Advice needed!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Kalinda
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Kalinda » Tue May 14, 2013 12:05 am

mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


What type of law do you want to pursue? Are you just interested in getting another degree? If you are committed to going to school next year, and retaking the LSAT is off the table (which I think you should consider), I'd go to the Maxwell School. It's a national program that actually feeds into jobs. The law school cannot provide you with the resources you need to obtain gainful employment. Everyone who has mentioned the importance of T14 was spot on, as well as strong regional schools.

Many students start law school at 26, even older, take the year and study for this test, rock it, and go to a law school that will make it easier for you to find a job. If that is a no go, Maxwell is a good option.

mike140
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:09 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.

And I appreciate your attitude and demeanor for this whole thread, I really do...but the undeniably best thing to do for yourself is to take another year off, retake and reapply with competitive numbers. That, or don't go to law school. I'm the same age, and I took time off to retake, and I'm glad I did. There are people here that will tell you not to go to Cuse for FREE, much less near sticker. I understand you want to be a lawyer, and I can identify...but you have to be willing to make sacrifices, and right now, that might mean taking time off and retaking. It's only a year...You're choosing to look at that year as not furthering your career, but the reality is if you come back with a significantly improved LSAT, it's improved your career more so than anything else you could have done. What is your UGPA, and how long /how did you study for the LSAT?


Thanks. I appreciate that. This is all so daunting to think about. I may end up taking the time off after all in that case. I need to give it some serious thought.

My undergrad GPA was a dismal 2.8. I joked around during school, got into some gambling debt, and had to get a job to pay it off. That's how I started working at US Trust and it became a pretty decent career. I have a 3.8 GPA in my MBA program that I'm finishing up now so I take my academics much more seriously now.

I studied for the LSAT for about a year. I'm not just a good standardized test-taker. I could study for another five years and only do marginally better. It's just the way it is.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue May 14, 2013 12:10 am

don't go to lolschool, dood

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:12 am

Kalinda wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


What type of law do you want to pursue? Are you just interested in getting another degree? If you are committed to going to school next year, and retaking the LSAT is off the table (which I think you should consider), I'd go to the Maxwell School. It's a national program that actually feeds into jobs. The law school cannot provide you with the resources you need to obtain gainful employment. Everyone who has mentioned the importance of T14 was spot on, as well as strong regional schools.

Many students start law school at 26, even older, take the year and study for this test, rock it, and go to a law school that will make it easier for you to find a job. If that is a no go, Maxwell is a good option.



Ideally, I'd like to be a public defendant of some sort. Or perhaps work in the AG's office protecting consumers in some capacity. I really want to help people and that's where most of my passion comes from.

The Maxwell program is quite intriguing because of its reputation. I've also considered just doing that program as you suggested. If I do end up going to Syracuse for my JD then I think a JD/MPA would be the way to go so I can hopefully network my butt off and make something of myself.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:14 am

Dr. Dre wrote:don't go to lolschool, dood



Who knows.. maybe I'll become the next VP?!?!? Haha.

I'm kidding, obviously.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue May 14, 2013 12:15 am

your humor is not funny

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:18 am

Dr. Dre wrote:your humor is not funny



Chill out.

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Clearly
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Clearly » Tue May 14, 2013 12:18 am

OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?

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Kalinda
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Kalinda » Tue May 14, 2013 12:22 am

mike140 wrote:
Kalinda wrote:
mike140 wrote:



Ideally, I'd like to be a public defendant of some sort. Or perhaps work in the AG's office protecting consumers in some capacity. I really want to help people and that's where most of my passion comes from.

The Maxwell program is quite intriguing because of its reputation. I've also considered just doing that program as you suggested. If I do end up going to Syracuse for my JD then I think a JD/MPA would be the way to go so I can hopefully network my butt off and make something of myself.



I would be wary of doing both. I'm not sure if you got a chance to look at the data on Syracuse Law, but its definitely not worth investing money into (some would even say time even if you had a full ride). Maxwell graduates place well in government, non-profit, and overseas if you are interested in that. It has a strong faculty that has connections literally everywhere. Especially with your business background, you could set yourself up for a position as a large corporation whose pay scales would be MUCH MUCH MUCH better than anything you would get at Syracuse Law. Graduates move on to both the public and private sector and work for Fortune 500 companies. It's a much more sound investment than Syracuse Law.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:22 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?


Congrats! That's awesome. I'm happy that you were able to raise your score that much. I took a Kaplan course and took countless practice exams. The main issue for me (as for most I assume) was time. I've accepted the fact that I don't test well on standardized exams.

