February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

PublicInterest2018
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Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:52 am

February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

Postby PublicInterest2018 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:26 am

Hi everyone. I am looking for some advice on whether or not to take the February LSAT this year. Here is my situation:

I am looking to begin law school in 2015. My undergrad GPA is around a 3.5 and I have an LSAT score of 162. I have about 3 years of work experience, and will have an M.S. before beginning law school (current 4.0 in grad program).

When I first took the LSAT (last Feb) I did it basically on a whim after only 3 practice tests. I realize now that was a mistake, but didn't really realize that a 162 wasn't that great of a score until after I really started applications. I am not ready or registered for December, so that is out of the question, but I am weighing whether or not to retake in February.

I have already submitted my applications, but as I've been looking more at the acceptance rates, I am thinking I could end up one or more wait lists for Northwestern, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, Cornell, Texas, etc. I am already accepted into Northeastern with a full tuition scholarship, so I have that to fall back on. Details here: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/PublicInterest2018

So my questions...

1) Will schools I have already completed an application for know if I register for the Feb LSAT and then hold my application until getting the score? (naturally placing me at a huge disadvantage)

2) Would an increased February LSAT score actually help with getting off of a wait list? Or negotiate additional scholarships?

3) If you were me, would you retake with about 2 months of serious studying/prep course?

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Clemenceau
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Re: February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

Postby Clemenceau » Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:46 am

If I were you I would withdraw all my apps now. Your current numbers won't even get you on the waitlists at the schools you mentioned; you will just get rejected.

Take all the time in the world you need to study, retake the lsat in june and apply next cycle.

PublicInterest2018
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:52 am

Re: February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

Postby PublicInterest2018 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:33 pm

Thanks for your advice. Unfortunately, I don't have the money in the bank to be able drag this out another year.

Realistically, the schools I mentioned are my extreme reaches. I'm pretty price sensitive (since I want to go into Public Interest and thus don't expect a big paycheck when I leave) so I'd be just as happy with a top 50 school and a decent scholarship.

Do you think Feb testing would help with negotiating a higher scholarship from a school that might accept/waitlist me with my numbers where they currently are? (ex. Indiana University, University of Colorado, University of Iowa, Boston College, William & Mary, Emory, University of Washington)

AND my biggest question... if I register for Feb, will schools hold my application until it is too late?!

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Clemenceau
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Re: February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

Postby Clemenceau » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:02 pm

Well if you have a gun to your head forcing you to apply this cycle, then yes taking the february lsat can only help you.

However, I doubt a gun is really pointed at your head. I would get a job and apply next cycle with a better lsat. Even a job that simply allows you to tread water for a year will suffice.

If you really got a 162 with minimal studying then it seems positively foolish to apply to law school with that score. If you are debt averse then it seems foolish to apply to law school in february, even with a better score. See what I'm saying?

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eriedoctrine
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Re: February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

Postby eriedoctrine » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:06 pm

If URM, you're in all those schools.
If not URM, you won't even get on the WL.

PublicInterest2018
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Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:52 am

Re: February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

Postby PublicInterest2018 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:07 pm

Thanks for the advice. You are probably right. I just gave a practice test (timed and all) and got a 167. Add a bit of studying, and I'd be looking at a totally different situation next year.

Thanks again. Not the advice I really wanted to hear, but I'm happy to have an honest perspective!

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jthach
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Re: February LSAT - Helpful? (3.5, 162)

Postby jthach » Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:10 pm

I am actually on the same boat as you. I am desperately looking to start law school next fall, trying to get in just at the average age. However, I am signed up for the Dec. LSAT but scoring on prep tests around 165-168. Will probably end up in the low 160s, hopefully not even less.

I also have 3 years of work exp. out of college, finishing up my MA after the Spr. '15 semester, and hoping to go to law school straight after. Our GPAs are also similar (mine is 3.65; 3.8 in grad.). I'm not sure about you, but working full time and also grad. school has been a huge mistake for me while studying for the LSATs. So having the break in Dec. and Jan. is honestly great.

I'm probably going to plan and retake in Feb. assuming that I don't do all too well in Dec. to get into Cornell (ED?), GULC, etc. for this cycle. 2 months of pure studying without school is a serious blessing. I will probably look to negotiate with schools, if I get declined, and see if they would accept the new score for possible reconsideration. If anything, at least I can apply extremely early for the next cycle and find work for another year doing advocacy work, probably in a public interest setting.

With all that said, I am also looking to hear how serious is the disadvantage by applying so late in the cycle. Has there been any success stories of folks getting into T14 schools with a Feb. LSAT?

And check out this thread I made here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=240226




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