Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

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Entchen
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Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby Entchen » Wed May 12, 2010 8:29 am

Hi all, this is my first post here, so [strike]hopefully I'm doing it right[/strike] I already failed by posting this in the wrong section. Fixed now, though :)

I already have a partial list, but looking at the various websites that give statistics, I'm sort of nervous that I don't have enough safety schools, because my undergraduate GPA was middling. I am taking the LSAT in June, but on practice tests (I've taken 6 of the ones put out by the LSAC), I've done very well.

Here are the basics: 3.5ish GPA in a social science (think anthro, but not) from a good undergrad school (think Williams or Columbia level, but again, not those). Except for my first LSAT attempt, all of my scores have been above 170, going as high as 178, but I am not going to count on getting higher than a 175, as I seem to be averaging around there. I am currently working at a well respected law firm for a 2 year period before law school. I am hispanic, but not URM-hispanic, so I guess that is irrelevant.

These things make me think that despite my mediocre GPA, I could get into some very good schools. However, on, for example, LSN, there are plenty of people with stats similar to mine who got WL at schools like BC, GW, and Notre Dame. I was not planning on looking any lower than W&M, but perhaps I should?

My list is looking something like Harvard, Stanford, Penn, UVA, Cornell, Vanderbilt, WashU, Minnesota, ND, BC, W&M. My preferences, though not requirements, are a smallish school, and a place with a decent (meaning, wintery) winter. I basically drew lines south and west from Chicago and ignored everything in that area except Stanford. I also am not a fan of huge cities - I love Boston, but will not be applying to schools in NYC. Any recommendations for schools towards the lower end of my range, so that I can make sure I at least get in somewhere?

pretzel
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby pretzel » Wed May 12, 2010 8:35 am

3.53 LSDAS GPA, 167 LSAT - in at ND & W&M with $$, in at BC. Didn't apply to GW, so can't tell you. You should be fine with that list.

Until you have a real LSAT score though, don't worry about it.

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holydonkey
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby holydonkey » Wed May 12, 2010 8:43 am

I can understand wanting a more temperate winter, but it seems strange to apply to Minn, Notre Dame, and Cornell, if you're not going to apply to Michigan. Ann Arbor's average high is 1 to 3 degrees warmer than Ithaca and Michigan class size = UVA class size.

You should definitely apply to Duke as well. Smaller city, warmer, small class size. You don't have any reason to apply lower than W&M unless you get below a 168 or so.

DC is a smaller city, at least in feel, I'd throw in GW and GULC as well.

You probably know this already, but Harvard and Stanford are nearly impossible with a 3.5.
http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats
http://stanford.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats

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Entchen
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby Entchen » Wed May 12, 2010 11:11 am

holydonkey wrote:I can understand wanting a more temperate winter, but it seems strange to apply to Minn, Notre Dame, and Cornell, if you're not going to apply to Michigan. Ann Arbor's average high is 1 to 3 degrees warmer than Ithaca and Michigan class size = UVA class size.

You should definitely apply to Duke as well. Smaller city, warmer, small class size. You don't have any reason to apply lower than W&M unless you get below a 168 or so.

DC is a smaller city, at least in feel, I'd throw in GW and GULC as well.

You probably know this already, but Harvard and Stanford are nearly impossible with a 3.5.
http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats
http://stanford.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats


Thanks, I meant to include Michigan but just forgot it when typing up the original post. I think GULC is too large for me, but I will look into it, as well as GW and Duke.

And sigh, yes, I know, and I would only even apply to those two if my LSAT score turns out to be more 178ish and less 175ish, and even then it would still be unlikely. But I love Boston too much to not apply to Harvard, even if there's barely the slimmest of chances, even though it's far bigger than most of the schools that appeal to me (for some reason, BU just doesn't). If I do do particularly well on the exam, LSP is saying "strong consider" for S at 178 and "consider" at 177, but I know it's not all that reliable for people with somewhat of a split. I wouldn't be heartbroken if I'm rejected though, since I really do love cold weather.

Thanks to both of you!

yeff
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby yeff » Wed May 12, 2010 11:27 am

First off, there's plenty of time to worry about this between June and September, so focus on studying for the LSAT.

That said, LSP puts your LSAT and GPA into an index - and as you know it is thus far less accurate for splitters. Yale and Stanford are almost certainly out regardless of LSAT. Getting 180 or very close to it might give you a look at Harvard.

