Should I wait to apply?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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minnbills
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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Should I wait to apply?

Postby minnbills » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:14 pm

Thanks in advance for any help.

My issue revolves mostly around GPA. I am a transfer student, and like others had a poor first semester at college. I finished my first year with a 3.0. Now, my GPA (since being at my new school) is a 3.5.

Based on the various calculators I've used, my LSDAS GPA should be around 3.27.

I've been pushing to graduate in only three years, and I will be starting my third and final year in a few days.

I'm signed up for the OCT LSAT, and am looking to break 170. Lately, my PT's come in mostly in the high 160's. Basically 165-169. Though I started in the low 160's. Obviously, these numbers don't mean anything until I take the real thing.

The schools I'm interested in are as follows: Minnesota, William Mitchell, Colorado, George Washington, and William and Mary. My ultimate caviar dream schools would be Boston, Georgetown and Cornell. Though obviously those are super-reaches.

My question is this, should I wait 'til after this year to apply to allow my GPA to go up so I could have a more realistic shot at schools like GW, Colorado etc? I had a large number of AP credits going into college, so it's still relatively easy to change my GPA.

Thanks.

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Knock
Posts: 5152
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: Should I wait to apply?

Postby Knock » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:51 pm

minnbills wrote:Thanks in advance for any help.

My issue revolves mostly around GPA. I am a transfer student, and like others had a poor first semester at college. I finished my first year with a 3.0. Now, my GPA (since being at my new school) is a 3.5.

Based on the various calculators I've used, my LSDAS GPA should be around 3.27.

I've been pushing to graduate in only three years, and I will be starting my third and final year in a few days.

I'm signed up for the OCT LSAT, and am looking to break 170. Lately, my PT's come in mostly in the high 160's. Basically 165-169. Though I started in the low 160's. Obviously, these numbers don't mean anything until I take the real thing.

The schools I'm interested in are as follows: Minnesota, William Mitchell, Colorado, George Washington, and William and Mary. My ultimate caviar dream schools would be Boston, Georgetown and Cornell. Though obviously those are super-reaches.

My question is this, should I wait 'til after this year to apply to allow my GPA to go up so I could have a more realistic shot at schools like GW, Colorado etc? I had a large number of AP credits going into college, so it's still relatively easy to change my GPA.

Thanks.


Personally, if I were you, I would graduate in the normal 4 years and really pad your grades. If you apply straight out of UG, your senior year grades won't be counted in your LSDAS GPA, at least not right away. But I think 3 years of classes will have a stronger GPA than if you apply currently with only 2 years of classes, 1 of which wasn't so strong.

Graduating early won't help you in the application process, and if you're really young it could even be a very slight negative thing. It's kind of a personal decision. Are you financially able to graduate in the normal 4 instead of rushing for 3?

Also, you have to consider test day drop -- a lot of people, but not all, drop a few points from their PT average. I think you're trying to rush this process, and you need to slow it down. Graduate in 4 years, take the LSAT in your June after your Junior year. Focus on raising your GPA this semester, take a relatively easy semester in spring and study for the LSAT at the same time. Hopefully you're on the semester system and not quarter, and you have finals in may, leaving you with a few weeks of no school to dedicate solely to the LSAT.

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St.Remy
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:12 pm

Re: Should I wait to apply?

Postby St.Remy » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:58 pm

minnbills wrote:My ultimate caviar dream schools would be Boston, Georgetown and Cornell. Though obviously those are super-reaches.

My question is this, should I wait 'til after this year to apply to allow my GPA to go up so I could have a more realistic shot at schools like GW, Colorado etc? I had a large number of AP credits going into college, so it's still relatively easy to change my GPA.

Thanks.


If you are fine with starting Law School a year or two later I would definitely wait until you've raised your GPA as much as possible. Especially if you can significantly improve your GPA there really isn't any down side except lost time. Plus you will have more opportunities to take the LSAT in case you don't reach your target score this time around (As knockglock said PT performance =/= test day performance).

Your shot at the dream schools you listed are much better if you can get your GPA to 3.4+

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minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Should I wait to apply?

Postby minnbills » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:15 pm

Appreciate the advice.

LSAT's are valid for four years correct? Since I've already been studying for a while, I think I should go ahead and take it in October. And then retake in Feb if the score is unacceptable. I just think considering the heavy lifting I've already done, it will be worse if I wait til June.

The only real reason I have for wanting to graduate early is because I'm anxious to get going with school and into my career. But I don't want to make a mistake that will hamstring my options.

I've been very fortunate financially. When I graduate, I will probably only have 5-10k in debt. I'm in undergrad at the U of Minnesota though, and here any credits past 13 are free. I wanted to take advantage of that to save money and graduate early, but maybe I'm taking it a bit too far.

I am also young for being in my third year, I turned 20 a few weeks ago. I do have my heart set on going to one of those schools.

Again, thanks.

The Real Jack McCoy
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Should I wait to apply?

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:44 pm

If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely wait. Your chances at very good schools will be significantly better if you wait.

And, as mentioned above, do anything and everything you can do raise your GPA before you officially graduate.

It is obviously difficult waiting to start what you want to do (I waited myself, and am finally getting to apply in the upcoming weeks, so I feel your pain), but where you go to school will help determine your legal career for the first few years--it is worth giving it your best shot.




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