California Splitters

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Clearly
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Re: California Splitters

Postby Clearly » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:41 pm

BigZuck wrote:
wowhio wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Every school in CA ranked below USC is pretty much a dumpster fire. Maybe certain ones can be ok on a full ride but I don't see a 3.2 getting a full ride. And then USC and UCLA at sticker would be a horrible idea too. And that's probably what those numbers will face. I would retake to try and squeeze some money out them. Or, if I was facing sticker at every worthwhile school because of my low GPA I would retake and go to a school that is arguably worth sticker, like UVA or NU.


Not sure why UVA or NU would be worth sticker but UCLA would not, or even USC, considering the desire to live and practice in Southern California.


Because sticker debt makes big law a necessity and UVA and NU give someone a MUCH better shot at a big law job than UCLA and USC do.

I'm with North, wtf is happening? I'm not anti-0L advice (obvi), but this new crop of 0Ls need to step up their game.

Agreed. I'm starting to see some very dumb stuff fly around here.

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:54 am

Irvine2000 wrote:I am only applying to the following schools since I know I want to live and practice in Southern California. I was wondering if anyone knows whether the following schools prefer LSAT over GPA or vice versa.

What I have: 168 LSAT / 3.2 GPA

USC (Long shot, but why not)
UCI
Pepperdine
USD
Chapman
Cal Western

Thanks!


USC is not a long shot. A 168 will probably get you money as long as you can negotiate... I got in off the waitlist last year with $20k a year with a 3.64/166

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:02 am

rstahl wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
Irvine2000 wrote:You guys really think I have that good of a shot? I thought my GPA was going to kill my chances. Believe I'd love a T14 school, but there's a difference between high standards and unrealistic standards.

I don't think I'll retake the LSAT, this was my second time taking it and the first time I only got a 160, so I was pretty happy with the improvement.


Retake. But only if you want to be employed as a lawyer.


This obsession with retaking and 'oh, you don't have a 170+? Let me tell you to retake or apply next cycle with a 168 while I look down at you condescendingly' vibe is getting pretty old on TLS. I'm not saying that is said explicitly, but after you read enough of these posts, the underlying sentiment becomes pretty clear.

OP, you may get into USC because LSAT is weighted higher than GPA and you are above their 75th LSAT percentile (likely 80th too). However, if you don't get in and don't like your other options, Pepperdine, Chapman etc... THEN wait a cycle and retake and/or build your credentials. With respect to the retaking part, we don't know what your situation is with study time, standardized test problems, previous practice test averages, so I will just say this. If you are pretty certain you can improve your LSAT score by a few points for the February administration, then I believe retaking will give you a much larger benefit than waiting till February to apply will hurt you.

As for whether or not the February LSAT is a good idea, it may hurt your chances a bit with acceptance because schools will only give offers to a certain number of people, so a 168/3.2 in October is not the same as one in March (when the application is reviewable after getting the Feb score). Having said that, as a result of the declining applicant pool, some schools are pushing back their deadlines and decisions a bit so applying in Feb. won't be as detrimental as it would have been in, say, 2009 or 2010.


Seriously. This entire website has gotten so weighed down in its own elitist douchebaggery. It is extremely difficult to get 170+... that is why it is rare and looked so favorably upon. And it's not about who you are or anything, I was testing consistently at 173-176 on PTs and couldn't get above a 166 -- shit happens. You can get a job with OP's numbers, you even have an ok shot at a t14 with a 168, so what is the point in being so condescending, making others feel bad because they're not one of the extraordinarily small number of people who get into HYS. The vast majority of lawyers working went to a school at or below OP's numbers so why can't these people stop acting like there's no chance of doing anything with your life unless you get a 175? You wonder how much of lives these people have if they're at t14s and still spend all their time on here telling people to retake... probably just because, once you're in law school, HYS are the easiest.

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Clearly
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Re: California Splitters

Postby Clearly » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:05 am

epgenius wrote:
rstahl wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
Irvine2000 wrote:You guys really think I have that good of a shot? I thought my GPA was going to kill my chances. Believe I'd love a T14 school, but there's a difference between high standards and unrealistic standards.

I don't think I'll retake the LSAT, this was my second time taking it and the first time I only got a 160, so I was pretty happy with the improvement.


Retake. But only if you want to be employed as a lawyer.


This obsession with retaking and 'oh, you don't have a 170+? Let me tell you to retake or apply next cycle with a 168 while I look down at you condescendingly' vibe is getting pretty old on TLS. I'm not saying that is said explicitly, but after you read enough of these posts, the underlying sentiment becomes pretty clear.

