Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

btr77
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Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby btr77 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:30 pm

I trust nothing more highly than TLS opinions so please:

LSAT RECORD: June 08-154 (young, dumb, and full of...)
June 10- 163
Oct 10- prob cancel
GPA: 3.60

So...I had been PT testing (after june 10) in the mid to high 160's. Looking to score in the 166-168 range to make some of my reach choices (Fordham, GWU, Cornell, BU) a bit more realistic. Well, I completely messed up a rule on LG and essentially blind guessed on 6. All D's. Typically I will go anywhere from -4 to -7 total both LR, -3 to -5 RC, and -5 to even -8 on LG (its weak for me.) Anyway, all things considered (strange LR, RC not a guarantee, and a possible -12 or so LG) I'm thinking of canceling. With the curve lingering around -10, I can only see myself getting either right around a 163 or more than likely lower (158-161 worst case.) Here lies the rub; with two scores already on my record, does my most recent score going down really harm my app's. I mean, I'm privy to the whole "highest score reported" but c'mon, most recent score being lower can't possibly be good, right?

So I'm stuck. I know I more than likely can't get into some of my top choices without bumping my score about 4 points or so. (perhaps PT but who knows?) So if I roll the dice with October maybe I'll only get 8 or 9 wrong on LG, and peak on LR and RC. If the gamble pays off I'm home free. If it, more than likely, doesn't I'm stuck with a score probably 2-4 points lower. Will the last lowest score hurt my chances at schools I should otherwise be competitive at (GMU, Cardozo, Seton Hall, Brooklyn, etc.)? Will it kill any glimmer of a hope for the bigger ones? LSAT aside, I'm a fairly strong candidate otherwise; 2 years impressive post grad work experience, great LORs, good college transcript/resume.

WHAT WOULD YOU ALL DO?

ps. I also welcome sly/rude comments in lieu of advice from members who find my dilemma laughable and are sick of seeing the same "should I cancel" BS

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St.Remy
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby St.Remy » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:41 pm

btr77 wrote: Will the last lowest score hurt my chances at schools I should otherwise be competitive at (GMU, Cardozo, Seton Hall, Brooklyn, etc.)?


Hurting your chances at these schools would likely be a blessing in disguise. None of these schools would be particularly good bets especially in this economy. I think that with your solid GPA I wouldn't consider these schools seriously.

The schools you list earlier in your post are decent ones, but you will need a higher LSAT than a 163 to stand a chance. One option you have is to wait until you can take the test again (or get permission from schools to take the test again) and take another shot at a mid to high 160's score. This will get you into schools that have real job prospects, which cannot be said about your current range of schools.

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minnbills
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby minnbills » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:45 pm

You know the economy won't stay bad forever...

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Veyron
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby Veyron » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:47 pm

You can retake. I also don't get why people are so adverse to applying to the best school in the state in which they wish to practice and getting some $.

What you should realy do is take a year off, study your ass off for the LSAT and get some WE.

P.S. It takes all the fun out of being mean when you ask for it :cry:
Last edited by Veyron on Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby Veyron » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:48 pm

minnbills wrote:You know the economy won't stay bad forever...


HAHA, now this guy truly deserves my mockery.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby Patriot1208 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:49 pm

minnbills wrote:You know the economy won't stay bad forever...


True, but job prospects out of lower ranked schools will.

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minnbills
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby minnbills » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:59 pm

Like an above poster said, there's nothing wrong with going to a strong regional school if they throw some serious money at you.

But the economy is going to get better, and the job market will slowly recover. That's not to say you should be reckless but this derision people show for schools without national repuations is unwarranted.

Out of the attorneys I know, the ones who went to 'noname' schools on full/near-full rides have been quite successful and none of them landed big law jobs. Two others (including someone who graduated 1st at Harvard Law) are pretty miserable. Both work in biglaw, one is an equity partner and the other (who is in his 50s) is terrified he's going to be laid off from a big firm here in the TC.

Granted, just knowing a few people doesn't change the overall picture. But there is nothing wrong with going to a regional school if you balance your finances well.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:03 am

minnbills wrote:Like an above poster said, there's nothing wrong with going to a strong regional school if they throw some serious money at you.

But the economy is going to get better, and the job market will slowly recover. That's not to say you should be reckless but this derision people show for schools without national repuations is unwarranted.

Out of the attorneys I know, the ones who went to 'noname' schools on full/near-full rides have been quite successful and none of them landed big law jobs. Two others (including someone who graduated 1st at Harvard Law) are pretty miserable. Both work in biglaw, one is an equity partner and the other (who is in his 50s) is terrified he's going to be laid off from a big firm here in the TC.

Granted, just knowing a few people doesn't change the overall picture. But there is nothing wrong with going to a regional school if you balance your finances well.


