Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

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Bigjuicy123

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Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby Bigjuicy123 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:25 am

3.4 GPA/166/LSAT/Non-URM; very “meh” stats: applied late and am waiting to hear back from:

UC Davis, UCLA, USC, Fordham, GWU, WASH U, BC, BU, University of Washington

Have heard back from Hastings ($$)

To be honest, I’m unsure about these schools. I’m gunning for BigLaw, and I already know that getting that out of these school is going to be a miserable, if not impossible endeavor. I really want to re-take, apply earlier, and do this whole thing over again. I only did ¾ of the LG section when I got that score, so I know there’s room for improvement. My PT average was 169.5

Here's what changes the situation: My parents are willing to help subsidize at least half of my education, minimizing the debt-load significantly. However, this comes with one big string attached: I have go this year. I’m in my late 20's, and they want me to “get started”. In their mind, I can always transfer schools. I would completely disregard their advice if they didn’t have financial leverage over me. Yes, I know I’m very fortunate.

So, the choice I’m facing is: (likely) get into a better ranked school a year from now, by having to re-take the LSAT, apply earlier in the cycle, and have an overall better experience. However, the financial situation would be completely different, and I would be a year older. FYI, I don’t want to work for BigLaw purely for the high salary, but because I ultimately want to work abroad in East Asia (I have connections and existing work experience over there), and based on my research and the professionals I've spoken to... a global firm with a presence there is the best way.

..Or I can just got this year, with half the debt, but with the knowledge that it will be much, much harder to do what I actually want coming out of it.

Thoughts?

ipse dixit

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Re: Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby ipse dixit » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:03 am

Retake.

Delaying law school for a year is nothing compared to the risk you will incur by (a) going to a lower ranked school, or (b) going to one of the schools you have listed without significant scholarship money--particularly if your goal is really BigLaw.

Even if you were to increase your score by a few points to 169, the delay would be worth it, IMHO.

Obviously, I don't know your parents, but I assume they are reasonable folks who may not be familiar law school admissions, the legal market, and the risks concerning post-grad employment. You owe it to yourself to at least make sure they are informed with regard to these issues (i.e., do they want to make a good investment or a bad investment?), and you owe it to them to fully consider and present BOTH SIDES.

They do have a point about transferring to a better school after your 1L year. I've know several folks who transferred out of the school I was at (to much better schools), and others who transferred into my school from much worse schools. Perhaps one issue with transferring is that it potentially makes it difficult (though certainly not impossible) to get on Law Review or Moot Court.

Full disclosure: I was admitted to two of the schools ($$) on your list and went to a lower ranked school ($$$$) for financial reasons. If I had it to do over again, I would be more likely to make a different choice, although that too would likely put me in a shitty situation.

Bigjuicy123

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Re: Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby Bigjuicy123 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:14 pm

What exactly would you have done differently: choosing a different school? Or postponing a year to give yourself better options?

ipse dixit

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Re: Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby ipse dixit » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:06 pm

Bigjuicy123 wrote:What exactly would you have done differently: choosing a different school? Or postponing a year to give yourself better options?


For me I would have not been so hasty in deciding not to take on more debt, or would have hung stronger consideration to moving out of the area to go to a higher ranked school. I was unwilling to incur $55k in tuition debt (total) in the face of a free ride at a local school. Live and learn?

Bigjuicy123

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Re: Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby Bigjuicy123 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:19 pm

What about just re-taking the LSAT? What did you get and did it fall within your desired range?

ipse dixit

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Re: Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby ipse dixit » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Bigjuicy123 wrote:What about just re-taking the LSAT? What did you get and did it fall within your desired range?


My LSAT score was only 166 (same as yours, but my GPA was a little higher than yours--3.79), despite having PT scores consistently in the 173-176 range. I was extremely jittery on the real test and screwed up on one of the LG sections. I had considered retaking, and decided against it. I am an older person with a spouse and kids, and I figured that delaying for another year would put a greater strain on the family resources than just accepting the low score and trying to make the best of it. If I were young and single, I likely would have made different choices.

WavingGiftshopCat

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Re: Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby WavingGiftshopCat » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:42 pm

There is literally no reason to not retake. Take a year off, get a dope job (work in government, do some volunteering, something you can spin in an interview), study your ass off and retake. I had three scores. I applied with two takes with a max of 161. Waitlisted at the T6-T14. Withdrew, took a year off. Did a retake with dedicated prep, hit a 168, only got denied from Y and S, waitlisted at H, in at CCN. Chose near full ride at DGCN that I negotiated hard for.

One year saved me >200K and got me admitted to a program that waitlisted me previously.

Bigjuicy123

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Re: Zero- Debt--> Which schools are worth it?

Postby Bigjuicy123 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:18 pm

Thanks.

I just wanted to clarify a couple of things:

1) My GPA is nowhere near yours 3.35 (granted, it's a 3.8 for 3 years with a really shitty fall semester senior year, but alas, that's my GPA)

2) Non-Traditional Candidate: 28 years old; 29 at matriculation assuming I just go where I can get in this year.

I'm not sure your story, while inspiring and commendable, is an entirely analogous situation. My non-LSAT factors are holding me back even more than the 166. As such, I'm not sure how much a 170+ would even help me.

BTW, what exactly was a "mediocre" scholarship at BU? I'm always confused by how much money $ signs is actually referring to.



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