance to get lucky on one of them....I am very curious to hear everyone's thoughts- And yes, I have heard re-take over and over, but I just know where I stand with this test. Also I am going to go ED to at least one school, so I will probably pick one that tends to be more big picture so to speak.....alright thanks for the posts!

Here is the tentative list:

George Washington
Fordham
Boston College
Berkley
Duke
Seton Hall
Univ. of Baltimore
Univ. of Maryland
Univ. of Pennsylvania
Univ. of Virgnia
Georgetown
Northwestern
UCLA

User avatar
merichard87
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby merichard87 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:03 pm

Re-take. Get into the 160's and you increase your chances exponentially. Don't waste that GPA.

User avatar
manbearwig
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby manbearwig » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:03 pm

So there's no way any of us could convince you to retake? Because, as much as it may suck to hear, unless you're a URM or have military service, your softs/LOR/experience/etc mean very little. LSAT is everything, and you don't want to waste that amazing GPA.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby OGR3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:05 pm

merichard87 wrote:Re-take. Get into the 160's and you increase your chances exponentially. Don't waste that GPA.


+1

Also, why isn't Boalt on there? They're GPA heavy.

sumus romani
Posts: 565
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:04 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby sumus romani » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:07 pm

Looking at your numbers, you have virtually no chance to get into a top law school: so no for UVA, NW, Penn, Berk., Duke, or Georgetown. The other schools are possible, but unless you get a full scholarship or have a guaranteed job afterwards, don't go to those other schools.

User avatar
joeshmo39
Posts: 533
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:15 am

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby joeshmo39 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:09 pm

Even Boalt is gonna shy away from a 159 I think. With the exception of Seton Hall, I doubt any of those schools would take a 159. Also, Seton Hall is not a good option. Translation: that list gives you no good options. I would be surprised if any top ~35 school bites.

CoastGuard3
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:55 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby CoastGuard3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:12 pm

Well, of course, re-take is never off the table. But, I mean I don't think I can go up 10 points. I figure I would rather get my applications in real early than wait around for the September LSAT to find out I want to cancel or that I went up/down 2-3 pints. I see very little benefit for a lot of risk. I would hope these schools are not going to be so black and white especially weeks into a year long process...

User avatar
manbearwig
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby manbearwig » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:13 pm

CoastGuard3 wrote:Well, of course, re-take is never off the table. But, I mean I don't think I can go up 10 points. I figure I would rather get my applications in real early than wait around for the September LSAT to find out I want to cancel or that I went up/down 2-3 pints. I see very little benefit for a lot of risk. I would hope these schools are not going to be so black and white especially weeks into a year long process...


If you're not going to retake, you have to accept lower T1, T2 (mostly likely at sticker, too). They're gonna be black and white.

User avatar
merichard87
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby merichard87 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:15 pm

CoastGuard3 wrote:Well, of course, re-take is never off the table. But, I mean I don't think I can go up 10 points. I figure I would rather get my applications in real early than wait around for the September LSAT to find out I want to cancel or that I went up/down 2-3 pints. I see very little benefit for a lot of risk. I would hope these schools are not going to be so black and white especially weeks into a year long process...


Yes they are that black and white. Get your LSAT into the 160s. I would dare say that 159 --> 160 is only one point but sounds and looks a whooole lot better and could make a difference to some schools.

CoastGuard3
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:55 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby CoastGuard3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:15 pm

joeshmo39 wrote:Even Boalt is gonna shy away from a 159 I think. With the exception of Seton Hall, I doubt any of those schools would take a 159. Also, Seton Hall is not a good option. Translation: that list gives you no good options. I would be surprised if any top ~35 school bites.


What is wrong with Seton Hall?

thechee
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:42 am

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby thechee » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:16 pm

CoastGuard3 wrote:Hey all,

I will be applying to Law School in the fall. I have taken the LSAT once already and I ended up with a 159. My GPA is a 4.0 from a solid state school with a humanity and social science double major. I have excellent work experience, diverse resume, and my recommendations are stellar. I have to work on the PS, but other than that I think I am generally ready to apply. I am looking at a wide range of schools because of how extreme my split is....I have practically all reaches on my list given my numbers....I have spoken to a number of people on this issue, and they tell me how uncertain the outcome will be with the majority of these schools. I feel like I am still competitive despite the fact that I am weakest in the most important area of the portfolio. I am hoping that applying to a lot of good schools will give me the chance to get lucky on one of them....I am very curious to hear everyone's thoughts- And yes, I have heard re-take over and over, but I just know where I stand with this test. Also I am going to go ED to at least one school, so I will probably pick one that tends to be more big picture so to speak.....alright thanks for the posts!