OP, you may get into USC because LSAT is weighted higher than GPA and you are above their 75th LSAT percentile (likely 80th too). However, if you don't get in and don't like your other options, Pepperdine, Chapman etc... THEN wait a cycle and retake and/or build your credentials. With respect to the retaking part, we don't know what your situation is with study time, standardized test problems, previous practice test averages, so I will just say this. If you are pretty certain you can improve your LSAT score by a few points for the February administration, then I believe retaking will give you a much larger benefit than waiting till February to apply will hurt you.

As for whether or not the February LSAT is a good idea, it may hurt your chances a bit with acceptance because schools will only give offers to a certain number of people, so a 168/3.2 in October is not the same as one in March (when the application is reviewable after getting the Feb score). Having said that, as a result of the declining applicant pool, some schools are pushing back their deadlines and decisions a bit so applying in Feb. won't be as detrimental as it would have been in, say, 2009 or 2010.


Seriously. This entire website has gotten so weighed down in its own elitist douchebaggery. It is extremely difficult to get 170+... that is why it is rare and looked so favorably upon. And it's not about who you are or anything, I was testing consistently at 173-176 on PTs and couldn't get above a 166 -- shit happens. You can get a job with OP's numbers, you even have an ok shot at a t14 with a 168, so what is the point in being so condescending, making others feel bad because they're not one of the extraordinarily small number of people who get into HYS. The vast majority of lawyers working went to a school at or below OP's numbers so why can't these people stop acting like there's no chance of doing anything with your life unless you get a 175? You wonder how much of lives these people have if they're at t14s and still spend all their time on here telling people to retake... probably just because, once you're in law school, HYS are the easiest.

Did you take 3 times?

BigZuck
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Re: California Splitters

Postby BigZuck » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:08 am

epgenius wrote:
rstahl wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
Irvine2000 wrote:You guys really think I have that good of a shot? I thought my GPA was going to kill my chances. Believe I'd love a T14 school, but there's a difference between high standards and unrealistic standards.

I don't think I'll retake the LSAT, this was my second time taking it and the first time I only got a 160, so I was pretty happy with the improvement.


Retake. But only if you want to be employed as a lawyer.


This obsession with retaking and 'oh, you don't have a 170+? Let me tell you to retake or apply next cycle with a 168 while I look down at you condescendingly' vibe is getting pretty old on TLS. I'm not saying that is said explicitly, but after you read enough of these posts, the underlying sentiment becomes pretty clear.

OP, you may get into USC because LSAT is weighted higher than GPA and you are above their 75th LSAT percentile (likely 80th too). However, if you don't get in and don't like your other options, Pepperdine, Chapman etc... THEN wait a cycle and retake and/or build your credentials. With respect to the retaking part, we don't know what your situation is with study time, standardized test problems, previous practice test averages, so I will just say this. If you are pretty certain you can improve your LSAT score by a few points for the February administration, then I believe retaking will give you a much larger benefit than waiting till February to apply will hurt you.

As for whether or not the February LSAT is a good idea, it may hurt your chances a bit with acceptance because schools will only give offers to a certain number of people, so a 168/3.2 in October is not the same as one in March (when the application is reviewable after getting the Feb score). Having said that, as a result of the declining applicant pool, some schools are pushing back their deadlines and decisions a bit so applying in Feb. won't be as detrimental as it would have been in, say, 2009 or 2010.


Seriously. This entire website has gotten so weighed down in its own elitist douchebaggery. It is extremely difficult to get 170+... that is why it is rare and looked so favorably upon. And it's not about who you are or anything, I was testing consistently at 173-176 on PTs and couldn't get above a 166 -- shit happens. You can get a job with OP's numbers, you even have an ok shot at a t14 with a 168, so what is the point in being so condescending, making others feel bad because they're not one of the extraordinarily small number of people who get into HYS. The vast majority of lawyers working went to a school at or below OP's numbers so why can't these people stop acting like there's no chance of doing anything with your life unless you get a 175? You wonder how much of lives these people have if they're at t14s and still spend all their time on here telling people to retake... probably just because, once you're in law school, HYS are the easiest.


Dude. Every school in CA ranked below USC is pretty much a dumpster fire. Maybe certain ones can be ok on a full ride but I don't see a 3.2 getting a full ride. And then USC and UCLA at sticker would be a horrible idea too. And that's probably what those numbers will face. I would retake to try and squeeze some money out them. Or, if I was facing sticker at every worthwhile school because of my low GPA I would retake and go to a school that is arguably worth sticker, like UVA or NU.

I don't have a 170. And if my 3 takes are any indication apparently I was incapable of getting a 170. All I'm saying is the legal job market is crap and if you're going to go to law school you should do everything you can possibly do to help yourself get a good outcome. Almost always that means retaking. Don't ad hom me bro.

