164, 3.88 GPA - no chance of scholarship at t14?

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portraitofastudent

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164, 3.88 GPA - no chance of scholarship at t14?

Postby portraitofastudent » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:16 pm

I really bombed the logic games section of the recent December LSAT - started panicking for no reason after the first game and barely reading and identifying with the rules. It was a pretty unusual event for me, as I am usually a good test taker. Anyway, I am pretty sure I can do better, given that my practice tests were almost all in the high 160s/low 170s. I am re-taking in February, but I understand that this is too late for many programs. I really want to go to Stanford or Berkeley, but I assume I may get auto-rejected from Stanford with my LSAT and that any scholarship money from Berkeley is impossible with a 164. Berkeley has told me they will not consider February scores. (Not sure though if this still applies if I am accepted and then want to negotiate scholarship money?) Stanford has not yet returned my email, but I understand that they sometimes consider February scores. I've been thinking if I get rejected from both these schools that I might want to transfer in. My partner lives in the bay area so location is important to me; I would hope to go to any t14 I am accepted to and then transfer to Berkeley/Stanford.

I'm 32 and will finish my PhD in Literature this summer at an Ivy League. Not sure if this helps or hinders me; it's taken me awhile to finish (it will have been 9 years) and I won't apply to law school with a complete dissertation yet. I am unenthused about the prospect of waiting another year to start law school because of my age. I really want to apply this cycle, right before the deadline. Am I setting myself up for failure though by not giving myself another chance at the LSAT, and also by applying so late? Am I costing myself a few hundred thousand in scholarship money? The only possible advantage I could see of taking another year to apply would be that I could gain some practical experience in the law in the meantime. I could also beef up my resume as I have a law & literature article that I will soon submit for publication - I think I could find a journal to publish it within the next few months. And of course, it always looks better to have finished the PhD as opposed to just declaring a defense date.

So, some questions:
- Do transfers ever get scholarship money, particularly at such schools like Berkeley and Stanford?
- Is there any chance of getting money from UCLA with a 164? Or would any t14s give me any scholarship money?
- How much will it help my application to have completed the dissertation?
- Should I wait for the next application cycle?
- Would it be disadvantageous for me to apply to Stanford/Berkeley next year for a second time (not as a transfer, since I'm assuming in this scenario that I have not received scholarship money), after having been rejected this year?

01panm

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Re: 164, 3.88 GPA - no chance of scholarship at t14?

Postby 01panm » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:08 am

Yes, you absolutely are giving up a ton of money by not retaking, especially because you can realistically expect to improve. At the moment, Berkeley is a reach and Stanford is an auto-deny. Five more points and Berkeley is very reasonable.

In general, transferring is difficult, unpredictable, and should not be a part of your plan entering law school. You'd have to be near the top of the class to transfer to Berkeley, let alone Stanford, and it's unrealistic to build a plan centered around being at the top of the class.

AJordan

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Re: 164, 3.88 GPA - no chance of scholarship at t14?

Postby AJordan » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:04 am

Yes, you set yourself against a time crunch and then you failed to meet the bar for your goals with a 164 LSAT. I assume you're knee deep in a dissertation? Can you take again in February? With some minor maintenance you can be expected to meet your average +/- a few points. You'll likely want to delay a cycle with your ~170 anyway because you'll see more money next cycle (again, likely but not certain.)

Maybe take the Feb LSAT with an eye on the September one as your third take and apply next cycle? Seems the logical thing to do.

portraitofastudent

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Re: 164, 3.88 GPA - no chance of scholarship at t14?

Postby portraitofastudent » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:20 pm

01panm wrote:Yes, you absolutely are giving up a ton of money by not retaking, especially because you can realistically expect to improve. At the moment, Berkeley is a reach and Stanford is an auto-deny. Five more points and Berkeley is very reasonable.

In general, transferring is difficult, unpredictable, and should not be a part of your plan entering law school. You'd have to be near the top of the class to transfer to Berkeley, let alone Stanford, and it's unrealistic to build a plan centered around being at the top of the class.



Good to know re: transfers. Some lawyer had mentioned it to me and he made it sound like it was easier than getting in as an L1.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: 164, 3.88 GPA - no chance of scholarship at t14?

Postby trebekismyhero » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:20 pm

portraitofastudent wrote:
01panm wrote:Yes, you absolutely are giving up a ton of money by not retaking, especially because you can realistically expect to improve. At the moment, Berkeley is a reach and Stanford is an auto-deny. Five more points and Berkeley is very reasonable.

In general, transferring is difficult, unpredictable, and should not be a part of your plan entering law school. You'd have to be near the top of the class to transfer to Berkeley, let alone Stanford, and it's unrealistic to build a plan centered around being at the top of the class.



Good to know re: transfers. Some lawyer had mentioned it to me and he made it sound like it was easier than getting in as an L1.


It is 1L. And that lawyer is definitely wrong. It is much easier to increase your LSAT by several points than to be in the top 5% of your 1L class. Also, you would almost certainly get no money as a transfer, whereas if you get a 170 you will get a good chunk of money from some t14 schools.



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