Chances?

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pebrutto
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Chances?

Postby pebrutto » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:55 am

I've been thinking about law school for the past 2 years, but had trouble deciding whether to go through with it when I was dealing with some family problems. I made the decision to take the LSAT in October and did absolutely terrible (under 150 terrible) Re-taking in December. I have a 3.5 GPA that should be going up after this semester along with 2 very strong LOR's. Where should I be looking? Do I have a shot? I'm interested in schools in the South. Any help would be great! I'm freaking out!

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JazzOne
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Re: Chances?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:57 am

pebrutto wrote:I've been thinking about law school for the past 2 years, but had trouble deciding whether to go through with it when I was dealing with some family problems. I made the decision to take the LSAT in October and did absolutely terrible (under 150 terrible) Re-taking in December. I have a 3.5 GPA that should be going up after this semester along with 2 very strong LOR's. Where should I be looking? Do I have a shot? I'm interested in schools in the South. Any help would be great! I'm freaking out!

Keep retaking until you have a competitive score. As long as they're going to allow you to do that, you might as well take full advantage. Even if you have to postpone law school a year or two, it's no big deal. Hit the LSAT forum and study hard. Don't pay for a shitty school. Get that LSAT score up or forget law school. IMO.

pebrutto
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Re: Chances?

Postby pebrutto » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:59 am

Do you think it is worth applying to schools now and notifying them I will be taking it again in December? Or to hold off until December? I have gotten a lot of advice saying to apply now regardless of the score from some professors but I'd like outside opinions?

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im_blue
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Re: Chances?

Postby im_blue » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:02 am

No, don't apply until you get a much higher score like 165+.

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JazzOne
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Re: Chances?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:03 am

pebrutto wrote:Do you think it is worth applying to schools now and notifying them I will be taking it again in December? Or to hold off until December? I have gotten a lot of advice saying to apply now regardless of the score from some professors but I'd like outside opinions?

I don't think you're going to have a good cycle this year unless something really crazy happen in December (like a 15 point jump). I think you'll need to alter your expectations a little bit and shoot for next cycle. However, I'll let others chime in because I'm certainly no admissions expert. Your GPA is not really impressive as far as law school admissions goes. And the LSAT score is obviously median. I would really take a concerted approach to LSAT prep over the next few months (perhaps February test or later).

However, it really depends on your goals. Do your parents own a law firm? Do you have connections that will get you a job? If not, you need to think carefully about your employment prospects before you sign the dotted line for a $100K loan.

pebrutto
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Re: Chances?

Postby pebrutto » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:08 am

JazzOne, I appreciate the advice. Just interested in your connections to law-have you attended law school, etc? I'm trying to keep a positive outlook on things, thinking that maybe some good LOR's/personal statement will carry me a bit farther than my GPA (which I have read in some forums) Is that an unrealistic thought as well?

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JazzOne
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Re: Chances?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:12 am

pebrutto wrote:JazzOne, I appreciate the advice. Just interested in your connections to law-have you attended law school, etc? I'm trying to keep a positive outlook on things, thinking that maybe some good LOR's/personal statement will carry me a bit farther than my GPA (which I have read in some forums) Is that an unrealistic thought as well?

I taught MCAT and LSAT for a few years, so I am quite familiar with med school admissions and law school admissions. I am currently a 2L at UT Law. The general consensus is that LORs and PSs carry little weight. I know that sounds disappointing to you right now, but actually, it's kind of good news. It means that the admissions game is largely driven by numbers. So there's no guessing game. You know exactly what you need to do to be more competitive. You cannot change your GPA, and it's actually not that bad. Mine was much lower. But what you can change is your LSAT score. Treat LSAT prep like a full-time job, and good things will happen. Blow it off, and you'll be disappointed with your cycle.

pebrutto
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Re: Chances?

Postby pebrutto » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:26 am

That is disappointing news haha I am frustrated because I had a 4.0 at one point, have been on Dean's List multiple times, etc. and now I see that as not carrying any weight with a terrible LSAT score. I'm taking a prep course this weekend so hopefully that will help. I had big hopes of getting into a school but they seem to be getting shattered lately.

