Please help a reverse splitter!

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ConLawNerd91
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Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby ConLawNerd91 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:45 pm

Hi,

I have a 3.94 GPA in political science and history from Penn State University Park. Unfortunately, I scored a 155 on my LSAT even after taking a Kaplan prep class and studying very hard. I have taken case law classes during undergrad (constitutional law and civil liberties and due process), as well as a constitutional history class that focused mainly on Supreme Court jurisprudence. I received an A in all three classes. In constitutional law, my professor told me that I received the highest grade of anyone who's ever taken the class. Given this information, what kind of schools do you think I could get into? Any chance at tier 1 or tier 2? Thanks!

Also: I want to practice public interest law; I am not interested in biglaw.
Last edited by ConLawNerd91 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby UnicornHunter » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:53 pm

The only possible advice for you is to retake. Use the TLS resources to help study, get the Manhattan and PowerScore books etc...

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Typhoon24
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby Typhoon24 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:55 pm

ConLawNerd91 wrote:Hi,

I have a 3.94 GPA in political science and history from Penn State University Park. Unfortunately, I scored a 155 on my LSAT even after taking a Kaplan prep class and studying very hard.I have taken case law classes during undergrad (constitutional law and civil liberties and due process), as well as a constitutional history class that focused mainly on Supreme Court jurisprudence. I received an A in all three classes. In constitutional law, my professor told me that I received the highest grade of anyone who's ever taken the class. Given this information, what kind of schools do you think I could get into? Any chance at tier 1 or tier 2? Thanks!



those classes probably won't help you at all in the admissions process. Some Tier 4 schools maybe impressed you know what case law is, but no school worth going to in this economy would care if you took undergrad law courses (take it from me, a legal studies major). anyway, all that matters is that you have an amazing GPA but an unsatisfactory LSAT for tier 1 schools. You might be able to grab a couple of tier ones and several tier 2s with that number, but you'd be doing yourself a great injustice. The good news is that you studied hard. the bad news is that you probably didn't study properly. Kaplan sucks balls. Have you tried powerscore and manhattan? Pls retake and score above 160/165/170 based on how good a school you wanna go to. Just keep in mind that a 170+ will put you in a good position for the top 3 schools in the country with that GPA.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby DaftAndDirect » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:56 pm

Everyone will tell you to retake and not waste your very high GPA. I think that's good advice in your case.

The A's you got in your law classes will not help you. In fact, thinking that you have some heightened understanding of the law before even arriving at law school will probably hurt you because it creates a false sense of security.

Since you were an all-star in those law classes, you can probably get some very good letters of rec from those professors. So that is a plus.

But seriously, you should retake the LSAT. With focus and diligence, it's very easy for reasonably smart people to increase their scores out of the 150s. You will want a score at least somewhere in the mid-160s to get into a law school worth the money that you will be paying to attend.

All of this assumes that you're not subject to some crazy scholarship plan or rich parents that would lower your cost of attendance.

Good luck.

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Vexed
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby Vexed » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:58 pm

Those undergrad classes mean literally close to nothing in the process - your overall GPA and LSAT are the biggest factors (outside of being an underrepresented minority) in where you'll get in.

You could likely get into several Tier 2's and maybe a few of the lower Tier 1's based on your GPA, but the employment prospects of said schools are incredibly abysmal given the debt you'll be putting yourself in. You have a great GPA, you need to get an LSAT to match it - you should definitely start studying for the October test soon.

Kaplan is not generally regarded as a great prep test company. You should get the Powerscore Bibles and work them through and take several prep tests as your progress through them. If you'd prefer a class, the general advice on TLS is that your best bets are classes from Powerscore, Testmasters, Blueprint, or Manhattan.

Don't waste that GPA. The LSAT is an incredibly learnable test, and if you can crack 170 or even into the high 160's, you've got a very good chance at a T14 school.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:59 pm

1) No one will care about your "case law" classes in Undergrad. They likely are nothing like law school and you're certainly not particularly special for having taken them. Sorry, hard truth.

