Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

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Master Shake
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:00 pm

Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby Master Shake » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:11 pm

Hey guys, I'm new to the board but I've lurked around for a while and read a bunch while I was taking the Oct. LSAT. Now I'm really beginning the application process and I figured this board could give me some good insight as to how to approach the whole thing and maybe some realistic expectations I should have.

Here's my background. I just got a 166 on the LSAT (1st and only try) which ranks me in the 93rd percentile. I attended Emory University undergrad and got a Political Science BA, but my cumulative GPA was a 3.0. I screwed around my first two years and did pretty terrible, but I was able to turn things around my last two years and ended up with a 3.3 for my Junior year and a 3.5 for my Senior year. If it were not for the focus I needed to put into my grades, I would not have to be taking a year off like I am now (currently on the prowl for internships as well as doing apps).

My problem comes to really where I should be looking in relation to my situation. I feel that if it were based on LSAT alone I would be looking at some top ranking schools, whereas if GPA were weighted more than LSAT I would be in the bottom tiers. I'm not really concerned with application fees and how much it would cost to apply to a bunch of school across the board, but I'd like to know how much the bad GPA (despite the turnaround I made) will hurt me in getting accepted to some of the higher ranking schools in light of the rigor and prestige of my undergraduate university. Hopefully there are some other people in this same sort of situation that could give or gain some insight in this thread also. Thanks for the help

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law4vus
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Re: Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby law4vus » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:21 pm

Master Shake wrote:Here's my background. I just got a 166 on the LSAT (1st and only try) which ranks me in the 93rd percentile.


Just curious, but why not attempt a retake, especially with a very solid 166 already in hand? At the very worst, it will be a nice update to your application and could open up even more doors for you.

Master Shake wrote:My problem comes to really where I should be looking in relation to my situation. I feel that if it were based on LSAT alone I would be looking at some top ranking schools, whereas if GPA were weighted more than LSAT I would be in the bottom tiers. I'm not really concerned with application fees and how much it would cost to apply to a bunch of school across the board, but I'd like to know how much the bad GPA (despite the turnaround I made) will hurt me in getting accepted to some of the higher ranking schools in light of the rigor and prestige of my undergraduate university. Hopefully there are some other people in this same sort of situation that could give or gain some insight in this thread also. Thanks for the help


Unfortunately, they don't care about the rigors of Emory University. LSAT scores being the same, they'll take someone with a 3.1 from a crappy state university over you. For rankings purposes, they don't need to take into account school rigor and only need the GPA number. Since the rankings are almost all that matters to schools outside the top 3 or so, your undergrad prestige really has no bearing.

You'll be evaluated in the same way any other 3.0, 166 candidate will be evaluated. If you want a shot at some of the top schools, you'll need to take the test again. Emory may actually take you, but their reputation is steadily falling so it may be a place to avoid.

b33eazy
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Re: Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby b33eazy » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:36 pm

I would disagree with the above poster. Emory University does give you an edge over a crappy school like Kennesaw State University or University of West Georgia. It's not a large edge, but you do get an edge because Emory has a high ranking. So you can discuss the rigors of the university or your major (do you have a difficult major?). But it only gives you an EDGE. You would be better off than a kid at KSU or UWG who has the same states. But you would not be better off if he or she has a 3.2-and up or a 166 and up if you it's from a lower tier school.

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law4vus
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Re: Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby law4vus » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:47 pm

b33eazy wrote:I would disagree with the above poster. Emory University does give you an edge over a crappy school like Kennesaw State University or University of West Georgia. It's not a large edge, but you do get an edge because Emory has a high ranking. So you can discuss the rigors of the university or your major (do you have a difficult major?). But it only gives you an EDGE. You would be better off than a kid at KSU or UWG who has the same states. But you would not be better off if he or she has a 3.2-and up or a 166 and up if you it's from a lower tier school.


If you mean he gets an edge over someone with the exact stats he has, then yes he gets an edge. Your school can act as a tiebreaker when stats are equal.

However, if he has a lower GPA than someone from a worse school, the law schools are going to take the higher GPA. It's all driven by the USNews ranking. Do I agree with it? Not at all. But it's just how it is.

Actually, just read my other post again. I said the same thing you did essentially. lol

b33eazy
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Re: Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby b33eazy » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:52 pm

I don't think that's necessarily true. For example, someone over at Princeton University would have an edge over someone at Valdosta or Kennesaw State University with stats that are higher. For example, if a kid at Princeton has 3.1 and a 166 and a kid at Kennesaw State University has a 3.2 and a 166, the kid at Princeton has the edge. However, if there was a bigger edge like 3.5, for example, of course, the smaller school has the jump.

03121202698008
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Re: Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:54 pm

b33eazy wrote:I don't think that's necessarily true. For example, someone over at Princeton University would have an edge over someone at Valdosta or Kennesaw State University with stats that are higher. For example, if a kid at Princeton has 3.1 and a 166 and a kid at Kennesaw State University has a 3.2 and a 166, the kid at Princeton has the edge. However, if there was a bigger edge like 3.5, for example, of course, the smaller school has the jump.


Wrong. There is absolutely no bump for undergrad, either in admission or $$. This has been proven true time and time again by dozens of posters. I went to a shitty online school and placed exactly where my numbers said I should. I got more $$ than several people I know who went to ivies and had GPAs ~.1 below mine (their 3.75-.85 versus my 3.9). We have the exact same LSAT. Major doesn't seem to matter either (my Criminal Justice, their engineering and history). Nor did employers flinch during OCI.

It is a very very small soft. I'd take a year of WE over a prestigious UG any day.

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law4vus
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Re: Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby law4vus » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:00 pm

b33eazy wrote:I don't think that's necessarily true. For example, someone over at Princeton University would have an edge over someone at Valdosta or Kennesaw State University with stats that are higher. For example, if a kid at Princeton has 3.1 and a 166 and a kid at Kennesaw State University has a 3.2 and a 166, the kid at Princeton has the edge. However, if there was a bigger edge like 3.5, for example, of course, the smaller school has the jump.


Ivies have a little bit of an edge. Otherwise, nothing.

03121202698008
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Re: Good LSAT, Not Great GPA

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:05 pm

law4vus wrote:
b33eazy wrote:I don't think that's necessarily true. For example, someone over at Princeton University would have an edge over someone at Valdosta or Kennesaw State University with stats that are higher. For example, if a kid at Princeton has 3.1 and a 166 and a kid at Kennesaw State University has a 3.2 and a 166, the kid at Princeton has the edge. However, if there was a bigger edge like 3.5, for example, of course, the smaller school has the jump.


Ivies have a little bit of an edge. Otherwise, nothing.


I really don't think so. They are over-represented but they have drastically higher average LSATs which explains for that.




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