3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

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Young Marino
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby Young Marino » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:18 am

logical seasoning wrote: Then again, part of me wants to say screw grad school and become a farmer or something.

LOL nice.

OP with your numbers you can probably get a full ride plus stipend some where. If Public Interest is your thing, it won't matter as much where you go to LS. If you wanted biglaw, that'd be a different story

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logical seasoning
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby logical seasoning » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:40 pm

ALeal90 wrote:
logical seasoning wrote: Then again, part of me wants to say screw grad school and become a farmer or something.

LOL nice.

OP with your numbers you can probably get a full ride plus stipend some where. If Public Interest is your thing, it won't matter as much where you go to LS. If you wanted biglaw, that'd be a different story



Hmmm Please elaborate. Where would I be eligible for a full ride?

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Nova
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby Nova » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:47 pm

logical seasoning wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:
logical seasoning wrote: Then again, part of me wants to say screw grad school and become a farmer or something.

LOL nice.

OP with your numbers you can probably get a full ride plus stipend some where. If Public Interest is your thing, it won't matter as much where you go to LS. If you wanted biglaw, that'd be a different story



Hmmm Please elaborate. Where would I be eligible for a full ride?

Many schools with medians of 163 and below

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logical seasoning
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby logical seasoning » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:48 pm

Nova wrote:
logical seasoning wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:
logical seasoning wrote: Then again, part of me wants to say screw grad school and become a farmer or something.

LOL nice.

OP with your numbers you can probably get a full ride plus stipend some where. If Public Interest is your thing, it won't matter as much where you go to LS. If you wanted biglaw, that'd be a different story



Hmmm Please elaborate. Where would I be eligible for a full ride?

Many schools with medians of 163 and below



So you are saying I have a pretty good shot at a full ride at Lewis & Clark? I am pretty interested in Environmental Law, and I heard L&C has a pretty good program...

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Young Marino
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby Young Marino » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:39 am

logical seasoning wrote:
logical seasoning wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:
logical seasoning wrote:


Hmmm Please elaborate. Where would I be eligible for a full ride?

Many schools with medians of 163 and below



So you are saying I have a pretty good shot at a full ride at Lewis & Clark? I am pretty interested in Environmental Law, and I heard L&C has a pretty good program...

Take a look at schools where you are well above the 75th percentiles. Use mylsn.com to see if people with similar stats got some serious $$$. Ask what type of award you'd be eligible for off the bat and go from there

Ti Malice
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:40 am

logical seasoning wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:
logical seasoning wrote: Then again, part of me wants to say screw grad school and become a farmer or something.

LOL nice.

OP with your numbers you can probably get a full ride plus stipend some where. If Public Interest is your thing, it won't matter as much where you go to LS. If you wanted biglaw, that'd be a different story



Hmmm Please elaborate. Where would I be eligible for a full ride?


Just ignore ALeal. He's just a 0L who spends most of his time here either trolling or making incredibly naive/stupid posts. Higher-end PI is much, much harder to get than BigLaw and is even more prestige-driven.

Also, law school is not like graduate school. Specialty rankings mean absolutely nothing in law. Going to Lewis & Clark will provide you no advantage whatsoever over other crappy schools in finding an environmental law job. These jobs barely exist, and they go almost exclusively to grads of YHS. Law school "programs" in anything are just advertising garbage. Legal education is generalist, and no employer cares about any school's specific "programs."

Sent you a PM.

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Nova
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby Nova » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:24 pm

logical seasoning wrote:
Nova wrote:
logical seasoning wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:OP with your numbers you can probably get a full ride plus stipend some where.

Where would I be eligible for a full ride?

Many schools with medians of 163 and below

So you are saying I have a pretty good shot at a full ride at Lewis & Clark?


Being eligible for full rides at many schools with medians of 163 and below

=/=

Having a pretty good shot at a full ride at a specific school.

....

Lat wrote:It sounds like you just need to master logical reasoning


Good luck in October.

SPerez
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby SPerez » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:20 pm

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.

Dean Perez

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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby USAIRS » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:51 pm

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.

Dean Perez


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.

SPerez
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby SPerez » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:50 pm

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.

Dean Perez


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.

Dean Perez

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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby USAIRS » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:49 pm

You are an awfully sunny person. Posters on TLS, generally, are guilty of both being overly optimistic regarding opportunities to those at the top and overly pessimistic about those who attend lower-ranked schools or finish low in their class. Of course everything is more nuanced.

