Should I take a year (or more) off?

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khaleesi_k

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Should I take a year (or more) off?

Postby khaleesi_k » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:20 pm

I'm nearing the end of my cycle and I've done ok. I've gotten into some pretty decent schools.

My goal is to do biglaw in California, hopefully southern california, so my real goal was to get into USC or UCLA but I was not able to get into either. My stats are ok. I have a 3.5 and a 164 and solid softs. I've gotten into UCI and University of Washington, but I'm not sure they're quite competitive enough to get me where I want to be for my career. I'm waitlisted at some competitive schools but I'm not sure how that's going to work out.

I did apply really late in the admissions cycle (late Jan/early feb) and I missed the cut off for applying early decision anywhere. I did this because I wanted to wait for my fall quarter grades to come in to help boost my GPA a bit before applying anywhere.

I'm wondering if I should take a year (or more) off and try to work as an intern or a paralegal and then try again and apply as early as possible in the cycle and apply early decision somewhere. I could maybe also retake the LSAT - my highest practice test was a 168, and I scored several 165/166s.

I'm trying to figure out if it makes sense to finish this academic year strongly - my GPA wont go up by that much but I can boost it a little, it's already up some from what I applied with, take a year, and apply again as early as possible in the fall... or if I should just cut my losses and go to UCI or UW.

cavalier1138

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Re: Should I take a year (or more) off?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:26 pm

Yes, you should take time off.

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UVA2B

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Re: Should I take a year (or more) off?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:27 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Yes, you should take time off.

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poptart123

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Re: Should I take a year (or more) off?

Postby poptart123 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:29 pm

Apply early next cycle, retake and get a 167 or so and you are looking at USC/UCLA. Also, are you straight through from UG? I wanted to go straight through to LS, but my time off really helped me mature. I think it's good no matter what grad program you pursue.

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khaleesi_k

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Re: Should I take a year (or more) off?

Postby khaleesi_k » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:35 pm

poptart123 wrote:Apply early next cycle, retake and get a 167 or so and you are looking at USC/UCLA. Also, are you straight through from UG? I wanted to go straight through to LS, but my time off really helped me mature. I think it's good no matter what grad program you pursue.


Yeah I'm finishing up my final year at UG right now.

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poptart123

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Re: Should I take a year (or more) off?

Postby poptart123 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:42 pm

khaleesi_k wrote:
poptart123 wrote:Apply early next cycle, retake and get a 167 or so and you are looking at USC/UCLA. Also, are you straight through from UG? I wanted to go straight through to LS, but my time off really helped me mature. I think it's good no matter what grad program you pursue.


Yeah I'm finishing up my final year at UG right now.


It's stressful to job hunt when you had your plans set, but really with 3 more points you are looking at a lot better prospects. You can take any of the next three tests. I also don't mean that you are necessarily immature, but that taking some time off has helped develop some professional skills and also provided a nice break from school.

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Re: Should I take a year (or more) off?

Postby Rigo » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:01 pm

You need to retake. Gotta at least breach 166/167 to have a shot at USC/UCLA since you'll be a splitter. Probably higher, honestly. Unfortunately CA schools are GPA whores so you will need to compensate with a solid LSAT. Even then, they might be probibitively expensive though.

Even with those schools, CA biglaw wont happen for the majority of grads so you may not be able to achieve your goals even if you retake and get into those schools next year.

If you develop more realistic goals and UCI is the right price, it's an alright school that gives you an okay shot at prestigious outcomes. You just need to be fully aware of the tradeoff and have a plan B career wise.

"When in doubt, sit it out" is my go-to default advice but with a 3.5 and CA goals, a Irvine or Davis for cheap might be your best outcome even if you ended up retaking and getting high 160's.



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