Retaking a 175?

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kinge

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Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:45 am

Stats were 3.4x/175 in the fall -> 3.5x/175 (+0.1 GPA)

On a bunch of waitlists right now, not deposited anywhere, and potentially (read as: probably) reapplying in the fall. I'm above 75th percentile everywhere I applied so theoretically it shouldn't help that much, but myLSN seems to say that it would greatly improve my chances.

https://mylsn.info/ucuuiy/
https://mylsn.info/y933je/

Other than that I will try to get WE this year, may be taking on a leadership role in an extracurricular, and will have an additional LOR. Not sure any of those would be enough to move the needle - they're probably worth less than my miniscule increase in GPA.

Would retaking help me if I did better? Would it hurt me if I did worse? It's been some time since I looked at LSAT stuff but I'm sure it would take less time to study for a retake than learning for the first time. I checked my old 7sage account and it says I started taking PTs in the second week of July and then took the September LSAT so I would have plenty of time if I decided to start studying soon. Only scored above a 175 a handful of times but they were mostly towards the end so I'd have a reasonable shot at improving the second time around.

cavalier1138

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:07 am

A worse retake doesn't hurt you, but I don't think there's any benefit to a retake here. In addition to already being above everyone's 75th, every point above 173/174 is basically down to luck.

If you got waitlisted across the T13 this cycle, there was something else up with your application. I'd strongly recommend figuring out what that was first.

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nealric

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby nealric » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:16 am

When did you apply? If it was a bit later in the cycle, that could explain the wait lists. I'm afraid a retake probably won't help you all that much. Your GPA is probably your biggest liability, and making yourself even more of a splitter is unlikely to dramatically improve the situation. Probably better to try to improve your softs, your personal statement, and to apply at the very beginning of next year's cycle.

kinge

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:40 am

nealric wrote:When did you apply? If it was a bit later in the cycle, that could explain the wait lists. I'm afraid a retake probably won't help you all that much. Your GPA is probably your biggest liability, and making yourself even more of a splitter is unlikely to dramatically improve the situation. Probably better to try to improve your softs, your personal statement, and to apply at the very beginning of next year's cycle.


I applied in early October. I thought my personal statement was good - I had a good amount of people (prelaw advisor, friends, family, randos on the internet) look it over and they all liked it.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby flashdril » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:21 am

I was 3.4/172 and only applied to 6 schools, all t14, and was only waitlisted at the top of my list (Harvard and Chicago); I got in everywhere else (MVPD level, generally). Agree that if you're getting waitlisted everywhere with these stats there's something else wrong. I also took a couple of years off to get away from the GPA a little bit.

Can you write any sort of compelling GPA addendum? I recalculated my GPA on several different fronts and included them all, and from what I understood, it was helpful--e.g. I did it without foreign language, I calculated my major GPA, etc.

And yeah I think applying at the beginning of the cycle is super important.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:24 pm

kinge wrote:
nealric wrote:When did you apply? If it was a bit later in the cycle, that could explain the wait lists. I'm afraid a retake probably won't help you all that much. Your GPA is probably your biggest liability, and making yourself even more of a splitter is unlikely to dramatically improve the situation. Probably better to try to improve your softs, your personal statement, and to apply at the very beginning of next year's cycle.


I applied in early October. I thought my personal statement was good - I had a good amount of people (prelaw advisor, friends, family, randos on the internet) look it over and they all liked it.

Is there any chance one or more of your recommenders are sabotaging you, even if unintentionally?

Do you have any potential C&F issues? Not talking about run-ins with the law necessarily, but any kind of academic/school discipline?

As MyLSN indicates, with an October 2018 application you should have gotten into multiple T13s - including with $ - with your GPA and LSAT - even if schools were only looking at your 3.4x fall GPA when they reviewed your application.
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kinge

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:06 pm

QContinuum wrote:
kinge wrote:
nealric wrote:When did you apply? If it was a bit later in the cycle, that could explain the wait lists. I'm afraid a retake probably won't help you all that much. Your GPA is probably your biggest liability, and making yourself even more of a splitter is unlikely to dramatically improve the situation. Probably better to try to improve your softs, your personal statement, and to apply at the very beginning of next year's cycle.


I applied in early October. I thought my personal statement was good - I had a good amount of people (prelaw advisor, friends, family, randos on the internet) look it over and they all liked it.

Is there any chance one or more of your recommenders are sabotaging you, even if unintentionally?

Do you have any potential C&F issues? Not talking about run-ins with the law necessarily, but any kind of academic/school discipline?