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Clearly
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Clearly » Tue May 14, 2013 12:23 am

mike140 wrote:
Kalinda wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


What type of law do you want to pursue? Are you just interested in getting another degree? If you are committed to going to school next year, and retaking the LSAT is off the table (which I think you should consider), I'd go to the Maxwell School. It's a national program that actually feeds into jobs. The law school cannot provide you with the resources you need to obtain gainful employment. Everyone who has mentioned the importance of T14 was spot on, as well as strong regional schools.

Many students start law school at 26, even older, take the year and study for this test, rock it, and go to a law school that will make it easier for you to find a job. If that is a no go, Maxwell is a good option.



Ideally, I'd like to be a public defendant of some sort. Or perhaps work in the AG's office protecting consumers in some capacity. I really want to help people and that's where most of my passion comes from.

The Maxwell program is quite intriguing because of its reputation. I've also considered just doing that program as you suggested. If I do end up going to Syracuse for my JD then I think a JD/MPA would be the way to go so I can hopefully network my butt off and make something of myself.


Do you have any student loans prior to Oct 2007?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue May 14, 2013 12:23 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote: Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school

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Kalinda
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Kalinda » Tue May 14, 2013 12:24 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?


This as well. The LSAT can be taught, it takes some longer than others, but if you are committed you can break the 170 mark. It took me three attempts to do it.

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Clearly
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Clearly » Tue May 14, 2013 12:25 am

mike140 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?


Congrats! That's awesome. I'm happy that you were able to raise your score that much. I took a Kaplan course and took countless practice exams. The main issue for me (as for most I assume) was time. I've accepted the fact that I don't test well on standardized exams.

It sounds more like you just have inefficient ways of attacking problems if you're running into timing issues. Maybe you can't raise your score, but I suspect that's not the case. The problem is, with your GPA you wouldn't just need to jump a few points, you would need a drastic improvement to be in a position to go to a school worth attending. If you don't believe you can do this, it's unlikely you will be able to, and law might not be your best option. You realize that PI work like that isn't always easy to get, and the pay usually sucks right?

mike140
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:26 am

Kalinda wrote:
mike140 wrote:
Kalinda wrote:
mike140 wrote:



Ideally, I'd like to be a public defendant of some sort. Or perhaps work in the AG's office protecting consumers in some capacity. I really want to help people and that's where most of my passion comes from.

The Maxwell program is quite intriguing because of its reputation. I've also considered just doing that program as you suggested. If I do end up going to Syracuse for my JD then I think a JD/MPA would be the way to go so I can hopefully network my butt off and make something of myself.



I would be wary of doing both. I'm not sure if you got a chance to look at the data on Syracuse Law, but its definitely not worth investing money into (some would even say time even if you had a full ride). Maxwell graduates place well in government, non-profit, and overseas if you are interested in that. It has a strong faculty that has connections literally everywhere. Especially with your business background, you could set yourself up for a position as a large corporation whose pay scales would be MUCH MUCH MUCH better than anything you would get at Syracuse Law. Graduates move on to both the public and private sector and work for Fortune 500 companies. It's a much more sound investment than Syracuse Law.


Thanks Kalinda. That's certainly something I've considered. I've actually reached out to some Maxwell grads to gain their perspective on the matter.

mike140
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:27 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
mike140 wrote:
Kalinda wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


What type of law do you want to pursue? Are you just interested in getting another degree? If you are committed to going to school next year, and retaking the LSAT is off the table (which I think you should consider), I'd go to the Maxwell School. It's a national program that actually feeds into jobs. The law school cannot provide you with the resources you need to obtain gainful employment. Everyone who has mentioned the importance of T14 was spot on, as well as strong regional schools.

Many students start law school at 26, even older, take the year and study for this test, rock it, and go to a law school that will make it easier for you to find a job. If that is a no go, Maxwell is a good option.



Ideally, I'd like to be a public defendant of some sort. Or perhaps work in the AG's office protecting consumers in some capacity. I really want to help people and that's where most of my passion comes from.

The Maxwell program is quite intriguing because of its reputation. I've also considered just doing that program as you suggested. If I do end up going to Syracuse for my JD then I think a JD/MPA would be the way to go so I can hopefully network my butt off and make something of myself.


Do you have any student loans prior to Oct 2007?


I think I do.. Why?

mike140
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:28 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
mike140 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?


Congrats! That's awesome. I'm happy that you were able to raise your score that much. I took a Kaplan course and took countless practice exams. The main issue for me (as for most I assume) was time. I've accepted the fact that I don't test well on standardized exams.

