Attend or retake ?

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CrimLaw300
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Attend or retake ?

Postby CrimLaw300 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:35 pm

My numbers are 165/3.7 and I am a MA URM.

In a nutshell, my cycle has not gone very well and I think it may be due to multiple reasons: I am still in undergrad and I only received one academic LOR, I have serious C&F issues from my freshman year, my PS was crap, etc..

At the beginning of my cycle I did not care whether I got into a top school, but now I am beginning to change my mind and attending a top law school is becoming far more enticing. Ultimately, I would like to work in Houston when I graduate.

The offers I am considering are as follows:

Illinois - $30,000/yrs
Tulane - $30,000/yr
U of Houston - No $
SMU - 21,557/yr
Baylor - Full Tuition

I was rejected at every t-20 school(excepting a waitlist from Duke).

I am not averse to retaking the LSAT and am confident that I could score a 170+ in June if I worked at it again. If I decide to take a year off and reapply I will probably not be gaining any significant work experience because I majored in philosophy and doubt anyone important will want to hire me.

So, what to do? Retake and try next year or accept one of these offers?

Thanks

CanadianWolf
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:37 pm

Ask Houston if it will match any of your other scholarship offers.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:46 pm

Two things to start: 1) you are in a better position than most for considering retake and 2) you are in a better position than most for realizing weaknesses. My advice, retake and reapply. None of those schools necessitate attending in the fall. Some things to consider:

1) You have a very good GPA and will be helped out greatly by a 170+ LSAT (which you state you believe could happen, so why not make it happen :mrgreen: ).

2) Don't waste that URM status, GPA and chance to increase LSAT on non-T14 schools.

3) Take some time off and work on that PS while getting a second LOR.

RECAP: Better LSAT + 1 More LOR + Better PS = much better chance at T-14. At worst, you will get more money from the schools you applied to this cycle if you reapply.

Best of luck!

CrimLaw300
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby CrimLaw300 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:06 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Ask Houston if it will match any of your other scholarship offers.


Yea I'll be doing this soon.

MrPapagiorgio wrote:Two things to start: 1) you are in a better position than most for considering retake and 2) you are in a better position than most for realizing weaknesses. My advice, retake and reapply. None of those schools necessitate attending in the fall. Some things to consider:

1) You have a very good GPA and will be helped out greatly by a 170+ LSAT (which you state you believe could happen, so why not make it happen :mrgreen: ).

2) Don't waste that URM status, GPA and chance to increase LSAT on non-T14 schools.

3) Take some time off and work on that PS while getting a second LOR.

RECAP: Better LSAT + 1 More LOR + Better PS = much better chance at T-14. At worst, you will get more money from the schools you applied to this cycle if you reapply.

Best of luck!


Thanks for the lengthy reply. The recap pretty much sums up what I've been thinking.

Anyone else?

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geoduck
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby geoduck » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:27 pm

Retake man. Definitely. If you think you can get above 170, go for it. I'm also MA URM and got 169 on the first shot and it's definitely helping me this cycle. Mexicans tend to veer lower on the LSAT than AA, so guys like us that can get in the high 60's to 70s especially shine. That 3.7 is enough to get you into T-14 easy if you break 170 (or even just raise that 165 up) and will probably get some sweet money from T-30 if you apply early.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby applepiecrust » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:29 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
RECAP: Better LSAT + 1 More LOR + Better PS = much better chance at T-14.

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Deuce
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby Deuce » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:31 pm

You could pick a school out of your options, put the deposit down, and still retake the LSAT. If your score goes up, sit out the cycle and reapply. If it stays the same/goes down, go to your committed school. This is exactly what I'm doing as well.

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rman1201
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby rman1201 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:33 pm

The TCR on TLS is always retake.




Even with a 180 - shoot for the elusive triple 180.

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applepiecrust
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby applepiecrust » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:44 pm

Though honestly, I think in this case the retake is less important than figuring out what was less than stellar about other aspects of your applications.

Can you deposit and get a deferral?

