3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

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appleorange
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3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby appleorange » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:58 pm

If I'm applying to T14 schools (excluding HYS), and I'm on track to get a 3.9 GPA and at least 178 on the LSAT, how will a mediocre personal statement and mediocre recommendations affect me? I don't have very good writing skills, I don't have a particularly compelling life story, and I don't have close relationships with any of my professors.

Some additional info that may be helpful: I'm not a URM, and I'm studying Electrical Engineering as a HYPSM undergraduate.

cavalier1138
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:03 pm

Maybe get your "at least" 178 for real before you ask about whether your personal statement will make or break your app.

Also, start working on writing better now. You're going to need to write well for law school in the first place, so I don't see why you would already be throwing in the towel on that.

appleorange
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby appleorange » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:09 pm

@cavalier1138

Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I was a bit unclear in my original post. I don't have any issues with the mechanics of writing (e.g. grammar, clarity, conciseness), but I do have difficulty in coming up with interesting content and good ways to present such content. Also, I have been studying for the LSAT for 2 months, and recently I've been scoring consistently in the 178+ range on my practice tests (including "real" tests that were previously administered by LSAC).

cavalier1138
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:12 pm

appleorange wrote:@cavalier1138

Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I was a bit unclear in my original post. I don't have any issues with the mechanics of writing (e.g. grammar, clarity, conciseness), but I do have difficulty in coming up with interesting content and good ways to present such content. Also, I have been studying for the LSAT for 2 months, and recently I've been scoring consistently in the 178+ range on my practice tests (including "real" tests that were previously administered by LSAC).


Then that sounds like something you can work on (writing is about more than just the mechanical aspects of the text). And again, actually get your score. Plenty of people see very different scores on their real tests than on their practice tests, so it's pointless to speculate about what effect a meh personal statement will have on your application.

DowsingForAJD
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby DowsingForAJD » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:15 pm

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Last edited by DowsingForAJD on Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Samarcan
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Samarcan » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:27 pm

Is this post a joke? Outside of Yale (and maybe Harvard/Stanford), a 178+ and 3.9 GPA will get you in everywhere no matter what your PS says or how lukewarm your professor recs are. Seriously -- the PS could be a rambling nonsensical string of platitudes, and you could pass it off as avant-garde Joycean stream-of-consciousness prose. And rec letters, especially from brand-name undergrads, are often bland. The GPA/LSAT combo matters astronomically more than anything else, and those GPA/LSAT numbers will render the rest of the app almost certainly irrelevant -- again, with possible exceptions for Y/S/H, in that order.

The answer to OP's original question, then, is a resounding "not at all."

appleorange
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby appleorange » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:34 pm

Thanks everyone for their responses.

@Samarcan: I've heard many people asserting and emphasizing the importance of LSAT/GPA in law school admissions, which is why I've been studying hard for the LSAT for the past 2 months. However, few people ever mention PS and recs, so I wasn't sure whether these are important components that people simply don't talk about much, or whether a good LSAT/GPA can truly overshadow an otherwise mediocre application. This is why I posted this question.

Samarcan
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Samarcan » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:00 pm

appleorange wrote:Thanks everyone for their responses.

@Samarcan: I've heard many people asserting and emphasizing the importance of LSAT/GPA in law school admissions, which is why I've been studying hard for the LSAT for the past 2 months. However, few people ever mention PS and recs, so I wasn't sure whether these are important components that people simply don't talk about much, or whether a good LSAT/GPA can truly overshadow an otherwise mediocre application. This is why I posted this question.



Sure, fair enough. Rest assured: with those numbers, the PS/Rec Statements will carry much less weight than they otherwise might. If you're hovering around 170 + 3.7, spend some time crafting a flowery PS that will play to the sentiments of the admissions officers. If you have a 178 + 3.9 from an elite undergrad, other than maybe Yale's 250-word supplementary essay, relax and enjoy the rest of your time before 1L.

