Facing the hard truth...

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IamAskier
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Facing the hard truth...

Postby IamAskier » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:48 pm

As I come to the end of my first LS admission cycle, I think I'm beginning to realize why the common response to "what are my chances" threads are "RETAKE". Don't get me wrong, I've gotten into some decent schools (T2), some even with minor scholarships. But through endless hours of research (and a lot of TLS) I don't think its going to be enough. I'm haunted by that 158, and I know I could do better.

I guess my question is, do I abandon this cycle (and all those application fees) and shoot for 5-7 more points on the LSAT (a realistic goal since I scored up to 165 on PTs)? Or am I throwing away a bunch of good opportunities by not attending this Fall?

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Cade McNown
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby Cade McNown » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:51 pm

If you were PTing under realistic conditions then of course retake. It's a simple decision really. This cycle's fees are sunk costs. Study hard -> Retake June -> Receive your improved score -> Apply early.

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Flustercluck
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby Flustercluck » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:52 pm

None of your acceptances come with enough money to make those schools worthwhile.

In other words, retake and reapply.

adonai
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby adonai » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:52 pm

IamAskier wrote:As I come to the end of my first LS admission cycle, I think I'm beginning to realize why the common response to "what are my chances" threads are "RETAKE". Don't get me wrong, I've gotten into some decent schools (T2), some even with minor scholarships. But through endless hours of research (and a lot of TLS) I don't think its going to be enough. I'm haunted by that 158, and I know I could do better.

I guess my question is, do I abandon this cycle (and all those application fees) and shoot for 5-7 more points on the LSAT (a realistic goal since I scored up to 165 on PTs)? Or am I throwing away a bunch of good opportunities by not attending this Fall?

Law school will always be there. Applications have gone down the past year and will almost certainly go down in the next few years as the economy seems to be getting better. You could always study and take the June LSAT and see if you will go to law school this year or if you improve enough just apply early next year and get into better schools or receive more money at lower schools.

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fatduck
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby fatduck » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:55 pm

what region do you want to work in? will a 165/3.7 make you competitive at a strong school in that region and/or get you scholly $ that you need to attend? delaying a year to retake + resume build is definitely not a bad idea, but it's important to have some specific goals in mind that you're looking to achieve.

short version: retake june, apply super early, good luck

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IamAskier
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby IamAskier » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:56 pm

adonai wrote:
IamAskier wrote:As I come to the end of my first LS admission cycle, I think I'm beginning to realize why the common response to "what are my chances" threads are "RETAKE". Don't get me wrong, I've gotten into some decent schools (T2), some even with minor scholarships. But through endless hours of research (and a lot of TLS) I don't think its going to be enough. I'm haunted by that 158, and I know I could do better.

I guess my question is, do I abandon this cycle (and all those application fees) and shoot for 5-7 more points on the LSAT (a realistic goal since I scored up to 165 on PTs)? Or am I throwing away a bunch of good opportunities by not attending this Fall?

Law school will always be there. Applications have gone down the past year and will almost certainly go down in the next few years as the economy seems to be getting better. You could always study and take the June LSAT and see if you will go to law school this year or if you improve enough just apply early next year and get into better schools or receive more money at lower schools.

Thats true, thanks for the input. I'm on ND's waitlist, which is the only school I'd shell out 6 figures for, and I probably wont hear from them till summer anyways. I think if I get into Utah (cheap in-state tuition) I'd attend but right now thats it.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:00 pm

IamAskier wrote:As I come to the end of my first LS admission cycle, I think I'm beginning to realize why the common response to "what are my chances" threads are "RETAKE". Don't get me wrong, I've gotten into some decent schools (T2), some even with minor scholarships. But through endless hours of research (and a lot of TLS) I don't think its going to be enough. I'm haunted by that 158, and I know I could do better.

I guess my question is, do I abandon this cycle (and all those application fees) and shoot for 5-7 more points on the LSAT (a realistic goal since I scored up to 165 on PTs)? Or am I throwing away a bunch of good opportunities by not attending this Fall?


You're fortunate enough to be seeing the light before you've invested any time or money.

In the big picture of your life, one more year isn't going to matter if it leads to greater opportunities. Pull out of this cycle, retake in June and nail it, and then give it another shot.

I applied last cycle with a 164 and didn't get the kind of results I wanted, so, as difficult as it was at the time, I decided to hold off and reapply this cycle. I retook the LSAT and got a 175. Wrote a better personal statement and added some addenda this time.

Now I'm in a much better position.

javancho
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby javancho » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:03 pm

IamAskier wrote:As I come to the end of my first LS admission cycle, I think I'm beginning to realize why the common response to "what are my chances" threads are "RETAKE". Don't get me wrong, I've gotten into some decent schools (T2), some even with minor scholarships. But through endless hours of research (and a lot of TLS) I don't think its going to be enough. I'm haunted by that 158, and I know I could do better.

I guess my question is, do I abandon this cycle (and all those application fees) and shoot for 5-7 more points on the LSAT (a realistic goal since I scored up to 165 on PTs)? Or am I throwing away a bunch of good opportunities by not attending this Fall?

