The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Eric475
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:42 am

The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Eric475 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:12 am

I'm a current junior in UG and a well-known private school, I have just under a 3.7 which will hopefully be a 3.7 at the end of this semester (philosophy/polisci majors). But for the sake of safety let's say it'll be a high 3.6. I'm trying to plan out my future and the many hours I've logged have made me wary of entering lawl school unless it's a very top school. That said, I'm planning on studying my ass off for the LSAT all summer and taking it in october.

I cold-tested a 159 but i want to break into the 170s bad. I did very well (-2 or so) on every section but LGs (i think that was a -7 or -8, sorry i dont remember that well took it earlier on sophomore year). How high a score might i need to break into the top 14? 12? top10? top6?

from what i understand lots of law schools like work experience (Northwestern, I'm looking at you). If i can't get my LSAT score high enough, might it be worth it to take a couple years and do teach for america? has anyone out there done teach for america/have any anecdotes?

Sorry if this isn't really the right forum

edit: for cold-test details

User avatar
futurelawyer413
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:15 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby futurelawyer413 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:27 am

I wouldn't do TFA solely of improving chances to get into LS. Sure it looks nice, sounds nice - but after reading a lot of threads on TFA, it seems like some people enjoyed it and a lot thought/realized you had to really grind it out. UGPA and LSAT > TFA

With that GPA, I would imagine anything 170+ LSAT will not only get you in, but also with some scholly $ at some great schools like UCLA, BU, WUSTL, USC, EMory and Minn - Try Law school numbers and Law School Predictor to give you a ball park idea

I'm not sure what you personally consider a "top school" but do you have a geographic preference or idea? - Good luck!

User avatar
Holly Golightly
Posts: 4618
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:30 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Holly Golightly » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:29 am

A 159 cold is actually pretty decent, and if you put a lot of work into it, it's totally possible that you could end up 170+. (My diagnostic was 160 and I ended up with a 172.) My advice re: LSAT would be to study your ass off and try to get into that range. You have a good GPA, so with 170+ you would have a pretty killer app and probably be in at most of the lower T14.

Northwestern is the only school that has an actual "requirement" of work experience. I haven't done Teach for America, but it seems to me that it's treated pretty much the same as any other decent soft factor (although perhaps someone who has actually done it could chime in?).

That said, if Teach for America is something you ACTUALLY want to do and not just something that you're thinking of doing to help your law school app, I would say go for it. Now is the time! You're definitely not going to be able to do something like that post-law school. (And I say that as someone who took a year to live in France teaching English before applying.)

Good luck!

Eric475
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:42 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Eric475 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:42 am

futurelawyer413 wrote:I wouldn't do TFA solely of improving chances to get into LS. Sure it looks nice, sounds nice - but after reading a lot of threads on TFA, it seems like some people enjoyed it and a lot thought/realized you had to really grind it out. UGPA and LSAT > TFA

With that GPA, I would imagine anything 170+ LSAT will not only get you in, but also with some scholly $ at some great schools like UCLA, BU, WUSTL, USC, EMory and Minn - Try Law school numbers and Law School Predictor to give you a ball park idea

I'm not sure what you personally consider a "top school" but do you have a geographic preference or idea? - Good luck!


It is interesting you mention BU, I am originally from ~40 mins north of boston so i've always considered it my "home city" love the sports teams etc etc. I would be perfectly happy living in that city, though as someone who does not ski and doesn't always enjoy the cold in the winter time i have thought about going south or out west. The only place in the midwest i'd wanna live though is chicago.

Eric475
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:42 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Eric475 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:44 am

Holly Golightly wrote:A 159 cold is actually pretty decent, and if you put a lot of work into it, it's totally possible that you could end up 170+. (My diagnostic was 160 and I ended up with a 172.) My advice re: LSAT would be to study your ass off and try to get into that range. You have a good GPA, so with 170+ you would have a pretty killer app and probably be in at most of the lower T14.

Northwestern is the only school that has an actual "requirement" of work experience. I haven't done Teach for America, but it seems to me that it's treated pretty much the same as any other decent soft factor (although perhaps someone who has actually done it could chime in?).

