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Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:32 pm
by risktaker
Anyone out there who would like to share their story about doing well in law school despite having a sub 160 LSAT? Trying to find out if the LSAT was not a good predictor of law school success for numerous people. Thanks in advance.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:51 pm
by northwood
Your LSAT score gets you into law school. ONce you are there its irrelevant. Its all up to you to figure out how to do well in law school.

The LSAT is weighed heavily in admissions b/c there isnt a good way to differentiate GPAs amongst different majors- and even amongst schools. Life experiences are allright- but they dont tell you much about what it takes to do well in an academic setting. Since everyone who applies to LS takes the same exam thats the best way to rank applicants apart.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 6:52 pm
by chrisnashville
Megatron, in this post, did well. You might find this inspirational and otherwise useful :)

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:01 pm
by Sandro
Ummm, you would have thousands of stories. There are probably a 100+ schools that admit people with below 160, and take the top 5-10% of the class at those schools each year. I don't get what this is supposed to accomplish? Did you mean people with sub 160 who go to schools with medians of say, 165+ ?

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:56 pm
by risktaker
Well, I was just looking for some inspiration. The more stories, the better. I was hoping to hear from people in T1 and T2 who did exceptionally well first year despite having a sub 160 LSAT. Thanks for the link to MEgaTTT's post!

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:08 pm
by tooswolle
I'd go as far as to say don't sweat the sub 160 lsat. Some people may not be the best test takers; also judging from your lsn profile your lsat is within the 154-160 range. But like others have said on here, the lsat gets you in, your hard work and academic abilities dictate your grades. goodl luck; and don't let the sub-160 get to you since a high 150 score places you in the top 30% of test takers.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:08 pm
by bmore
Like Sandro said. I have to think with a 160 you are likely to be in a school with 1Ls that got a like score. Of course there are people who excel. With a 160 at a school with a median of 170 I would bet there would be fewer success stories. Don't be labeled by your score. 160 is not a bad score. Work hard. Profit.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:14 pm
by risktaker
Definitely plan to bust my ass in law school. Will follow Arrow and MegaTTT's advice and will definitely report back on here after my 1L year.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 5:11 pm
by CanadianWolf
There are over 180 ABA accredited law schools that admit students with sub-160 LSAT scores.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:19 pm
by DocHawkeye
I don't know for sure what sort of school you're aiming at, but I can tell you that LSATs slightly below 160 can be competitve in the second tier, at least for admission purposes. I took the test one time, got a 159 and ran with it. I was admitted to four TT law schools (with significant scholarships at most of them). I was also admitted to one 4rd tier school. I only applied to one T1 (i.e.: top 50) school and was not admitted. Of course, I am a 0L so I can't speak to how compeitive I will be in school but many schools seem to suggest that they think I'll do just fine.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:35 pm
by MTal
If you got sub 160, it won't matter if you do well or not.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:59 pm
by phillaw
I had a sub-160, which put me in the bottom 25% admitted at my T2 school, but after 1L, I was in the top 10-15%. Did well at biglaw OCI too (non-URM)--many interviews, several callbacks, and got a couple summer offers. So, as all have said, don't let the LSAT define you, you can overcome it. The key is understanding how you digest and deliver the law and cases you study. I did read Arrow's guide before 1L, which helped (thanks Arrow!). But I was lucky to find my own system fall of 1L and it has worked well so far. But you have to work at it, monitoring how well you know the law and how well you can apply it effectively. And then maybe get lucky--plenty of people ranked around me did not get biglaw summers.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:04 pm
by studebaker07
The LSAT score is what gets you in to law school like most have said. Just because you got a great LSAT score (say in the top 5%) doesn't give you a significant leg-up on other people in and of itself. It is necessary, but not sufficient to doing well in law school. It doesn't give a completely accurate prediction of how you will do by itself (I think the correlation between LSAT score and first year rank isn't tremendous (i.e. less than 0.5).

That being said, I got a sub-160 LSAT and managed to do pretty well (top-25%) at a T4. I have since transfered and pulled a 3.7 GPA my first semester at a Top-40 school (still waiting for second semester grades, obviously).

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:04 pm
by Total Litigator
Talk to just any kid who transfers up to a more selective law school and continues to perform well. Most (maybe even 75%) do.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:29 pm
by risktaker
Thanks for all the helpful posts! Really does give me hope!

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:17 am
by Kimchi_smile
The LSAT not only gets you in, but also tests your ability to take exams under stressed, timed condition. I think part of success in law school is how well you can be both efficient and accurate on exams under timed condition. In this respect, what you get on the LSAT can predict your future performance in law school. Of course, there are also other important qualities that contribute to your success in law school that which the LSAT fails to assess, such as work ethic and adaptability.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:23 am
by vanwinkle
Total Litigator wrote:Talk to just any kid who transfers up to a more selective law school and continues to perform well. Most (maybe even 75%) do.

This. Every upward transfer student is such a success story. (Well, assuming they came from a school that admits sub-160 students.) And most transfer students do well even after transferring upward, from what I understand.

It's important to remember, though, that the kind of success you see there is kind of rare. It's possible, but only the top 5-10% of the class have the potential to really make a solid move upward. It's possible, and there are hundreds of such success stories a year, but that's out of tens of thousands of students.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 4:01 pm
by keg411
vanwinkle wrote:
Total Litigator wrote:Talk to just any kid who transfers up to a more selective law school and continues to perform well. Most (maybe even 75%) do.

