Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

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AD1818
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Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby AD1818 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:30 am

Sorry if wrong forum and I know this has probably been discussed ad infinitum but some threads are just too long to parse through.

I understand why paying sticker price to go to a non T14 is stupid. I understand why paying sticker price to go to a T14 might even be stupid. But I don't understand why going to a non T14 with a full ride is crazy.

If you can get a full scholarship, why is going to a lesser law school so delusional? Sure you will probably not get BigLaw, but you won't "need it" since you won't have 200k+ in debt. You'll have some presumably, living expenses, textbooks, etc. But if done wisely this could easily be in the 50-75k range.

I understand many grads from these schools can't find jobs at all. But if and when you do, even if you're starting salary is only 40 or 50k, is it really that awful? Your debt is not insurmountable, and that starting salary should hopefully go up with experience. Even if your "bad" law school limits your earning ceiling, does it really limit it so much that you'll struggle financially for the rest of your life?

I know I'm missing something in all of this because everyone says it's not smart. So what is it?
Last edited by AD1818 on Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby mr. wednesday » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:39 am

No one says going to law school on a full ride is dumb. If your career plans are to be a PD or similar, sure, go to your top regional school on a full scholarship. With those options, you probably could have gotten in to a T14 and are taking the money because it makes more sense with your goals. You do need to be focused on becoming a lawyer, though, because you're right that you won't be working in biglaw. Most people can make the 40k-50k a year of those types of jobs without three years and a JD.

Even for free, though, going to a diploma mill is just a waste of three years that you could instead spend developing the non-law career you'll have to turn to anyway. You are likely to end up never being a lawyer or with a solo practice, not a low paid bar passage required job. If the best you can get into at a major discount or free is a TTT, that doesn't make it a good choice. It means you should retake the LSAT or find your non-law career now before you waste 3 years on a credential you'll never use.

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kwais
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby kwais » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:44 am

I guess what I don't get about this calculus is what you'd want to do with the degree. You have already acknowledged that many of the grads will not even be lawyers, so let's address those who do get the 40k job. Many of these could be consumer debt, insurance, divorce type gigs. Is that what you actually want to do day to day? Maybe the answer is yes because you want to settle down in a small town have a somewhat predictable career. That's fine.
Despite the horrors of the hours and job insecurity of biglaw, people are not only attracted to it for the opportunity to pay back debt. Many people want biglaw for the shot of doing practicing law on a large, influential scale. Many people dream of going in-house at a company that does work they find interesting. Others may think that these goals are stupid, and that's fine too. But if you don't at least take into account what kind of law you'll get to practice, then this question of yours really lacks context.

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Louis1127
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby Louis1127 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:58 am

It is very smart to do what you are saying (take full ride to non-T14 if that non-T14 is a school like Bama, UGA, or a school similar (unless stips are crazy, which changes the discussion). Going that route would make sense, and in a state like Alabama (or Mississippi or Arkansas, etc.) you could even be set up nicely for that state's version of biglaw upon graduation.

I would agree with your overall sentiment that going the full ride to a non-T14 seems to be a little underrated on TLS.

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thelawyler
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby thelawyler » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:03 am

If your goal is to work big law and then move into a company (like it is for the vast majority of law school applicants who are competitive for those full rides at non-t14s), then usually the school that places 70%+ into big law is a better choice even with the smaller scholarship. For a guy like me, I would NOT be happy spending 3 years in law school to make 40k in a job I had no intention of doing and had no passion for, even with 0 debt.

AD1818
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby AD1818 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:20 am

mr. wednesday wrote:No one says going to law school on a full ride is dumb. If your career plans are to be a PD or similar, sure, go to your top regional school on a full scholarship. With those options, you probably could have gotten in to a T14 and are taking the money because it makes more sense with your goals. You do need to be focused on becoming a lawyer, though, because you're right that you won't be working in biglaw. Most people can make the 40k-50k a year of those types of jobs without three years and a JD.

