Arguments for retaking LSAT

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crunchy
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Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby crunchy » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:50 pm

Long story short(ish), I took the October 2014 LSAT, did not study as hard as I could have because of work, school, and bad judgment, and scored a 162. In my parents' world, this is an amazing score but where we live and they practice it is common for McGeorge and Cooley grads to get hired so... I don't intend to move back to my hometown and work for my parents even if that's what they want.

After coming to TLS and discovering that a 162 is what most of you guys score in your sleep, I've decided to delay school for a year, retake the LSAT, and earn extra money working in the interim. Here's the problem, since I graduated in fall 2014, I moved home so all my work money could go to savings for law school. My parents are paying tuition and rent all three years and I'm covering the rest. I just decided this week to retake in June and do an in person course this time because I think it will help with motivation. My parents are not pleased.

For a list of where I got accepted, waitlisted, and rejected please see my profile. Illinois offered me 40k per year (out of state) and Washington and Lee and Richmond each offered me 30k per year (there are more offers but those were the ones I was considering). I know my GPA is bad but my addendum covers that (stage 4 cancer) but honestly I was still a pretty average B/B+ student due to laziness. I think if I score at least a 167 I can get into better schools or at least get more money for some of the lower tier 1 schools I've gotten into.

Given the right arguments, my parents will support the retake and extra year before starting. What should I say to convince them? Please, give me all the ammo I need to crush any opposition from my parents.

lurkerlarry
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby lurkerlarry » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:59 pm


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hairbear7
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby hairbear7 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:21 pm

http://mylsn.info/r/pre-law/admissions/search/

Keep upping the LSAT range and watch how drastically things change.

Retake! And I hope your health is better =)

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McJimJam
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Postby McJimJam » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:23 pm

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WhiskeyAndCupcakes
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby WhiskeyAndCupcakes » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:36 pm

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Last edited by WhiskeyAndCupcakes on Fri May 29, 2015 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby Clyde Frog » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:04 am

How much are your parents planning on paying you? What are the long term outcomes?

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Gooner91
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby Gooner91 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:20 am

Are your parents fine paying sticker?

Are they not going to pay if you take a year off?
Last edited by Gooner91 on Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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downbeat14
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby downbeat14 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:20 am

First off, wow, that's amazing what you've been through and I hope your health is ok now and stays that way. Echo what the above posters said, but maybe an emotional appeal could work well for you here?:

I can't possibly imagine what you've experienced, but I would imagine saying something like after what you've been through you want to get the most out of your life and career and attend a school that will give you the best educational experience and set you up for the best chance at success. The LSAT is the single largest determinate for said schools. You are going to have an incredible personal statement and compelling application I'm sure, so the only thing holding you back from the most elite schools is that one number. You've overcome a lot, and you can beat the LSAT too and achieve your more lofty goals.

Whatever you do, good luck to you OP! Update us on what happens pls!

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crunchy
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby crunchy » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:53 pm

Here's an update and answers to the questions asked:

Clyde Frog wrote:How much are your parents planning on paying you? What are the long term outcomes?


We've never had an explicit conversation about it. They know I hate our hometown and don't want to work for them, but their smug attitude about it leads me to believe that they expect me to come crawling to them for work eventually. They just like to make comments here or there about how I will eventually take over their practice even though they have people working for them who would actually want to do it. They actually don't push too hard on this point and it's never been a stipulation for paying my tuition.

Gooner91 wrote:Are your parents fine paying sticker?

Are they not going to pay if you take a year off?


They don't want to pay sticker and probably only would for maybe HYS which, yeah right. I'd feel too guilty asking anyway and it's not really worth it. We're still working out whether or not they are willing to pay after a year off, more on that below.

Okay so onto the update. I had the conversation with them and it did not go well. They said that even if I got a 167 or higher, my GPA precludes me from a top 20 school (not true, as far as I can tell). They also said that wanting to go to a top 20 school for better job prospects and wanting to get a higher LSAT for better scholarships are not good enough reasons to defer for a year. I used the lower cost argument and they shot that down because they said they're paying the tuition so I shouldn't care how much they're paying.

