3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

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klipsch3212
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3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby klipsch3212 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:00 pm

Hi everyone!

This is my first time posting on this board, but i've actually used the input on this board for advice on Law Schools and LSAT prep.

My cumulative GPA is a 3.3 with a double major in International Business and Finance from a state University
GPA within majors is a 3.7.. and strong upward trend of a 3.8 over the last 3 semesters

I am in the process of sending in my applications, but will be requesting a hold until mid-January because I am expecting a 4.0 this semester. I should add that this semester and the last I have chosen to take the maximum course load of 6 classes allowed at my school.

My 158 was very disappointing because my practice exam average was a 166-168 (I expected a 163 since I know no one performs as well on test day).. and the reason it is so low is because I put on an 8mg (highest dose) nicotine patch and chugged a 5 hour energy drink during the break. I have no idea how I was so stupid so please try not to disparage me for it - I was tired (Skipped my morning coffee so I wouldn't need to use the bathroom) and needed a cigarette and my friend who I took the exam with had a bunch of nicotine patches.

I was jittery, dizzy and almost threw up (Thankfully I only had a granola bar). I got 14 out of 23 LG questions wrong.. everything else on the exam was fine.. and I typically get -3/-4 for logic games

My softs include:
being the director of the campus radio station
having an international internship in Singapore
Played for 2 years as the lead guitarist in the house band at 2 bars doing weekly performances (once a month at each bar, twice a month at other venues)
a year of full-time work as a sales executive for a small event management firm,
and some other work experience

Excellent letters of recommendation from three professors who know me well (1 is my adviser, the other, head of the department). They specifically said they would talk me up and give me the highest praise possible.

Here are the listings of schools I am applying to:

University of San Diego
Chapman University
University of San Francisco
Santa Clara University
Southwestern University
California Western (Safety.. don't know if I'd even go here)

I was affected by Hurricane Sandy unfortunately, and amidst my other obligations neglected to sign up for the re-take in December.. my only option is February.

Could you recommend which Universities I should straight up apply to and which ones I should ask to wait for the new LSAT score? I am studying hard and hope to score a 165 this time around.

Thank you very much!

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nickb285
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:07 pm

None of those schools has over 50% of the graduating class getting jobs as lawyers. Most are under 40%. The market in California is extremely saturated, and if you want to get into it you need to go to a good school, particularly if you're not from there (which I'm assuming you're not due to Sandy).

Do not go to any of those schools. Study for the LSAT, retake in February/June/next October, get a 170+, and apply to schools that give you a better chance of getting a job.

klipsch3212
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby klipsch3212 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:18 pm

Well, i'm extremely flattered that you think i'm capable of getting a 170+ :)

However, I don't share your optimism :/ If I attain near a 170 on the Feb LSAT, I will definitely postpone my applications for the next year.

I should add that since my entire undergraduate education cost less than a semester at the schools my siblings attended.. and going to law school will not put me into any debt - I have no interest in BigLaw, really.

P.S. Assuming I managed to get a 170.. where in California could I realistically look for with my stats?

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Rahviveh
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:25 pm

klipsch3212 wrote:Well, i'm extremely flattered that you think i'm capable of getting a 170+ :)

However, I don't share your optimism :/ If I attain near a 170 on the Feb LSAT, I will definitely postpone my applications for the next year.

I should add that since my entire undergraduate education cost less than a semester at the schools my siblings attended.. and going to law school will not put me into any debt - I have no interest in BigLaw, really.

P.S. Assuming I managed to get a 170.. where in California could I realistically look for with my stats?

Do you have to stay in California? UCLA and USC are options. If not, youll be competitive for the lower T14.

Are you interested in getting a legal job? If so, those schools you named are all terrible options.

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nickb285
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:33 pm

klipsch3212 wrote:Well, i'm extremely flattered that you think i'm capable of getting a 170+ :)

However, I don't share your optimism :/ If I attain near a 170 on the Feb LSAT, I will definitely postpone my applications for the next year.

I should add that since my entire undergraduate education cost less than a semester at the schools my siblings attended.. and going to law school will not put me into any debt - I have no interest in BigLaw, really.

P.S. Assuming I managed to get a 170.. where in California could I realistically look for with my stats?


The LSAT is learnable. My first practice test was a 160. After a month and a half of a prep class offered at my UG as a continuing ed thing, and some practice testing, I got a 169. I was happy enough with that score that I'm applying (plus, like you, I don't want biglaw, but I am debt averse and don't want to live in a big East Coast city so very likely no T14 for me), but if you are PTing at 166-168, and you take the test in February (with a possible third retake in June) you can absolutely get 170+. Read through the advice on the LSAT forum here, and if you want to/are able to, take a prep class.

Debt is important, but so is getting a job. That under 40% statistic isn't biglaw--it's any full-time, non-temporary legal job. Do not go to a school that gives you a 1 in 3 chance of becoming a lawyer; even if you can go for free, the opportunity cost of wasting three years for no job prospects is huge. Retake, apply to better schools. Like Papi said, USC/UCLA are possibilities if you must stay in CA, otherwise try all of the lower T14 plus any tier 1 schools where you want to practice.

klipsch3212
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby klipsch3212 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:39 pm

Thank you Nick. I actually would really love UCLA and USC but once I got my score back.. I kind of let that dream go.