Even for free, though, going to a diploma mill is just a waste of three years that you could instead spend developing the non-law career you'll have to turn to anyway. You are likely to end up never being a lawyer or with a solo practice, not a low paid bar passage required job. If the best you can get into at a major discount or free is a TTT, that doesn't make it a good choice. It means you should retake the LSAT or find your non-law career now before you waste 3 years on a credential you'll never use.


But assuming you can even get a 40-50k a yr job without Law School, you're likely in a field that DOES have a strict ceiling and you may never be able to make more than 60 or 70k without some other type of grad school.

thelawyler wrote:If your goal is to work big law and then move into a company (like it is for the vast majority of law school applicants who are competitive for those full rides at non-t14s), then usually the school that places 70%+ into big law is a better choice even with the smaller scholarship. For a guy like me, I would NOT be happy spending 3 years in law school to make 40k in a job I had no intention of doing and had no passion for, even with 0 debt.


But you're not necessarily making 40k for the rest of your life. It seems like everyone is making that assumption. Even in these "boring" fields there is room for advancement, especially if you're good at what you do, or make the connections to start your own firm.

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thelawyler
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby thelawyler » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:31 am

AD1818 wrote:
mr. wednesday wrote:
thelawyler wrote:If your goal is to work big law and then move into a company (like it is for the vast majority of law school applicants who are competitive for those full rides at non-t14s), then usually the school that places 70%+ into big law is a better choice even with the smaller scholarship. For a guy like me, I would NOT be happy spending 3 years in law school to make 40k in a job I had no intention of doing and had no passion for, even with 0 debt.


But you're not necessarily making 40k for the rest of your life. It seems like everyone is making that assumption. Even in these "boring" fields there is room for advancement, especially if you're good at what you do, or make the connections to start your own firm.


But you're also not in debt and working 80 hours a week for the rest of your life if you go to a t14 sticker (probably 30-60k scholarship at lower t14). To top it off, you're doing what you planned on doing. There is value in that.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:02 am

AD1818 wrote: But I don't understand why going to a non T14 with a full ride is crazy.


It's not crazy. Keep in mind that "non-T14" can cover everything from Vanderbilt to Cooley, so you do need to narrow things down a little. In my opinion, going to a toilet like Cooley or PSOL or whatever is pretty much never a good idea at any price. Let's assume when you say "non-T14" you're talking a decent state school.

If your goal is non-biglaw, then yeah, that option makes perfect sense. Say you want to practice law in Wisconsin. You're cool with DA/PD work, or state government, or small/mid law, etc. Absolutely, go to the University of Wisconsin on a fat scholarship.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:15 pm

Am I the only one who thinks 50-75k debt is a lot? 75k at 7% requires payments of $870 a month to pay back in ten years. That's over $10,000 per year of after-tax money, which is essentially impossible if you are only making 40k. Sure you can PAYE it back, but then interest will just pile on and at the end of 20 years you'll have a big fat obligation to deal with.

That said, TLS often recommends that people take non-T14 full rides, so I don't know why you've got such a chip on your shoulder. Just don't waste your time at a dump that barely places anyone into real legal jobs.

AD1818
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby AD1818 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:09 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
AD1818 wrote: But I don't understand why going to a non T14 with a full ride is crazy.


It's not crazy. Keep in mind that "non-T14" can cover everything from Vanderbilt to Cooley, so you do need to narrow things down a little. In my opinion, going to a toilet like Cooley or PSOL or whatever is pretty much never a good idea at any price. Let's assume when you say "non-T14" you're talking a decent state school.

If your goal is non-biglaw, then yeah, that option makes perfect sense. Say you want to practice law in Wisconsin. You're cool with DA/PD work, or state government, or small/mid law, etc. Absolutely, go to the University of Wisconsin on a fat scholarship.


But even if you go to one of these non-elite law schools, Biglaw isn't necessarily impossible, it's just much more unlikely.

So if your ONLY goal is to do biglaw (which most ppl only do for a few yrs anyway and it is often just to pay their hefty loans), then you probably wouldn't want to go to a non- t14 but if you'd be happy just being some kind of lawyer and not be broke, knowing that you still have maybe a 5% chance at BigLaw (possibly upwards of 10 depending on the school), a decent school with money seems like a fine idea.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:18 pm

AD1818 wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
AD1818 wrote: But I don't understand why going to a non T14 with a full ride is crazy.