Here is the tentative list:

George Washington
Fordham
Boston College
Berkley
Duke

Seton Hall
Univ. of Baltimore
Univ. of Maryland
Univ. of Pennsylvania
Univ. of Virgnia
Georgetown
Northwestern

UCLA


You keep hearing "retake" over and over for very good reason. I think for any T14, unless you can cross the 160 threshold, you are pretty much out, barring URM status.

If you can come up with an amazingly good PS, like really amazing, you might have a shot ED at Virginia, but below 160 even that is virtually impossible. If you've only taken the test once, you're doing yourself a tremendous favor by retaking.

If the agonizing hours of prep are what's holding you back, just think of it as like having a job that is making you money, since the scholarship opportunities that an extra few points could bring you could easily hit six figures. I was in a similar position, being somewhat content with my score (164). I was pretty sure I would go to U of Wisconsin. But, I decided to give the LSAT another shot, and ended up with a 170. Instead of looking at Wisconsin, I ended up deciding between UPenn, Cornell, Duke, Michigan, and Berkeley (with scholarship money). Moral of the story? Retaking can be a complete game changer.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby OGR3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:16 pm

joeshmo39 wrote:Even Boalt is gonna shy away from a 159 I think. With the exception of Seton Hall, I doubt any of those schools would take a 159. Also, Seton Hall is not a good option. Translation: that list gives you no good options. I would be surprised if any top ~35 school bites.


True, I was just asking why Boalt wasn't on the original list. A LSAT in the mid 160s should give one a solid chance.

CoastGuard3 wrote:Well, of course, re-take is never off the table. But, I mean I don't think I can go up 10 points. I figure I would rather get my applications in real early than wait around for the September LSAT to find out I want to cancel or that I went up/down 2-3 pints. I see very little benefit for a lot of risk. I would hope these schools are not going to be so black and white especially weeks into a year long process...


2 or 3 points up can make all the difference in gaining admission. A 162 on LSP gives you a consider at half the T-14 vs. only one school with a 159.

thechee
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:42 am

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby thechee » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:17 pm

CoastGuard3 wrote:
joeshmo39 wrote:Even Boalt is gonna shy away from a 159 I think. With the exception of Seton Hall, I doubt any of those schools would take a 159. Also, Seton Hall is not a good option. Translation: that list gives you no good options. I would be surprised if any top ~35 school bites.


What is wrong with Seton Hall?


Nothing, if good job prospects are of no concern to you.

User avatar
holydonkey
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby holydonkey » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:18 pm

CoastGuard3 wrote:
joeshmo39 wrote:Even Boalt is gonna shy away from a 159 I think. With the exception of Seton Hall, I doubt any of those schools would take a 159. Also, Seton Hall is not a good option. Translation: that list gives you no good options. I would be surprised if any top ~35 school bites.
What is wrong with Seton Hall?
Too few students are able to secure traffic court clerkships.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:19 pm

CoastGuard3 wrote:Well, of course, re-take is never off the table. But, I mean I don't think I can go up 10 points. I figure I would rather get my applications in real early than wait around for the September LSAT to find out I want to cancel or that I went up/down 2-3 pints. I see very little benefit for a lot of risk. I would hope these schools are not going to be so black and white especially weeks into a year long process...



It doesn't need to be 10 points. 3 or 4 would be very helpful.

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:20 pm

CoastGuard3 wrote:Well, of course, re-take is never off the table. But, I mean I don't think I can go up 10 points. I figure I would rather get my applications in real early than wait around for the September LSAT to find out I want to cancel or that I went up/down 2-3 pints. I see very little benefit for a lot of risk. I would hope these schools are not going to be so black and white especially weeks into a year long process...


The difference in admissions chances between applying the first few weeks after apps become available as opposed to applying right after receiving your Oct score is very minimal. As long as you have everything ready to go, there will barely a difference, if any at all.

You really need to consider retaking. GPA and LSAT are not everything, but they set the bar for what you can achieve admissions-wise. Your LSAT automatically has your bar lowered way too much. I went from a 155 diag to a 174. This test is learnable, especially for those who have the time and effort.
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby OGR3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:20 pm

holydonkey wrote:
CoastGuard3 wrote:
joeshmo39 wrote:Even Boalt is gonna shy away from a 159 I think. With the exception of Seton Hall, I doubt any of those schools would take a 159. Also, Seton Hall is not a good option. Translation: that list gives you no good options. I would be surprised if any top ~35 school bites.
What is wrong with Seton Hall?
Too few students are able to secure traffic court clerkships.


