3.94 / two 159's

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leche
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3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 pm

After taking a few devastated days off from TLS post-June score release, I am trying to evaluate what I should actually do with myself from here.

I took the LSAT in February, got a 159. Was pretty disappointed, but felt confident that I could score much, much higher in June. I walked out predicting a 167 (my average was 169) but was shocked to see ANOTHER 159. My top choices were Berkeley and UT, followed by pretty much any t14-20. Should I even waste my hard-earned application money on any of these schools? I am a white female, English major, Religious Studies minor, West European Studies certificate, graduated from a public university. My softs aren't very impressive - mostly academic stuff (some undergrad teaching experience, two large scholarships, two internships, studied abroad, etc.) and I have no worthwhile work experience - I've been serving/bartending since I graduated.

Also, what the hell do I write in my addendum? I honestly have no explanation for my scores. I know I could have done better but I am NOT taking it again. Absolutely cannot handle another letdown.

Thanks in advance.

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monarchylover
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby monarchylover » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:42 pm

People are going to tell you to throw away your dreams of being an attorney those people are what make life suck sometimes.
Apply to
Wake Forest
UNC
Miami
FSU
UF
Stetson
LLS
USD
and other places like those

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bk1
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:45 pm

leche wrote:Also, what the hell do I write in my addendum? I honestly have no explanation for my scores. I know I could have done better but I am NOT taking it again. Absolutely cannot handle another letdown.


If you can't handle taking the LSAT again due to the possibility of not improving, how are you going to handle the 50% chance that you have of getting below median 1L grades?

Also you don't need to write an LSAT addendum since you don't have anything to write about.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:47 pm

bk1 wrote:Also you don't need to write an LSAT addendum since you don't have anything to write about.


Aren't you supposed to if you have a shit score or in my case two shit scores?

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bk1
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:48 pm

leche wrote:
bk1 wrote:Also you don't need to write an LSAT addendum since you don't have anything to write about.


Aren't you supposed to if you have a shit score or in my case two shit scores?


If you have a reason for not scoring well, but you don't have a reason for it (e.g. death in the family, illness, etc).

The best you can say is "I don't feel my LSAT is representative, look at my GPA plz" which is the kind of thing that adcomms can do on their own and don't need an addendum from you to decide how to weight LSAT vs GPA.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:51 pm

bk1 wrote:
leche wrote:Also, what the hell do I write in my addendum? I honestly have no explanation for my scores. I know I could have done better but I am NOT taking it again. Absolutely cannot handle another letdown.


If you can't handle taking the LSAT again due to the possibility of not improving, how are you going to handle the 50% chance that you have of getting below median 1L grades?


Also, are you suggesting I take it again?

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bk1
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:53 pm

leche wrote:Also, are you suggesting I take it again?


Yes. It's at least worth trying since there is a large possible upside and a minimal downside (which in your case is not only the time spent but the emotional distress which you should get over anyways).

And it's not like you maxed out on your score anyways. You have legitimate chance of improving.

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20121109
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby 20121109 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:58 pm

Did anything happen on test day that may have made you score so low for a second time? How did you prepare?

Maybe we can help you make some changes in order to increase your score. Many people take the LSAT three times. I know I did; I got the same score twice before I hit my target on my third attempt. Please don't get down on yourself. Take the time you need to recover from the frustration and disappointment and try again. As bk said, you have a legitimate chance of improving.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:04 pm

The first time I used Powerscore LG and LR, did nothing for RC. I determined I screwed up by not taking recent PTs, not taking enough PTs under real testing conditions, and underestimating how tough RC could be. Second time I took around 15-20 PTs (including the most recent 10 book), reread the Bibles, bought Manhattan's LR and RC guide. I honestly don't know what I could have done differently the second time. I felt fairly confident - I scored 171's and 173's several times.

I should also add that I know I want to specialize in environmental law and am considering Lewis & Clark and Vermont. Would rather do those than take the test again. Unless everyone says that is a stupid idea, which they did after my first 159.

I think I would be less terrified of taking it a third time if I'd at least scored one effing point higher. The consistency makes me afraid I'll get a third 159.

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monarchylover
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby monarchylover » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:07 pm

do you get test anxiety or something?

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:08 pm

monarchylover wrote:do you get test anxiety or something?


Sure, but not to the point where I have panic attacks and can't focus. I actually felt very focused for June.

sca218ml
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby sca218ml » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:44 pm

Retake. No Questions. FWIW, I took it 3 times--> 161, 163 first two even though I averaged high 160s PTing. I prepared very similarly to you (a lot). Third time I didn't study at all for three months prior. Got a 170. You know the material, but are putting too much pressure on yourself. Go into the next test confident you've done the prep and just do what you can do.

No addendum. The addendum is for when you get 166+ the next time. You can do it. A 166 and your GPA and you will have MUCH better options that the schools you are looking at and it will be WELL WORTH IT. Retake.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:57 am

sca218ml wrote:Retake. No Questions. FWIW, I took it 3 times--> 161, 163 first two even though I averaged high 160s PTing. I prepared very similarly to you (a lot). Third time I didn't study at all for three months prior. Got a 170. You know the material, but are putting too much pressure on yourself. Go into the next test confident you've done the prep and just do what you can do.

No addendum. The addendum is for when you get 166+ the next time. You can do it. A 166 and your GPA and you will have MUCH better options that the schools you are looking at and it will be WELL WORTH IT. Retake.


You literally did NOTHING third time? I can't envision myself doing that. I agree I definitely put way too much pressure on myself, but I still feel like I'd need to reread all the guides and do at least 5-10 PTs or something?