MovingUnits
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby MovingUnits » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:16 pm

What did you use to prep? That's an amazing increase/score?

mcmand
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby mcmand » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:33 pm

MovingUnits wrote:What did you use to prep? That's an amazing increase/score?


It's not a real score yet, don't get too worked up. Check back with OP once he has taken an actual administration and received his score.

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Mullens
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Mullens » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:51 pm

Samarcan wrote:Is this post a joke? Outside of Yale (and maybe Harvard/Stanford), a 178+ and 3.9 GPA will get you in everywhere no matter what your PS says or how lukewarm your professor recs are. Seriously -- the PS could be a rambling nonsensical string of platitudes, and you could pass it off as avant-garde Joycean stream-of-consciousness prose. And rec letters, especially from brand-name undergrads, are often bland. The GPA/LSAT combo matters astronomically more than anything else, and those GPA/LSAT numbers will render the rest of the app almost certainly irrelevant -- again, with possible exceptions for Y/S/H, in that order.

The answer to OP's original question, then, is a resounding "not at all."


This statement is a little over the top. People get denied every year with great numbers. Yes, GPA/LSAT matter far more than anything else, but there is evidence of candidates with great numbers being denied from schools every year. I agree that OP will be fine with a mediocre personal statement. A truly awful one has the ability to sink his/her application.

MovingUnits
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby MovingUnits » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:56 pm

mcmand wrote:
MovingUnits wrote:What did you use to prep? That's an amazing increase/score?


It's not a real score yet, don't get too worked up. Check back with OP once he has taken an actual administration and received his score.


Not getting worked up by asking what the guy used. Even on a PT, a 178 is an excellent score.

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landshoes
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby landshoes » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:47 am

Enjoy Georgetown

Just kidding. Obviously apply to all the T-14 schools including HYS, you goofball. You might want to delete this because if I were an adcomm I'd ding you for terminal goofiness

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:32 am

lol. Jumping in here so I remember to check this again when OP gets an actual reportable score.

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HennessyVSOP
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby HennessyVSOP » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:20 pm

Maybe instead of writing a mediocre personal statement, and getting mediocre letters of rec:

1. You should write an awesome personal statement. Personal statements are for drafting and editing. TLS can help you craft a good PS.

2. You should get awesome letters of rec. Letters of recommendation are easy, and professors are mostly nice people.


i feel like this post is just a very strange humblebrag. get your good score and come back to TLS. bring a PS for revising.

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:21 pm

HennessyVSOP wrote:Maybe instead of writing a mediocre personal statement, and getting mediocre letters of rec:

1. You should write an awesome personal statement. Personal statements are for drafting and editing. TLS can help you craft a good PS.

2. You should get awesome letters of rec. Letters of recommendation are easy, and professors are mostly nice people.


i feel like this post is just a very strange humblebrag. get your good score and come back to TLS. bring a PS for revising.


super weird tbh. We had a guy on June study group that was claiming 179 PT average. Walked away from test day with a 169. Why humblebrag about stuff you haven't even accomplished yet???

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zkyggi
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby zkyggi » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:49 pm

Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
HennessyVSOP wrote:Maybe instead of writing a mediocre personal statement, and getting mediocre letters of rec:

1. You should write an awesome personal statement. Personal statements are for drafting and editing. TLS can help you craft a good PS.

2. You should get awesome letters of rec. Letters of recommendation are easy, and professors are mostly nice people.


i feel like this post is just a very strange humblebrag. get your good score and come back to TLS. bring a PS for revising.


We had a guy on June study group that was claiming 179 PT average. Walked away from test day with a 169.


I managed to follow him up with a 9 point drop. Echoing the sentiments above, do not project an LSAT score onto your cycle. Get a score and then work with what you have.

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dm1683
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby dm1683 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:34 am

Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
HennessyVSOP wrote:Maybe instead of writing a mediocre personal statement, and getting mediocre letters of rec:

1. You should write an awesome personal statement. Personal statements are for drafting and editing. TLS can help you craft a good PS.

