3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

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Corwin
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3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Corwin » Thu May 12, 2011 1:32 pm

Hi all,

I'm currently looking into what my application would look like for law school. I'm a pretty big splitter, so the law school predictors seem to be very flaky. As I wrote in the title, my numbers are 3.1-3.2, 174 (practice average), and 2 years WE. I'll go into each factor in detail:

  • GPA: It's low without a doubt. I went to a top 5 engineering program. No signs of upward trend. Some mitigating factors for my worst semester. I have a strong recommendation from a professor I did research with who can speak to my abilities as a researcher and student.
  • LSAT: First of all this is my average across 3 official practice tests taken under testing conditions. I have not done any preparation for the test itself, I just wanted to take 3 tests to get my starting point. Obviously how I will do on the real test is up in the air, but I think I will score in this range. I have a really good track record with standardized testing, scoring close to perfect on ACT/SAT and doing quite well on many APs. I think after working through the logic games bible and taking 30 more practice tests I should be able to get a similar score on the real exam. Something in the high 170s would be better for sure, but I don't think I can reliably depend on that.
  • WE: I have a research job in my field at a very competitive and well known place I'm planning on staying for a few years. I think by the time I finish my work experience I will have a publication or two in my field at tier one conferences.

I've written up detailed summaries of every school in the top 50. Right now I think the school that I really like the most is BU. I think I want to target biglaw in either Boston or Chicago, but working probono on public interest issues is very, very important to me. Here are my questions:

  • Are schools like BU doable with my numbers?
  • Are clases taken after undergraduate factored into GPA? My GPA is higher if you include some night classes I've taken as a part of my work (all highly technical classes, no soft stuff).
  • I'm pretty much a no-go at T14 right? I really liked Northwestern as well, but my GPA isn't even close.

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Like I said, I'm just trying to put together an accurate picture for myself. 3 years and 150K is a huge investment and I don't want to commit if I wont be able to get what I want out of the experience.

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dpk711
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby dpk711 » Thu May 12, 2011 1:36 pm

Come back with a real LSAT test.

Straw_Mandible
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Straw_Mandible » Thu May 12, 2011 1:38 pm

:roll:

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Corwin
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Corwin » Thu May 12, 2011 1:41 pm

Straw_Mandible wrote::roll:


dpk711 wrote:Come back with a real LSAT test.


Hrm, did I commit a faux paus here? Are the practice results from the previous LSATs frowned upon? Sorry guys, I don't mean to waste your time.

BlueDiamond
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby BlueDiamond » Thu May 12, 2011 1:50 pm

people just dont like to use PT's for predictions because a lot of things can go right or wrong on test day.. first.. a 174 with no prep is extremely impressive if I'm reading that right

the t-14 is definitely doable with a 174+ and a hard major like engineering (even with the low GPA)... 174+ with the 2 yrs WE gets you Northwestern

and no classes after your first bachelor's degree are counted toward LSAC GPA.. and advanced degree would be a soft factor and basically wont make a difference in compariosn to LSAT/GPA combo

bhan87
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby bhan87 » Thu May 12, 2011 1:52 pm

Corwin wrote:
Straw_Mandible wrote::roll:


dpk711 wrote:Come back with a real LSAT test.


Hrm, did I commit a faux paus here? Are the practice results from the previous LSATs frowned upon? Sorry guys, I don't mean to waste your time.


People frequently score 5+ points below their PT average (even those that have consistently gotten 175+ over 10 or more PTs sometimes score below a 170).

The 5 point difference is HUGE. For instance, Harvard's median LSAT is 173. Subtract 5 and you're bumped all the way down to Cornell's median. Thus any speculation based off practice PT scores is useless because you don't know if everything will go right on test day.

