Soft Serve

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
MaliMT
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 7:53 am

Soft Serve

Postby MaliMT » Sat May 08, 2010 6:43 am

3.1 GPA (English, TCU). Steady grade progression. Last four semesters, 3.4, 3.5, 3.65, 3.75. A terrible freshman year at a small school in MT (2.23 GPA) really brought me down.
158 LSAT
5 years of solid work experience in insurance leading a team of 5 and managing a $15 million insurance portfolio
Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa (Present)
Additional volunteer work in Nepal and Thailand (only a total of five weeks though)
One year of graduate study in International Environmental Policy at a small school in CA (decided I would rather pursue law)
President of my fraternity in UG
4 solid internships during UG (two with high profile organizations) and one internship in Grad with a local environmental NGO
Functional knowledge of French
A good story to tell in my PS about my chimpanzee conservation efforts during Peace Corps service
White/Male
31 years old at the time of matriculation

Interested in environmental law, international law, or a combination of the two.

Target schools: University of MT (home state so the tuition is ridiculously inexpensive comparatively), University of Saint Thomas, Gonzaga University (also close to home and higher ranked than U of MT), University of San Diego, University of Oregon.

Thoughts...feelings....Am I aiming too high? Too low? My thoughts were, U of M, UST and Gonzaga were all pretty safe (although with my GPA not a guarantee). Decent shot at U of O and a bit of a stretch for U of SD. Any other schools you guys think I should consider given my profile? Any comments or success stories with similar stats are very much appreciated!

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Big Tuna
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:54 am

Re: Soft Serve

Postby Big Tuna » Wed May 12, 2010 9:21 am

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Last edited by Big Tuna on Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

MaliMT
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Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 7:53 am

Re: Soft Serve

Postby MaliMT » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:46 am

I am mainly interested in the West Coast, but I basically just want to get into the best school I can get into at this point. Even if it happens to be on the East Coast. What are your thoughts on Northeastern?

MaliMT
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 7:53 am

Re: Soft Serve

Postby MaliMT » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:47 am

I doubt I will do much better on the LSAT. I have consistently scored in this range for a while now on practice tests. I'm actually worried it may even drop a bit.

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Big Tuna
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Re: Soft Serve

Postby Big Tuna » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:04 am

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Last edited by Big Tuna on Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Grizz
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Re: Soft Serve

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:17 am

A few things:

1. True "saving the environment" PI type jobs are ruthlessly competitive and you improve your chances greatly by going to a prestigious school

2. International law is the "monopoly money" of law; the term is utterly worthless without further clarification. Furthermore, aside from intl. business (biglaw route), true "saving the world" PI intl. law is also ruthlessly competitive.

3. Your softs are okay, but they won't give you as much of a boost like a couple points on your LSAT will.

4. The schools in your range are far and away not worth sticker price, so look for some scholarship money somewhere.

5. Don't go to school outside the region you want to end up in, period.

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romothesavior
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Re: Soft Serve

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:20 am

I think your softs are actually quite good, and could serve to separate you from other similar candidates, and I think they could offset your low GPA somewhat. But like radlaw said, your LSATwill preclude you from getting into most good schools schools.

What were your study habits? A re-take seems to be in order.

Fark-o-vision
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Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Soft Serve

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:26 am

Don't you know that Rad Law has 20+ years working in the admissions department at Yale? Never question a prospective law students ability to judge your softs!

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Grizz
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Re: Soft Serve

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:48 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:Don't you know that Rad Law has 20+ years working in the admissions department at Yale? Never question a prospective law students ability to judge your softs!


Like Romo said, they're good, and will distinguish you from those with similar numbers, but still not gonna make up for a low LSAT in 99% of cases.

Work experience will offset your GPA a little, but again, LSAT is a problem.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
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Re: Soft Serve

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:30 pm

rad law wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:Don't you know that Rad Law has 20+ years working in the admissions department at Yale? Never question a prospective law students ability to judge your softs!


Like Romo said, they're good, and will distinguish you from those with similar numbers, but still not gonna make up for a low LSAT in 99% of cases.

Work experience will offset your GPA a little, but again, LSAT is a problem.


This is probably more right than your first post. I would suggest that those softs may or may not offset a low LSAT. LSN has a few people I've run across who didn't, numerically, fit into the mold. The safest thing you can do is raise the LSAT, though, as numbers are a much better predictor than simply hoping your softs do the job. They may, but no one can tell you with any certainty, and its more likely that they will not.

If you aren't going to retake then I would suggest really looking into which schools that you fit into really well from an ideological point of view. Seattle, Washington, and one in Boston (I think) seemed to have a genuine interest in training environmental lawyers. I've heard, but can't confirm, that Vermont (?) out performs its rank in regards to environmental law.

MaliMT
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 7:53 am

Re: Soft Serve

Postby MaliMT » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:52 am

Thanks for all the comments. It looks like my options are clear...I will be retaking the LSAT again in October. I guess my next question is, given my profile, how high do you think I need to raise my LSAT to have a legitimate shot at a reputable west coast law school (mainly CA)? Of course I'm going to try to get the highest score possible, but it's nice to have a number to shoot for (and please don't say shoot for 180). Realistically, I am looking at probably squeezing another five points maximum. How big of a difference would 163 make compared to 158?

Also, I have decided to finish my masters so I will (in theory) have an MA at the time of matriculation if you feel like this makes any difference. Official GPA is 3.14 according to LSAC as well (because I know that .04 makes a huge difference:)).

Thanks again for your responses. This is really helping me make some difficult choices.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Soft Serve

Postby dextermorgan » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:53 am

I like chocolate, with gummi bears.

We're talking about ice cream... right?

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SaintClarence27
Posts: 700
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:48 am

Re: Soft Serve

Postby SaintClarence27 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:27 am

You know what's good? Frozen Custard.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Soft Serve

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:38 am

MaliMT wrote:Thanks for all the comments. It looks like my options are clear...I will be retaking the LSAT again in October. I guess my next question is, given my profile, how high do you think I need to raise my LSAT to have a legitimate shot at a reputable west coast law school (mainly CA)? Of course I'm going to try to get the highest score possible, but it's nice to have a number to shoot for (and please don't say shoot for 180). Realistically, I am looking at probably squeezing another five points maximum. How big of a difference would 163 make compared to 158?

Also, I have decided to finish my masters so I will (in theory) have an MA at the time of matriculation if you feel like this makes any difference. Official GPA is 3.14 according to LSAC as well (because I know that .04 makes a huge difference:)).

Thanks again for your responses. This is really helping me make some difficult choices.


163 Might get you Davis or Hastings, but probably not. I only say Hastings because of the softs. Even at 163 your softs are going to have to make a difference somewhere. You aren't a lock for Loyola, Pepperdine or San Diego, but every point higher you get on the LSAT means that your softs can help you more and more, because you won't be killing their medians.

Aim for a 180. I know you said not to say that, but it is true. No, you probably won't get there, and I believe a lot of the LSAT comes down to getting lucky on the test being dished to you being a good fit for you, but every point helps. 163 and a 166 could be the difference between wait list, accepted, or scholarships at certain schools. A 167 gives you even more options. Letting yourself get satisfied with a score just ensures you aren't working hard enough to get a higher one.

Admissions is a ridiculous process, but I've personally seen how big a difference two or three points can make.




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