It sounds more like you just have inefficient ways of attacking problems if you're running into timing issues. Maybe you can't raise your score, but I suspect that's not the case. The problem is, with your GPA you wouldn't just need to jump a few points, you would need a drastic improvement to be in a position to go to a school worth attending. If you don't believe you can do this, it's unlikely you will be able to, and law might not be your best option. You realize that PI work like that isn't always easy to get, and the pay usually sucks right?


I know I'm not in for a big payday but I'm fine with that. It's honestly been a dream of mine and I feel that I owe it to myself to give it a shot.

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Kalinda
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Kalinda » Tue May 14, 2013 12:29 am

mike140 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?


Congrats! That's awesome. I'm happy that you were able to raise your score that much. I took a Kaplan course and took countless practice exams. The main issue for me (as for most I assume) was time. I've accepted the fact that I don't test well on standardized exams.



Mike I usually don't test well either, for college I was lucky enough to do somewhat decent on the ACT, but had really awful SAT scores. Time was my problem too, but the LSAT can be mastered. I know this sucks to hear, but I have been told Kaplan is one of the least helpful programs out there.

Have you checked out the LSAT forum? There is amazing study guides and tips there that could really help you if you are willing to give it one more shot.

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CO2016YEAH
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby CO2016YEAH » Tue May 14, 2013 12:30 am

mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


At least one person with the clock even more against him is seriously considering waiting another year, doing better on the LSAT, and applying next cycle (read: the guy who wrote what you are reading). 26 was quite a while ago for me. I have a score significantly better (not bragging, just saying). I have dependents and really need to begin building my law career asap if this is what I'm going to do with my life. I'm into better schools. The stuff the people here are saying is very real. Do you want to be begging for your old job back with 6 figs in debt in the event that you are in the majority out of Syracuse graduate population and flat out fail to find legal work, let alone legal work that justifies three years in lost income and mid $100k's debt? It has taken me nearly all application cycle for this to sink in and I applied to most schools mid September. The situation out there is scary.

You might still wind up going this year, and I just might too. A mid 160s score could get you a decent scholarship at a much better school. I know you (and I) are eager to get going on this law school business asap. However, a solid improvement on a retake could mean a better school, big money in scholarship reducing your debt a ton, and hundreds of thousands in increased earnings over your career.

Imagine a payment of $1500-2000 a month, every month, for the next 10-20 years. Now imagine having that payment and no legal job, or one that pays miserably. Yes, there is IBR and PAYE. However, you will still have the debt and that will surely affect your additional borrowing (for homes, cars, etc). In the even the debt is eventually forgiven there will be tax implications.

I'm in the same boat my friend. Proceed with caution. $150-200k debt looks a lot more appealing when it is in the barely imaginable, seemingly non-existent future and the only thing between us and law school is a click on an electronic box agreeing to the loan. That money will have to be paid back, or at least dealt with through ongoing bureaucracy to arrange deferments or reduced payments and then the inevitable write-off and huge tax bill.

To be honest, I don't believe you've maxed out at 153. I can barely read and I broke 160 (I jest, but I do read slow). Take a course if you haven't. Work the Powerscore bibles. Even if you suck at reading and reasoning the logic games should be very learnable for almost anyone. The best LSAT advice I got was to not take it at least until you are scoring perfect on games. The average on the lsat is 152 simply because a good number of people go in completely unprepared and another good number are practically retarded (one woman at my testing filled out the wrong part of the form during the instructions period and tried to fill out the cancellation section not understanding she was cancelling her score in doing so). You don't strike me as either of these types, but perhaps you were under-prepared. How much did you bust ass to prepare?

Consider your decision carefully. If you wind up going this fall then I wish you the best of luck. Having said that, 26 is only 4 years older than you would be had you started UG at 18 and went straight to law school after graduation. This is not a good enough reason to dive headfirst into shallow water. I plan on working a long time and therefore consider I have 30-40 working years ahead of me (and like I said, I'm older). We can both afford to delay law school a year to secure a more favorable outcome in the long term.

Good luck with your decision.

Edit: I also know of several people that have taken Kaplan and seen only negligible increases. I took Blueprint. They are similar to Powerscore in structure (and also to Testmasters, I've been told), but they try to put a humorous spin on it. In all honesty, you could do more self study with a better system than Kaplan and see the same improvement. The structure helps, though.

Also, have you looked into the situation for public defender jobs? I know that in many locales the pay can be meager (like 40-50k) and some offices get 500-1000s of applications for a single spot. Only more food for thought.