As MyLSN indicates, with an October 2018 application you should have gotten into multiple T13s - including with $ - with your GPA and LSAT - even if schools were only looking at your 3.4x fall GPA when they reviewed your application.


I don't think so - I took 2 more classes with one of my recommenders (a prof) after he wrote and sent the letter and continued to get along really well. I took another class with my other recommender (another prof) and we got along well too (he didn't know me quite as well so his recommendation probably wasn't as strong, but I seriously doubt it was negative).

No C&F issues to my knowledge, academic or otherwise.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:12 pm

kinge wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
kinge wrote:
nealric wrote:When did you apply? If it was a bit later in the cycle, that could explain the wait lists. I'm afraid a retake probably won't help you all that much. Your GPA is probably your biggest liability, and making yourself even more of a splitter is unlikely to dramatically improve the situation. Probably better to try to improve your softs, your personal statement, and to apply at the very beginning of next year's cycle.


I applied in early October. I thought my personal statement was good - I had a good amount of people (prelaw advisor, friends, family, randos on the internet) look it over and they all liked it.

Is there any chance one or more of your recommenders are sabotaging you, even if unintentionally?

Do you have any potential C&F issues? Not talking about run-ins with the law necessarily, but any kind of academic/school discipline?

As MyLSN indicates, with an October 2018 application you should have gotten into multiple T13s - including with $ - with your GPA and LSAT - even if schools were only looking at your 3.4x fall GPA when they reviewed your application.


I don't think so - I took 2 more classes with one of my recommenders (a prof) after he wrote and sent the letter and continued to get along really well. I took another class with my other recommender (another prof) and we got along well too (he didn't know me quite as well so his recommendation probably wasn't as strong, but I seriously doubt it was negative).

No C&F issues to my knowledge, academic or otherwise.

Hmm. Maybe the second prof's letter might be an issue if he actually wrote "I don't know kinge well..." in his letter? Was he enthusiastic about recommending you, or did you kind of have to badger/pressure him into agreeing?

Do you have any others you might be able to use instead? One academic letter plus one non-academic letter is generally OK.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:14 pm

flashdril wrote:I was 3.4/172 and only applied to 6 schools, all t14, and was only waitlisted at the top of my list (Harvard and Chicago); I got in everywhere else (MVPD level, generally). Agree that if you're getting waitlisted everywhere with these stats there's something else wrong. I also took a couple of years off to get away from the GPA a little bit.

Can you write any sort of compelling GPA addendum? I recalculated my GPA on several different fronts and included them all, and from what I understood, it was helpful--e.g. I did it without foreign language, I calculated my major GPA, etc.

And yeah I think applying at the beginning of the cycle is super important.


I applied out of college last cycle so I'm not as far away from my GPA. Not sure I could write a compelling addendum - I had a very bad freshman year experience but nothing as serious as cancer, death in the family, etc. GPA was much stronger junior/senior year (like 3.8-3.9 avg) so it's considered an upward trend I guess.

QContinuum

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:17 pm

kinge wrote:
flashdril wrote:I was 3.4/172 and only applied to 6 schools, all t14, and was only waitlisted at the top of my list (Harvard and Chicago); I got in everywhere else (MVPD level, generally). Agree that if you're getting waitlisted everywhere with these stats there's something else wrong. I also took a couple of years off to get away from the GPA a little bit.

Can you write any sort of compelling GPA addendum? I recalculated my GPA on several different fronts and included them all, and from what I understood, it was helpful--e.g. I did it without foreign language, I calculated my major GPA, etc.

And yeah I think applying at the beginning of the cycle is super important.


I applied out of college last cycle so I'm not as far away from my GPA. Not sure I could write a compelling addendum - I had a very bad freshman year experience but nothing as serious as cancer, death in the family, etc. GPA was much stronger junior/senior year (like 3.8-3.9 avg) so it's considered an upward trend I guess.

Yea, in that case it doesn't sound like a GPA addendum is called for. It's hardly unusual - and probably more common than not - for folks to struggle a bit early on in college before finding their footing and getting better grades in junior/senior year.

I still think we need to figure out what went wrong this cycle. Law school admissions are typically pretty formulaic, so I feel like there's something we're missing. Since there aren't any C&F issues, it's got to be either the LoR(s) or the PS, maybe both. Writing a good PS can be surprisingly difficult. Maybe you could ask for some input/advice on the Personal Statements board here, or maybe you could consider hiring a professional law school admissions consultant.

kinge

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:23 pm

QContinuum wrote:
kinge wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
kinge wrote:
nealric wrote:When did you apply? If it was a bit later in the cycle, that could explain the wait lists. I'm afraid a retake probably won't help you all that much. Your GPA is probably your biggest liability, and making yourself even more of a splitter is unlikely to dramatically improve the situation. Probably better to try to improve your softs, your personal statement, and to apply at the very beginning of next year's cycle.


