What do I do now? / Does anyone have general advice?

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footballlax55

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What do I do now? / Does anyone have general advice?

Postby footballlax55 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:41 am

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Last edited by footballlax55 on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

izha

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Re: What do I do now? / Does anyone have general advice?

Postby izha » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:16 am

footballlax55 wrote:Can anyone give me some help as to where I should go from here? I'm trying to figure out where I should apply, if I should apply, if there's anything I can do to give me a better chance, and just some advice overall.

(Brace yourselves, I basically wrote a novel.)

I got my LSAT score back this past week and was very disappointed by the 170 I got. I was expecting a 172/173, maybe 174 or 175 based off of my practice tests and how I felt I knew the test so much better than my first two tests. I got 169 the first time after having done about 30 practice tests and review etc. So I realized I needed to study even more and harder and the next time around 20 tests later I got a 170. I was pretty disappointed. Now this last time I did another 20 tests, felt like I knew it very well, scored 176-177 a few times, was averaging 4 points higher per test, did well on all sorts of tests regardless of if they were early ones with hard LG or modern ones with hard reading. But got another 170 (some unlucky guessing on literally 6 or 7 questions I had narrowed down to two).

I feel completely and utterly helpless. Aside from the obvious waste of time all that effort was, it doesn't leave me in a very good place. I can't retake it any more, I horribly under-performed, and just a point or two difference makes Columbia and NYU good possibilities, but I didn't even pick up a single point on the 3rd take. Not to mention how much less money it gives me.

And I've already graduated so I can't change my GPA. Which brings me to my second issue. My GPA is only a 3.59, so I was relying on the LSAT to improve my chances. I feel like I kind of got dicked over GPA-wise. My freshman year I did pretty poorly and got only a 3.1 due to choosing some classes I shouldn't have (ex. taking a tough math class I got a C in instead of taking an easy math class for an A because an academic adviser gave shitty advice) and not adjusting well to college. After that I averaged about a 3.7 but still had some issues. I suspected I had ADD since basically forever and then halfway through junior year I finally got it diagnosed and got meds. Whereas before I was not really physically able to focus on studying at all, once I figured out the dosage and how to manage my ADD I pulled something like a 3.8, 3.7, 3.98 the last three semesters.

Unfortunately, law schools don't give a shit about stuff like this, right? By the time I figured out that I wanted to go to law school, my freshman year was over and my GPA was already in a hole. And by the time I figured out how important GPA was, another year and a half of my GPA was solidified. Shit, if I had known about it, and known how I could treat my ADD, I'd have gotten on meds and then taken only easy classes and pulled a 3.9.

Anyway, I guess that's all set in stone. I just wish there was a way to sell law school's on my potential and actual ability instead of an unrepresentative GPA and LSAT score.

I had my heart set on a super good school like Columbia, but now that's out of my reach. I wanted to go to a school where I'd be surrounded by the best of the best, not a couple of the best and then the people who didn't get in elsewhere but are still decent. For undergrad I ended up at a school where I was definitely a lot above average and the vibe just wasn't good (USNWR around 25th). I wanted to be surrounded by people who would push me and were bright and smart, enjoyed debates and new ideas. Instead, most people were just definitely above average, but there were tons of people who were far from remarkable.
I also wanted to go somewhere where I felt that I had reached my potential and had achieved the best I could. But since admissions are driven by GPA and LSAT, and I think those don't reflect my actual achievements and aptitude well, I won't reach that goal.
I want to go to a school where I feel like I belong and can be proud of, not a place that I feel like I underachieved my way into.

Does anyone have advice on how to either figure out a way to get into a school I'll be satisfied with, or at least to change my expectations and make me feel okay with what I currently consider overachieving?

I probably sound like an elitist prick because I'm complaining about an otherwise good LSAT score and claiming that I'm just not being given a fair shot, but I legitimately feel like I've gotten kinda dicked over in general. If I had known what exactly I needed to do to get into law school, I would have done things completely differently. (I also thought I got screwed with undergrad admissions. My plan was originally "okay, whatever, going to the state school is a good plan," and it wasn't until junior year I started to figure stuff out. My guidance counselor would say stuff like "watch out, you don't want to take too many AP classes," etc. The gist of the atmosphere of my guidance counselors, my family, etc. was to just be well-rounded and get good grades. For example, my father thought it was excessive that I took 2 practice SATs. I still had scores above the median at every school in the country and a great GPA but got in no where great and rejected from schools that less qualified students got into. But I digress.)
So anyways, I have a huge chip on my shoulder and want concrete validation that I'm not crazy. Which is why I want a school that's amazing and not just great. And that's why I want a flashy name over something that's more practical.