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:11 am

wbrother wrote:These aren't mutually exclusive. Apply. Then retake. Your numbers are likely good enough that you won't be rejected from everywhere before results come back if they know you're retaking. The retake could get you an acceptance and off the waitlist if it goes well, and if not than you may get into USC or a higher ranked school anyway. Just don't go to a school that you can't get the outcome you want from.


These poor bastards have no idea what they're in for, do they, bud? They'd all be better off saving money and traveling the world... though at least we've got Traddies.

-- Jones

BigZuck
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Re: California Splitters

Postby BigZuck » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:15 am

Also, you technically *can* get a job from Cooley. You *can* even get a big law job from there. Someone did it last year in fact. That doesn't mean that Cooley is a bet that a reasonable person should take.

A lot of the schools in CA aren't a whole lot better than Cooley. No doubt the OP could probably get into some decent schools. But considering the job market is shit he needs to do everything he can to maximize his chances at a good outcome. If his numbers get him good money at UCLA and/or USC then great. But I'm skeptical. If he wants to be a lawyer AND have a realistic shot at paying off his debt then I think he need to squeeze out a few extra points on the LSAT.

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Re: California Splitters

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:16 am

wowhio wrote:
Not sure why UVA or NU would be worth sticker but UCLA would not, or even USC, considering the desire to live and practice in Southern California.


That's TTTT reasoning right there.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=northwestern

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=ucla

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=usc

Clerckship + biglaw rates > 50% at UVA and NU. Can't say the same about USC/UCLA. Not saying they're shit schools, just saying they're not worth $250k in debt for less than 50% chance of paying it off.

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:23 am

BigZuck wrote:
epgenius wrote:

Seriously. This entire website has gotten so weighed down in its own elitist douchebaggery. It is extremely difficult to get 170+... that is why it is rare and looked so favorably upon. And it's not about who you are or anything, I was testing consistently at 173-176 on PTs and couldn't get above a 166 -- shit happens. You can get a job with OP's numbers, you even have an ok shot at a t14 with a 168, so what is the point in being so condescending, making others feel bad because they're not one of the extraordinarily small number of people who get into HYS. The vast majority of lawyers working went to a school at or below OP's numbers so why can't these people stop acting like there's no chance of doing anything with your life unless you get a 175? You wonder how much of lives these people have if they're at t14s and still spend all their time on here telling people to retake... probably just because, once you're in law school, HYS are the easiest.


Dude. Every school in CA ranked below USC is pretty much a dumpster fire. Maybe certain ones can be ok on a full ride but I don't see a 3.2 getting a full ride. And then USC and UCLA at sticker would be a horrible idea too. And that's probably what those numbers will face. I would retake to try and squeeze some money out them. Or, if I was facing sticker at every worthwhile school because of my low GPA I would retake and go to a school that is arguably worth sticker, like UVA or NU.

I don't have a 170. And if my 3 takes are any indication apparently I was incapable of getting a 170. All I'm saying is the legal job market is crap and if you're going to go to law school you should do everything you can possibly do to help yourself get a good outcome. Almost always that means retaking. Don't ad hom me bro.


A 168 is not sticker price at SC. If last cycle is any indication, it's far from sticker at UCLA too. Especially in LA, which it seems like OP is looking mainly at, it's about who you know to a large degree... the market sucks but a top 30 education is still a great ticket into the market, assuming you can network well and do decently. There's no reason to make people think that their scores are a death sentence, it's just not true. And yes, it may be more difficult to get jobs from lower schools but it's by no means impossible and, right now, to a large degree, I wish I had gone to a Cal Western, Pepperdine or Chapman because a full ride there can give you a hell of a lot more options than $45-60k a year at a middle to high tier one. OP is going to be fine. May have more debt than he/she'd like (I think we all do), may have no debt if he/she goes to one of those "dumpster fires," but, if they take it seriously and have the social skills which are far more important than numbers anyway, they'll be peachy.

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:26 am

ManoftheHour wrote:
wowhio wrote:
Not sure why UVA or NU would be worth sticker but UCLA would not, or even USC, considering the desire to live and practice in Southern California.


That's TTTT reasoning right there.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=northwestern

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=ucla

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=usc

Clerckship + biglaw rates > 50% at UVA and NU. Can't say the same about USC/UCLA. Not saying they're shit schools, just saying they're not worth $250k in debt for less than 50% chance of paying it off.


Not everybody wants to clerk and go into biglaw. There are plenty of other options out there -- you don't help anyone by making them neurotic to where they don't believe they'll amount to anything unless they're one of the few to follow that one, specific career path.