Oh, and you got the polite crowd tonight. Things can be remarkably more hostile in such threads. :)

(Looks like I'm wordy tonight.)
Last edited by CO2016YEAH on Tue May 14, 2013 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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CO2016YEAH
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby CO2016YEAH » Tue May 14, 2013 12:42 am

Dr. Dre wrote:don't go to lolschool, dood


Lol'ing at Dre's new 'tar. Not sure if I like this better or the poster child for UCI you had a couple weeks ago. :D

sparty99
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby sparty99 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:09 am

mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


Dude. Shut the hell up. You are 26. You will be 29 when you graduate. Cry me a river. You sure as hell can afford to take another year off. And you will.

If you work another year you will make MONEY to help pay down LAW SCHOOL DEBT. If you go to Syracuse, you will be f*cked. You won't prove yourself in law school. You will be competing with students who scored much higher than a 153 LSAT and who had much higher gpa then your 2.8. You will end up below-median at a sub-par school in the MOST COMPETITIVE LEGAL MARKET IN THE COUNTRY (NEW YORK). YOU WILL PAY $20,000 A YEAR IN TUITION + COST OF LIVING. When you finish below-median, the only jobs that you get will be UNPAID INTERNSHIPS. You are SCREWED.

You might as well go to City University Law School. Kaplan sucks. Everyone knows this. Testmasters or PowerScore are much better, to say the least. Why are you even going to law school? Aren't you already in a graduate program. If your current graduate degree won't open doors, what makes you think a law degree will?

mike140
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:50 am

Kalinda wrote:
mike140 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?


Congrats! That's awesome. I'm happy that you were able to raise your score that much. I took a Kaplan course and took countless practice exams. The main issue for me (as for most I assume) was time. I've accepted the fact that I don't test well on standardized exams.



Mike I usually don't test well either, for college I was lucky enough to do somewhat decent on the ACT, but had really awful SAT scores. Time was my problem too, but the LSAT can be mastered. I know this sucks to hear, but I have been told Kaplan is one of the least helpful programs out there.

Have you checked out the LSAT forum? There is amazing study guides and tips there that could really help you if you are willing to give it one more shot.



I will be sure to do so. I clearly need to reevaluate the way I study for the LSAT if I'm going to pull the trigger and take it again. Thanks!

mike140
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:53 am

CO2016YEAH wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


At least one person with the clock even more against him is seriously considering waiting another year, doing better on the LSAT, and applying next cycle (read: the guy who wrote what you are reading). 26 was quite a while ago for me. I have a score significantly better (not bragging, just saying). I have dependents and really need to begin building my law career asap if this is what I'm going to do with my life. I'm into better schools. The stuff the people here are saying is very real. Do you want to be begging for your old job back with 6 figs in debt in the event that you are in the majority out of Syracuse graduate population and flat out fail to find legal work, let alone legal work that justifies three years in lost income and mid $100k's debt? It has taken me nearly all application cycle for this to sink in and I applied to most schools mid September. The situation out there is scary.

You might still wind up going this year, and I just might too. A mid 160s score could get you a decent scholarship at a much better school. I know you (and I) are eager to get going on this law school business asap. However, a solid improvement on a retake could mean a better school, big money in scholarship reducing your debt a ton, and hundreds of thousands in increased earnings over your career.

Imagine a payment of $1500-2000 a month, every month, for the next 10-20 years. Now imagine having that payment and no legal job, or one that pays miserably. Yes, there is IBR and PAYE. However, you will still have the debt and that will surely affect your additional borrowing (for homes, cars, etc). In the even the debt is eventually forgiven there will be tax implications.

I'm in the same boat my friend. Proceed with caution. $150-200k debt looks a lot more appealing when it is in the barely imaginable, seemingly non-existent future and the only thing between us and law school is a click on an electronic box agreeing to the loan. That money will have to be paid back, or at least dealt with through ongoing bureaucracy to arrange deferments or reduced payments and then the inevitable write-off and huge tax bill.

To be honest, I don't believe you've maxed out at 153. I can barely read and I broke 160 (I jest, but I do read slow). Take a course if you haven't. Work the Powerscore bibles. Even if you suck at reading and reasoning the logic games should be very learnable for almost anyone. The best LSAT advice I got was to not take it at least until you are scoring perfect on games. The average on the lsat is 152 simply because a good number of people go in completely unprepared and another good number are practically retarded (one woman at my testing filled out the wrong part of the form during the instructions period and tried to fill out the cancellation section not understanding she was cancelling her score in doing so). You don't strike me as either of these types, but perhaps you were under-prepared. How much did you bust ass to prepare?

