Did I underperform this cycle?

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Wily
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Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby Wily » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:23 pm

Hey - curious if I underperformed this cycle based on my numbers, or if I did about about par for the course for my splitter status. I'm definitely retaking the LSAT in June, and considering reapplying in the fall.

Brief story: I went to HYP for undergrad, developed a mental condition there which completely wrecked my academics for several semesters, and as a result I have a horrendous GPA. I had to take off several years to recover during college, which luckily I have, but my LSDAS GPA still ended up a 2.7. I took the LSAT in February 2006, got a 176, but because it took me so long to graduate, my score expired before I finally applied year. Stupid mistake, I know. I retook twice this year, and to my dismay, got a 165 and then a 168.

In any case, I applied to 22 schools last fall in order to maximize my chances of getting into a T1 school, but so far all I have gotten is waitlists or rejections from the T1 schools. Here is the breakdown:

American University - Waitlist
Boston College - Waitlist
Boston University - Reject
Brooklyn - Waitlist
University at Buffalo Law School- Reject
University of California, Davis - Haven't heard back
Benjamin N. Cardozo - Haven't heard back
Columbia University - Haven't heard back (Reject almost certain)
University of Connecticut - Reject
Cornell - Haven't heard back (Reject almost certain)
Fordham University School of Law - Waitlist
George Washington - Waitlist
Georgetown - Reject
Hofstra University - Accept, full scholarship
New York University - Reject
Northeastern University - Waitlist
University of Pennsylvania - Reject
St. John's University - Accept, full scholarship
Wake Forest - Waitlist
Washington and Lee - Waitlist
WUSTL - Waitlist
William & Mary - Waitlist

That's 10 (!) waitlists, 8 rejects or probable rejects, 2 I haven't heard from, and 2 acceptances.

Like I said, I'm definitely retaking the LSAT in June, but I am also pretty sure I'm going to put a seat deposit down for St. John's, which is (perhaps) slightly better than Hofstra. I am turning 28 and I really hate the idea of waiting out another year, but if I get 4+ points higher I think that will have to be my choice. I am sure I want to practice law, with two years of work experience as a paralegal, but I just need to get into a half-decent law school first!

My first question is, did I underperform this year, based on my numbers (2.7 from Harvard/Yale/Princeton, 168)? I disclosed that I had a mental health condition screw up my academics in my personal statement. I'm not sure if I want to do that if I reapply next year, if it turns out I underperformed this year, perhaps because I disclosed this.

My second question is, are any of my waitlisted schools worth it for sticker? I think a lot of schools are confused about me, haha. I assume that there is no chance of money if I get off a waitlist? What if I retake in June and something in the 170's, still no chance of a scholarship if I get off a WL?

Third question - if I retake/reapply with a higher LSAT, will I still be able to at least receive the full scholarships from St. John's and Hofstra next year? I'd hate to redo everything and not get into a better school, and then not even have those two as options.

Thanks for all comments/suggestions in advance!

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby moneybagsphd » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:25 pm

Yes.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby ThreeRivers » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:27 pm

Even with the 168 you underperformed (idk the status of a lot of those schools on splitters, but you could have gotten into better ones).


You should have applied to WUSL / Minn

edit: Nvm just saw you applied to WUSL, wow I thought you would have gotten in

Yea, you under performed man

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splitsplat
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby splitsplat » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:14 pm

numbers alone you under-performed. I think there is a possibility you wrote something wonky in your ps or other statements that set off warning lights.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:24 pm

Harvard, Yale & even Princeton (despite rumors to the contrary) engage in grade inflation, therefore, your impression that a 2.7 GPA from H,Y or P is somehow better than a similiar GPA from lower ranked undergraduate colleges or universities is mistaken; in all likelihood, a low GPA from H,Y or P raises serious concerns.

Can't tell whether or not you underperformed your numbers because a low GPA typically leads to additional scrutiny of the remainder of your application.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby bernaldiaz » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:32 pm

splitsplat wrote:numbers alone you under-performed. I think there is a possibility you wrote something wonky in your ps or other statements that set off warning lights.


Like if you wrote about that mental condition in an addendum, you may have shot yourself
In the foot. Might have been better off leaving it at low grades. That may be why you underperformed.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby I.P. Daly » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:19 pm

OP, what do you mean by:

"but because it took me so long to graduate?"

TLSwag
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby TLSwag » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:46 pm

I agree with the consensus that you did underperform and it could have been a result of your application--you should have disclosed the mental condition in an addendum and tailored your personal statement in a more positive light

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Robespierre
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby Robespierre » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:02 am

I had similar numbers and a very similar list of schools. I think you underperformed, but not by a wide margin.