I applied in early October. I thought my personal statement was good - I had a good amount of people (prelaw advisor, friends, family, randos on the internet) look it over and they all liked it.

Is there any chance one or more of your recommenders are sabotaging you, even if unintentionally?

Do you have any potential C&F issues? Not talking about run-ins with the law necessarily, but any kind of academic/school discipline?

As MyLSN indicates, with an October 2018 application you should have gotten into multiple T13s - including with $ - with your GPA and LSAT - even if schools were only looking at your 3.4x fall GPA when they reviewed your application.


I don't think so - I took 2 more classes with one of my recommenders (a prof) after he wrote and sent the letter and continued to get along really well. I took another class with my other recommender (another prof) and we got along well too (he didn't know me quite as well so his recommendation probably wasn't as strong, but I seriously doubt it was negative).

No C&F issues to my knowledge, academic or otherwise.

Hmm. Maybe the second prof's letter might be an issue if he actually wrote "I don't know kinge well..." in his letter? Was he enthusiastic about recommending you, or did you kind of have to badger/pressure him into agreeing?

Do you have any others you might be able to use instead? One academic letter plus one non-academic letter is generally OK.


I think Columbia at least wants 2+ academic letters? I will have another letter (nonacademic) next cycle.

I definitely didn't have to badger/pressure the second professor into agreeing. I actually found out that he broke his arm + collarbone the day before when I went to his office to ask for the LOR and I told him it was fine if he needed until October to get it to me, but he had it ready for me by September 1st if I remember correctly. I only took 1 class with him but he still knew my name and knew that I worked really hard in that class.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby Npret » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:01 pm

OP - I’m not sure you’re grasping the message here. You should have been admitted based on your numbers. Your GPA is not blocking you. The fact you weren’t admitted should be setting off alarm bells about something wrong with your application.

You need to find out what the issue is here because something needs to be corrected in your next applications.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:53 pm

Here's another thought: Where all did you apply? If you only applied to YSH/Chicago and Cornell, for instance, it wouldn't be surprising that you struck out this cycle, due to your GPA (YSH/Chicago don't usually dip that low for GPA, and Cornell is known to be a bit of a GPA snob). Did you blanket the T13?
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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby Bingo_Bongo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:03 pm

Protip: If there's any doubt of a LOR, it's usually not too hard to get the professor to send you a copy of what they're sending in. If they refuse, that's a huge red flag, and unless they're Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, or someone of comparable statute in the field, it's just not worth the risk of getting a bad LOR (or even the more likely not bad, but also not glowing, "I sort of remember this kid; I think he got a B? Seemed like an alright guy. He could probably do a good job.")

I've personally NEVER just allowed somebody to anonymously send a LOR for anything before. Even if the procedure is sent up to be anonymous (like how LSAC has it set up), tell them you'll want to get a copy of it beforehand. While still possible, it'll be highly unlikely that they'll depart at all from what they send you. If they don't want to give you a glowing review, they'd probably rather just decline to write one instead of writing two and then lying to your face about what they actually sent.

For what it's worth, I've never had anyone (including a professor) refuse to give me the LOR before they sent it in. Most people will understand, and if they like you, will actually prefer it. I've always given applicants the letters that I've written for them, even if they don't ask. Personally, I'd rather not have anyone second-guessing what I wrote, or wondering if my letter cost them admittance, a job, a scholarship, or something.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby nixy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:09 pm

Keep in mind that not all profs will agree with the above. I think it's great if someone volunteers a copy of their letter, but I don't think everyone sees asking as kosher.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby Pneumonia » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:30 pm

Yeah asking would definitely be frowned upon by every professor I've ever gotten a letter from, for UG and law school.

kinge

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:13 pm

Bingo_Bongo wrote:Protip: If there's any doubt of a LOR, it's usually not too hard to get the professor to send you a copy of what they're sending in. If they refuse, that's a huge red flag, and unless they're Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, or someone of comparable statute in the field, it's just not worth the risk of getting a bad LOR (or even the more likely not bad, but also not glowing, "I sort of remember this kid; I think he got a B? Seemed like an alright guy. He could probably do a good job.")