It's not crazy. Keep in mind that "non-T14" can cover everything from Vanderbilt to Cooley, so you do need to narrow things down a little. In my opinion, going to a toilet like Cooley or PSOL or whatever is pretty much never a good idea at any price. Let's assume when you say "non-T14" you're talking a decent state school.

If your goal is non-biglaw, then yeah, that option makes perfect sense. Say you want to practice law in Wisconsin. You're cool with DA/PD work, or state government, or small/mid law, etc. Absolutely, go to the University of Wisconsin on a fat scholarship.


But even if you go to one of these non-elite law schools, Biglaw isn't necessarily impossible, it's just much more unlikely.

So if your ONLY goal is to do biglaw (which most ppl only do for a few yrs anyway and it is often just to pay their hefty loans), then you probably wouldn't want to go to a non- t14 but if you'd be happy just being some kind of lawyer and not be broke, knowing that you still have maybe a 5% chance at BigLaw (possibly upwards of 10 depending on the school), a decent school with money seems like a fine idea.


Provided that the money is substantial and reduces the COA to 0 or close to it, and the school is decent and in the region you want to practice, I totally agree. 75k is still a lot of money, and I don't think I'd take it on without at least a decent chance at big law.

As it happens, I have no real interest in big law, but I also expect to have a COA of 0, so...

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:22 pm

I took the full scholarship at a lower ranked school rather than sticker at T-14 (but I was only in at the bottom of the T-14). In some ways it is really cool, I have no debt, make just north of 100K and work reasonable hours (Fed Gov't). However, I have talked to a couple of recruiters and on more than one occasion they have told me that employers are looking at only T-10 or T-14 grads. There is the stigma of the lower ranked school that follows you around. Most people simply ask "what school did you go to" and people make snap judgments based on the answer (myself included). Most are not going to ask you what your rank was or whether you were on law review and so on. I don't know where I am going with this ...

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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:54 pm

helfer snooterbagon wrote:I took the full scholarship at a lower ranked school rather than sticker at T-14 (but I was only in at the bottom of the T-14). In some ways it is really cool, I have no debt, make just north of 100K and work reasonable hours (Fed Gov't). However, I have talked to a couple of recruiters and on more than one occasion they have told me that employers are looking at only T-10 or T-14 grads. There is the stigma of the lower ranked school that follows you around. Most people simply ask "what school did you go to" and people make snap judgments based on the answer (myself included). Most are not going to ask you what your rank was or whether you were on law review and so on. I don't know where I am going with this ...


Fed gov is pretty prestigious and well-paying though, and arguably harder to get than biglaw. I know more than a few people who "settled" for biglaw because they couldn't get into an honors program. The top levels of the profession in any type of job (PI, government, clerkships, biglaw) are huge prestige whores.

To OP: There's a pretty solid, although not necessarily that obvious to laypeople or law students, divide between lawyers into two groups. There are lawyers that handle big money/big impact work, practice mostly in federal court with federal law, represent mega corporations or classes of people, do high level policy work. Then there are folks who represent lower to middle income individuals, small businesses, local governments, in matters that have a local or regional scope. The former is extremely prestige/school rank focused, to the point where you basically need to get on that track during law school.

Obviously this an extremely rough grouping. Some lawyers who have never billed a minute to Apple or GE make more money than biglaw partners. Some DA offices are extremely selective. But if you ask a lot of law students attending lower ranked schools, their "vision" of themselves in five or ten years looks a lot more like the first type of lawyer than the second.