Consider your decision carefully. If you wind up going this fall then I wish you the best of luck. Having said that, 26 is only 4 years older than you would be had you started UG at 18 and went straight to law school after graduation. This is not a good enough reason to dive headfirst into shallow water. I plan on working a long time and therefore consider I have 30-40 working years ahead of me (and like I said, I'm older). We can both afford to delay law school a year to secure a more favorable outcome in the long term.

Good luck with your decision.

Edit: I also know of several people that have taken Kaplan and seen only negligible increases. I took Blueprint. They are similar to Powerscore in structure (and also to Testmasters, I've been told), but they try to put a humorous spin on it. In all honesty, you could do more self study with a better system than Kaplan and see the same improvement. The structure helps, though.

Also, have you looked into the situation for public defender jobs? I know that in many locales the pay can be meager (like 40-50k) and some offices get 500-1000s of applications for a single spot. Only more food for thought.

Oh, and you got the polite crowd tonight. Things can be remarkably more hostile in such threads. :)

(Looks like I'm wordy tonight.)



Thank you for very thoughtful and insightful response. You make many good points. Your post illustrates exactly what I was looking for when I joined TLS - helpful, constructive feedback. I'd just hate to take it again, apply next cycle, and see similar results. I know I'm young but a year is still a LONG time. Your perspective has been very helpful though. I definitely have some thinking to do.

mike140
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:57 am

sparty99 wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


Dude. Shut the hell up. You are 26. You will be 29 when you graduate. Cry me a river. You sure as hell can afford to take another year off. And you will.

If you work another year you will make MONEY to help pay down LAW SCHOOL DEBT. If you go to Syracuse, you will be f*cked. You won't prove yourself in law school. You will be competing with students who scored much higher than a 153 LSAT and who had much higher gpa then your 2.8. You will end up below-median at a sub-par school in the MOST COMPETITIVE LEGAL MARKET IN THE COUNTRY (NEW YORK). YOU WILL PAY $20,000 A YEAR IN TUITION + COST OF LIVING. When you finish below-median, the only jobs that you get will be UNPAID INTERNSHIPS. You are SCREWED.

You might as well go to City University Law School. Kaplan sucks. Everyone knows this. Testmasters or PowerScore are much better, to say the least. Why are you even going to law school? Aren't you already in a graduate program. If your current graduate degree won't open doors, what makes you think a law degree will?


Hah - I know I'm exaggerating a bit. 26 isn't old by any means but I'd like to have some concrete direction in my life in the near future. Many of my friends are getting married, settling down etc, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

I'm going to law school because it's something I've always had a passion for. I have an MBA and realized that I don't want to do something business focused for the rest of my life. What I learned was helpful and I'm sure will benefit me in some capacity in the future but I don't want a career in it. If I don't take this step now then I never will.

Mal Reynolds
Posts: 12630
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Advice needed!

Postby Mal Reynolds » Tue May 14, 2013 1:58 am

mike140 wrote:
sparty99 wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


Dude. Shut the hell up. You are 26. You will be 29 when you graduate. Cry me a river. You sure as hell can afford to take another year off. And you will.

If you work another year you will make MONEY to help pay down LAW SCHOOL DEBT. If you go to Syracuse, you will be f*cked. You won't prove yourself in law school. You will be competing with students who scored much higher than a 153 LSAT and who had much higher gpa then your 2.8. You will end up below-median at a sub-par school in the MOST COMPETITIVE LEGAL MARKET IN THE COUNTRY (NEW YORK). YOU WILL PAY $20,000 A YEAR IN TUITION + COST OF LIVING. When you finish below-median, the only jobs that you get will be UNPAID INTERNSHIPS. You are SCREWED.

You might as well go to City University Law School. Kaplan sucks. Everyone knows this. Testmasters or PowerScore are much better, to say the least. Why are you even going to law school? Aren't you already in a graduate program. If your current graduate degree won't open doors, what makes you think a law degree will?


Hah - I know I'm exaggerating a bit. 26 isn't old by any means but I'd like to have some concrete direction in my life in the near future. Many of my friends are getting married, settling down etc, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

I'm going to law school because it's something I've always had a passion for. I have an MBA and realized that I don't want to do something business focused for the rest of my life. What I learned was helpful and I'm sure will benefit me in some capacity in the future but I don't want a career in it. If I don't take this step now then I never will.


Your logic is so full of fail I don't even know where to begin.




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