I should add that I got a 175 on the June 1993 Practice exam.. and I've attained two 172's as well.. but yeah.. average is still a 167 - So you're right, I need to really buckle down and study for February.
I read the LG and LR bibles and did 15 practice exams for the first administration.. and honestly it wasn't too bad aside from the Logic Games (9/23). I bought the Manhatten LSAT prep (all 3) the day after I got my score back, and I will buy 20 more practice exams for Feb

However, just in case- Would it be better to apply to the "safe" options of University of San Diego/USF/Chapman etc now, or wait until my Feb LSATs are back?

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nickb285
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:45 pm

It sounds like you've got a good start on the studying. Just fine tune your methods and get a lot of repetition in. There's a lot of help and advice out there, take advantage of it.

I would not apply to SD/USF/Chapman at all, honestly. If you want UCLA/USC, don't settle for a TTT shithole in a saturated legal market. Your safeties should be schools like Davis and Hastings (or T1s in non-CA areas that you could see yourself being happy). Don't sell yourself short (or even waste $21) by applying to a school that you don't want to attend.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:55 pm

OP, I've read that a lot of the T14 schools MAY extend their deadlines past the February LSAT, so who knows! You may be able to apply this cycle!

Semi-related, don't a lot of T14 schools average LSAT scores? Or is that not accurate?

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Mick Haller
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby Mick Haller » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:04 pm

2012 Hastings grad here. Our graduating class is well below 50% getting good legal jobs. Only 10% placement through OCI. You'll regret it if you go to one of those California T2 schools.

Honestly, USC is probably the lowest ranked Calif. school worth attending. Davis/Hastings might be good options if they were significantly cheaper than they are.

There's nothing wrong with choosing another career. You've had some interesting international experience; I might try to build on that if I were you.

klipsch3212
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby klipsch3212 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:07 pm

It depends on the school I believe - after LSAC or USnews revised the rankings to include only the best score, many schools changed their averaging system.

I plan on sending in my applications in December, and requesting a hold until my new score is out. Really hopeful there might be a few spaces left.
UCLA specifically says that they will accept it as long as the rest of the Application is in before Feb 1st.. But I know I will be competing for the few chairs left

I should add that UCLA is my absolute dream school. I spent two summers there - took MBA classes and an undergrad law class taught in the law school by an actual faculty member (Dr. Light!) and was just completely blown away. That was actually the reason my grades went from being a 3.0 to a 3.8 - to get in there.

Is USD really that bad a school though? I had heard it was a good option

So thank you very much.. I have to get back to my LSAT studies :D

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Mick Haller
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby Mick Haller » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:09 pm

klipsch3212 wrote:Is USD really that bad a school though? I had heard it was a good option


Bad. Unless 75-100% scholarship.

klipsch3212
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby klipsch3212 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:43 pm

Thanks for all your help guys!

So If I retake in February and have all my application stuff in by the deadline,

Assuming some miracle happens and I score a 170+, would I be competitive for a seat for Fall 2013 at UCLA/USC/USD (well im assuming yes for USD, but its good to have a safety even it means working my ass off to get a job)

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nickb285
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:50 pm

It would be tough by then. By the time you get your score back, most schools be about to start reviewing waitlisted candidates if they haven't already. You can apply if you want, but your best bet will probably be Fall 2014.

klipsch3212
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby klipsch3212 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:53 pm

Let me rephrase that.

Would there by a marked difference applying on Feb 1st as opposed to a complete application on Feb 27th?

I'm pretty adamant about waiting for this semesters scores because I'm looking at straight A's for 5 capstone classes and a graduate level economics class

I know I might have to apply next year :-/ But I want to take my chances for this Fall

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Rahviveh
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:58 pm

Mick Haller wrote:2012 Hastings grad here. Our graduating class is well below 50% getting good legal jobs. Only 10% placement through OCI. You'll regret it if you go to one of those California T2 schools.

Honestly, USC is probably the lowest ranked Calif. school worth attending. Davis/Hastings might be good options if they were significantly cheaper than they are.

There's nothing wrong with choosing another career. You've had some interesting international experience; I might try to build on that if I were you.


The striking thing is that the difference in employment stats between UCH/UCD and the lower-ranked CA schools isn't all that large. The market here is just awful.

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Mick Haller
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Re: 3.3 GPA/158 LSAT-Application timing help please? Feb retake?

Postby Mick Haller » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:06 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:The striking thing is that the difference in employment stats between UCH/UCD and the lower-ranked CA schools isn't all that large. The market here is just awful.


Exactly. UCLA/USC is like 65% full time legal employment. Davis 55%. Hastings 45%. Loyola, USD, USF, Pepperdine - 40%. Everybody else, 33% and down.

Much of the Hastings-Davis discrepancy is unrealistic expectations on behalf of Hastings people. They expect SF area employment, whereas Davis people are more often willing to go to Fresno, Bakersfield, Sacramento, etc.




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