With all the flaws the LSAT has, it is an excellent predictor of how employable you will be and how much money you are likely to make after law school. The way the labor market for lawyers is right now, and will be for the foreseeable future, it only makes financial sense to go to law if you can get into a T1 school. Anything less than that, you are just risking taking on too much debt for dim job prospects. So, RETAKE.

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IamAskier
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby IamAskier » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:07 pm

Adjudicator wrote:
IamAskier wrote:As I come to the end of my first LS admission cycle, I think I'm beginning to realize why the common response to "what are my chances" threads are "RETAKE". Don't get me wrong, I've gotten into some decent schools (T2), some even with minor scholarships. But through endless hours of research (and a lot of TLS) I don't think its going to be enough. I'm haunted by that 158, and I know I could do better.

I guess my question is, do I abandon this cycle (and all those application fees) and shoot for 5-7 more points on the LSAT (a realistic goal since I scored up to 165 on PTs)? Or am I throwing away a bunch of good opportunities by not attending this Fall?


You're fortunate enough to be seeing the light before you've invested any time or money.

In the big picture of your life, one more year isn't going to matter if it leads to greater opportunities. Pull out of this cycle, retake in June and nail it, and then give it another shot.

I applied last cycle with a 164 and didn't get the kind of results I wanted, so, as difficult as it was at the time, I decided to hold off and reapply this cycle. I retook the LSAT and got a 175. Wrote a better personal statement and added some addenda this time.

Now I'm in a much better position.

Ya, just sucks to get so dead set on something and have to pull out. My parents and gf will think I'm crazy, as non-LS-obsessed individuals assume 10k/yr scholly at a T2 is amazing, and with a 158 it is. To me, though, it just feels empty; 10k is nothing at T2 LS, 10k at a T14, that would be meaningful.

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NU_Jet55
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby NU_Jet55 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:11 pm

javancho wrote:With all the flaws the LSAT has, it is an excellent predictor of how employable you will be and how much money you are likely to make after law school.The way the labor market for lawyers is right now, and will be for the foreseeable future, it only makes financial sense to go to law if you can get into a T1 school. Anything less than that, you are just risking taking on too much debt for dim job prospects. So, RETAKE.


Srsly how many different ways can we say it? Go do something fun for a year, retake the LSAT, and go to a worthwhile school.

adonai
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby adonai » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:16 pm

I really don't see how it will be bad for you to hold off for another year if it comes down to that. Less applications next year = less competition and maybe a better chance at more scholarship money. Legal hiring is up 90% compared to a year ago (which is still not enough, but a sign that the economy and specifically law hiring is on the rise) and firm layoffs are down and biglaw firm hiring is going up, which is good for anyone trying to find any legal job. So waiting can help you even if minimally. If you get the same score (or maybe even a point or two less) you can use this extra year to make some money or get some substantive work experience. It only means the end of the world to those who aren't in the law school game and cannot fully understand, such as your friends/family. This is how it was for me last cycle when I decided not to go and hold out for another LSAT/hope for a better economy. Parents got on my case big time and friends were more frustrated and more tired of law school than I was even though they weren't even applying. During the year since, I got some more work experience and it has definitely changed me as a person and has done wonders for my work ethic. Also got to network with a lot of law students and attorneys in the area I want to practice in as well. Take June to see if it can bump you off the waitlist at ND and if it can possibly get you any scholarship money at the other schools you've been accepted to (though at the end of June scholarship funding may have dried out).

FiveSermon
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby FiveSermon » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:47 pm

Wait another year or don't go to law school.

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Veyron
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby Veyron » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:56 pm

A T-2 is "decent" ITE in WHAT universe?

champ33
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby champ33 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:58 pm

As someone who went through the exact same thing, I'd say it really depends. I only went up 3 points, but from that I'm looking at full scholarships to T2's where I had half or 3/4 last year. Of course I was shooting for t14 but that didn't work out. I did some traveling, and have been looking for a job since I got back... been looking for about 3 months, over 100 resumes/cover letters sent out and I'm still without a job. Part of me wishes I had just gone ahead with it as I'd be nearing the end of 1L now instead of waking up every morning half-miserable over being jobless. I'd say that there is nothing wrong with waiting another year, just make sure you do something with that time that you know you will enjoy and that will help you grow.

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IamAskier
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby IamAskier » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:30 am

Veyron wrote:A T-2 is "decent" ITE in WHAT universe?

They're not T3s. It doesn't really matter what you label them; decent, shitty, I'm not saying they're fantastic, I know their degrees offer only limited opportunities.

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IamAskier
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby IamAskier » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:31 am

champ33 wrote:As someone who went through the exact same thing, I'd say it really depends. I only went up 3 points, but from that I'm looking at full scholarships to T2's where I had half or 3/4 last year. Of course I was shooting for t14 but that didn't work out. I did some traveling, and have been looking for a job since I got back... been looking for about 3 months, over 100 resumes/cover letters sent out and I'm still without a job. Part of me wishes I had just gone ahead with it as I'd be nearing the end of 1L now instead of waking up every morning half-miserable over being jobless. I'd say that there is nothing wrong with waiting another year, just make sure you do something with that time that you know you will enjoy and that will help you grow.