Everywhere else is very reachable with a high but not perfect score.

Given your high scores with little prep, I think 177+ should be the goal. At the super-high scores it is much more contingent on luck and circumstance, again, aim for 177+.

Out of curiosity, why the aversion to large schools? I'm just amused by it because my undergrad is super-tiny and my law school is big/huge, though they have almost exactly the same class size. It's all relative I suppose.

yeff
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby yeff » Wed May 12, 2010 11:36 am

Forgot to mention - sometimes these waitlists results at lower schools for high LSAT people are due to one or more of the following:

yield protect - your numbers are above theirs, they figure you're not likely to matriculate, so they waitlist you to gauge your actual interest and lower their acceptance rate and increase their yield.

late application - you have a great app, but the school has already pretty much filled the class, so they waitlist you to avoid overenrolling.

You will be able to apply in the early fall, so the latter will be unlikely, but sometimes schools can tell you applied to them as a safety and WL you.

I ran into a bit of both of the above and pulled off a sweep of the MVP waitlist in addition to other waitlists.

As an example, check out the ratio of green to yellow in the right side of the LSN graphs for Penn and NYU:

http://penn.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0809/

http://nyu.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0809/

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Entchen
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby Entchen » Wed May 12, 2010 12:05 pm

yeff wrote:First off, there's plenty of time to worry about this between June and September, so focus on studying for the LSAT.

That said, LSP puts your LSAT and GPA into an index - and as you know it is thus far less accurate for splitters. Yale and Stanford are almost certainly out regardless of LSAT. Getting 180 or very close to it might give you a look at Harvard.

Everywhere else is very reachable with a high but not perfect score.

Given your high scores with little prep, I think 177+ should be the goal. At the super-high scores it is much more contingent on luck and circumstance, again, aim for 177+.

Out of curiosity, why the aversion to large schools? I'm just amused by it because my undergrad is super-tiny and my law school is big/huge, though they have almost exactly the same class size. It's all relative I suppose.


Ok, looks like I'll just cross S off the list then. It was only on there because someone urged me to apply, but I should probably just save myself the $70 or whatever.

I just prefer smaller environments. As I said, it's not a requirement, I just suspect I'd be happier at such a place.

Honestly, it's almost tempting to send in one application to BC and call it a day. I could possibly get into higher ranked schools, but it seems like a very pleasant academic environment, and I would be perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life in New England. I'm not actually going to do this, but it is tempting.

Thanks for the encouragement. My scores have been going in a generally upwards direction, so as long as I don't do something stupid, I suspect a 177 or so could be attainable for me.
Last edited by Entchen on Wed May 12, 2010 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

yeff
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby yeff » Wed May 12, 2010 12:12 pm

I think a decision like that would have more merit if not for the current state of legal employment.

It doesn't seem to matter much if you personally don't care about the prestige of your degree. Since employers care, you pretty much have to care. Now, BC might end up being the credited choice depending on how your real LSAT and app cycle (scholarship $) goes.

I'd put any worrying about this out of your mind until AFTER the LSAT.

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Entchen
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby Entchen » Wed May 12, 2010 12:16 pm

yeff wrote:I think a decision like that would have more merit if not for the current state of legal employment.

It doesn't seem to matter much if you personally don't care about the prestige of your degree. Since employers care, you pretty much have to care. Now, BC might end up being the credited choice depending on how your real LSAT and app cycle (scholarship $) goes.

I'd put any worrying about this out of your mind until AFTER the LSAT.


Yeah, that's why I'm not going to actually do it, and I am applying to schools that rank higher, because I know it will be a concern when I'm looking for a job. I guess I'm just eager to get the whole process done (just as everyone else is, I'm sure).

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kaydish21
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby kaydish21 » Wed May 12, 2010 12:40 pm

If you are Hispanic, you will still be represented by the school as diverse and therefore will receive some sort of admissions bump even if it's less than it could be. With scores like that and a solid GPA, make sure you apply early and you have a good shot at the t10, potentially with $.

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agentzer0
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Re: Bit of a splitter, where should I apply (need safeties)?

Postby agentzer0 » Wed May 12, 2010 12:46 pm

3.5 and 173+ will get you 1 of ccn. Apply early




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