This. Every upward transfer student is such a success story. (Well, assuming they came from a school that admits sub-160 students.) And most transfer students do well even after transferring upward, from what I understand.

It's important to remember, though, that the kind of success you see there is kind of rare. It's possible, but only the top 5-10% of the class have the potential to really make a solid move upward. It's possible, and there are hundreds of such success stories a year, but that's out of tens of thousands of students.


+1

It's a lot easier to max out on your LSAT score then it is to finish high up enough at one of these schools to consider a transfer.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:41 am
by niederbomb
risktaker wrote:Anyone out there who would like to share their story about doing well in law school despite having a sub 160 LSAT? Trying to find out if the LSAT was not a good predictor of law school success for numerous people. Thanks in advance.


Doing well in law school is dependent upon a variety of factors, as is LSAT score. First, you must determine why you got a sub 160 LSAT score and, also, who your peers will be in the school you hope to attend.

I'd say retake and reapply. If you can't get over a 167 (medians for B, UT, Minn, and several other T20's), choose another career if you want a job to pay off the ridiculous debt.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:14 am
by PDaddy
Of all of the myths propagated on TLS, the belief that LSAT's are truly indicative of aptitude for law (study or practice) is the most misleading and destructive.

The students with the highest LSAT's don't always make the best law students, and an even larger number of high scorers fail to acheive the kind of professional success they assume their scores to predict. The reverse is also true. There are lots of stories of students with scores 140-155 who have gone on to become fine, even extraordinary, law students and lawyers.

There are also lots of stories of students with sub-160 LSAT's who thrived at the nation's most prestigious law schools, including HYS, as there are stories of marginal students whose scores theoretically predicted dominance at certain schools.

The LSAT is a useful test, but it does not measure all of the qualities needed to perform well as a law student or lawyer. In fact, it fails to address even half of them. I agree with the contingent of people who say admissions staffers place far too much emphasis on the LSAT and misuse it by attributing greater meaning to score differences than is appropriate. The LSAT is a tool, just one tool, that's it.

If community service received 40% of the weight in applications or rankings, would we then say that those with more community service experience have superior empathy and would thus make better public interest lawyers?

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:19 am
by niederbomb
PDaddy wrote:Of all of the myths propagated on TLS, the belief that LSAT's are truly indicative of aptitude for law (study or practice) is the most misleading and destructive.

The students with the highest LSAT's don't always make the best law students, and an even larger number of high scorers fail to acheive the kind of professional success they assume their scores to predict. The reverse is also true. There are lots of stories of students with scores 140-155 who have gone on to become fine, even extraordinary, law students and lawyers.

There are also lots of stories of students with sub-160 LSAT's who thrived at the nation's most prestigious law schools, including HYS, as there are stories of marginal students whose scores theoretically predicted dominance at certain schools.

The LSAT is a useful test, but it does not measure all of the qualities needed to perform well as a law student or lawyer. In fact, it fails to address even half of them. I agree with the contingent of people who say admissions staffers place far too much emphasis on the LSAT and misuse it by attributing greater meaning to score differences than is appropriate. The LSAT is a tool, just one tool, that's it.

If community service received 40% of the weight in applications or rankings, would we then say that those with more community service experience have superior empathy and would thus make better public interest lawyers?


If law school admissions were so heavily weighted in favor of the public service type, then there would be few to defend corporations against the depredations of government bureaucracies, and the U.S. economy would be significantly more fucked up than it is, and there would be no jobs for any lawyers.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:20 am
by yngblkgifted
I read that Yale excepted a 152 a couple of years ago. Maybe we should hunt down and ask that person.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:23 am
by shoeshine
vanwinkle wrote:
Total Litigator wrote:Talk to just any kid who transfers up to a more selective law school and continues to perform well. Most (maybe even 75%) do.

This. Every upward transfer student is such a success story. (Well, assuming they came from a school that admits sub-160 students.) And most transfer students do well even after transferring upward, from what I understand.

It's important to remember, though, that the kind of success you see there is kind of rare. It's possible, but only the top 5-10% of the class have the potential to really make a solid move upward. It's possible, and there are hundreds of such success stories a year, but that's out of tens of thousands of students.


V-dub is there a thread where you chronicled your transfer experience? I would also like to know about your personal experiences at OCI as a transfer.

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:11 am
by Kimchi_smile
I can't help but add that, the LSAT is but one obstacle in life. The study of law and the practice of law, I assume, are much harder than the LSAT itself. Both will require tremendous effort on your part, an effort that is much bigger than the study you should do to ace the LSAT. Without diligent practice and the determination to conquer the LSAT, how can you have the work ethic and mind set to ace law exams and excel in legal practice?

An assumption which, if true, would most likely strengthen my argument above is that success most of the times depends on the combination of hard work and the right mindset.

So, retake!

Re: Doing well in law school after getting a sub 160 LSAT

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:07 pm
by risktaker
Enough of the retake posts. Only post if you are going to say something useful. I got the same exact LSAT score a few times even though I was PT'ing in a higher range. It just did not work out for me on test day. I worked hard and was not a slacker. A year and half of my life was wasted on the LSAT. I am ready to move the f on.