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JazzOne
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Re: Chances?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:31 am

pebrutto wrote:That is disappointing news haha I am frustrated because I had a 4.0 at one point, have been on Dean's List multiple times, etc. and now I see that as not carrying any weight with a terrible LSAT score. I'm taking a prep course this weekend so hopefully that will help. I had big hopes of getting into a school but they seem to be getting shattered lately.

It's all a matter of perspective. Your grades are going to carry weight. It's just that a lot of folks have higher GPAs, so it's not really the kind of weight you want. Also, what kind of prep course are you taking? Is it too late to get your money back? Most people on this board are pretty skeptical of prep courses (myself included, and I teach them). It's real hit or miss with the instructors. Have you met the instructor?

There is too much free information on this forum to pay for a class, IMO. If I were you, I would get my money back for the course (unless you have met the instructor and are comfortable with his/her expertise). I would also hit the LSAT forum and see exactly what materials are out there and how you should use them. There are probably a dozen LSAT teachers who post here on and off, so feel free to make threads in the LSAT forum if you need specific advice.

Like I said, it's all perspective. Instead of feeling rushed and worried to get your apps in RIGHT NOW, you can make an organized plan, study hard, and put your best foot forward. Not everyone can achieve a great LSAT score, but you won't know until you try.

pebrutto
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Re: Chances?

Postby pebrutto » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:38 am

The course is at Penn State. It's costing me $250. I talked to the instructor as well as saw a good amount of positive evaluations on him and the class. I do feel very rushed to get everything out NOW. As I had stated, many of my professors now (speaking from their experience with grad school, which I realize is different) advised me to apply now even with the low LSAT rather than wait until my next grade comes in January? Can you give me your opinion on this again?

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JazzOne
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Re: Chances?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:39 am

One more thing: It took me two years to get through my LSAT prep and get my apps together. In the grand scheme of things, two years is a drop in the bucket. I got a full scholarship to law school, so those two years saved me $100K. Plus, the skills you will hone while prepping for the LSAT will actually help you in law school. Some disagree with me, but I found my LSAT skills to be directly transferable to law school.

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JazzOne
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Re: Chances?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:42 am

pebrutto wrote:The course is at Penn State. It's costing me $250. I talked to the instructor as well as saw a good amount of positive evaluations on him and the class. I do feel very rushed to get everything out NOW. As I had stated, many of my professors now (speaking from their experience with grad school, which I realize is different) advised me to apply now even with the low LSAT rather than wait until my next grade comes in January? Can you give me your opinion on this again?

Unless you have some unusual circumstances, I just don't think it's worth it to apply this cycle. You'll probably end up paying way too much for a lower tier law school, which will leave you heavily indebted with poor job prospects. Just relax. Law school isn't going anywhere. Work experience is terrific for your character and perspective. Apply if you want to, but I wouldn't bother. Unless, as I keep saying, you have a job lined up, and all you need is the law degree. If you actually need to find a job through law school, then you need to be MUCH more patient and deliberative about how you approach this.

If you don't believe me, hop over to the employment forum. There are kids from top schools like Chicago who can't find work. You don't want to be in that spot with a huge amount of debt.

pebrutto
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Re: Chances?

Postby pebrutto » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:57 am

Thanks so much for your time and advice; I'm taking it all to heart. I think I'm out of questions for tonight, but I'm definitely going to keep you in mind for advice in the future. Thanks again!

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DieAntwoord
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Re: Chances?

Postby DieAntwoord » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:15 am

Best advice I ever heard.

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JazzOne
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Re: Chances?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:26 am

One last thing, OP. Do your own research. Neither your professors nor your parents (I assume) are going to sign for your loans. You, and you alone, are responsible for this decision. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something you don't want to do. No matter what anyone says, there is no shame in working an entry-level job until you get your bearings. Anyone who tells you different is flat wrong, and if you don't believe that, log onto jdunderground and see what happens to people who let themselves get pressured into terrible financial decisions.




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