That said, if Teach for America is something you ACTUALLY want to do and not just something that you're thinking of doing to help your law school app, I would say go for it. Now is the time! You're definitely not going to be able to do something like that post-law school. (And I say that as someone who took a year to live in France teaching English before applying.)

Good luck!


You taught english in framce? how did you get connected to that, that sounds amazing! I've always considered teaching, it's just i'm not sure if i wanna "put myself back" 2 years of law school to do it. Not to sound like it's putting myself back, it would probably be a life-changing and fulfilling experience, and entering law school at 24 or so really isn't too bad.

tigrelis
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:05 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby tigrelis » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:04 am

.
Last edited by tigrelis on Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
doinmybest
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:59 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby doinmybest » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:04 pm

Eric475 wrote: How high a score might i need to break into the top 14? 12? top10? top6?


Without knowing your softs. Lets do this for fun.

GPA: -lets say between 3.67-3.69 thats what you mean by high 3.6 right?

Y - GPA Error
H - GPA Error
S - GPA Error
Columbia - 174+
Chicago - 173+
NYU - 172+
Berk -GPA Error or 175
Penn -172+
:D Mich - 169-173 to avoid YP
UVA - 170-171 to avoid YP
Duke - 170+
NW - 170 + Work Exp.
Cornell - 168+
GULC - 171+

dynomite
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby dynomite » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:08 pm

Eric475 wrote:If i can't get my LSAT score high enough, might it be worth it to take a couple years and do teach for america? has anyone out there done teach for america/have any anecdotes?


I did, and I will say unequivocally that it is a HORRIBLE idea for you to do TFA unless you are certain that you want to do it.

TFA has been compared to the military in terms of difficulty, stress and emotional toll. Many of the people I did TFA with exhibited classic signs of PTSD during their first year. This might seem strange to those who haven't seen inner-city teaching up-close, but I assure you it can be worse than anything you've imagined.

You know that scene on "The Wire" (the only semi-realistic depiction of inner-city teaching I've seen) where Prezbo is teaching and all of a sudden one of his students pulls out a knife and stabs another one? Yeah, the most unrealistic thing about that scene is that -- out of nowhere -- an administrator immediately bursts into the room and handles the situation for him while he stands there.

That isn't to say Teach for America isn't a valuable program or that horrible things will happen. I have some wonderful memories of my students and made some amazing friends. But you're looking at 2 years of 16+ hour days, parent teacher conferences in homeless shelters and a level of exhaustion you didn't know was possible. You're at school from 7am-3pm, then you get home and prepare for the next day/call parents until 10pm, then go to bed and do it all over again. Within 6 months you go from being a coddled college senior worrying about whether to go to the cafeteria or the gym to taking responsibility for 30+ desperately poor children in miserable circumstances.

You might love it, you might hate it, you might be somewhere in between, but don't make that decision lightly, or just because you don't know what else to do.

Eric475
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:42 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Eric475 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:20 pm

doinmybest wrote:
Eric475 wrote: How high a score might i need to break into the top 14? 12? top10? top6?


Without knowing your softs. Lets do this for fun.

GPA: -lets say between 3.67-3.69 thats what you mean by high 3.6 right?

Y - GPA Error
H - GPA Error
S - GPA Error
Columbia - 174+
Chicago - 173+
NYU - 172+
Berk -GPA Error or 175
Penn -172+
:D Mich - 169-173 to avoid YP
UVA - 170-171 to avoid YP
Duke - 170+
NW - 170 + Work Exp.
Cornell - 168+
GULC - 171+


THANK YOU! that is what I meant by a high 3.6, I appreciate this i feel like it's pretty accurate too. I've never put my full effort into anything in life, i think for the LSAT it's time to stop being a lazy kid and do that.

Eric475
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:42 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Eric475 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:22 pm

dynomite wrote:
Eric475 wrote:If i can't get my LSAT score high enough, might it be worth it to take a couple years and do teach for america? has anyone out there done teach for america/have any anecdotes?


I did, and I will say unequivocally that it is a HORRIBLE idea for you to do TFA unless you are certain that you want to do it.

TFA has been compared to the military in terms of difficulty, stress and emotional toll. Many of the people I did TFA with exhibited classic signs of PTSD during their first year. This might seem strange to those who haven't seen inner-city teaching up-close, but I assure you it can be worse than anything you've imagined.

