Need help

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ohlax51
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:17 am

Need help

Postby ohlax51 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:59 pm

To cut to the chase my grades and LSAT are not where I want them to be, undergrad was pretty much hell for me with the death of a parent after a prolonged battle with cancer and subsequent financial troubles and my surviving parent being laid off. I had to move back home and work a decent amount throughout college and my grades reflected this, my GPA is currently a pathetic 2.5 and I took this past December's LSAT with no prep at all and my score also reflected this to an extent. I did fairly well on all parts of the the test except for the analytical reasoning, I missed 18 on this section and ended up with a score in the 150's. Now that I know the format of the questions on that part of the test and given he fact that I intend to take a prep course before retaking the test I believe I can do much better. I can graduate ungergrad this summer if I wanted to but I am thinking of going an extra year and persuing another major just to get my GPA up to a more respectable level, that being said I still probably will not crack a 3.0. I am looking to get into a top 100 school or at least a regionally strong tier 3 school, this isn't what I had dreamed about but then again I didn't think I would be in this situation 4 years ago. What would you do if you were in my shoes within a year to get me to where I want to be? Aside from getting near 4.0 GPA's for the next couple of semesters and preparing like mad for next October's LSAT what should I be doing right now to attempt to dig out of this hole I've dug for myself? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

ams
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Need help

Postby ams » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:25 am

Really sorry to hear about your situation. You should of course write an addendum about your GPA to explain why it is lower because of the problems you faced in undergrad.

Obviously you know you need to do really well on the LSAT. Are you applying for the '12 cycle? If you are, I would try to take the June LSAT if at all possible, so that you can submit your applications on ideally, the very first day. This leaves October for a retake if you need it. If you wait until October, then it's later in the cycle and if you need a retake it will already be December. You want to apply as early in the cycle as you can.

Also give yourself plenty of time to write the pest personal statement possible. Take a look at law school predictor--you'll see that with a very high LSAT score you can still get in to many schools in the Top 100 even if, worst case scenario, you apply with a 2.5. What are you aiming for on the LSAT and what does your study plan look like?

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fundamentallybroken
Posts: 663
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:52 am

Re: Need help

Postby fundamentallybroken » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:27 am

Two things:

1. Study and retake - sounds like you're already on that.

2. What's your current school's policy on class retakes? Could you spend a semester or two retaking the classes you fared especially poorly in to raise your GPA a bit? The old classes would still show on your transcripts, but you could then write an addendum to your app that says, basically, "You know what? One of my parents died, and because of that, I failed some courses. But, I went back and fixed my fuck-ups. Hence, repeated courses."

ohlax51
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:17 am

Re: Need help

Postby ohlax51 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:32 am

ams wrote:Really sorry to hear about your situation. You should of course write an addendum about your GPA to explain why it is lower because of the problems you faced in undergrad.

Obviously you know you need to do really well on the LSAT. Are you applying for the '12 cycle? If you are, I would try to take the June LSAT if at all possible, so that you can submit your applications on ideally, the very first day. This leaves October for a retake if you need it. If you wait until October, then it's later in the cycle and if you need a retake it will already be December. You want to apply as early in the cycle as you can.

Also give yourself plenty of time to write the pest personal statement possible. Take a look at law school predictor--you'll see that with a very high LSAT score you can still get in to many schools in the Top 100 even if, worst case scenario, you apply with a 2.5. What are you aiming for on the LSAT and what does your study plan look like?


Thanks for the help. I was looking at june or october like you mentioned. Given that I literally took the december lsat with no prep whatsoever I really am not certain on what I should to prepare, my plan as of now is to research a good prep course and take that sometime next spring while studying on my own using the logic game bible daily. The games killed me so I will focus on that section, having never taking a timed test i missed a couple on the first section just due to not pacing myself well. Will multiple scores hurt me? I truly believe I can improve considerably with some preparation but will schools be put off by such a low score the first time around?

ams
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: Need help

Postby ams » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:40 am

I don't think multiple scores will be a big problem. It's not like you really have a choice anyway. If you do take a prep course, take it as early as possible so you still have lots of time to do timed practice tests after you take the course.

I recommend self-study or private tutoring over a class, but you should do whatever works best for you. Basically it just boils down to mastery, pacing, and endurance.There are a ton of good study schedules available to help you get started. Try pithypike's here on TLS or Steve Schwartz on LSAT blog has several study schedules on his site depending on how much time you have. Steve also has a lot of other helpful info.

Here is a good list of other resources (from the company I tutor with): http://www.fastforwardlawprep.com/resources.html

ohlax51
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:17 am

Re: Need help

Postby ohlax51 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:19 am

ams wrote:I don't think multiple scores will be a big problem. It's not like you really have a choice anyway. If you do take a prep course, take it as early as possible so you still have lots of time to do timed practice tests after you take the course.

I recommend self-study or private tutoring over a class, but you should do whatever works best for you. Basically it just boils down to mastery, pacing, and endurance.There are a ton of good study schedules available to help you get started. Try pithypike's here on TLS or Steve Schwartz on LSAT blog has several study schedules on his site depending on how much time you have. Steve also has a lot of other helpful info.

Here is a good list of other resources (from the company I tutor with): http://www.fastforwardlawprep.com/resources.html


Yes with that low of a GPA I absolutely have to rock the LSAT and pray my grades don't destroy any chance of admission into a respectable school. If it counts for anything my major GPA is higher than my overall GPA. How far does an addendum go in explaining my situation? Will they just see it as making excuses or will it help me convey that my GPA is not indicative of my overall aptitude for law school? Again thanks for the advice everyone this has been real helpful, the past is the past and I just need a clear plan of where to go from here so any comments or suggestions are much appreciated.




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