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aspire2more
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby aspire2more » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:00 pm

If you really want a top 20 school, I'd wait and reapply in a later cycle. If you want to retake the LSAT, you can (since you're sure you can improve) but I don't think it's absolutely necessary with your GPA. If I were in your position I would most likely do the following:

1. Get a job. You don't have to work for "someone important" to get a job that demonstrates your responsibility, work ethic, attention to detail, etc. I temped at a bike shop at minimum wage until I found a job in a law office. My degree is a liberal arts BA in a foreign language that I don't speak fluently, and I still got a job (in 2008 no less). My GPA was far lower than yours too.

2. Get some relevant experience while out of school. If you can't get a job in a law office or law-related field, volunteer at either a legal aid type organization or a place related to the field you want to go into (e.g. if you want to do family law, volunteer at a domestic violence shelter).

3. Redo your personal statement and draw on the important experiences you've had since leaving school. My theory is that the more distance you put between yourself and college life, the more the admissions committee will look to your recent accomplishments and less at your weaker freshman year.

4. Take 1-3 years off if economically feasible. The more time out of school, the more easily you can say you're a different person than the one that had C&F issues in the past. Worked for me.

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bk1
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:01 pm

I'm not 100% sold that a retake is worth it in this case. 167/3.7/URM should have done far better than you did.

Basically I think it is your freshmen year C&F issue that is causing your rejections at the top 20 and I'm not convinced that a 170+ would necessarily change their mind. I mean you would have a much better app especially considering you could tidy up your PS and add another LoR, but even with a 170+ it may not change things.

That being said, I think it is at least worth it to try. Another year to distance yourself from the incident, a tidied up app, and a 170+ would all be good things and has a good chance of changing your decisions. I think you should do it, but I would prepare yourself for getting the same decisions that you got this cycle.

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barklm
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby barklm » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:09 pm

Deuce wrote:You could pick a school out of your options, put the deposit down, and still retake the LSAT. If your score goes up, sit out the cycle and reapply. If it stays the same/goes down, go to your committed school. This is exactly what I'm doing as well.


I personally favor this method - if I were in your shoes I would go this route! This way you're protected no matter which way things go.

If you have a big jump in your LSAT you forfeit $500 via the deposit you made but are in a prime position as far as timing goes for the 2012 cycle. (In a way the big jump would make up for it!) If you don't experience enough of an increase, or otherwise decide you don't want to wait, you'll be set to attend in the fall.

CrimLaw300
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby CrimLaw300 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:25 pm

[quote="bk1"]I'm not 100% sold that a retake is worth it in this case. 167/3.7/URM should have done far better than you did.

It's actually 165/3.7, if that makes any difference in your response.

CrimLaw300
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby CrimLaw300 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:26 pm

barklm wrote:
Deuce wrote:You could pick a school out of your options, put the deposit down, and still retake the LSAT. If your score goes up, sit out the cycle and reapply. If it stays the same/goes down, go to your committed school. This is exactly what I'm doing as well.


I personally favor this method - if I were in your shoes I would go this route! This way you're protected no matter which way things go.

If you have a big jump in your LSAT you forfeit $500 via the deposit you made but are in a prime position as far as timing goes for the 2012 cycle. (In a way the big jump would make up for it!) If you don't experience enough of an increase, or otherwise decide you don't want to wait, you'll be set to attend in the fall.


This is what I think I'm going to do.

Thanks for the replies everyone.

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bk1
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:28 pm

CrimLaw300 wrote:It's actually 165/3.7, if that makes any difference in your response.


It doesn't. As noted above, the best option is retake in June and reapply if you get a better LSAT and matriculate to SMU if you don't.

Though, as from my post, I would definitely steel yourself for the possibility that higher schools still don't take you with a 170+ and a tidied up app.

champ33
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Re: Attend or retake ?

Postby champ33 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:31 pm

I'd retake, and find something to do that you'll enjoy in the year off. With a 170+ and urm status you'd probably be looking at $$ from Texas which would be perfect for your plans.




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