What are my chances

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
sadeshina
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:25 pm

What are my chances

Postby sadeshina » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:25 am

Undergrad: B.S. in Crim. Justice with concentration in Computer Forensics, GPA 2.992 (yeah I know, wish I could have done something else to bump that up to a 3.0)

Graduate: M.L.S. with Concentration in Law and Public Policy (graduating in December 2011, GPA 3.7)

URM: African American (Was born in Nigeria, lived in London then moved to US in 1999)

Work Experience: Working @ Apple Inc. now full time for a year and 2 months. Also worked with mentally disabled patients before that.

Taking the LSAT's in October, first time go.

Schools I am applying to right now

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Now I am adding Temple Law School and Widener as soon as their application process starts.

And yes Columbia is on there. My cousin who graduated top of his class in 2006 keeps hounding me to alteast try and he's offering to pay me back for the application fee, so why not right?

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law4vus
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Re: What are my chances

Postby law4vus » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:54 am

Your LSAT score is going to largely determine where you apply. No score should make you feel like you need to apply to a range as wide as Columbia to Widener.

Your URM status will help a lot, but it would help if you knew or had an idea of what LSAT score you may be getting. How have you done on practice tests?

sadeshina
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: What are my chances

Postby sadeshina » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:49 pm

Well my notion is to apply to 2 "out of reach" schools, 6 to 8 "secure" ones and about 2 "safe" schools (although should determine on how much scholarship money I get from them. I am taking a practice test tomorrow so atleast I should get a read on what kind of scores I can get. I work full time and go to grad school full time so having time to study is very very hard, but for the next 3 1/2 weeks I went down to part time to make sure I can get some study time. I think I should be able to make atleast a 158, but again that is just a guess.

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law4vus
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Re: What are my chances

Postby law4vus » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:38 pm

sadeshina wrote:Well my notion is to apply to 2 "out of reach" schools, 6 to 8 "secure" ones and about 2 "safe" schools (although should determine on how much scholarship money I get from them. I am taking a practice test tomorrow so atleast I should get a read on what kind of scores I can get. I work full time and go to grad school full time so having time to study is very very hard, but for the next 3 1/2 weeks I went down to part time to make sure I can get some study time. I think I should be able to make atleast a 158, but again that is just a guess.


You haven't taken any practice tests yet? Be aware that depending on how much you study, your initial practice test score may be nowhere near where you actually score.

A month out from the test, you're going to need to work extremely hard and I would aim for higher than a 158. Your URM status will greatly benefit you, but with your low GPA, you're going to need a score in the mid 160s to get into and/or get money from a school that's worth going to.

Good luck! If you do score around high 150s/low 160s, I think you'll be good at most of the schools on your list (except for Columbia). However, if you can break the mid to high 160s, Columbia becomes less of a hail mary and more of a reach. I really encourage you to set your sights higher and if you have to, push back the test until December and bust your butt. The late application's disadvantages will be outweighed by the opportunities another 6-10 points can open up. Also, if you do break into the mid 160s, throw an app at Northwestern if geography isn't an issue (looking at your list, it doesn't seem to be). They'll love your work experience.

4910
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Re: What are my chances

Postby 4910 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:57 pm

wow...you majored in criminal justice and still could not manage a 3.0

sadeshina
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: What are my chances

Postby sadeshina » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:37 am

To law4vus: Thanks for the insight. Yeah when you have a schedule like mine, even getting enough sleep is a hassle. Hence the reason why I am drastically reducing my workload and working just part time now. What is your recommendation for someone who has less than a month to study. I just got the Powerscore books and I should have 3-4 hours everyday till Oct 1st for strictly studying. I am thinking of taking practice tests everyday and then gradually get into the habits of timing myself to emulate LSAT's testing times. Also, about the schools, I would be ecstatic if I could get into Columbia. I know its a reach but I am willing to bust my butt for it. I was thinking about maybe getting a tutor or attending a prep class but I am not sure if it would be worth the money.

To 4910: Trust me, I blame myself alot because I could have done so much better in college, but I am not willing to go back and deal with regrets. What is done is done. I changed my major three times and that indeed did hurt me alot. Trust me, there is a backstory to every problem.

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law4vus
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Re: What are my chances

Postby law4vus » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:02 pm

sadeshina wrote:To law4vus: Thanks for the insight. Yeah when you have a schedule like mine, even getting enough sleep is a hassle. Hence the reason why I am drastically reducing my workload and working just part time now. What is your recommendation for someone who has less than a month to study. I just got the Powerscore books and I should have 3-4 hours everyday till Oct 1st for strictly studying. I am thinking of taking practice tests everyday and then gradually get into the habits of timing myself to emulate LSAT's testing times. Also, about the schools, I would be ecstatic if I could get into Columbia. I know its a reach but I am willing to bust my butt for it. I was thinking about maybe getting a tutor or attending a prep class but I am not sure if it would be worth the money.


At this point, do every practice question you can get your hands on. No need to take an entire test every day, but one thing I found that helped me was to take a FULL practice test once or twice a week (I'd say twice a week, given your time crunch) and on other days, make sure to study your powerscore books and do at least one section of a different full test. That way, you'll have taken about 3 tests a week, 2 full and one in pieces. Make sure you understand WHY you got every single question you got wrong, wrong.

I'd also say don't rush the test if you just don't have enough time. The test is extremely important and you need to prepare well for it. I actually took the LSAT twice, one year between administrations. My first score would have barely gotten me into the lower T1, most likely T2. My new score landed me at a T20. If you haven't studied much to this point, I'm not sure studying 3-4 hours a day for 3 weeks will make a significant enough difference. Have you even taken a diagnostic to get your baseline score?