You know that scene on "The Wire" (the only semi-realistic depiction of inner-city teaching I've seen) where Prezbo is teaching and all of a sudden one of his students pulls out a knife and stabs another one? Yeah, the most unrealistic thing about that scene is that -- out of nowhere -- an administrator immediately bursts into the room and handles the situation for him while he stands there.

That isn't to say Teach for America isn't a valuable program or that horrible things will happen. I have some wonderful memories of my students and made some amazing friends. But you're looking at 2 years of 16+ hour days, parent teacher conferences in homeless shelters and a level of exhaustion you didn't know was possible. You're at school from 7am-3pm, then you get home and prepare for the next day/call parents until 10pm, then go to bed and do it all over again. Within 6 months you go from being a coddled college senior worrying about whether to go to the cafeteria or the gym to taking responsibility for 30+ desperately poor children in miserable circumstances.

You might love it, you might hate it, you might be somewhere in between, but don't make that decision lightly, or just because you don't know what else to do.


Wow. I'm from a very rural area originally so the inner-city is definitely not something I'm used to. It's something i'd have to put a lot of thought into. I really appreciate hearing about TFA from someone who's actually done it, if anyone else out there has anything else to add about TFA feel free to add to the thread.

User avatar
hellojd
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:29 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby hellojd » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:48 pm

the fact that most of your misses came from LG is a good sign - LG are very learnable. Most people get to -0/-1 with enough practice.

wackadoodle
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:02 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby wackadoodle » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:27 am

i was in a similar situation to you- 3.6 from a well known private UG- and the LSAT #s listed above for each of the T14 were accurate in my experience. I also did TFA and agree with the above poster that its not something to do unless you are completely sure. It seems like an amazing soft for your resume but I was accepted exactly where I predicted based on #s alone- TFA didn't seem to provide any boost. Some people do it and really enjoy it- some people (like myself) have a really bad experience. I legitimately experienced PTSD symptoms- nightmares, jumping at noises, grinding my teeth in the night, panic attacks- and I'm not really a person prone to those types of things. The biggest problem with TFA is that you have no say over where you get placed- so when they show you the really amazing charter school classrooms you aren't told that you have like a 2% chance of landing there. If you really do want to do TFA there are certain regions/ things you can do to try and get a decent placement- PM if you have more specific questions.

User avatar
pilawpcv
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:29 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby pilawpcv » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:57 am

I wholeheartedly agree with dynomite's advice. I am in Peace Corps, and the people who did it for a resume boost either hate their lives or are dropping out like flies. I hear something very similar from my friends in TFA.

That being said, don't be scared away if you are interested in TFA for its own sake. Nothing worth having is easy, right? :-)

tsub
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:36 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby tsub » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:05 am

Haha, it's funny that I came across this thread during my planning period :D . I'm in TFA right now, and I will tell you that you won't get any extra bump from doing it. I got into the schools that I thought I would with my score. In my personal statements, I even made it a point to mention TFA very minimally because I didn't want it to sound like it was the only thing that defined me.

Not to deter you from doing TFA though; it's a great experience and you will learn a lot about yourself and your limits while serving a great cause. With that in mind, I had some severe depression issues my first year when I was placed at quite possibly one of the worst schools in the country. They fired my entire administration and reassigned all the teachers. My school was actually in some of the scenes on The Wire. However, you get a great chance to really help some kids out and put them on a different trajectory during your time in the classroom.

If you have any questions about the application process or the experience feel free to PM me. I would love to talk about it.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby imchuckbass58 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:07 am

doinmybest wrote:
Eric475 wrote: How high a score might i need to break into the top 14? 12? top10? top6?

Y - GPA Error
H - GPA Error
S - GPA Error
Columbia - 174+
Chicago - 173+
NYU - 172+
Berk -GPA Error or 175
Penn -172+
:D Mich - 169-173 to avoid YP
UVA - 170-171 to avoid YP
Duke - 170+
NW - 170 + Work Exp.
Cornell - 168+
GULC - 171+


OP, to give you some additional perspective, I basically had your GPA (3.7 almost on the dot) and a 173, and here's how my cycle turned out last year. FYI, I think my softs were very solid, but not incredible.