I've personally NEVER just allowed somebody to anonymously send a LOR for anything before. Even if the procedure is sent up to be anonymous (like how LSAC has it set up), tell them you'll want to get a copy of it beforehand. While still possible, it'll be highly unlikely that they'll depart at all from what they send you. If they don't want to give you a glowing review, they'd probably rather just decline to write one instead of writing two and then lying to your face about what they actually sent.

For what it's worth, I've never had anyone (including a professor) refuse to give me the LOR before they sent it in. Most people will understand, and if they like you, will actually prefer it. I've always given applicants the letters that I've written for them, even if they don't ask. Personally, I'd rather not have anyone second-guessing what I wrote, or wondering if my letter cost them admittance, a job, a scholarship, or something.


I'm not so sure I want to do this. The process for sending a letter to LSAC is so opaque for the actual applicants for a reason.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby Bingo_Bongo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:58 pm

Suit yourself; ultimately it is your reputation.

But personally, I've never had a problem with it. But then again, everyone I've ever asked for a LOR has always been somebody that I've spent at least a year with building an actual relationship. Meaning, I've never asked a professor I simply had a class with one time, or anything like that. For example, my law school recs were from a professor I TA'd for, and the chair of the department that I worked for and had a friendly relationship with. I had a third one from a local lawyer who knew me personally for the schools that wanted three. So maybe there was more of a rapport between my LOR writers and what some other people on here have.

Personally, I'd try to find LOR writers who have that kind of rapport with you already. Trust me, if you actually have a good rapport with your LOR writers, they WILL WANT to make sure that you know they are saying good things about you so they know you won't be second guessing what they might have said if you don't get accepted. If you don't have anyone like that, well then you don't. In law school be sure to work on getting to know professors/employers/other influential people a little better so you can do this sort of thing.

The way I see it, even if the professor is someone who thinks it's not "kosher" to ask to see their LOR, I don't think you're sacrificing your reputation very much to do so. Even if they disagree with it, I think the absolute worse case scenario is that they momentarily feel slightly offended. And if they don't want to do it, pick someone else. 99.9% of the time you don't need a rec from one specific professor. And if they don't want to show you, what are they trying to hide? What do they want to say that they're uncomfortable with you seeing? I wouldn't chance it personally. Remember, you get to pick who these people are. Pick people who you know are going to say good things about you. Every other applicant is. Take charge.

Either way, if you have any doubt whether or not you're going to get a glowing LOR from somebody, just pick somebody else.

The process for sending a letter to LSAC is so opaque for the actual applicants for a reason.


I also want to address that statement. LSAC might have a "reason" for their system, but their reason is not the law, as far as I know. You're not breaking any rules by wanting to see your letters beforehand notwithstanding their little system.

When you have clients, your job will be to zealously advocate for their behalf within the confines of the law. That means sometimes doing things that go against the spirit of certain policies, but are otherwise totally lawful and will greatly benefit your client.

It is totally within the spirit of the US Tax Code to get people to pay as much taxes as possible. But that doesn't mean you just have to lay down and make sure your clients pays the most amount of taxes that you can get them to pay. You have your clients pay what they are legally obligated to pay. Not a penny more, not a penny less.

kinge

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:16 pm

Bingo_Bongo wrote:Suit yourself; ultimately it is your reputation.

But personally, I've never had a problem with it. But then again, everyone I've ever asked for a LOR has always been somebody that I've spent at least a year with building an actual relationship. Meaning, I've never asked a professor I simply had a class with one time, or anything like that. For example, my law school recs were from a professor I TA'd for, and the chair of the department that I worked for and had a friendly relationship with. I had a third one from a local lawyer who knew me personally for the schools that wanted three. So maybe there was more of a rapport between my LOR writers and what some other people on here have.

Personally, I'd try to find LOR writers who have that kind of rapport with you already. Trust me, if you actually have a good rapport with your LOR writers, they WILL WANT to make sure that you know they are saying good things about you so they know you won't be second guessing what they might have said if you don't get accepted. If you don't have anyone like that, well then you don't. In law school be sure to work on getting to know professors/employers/other influential people a little better so you can do this sort of thing.

The way I see it, even if the professor is someone who thinks it's not "kosher" to ask to see their LOR, I don't think you're sacrificing your reputation very much to do so. Even if they disagree with it, I think the absolute worse case scenario is that they momentarily feel slightly offended. And if they don't want to do it, pick someone else. 99.9% of the time you don't need a rec from one specific professor. And if they don't want to show you, what are they trying to hide? What do they want to say that they're uncomfortable with you seeing? I wouldn't chance it personally. Remember, you get to pick who these people are. Pick people who you know are going to say good things about you. Every other applicant is. Take charge.