That's my dream job!

User avatar
badpixie
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:42 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby badpixie » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:21 pm

Where do you want to live/practice, and what do you want to do? Some of the schools on your list (Seton Hall, for example) are regional schools that will not help you if you are looking for a job in other parts of the country. Also, if you are hoping for Big Law, you need to be aiming for schools as high up in the rankings as possible, which really will require a re-take.

CoastGuard3
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:55 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby CoastGuard3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:24 pm

Well I did forget to mention that the LSAT was quite the battle for me....when I first took the test I believe I got a 135 - I really didn't know what I was doing....and then I studied for a year....and I was practicing at about 163....and I ended with a 159....I have taken every test there is....I cannot study this summer because of my job and also because there is no more material to look at...i have done a course and all and I have looked all the stuff....If I did retake in September, would it be stupid not to study for it other than like 2ish weeks before....I bet I could at least the same score...i have been doin this stuff for a year now!

CoastGuard3
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:55 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby CoastGuard3 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:27 pm

badpixie wrote:Where do you want to live/practice, and what do you want to do? Some of the schools on your list (Seton Hall, for example) are regional schools that will not help you if you are looking for a job in other parts of the country. Also, if you are hoping for Big Law, you need to be aiming for schools as high up in the rankings as possible, which really will require a re-take.


I really am not sure yet....but I do understand the limitations of a school like Seton Hall. You really think even BC or Fordham would not be interested...that's really hard to believe....that 3 points will override three years....i can't wrap my head around that at all actually.

User avatar
joeshmo39
Posts: 533
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:15 am

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby joeshmo39 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:30 pm

http://bc.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats
http://fordham.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats

The only acceptances below 160 are URM, it does not look good. LSN problems are well documented but this draws a pretty clear picture.

User avatar
invisiblesun
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby invisiblesun » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:30 pm

Predictions:
George Washington
Fordham
Boston College
Berkeley
Duke

Seton Hall
Univ. of Baltimore - are they a T1?
Univ. of Maryland
Univ. of Pennsylvania
Univ. of Virginia
Georgetown
Northwestern
UCLA


You seem stubborn about not retaking, but if you can put in the effort to get a 165 on the test you will have a strong shot at Berkeley, and very likely get at least one out of Duke/UVA/GT/NW/UCLA/UPenn. BC, GW, Fordham would almost be locks. A ~165 coupled with your GPA could land you in the T14, which sounds a lot better to me than 3 years of Seton Hall. I would strongly advise a retake. As far as your frustrations with increasing your score, I would suggest a lot of practice tests as opposed to practice problems, because for a lot of people the main issue is not the questions but the way they're presented in the test as well as time constraints. Also, I feel like most courses do too many drills and not enough full run-throughs. Feel free to PM if you want to discuss what type of prep you think would be effective for your strengths/weaknesses. Either way, best of luck.

User avatar
ozarkhack
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:48 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby ozarkhack » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:33 pm

OP: I very likely could be underestimating the value of a 4.0, but with a 159 you're looking at reaches (if not long reaches) at places like Colorado, UC Davis and other sub-30s regional schools. ... Like Maryland.

For what it's worth: I was 3.72/160->161 (I blame the 2nd test center being much further away). ... I got into Colorado and Davis, and still can't believe it. It's silly, but I credit the 1 point. (I have to say that, b/c it helps justify the time/cash outlay I made in preps for 2nd test.)

You've got plenty of time to study up, retake in Setpember, boost that score, even just a couple of points, and still be an early applicant with great prospects. Use that time.

And ...
CoastGuard3 wrote:I cannot study this summer because of my job

Bullshit.

Wake up a couple hourse before your day/shift/whatever. Or set aside a couple hours after. It sucks. And it's hard. But this is serious business, and you've gotta treat it as such. ... Come late July, at the latest, you should start re-taking all those PTs you've used up. You'll have forgotten the answers by then (if you haven't already).

User avatar
merichard87
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby merichard87 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:34 pm

I think you are under the impression that law schools care a bit more about people than they do numbers. Let me put it to you like this: Law schools want Numbers with interesting people attached to them not Interesting People with numbers attached.

Retake the LSAT. Retake every PT if you have to. I'm pretty sure you wont remember every question. Just get your LSAT up.

User avatar
bceagles182
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: Admissions Uncertainty

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:37 pm

I'd like to think that someone with a 4.0 is capable of breaking 160. If not then your ug school must be terrible.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: zcjthb6 and 1 guest