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/leroyjenkins

You should play around on the site. There's a search tool. Plug in your rough GPA range and see where people got in with different LSAT scores.

Styrofoam
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:37 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Styrofoam » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:58 am

I also was a corps member, and TFA is certainly a difficult experience.

But more to the point, and for the sake of clarity, one cannot simply "do" TFA. It is not an open door to undergraduates with big hearts and expansive plans for the future. Many applicants with high grades and wonderful interview skills are rejected, even among those who have established a clear prior dedication to closing the achievement gap.

Here are the numbers from 2009: 4,100 — or 11.7 percent — of the 35,178 applicants. And the numbers are only growing.

The relevance of this is that a plan for law school that turns on being a Teach For America corps member needs contingencies. If TFA is on the table for you because it falls into the category of work experience, then I recommend also seeking of other types of work experience.

Eric475
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:42 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Eric475 » Sun May 02, 2010 6:17 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:
doinmybest wrote:
Eric475 wrote: How high a score might i need to break into the top 14? 12? top10? top6?

Y - GPA Error
H - GPA Error
S - GPA Error
Columbia - 174+
Chicago - 173+
NYU - 172+
Berk -GPA Error or 175
Penn -172+
:D Mich - 169-173 to avoid YP
UVA - 170-171 to avoid YP
Duke - 170+
NW - 170 + Work Exp.
Cornell - 168+
GULC - 171+


OP, to give you some additional perspective, I basically had your GPA (3.7 almost on the dot) and a 173, and here's how my cycle turned out last year. FYI, I think my softs were very solid, but not incredible.

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/leroyjenkins

You should play around on the site. There's a search tool. Plug in your rough GPA range and see where people got in with different LSAT scores.


Thanks for the info, looks like a great cycle. Columbia is starting to become my #1 choice. Your UVA waitlist is interested though

efelleman
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:34 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby efelleman » Sun May 02, 2010 6:31 pm

.
Last edited by efelleman on Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
gochrisgo
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:23 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby gochrisgo » Sun May 02, 2010 6:35 pm

.
Last edited by gochrisgo on Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mah2012
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby mah2012 » Sun May 02, 2010 6:41 pm

Eric475 wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
doinmybest wrote:
Eric475 wrote: How high a score might i need to break into the top 14? 12? top10? top6?

Y - GPA Error
H - GPA Error
S - GPA Error
Columbia - 174+
Chicago - 173+
NYU - 172+
Berk -GPA Error or 175
Penn -172+
:D Mich - 169-173 to avoid YP
UVA - 170-171 to avoid YP
Duke - 170+
NW - 170 + Work Exp.
Cornell - 168+
GULC - 171+


OP, to give you some additional perspective, I basically had your GPA (3.7 almost on the dot) and a 173, and here's how my cycle turned out last year. FYI, I think my softs were very solid, but not incredible.

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/leroyjenkins

You should play around on the site. There's a search tool. Plug in your rough GPA range and see where people got in with different LSAT scores.


Thanks for the info, looks like a great cycle. Columbia is starting to become my #1 choice. Your UVA waitlist is interested though


Do note though: he went to HYP for UG. I would expect a 3.7 from HYP is given at least a bit more leniency than a 3.7 from anywhere else.

Edited to add: He also has some work experience. Just saying.

Eric475
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:42 am

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby Eric475 » Sun May 02, 2010 11:03 pm

true both really good points. I'd probably have to do a bit better on the LSAT for Columbia or NYU. Still the next grouping of schools are still great

ExpectLess
Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby ExpectLess » Mon May 03, 2010 8:24 pm

.
Last edited by ExpectLess on Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RTFM
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:45 pm

Re: The LSAT, Law School, and Teach for America

Postby RTFM » Mon May 03, 2010 9:36 pm

Eric475 wrote:It was the most stressful, unrewarding, and overall worst experience of my life


I'm almost done with my first year, and this is exactly how I am feeling. (But I would feel too guilty if I quit.)

If you don't want to go straight to law school, there are a million law-related job openings. Don't do TFA unless you LOVE teaching (and, really, how would you know?).




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], cherrygalore, CHyde, dj9i27, Instrumental, jonny27, Pozzo, Tazewell and 7 guests