They also said that they pay attention to the legal market and contrary to popular belief, applications are on the rise again (verification? that sounds like BS to me) and even if I get a 167 and apply next year I won't be offered scholarships comparable to the ones I got this year even to the same schools (120k for Illinois which is almost a full out of state scholarship, 90k each for Washington and Lee and Richmond, 87k for USD) so I'm gambling with their money by not taking those offers.

We've come to a tentative agreement in the meantime. I was able to sign up for an LSAT prep course starting Saturday and I was also able to sign up for the June LSAT. To be "allowed" to do that, they made me put down deposits at Illinois, Washington and Lee, and USD. I am actually okay with the Illinois deposit and it makes sense. If I retake in June and I don't score at least a 167, I'll probably end up going to Illinois anyway. They made me deposit at USD because it's their alma mater and I liked the tour well enough. They also made me deposit at Washington and Lee for some convoluted reason that has to do with me potentially not liking Illinois and trying to defer based on hating the campus or something. I didn't really get it, but it's their money so whatever.

To even consider actually "allowing" me to defer, I have to score a 167 and I'm going to do my best to make that happen and go as far beyond that as I can. Even then they said that they will only consider it, but if I get a 167 or higher I really don't care, I'll just use my savings to move out, apply where I want, and take out a loan for school. Ultimately, I'm 23 and they can't control me. They are very controlling people and up until this point I've allowed them a certain level of control because they hold the purse strings and the prospect of free tuition for undergrad and law school was so enticing, but I'm an adult and this is a major life decision. I am going to do what is best for myself and my future and hopefully they will see reason.

They have scheduled an "emergency" family session with their therapist tomorrow so that they can gang up on me and try to figure out the "real" reason I'm trying to defer. They are implying that I'm scared to move away for law school which is so far from the truth. In fact, one of the main reasons I was reluctant to defer in the first place is because it means an extra year stuck with them. We'll see how the therapy session goes but I'm set on this course for now. I think it's actually sort of a fair compromise. I get to retake, they know I have some deposits in place in case the retake doesn't go well, and we'll reevaluate this summer once I get my scores back.

P.S. Thank you all for your words of support. I had my last appointment with my oncologist in August and I am happy to report that I am now considered completely cured after being in remission for four years. :)

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hairbear7
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby hairbear7 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:08 pm

crunchy wrote:
They have scheduled an "emergency" family session with their therapist tomorrow so that they can gang up on me and try to figure out the "real" reason I'm trying to defer.


Oh my god this is nuts.

I think it'll be difficult for people to give advice because it seems like you have a…unique…family situation. But I hope it works out for you dude.

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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby HeirCroc » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:17 pm

hey crunchy,

I just experienced/am still sort of in a similar situation, though it sounds like my parents' reaction is not as extreme as yours. My numbers (3.3 166) got me a full ride at a regional and some decent scholarships from GW and USC. I've decided to turn down the full scholly. I'm gonna depo at a school or two and retake in June, hoping to negotiate after a score increase. If I don't get adequate $$, I will sit out until next year. I explained this to my my parents and they basically freaked out. They can't fathom why I would turn down a full scholarship and definitely do not want me to defer a year. I was accused of 'being scared'. After some heated conversations I wrote a long email explaining myself using LST data, the gist of which said the school I could goto for free is utterly terrible for my desired outcomes (biglaw/clerkship) and I don't feel comfortable with the current COA of USC GW or Wash U. It had no effect on their position. It was then suggested they would absorb the cost to avoid loans, but neither of us are very comfortable with that option. Although I don't live at home and I pay practically all my bills, they do support me in some ways (paid my car insurance and pay phone bill).