A lot of your schools are highly GPA-conscious and take only a tiny number of non-URM sub-3.0's per year (e.g. BC, Fordham). Others are simply out of the question with your numbers (e.g. Columbia, Penn). So there are actually few surprises on your list. The only reasons I think you underperformed are that I would have expected you to get into American U and perhaps WUStL and UConn.

I would retake and try to crack 170 (you did it once already). That will get you into more of these schools. Your best target is WUStL; I think with a 170+ they'll bite ... and they give out lots of money.

Temper your expectations. With a 2.7, you're not going to Columbia or Penn, or probably even Fordham or BC, no matter how well you strategize.
Last edited by Robespierre on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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IAFG
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby IAFG » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:06 am

Where is NU, UVA, Michigan? Edit: oops only saw 176
Last edited by IAFG on Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Wily
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby Wily » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:08 am

Hey - thanks for the responses.

As to grade inflation at HYP: Yes, it definitely exists, but I literally could not do work during those semesters when my condition was wrecking my life, so my professors had no choice but to fail me. I don't think the GPA will be looked upon more favorably than the same GPA from a lower ranked school, due to the reputation of grade inflation.

As to how long it took to graduate: In total, taking three leaves of absences, it took me 7 years to graduate... I took the LSAT in my third year in 2006, but didn't graduate until 2009, and didn't even know the scores expired until I tried applying this fall.

As to writing about my mental condition: I wrote my personal statement before discovering this website, and I put it in my personal statement because my pre-law adviser told me it would be a good idea. Now looking back on it, I guess I shouldn't have done that.

Can anyone answer my second question, about whether schools ever give out money for people coming off waitlists (even with a retake that nets a higher LSAT)? Also, are any of my waitlisted schools (American, BC, Brooklyn, Fordham, GW, Northeastern, Wake, W&L, WUSTL, W&M) worth attending for sticker? I am not shooting for biglaw (the stress would probably kill me) but I am trying to get the best job I can after graduation, and I've heard rather negative things about St. John's, the school I'm considering seat depositing at.

Thanks y'all.

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Wily
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby Wily » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:11 am

IAFG wrote:Where is NU, UVA, Michigan?


They'll certainly be on my list next fall if I reapply. I didn't know squat about what schools liked splitters when I applied in the winter :(

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby ThreeRivers » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:57 am

Wily wrote:
Also, are any of my waitlisted schools (American, BC, Brooklyn, Fordham, GW, Northeastern, Wake, W&L, WUSTL, W&M) worth attending for sticker? I am not shooting for biglaw (the stress would probably kill me) but I am trying to get the best job I can after graduation, and I've heard rather negative things about St. John's, the school I'm considering seat depositing at.

Thanks y'all.

American, Brooklyn, Northeastern not worth even with a big scholly imo

I wouldn't go to St. John's

Schools that are worth attending if given a good schooly
Need $ Your tier 1 :BC, Fordham, GW, WUSL,
Need $$ Your tier 2: W&L, W&M
Need $$$ Your tier 3: Wake

Just my opinion / nothing scientific tbh

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2014
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby 2014 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 pm

No you didn't really underperform. 168 is percentile wise a fine score, but not a good enough score for a T1 to offset your GPA. Retaking is a good idea.

ETA
Wily wrote:As to writing about my mental condition: I wrote my personal statement before discovering this website, and I put it in my personal statement because my pre-law adviser told me it would be a good idea. Now looking back on it, I guess I shouldn't have done that.

I don't think its a bad idea. If you can frame it in such a way that you have learned from it and overcome it then it is something that makes you unique. I'm guessing you somehow used it as an excuse or came off as entitled to better treatment or something which would rub them the wrong way. You might consider using it as a GPA addendum and writing about something else in your PS though. Just focus on positive change coming from your condition rather than placing blame on it.

Can anyone answer my second question, about whether schools ever give out money for people coming off waitlists

Yes they do but with your current stats I don't know that you would be competitive for it.

Also, are any of my waitlisted schools (American, BC, Brooklyn, Fordham, GW, Northeastern, Wake, W&L, WUSTL, W&M) worth attending for sticker?

Probably not.


Good luck on your retake!

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby notedgarfigaro » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:53 am

168 probably gets you in WUSTL next year with money. I'm assuming you applied late (or that your 168 was from Feb.)...so you didn't truly underperform, you just got squeezed out b/c of applying late. Also, expect to have some waitlist movement...schools are going to have to hustle to keep their LSAT medians this year, which puts you in a decent position.