I didn't mean to suggest going to a regional school where you want to practice was a bad thing. The problem is that despite the fact that the economy will recover, legal hiring may not. There is no doubt that there are just too many lawyers for jobs. This isn't going to change. And if firms can get by on having there current number of employees with a high level of work they have no incentive to hire more associates. Honestly, the financial downturn caused a restructuring that isn't likely to change anytime soon. Definitely not in a time frame that will help any of us.

btr77
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby btr77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:12 am

Yeah, I hear ya guys. I mean, I really am anxious to start school now. I did my two years, saved up some money and now I'm ready to get going. December would definitely be too late in the cycle, I think, to have a good chance for most schools. Maybe I can get a few schools to allow me to take it, but do I really have any pull in terms or schools holding my app at a Cornell, GW, even a Fordham with a 163? On top of that, my WORST nightmare is that I cancel and it turns out i got lucky with a 166 or something. Eh, I doubt it though; plus I'll never know.

Am I way out there in thinking I am reasonably competitive part time at GW, Fordham with my current numbers?

This was my plan, pre-current lsat dilemma (I am from NJ just outside NYC, but have lived in Arlington, Va. and worked out of DC the last two years)

DREAM - GTOWN PT, PENN, CORNELL
REACH - GWU PT, FORDHAM PT, BC, BU, W&M, W&L
SOLID - GMU PT or FT, AMERICAN, CARDOZO
LIKELY - SETON HALL, RUTGERS, BROOKLYN, VILLANOVA

I thought if I gambled a bit and got into even ONE school above my solids I was doing okay, was really just hoping a bump in the LSAT would make it easier. As it stands now, you think I have any shot at all? Also, I get the feeling most of you think a lot of what I mapped out are poor choices given the economy. I mean, is it really impossible to work hard to get in the top 10-15% of say SH and land a solid job at a large NJ firm? I am in no way being coy with that question, its just I interned at a fairly large NJ corporate firm and a good 50% of the partners were Rutgers/Seton Hall guys. I'm talking like a 300 attorney firm.

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Veyron
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby Veyron » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:17 am

All except the dreams are bad choices ITE. You are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you will be making less money net of debt than if you go then if you continue working. If you are dead serious about becoming a lawyer and applying this year, throw an app to Mason and an app to Richomnd and leverage the HELL out of your VA ties. Maybe you could somehow convince some midsized firm in NOVA or small firm in central VA (if you go to Richmond) to take you after school/for an externship durring school.

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minnbills
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby minnbills » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:20 am

Well, if you go to a regional school the main impetus for doing so should be the financial aid they give you.

If they throw 75% tuition (or whatever) it's worth thinking about because it helps limit your liability in a difficult market.

DO NOT go to a lower ranked school with the expectation or dream that you will dominate and finish in the top 10%. There is just no certainty there, and with the tuition dollars you may be sinking in, it's just not a good bet. Like I said before, given the right circumstances there is nothing wrong with going to a regional school. But don't become a horror story either.

Regarding your Oct. LSAT, unless you think you dominated the rest of the test, it's probably not a bad idea to cancel and retake in december, if you were shooting for a score in the high 160's. Plus, delaying applying to law school a year gives you the opportunity to do an internship or something or other that will boost your application- while also giving the job market a bit more time. If I were you, I would try and find an unpaid internship with a local firm.

In the end though you have to make this decision for yourself, don't let some people on a message board influence you too much.

btr77
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:40 pm

Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby btr77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:26 am

Appreciate the advice all

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AreJay711
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Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:57 am

Well one part of me wants to hate you for wanting to cancel but I understand why you might want to.

Worst case scenario: 161

Best case scenario: 167 (I assume -8 on LG -- they were easy even if time consuming)

You will probably be somewhere in between there. Idk your GPA but you might even have a decent shot at William and Mary with a 163 which would be a better choice (and according to Law School Predictor GW but i find that doubtful). Plus GMU is a decent regional school. So you wouldn't be completely screwed if you didn't improve that much.

Still, while it wouldn't stop me from losing all respect for you and calling you a yellow-bellied score canceler, it might be in your best interest to cancel, apply to these schools now, then retake in Dec/Feb. If you get a higher score you can apply to your reaches next year. If not, you will have decisions on the way based on your 163.

btr77
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:40 pm

Re: Should I cancel? feel free to judge me harshly : )

Postby btr77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:05 am

Yeah AreJay I was thinking the same thing. If I'm able to get in the back door of one of the better schools, maybe even PT, then it sort of all works out. If I don't like what I see, like you say, I could always retake and apply next cycle. If I elected not to cancel, I think a 4th retake without SIGNIFICANT improvement only hurts me, I may be wrong on that though.

And yes, I really in fact might be a yellow-bellied canceler. I know if everything goes my way there is an outside shot at hitting a score I may want, but honestly with the way it just "feels" the curve is going to be on this one I'm thinking a worst case scenerio might even be a 158/159. I just can't get my head around the risk/reward on this one...maybe I'm assuming the negative too much, but the more I add it up in my head I only come up with matching my 161-163 as a median, which doesn't seem worth it. Trust me, if I felt like it might be a 162/3-165 I'd let it ride in a heartbeat. I don't know, maybe you know better than me, but with three scores potentially on record...what looks better? 154 jump to 163 or 154 jump to 163 then most recent 160ish. Just feel like it sticks out like a sore thumb.




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