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:29 am

Clearly wrote:
epgenius wrote:
rstahl wrote:
This obsession with retaking and 'oh, you don't have a 170+? Let me tell you to retake or apply next cycle with a 168 while I look down at you condescendingly' vibe is getting pretty old on TLS. I'm not saying that is said explicitly, but after you read enough of these posts, the underlying sentiment becomes pretty clear.

OP, you may get into USC because LSAT is weighted higher than GPA and you are above their 75th LSAT percentile (likely 80th too). However, if you don't get in and don't like your other options, Pepperdine, Chapman etc... THEN wait a cycle and retake and/or build your credentials. With respect to the retaking part, we don't know what your situation is with study time, standardized test problems, previous practice test averages, so I will just say this. If you are pretty certain you can improve your LSAT score by a few points for the February administration, then I believe retaking will give you a much larger benefit than waiting till February to apply will hurt you.

As for whether or not the February LSAT is a good idea, it may hurt your chances a bit with acceptance because schools will only give offers to a certain number of people, so a 168/3.2 in October is not the same as one in March (when the application is reviewable after getting the Feb score). Having said that, as a result of the declining applicant pool, some schools are pushing back their deadlines and decisions a bit so applying in Feb. won't be as detrimental as it would have been in, say, 2009 or 2010.


Seriously. This entire website has gotten so weighed down in its own elitist douchebaggery. It is extremely difficult to get 170+... that is why it is rare and looked so favorably upon. And it's not about who you are or anything, I was testing consistently at 173-176 on PTs and couldn't get above a 166 -- shit happens. You can get a job with OP's numbers, you even have an ok shot at a t14 with a 168, so what is the point in being so condescending, making others feel bad because they're not one of the extraordinarily small number of people who get into HYS. The vast majority of lawyers working went to a school at or below OP's numbers so why can't these people stop acting like there's no chance of doing anything with your life unless you get a 175? You wonder how much of lives these people have if they're at t14s and still spend all their time on here telling people to retake... probably just because, once you're in law school, HYS are the easiest.

Did you take 3 times?


Nope, just once. I was thinking of retaking in December last year but got my October score late because my LSAC fee waiver app was delayed -- didn't want to risk getting a lower score with only 2 1/2 weeks to study again. One and done and I'm at USC with good money and, believe it or not, my job prospects are fine.

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Re: California Splitters

Postby BigZuck » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:50 am

Epgenius- I'm not sure if you're a troll, willfully ignorant, or just dumb.

There are jobs outside of biglaw/clerkships but none that can service BIG DEBT (other than PI)

You have no idea what your job prospects are yet.

Hustle is all well and good but that's special snowflakedom territory. Most individuals cannot adequately assess their own capabilities when it comes to such intangibles and TLS tries to not deal in such BS. Also, a lot of that comes down to luck and its better to stick with mathematical probabilities. Those are quantifiable at least and something that everyone can look at and apply to themselves.

"Top 30" is a meaningless distinction and hardly a great ticket for all those grads who end up un/underemployed or unable to service their debt.

Finally, what can a 168/3.1 expect by way of scholarships at the LA area non-dumpter fire schools? If its not at least 30K (and really, I would argue 40K) a year then that's not worth it for those degrees.

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:08 am

BigZuck wrote:Epgenius- I'm not sure if you're a troll, willfully ignorant, or just dumb.

There are jobs outside of biglaw/clerkships but none that can service BIG DEBT (other than PI)

You have no idea what your job prospects are yet.

Hustle is all well and good but that's special snowflakedom territory. Most individuals cannot adequately assess their own capabilities when it comes to such intangibles and TLS tries to not deal in such BS. Also, a lot of that comes down to luck and its better to stick with mathematical probabilities. Those are quantifiable at least and something that everyone can look at and apply to themselves.

"Top 30" is a meaningless distinction and hardly a great ticket for all those grads who end up un/underemployed or unable to service their debt.

Finally, what can a 168/3.1 expect by way of scholarships at the LA area non-dumpter fire schools? If its not at least 30K (and really, I would argue 40K) a year then that's not worth it for those degrees.


That entire line of thinking is just so damned pessimistic and hyperbolic. Everybody has debt. Full rides don't always come with living stipends so everyone has debt, and people who go to t14s sometimes don't pass the bar. You do your best, you work hard, and if you do well IN law school, you have a better shot at getting a decent job than if you got a 180 and are at the bottom of your class. I got a good scholarship with a 166 and I know plenty of people who got 30k, 40k and didn't have a 168. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to retake, or are able to get a 170+ so, I'm just saying, don't be so bombastic with your prophecies. You don't want to be un/underemployed out of a Top 30, 50, 75 school? Do well in law school! The number one at Loyola will get a better job in LA than a C student from NU or UVA. I don't know how my path is going to end up but I feel good about where I'm at and know that 70% of my classmates are not un/underemployed and I'm not at a t14, and I didn't get a 170+. I'm confident that I am in that top 70% and, more importantly, I'm making good connections and have a great alumni base at my disposal -- most schools do.