Thanks for the advice. I was sure if June LSAT scores would have much bearing on this cycle. Granted I haven't been cut from ND's WL by July, is it really possible to get scholly that late?

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Stonewall
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby Stonewall » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:37 am

165 = $$$ at all T2 and some quality t1 prospects as well. do it.

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Veyron
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby Veyron » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:43 am

IamAskier wrote:
Veyron wrote:A T-2 is "decent" ITE in WHAT universe?

They're not T3s. It doesn't really matter what you label them; decent, shitty, I'm not saying they're fantastic, I know their degrees offer only limited opportunities.


There is NO difference between T-2s and T-3s.

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dr123
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby dr123 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:49 am

Veyron wrote:A T-2 is "decent" ITE in WHAT universe?


the universe of markets with a limited ammount of schools. Nebraska, Kentucky/Louisville, Idaho, Maine, etc...

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lolschool2011
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby lolschool2011 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:54 am

IamAskier wrote:Ya, just sucks to get so dead set on something and have to pull out.


This gives me many fun thoughts. :mrgreen:

champ33
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby champ33 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:55 am

IamAskier wrote:
champ33 wrote:As someone who went through the exact same thing, I'd say it really depends. I only went up 3 points, but from that I'm looking at full scholarships to T2's where I had half or 3/4 last year. Of course I was shooting for t14 but that didn't work out. I did some traveling, and have been looking for a job since I got back... been looking for about 3 months, over 100 resumes/cover letters sent out and I'm still without a job. Part of me wishes I had just gone ahead with it as I'd be nearing the end of 1L now instead of waking up every morning half-miserable over being jobless. I'd say that there is nothing wrong with waiting another year, just make sure you do something with that time that you know you will enjoy and that will help you grow.

Thanks for the advice. I was sure if June LSAT scores would have much bearing on this cycle. Granted I haven't been cut from ND's WL by July, is it really possible to get scholly that late?


I actually had a school bump up my scholarship based on a June re-take last cycle. It's going to depend on the school and how they allocate scholarships etc. I'd ask each school what the odds are before you register, and I doubt you're going to get a definite answer from any of them, but you'll at least find out if it's possible. That said, don't rush yourself to re-take in June if you are leaning toward applying next year, rather take your time and make sure you do your best in October. Then again, June is 4 months away and with the LSAT out of the way you could enjoy your summer and year off more. Really a lot of angles you can view this from...

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joemoviebuff
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby joemoviebuff » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:55 am

OP I know you're actually interested in the University of Utah as I've seen you post in that thread from time to time. The first time I took the LSAT I got a 157, which was after averaging a 165 and practicing as high as 168 under very controlled and similar conditions to the real thing. I got sick the day before, which increased my test day anxiety, which fucked me in the end. I took about three days to pity myself after I got my score, then buckled down and went right back to studying. Those next two months were really where my hard work paid off. The concepts were ingrained and I was really getting good at the logic games. I practiced as high as a 176 before nabbing a 170 in Dec. '09. Absolutely worth it to me.

With my 157, I would've been lucky to just be accepted by the U. With my 170, they YP'd me! Now I'll be headed to UVA in the fall. I join the chorus of everyone else advising you to retake. Even if you still want the U and other similar schools, you ought to retake the test and go for free.

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IamAskier
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby IamAskier » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:58 am

I guess thats part of why this decision is so hard. I get two opposing opinions on TLS. One, that every school besides the T14 is crap and you should never attend anything but. Second, that other schools, such as T2s, are acceptable with $ and/or if one has clear goals and is willing to stay regionally.

FiveSermon
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:02 am

IamAskier wrote:I guess thats part of why this decision is so hard. I get two opposing opinions on TLS. One, that every school besides the T14 is crap and you should never attend anything but. Second, that other schools, such as T2s, are acceptable with $ and/or if one has clear goals and is willing to stay regionally.


T2 with $$$. $=no.

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IamAskier
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Re: Facing the hard truth...

Postby IamAskier » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:03 am

joemoviebuff wrote:OP I know you're actually interested in the University of Utah as I've seen you post in that thread from time to time. The first time I took the LSAT I got a 157, which was after averaging a 165 and practicing as high as 168 under very controlled and similar conditions to the real thing. I got sick the day before, which increased my test day anxiety, which fucked me in the end. I took about three days to pity myself after I got my score, then buckled down and went right back to studying. Those next two months were really where my hard work paid off. The concepts were ingrained and I was really getting good at the logic games. I practiced as high as a 176 before nabbing a 170 in Dec. '09. Absolutely worth it to me.

With my 157, I would've been lucky to just be accepted by the U. With my 170, they YP'd me! Now I'll be headed to UVA in the fall. I join the chorus of everyone else advising you to retake. Even if you still want the U and other similar schools, you ought to retake the test and go for free.

Ya, I have been out of LSAT practice since October, so I'd definitely need to start right now. I feel the same way, I was literally crushed when I saw I got a 158. Since then I've been regretting not buckling down and retaking in December.




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