AD1818
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby AD1818 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:18 am

timbs4339 wrote:
helfer snooterbagon wrote:I took the full scholarship at a lower ranked school rather than sticker at T-14 (but I was only in at the bottom of the T-14). In some ways it is really cool, I have no debt, make just north of 100K and work reasonable hours (Fed Gov't). However, I have talked to a couple of recruiters and on more than one occasion they have told me that employers are looking at only T-10 or T-14 grads. There is the stigma of the lower ranked school that follows you around. Most people simply ask "what school did you go to" and people make snap judgments based on the answer (myself included). Most are not going to ask you what your rank was or whether you were on law review and so on. I don't know where I am going with this ...


Fed gov is pretty prestigious and well-paying though, and arguably harder to get than biglaw. I know more than a few people who "settled" for biglaw because they couldn't get into an honors program. The top levels of the profession in any type of job (PI, government, clerkships, biglaw) are huge prestige whores.

To OP: There's a pretty solid, although not necessarily that obvious to laypeople or law students, divide between lawyers into two groups. There are lawyers that handle big money/big impact work, practice mostly in federal court with federal law, represent mega corporations or classes of people, do high level policy work. Then there are folks who represent lower to middle income individuals, small businesses, local governments, in matters that have a local or regional scope. The former is extremely prestige/school rank focused, to the point where you basically need to get on that track during law school.

Obviously this an extremely rough grouping. Some lawyers who have never billed a minute to Apple or GE make more money than biglaw partners. Some DA offices are extremely selective. But if you ask a lot of law students attending lower ranked schools, their "vision" of themselves in five or ten years looks a lot more like the first type of lawyer than the second.


Right. So you're saying, if you're going to be content with the second type, then the lesser school isn't such a big deal.

The truth is I'm just trying to find a reason to go to law school with my 163 LSAT, because contrary to what popular belief seems to be on TLS, not everyone is capable of retaking and getting 170. If everyone who got a 163 could get 170 then percentiles wouldn't exist, and it would just be a score based on how many you got right.

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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:36 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:That said, TLS often recommends that people take non-T14 full rides, so I don't know why you've got such a chip on your shoulder. Just don't waste your time at a dump that barely places anyone into real legal jobs.


Yeah, I don't understand where this idea comes from the TLS craps on every non-T14 option. It's just not true.

TLS universally endorses going to a good regional on a full ride (and in an area where the applicant has ties) for those who are aware of the probable career limitations that path entails. TLS is also full of people who won't personally be satisfied with anything less than a T14, so the top schools tend to dominate the conversation, but that doesn't translate to any negativity about an intelligently chosen non-T14 full ride for other applicants.

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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:41 am

AD1818 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
helfer snooterbagon wrote:I took the full scholarship at a lower ranked school rather than sticker at T-14 (but I was only in at the bottom of the T-14). In some ways it is really cool, I have no debt, make just north of 100K and work reasonable hours (Fed Gov't). However, I have talked to a couple of recruiters and on more than one occasion they have told me that employers are looking at only T-10 or T-14 grads. There is the stigma of the lower ranked school that follows you around. Most people simply ask "what school did you go to" and people make snap judgments based on the answer (myself included). Most are not going to ask you what your rank was or whether you were on law review and so on. I don't know where I am going with this ...


Fed gov is pretty prestigious and well-paying though, and arguably harder to get than biglaw. I know more than a few people who "settled" for biglaw because they couldn't get into an honors program. The top levels of the profession in any type of job (PI, government, clerkships, biglaw) are huge prestige whores.

To OP: There's a pretty solid, although not necessarily that obvious to laypeople or law students, divide between lawyers into two groups. There are lawyers that handle big money/big impact work, practice mostly in federal court with federal law, represent mega corporations or classes of people, do high level policy work. Then there are folks who represent lower to middle income individuals, small businesses, local governments, in matters that have a local or regional scope. The former is extremely prestige/school rank focused, to the point where you basically need to get on that track during law school.

Obviously this an extremely rough grouping. Some lawyers who have never billed a minute to Apple or GE make more money than biglaw partners. Some DA offices are extremely selective. But if you ask a lot of law students attending lower ranked schools, their "vision" of themselves in five or ten years looks a lot more like the first type of lawyer than the second.


Right. So you're saying, if you're going to be content with the second type, then the lesser school isn't such a big deal.