Also, as someone who was pretty much in the same scenario as you (I mean, almost exactly only I had 4 years work experience before going back to finish up), make sure your addendum addresses the issue, and what you've done to prevent it from happening again. 1L year is 123541435 more stressful than college, and reputable law schools care about retention/everyone graduating. If you don't have a plan to combat the stress to prevent another breakdown, they won't take a chance on you.

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Wily
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby Wily » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:28 pm

Bumping this thread with an update - just got a call from Cardozo telling me was I accepted. But they're only offering $8000 a year, at least before negotiations. St. John's at full scholarship v Cardozo at near full-price, which is better? And retake is definitely a credited response, because I am still going to retake in June, but just curious if anyone thinks Cardozo is worth it. Thanks.

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BVest
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby BVest » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:32 pm

Underperformed. You might want to work for a couple more years to get some experience softs and distance yourself from your GPA/undergrad issues as well. Maybe even get a Masters (MPA or MA in something) to show that you're capable of getting a 4.0.

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PARTY
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby PARTY » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:34 pm

BVest wrote:Underperformed....Maybe even get a Masters (MPA or MA in something) to show that you're capable of getting a 4.0.


i can't say that i cosign telling someone to pursue a graduate degree so that they can pursue a separate graduate degree.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby laxbrah420 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:42 pm

i have similar (worse numbers) and of the schools you applied to:
American University - in
Brooklyn - in
Benjamin N. Cardozo -in
University of Connecticut - in
Cornell - not in
Northeastern University - in
Wake Forest - Waitlist
Washington and Lee - Waitlist
William & Mary - Waitlist

not really interested in those schools though

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BVest
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby BVest » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:48 pm

PARTY wrote:
BVest wrote:Underperformed....Maybe even get a Masters (MPA or MA in something) to show that you're capable of getting a 4.0.


i can't say that i cosign telling someone to pursue a graduate degree so that they can pursue a separate graduate degree.


I wouldn't normally, but if s/he needs to distance self from UGPA, there are two ways to do it... wait or develop a separate set of academic numbers to tout.

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Wily
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby Wily » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:01 pm

I'm not going to another graduate school before law school, but thanks for the advice anyway :)

If I deposit at Cardozo and retake in June, is there a chance they'll increase my award if I score significantly higher?

TheZoid
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby TheZoid » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:06 pm

I would say you definitely underperformed your numbers. As others have stated, probably either because you applied late or the mental health issue was a red flag. I had similar numbers and got a few of the schools you were waitlisted at with $. I'd take another crack at it, appyling early and maybe taking a different approach to the mental health issue (still disclosing, but maybe in an addendum and not a PS). Good luck if you decide to try again.

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JCFindley
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby JCFindley » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:22 am

Wily wrote:Bumping this thread with an update - just got a call from Cardozo telling me was I accepted. But they're only offering $8000 a year, at least before negotiations. St. John's at full scholarship v Cardozo at near full-price, which is better? And retake is definitely a credited response, because I am still going to retake in June, but just curious if anyone thinks Cardozo is worth it. Thanks.


This is just my opinion but I don't think Cardozo is so much better than St J as to go into huge debt. I am older and debt adverse so take that for what it is worth.... St Johns for free is not a bad deal IMO but keep in mind the stips they have and that you stand a 60% chance of losing that $$$ next year. (I am assuming the top 40% stip)

JC

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Wily
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby Wily » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:26 am

JCFindley wrote:
Wily wrote:Bumping this thread with an update - just got a call from Cardozo telling me was I accepted. But they're only offering $8000 a year, at least before negotiations. St. John's at full scholarship v Cardozo at near full-price, which is better? And retake is definitely a credited response, because I am still going to retake in June, but just curious if anyone thinks Cardozo is worth it. Thanks.


This is just my opinion but I don't think Cardozo is so much better than St J as to go into huge debt. I am older and debt adverse so take that for what it is worth.... St Johns for free is not a bad deal IMO but keep in mind the stips they have and that you stand a 60% chance of losing that $$$ next year. (I am assuming the top 40% stip)

JC


Thanks JC. I'm waiting from Cardozo right now to see if they can give me more money. Unfortunately I basically have to decide TOMORROW which school to go to, because St. John's deposit (after two extensions) is due this weekend.

Are you planning on going to St. John's in the fall? I saw some posts where you were talking about the possibility. I went to all the open houses so far and found the school reasonable, even though I don't love the location. PM me if you're going there.

goodthings
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Re: Did I underperform this cycle?

Postby goodthings » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:03 pm

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Last edited by goodthings on Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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