Either way, if you have any doubt whether or not you're going to get a glowing LOR from somebody, just pick somebody else.

The process for sending a letter to LSAC is so opaque for the actual applicants for a reason.


I also want to address that statement. LSAC might have a "reason" for their system, but their reason is not the law, as far as I know. You're not breaking any rules by wanting to see your letters beforehand notwithstanding their little system.

When you have clients, your job will be to zealously advocate for their behalf within the confines of the law. That means sometimes doing things that go against the spirit of certain policies, but are otherwise totally lawful and will greatly benefit your client.

It is totally within the spirit of the US Tax Code to get people to pay as much taxes as possible. But that doesn't mean you just have to lay down and make sure your clients pays the most amount of taxes that you can get them to pay. You have your clients pay what they are legally obligated to pay. Not a penny more, not a penny less.


well, I'll think about it, I guess. I got to know the second professor better last semester so I'll ask if he wants to make any changes to his letter when I reapply.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby Npret » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:55 pm

You didn’t answer questions about where you applied, unless I missed it, so we can’t address that question.

I think it’s reasonable to tell your LOR profs that you got waitlisted everywhere this year and ask if they can think of anything that would help you improve your chance this year because you need to identify what went wrong.

You can also request they let you know if they can’t write a strong letter, so you can ask someone else. You don’t have to see the actual letter.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:55 pm

Npret wrote:You didn’t answer questions about where you applied


Yeah, I'd like to see that info (unless I also missed it).

OP: The fact is that something was off with your application. Your numbers basically guarantee admission in most of the lower T13 and would probably get you a full ride at WashU. So something's not adding up. If you only applied to HYS and/or T13 schools that care a lot about GPA, your results make sense. But if not, you really need to figure out what went wrong.

kinge

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:27 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Npret wrote:You didn’t answer questions about where you applied


Yeah, I'd like to see that info (unless I also missed it).

OP: The fact is that something was off with your application. Your numbers basically guarantee admission in most of the lower T13 and would probably get you a full ride at WashU. So something's not adding up. If you only applied to HYS and/or T13 schools that care a lot about GPA, your results make sense. But if not, you really need to figure out what went wrong.


Whoa, swear I posted it- guess not.

Applied to CLS, NYU, Michigan, Penn, UVA, Duke, Northwestern, Georgetown, and Cornell, and a handful of T30s. I sent my applications in early October. 0 interviews besides Northwestern automated interview. I did get a full ride to Wash U and $$$-$$$$ at a couple T30s so I assume that I don't have some kind of alter ego with a long criminal record that's dragging my application down. Maybe they just wanted my LSAT though.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby Paul Campos » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:33 am

The odds that you would be rejected to all nine of those schools with those numbers by random chance are less than 500 to 1. So either you were crazy unlucky or there's something seriously off with your application.

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby kinge » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:45 pm

Paul Campos wrote:The odds that you would be rejected to all nine of those schools with those numbers by random chance are less than 500 to 1. So either you were crazy unlucky or there's something seriously off with your application.

I did not write a Why UVA or a Why Michigan but I did write one for Penn. I also did not tailor my PS for Columbia (although I did address Why Law and wove my personal narrative in there). I found out after I already submitted my app that Columbia may or may not want the PS tailored to their school (https://www.reddit.com/r/lawschooladmis ... statement/), but I also heard that it would be fine if I submitted the same PS to all the schools I applied to.

Forgot to mention - I didn't get rejected at a single school except for Cornell, and several of the schools I'm waitlisted at (Michigan, Penn, and Columbia) have been making cuts to their waitlist and I haven't been cut yet - doesn't this suggest that I was a borderline candidate who got really unlucky instead of having some form of "fatal flaw" on my application that would sink my decent LSAT and potentially acceptable GPA? They've had a lot of opportunities to trash my application but seem to be keeping me on just in case.
Last edited by kinge on Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Npret

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Re: Retaking a 175?

Postby Npret » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:48 pm

kinge wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:The odds that you would be rejected to all nine of those schools with those numbers by random chance are less than 500 to 1. So either you were crazy unlucky or there's something seriously off with your application.

I did not write a Why UVA or a Why Michigan but I did write one for Penn. I also did not tailor my PS for Columbia (although I did address Why Law and wove my personal narrative in there). I found out after I already submitted my app that Columbia may or may not want the PS tailored to their school (https://www.reddit.com/r/lawschooladmis ... statement/), but I also heard that it would be fine if I submitted the same PS to all the schools I applied to.

I don’t think a failure to tailor your application was the issue. Are you sure you can’t think of anything else?



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