You wanna talk about BS? It's BS to tell thousands of people that the only chance they have at being successful in the legal profession is to retake and go to HYS when they have adequate, sometimes more than adequate scores already. That's the real illogical BS.

20141023
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Re: California Splitters

Postby 20141023 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:35 am

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epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:54 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
epgenius wrote:That entire line of thinking is just so damned pessimistic and hyperbolic. Everybody has debt. Full rides don't always come with living stipends so everyone has debt, and people who go to t14s sometimes don't pass the bar. You do your best, you work hard, and if you do well IN law school, you have a better shot at getting a decent job than if you got a 180 and are at the bottom of your class. I got a good scholarship with a 166 and I know plenty of people who got 30k, 40k and didn't have a 168. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to retake, or are able to get a 170+ so, I'm just saying, don't be so bombastic with your prophecies. You don't want to be un/underemployed out of a Top 30, 50, 75 school? Do well in law school! The number one at Loyola will get a better job in LA than a C student from NU or UVA. I don't know how my path is going to end up but I feel good about where I'm at and know that 70% of my classmates are not un/underemployed and I'm not at a t14, and I didn't get a 170+. I'm confident that I am in that top 70% and, more importantly, I'm making good connections and have a great alumni base at my disposal -- most schools do.

You wanna talk about BS? It's BS to tell thousands of people that the only chance they have at being successful in the legal profession is to retake and go to HYS when they have adequate, sometimes more than adequate scores already. That's the real illogical BS.

I think what people are trying to say is that TLS has all kinds of great (free) resources to tell people how to do better on the LSAT. I personally believe that the main reason that people don't do better is because of misinformation both about the test and about legal employment itself. People are content with scores in the low 160s (or lower) because they still believe that as long as they go to a law school then they will become a lawyer and live happily ever after. What TLS does is it tries to tell people that this way of thinking is "so damned pessimistic optimistic and hyperbolic" because there aren't just "lawyers" and "laymen," but rather an entire spectrum of people... of those who go to law school, some who become lawyers and some who don't, but there are people who end up in miserable positions either way because of how brutal the current legal market is.

Generally speaking, it is "illogical" to forgo retaking a test that could drastically reduce the amount of debt you owe while simultaneously improving your future career prospects. TLSers are not trying to be mean by saying "retake"; rather, they are trying to get people to realize that there is a good chance that they can do better if they try because the LSAT is a learnable test. If anything, the law schools should be the ones getting mad at TLS's common wisdom, not fellow TLSers.

Lastly, statistically speaking, some people at USC and UCLA and other good non-T14 schools will get great jobs. However, a much larger ratio of them will end up in less-than-desirable positions than their T14 counterparts simply because of how much legal employers care about prestige. This is a sliding scale that gets worse and worse as you move away from the top (Yale). Fighting against statistics is certainly possible, but it is a battle that I would want to avoid if possible. :P


Yes, I know this. I also know that a disturbing portion of those who do apply to law school and go to law school do so because they do not know what else to do with their lives. This fact is far more alarming than the situations of people like our OP here, who is in a better position than the vast majority of applicants anyway, so why don't we use TLS to focus on making sure applicants actually want to go to law school. Retake is not the perfect solution it's made out to be, and neither is "wait a year and apply next cycle," most people don't have the ability to put their lives on hold another year, so I try to at least give them a less grave, perhaps slightly optimistic vantage point by which to assess their positions. How many of those advised to retake with scores like OP's get lower scores and get into lower schools when their scores are averaged? Frankly, too many for my liking when the actual key to jobs is doing well in law school. Yes, it is easier to get there from a t14 -- it's also easier to go to law school at a t14 with grade inflation and the emphasis on ranking... sometimes that fact alone will help more than the name recognition.

Most people on this site, enlightened as they may believe themselves to be, make people unnecessarily neurotic about how they are doing. By all accounts over the last two years (especially last year), OP can get $120,000 at USC which, if he/she wants to practice in LA, is well worth the cost. There is no reason to convince him/her that their only option is to retake and discourage them. If they're to be discouraged, why not do so by giving accurate descriptions of what law school is like? Statistics are dandy but, if you have the ability to be at or near the top of your class, you're probably going to get a good job. Maybe if we all looked at the glass as half-full from time to time, naive as you or anyone else may think it to be, lawyers wouldn't have such rampant discontent with their professions... lest we forget that even, (arguably especially), lawyers making $160,000 a year at a biglaw firm are unhappy.