I'm still not sure where the deep opposition came from, as they are pretty understanding people, but what I learned and what I would say to you is that a quick turn around in attitude is unlikely. It's hard to explain to anyone not in the know why you would turn down a full ride or 75k from a good school. I think given some time my parents will accept it, if not understand it. Anyway, it seems your parents are even more entrenched/extreme. My advice is to just commit to your decision if you are willing to deal with all the consequences (like moving out if necessary). There's a good chance they break/get over it and if not you are still making the right decision IMO. Your parents are wrong about what your GPA/ a 167 can with respect to top twenty schools: I got $$ at GW and USC and I have a 166 3.3. You are four points away from that. You can score higher than that if you work for it. Just focus on the test. Worst case you have the option of a third take if your first retake is before next December, which I presume it will be.

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banjo
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby banjo » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:38 pm

HeirCroc wrote:They can't fathom why I would turn down a full scholarship and definitely do not want me to defer a year. I was accused of 'being scared'.


Yikes. Is this an Asian parent thing? My parents encouraged me to take another year off after I was already two years out.

OP, maybe the best argument is, "I know I can do better." All parents believe their children are brilliant and might support you if they thought you were not hitting your potential.
Last edited by banjo on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HeirCroc
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby HeirCroc » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:40 pm

nah caucasian. It wasn't a theme, just one comment my mom made, but still pissed me off lol.

ub3r
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby ub3r » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:46 pm

This thread makes me appreciate how much my parents have trusted my word on everything. I'm also glad they took the time to really look at the numbers and see the employment rates (and costs) themselves.

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Mullens
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby Mullens » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:48 pm


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RunnerRunner
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby RunnerRunner » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:09 pm

crunchy wrote: Ultimately, I'm 23 and they can't control me. They are very controlling people and up until this point I've allowed them a certain level of control because they hold the purse strings and the prospect of free tuition for undergrad and law school was so enticing, but I'm an adult and this is a major life decision. I am going to do what is best for myself and my future and hopefully they will see reason.


This was actually going to be my advice, but you're way ahead of me! :lol: Def might have to just assert your independence at some point, can't let a decision this big be controlled by anyone but yourself. Glad to hear the health is on the upswing, good luck with everything!

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crunchy
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby crunchy » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:13 pm

hairbear7 wrote:Oh my god this is nuts.

I think it'll be difficult for people to give advice because it seems like you have a…unique…family situation. But I hope it works out for you dude.


Haha, that's the polite way of putting it.

HeirCroc wrote:hey crunchy,

I just experienced/am still sort of in a similar situation, though it sounds like my parents' reaction is not as extreme as yours. My numbers (3.3 166) got me a full ride at a regional and some decent scholarships from GW and USC. I've decided to turn down the full scholly. I'm gonna depo at a school or two and retake in June, hoping to negotiate after a score increase. If I don't get adequate $$, I will sit out until next year. I explained this to my my parents and they basically freaked out. They can't fathom why I would turn down a full scholarship and definitely do not want me to defer a year. I was accused of 'being scared'. After some heated conversations I wrote a long email explaining myself using LST data, the gist of which said the school I could goto for free is utterly terrible for my desired outcomes (biglaw/clerkship) and I don't feel comfortable with the current COA of USC GW or Wash U. It had no effect on their position. It was then suggested they would absorb the cost to avoid loans, but neither of us are very comfortable with that option. Although I don't live at home and I pay practically all my bills, they do support me in some ways (paid my car insurance and pay phone bill).

I'm still not sure where the deep opposition came from, as they are pretty understanding people, but what I learned and what I would say to you is that a quick turn around in attitude is unlikely. It's hard to explain to anyone not in the know why you would turn down a full ride or 75k from a good school. I think given some time my parents will accept it, if not understand it. Anyway, it seems your parents are even more entrenched/extreme. My advice is to just commit to your decision if you are willing to deal with all the consequences (like moving out if necessary). There's a good chance they break/get over it and if not you are still making the right decision IMO. Your parents are wrong about what your GPA/ a 167 can with respect to top twenty schools: I got $$ at GW and USC and I have a 166 3.3. You are four points away from that. You can score higher than that if you work for it. Just focus on the test. Worst case you have the option of a third take if your first retake is before next December, which I presume it will be.