The truth is I'm just trying to find a reason to go to law school with my 163 LSAT, because contrary to what popular belief seems to be on TLS, not everyone is capable of retaking and getting 170. If everyone who got a 163 could get 170 then percentiles wouldn't exist, and it would just be a score based on how many you got right.


Your LSAT score is just a score based on how many questions you get right. The LSAT is equated, not curved. Note how the percentiles have shifted over time.

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jordan15
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby jordan15 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:21 am

AD1818 wrote:
mr. wednesday wrote:No one says going to law school on a full ride is dumb. If your career plans are to be a PD or similar, sure, go to your top regional school on a full scholarship. With those options, you probably could have gotten in to a T14 and are taking the money because it makes more sense with your goals. You do need to be focused on becoming a lawyer, though, because you're right that you won't be working in biglaw. Most people can make the 40k-50k a year of those types of jobs without three years and a JD.

Even for free, though, going to a diploma mill is just a waste of three years that you could instead spend developing the non-law career you'll have to turn to anyway. You are likely to end up never being a lawyer or with a solo practice, not a low paid bar passage required job. If the best you can get into at a major discount or free is a TTT, that doesn't make it a good choice. It means you should retake the LSAT or find your non-law career now before you waste 3 years on a credential you'll never use.


But assuming you can even get a 40-50k a yr job without Law School, you're likely in a field that DOES have a strict ceiling and you may never be able to make more than 60 or 70k without some other type of grad school.

thelawyler wrote:If your goal is to work big law and then move into a company (like it is for the vast majority of law school applicants who are competitive for those full rides at non-t14s), then usually the school that places 70%+ into big law is a better choice even with the smaller scholarship. For a guy like me, I would NOT be happy spending 3 years in law school to make 40k in a job I had no intention of doing and had no passion for, even with 0 debt.


But you're not necessarily making 40k for the rest of your life. It seems like everyone is making that assumption. Even in these "boring" fields there is room for advancement, especially if you're good at what you do, or make the connections to start your own firm.


Not 40, but there certainly is a ceiling for a lot of people and it's difficult to completely change fields. All of the DAs I know are making 70-120k after being employed for 20+ years. That's a lot of time to build up to a salary that still requires you to maintain a modest budget.

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Clearly
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby Clearly » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:37 am

I agree with your post to a degree, but ... I'm not sure why your seeing this as not supported on TLS. Full ride to WUSTL is very often credited around here... Also love the use of "PAYE" as a verb: PAYE it back.

AD1818
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby AD1818 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:00 am

Ti Malice wrote:
AD1818 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
helfer snooterbagon wrote:I took the full scholarship at a lower ranked school rather than sticker at T-14 (but I was only in at the bottom of the T-14). In some ways it is really cool, I have no debt, make just north of 100K and work reasonable hours (Fed Gov't). However, I have talked to a couple of recruiters and on more than one occasion they have told me that employers are looking at only T-10 or T-14 grads. There is the stigma of the lower ranked school that follows you around. Most people simply ask "what school did you go to" and people make snap judgments based on the answer (myself included). Most are not going to ask you what your rank was or whether you were on law review and so on. I don't know where I am going with this ...


Fed gov is pretty prestigious and well-paying though, and arguably harder to get than biglaw. I know more than a few people who "settled" for biglaw because they couldn't get into an honors program. The top levels of the profession in any type of job (PI, government, clerkships, biglaw) are huge prestige whores.

To OP: There's a pretty solid, although not necessarily that obvious to laypeople or law students, divide between lawyers into two groups. There are lawyers that handle big money/big impact work, practice mostly in federal court with federal law, represent mega corporations or classes of people, do high level policy work. Then there are folks who represent lower to middle income individuals, small businesses, local governments, in matters that have a local or regional scope. The former is extremely prestige/school rank focused, to the point where you basically need to get on that track during law school.

Obviously this an extremely rough grouping. Some lawyers who have never billed a minute to Apple or GE make more money than biglaw partners. Some DA offices are extremely selective. But if you ask a lot of law students attending lower ranked schools, their "vision" of themselves in five or ten years looks a lot more like the first type of lawyer than the second.