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Re: California Splitters

Postby 20141023 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:52 am

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epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:33 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
epgenius wrote:Yes, I know this. I also know that a disturbing portion of those who do apply to law school and go to law school do so because they do not know what else to do with their lives. This fact is far more alarming than the situations of people like our OP here, who is in a better position than the vast majority of applicants anyway, so why don't we use TLS to focus on making sure applicants actually want to go to law school. Retake is not the perfect solution it's made out to be, and neither is "wait a year and apply next cycle," most people don't have the ability to put their lives on hold another year, so I try to at least give them a less grave, perhaps slightly optimistic vantage point by which to assess their positions. How many of those advised to retake with scores like OP's get lower scores and get into lower schools when their scores are averaged? Frankly, too many for my liking when the actual key to jobs is doing well in law school. Yes, it is easier to get there from a t14 -- it's also easier to go to law school at a t14 with grade inflation and the emphasis on ranking... sometimes that fact alone will help more than the name recognition.

Most people on this site, enlightened as they may believe themselves to be, make people unnecessarily neurotic about how they are doing. By all accounts over the last two years (especially last year), OP can get $120,000 at USC which, if he/she wants to practice in LA, is well worth the cost. There is no reason to convince him/her that their only option is to retake and discourage them. If they're to be discouraged, why not do so by giving accurate descriptions of what law school is like? Statistics are dandy but, if you have the ability to be at or near the top of your class, you're probably going to get a good job. Maybe if we all looked at the glass as half-full from time to time, naive as you or anyone else may think it to be, lawyers wouldn't have such rampant discontent with their professions... lest we forget that even, (arguably especially), lawyers making $160,000 a year at a biglaw firm are unhappy.

First, scores are no longer averaged; they stopped doing that several years ago, so that shouldn't be a reason not to retake.

Second, I think that the idea that TLS always sees the glass as half-empty is correct because with the outcomes at many schools, the glass is literally (not metaphorically) almost half empty - only 56% (26,081/46,404) of those who graduated in 2012 landed long-term, full-time, JD-required legal employment (in other words, "became lawyers"). At USC, the glass is only 30% empty; 70% (154/221) of their 2012 graduates became lawyers. This is good, but still kind of risky. After all, money is not the only thing you should be considering. Time is also an important factor, and 3 years is by no means "cheap" even if the tuition doesn't cost much.

Third, those that TLS calls "special snowflakes" assume that "trying hard in law school" will make everything turn out okay. Unfortunately, that's what every single other person is also thinking who goes to law school. They didn't perform as well on the LSAT or during undergrad as they could have, so they'll make up for it by beating the curve in law school.

Fourth, let's say that someone (like the OP) really wants to go to law school, kind of like you mentioned. If they are serious about this goal, then that is just one more reason why they should be able to put their life on hold for another year since it will likely affect the rest of their career. I know there are good reasons not to retake, but simply not wanting to wait another year isn't one of them.


Perhaps it's just a matter of faith. With OP's numbers, he/she is not likely to be at a school where the "56% become lawyers" is necessarily as applicable... A 168 is not going to be relegated to Thomas Jefferson or Golden Gate as its only viable options. And for all the emphasis on LSAT, OP has already gotten 2 points higher than us. I guess, if there is a lower chance of the scores being averaged, it is more worth it to retake than I previously thought but it just, honestly, pisses me off to see so many top 5 law school attendees coming back onto this website giving new applicants dire forecasts about their careers.

Not everyone can go to a t14. Congratulations on your accomplishment of attendance, but plenty of people get denied or overlooked, sometimes despite their numbers, for a myriad of reasons and it cannot be healthy to prescribe one set of circumstances for the multitudes. I don't know about OP, but I, for one, would rather make a good deal less money working for a small to medium sized firm, or non-profit, or the government, than spending 60+ hours a week at a thankless biglaw job getting burnt out on the profession. There are options and, given that no one else seems to have any other ideas, I don't think it a crime to let normal applicants, myself included, know that the world does not end when the first two digits of your LSAT score do not read "1-7." There is, most likely, at least a 70% chance that OP will have a job out of law school. Go to GW and that becomes over 80% -- less than 5% below Cornell, Duke, Berkeley or Michigan. Optimism is not uninformed, it's just a positive interpretation. Maybe I'm playing devil's advocate but the numbers say that OP will probably be just fine as is without any additional stressing out. May I remind you that OP stated he/she is only interested in going to school in So Cal. With ample first-hand experience at an elite, So Cal law school, I am not wrong in saying his/her chances at getting into my school, and UCLA, and every other school Southern California, are better than the majority of people on here are making them out to be.