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20121109
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby 20121109 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:20 am

Here are some suggestions for studying for a retake. You could try it this way next time.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/inde ... 343.0.html

Good luck!!

LEPinBOS
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby LEPinBOS » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:33 am

Can't you get into Pitt with those numbers? Your GPA will open doors in the 30-50 range.

CanadianWolf
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:14 am

No need for an addendum since your scores are consistent & you finished above 77% or so of all other LSAT test takers.

lawschoolpredictor.com & lawschoolnumbers.com should be helpful in determining where to apply.

You should be admitted to FSU, for example, according to the graph at lawschoolnumbers.com which shows all with a 159 or higher LSAT as successful applicants, but those below 159 did not get admitted.

Consider applying to:
UNC
Wisconsin--although both are tough even though lawschoolpredictor.com suggests otherwise.

WFU
Arizona
Pitt
Case Western Reserve
Lewis & Clark
Kansas
Penn State--especially since you are a resident.
Denver

Check lawschoolnumbers.com to see if any with similiar numbers received scholarship money. Otherwise, consider retaking the LSAT to get into higher ranked law schools or to qualify for merit money.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:10 am

Gaia, thanks for the link. I already did most of that stuff for the first retake (like the mistake log) but guess I just have to try harder.

Lep, yes. I could get into Pitt with lots of money - I have a friend with a 159 and a slightly lower GPA than mine and she got 10 grand a year. But Pitt is my undergrad and I am sick of this city.

Wolf - I must be dumb because I cannot figure out how to work lawschoolnumbers.com. I've used Law School Predictor but people have lately been telling me that they've gotten waitlisted and even accepted to schools the predictor told them would reject them, or been rejected to their safety schools based on the predictor. I know it's a very useful tool and I use it frequently but I also know it's not an exact science.

CanadianWolf
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:21 am

lawschoolpredictor.com doesn't account for state residency & has a very small base of URMS which accounts for some of the mispredictions. Also, the database is small.

lawschoolnumbers.com is lawschoolpredictors source of data.

lawschoolnumbers.com's graphs show that you are almost certain to be admitted to Penn State & FSU. Penn State should also offer you scholarship money.

To use lawschoolnumbers.com, just select a law school--any school--and press either the bar for "graph" or "applicants". Changing law schools is easy as you will then see.

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ndirish2010
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:17 pm

leche wrote:
sca218ml wrote:Retake. No Questions. FWIW, I took it 3 times--> 161, 163 first two even though I averaged high 160s PTing. I prepared very similarly to you (a lot). Third time I didn't study at all for three months prior. Got a 170. You know the material, but are putting too much pressure on yourself. Go into the next test confident you've done the prep and just do what you can do.

No addendum. The addendum is for when you get 166+ the next time. You can do it. A 166 and your GPA and you will have MUCH better options that the schools you are looking at and it will be WELL WORTH IT. Retake.


You literally did NOTHING third time? I can't envision myself doing that. I agree I definitely put way too much pressure on myself, but I still feel like I'd need to reread all the guides and do at least 5-10 PTs or something?


I got a 161 the first time, barely did anything the second time (I was PTing 165-166 range) and got a 168 second time...it's possible.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:54 pm

I would like to thank all of you for sharing stories and advice. I really appreciate it. And now I understand how to work lawschoolnumbers.com!

Just one more question. Knowing that I am not money/status motivated (well maybe only a teeny bit, I do want to be a lawyer after all), have zero drive for Big Law (my only interest is environmental or possibly animal law), and would prefer a less competitive atmosphere, do you really think I should take the LSAT again? I am starting to come around to the idea of lesser ranked schools, but am still scared about debt. The only thing working in my favor financially is that I went to Pitt on a full tuition scholarship and thus have no UG debt.

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ndirish2010
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:55 pm

You can't expect to get a job in environmental law, so if that's all you're interested in you might want to rethink your motivations for law school.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:58 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:You can't expect to get a job in environmental law


Why not?

jarofsoup
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby jarofsoup » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:09 pm

bk1 wrote:
leche wrote:Also, what the hell do I write in my addendum? I honestly have no explanation for my scores. I know I could have done better but I am NOT taking it again. Absolutely cannot handle another letdown.


If you can't handle taking the LSAT again due to the possibility of not improving, how are you going to handle the 50% chance that you have of getting below median 1L grades?

Also you don't need to write an LSAT addendum since you don't have anything to write about.



bk1 I used to hate it, but I am learning to love the never ending pessimism.

I agree it is better not to write an addendum if you have scored two 159s in a row. If you scored a 145 and 159 then you would have reason, but that just looks like your score.

You want to make it a positive thing you do not retest. Honestly you do have a shot of some schools in the top 50...or at least their wait lists...That GPA will save you.

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leche
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby leche » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:25 pm

One more LSN question - what do the abbreviations mean?

W next to "accepted" or "waitlisted"
A next to "accepted"
U, N, or I next to applicant (U = URM?)

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NYCbound35
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Re: 3.94 / two 159's

Postby NYCbound35 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:38 pm

leche wrote:One more LSN question - what do the abbreviations mean?

W next to "accepted" or "waitlisted"
A next to "accepted"
U, N, or I next to applicant (U = URM?)


A = attending
W = withdrawn
U = URM
N = Non Traditional Applicant (old people)
I = no idea?
F = Fee Waiver

numbers next to school is the user's ranking of the school

oh yeah, and the most important one

R= Retake




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