What is my best option?

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ggcatherine
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:08 am

What is my best option?

Postby ggcatherine » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:35 am

Before I begin, let me explain my unusual circumstances:

I am a senior in college with a Finance Major and only started seriously considering Law School this past July (2017) after finishing a summer finance internship from hell and deciding I was on the wrong career path. I spoke to a few friends who were considering law school, bought some LSAT prep tests to study and took the LSAT in September after studying for around a month (probably 5-8 hours a week).

Flash forward to now: I have a 3.9 GPA which is Summa Cum Laude (Top 3% at my University) and ended up scoring a 164 :/ on my first shot at the LSAT


So now my question is: Do I a) keep my lsat score and apply to law school within the next month or so to increase my odds at schools with rolling admissions as well as to apply early in the application session to increase my odds of receiving any scholarship money... b) study for the LSAT a month more and retake it in December but potentially miss out on scholarship money by applying late in the admissions cycle... or c) take a gap year doing something unrelated (likely in the field of finance:/ ) and spend the year studying for the LSAT, retake the test in June 2018 and apply next cycle?


Also, if I do decide to apply within the next few months, where do I have a shot at? I'd like to go to the highest ranked school possible, but obviously know my LSAT isn't stellar so I need to be realistic.

I am thinking of applying to: University of Washington, Arizona State University, Notre Dame, University of Iowa, University of Southern California, Williams and Mary, University of Georgia, UCLA, UC Davis and potentially Vanderbilt.
Are any of these not even worth applying to or any potential candidates that I may be missing out on?

Thanks!

cavalier1138
Posts: 4486
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: What is my best option?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:47 am

First of all, you both retake and be prepared to take some time off school (which is a good idea anyway) if you don't get a score that gets you in where you want to go. But speaking of that...

Your school list is... unusual... to say the least. What do you want to do with your JD, and where do you want to practice?

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InterLaw
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:16 am

Re: What is my best option?

Postby InterLaw » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:54 am

I am a 0L so take this advice with a grain of salt.

Imo you have two options:
1) apply now and ask to hold the application until dec scores are out, retake in december and hit a 170+;

2) if you have no reasons to rush, take a year off school, hit a 170/175 and earn 1 year of we. You'll land in T6.

Anyway, do not waste your gpa! Apply to the t14/20, get rid of the other schools (if you don't have a specific regional tie/need). If you score above 170 you'll get great money from some t14 with that gpa!

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blueapple
Posts: 506
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:56 am

Re: What is my best option?

Postby blueapple » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:17 am

You do not have unusual circumstances.

Retake and take a year or two off.

In the end, your school list should be the T14 plus strong schools in the region(s) you have ties to and would like to practice in. But don't worry about this now; just focus on the LSAT and don't plan on applying this year.

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Mullens
Posts: 973
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:34 am

Re: What is my best option?

Postby Mullens » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:14 am

Your best option is to take a cycle off and retake. Go to Harvard or a T13 on a full-ride. Don't settle so early in your life.

ggcatherine
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:08 am

Re: What is my best option?

Postby ggcatherine » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:08 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:First of all, you both retake and be prepared to take some time off school (which is a good idea anyway) if you don't get a score that gets you in where you want to go. But speaking of that...

Your school list is... unusual... to say the least. What do you want to do with your JD, and where do you want to practice?


I am from the Pacific Northwest and all my connections, family and friends are on the west coast so I would preferably like to practice in Seattle in the private sector. However, I'm well aware that the big firms in Seattle probably only hire a small pool of applicants from UW and mostly pull from higher ranked schools. The rest of the schools I've applied to are either higher ranked schools than UW that I felt I might have a shot at with my lower LSAT score, or schools where I've received an application waiver (Williams and Mary, UCLA, UC Davis, University of Georgia, University of Iowa and Penn State) where I feel like I have nothing to lose by applying to.

cavalier1138
Posts: 4486
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: What is my best option?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:14 pm

ggcatherine wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:First of all, you both retake and be prepared to take some time off school (which is a good idea anyway) if you don't get a score that gets you in where you want to go. But speaking of that...

Your school list is... unusual... to say the least. What do you want to do with your JD, and where do you want to practice?


I am from the Pacific Northwest and all my connections, family and friends are on the west coast so I would preferably like to practice in Seattle in the private sector. However, I'm well aware that the big firms in Seattle probably only hire a small pool of applicants from UW and mostly pull from higher ranked schools. The rest of the schools I've applied to are either higher ranked schools than UW that I felt I might have a shot at with my lower LSAT score, or schools where I've received an application waiver (Williams and Mary, UCLA, UC Davis, University of Georgia, University of Iowa and Penn State) where I feel like I have nothing to lose by applying to.


You need to go to UW for free or a T13 (which could still be free if you get a good enough LSAT) for those goals. As of now, that's not happening, so retake. Eliminate literally every school on your list that isn't UW, because they're all going to be useless at getting you back to Seattle.

I highly recommend taking at least a year off to mature and get some real-world experience, but you absolutely need to retake.




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