USAIRS wrote: SPerez wrote:
This may sound naive and pie-in-the-sky, but I say you should be very proud and happy to have numbers like that! You did better than 87% of all people taking the LSAT. Using my state as an example, you would be a virtual lock at schools like Baylor, SMU, and Houston, all "top 50" (ish) schools. Baylor and SMU are pretty generous with scholarships, too.
I get the Type-A, over-achiever attitude that good isn't good enough and that you always want to do "better", but at some point you have to take some perspective and realize that your "disappointing" is pretty damn good. I talked to someone the other day who got a 169 and was going to retake, and that boggles my mind. I understand that in today's climate there's little downside in trying to eke out a few more points, but c'mon...I worry that someone as successful academically as you appear to be is using words like "depressed", "I have failed" and "thoroughly f'd" when the last two are most likely far from the truth.
There are many reputable schools in California (I'm assuming that's where you want to be) and on the west coast that you would be able to choose from. HYS aren't the be all, end all of law schools.
logical seasoning wrote:I have 2 retakes left, but can't find the motivation for Oct.-- couple this with the fact that literally every lawyer I have talked to has said that they would not choose to go to law school if they could do it over again+ the terrible job market in CA and I question if law is even right for me.
UC Davis is my undergrad, and part of me just wants to say fuck it, apply this cycle and go into public interest law at UCD. Then again, part of me wants to say screw grad school and become a farmer or something.
This is the much more important part of your post. If you're not 100% sure that law school and practicing law are for you...DON'T GO. That's okay. Not only do you not have to go to HYS, but you don't have to go to law school at all. Yes, that means you have to figure out what you DO want to do, but welcome to adulthood. If you decided in a few years that you really do want to go to law school, it will be waiting for you. If you don't, you can look back on this and tell the story about how a bunch of anonymous strangers on the internet helped you avoid a huge and financially costly mistake.
Hi! You and I went to different law schools, but at about the same time. When you went to school, in-state tuition at U Texas was about $13,000 a year. This coming year, in-state tuition will be $33,000.
For California residents, tuition at the UC Law Schools (Hastings, Davis, UCLA, & Berkeley) ranged from $10,000 to $12,000 a year, during that same period. Now, in-state tuition at any UC is about $50,000.
In addition, when you and I went to school, the competition wasn't quite so stiff. A 163 and a 3.8 would probably have been good enough to get into a school like UCLA, USC, or UT. So, in addition to a monstrous increase in the cost of opportunity, there is a diminishment in opportunity for current applicants. (Although, it should be noted that people did not retake the LSAT so much back when you and I applied.)
So, while I think you are generally justified in your assertion that it isn't the end of the world for a person with scores like the OP's, I think you may be underplaying how depressing the situation is for someone who isn't in the top 5% of applicants. They are faced with choosing between abominable tuition rates for decent schools or scholarships from lower ranked schools that require performance at or near the top of the class to maintain (and even if they finish near the top, they will face difficulty looking for that first attorney experience). I'd absolutely hate to be applying to law schools right now with the scores I had.
Good luck, everyone on TLS!
Edit: Also, the world needs smart farmers. Great minds are wasted on law and law schools. If OP became a farmer, I'd certainly respect that. Kudos to people who create things.
I assure you that I am keenly aware of what law school applicants are facing today. While there are definitely people at law schools that downplay the problems in the short term by focusing on the long term (most of them aren't in admissions, though), I think there are way more people that grossly overstate how bad things are (particularly here on TLS). To be sure, the "margin of error" (i.e. debt for law school vs. odds you don't want to practice or end up making lower salary) is much narrower now, but things are much more nuanced than simply "HYSCCN or you'll be living in van down by the river" (to use a phrase from back in our day
). The relative mix of law school, geographic area, scholarship money, potential practice area (and the corresponding employment prospects) will produce a different result for each student.
Probing students have asked me (including at our admit day in front of 130 admits) why they should choose Texas Tech when I myself chose UT over Tech, and what you mention is what I said. When I was choosing, Tech Law was about $5k, UT was $7,700, and my other choice was Notre Dame at around $18,000 after scholarships. I never had a burning desire to become a practicing attorney, and one didn't develop while I was in law school. I did find a passion for advising students and was able to find a real calling in law school admissions. Luckily, with only $55k in debt (at 2% interest to boot...sorry guys, insult to injury, I know) I was able to take my first job that paid $40k /yr.
If I had those same choices before me today (which I likely wouldn't since, as you point out, UT's median has increased a ton), the financial calculus would be entirely different. I don't know what I would have done, but I bet the prospect of $125k+ debt at UT Law would have really made me think twice. (As an aside, though, this is the perfect time to be applying to law school if you know that's what you want to do. To provide some anecdotal evidence, I lost a sub-150/3.6+ person from my waitlist
to Minnesota this year. Now is a time where people can get into schools they wouldn't have a few years ago...paying for it, of course, is a different story.)
Does that mean don't go to law school? For some, maybe. But definitely not for people like the OP. It means making different choices. It means not looking at attending a school like Pepperdine or Loyola with a good scholarship as somehow failing if you're not in the top 5%. It means being okay with not making $150,000 a year starting out (and not having to work 80 hr weeks to earn it) and setting up your finances to allow for that. It might even mean relocating to another state, either just for law school or semi-permanently. E.g. We have a fairly large contingent of Californians in our class this year. Yes, they will have to hustle more if they want to find a job back in Cali, but they made the decision that the price and quality of education made up for that. I have other students for whom that trade off isn't enough for them and they're from Houston or Dallas!
Life's about choices. Where this site, LST, and the all the information available now is good is that students have more data at their fingertips. However, with all that data comes the need to analyze it and turn it into information. That's always a little tougher, but helping do that is I'm on here and why I have the job I have.