URM, no idea where to apply

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BeyondThePale
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:35 pm

URM, no idea where to apply

Postby BeyondThePale » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:43 pm

So my application is probably a bit weird. I went to a really good undergrad straight out of high school but dropped out my senior year (VERY stupid, I know, but the various reasons were sound) and only accrued a 2.7 GPA when I was there. That was 8 years ago. I'm now 29 and am finishing up school at Portland State University. I've got a 4.0 there, which is great, but as I understand it my GPA at my old undergrad will be included when I apply to law school. I've taken two practice LSATs (under timed conditions and in the same room on campus where LSATs are normally given) in the past week and got a 172 on one and a 173 on the other. I'm a black male, and I'm gay too (do we get any bump for being gay?) so I guess I have two questions: 1)What range of schools should I apply to, assuming my LSAT is actually as good as my practice tests have been, and 2)is there any way for the law schools to know that my more recent grades are stellar and that it's my grades from almost a decade ago when I was much younger and more stupid that are dragging me down? Would they even care about that?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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law4vus
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Re: URM, no idea where to apply

Postby law4vus » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:56 pm

They'll consider your LSAC GPA, which will be a combination of all your undergrad grades, because that's the number they use to calculate their medians for reporting to USNews. The better grades may act as a softer bump, but I doubt it will help you outperform your LSAC GPA.

Assuming your LSAC GPA will be somewhere around 3.0 and making the assumption that you score as well on the actual thing as you are on PTs (not a safe assumption, to be honest, but just keep practicing), you'll probably be able to apply everywhere outside of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Columbia. Chicago and NYU will be tough but possible, and you stand a good chance at the rest of the schools in the T14. Harvard and Columbia may be worth the app, though.

I don't know if the 172 is your cold score, but if that is, it's fantastic. Keep practicing until you can score a 180. Don't rest just because you got a good score the first time.

As for being gay, it probably won't give a boost but could be something you can talk about in your diversity statement. This depends on the school, obviously, since some religious institutions might not be as likely to respond to it as, say, Berkeley.
Last edited by law4vus on Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: URM, no idea where to apply

Postby DreamsInDigital » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:56 pm

If you can get a 172 or 173 and your GPA ends up being around a 3.0 with both your schools, you should apply to all the T14. I would imagine that you would even get some money at the lower ones.

For comparison; my GPA was around a 2.7, I was out of school for almost 5 years, and I got a 170 (also a URM). I ended up attending a T30 with a full scholarship. If your GPA ends up on the lower end and you end up with a 170, you should still get into some T14s and can probably expect a few huge scholarships at T30s.

BeyondThePale
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:35 pm

Re: URM, no idea where to apply

Postby BeyondThePale » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:08 pm

Wow, I thought I would have a slight edge being black, but I didn't realize that I could get into the T14 with the grades I had. That's awesome.

Two more questions I guess.

1)If I write about how my more recent grades are a better reflection of my academic abilities do you think the admissions people will actual read that and take it into account? Or do they just take a quick look at LSAT/GPA and make quick judgments based on those two factors (for the most part) and barely glance at the essays? Is it worth my time to write an essay about it?

2)The schools you both agree are out of reach (Harvard, Yale, etc), would you bother even applying for them? Or is that a waste of time/mobey as well?


After a week of studying nothing but the logic games I took another practice test and scored a 175. I feel like I might be hitting a plateau with them though. Ah well, ever onward.

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Strange
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Re: URM, no idea where to apply

Postby Strange » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:17 pm

BeyondThePale wrote:Wow, I thought I would have a slight edge being black, but I didn't realize that I could get into the T14 with the grades I had. That's awesome.

Two more questions I guess.

1)If I write about how my more recent grades are a better reflection of my academic abilities do you think the admissions people will actual read that and take it into account? Or do they just take a quick look at LSAT/GPA and make quick judgments based on those two factors (for the most part) and barely glance at the essays? Is it worth my time to write an essay about it?

2)The schools you both agree are out of reach (Harvard, Yale, etc), would you bother even applying for them? Or is that a waste of time/mobey as well?


After a week of studying nothing but the logic games I took another practice test and scored a 175. I feel like I might be hitting a plateau with them though. Ah well, ever onward.



1) You can write about it, but it won't make a significant difference to your application. Do not write an "essay" write a short addendum, maybe 2-3 sentences.

2) HYS is not out of reach if you score in the 170's. But don't count your chickens before they hatch, take the LSAT and then figure out what you need to do




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