Not necessary an elitist, just a regular one.

stressball2015

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Re: What do I do now? / Does anyone have general advice?

Postby stressball2015 » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:55 pm

Where to even begin.

footballlax55 wrote: I horribly under-performed


I can see how that could be discouraging to do worse than you usually do, but the reality of it is you've maxed out the amount of times you can take it for a couple of years and to be honest, a 170 is a great place to be.

footballlax55 wrote: Whereas before I was not really physically able to focus on studying at all, once I figured out the dosage and how to manage my ADD I pulled something like a 3.8, 3.7, 3.98 the last three semesters. Unfortunately, law schools don't give a shit about stuff like this, right? By the time I figured out that I wanted to go to law school, my freshman year was over and my GPA was already in a hole. And by the time I figured out how important GPA was, another year and a half of my GPA was solidified. Shit, if I had known about it, and known how I could treat my ADD, I'd have gotten on meds and then taken only easy classes and pulled a 3.9.


Not true, schools will appreciate the upward trend. Will they like it as much as 3.8? Probably not. Will they like it more than someone with a solid 3.6? Maybe!

footballlax55 wrote: I wanted to go to a school where I'd be surrounded by the best of the best, not a couple of the best and then the people who didn't get in elsewhere but are still decent. For undergrad I ended up at a school where I was definitely a lot above average and the vibe just wasn't good (USNWR around 25th). I wanted to be surrounded by people who would push me and were bright and smart, enjoyed debates and new ideas. Instead, most people were just definitely above average, but there were tons of people who were far from remarkable.


Not to sound like a dick, but if your classmates weren't that fantastic then your GPA should have been higher. While its good to be confident, being an "elitist prick" will not help you build connections or even succeed. Check yourself, please.


footballlax55 wrote:So anyways, I have a huge chip on my shoulder and want concrete validation that I'm not crazy. Which is why I want a school that's amazing and not just great. And that's why I want a flashy name over something that's more practical.


http://mylsn.info/5l6hnw/

You still have good chances at NYU, Duke, Michigan, Northwestern, and Georgetown. You even have shots at UVA, Cornell, and a small chance at Penn. These are "amazing" and "flashy name" schools. If you do not think these schools are something you could be proud of, you should really step back and think about your place in law school.

footballlax55 wrote:Does anyone have advice on how to either figure out a way to get into a school I'll be satisfied with, or at least to change my expectations and make me feel okay with what I currently consider overachieving?


Yes, you are in a good position because it was the best position you could put yourself in. You took the LSAT 3 times, so you definitely can say you gave it your all on it. There is nothing you can do about your GPA. The only things you can do at this point are:
1) Write a STELLAR personal statement (seriously, do not underestimate the power of these things), diversity statements (if you can), and "Why X?" for whatever schools you want most.
2) Get GOOD letters of Rec from professors who know you well.
3) If you have a great resume, awesome! If not, consider taking some time off and interning/working for a year.

Hope that helps. Really though, don't be so hard on yourself. Your current attitude does nothing to benefit your own mental health, doesn't change your prospects, and doesn't make people like you (seriously, friends are so important to have in this field). Chin up, and be proud of the accomplishments you have made! A 170 and an upward trend in GPA are not easy things to accomplish :D

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: What do I do now? / Does anyone have general advice?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:14 pm

1) I think you're being unfair to the students at the schools you'd be able to get into. Very few LSAT points/GPA point separate people at the top of the T14 and people at the bottom of the T14. You will be with bright, impressive students wherever you end up. Enjoying debates and new ideas is much more about culture/attitude than raw ability.

2) It sounds like your options are either to give up on law school because you can't meet your self-imposed expectations and do something else, or put forward the best application you possibly can, see what happens, and evaluate your options once you know what they are. You're actually in an extremely good position compared to the vast majority of applicants across the country. And prestige for the sake of prestige is really meaningless - it makes more sense to think about what you actually want to do with a JD, and where you need to attend to get that outcome.

So, what would do if you don't apply to law school?

(Or you could work for the three years required to retake the LSAT and try again. Law school isn't going anywhere.)

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4LTsPointingNorth

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Re: What do I do now? / Does anyone have general advice?

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:19 pm

Are you K-JD? As Nony said, you could always work for a few years and get some work experience while waiting for your LSAT limit to reset. I know someone who did that and improved from a 163/164/164 to a 175 while also racking up impressive softs. (Impressive to OCI interviewers more so than AdComs). That will also let you take a year or two off from the LSAT and you can focus on things other than law school apps. IMO, looking back on things after you retire, having spent a few extra years enjoying your 20s may be a lot more valuable to you than a few extra years practicing as a lawyer.



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