20141023
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Re: California Splitters

Postby 20141023 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:12 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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North
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Re: California Splitters

Postby North » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:50 am

epgenius wrote:Perhaps it's just a matter of faith.



(Is actually willful ignorance, misplaced confidence, and an outlook built around affirming his own risky decision to take the easy route by encouraging others to do the same)

BigZuck
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Re: California Splitters

Postby BigZuck » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:55 am

I still am suspicious of the notion that a splitter will get 120K at USC. His GPA is very low and while those schools have blown out their floors in a lot of ways, I'm not sure that they have fully done so as far as scholarships are concerned. They're not WUSTL.

Anyway, there's way too many strawmen being built to really make this discussion worthwhile. 120K at USC/UCLA is fine. Not everyone has to go to a T14 (or T6 or HYS or whatever the retarded strawman was). But debt is real and law school is a time sink. You should do everything in your power to make the odds ever in your favor, up to and including retaking some dumb learnable test and putting law school off for a year (or more). No one NEEDS to go to law school, and they certainly don't need to go RIGHT NOW. Even if one becomes "a lawyer" and avoids the percentage of bad outcomes that doesn't mean they will earn enough to service their debt. Just getting into that good outcome percentage on LST doesn't mean you actually have a good outcome if you're crushed by debt.

Everything needs to be weighed and considered, and pure blind optimism or naivety can very easily set one on the path to debt pwndom.

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koalacity
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Re: California Splitters

Postby koalacity » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:52 am

epgenius wrote:Yes, I know this. I also know that a disturbing portion of those who do apply to law school and go to law school do so because they do not know what else to do with their lives. This fact is far more alarming than the situations of people like our OP here, who is in a better position than the vast majority of applicants anyway, so why don't we use TLS to focus on making sure applicants actually want to go to law school. Retake is not the perfect solution it's made out to be, and neither is "wait a year and apply next cycle," most people don't have the ability to put their lives on hold another year, so I try to at least give them a less grave, perhaps slightly optimistic vantage point by which to assess their positions. How many of those advised to retake with scores like OP's get lower scores and get into lower schools when their scores are averaged? Frankly, too many for my liking when the actual key to jobs is doing well in law school. Yes, it is easier to get there from a t14 -- it's also easier to go to law school at a t14 with grade inflation and the emphasis on ranking... sometimes that fact alone will help more than the name recognition.

Most people on this site, enlightened as they may believe themselves to be, make people unnecessarily neurotic about how they are doing. By all accounts over the last two years (especially last year), OP can get $120,000 at USC which, if he/she wants to practice in LA, is well worth the cost. There is no reason to convince him/her that their only option is to retake and discourage them. If they're to be discouraged, why not do so by giving accurate descriptions of what law school is like? Statistics are dandy but, if you have the ability to be at or near the top of your class, you're probably going to get a good job. Maybe if we all looked at the glass as half-full from time to time, naive as you or anyone else may think it to be, lawyers wouldn't have such rampant discontent with their professions... lest we forget that even, (arguably especially), lawyers making $160,000 a year at a biglaw firm are unhappy.

wat.

You do understand how curves work, right? It's not going to be easier to be above-median at a T14 than it would be at a lesser-ranked school-quite the opposite.

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KingJamesLBJ
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Re: California Splitters

Postby KingJamesLBJ » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:10 pm

epgenius wrote:
Clearly wrote:
epgenius wrote:
rstahl wrote:
This obsession with retaking and 'oh, you don't have a 170+? Let me tell you to retake or apply next cycle with a 168 while I look down at you condescendingly' vibe is getting pretty old on TLS. I'm not saying that is said explicitly, but after you read enough of these posts, the underlying sentiment becomes pretty clear.

OP, you may get into USC because LSAT is weighted higher than GPA and you are above their 75th LSAT percentile (likely 80th too). However, if you don't get in and don't like your other options, Pepperdine, Chapman etc... THEN wait a cycle and retake and/or build your credentials. With respect to the retaking part, we don't know what your situation is with study time, standardized test problems, previous practice test averages, so I will just say this. If you are pretty certain you can improve your LSAT score by a few points for the February administration, then I believe retaking will give you a much larger benefit than waiting till February to apply will hurt you.