Right. So you're saying, if you're going to be content with the second type, then the lesser school isn't such a big deal.

The truth is I'm just trying to find a reason to go to law school with my 163 LSAT, because contrary to what popular belief seems to be on TLS, not everyone is capable of retaking and getting 170. If everyone who got a 163 could get 170 then percentiles wouldn't exist, and it would just be a score based on how many you got right.


Your LSAT score is just a score based on how many questions you get right. The LSAT is equated, not curved. Note how the percentiles have shifted over time.


They don't change much. There's a reason for that. If you get 170, you basically did better than 97ish% of the people who took the test. If somehow getting a 170 meant that you only did better than 90% of the people taking the test for the next 3 yr cycle, well then a 170 wouldn't get you into t14 any more.

The super vast majority of people are not capable of scoring 170. It may not be that literally 97% of test takers are incapable, but it's probably not far off from that.

Everytime someone makes a post saying they got a 163 or 164 and have a good GPA, every post says re-take, as if it's guaranteed that with more practice you will be able to hit 170. That is absurd.

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kwais
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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby kwais » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:20 am

you have the right to put this argument forward concerning the LSAT and your potential ceiling, but just know this: Most people who scored a 16x and then really dedicated themselves and retook for a 17x (myself included) went through the same self-doubt and rationalization that you are putting forth right now.
So it is difficult for those people not to tell you to retake. It absolutely changed their lives and they are encouraging you to do the same. After that second score comes in you say "oh my god, what if I had given into self doubt and rationalization?"
You seem to think it is a "fact" that you are a 163 scorer. There are no facts here. Retake if you want to and make it a fact that that you scored higher.

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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:36 am

You're on to something OP. Getting a law degree for free from a reputable (but non-T14) school is a hell of a deal provided that you are okay with not working in the V5.

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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby sah » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:15 am

I agree with TLS that it's worth it to try to retake if you think you can improve (myself went from 168 to 174 on retake). But it depends on how much effort you've put in and what your PTs are. If you've been studying for a year and taken 40 practice tests, and the best you've gotten is 165, and you get a 165 on the real thing, not sure you should retake. Even more true if you've taken twice already.

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Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby McGruff » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:42 am

AD1818 wrote:They don't change much. There's a reason for that. If you get 170, you basically did better than 97ish% of the people who took the test. If somehow getting a 170 meant that you only did better than 90% of the people taking the test for the next 3 yr cycle, well then a 170 wouldn't get you into t14 any more.

The super vast majority of people are not capable of scoring 170. It may not be that literally 97% of test takers are incapable, but it's probably not far off from that.

Everytime someone makes a post saying they got a 163 or 164 and have a good GPA, every post says re-take, as if it's guaranteed that with more practice you will be able to hit 170. That is absurd.


No more absurd than speculating groundlessly that "it's probably not far off from that" which implies that, for the most part, people taking the LSAT are already getting the best score of which they are capable. Your proposition is that, with years of work, day in and day out, if their life depended on figuring out the LSAT, they wouldn't get 5 more points? That is absurd. I look to logic games to see whether or not people have come even close to maxing out their potential. It is very rare that people with a 163 got -0/-1 on games, and games are perfectible. If you haven't spent hundreds and hundreds of hours practicing different ways of doing them, then you haven't yet earned a good reason to disagree with this.

The nagging feeling brought on by settling for less than your best is often consoled by the pretense that you're actually already doing your best, that you've hit your ceiling and nothing more can be done. The truth is that there is a ceiling at play and it is reflected in the scores that people get(as well as other aspects of their life), but the limit isn't on your aptitude, it's on your drive.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:54 am

AD1818 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
helfer snooterbagon wrote:I took the full scholarship at a lower ranked school rather than sticker at T-14 (but I was only in at the bottom of the T-14). In some ways it is really cool, I have no debt, make just north of 100K and work reasonable hours (Fed Gov't). However, I have talked to a couple of recruiters and on more than one occasion they have told me that employers are looking at only T-10 or T-14 grads. There is the stigma of the lower ranked school that follows you around. Most people simply ask "what school did you go to" and people make snap judgments based on the answer (myself included). Most are not going to ask you what your rank was or whether you were on law review and so on. I don't know where I am going with this ...


