Acceptance & Schools List

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albolch
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:12 pm

Acceptance & Schools List

Postby albolch » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:19 pm

I am gearing up for taking the LSAT this weekend, and I am compiling my list of schools I plan on applying to.

As it stands, I will graduate with a 3.0 GPA (freshman year had extenuating circumstances for bad grades, and studied abroad for 1 full year where grades do not count towards my GPA), and with the four practice tests I have done on the LSAT, my score will (probably!) be from the 154-163 range.

In school, I have been active in participating in student government organizations, plus volunteering with a cerebral palsy organization while I studied abroad. I will also be a legislative intern with the Colorado Senate during my Spring semester before I graduate.

I feel that these extra characteristics will help where my GPA lacks, and my LSAT score will hopefully give a bit of an extra boost as well.

All that being said, I am curious whether I should aim high or low for applying to schools. I have a few picks at the moment (including Denver, George Mason, etc.), but am unsure if William & Mary is totally out of my reach.

Advice on my possible index and acceptance for these (& any other) law schools would be very helpful =)

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AlexanderSupertramp
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Re: Acceptance & Schools List

Postby AlexanderSupertramp » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:20 pm

There's a big difference between a 154 and 163. It's going to be tough to say until you actually have a score.

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Grizz
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Re: Acceptance & Schools List

Postby Grizz » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:23 pm

lawschoolnumbers.com

lawschoolpredictor.com

albolch
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:12 pm

Re: Acceptance & Schools List

Postby albolch » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:35 pm

On past practice tests, I have received: 154, 159, 162, 158.

I know the practice exam is different from the actual test, but I would put my LSAT score somewhere in that range as well (and hopefully I am not wrong in doing so).

That being said, is there no advice that you could give me, regardless?

And thanks for the links, those are very helpful.

apollo2015
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Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:13 am

Re: Acceptance & Schools List

Postby apollo2015 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:52 am

Its very difficult to say, until you know your official LSAT number. You will want to aim as high as your numbers allow (for schools in the regions of the country that you want to practice in). Just how high you want to aim depends on how much money you have to throw at applications. If your funds are limited, I suggest going no higher than schools that lawschoolpredictor says you have a 50% likelihood of getting into. (Unless lawschoolnumbers implies differently.) If you have a lot of cash, then throw some reach schools in there.

Also, get your transcripts and letters of recommendation sent in to LSAC as soon as possible.

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cynthia rose
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Re: Acceptance & Schools List

Postby cynthia rose » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:57 am

My genuine advice is

a) you really shouldn't take the LSAT after you've only taken 4 practice tests, but you can't postpone your test date now so this is a moot point. No use in pulling a no-show, so you might as well take the test and see how you do.

b) this kind of question is usually pointless until you come back with an actual score. Like someone else pointed out, 154-163 is a wide range...come back with a 154 and most people will quite rudely tell you not go to law school at all or implore you to take 6-12 months to study and retake. Come back with a 163 and people will be more optimistic about your chances (while still imploring you to take 6-12 months to study and retake).

I made the mistake of rushing into my first LSAT without any practicing too (I had only looked at one practice test, and I don't think I timed myself). I made a 160 the first time, in October 2010; I took it again this October and made a 167. Even though I'm unfortunately still going to be applying later than I would like, my possible options now are absolutely different with that 7-point jump. I may attempt a higher score in February in case I get waitlisted; just another 3-point jump could make another big difference for me.

So based on my own positive experience with waiting and retaking, I would really urge you to not apply this year...take more time, study for February or June, and apply early next cycle. There was an obvious trend upward with the first three PTs. That is proof of your ability to improve greatly upon your initial score and probably fairly quickly. You also have an advantage that I don't, youth. I'm 30, so I was antsy as it was about delaying applications for one year. I really don't have intentions of putting them off again. But you haven't even graduated yet. You can take that year off to go abroad again, do more interning, find a job...whatever you find enjoyable and productive and that can fill a line on your resume or inspire a great PS.

When you say your study-abroad grades "do not count" toward your GPA, are you saying those courses didn't have grades at all, or just that your undergrad program doesn't calculate them into your GPA? I ask because LSAC counts ALL undergraduate work. So even if your undergrad won't count them, if those grades are on your transcript or otherwise documented somewhere then LSAC will recalculate your GPA to include those classes, and the LSAC GPA is the one law schools will use.

At the moment though I'll assume your LSAC GPA will also be a 3.0, which as you know isn't considered high. You didn't mention it so I'll also assume you're not a URM, but if you are that also changes how you should view your potential. Regardless, you'll have to view yourself as a potential splitter, and for that reason I don't recommend you look at LSP; it's not usually a great predictor for splitters or URMs. But LSN is a good site to look at. I looked at the three schools you mentioned for the last two admissions cycles and this is what I found for people around your GPA (3.0-3.2 range):

- Denver: 160 looks like the golden number. 157-159 seemed split between admits and waitlisted people for people with a 3.0 and above.
- George Mason: you need a 164 to have a good chance at being admitted, though there were several waitlisted people in this range as well.
- College of William & Mary: you need a 165-166 to even have a glimmer of hope, but the odds are much more likely that you will be waitlisted. Doesn't seem to be very splitter-friendly unless you are a URM.

Note: I didn't go through any profiles to see how many of the waitlisted people got admitted from that. Also keep in mind that the later you apply the more likely you are to get waitlisted or denied (another reason to retake/wait until early next cycle to apply).

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cutecarmel
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Re: Acceptance & Schools List

Postby cutecarmel » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:54 pm

Based on your PT scores, I would shoot low. William and Mary seems a bit out of your reach, but there are still decent T2 schools that would accept you.

As for not knowing your LSAT scores, I would hope for the best, but expect the worse. If your range is 154-162, for law school research purposes, I would assume that you would get a 154. If you do better, that is great, but at least you won't get let down if you are expecting scores in the 160s and get a score in the 150s.

Like one of the above posters said, there is a BIG difference between 154-162. A couple of points can be the difference between you barely getting into a school and being a sure fit.

On LSAC.org, you can do a search of law schools based on your GPA and expected LSAT, it will give you an estimation of your chances (but of course you won't know for sure until you actually take the test). You can also view that stats on this site to see the schools that other users got into based on their scores.

The best advice I can give you is to sign up for a prep course and retake in Feb. If you are already registered and want to take it now, you can consider it a practice test under pressure. Take a prepcourse and study with the Powerscore bibles, and you should do better in Feb (unless, of course, you do well in Dec., in which case you won't have to worry about retaking).
Start working on your personal statements, essays, etc. now so that you won't have too much work to do later.

HellOnHeels
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Re: Acceptance & Schools List

Postby HellOnHeels » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:35 pm

cynthia rose wrote:
When you say your study-abroad grades "do not count" toward your GPA, are you saying those courses didn't have grades at all, or just that your undergrad program doesn't calculate them into your GPA? I ask because LSAC counts ALL undergraduate work. So even if your undergrad won't count them, if those grades are on your transcript or otherwise documented somewhere then LSAC will recalculate your GPA to include those classes, and the LSAC GPA is the one law schools will use.


I understand what the OP is saying... My study abroad grades also did not count into my LSAC GSA. The grades transferred back to my UG institution, and show up on my transcript as "T"'s (for transfer, I guess?). When I called LSAC to ask them whether I needed to get a transcript from the foreign institution, they said no. So while I have a whole semester worth of "T"s (which were all "A''s btw) , they were not calculated into my LSAC GPA. I wish they did though!




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