As for whether or not the February LSAT is a good idea, it may hurt your chances a bit with acceptance because schools will only give offers to a certain number of people, so a 168/3.2 in October is not the same as one in March (when the application is reviewable after getting the Feb score). Having said that, as a result of the declining applicant pool, some schools are pushing back their deadlines and decisions a bit so applying in Feb. won't be as detrimental as it would have been in, say, 2009 or 2010.


Seriously. This entire website has gotten so weighed down in its own elitist douchebaggery. It is extremely difficult to get 170+... that is why it is rare and looked so favorably upon. And it's not about who you are or anything, I was testing consistently at 173-176 on PTs and couldn't get above a 166 -- shit happens. You can get a job with OP's numbers, you even have an ok shot at a t14 with a 168, so what is the point in being so condescending, making others feel bad because they're not one of the extraordinarily small number of people who get into HYS. The vast majority of lawyers working went to a school at or below OP's numbers so why can't these people stop acting like there's no chance of doing anything with your life unless you get a 175? You wonder how much of lives these people have if they're at t14s and still spend all their time on here telling people to retake... probably just because, once you're in law school, HYS are the easiest.

Did you take 3 times?


Nope, just once. I was thinking of retaking in December last year but got my October score late because my LSAC fee waiver app was delayed -- didn't want to risk getting a lower score with only 2 1/2 weeks to study again. One and done and I'm at USC with good money and, believe it or not, my job prospects are fine.


They delay your score if you apply for the LSAC waiver?

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ManoftheHour
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Re: California Splitters

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:23 pm

epgenius wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
wowhio wrote:
Not sure why UVA or NU would be worth sticker but UCLA would not, or even USC, considering the desire to live and practice in Southern California.


That's TTTT reasoning right there.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=northwestern

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=ucla

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=usc

Clerckship + biglaw rates > 50% at UVA and NU. Can't say the same about USC/UCLA. Not saying they're shit schools, just saying they're not worth $250k in debt for less than 50% chance of paying it off.


Not everybody wants to clerk and go into biglaw. There are plenty of other options out there -- you don't help anyone by making them neurotic to where they don't believe they'll amount to anything unless they're one of the few to follow that one, specific career path.


That's true TTT logic right there. Okay. How do you pay back $250k+ in loans? USC and UCLA at 100k is okay with me. I'd do it in a heartbeat. Hell, I'd go to USC/UCLA at $120k. You don't need big law to pay that shit back. So tell me, how do you pay back $250k in loans without big law? If you say public interest, that's fine and dandy but there aren't too many jobs out there since they're ultra competitive. How else? I don't think even 50% of people from USC/UCLA end up in big law + clerkship + public interest. So you're saying you're willing to bet $250k for less than a 50% chance to pay it back?

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:11 pm

North wrote:
epgenius wrote:Perhaps it's just a matter of faith.



(Is actually willful ignorance, misplaced confidence, and an outlook built around affirming his own risky decision to take the easy route by encouraging others to do the same)


I didn't take the easy route you fucking prick, so hold your tongue. Congrats on your 174, may it bring you all the joy that you can tell people it brings you. I've never said that OP shouldn't retake if he/she should feel so inclined, I've said they do have good enough numbers to probably get into all of the schools they listed. That's it, get the fuck over yourself.

epgenius
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Re: California Splitters

Postby epgenius » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:14 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
epgenius wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
wowhio wrote:
Not sure why UVA or NU would be worth sticker but UCLA would not, or even USC, considering the desire to live and practice in Southern California.


That's TTTT reasoning right there.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=uva

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=northwestern

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=ucla

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=usc

Clerckship + biglaw rates > 50% at UVA and NU. Can't say the same about USC/UCLA. Not saying they're shit schools, just saying they're not worth $250k in debt for less than 50% chance of paying it off.


Not everybody wants to clerk and go into biglaw. There are plenty of other options out there -- you don't help anyone by making them neurotic to where they don't believe they'll amount to anything unless they're one of the few to follow that one, specific career path.


That's true TTT logic right there. Okay. How do you pay back $250k+ in loans? USC and UCLA at 100k is okay with me. I'd do it in a heartbeat. Hell, I'd go to USC/UCLA at $120k. You don't need big law to pay that shit back. So tell me, how do you pay back $250k in loans without big law? If you say public interest, that's fine and dandy but there aren't too many jobs out there since they're ultra competitive. How else? I don't think even 50% of people from USC/UCLA end up in big law + clerkship + public interest. So you're saying you're willing to bet $250k for less than a 50% chance to pay it back?


I'm not going to have $250k to pay back and I didn't get a 168. And, with how USC was scrambling for people throughout June and July last year, giving money to EVERYBODY, (yes, including splitters with 3.2 averages -- in fact, many got much better money than I and I'm not complaining), I truly don't believe OP would be facing sticker price.




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