Fed gov is pretty prestigious and well-paying though, and arguably harder to get than biglaw. I know more than a few people who "settled" for biglaw because they couldn't get into an honors program. The top levels of the profession in any type of job (PI, government, clerkships, biglaw) are huge prestige whores.

To OP: There's a pretty solid, although not necessarily that obvious to laypeople or law students, divide between lawyers into two groups. There are lawyers that handle big money/big impact work, practice mostly in federal court with federal law, represent mega corporations or classes of people, do high level policy work. Then there are folks who represent lower to middle income individuals, small businesses, local governments, in matters that have a local or regional scope. The former is extremely prestige/school rank focused, to the point where you basically need to get on that track during law school.

Obviously this an extremely rough grouping. Some lawyers who have never billed a minute to Apple or GE make more money than biglaw partners. Some DA offices are extremely selective. But if you ask a lot of law students attending lower ranked schools, their "vision" of themselves in five or ten years looks a lot more like the first type of lawyer than the second.


Right. So you're saying, if you're going to be content with the second type, then the lesser school isn't such a big deal.

The truth is I'm just trying to find a reason to go to law school with my 163 LSAT, because contrary to what popular belief seems to be on TLS, not everyone is capable of retaking and getting 170. If everyone who got a 163 could get 170 then percentiles wouldn't exist, and it would just be a score based on how many you got right.


Yes, but actually know what the second type entails before jumping in. In the beginning, you won't be making much more than friends 3 years out of college with BAs and there is a lot of uncertainty since many smaller law firms don't hire until after graduation/the bar.

AD1818
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:27 pm

Re: Something I just don't understand wrt non T14 on full rides

Postby AD1818 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:44 pm

McGruff wrote:
AD1818 wrote:They don't change much. There's a reason for that. If you get 170, you basically did better than 97ish% of the people who took the test. If somehow getting a 170 meant that you only did better than 90% of the people taking the test for the next 3 yr cycle, well then a 170 wouldn't get you into t14 any more.

The super vast majority of people are not capable of scoring 170. It may not be that literally 97% of test takers are incapable, but it's probably not far off from that.

Everytime someone makes a post saying they got a 163 or 164 and have a good GPA, every post says re-take, as if it's guaranteed that with more practice you will be able to hit 170. That is absurd.


No more absurd than speculating groundlessly that "it's probably not far off from that" which implies that, for the most part, people taking the LSAT are already getting the best score of which they are capable. Your proposition is that, with years of work, day in and day out, if their life depended on figuring out the LSAT, they wouldn't get 5 more points? That is absurd. I look to logic games to see whether or not people have come even close to maxing out their potential. It is very rare that people with a 163 got -0/-1 on games, and games are perfectible. If you haven't spent hundreds and hundreds of hours practicing different ways of doing them, then you haven't yet earned a good reason to disagree with this.

The nagging feeling brought on by settling for less than your best is often consoled by the pretense that you're actually already doing your best, that you've hit your ceiling and nothing more can be done. The truth is that there is a ceiling at play and it is reflected in the scores that people get(as well as other aspects of their life), but the limit isn't on your aptitude, it's on your drive.


Games are perfectible. Games within 35 minutes are not perfectible by everyone.

Take it from someone who has done every single game that the LSAT has ever offered at least once, and most several times.

The idea is simple. If you started at a high 150 and were able to study up to a 165, yea you can probably get into the 170s with more work. If you started at a 145 and were able to get to a 160, it seems much more likely than not that more studying will not ever get you to 170. And don't forget, studying = opportunity cost as well. If that second person COULD get to 170, it might take him hundreds and hundreds of hours. All before he ever steps foot in a law school. It MAY prove to be a good investment of time compared to hours spent in law school, but not necessarily compared to hours spent doing something different altogether.




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