AP-375
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby AP-375 » Thu May 12, 2011 1:58 pm

There is some pretty intense animosity on this thread, all because of practice test speculation, which many, if not most, have probably done themselves when they were studying.
But like someone else said, you're in a fantastic spot, and while you probably won't get HYS with a 3.2, you should have great options in the T14 if you can keep your score consistent and possibly improve it with the dedicated studying you're talking about.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu May 12, 2011 2:10 pm

dpk711 wrote:Come back with a real LSAT test.


This is kind of a dick response. OP posted that it was a PT score in the subject heading so you don't have to click on it. I agree that it's annoying when people clutter up the boards with a ton of "what if" scenarios, but there is some value in understanding what types of targets you can make and whether it's even really worth it to go through with the test itself. You can also think about things such as strategies about where to potentially ED. I started out the law school process thinking that since my GPA was below the 25th pretty much anywhere worth going to that I could give myself a shot anywhere with an LSAT score above the 75th. Obviously TLS taught me that there is a lot more to it than that.

OP, if you really want to play around with hypotheticals http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com is a good place to start. Your GPA will only completely preclude you from HYSC (In rare cases, 3.2ish has gotten Chicago, NYU and even splitter hating Boalt). NU and UVA with ED contracts are the splitter havens in the t13.

stylishlaw
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby stylishlaw » Thu May 12, 2011 2:47 pm

Fellow engineer here, so I know how you must feel in your situation. Can't really use practice LSATs because I was testing upwards of ~178 and scored drastically lower.

But assuming you do score a 174, you would have a shot at NYU. Because of GPA, your chances are not very good throughout the T14. The schools most likely to admit you would be Northwestern, Cornell, and Georgetown. I'd basically apply to every school ranked 7-20 with the exception of UC Berkeley and UTexas, because you never know where you might get in.

If you intend on doing IP law, you can breathe a little easier because it'll be easier finding a job so your school's ranking and placement won't matter as much.

Bumi
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Bumi » Thu May 12, 2011 3:03 pm

Corwin wrote:I'm pretty much a no-go at T14 right? I really liked Northwestern as well, but my GPA isn't even close.


Your GPA is much better than mine, and I'm looking for apartments near Northwestern literally in another tab. With your resume and an LSAT well into the 170s, you are DEFINITELY a Wildcat waiting to happen.

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Deep Trench
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Deep Trench » Thu May 12, 2011 3:26 pm

You're scoring 174 on timed PT without any prep? Wow. That's impressive. I got 169 on my first timed PT even though I had already gone through the bibles and done more drills before taking it. I did improve on my first PT score and ended up scoring high 170's on the real thing. I will be attending UVA this fall (ED / 3.0 GPA in Eng / WE).

Good luck.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu May 12, 2011 8:27 pm

If you actually score that high you have a shot at every school outside of HYS. B, D and Texas will be tough but you really would have a shot everywhere

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Grizz
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Grizz » Thu May 12, 2011 8:31 pm

You have no chances right now. Because you have no LSAT score. But if you want to check out the possibilities, try lawschoolnumbers.com.

czelede
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby czelede » Thu May 12, 2011 8:32 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:If you actually score that high you have a shot at every school outside of HYS. B, D and Texas will be tough but you really would have a shot everywhere


Slim to no chance at most of CCN - maybe an outside shot at Chi or N with an ED, or a WL -> A to either of those two with a really, REALLY high score.

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Corwin
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Corwin » Thu May 12, 2011 8:57 pm

Thanks a lot to everyone who has given feedback. The stories about NU and UVA are encouraging! The general sense that I'm getting from posters here is that with ED I have a tiny chance at NU or UVA, otherwise I will focus on other schools in the top 25 or top 50. Based on the statistics I've been looking at, seems like biglaw is still possible as long at you stay at the top of your class. Like I said, right now BU is really where I want to go if I do go to law school. Seems like that might be doable based on the stats sites that people posted.

