Kewlaidxx wrote: UVA2B wrote: Kewlaidxx wrote: UVA2B wrote: Kewlaidxx wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Ok, I'll try to help you to maximize your options:
1. Retake. Even a 170 will help if you can get it. Forget about this "January is so late" BS. If you don't have good options when the application cycle is over, you apply again next cycle. If you have the capacity to improve on the LSAT, that will only help (with diminishing returns when you get in the 175ish range in your specific situation). If you score lower, you still have that 169, which is all the schools you're worried about will care about. You're still exactly where you started, plus you won't have to wonder if you could've improved your LSAT and your chances of an outcome you want.
2. Once you have that retake finished, apply to USC, UCLA, UCI, and the T13 at least from Penn and below, but I would even include Columbia, Chicago, and NYU because you want as many potential negotiating chips as possible when the time comes. Get your application solid. Don't write an addendum because you ran a business during college. It won't help your application, and it could hurt if it comes off poorly. GPA addenda are rarely worth it, and your situation is not one worthy of it. Write a compelling PS, make your resume flawless, make sure your LORs are academic and reflect highly of you (to overcome your GPA). Once all of that is done, and you've submitted your applications (whether that is in January or next cycle), you wait.
3. Schools will start to accept, waitlist, or deny you (in this tier of schools denials are pretty rare, but they happen). Once you have acceptances, start figuring out if any of them are offering merit-based tuition discounts. If they are/aren't, start using the ones that are to negotiate with the ones that aren't or are for less. If USC is offering you $20k/year discount, and you have an acceptance to Northwestern, bring the Northwestern acceptance and see if USC will bump it up. Use your judgment to figure out which school will reconsider their aid package based on other aid packages. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Don't stop negotiating until you have run out of negotiation options, and decide which option is best for your goals. Also think long and hard whether that option is good enough to take the risk on the investment you're about to make (based on your posting, I feel like you'll fail to fully do this, but it's a critical step in making a financially responsible decision. This is an investment not that indifferent from buying stock. The only difference is you're debt-financing it and it's somewhat in your control whether the investment works out).
4. If you're struggling with this process, come back when you have options, or you have more directly relevant questions, because the TLS community is generally very receptive to helping people with these kinds of problems. You've pushed my patience a bit, but I'm still sitting here on a Sunday night trying to help you figure out how to handle this entire law school admissions process. We'll help, so long as you're receptive to the advice you're given.
Ah you're great. So September vs December isn't a big deal in relation to when I apply? A 169 now vs a 170 later , a 170 is still favorable?
Yes, a 170 is always better than a 169 if you follow the rest of my advice. and a 171 is better than a 170, etc.
Great. And just to add, this is my last push. I've already sat out a cycle and I can't sit out again, all this time off is depressing. im going to follow your advice to the letter, but next cycle isn't possible. Does this change anything?
Yes, because you're setting arbitrary and unnecessary roadblocks to starting this career on the right foot. Stop doing that.
I understand what you're saying and why, but please believe me that another year off isn't feasible. I know it's my future and another year means jack compared to the rest of my life and I wish I could just retake up until next year and assure a victory but some of this will have to be up to chance for me. I really can't. But say I score a 170 in December and I apply this cycle.
Are you middle-aged and concerned about age discrimination when you try to get a job during/after law school? If the answer is no, you can always wait a year.
Don't let the mad urgency and rush of prepping for this push you into bad decisions. The rest of your life will be vastly better if you think you have the ability to move that LSAT score a little, or if you get a bad cycle of apps and want to re-apply.
I say this as someone who did allow some urgency to pressure me into going into it without retaking. I went to a decent law school (T30), I got a biglaw job, but more than 70% of my classmates DID NOT get biglaw jobs, even those with better grades/more accolades than me. When other posters say it's "holistic," it means literally anything could affect the hiring decision after you get past being screened for grades, journal, etc. It borders on arbitrary. I still don't understand how I lucked into this. And I still have $170k in debt hanging over me (that includes interest that capitalized so far). If I could do it over, I'd do what it takes to nudge that down even just $10k. I'm not eager for when these loan payments start, because that's money out of my pocket that I could be putting to other uses, like saving, spending on things I actually want to buy, repaying other debts, etc. And if I didn't have this job? I would be in a world of hurt unless I was on PSLF and IBR, and even then it's still money I'd rather keep every month.
Calm the f down. Your life will not stop if you are not in law school this time next year. You will be the prudent and smart person for having waited.
Go ahead and apply, and go ahead and retake, and when you have all your responses from schools and your score back, re-evaluate, and take your emotional and confirmation biases out to the woodshed when you do. This is a very critical decision that you cannot rush. People bankrupt themselves with this kind of debt and permanently ruin their credit and lives. They weren't bad people who didn't work hard or didn't care enough. Sometimes life deals you a bad hand. Having $300k debt (or even $170k debt, or $100k debt) makes that bad hand monumentally worse. Use your head and take our advice.