I'd HIGHLY recommend putting it off until December, making sure to devote as much time as possible to doing it starting NOW. It sounds a little crazy but this one test can determine whether you go to Columbia or Widener (please don't go to Widener, especially not at sticker) or whether you get a full ride to somewhere like Temple or have to pay full price.

Take some time to think about it. I know I struggled with the decision to put off law school for an entire year, but the time off immensely improved my prospects as a whole and I think you can't put a price on that, whether it's time or money spent on practice exams.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: What are my chances

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:21 pm

law4vus wrote:
Take some time to think about it. I know I struggled with the decision to put off law school for an entire year, but the time off immensely improved my prospects as a whole and I think you can't put a price on that, whether it's time or money spent on practice exams.


+1

sadeshina
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Re: What are my chances

Postby sadeshina » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:04 am

I took my first practice test yesterday and suffice to say, I am not happy with the score I got. I went on Amazon and got all the Manhattan LSAT books so that I could fine tune my studying. The Logic games portion really screwed me but after going over the explanations with my girlfriend, I realize that it is because I am a fast reader and missed some key words. So when I take the next practice test, I will make sure I read everything carefully, but atleast I know where my faults are.

flexityflex86
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Re: What are my chances

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:07 am

sadeshina wrote:I took my first practice test yesterday and suffice to say, I am not happy with the score I got. I went on Amazon and got all the Manhattan LSAT books so that I could fine tune my studying. The Logic games portion really screwed me but after going over the explanations with my girlfriend, I realize that it is because I am a fast reader and missed some key words. So when I take the next practice test, I will make sure I read everything carefully, but atleast I know where my faults are.

You seem to be in great shape for October.

sadeshina
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: What are my chances

Postby sadeshina » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:57 am

flexityflex86 wrote:
sadeshina wrote:I took my first practice test yesterday and suffice to say, I am not happy with the score I got. I went on Amazon and got all the Manhattan LSAT books so that I could fine tune my studying. The Logic games portion really screwed me but after going over the explanations with my girlfriend, I realize that it is because I am a fast reader and missed some key words. So when I take the next practice test, I will make sure I read everything carefully, but atleast I know where my faults are.

You seem to be in great shape for October.


Are you being sarcastic ?

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law4vus
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Re: What are my chances

Postby law4vus » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:57 pm

sadeshina wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:
sadeshina wrote:I took my first practice test yesterday and suffice to say, I am not happy with the score I got. I went on Amazon and got all the Manhattan LSAT books so that I could fine tune my studying. The Logic games portion really screwed me but after going over the explanations with my girlfriend, I realize that it is because I am a fast reader and missed some key words. So when I take the next practice test, I will make sure I read everything carefully, but atleast I know where my faults are.

You seem to be in great shape for October.


Are you being sarcastic ?


Yeah, he is being sarcastic. However, the point he is trying to make is a valid one. You don't seem like you're really prepared for what's ahead and you're going to require much more work to get to where you need to be. With your admittedly busy schedule and lack of prep time, you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice to try and take the test in October. Forgive me for being harsh, but it doesn't really seem like to me that you're understanding what's going to be required of you in order to get good score and you're not on track to improve significantly before test day.

The LSAT is not an easy test, as you now know. It takes a lot of dedication to get a high score and, depending on where you started, it could take months to get to where you need to be. In this economy and with the legal market being what it is, taking this test lightly is a recipe for disaster. Right now, you need a score high enough to get you into a T2 with significant scholarship money (read: full ride) at the very least, but more preferably a T1 school (still with some money). Given your low GPA, it makes this test that much more important for you. I had a low GPA as well, and that factored into my decision to retake the test. I knew my GPA/LSAT combo wouldn't get me to where I needed, so I made a business decision and it paid off for me, compared to where I would have been.

I implore you to take the advice of people on this site and WAIT to take this exam. It's not to be taken lightly and you haven't given yourself the time necessary to do well. Please wait till December and devote a LOT of time to it. I'm talking MONTHS of studying, not a few weeks. And for those months, study a few hours a day. It may seem excessive, but you can't leave anything to chance. Studying a little longer for the LSAT to get into a T1-T14 school is a hell of a lot easier than busting your butt to be atop your class at a T2/3 for the same opportunities. Don't sell yourself short and do yourself a disservice by trying to take the test now. I assure you that unless you plan on spending the next 3 weeks studying for 6+ hours a day, you won't improve by test day and you'll be stuck with the score that you've already stated you're not happy with.

If that all else fails, think of me. I wrote out this long essay for you to help you when I should be studying for Torts! :P

sadeshina
Posts: 17
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Re: What are my chances

Postby sadeshina » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:55 pm

I thought long and hard about your suggestions and advice and I have decided to switch my test date to December. Overall, it is a better decision because now I have 3 months to study, study, study. I am still going to send applications in starting in October, so my applications will be pending till my scores are in.

Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

You all helped me make a sane decision.

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law4vus
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Re: What are my chances

Postby law4vus » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:31 pm

sadeshina wrote:I thought long and hard about your suggestions and advice and I have decided to switch my test date to December. Overall, it is a better decision because now I have 3 months to study, study, study. I am still going to send applications in starting in October, so my applications will be pending till my scores are in.

Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

You all helped me make a sane decision.


I'm really glad you decided to switch the date. It may be later than some others, but the increase in score will benefit you more than any gains you'd have applying earlier.

I really hope you get into Columbia, but you should also know that even as a URM, your low GPA will be a hindrance unless you get a very high score. Obviously I don't know much about how your essay will be, but it really does come down to numbers. I have no doubt that if you really dedicate yourself until December, you'll be just fine. I wish you the best of luck and PM me if you ever have any questions!




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