I'm not planning on applying for at least a year. If I'm satisfied with my preparation I think I'll try to take the October or December LSAT. I had no idea there was such variation between practice exams and the real thing! A 5 point spread is pretty extreme (and suspect to be honest). I'm guessing the variance can be attributed to people cheating on the time for the practice test and nervousness when taking the actual exam. Something to keep in mind for my own preparation I think.

Oh, and sorry again to everyone that got angry that I posted practice scores. Thanks again for reading! Looking forward to assimilating as much knowledge as I can from TLS over the next year or two ^^

stylishlaw
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby stylishlaw » Thu May 12, 2011 9:10 pm

Corwin wrote:Thanks a lot to everyone who has given feedback. The stories about NU and UVA are encouraging! The general sense that I'm getting from posters here is that with ED I have a tiny chance at NU or UVA, otherwise I will focus on other schools in the top 25 or top 50. Based on the statistics I've been looking at, seems like biglaw is still possible as long at you stay at the top of your class. Like I said, right now BU is really where I want to go if I do go to law school. Seems like that might be doable based on the stats sites that people posted.

I'm not planning on applying for at least a year. If I'm satisfied with my preparation I think I'll try to take the October or December LSAT. I had no idea there was such variation between practice exams and the real thing! A 5 point spread is pretty extreme (and suspect to be honest). I'm guessing the variance can be attributed to people cheating on the time for the practice test and nervousness when taking the actual exam. Something to keep in mind for my own preparation I think.

Oh, and sorry again to everyone that got angry that I posted practice scores. Thanks again for reading! Looking forward to assimilating as much knowledge as I can from TLS over the next year or two ^^



There's a big spread because of the variance. At that percentile, a single question is equal to 1 LSAT point. Five questions can come down to anything from getting questions you've never seen before, to misreading a couple words, to not getting an inference in a logic game.

I would definitely look at schools in the lower T14 to T20 range.

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Corwin
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby Corwin » Thu May 12, 2011 11:33 pm

stylishlaw wrote:
Corwin wrote:Thanks a lot to everyone who has given feedback. The stories about NU and UVA are encouraging! The general sense that I'm getting from posters here is that with ED I have a tiny chance at NU or UVA, otherwise I will focus on other schools in the top 25 or top 50. Based on the statistics I've been looking at, seems like biglaw is still possible as long at you stay at the top of your class. Like I said, right now BU is really where I want to go if I do go to law school. Seems like that might be doable based on the stats sites that people posted.

I'm not planning on applying for at least a year. If I'm satisfied with my preparation I think I'll try to take the October or December LSAT. I had no idea there was such variation between practice exams and the real thing! A 5 point spread is pretty extreme (and suspect to be honest). I'm guessing the variance can be attributed to people cheating on the time for the practice test and nervousness when taking the actual exam. Something to keep in mind for my own preparation I think.

Oh, and sorry again to everyone that got angry that I posted practice scores. Thanks again for reading! Looking forward to assimilating as much knowledge as I can from TLS over the next year or two ^^



There's a big spread because of the variance. At that percentile, a single question is equal to 1 LSAT point. Five questions can come down to anything from getting questions you've never seen before, to misreading a couple words, to not getting an inference in a logic game.


Such variance is not precluded from practice tests. Misreading a question, seeing an unfamiliar questions, and getting a tough logic game can happen during practice with equal probability, as the practice tests are themselves past LSATs. Thus, these factors aren't explanations for a discrepancy. For example, say someone ranged between 168-174 on twenty practice tests taken honestly. One would expect to get any score in that range on the real test. But receiving a 163 points towards a different factor other than variance on the exam itself like nervousness or unfair proctoring.

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kalvano
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Re: 3.1-3.2 Engineer, 174 on PTs, 2 Years WE, Publications

Postby kalvano » Fri May 13, 2011 9:41 am

JamMasterJ wrote:If you actually score that high you have a shot at every school outside of HYS. B, D and Texas will be tough but you really would have a shot everywhere



Probably out at Texas. They have a pretty hard 3.5 cap.




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