2) You are wasting your GPA if you apply to law schools with a 155. Kaplan prep is shit pure shit, and you wasted your money. You clearly have the diligence necessary to do well in classes. You need to apply that diligence to the LSAT and retake. If you get a 165+ you will be in a much better situation, with a shot at a lot of great schools. As it stands, any school you go to will be a total waste of money.

3) Here is some advice I have sent to people before:

  • Begin by drilling. Don't waste your time with PTs before you have the foundations set. Pick up the PS bibles and read them, and then drill (first untimed, then timed as your accuracy goes up to the upper 90s). Focus in particular on the section(s) that are the hardest for you.
  • Once you start doing PTs, do a few with 35 min sections, then (once you've gotten the hang of it), progress to 30 min sections. I did 30 min sections for the majority of my PTs (probably starting in Feb/March), and I think it REALLY helped. I was finishing LR sections in ~25 minutes by the June test. Since nerves make you slow down, that meant that even though I slowed down on the day of the test, I still had ~3-5 minutes on every section to review all of my answers.
  • Recreate test-day settings for PTs. I think proctoring helped me A LOT - not only to get used to waking up early and focusing in a new atmosphere, but also to teach me what small things (breakfast, working out, etc) helped me out or hindered me
  • Exercise before you PT. The only 180 I ever got was the time that I worked out beforehand. Endorphins are great for relaxing you/taking the edge off on test day.
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes, just pressuring yourself or making yourself nervous can fuck up your performance.
  • Take a deep breath, and remember that it is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD if you don't score as high as you want to. It's only a test. Similarly, be a little cocky!! (:
  • When reviewing PTs, don't just run through and glance at what you got wrong. Take a CLOSE LOOK and answer the following questions for every answer you get wrong:

    - What was TCR? Why?
    - Why was my AC wrong?
    - Did the authors use any 'tricks' to make me choose the wrong answer?
    - Are there any counter-tricks I can create and apply for future questions to avoid making this mistake again?

    A good example of the 'trick/countertrick' thing would be a parallel reasoning question where the 'tricky' AC has the same WORDING as the stimulus, but the stimulus has a logical flaw whereas the AC is a good argument. The LSAT writers trick people into picking the wrong AC because it sounds similar. A good way to avoid similar tricks is the 'good/bad argument' test: go through the stim and test if it is a good/bad argument, then go through each AC and do the same, ignoring diction/syntax. IF they don't match up, get rid of the AC.
  • Don't burn yourself out. Don't do 10 hours a day for 3 months, don't do work the last week before the LSAT, don't do 7-section PTs or 8 hour long LG marathons. I had the opportunity to speak with Robin Singh before the Oct LSAT, and something he said really stuck with me. When discussion the test day, he said, "You shouldn't dread test day. You should WANT it. You should be HUNGRY. You should be waking up that morning and thinking to yourself, damn, I'm ready to OWN this test. You should be thinking, I haven't worked on the LSAT in a few days, I miss it! Go in and turn your nerves into a HUNGER for that adrenaline and that feeling of getting questions right."

Ultimately, the LSAT is a very learnable test, despite what some people might think. Every section has tricks and methods to gaining success, it's just a matter of pinpointing them and applying them. (: I really hope this was helpful, I'm sorry that it's so long!

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xylocarp
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby xylocarp » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:14 pm

Tagging this for the above LSAT advice. Awesome.

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buddyt
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby buddyt » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:50 pm

Reverse splitter = someone who needs to retake. Literally none of the other things mentioned in the OP matter.

It's fine that you don't want biglaw, but that doesn't change how you should approach admissions. You need to study super hard for the LSAT, get the highest possible score you can, and get into the best school you can with as much scholarship money as possible. With a 3.9 and the right LSAT, everything from Harvard down is basically a lock, with full rides probably starting in the T6.

It sounds like you're smart. I don't think you'll have trouble drastically increasing your LSAT if you put in the work.

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JasonH
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Re: Please help a reverse splitter!

Postby JasonH » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:07 pm

Its a numbers game. Your law related classes sound cute, but they really won't help. You might be able to get a good recommendation from the one professor you mentioned, but that won't really help you over come your numbers either.




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