Thank you for this. In a way, it's comforting to know that someone else has experienced this. Your stats, along with many others I've come across, also confirm that my GPA won't keep me out of the top 20 if I raise my LSAT enough. Best of luck on your retake! :)

banjo wrote:Yikes. Is this an Asian parent thing? My parents encouraged me to take another year off after I was already two years out.


Yeah, caucasian here, too. For my parents, I think it's just a matter of control.

RunnerRunner wrote:This was actually going to be my advice, but you're way ahead of me! :lol: Def might have to just assert your independence at some point, can't let a decision this big be controlled by anyone but yourself. Glad to hear the health is on the upswing, good luck with everything!


Thanks! Hopefully it doesn't come to me having to pay tuition but if it does I know it will be because I made the right decision for the right reasons. :)

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crunchy
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby crunchy » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:16 pm

Went to the “emergency” session with my parents and their therapist yesterday and it actually went better than I expected. As much as I think their therapist accommodates their neuroses too much, he was actually a very good mediator. We all had a chance to air our grievances and although none of us budged on our positions, we did solidify the tentative agreement we had already come to. I have to score a 167 or above to even consider deferring, I already made deposits at three schools at their request, and no further decisions will be made until my score comes back in July.

I basically had to agree that if I only get a 166, I will be attending one of the three schools in the fall. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind about this but to keep the peace I just agreed. They have not decided if they will pay my tuition if I defer. Depending on my score, it might be a moot point and we didn’t want to argue too much about things that won’t be decided until July. For now, I’m just going to focus on studying for the LSAT and getting the highest score I can.

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Albus Dumbledore
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby Albus Dumbledore » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:49 pm

It's nice to hear that the session was not as bad as you expected. When I read your post, I could not really figure out why your parents were so adamant in forcing you to go to law school this fall. But I think I figured out your parent's mindset. First, you're parents graduated from USD. If they had a great time at USD, then they would be fine if their child were to go there as well or to another school of the same caliber. Second, they seem to have a stable practice in your hometown that you could join once you graduate. This means you are pretty much set even before graduation. Employment data from the schools become irrelevant to them. Third, the financial aid you were offered were substantial, which make them difficult to turn down. Finally, they are offering to pay for the rest of your educational expenses including rent, so to them a higher LSAT score is not going to make your financial obligation smaller as they will be paying for the relevant expenses.

I'm most likely wrong about this, of course. But if these are the reasons they want you to attend this fall, then I don't think they are completely unreasonable. Having said that, I personally am on your side. I think we should always try to achieve our best in anything we do, so I support your decision to retake. You also seem to dislike the idea of working at your parents' firm, so you are right to worry about your employment prospects. Illinois is not a bad school though, and you will be graduating with almost no debt. That should provide you with some freedom after graduation. If you can't find a job, however, you can work for your parents for a few years to gain some experience.

Good luck on getting a higher score! But if you don't, just keep in mind that the alternative is actually still quite good. It is in fact better that what many law students face when they graduate. :)

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Rigo
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Re: Arguments for retaking LSAT

Postby Rigo » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:42 am

Was in the same situation dealing with stubborn parents who just didn't get it. I got them to respect my decision to sit out the cycle to retake.

It really boils down to you telling them it's your life and your choice. You know you can do better on the LSAT and your LSAT score can literally mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships. Why pay sticker price and take out a mortgage's worth of debt when you could attend a better law school for free/almost free?
Never again will you have such a huge payoff for so little effort (studying for the LSAT).

Just tell them that you want to set yourself up for a bright future. That means doing your best from the get-go and getting a LSAT score that accurately reflects your abilities.

Good luck!




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