great lsat, soso gpa

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kfish89
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great lsat, soso gpa

Postby kfish89 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:22 am

Hey everyone,
I will be a senior this fall and am considering going to law school. Just took my first practice exam (without knowing anything about the exam) and got a 160. I'll be studying all summer and will take a Kaplan course this fall to prepare for the October LSAT so I'm pretty sure I can get a pretty good score (upper 160's-low 170s). I'm a finance/history double major at Notre Dame, but have a 3.35 GPA. Although I go to a great school (recently ranked the #1 undergrad business school in the country) and challenge myself, I'm afraid my mediocre GPA will bring down my chances of getting into some great law schools.

Although I not looking to go to Harvard/Yale/etc., I am looking at some good schools in the top tier (Georgetown, Texas, Northwestern, UNC, and especially Notre Dame again). I wanted to know your opinions of maybe having a GPA slightly below the 25-75 range, but an LSAT score (hopefully) slightly above the 25-75 range. It seems unfair that a GPA from a really difficult school would be interpreted the same as one from a mediocre school. Is my undergrad GPA something of concern?

Although this is all a bit premature, I need to start looking into which schools I should consider and what I should strive for on the LSAT. Thanks.

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World B. Free
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby World B. Free » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:25 am

I would not worry about analyzing schools just yet. All of your focus should be on studying for the test. If you do well, then many doors will open for you and you'll have good options.

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Cleareyes
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby Cleareyes » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:30 am

kfish89 wrote:
Although this is all a bit premature, I need to start looking into which schools I should consider and what I should strive for on the LSAT. Thanks.


You should be striving for as high a score as possible on the LSAT. You should worry about looking into schools after you have an LSAT score or at least an idea of your PT average. If you can pull your score up into the mid to high 170s your range of schools will be very different than if you top out in the mid 160s. People with 3.35s and lower get into T14s every year. Focus on the LSAT, become a splitter, then make like a splitter and apply to a lot of different schools.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:33 am

The top six schools will be hard to crack with that GPA, but if you can get an LSAT score into the 170's you should have a shot at the rest of the T14 on down.

A 160 diagnostic is a very good starting point. You should be able to get into the 170s with enough time and work.

kfish89
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby kfish89 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:57 am

Wow, thanks for the quick replies already. Of course I'll be shooting for a 180 when I sit down in October and take it, but I don't think cracking 170 and maybe even a little above is too unrealistic. I just wonder how it would work with an LSAT slight above a schools 25-75 range and a GPA slightly below the 25-75 range (but from a great and difficult school).

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Cleareyes
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby Cleareyes » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:00 am

kfish89 wrote:Wow, thanks for the quick replies already. Of course I'll be shooting for a 180 when I sit down in October and take it, but I don't think cracking 170 and maybe even a little above is too unrealistic. I just wonder how it would work with an LSAT slight above a schools 25-75 range and a GPA slightly below the 25-75 range (but from a great and difficult school).


Look for threads on splitters and how they did. Check out Law School Numbers for the schools you are interested in. The conventional wisdom is that 'great and difficult school' won't do much for you, especially if that great and difficult school is not HYPSM(it). It doesn't seem fair but it does seem accurate.

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youpiiz
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby youpiiz » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:21 am

.
Last edited by youpiiz on Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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im_blue
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby im_blue » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:24 am

You should consider splitter-friendly schools like WUSTL and Illinois, which are near locks with a 167. With a 166, Illinois would be about 50/50.

mst
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby mst » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:43 pm

One thing nobody else has pointed out:

*Move your Kaplan course up if you can. If you're going to start your course in August and the test is in October... you're not going to improve as much as possible. I took Kaplan, and like you started at about 160. I did the course, and by the end of the course I was at 165. Most people I've talked to who have taken Kaplan agree with me: the real gains will come the month AFTER the course, when you have the tools learned from the course and time to just do a crapton of practice tests. From there I went another 5 points in that last month, and that was doing nothing but LSAT prep all month (and you're a senior finance major, that's not going to be possible). I would highly reccomend ensuring that you have at least 3-4 weeks worth of time (of if busy, 6) after the course has finished to focus on doing practice tests on your own. Hope this helps.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:46 pm

youpiiz wrote:YOUR CAT LOOKS ORNERY

I'd say skeptical.

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vespertiliovir
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby vespertiliovir » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:46 pm

mst wrote:One thing nobody else has pointed out:

*Move your Kaplan course up if you can. If you're going to start your course in August and the test is in October... you're not going to improve as much as possible. I took Kaplan, and like you started at about 160. I did the course, and by the end of the course I was at 165. Most people I've talked to who have taken Kaplan agree with me: the real gains will come the month AFTER the course, when you have the tools learned from the course and time to just do a crapton of practice tests. From there I went another 5 points in that last month, and that was doing nothing but LSAT prep all month (and you're a senior finance major, that's not going to be possible). I would highly reccomend ensuring that you have at least 3-4 weeks worth of time (of if busy, 6) after the course has finished to focus on doing practice tests on your own. Hope this helps. don't waste your money on a kaplan course

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merichard87
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby merichard87 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:48 pm

Undergraduate major difficulty is not usually factored into the decision process. And what makes you think your school is so hard?

kfish89
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby kfish89 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:07 pm

I understand that the best method for improving my score is taking practice exams and going over ones that I missed (or ones that I wasn't sure about). That's how I improved my SAT score a lot when I was in high school.

As far as a Kaplan course, I haven't looked into different services yet. I only mentioned that because a friend recommended it. I'll have to look into it more, but all I am sure about is that I will be taking as many practice exams as possible.

Looking at my undergrad GPA, it seems like the general consensus is that the difficulty usually does not come into play. merichard87, you make a good point that it is impossible to determine who from what major/college/class year took the most challenging courses (which would support not factoring it in when looking at undergrad GPA). I only assume mine is very difficult because I am double majoring at what Business Week deems as the #1 undergrad business school (a subjective and non-confirming source, I know), am surrounded by very competitive classmates, and am taught by demanding professors. Again, this only goes back to your point though that this is my own judgment and I have not experienced any other undergrad curriculum.

Thanks again, the Law School Numbers website is very useful.

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NayBoer
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Re: great lsat, soso gpa

Postby NayBoer » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:29 pm

Slim chance at Northwestern without post-UG work experience. You can apply, just don't expect anything from it. Get a 171+ and apply to Penn on down. CCN pretty big stretch with 3.35. If you ED, it would probably be more effective at Penn/UVA than CCN.

Self-study is better than courses, if you are motivated and disciplined about it.




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