In your response, you seem to agree that costs are way, way higher and that it is more difficult to get in - at least compared to a dozen years ago. I think your view is effectively that the glass is half full, from an objective view. I agree that, as a general matter, these are kind of first world problems. However, someone like OP is reconciling expectations. She can look around at people like you and I, who didn't have to deal with the increased cost and decreased opportunity, and see that she cannot expect the same. Seriously - you went to UT for almost nothing and, as a result, had the opportunity to take low paying jobs, then ultimately end up in law school administration. It is pretty hard to tell someone who had the same or better GPA or scores than you did to simply lower their expectations and be happy about it. The best I can do is tell that person, in my Bill Clinton voice, "I feel your pain," and, maybe, "be happy things aren't worse," I guess, because society is one big pyramid scheme (the people who went to law school ten years before us had it even better, as did those ten years before them, and so on).

Although I didn't spend much time on it, you also suggest that applicants should come to terms with diminished employment opportunities (though coated in the "you may have to earn less, but also work less" language). I agree that there are lots of things people can do, most of which are better than working for a big firm. Heck, almost any of them are better than working for a big firm. However, I think opportunities (except solo practice) are down across the board. There were more government, non-profit, and small firm opportunities when we graduated. Even getting that 40k job you had is much more difficult - but now you'd have to expect that same person to compete for it with a lower-ranked school and against more candidates, or to take the same pay with more debt. Okay, glass is half-full, maybe that person will be a great solo practitioner. However, I have to lament, and allow someone like OP to lament, the diminished opportunity.

SPerez
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Re: 3.81GPA/163 Depressed, wondering if I should even

Postby SPerez » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:03 pm

USAIRS wrote:You are an awfully sunny person. Posters on TLS, generally, are guilty of both being overly optimistic regarding opportunities to those at the top and overly pessimistic about those who attend lower-ranked schools or finish low in their class. Of course everything is more nuanced.


I think that's the difference in a nutshell. I am a generally positive person, and I tend to see a broader range of applicants than what I usually see post on here.

Yeah, other people had it better. The class before mine entered a summer clerkship market at the height of the dot-com boom so a bunch had high paying BigLaw summer gigs. My summer was after the bust and after 9/11 so there were a LOT of us in summer school that summer. UT Law was basically open enrollment if you go far enough back. There also used be a lot more short guys in the NBA.

While all that is true, dwelling on what you don't have isn't a great way to approach life. It is what it is right now and it's not productive to lament how well other people had it. The central question, in my mind, is, "Do I want to be a lawyer?" If the answer to that is yes, then you move on to figuring out a way to make that happen.

While characterizing what I said as suggesting people lower their expectations isn't necessarily wrong, it also isn't all that accurate, either. I'm saying people have to be realistic about their expectations and maintain perspective to recognize when their options are actually GOOD instead of feeling like they are horrible relative to someone else's.

For example, I don't happen to believe that "anyone" can just study their way to a 170+. You have to be starting with enough native intelligence for the work ethic and dedication to pay off. Take a person has taken the LSAT five times, going 158-163-165-162-164 and has a 3.7 GPA. That person can go to very good law school for free or really cheap. They could have done that after the 2nd and 3rd and 4th LSAT. Or, they can wait and keep studying for a few more years and continue to grasp for that elusive 170.

In the OP's situation, his/her "worst" options are actually pretty good. It's only the echo chamber of "If it's not HYS it's crap!" (another SNL gem from back in the day) that makes it seem otherwise.

Now, someone could choose to view what I just said in the most negative way possible and try to say that I'm telling students with 145/3.3 to just be happy with what they have and attend their local 4th tier school. That's absolutely not what I'm saying. My advice to folks in that situation is different.

My aim was not to dismiss or minimize OP's feelings, but to give OP some hope by letting them know that it's okay to not know what you want to do. It's okay to not get a 170. It's okay to not go to a T14 and not doing so doesn't mean you will end up destitute (in the same way attending a T14 doesn't guarantee success, either). I know graduating from college in the current economic environment is tough and it seems like there's no good options (if you don't like math or science). Does it suck? Yeah. Is it going to get better? Eventually. By my reading, OP's problem isn't law school or the LSAT or the current legal hiring market. It's all those other existential questions and problems that are part of being in your early 20s and facing the world without having a clear idea of what you want to do.

Dean Perez




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