2. You should get awesome letters of rec. Letters of recommendation are easy, and professors are mostly nice people.


i feel like this post is just a very strange humblebrag. get your good score and come back to TLS. bring a PS for revising.


super weird tbh. We had a guy on June study group that was claiming 179 PT average. Walked away from test day with a 169. Why humblebrag about stuff you haven't even accomplished yet???

I was wondering about that dude. I felt so bad for him when he got that score but I never really considered be could have misrepresented his success. IDK how someone can drop 10 pts below their average when their average is almost perfect, especially on a comparatively easy exam.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby ZVBXRPL » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:07 am

bait click title /thread

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Neil_Gorsuch
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Neil_Gorsuch » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:00 pm

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Last edited by Neil_Gorsuch on Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jack_Kelly
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Jack_Kelly » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:03 pm

dm1683 wrote:
Future Ex-Engineer wrote:
HennessyVSOP wrote:Maybe instead of writing a mediocre personal statement, and getting mediocre letters of rec:

1. You should write an awesome personal statement. Personal statements are for drafting and editing. TLS can help you craft a good PS.

2. You should get awesome letters of rec. Letters of recommendation are easy, and professors are mostly nice people.


i feel like this post is just a very strange humblebrag. get your good score and come back to TLS. bring a PS for revising.


super weird tbh. We had a guy on June study group that was claiming 179 PT average. Walked away from test day with a 169. Why humblebrag about stuff you haven't even accomplished yet???

I was wondering about that dude. I felt so bad for him when he got that score but I never really considered be could have misrepresented his success. IDK how someone can drop 10 pts below their average when their average is almost perfect, especially on a comparatively easy exam.

I'd think an easy exam would hurt high scorers, not help them.

etramak
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby etramak » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:19 pm

appleorange wrote:@cavalier1138

Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I was a bit unclear in my original post. I don't have any issues with the mechanics of writing (e.g. grammar, clarity, conciseness), but I do have difficulty in coming up with interesting content and good ways to present such content. Also, I have been studying for the LSAT for 2 months, and recently I've been scoring consistently in the 178+ range on my practice tests (including "real" tests that were previously administered by LSAC).


I was scoring in the 175+ range on practice tests and got a 167. Then I started practicing again a few months later and consistently got 177+ on practice tests. I got a 171.

tr5890
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby tr5890 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:28 pm

"178+" I laughed out loud. I studied for years and fell just short of that. You can't bank on that kind of score. Expect to make 5 points below your average the first time you take the test.

As for your personal statement, read the collection of essays called "The Right Words at the Right Time." It's a collection of essays written by famous people about mundane parts of their life. Helped me overcome the "I haven't cured cancer or saved dolphins" problem.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:57 pm

appleorange wrote: excluding HYS

Only Yale and Stanford will care about the extra stuff you mentioned. H is pretty much a lock with 178+/3.9.

But I'll also echo what other posters have said: the only LSAT score that you can bank on is the one that LSAC sends you. High PTs are great, but most people score lower (or much lower) than their PT average.

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34iplaw
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Re: 3.9 GPA, 178+ LSAT, Mediocre Personal Statement and Recs

Postby 34iplaw » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:24 pm

Jumping on the scored 4-7 points below PT average for the two times I took it and was in a similar score band to you PTing for the second time. You really can't count on a 178+ on the test, especially if you've ever have not finished a game in adequate time or had a single passage mess you up. A single messed up game or passage automatically precludes you from a 178+.

Then again, you should be okay as long as you stay above 173 for every school except Y (and S to an extent). Probably will see YPs at schools that tend to do that.

http://mylsn.info/1ob1e8/

I'm not really sure how money comes into play at that point. I'm not sure if you have a particular career in mind, but you may also want to explore your options at least for a year or two. You likely have options that are (financially at least) as good as if not better than law school with a 3.9 from an engineering program at HYPSM.

Anywho - don't resign yourself to a mediocre statement and don't count on a 178, 179, or 180 (there have been tests, albeit infrequent, where I think even a -3 was a 177)




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