Where to Apply? Retake? Application help

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
AUGLaw
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:31 pm

Where to Apply? Retake? Application help

Postby AUGLaw » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:16 pm

I am a senior BS student at a Tier 2 National University (according to US news). My GPA on graduation will be ~3.4 and I'm certain it will likely be closer to 3.45 by the time the LSAC converts it. I do not qualify for URM status. My current LSAT score is 159 but I am retaking it in Dec and have been scoring 170+ on my practice tests (under test taking conditions)

I know my GPA isn't great, but I have valid and verifiable circumstances explaining that. I'm unsure as to whether or not these circumstances are really worth mentioning in an application for fear of appearing to be making excuses. I do believe that my academic performance in the face of these circumstances and the fact that those circumstances will no longer be present while I am attending LS may have some impact on my chances of being accepted if admissions is made aware. I'm more than willing to go into detail about these circumstances if that kind of thing is okay but the bottom line is that they were family and medical related.

I've got a list of schools that I plan to apply to, but I am more than open to suggestions. Currently I do not expect to get into any school better than UGA but I'm hoping I'm just cynical. I know full well that the asterisked schools are out of the question but I put them on the list because I only plan to apply there if my Dec LSAT is greatly improved.

UVA*
Georgetown*
Emory*
George Washington University*
UGA
Marshall-Wythe

I've got fallbacks like Georgia State, Mercer, and Richmond University but I'm struggling to decide if it would even be worth going to a school like that or if I should wait a year and retake provided my Dec score is not improved sufficiently. My career goals are to be a litigator and make money. What I mean by that is that litigation is what draws me to the profession but I do not want to be stuck in a sub six figure litigation job because I graduated from no name university. I'm willing to put in my time after graduation but I don't want to hamstring my career potential with my LS choice.

So really I'm just looking for some advice here. How much do I need to improve on Dec. 2nd to make the asterisked schools a possibility or does my GPA make it unlikely that I can get into those schools even with a high LSAT? As I stand now (3.4/159) do I even have a real shot at a good school? What even is a good school? I've been told by many people it doesn't matter what school you went to once you have the bar card but I know that is not true. Is it T14 or go home? T30? I've been asking these questions for weeks and have found no answers, anyone here care to take a stab at it?

Thanks!

cavalier1138
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Where to Apply? Retake? Application help

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:16 pm

AUGLaw wrote:What even is a good school? I've been told by many people it doesn't matter what school you went to once you have the bar card but I know that is not true. Is it T14 or go home? T30? I've been asking these questions for weeks and have found no answers, anyone here care to take a stab at it?


A good school is mostly defined by what your career goals are. But I can tell you that the people claiming that your school doesn't matter once you've passed the bar are idiots. Do not take their advice for anything related to law school or a legal career from this point forward.

So what do you want to do with your degree?

AUGLaw
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Where to Apply? Retake? Application help

Postby AUGLaw » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:03 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
AUGLaw wrote:What even is a good school? I've been told by many people it doesn't matter what school you went to once you have the bar card but I know that is not true. Is it T14 or go home? T30? I've been asking these questions for weeks and have found no answers, anyone here care to take a stab at it?


A good school is mostly defined by what your career goals are. But I can tell you that the people claiming that your school doesn't matter once you've passed the bar are idiots. Do not take their advice for anything related to law school or a legal career from this point forward.

So what do you want to do with your degree?


To be honest, I'm not sure what area of law I want to go into. My interests are broad but I want to be a litigator. I have a strong interest in politics but I'm not sure I'll ever go that route however it's certainly not out of the question.

I'd say frequent litigation and the potential for high salary are two very important factors, so in a way I'm asking another couple of questions here: what fields of law involve the most litigation and how big of an impact on potential salary does the name on one's degree have?

cavalier1138
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Where to Apply? Retake? Application help

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:43 pm

AUGLaw wrote:To be honest, I'm not sure what area of law I want to go into. My interests are broad but I want to be a litigator. I have a strong interest in politics but I'm not sure I'll ever go that route however it's certainly not out of the question.

I'd say frequent litigation and the potential for high salary are two very important factors, so in a way I'm asking another couple of questions here: what fields of law involve the most litigation and how big of an impact on potential salary does the name on one's degree have?


First, a small caveat to everything else: if you want to go into politics, don't bother with law school.

But yes, the school you go to has a massive impact on your starting salary. There's a bit of a catch, though. The types of jobs that pay that much are in biglaw, where litigation associates don't actually do much litigation. There are boutique trial firms that get you doing substantive litigation work much more quickly, but those are only available to top students with some level of experience (at least a clerkship or two) after school.

So if you want to stand a reasonable chance at graduating into a six-figure salary, then you need to retake the LSAT and shoot for the T13. But the catch is that there is very little overlap between high-paying starting positions and the chance to get immediate courtroom experience.

One other thing to keep in mind is that litigation is rarely "frequent" by any reasonable standard, unless you're working as a solo practitioner and taking on a ton of small cases. I'd suggest spending some time talking with or working for lawyers in the field before you start gunning for a job there, because it sounds like you haven't done a whole lot of research into your chosen profession.

AUGLaw
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Where to Apply? Retake? Application help

Postby AUGLaw » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:19 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
AUGLaw wrote:To be honest, I'm not sure what area of law I want to go into. My interests are broad but I want to be a litigator. I have a strong interest in politics but I'm not sure I'll ever go that route however it's certainly not out of the question.

I'd say frequent litigation and the potential for high salary are two very important factors, so in a way I'm asking another couple of questions here: what fields of law involve the most litigation and how big of an impact on potential salary does the name on one's degree have?


First, a small caveat to everything else: if you want to go into politics, don't bother with law school.

But yes, the school you go to has a massive impact on your starting salary. There's a bit of a catch, though. The types of jobs that pay that much are in biglaw, where litigation associates don't actually do much litigation. There are boutique trial firms that get you doing substantive litigation work much more quickly, but those are only available to top students with some level of experience (at least a clerkship or two) after school.

So if you want to stand a reasonable chance at graduating into a six-figure salary, then you need to retake the LSAT and shoot for the T13. But the catch is that there is very little overlap between high-paying starting positions and the chance to get immediate courtroom experience.

One other thing to keep in mind is that litigation is rarely "frequent" by any reasonable standard, unless you're working as a solo practitioner and taking on a ton of small cases. I'd suggest spending some time talking with or working for lawyers in the field before you start gunning for a job there, because it sounds like you haven't done a whole lot of research into your chosen profession.


So I'm not as concerned with salary at graduation as I am with potential salary later in my career but I do understand that with the high starting salary that comes from T13 school is also the reputation of the school you graduated from which helps with overall career potential.

I've done some research, and spoken with some attorneys already but I haven't been able to fully come to my own conclusion. BigLaw definitely interests me but I'm not sure I have the qualifications to get there. Like you said, retake the test and shoot for T13. So that begs the question, how high do I have to score on my LSAT to offset my low GPA?




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests