What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

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MCPHYBS
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What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby MCPHYBS » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:04 am

Here goes:

I hold 2 bachelor's degrees - one in philosophy and one in economics. I will also hold a master's in economics at the end of this academic year from a pretty well-reputed state school. My LSDAS GPA is 4.08. My master's GPA is around a 3.4. I've taken quite a few practice LSAT tests and have been scoring in the 170-175 range (more consistently at the top end of that range). Let's assume I do as well on the actual test when I take it soon (I know this is a strong assumption, but let's just go with it).

Now, there are a few things I'm worried about. First is the prestige of my undergraduate institution. It is a flagship, land-grant university. It's not well-regarded, but not looked down upon either. Second is my graduate GPA - is this something I should actually worry about or is it a relatively minor detail?

Third are some past (criminal) low-points of my youth. I was charged with a few misdemeanors as a minor (malicious destruction of property, 4th degree burglary, and a couple other less serious charges), but never received more than probation. Also, I was adjudicated delinquent of felony theft, was put on probation, completed a brief youthful offender program, and paid restitution. In my first couple of years at college, I received two underage drinking citations and a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. All were dismissed (possession was dismissed after 6 months unsupervised probation). After this point, I became very involved/invested in school. I have attended various conferences, presented papers I've written, won various scholarships and fellowships, etc. I was also in a few leadership positions during my later years of undergrad. When it comes down to it, I turned it around and haven't been in any legal trouble since (going on 4 years now).

I think my history and transformation has the potential to make me stand out, but, unfortunately, in both good and bad ways. I would really like to be able to attend one of the top 5 or 6 programs (especially Stanford), but would be happy with any of the top 14. I'm hoping you all can give me some advice (other than to be completely honest on my application - I absolutely will be) and express your perceptions of my chances. Thank you in advance!

KingsBench
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby KingsBench » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:36 am

Get yourself a real LSAT score and then we'll talk.

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Kikero
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby Kikero » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:41 am

I went to an undergraduate university that nobody's heard of and I don't think it hurt me much, so I wouldn't worry about that. The question is what will you get on the actual LSAT? With your incredible LSDAS GPA, if you score a 170, you should have good chances at the lower T14 and chances everywhere below HYS. Score a 175 and you'll have excellent chances everywhere. Score below a 170 and you'll want to retake, it would be a disservice to your GPA otherwise.

As to Graduate GPA, I don't think they even ask for it? Although maybe they want a transcript (you'll have to wait for someone with a grad degree to answer that). Either way, I don't think it would hurt you significantly.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:48 am

Kikero wrote:I went to an undergraduate university that nobody's heard of and I don't think it hurt me much, so I wouldn't worry about that. The question is what will you get on the actual LSAT? With your incredible LSDAS GPA, if you score a 170, you should have good chances at the lower T14 and chances everywhere below HYS. Score a 175 and you'll have excellent chances everywhere. Score below a 170 and you'll want to retake, it would be a disservice to your GPA otherwise.

As to Graduate GPA, I don't think they even ask for it? Although maybe they want a transcript (you'll have to wait for someone with a grad degree to answer that). Either way, I don't think it would hurt you significantly.

they want Grad transcripts but they aren't used in your LSAC calculation

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Tom Joad
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby Tom Joad » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:08 am

As added motivation to break 170, it seems that 3.95+ 170+ reverse splitters get tons of scholarship money thrown at them.

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LaCumparsita
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby LaCumparsita » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:48 am

Tom Joad wrote:As added motivation to break 170, it seems that 3.95+ 170+ reverse splitters get tons of scholarship money thrown at them.


We can attest to this. :)

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Tom Joad
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby Tom Joad » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:55 am

LaCumparsita wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:As added motivation to break 170, it seems that 3.95+ 170+ reverse splitters get tons of scholarship money thrown at them.


We can attest to this. :)

LaCumparsita, my belle, I am so envious of you.

MCPHYBS
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby MCPHYBS » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:58 pm

Thank you to everyone for your input. So it seems that the consensus is, given a high enough LSAT score, I shouldn't have much problem getting into the top 14 and even some top 5 schools. Out of curiosity, what would a reasonable lower bound be on a LSAT score for top 5 in my position?

Is the reason that no one has commented on my criminal history that it isn't too much to be worried about, or rather, that no one really knows what to say about it and/or has experience with such a situation?

Side note: Since scholarships were mentioned: do scholarships typically only take the form of (partial) tuition, or in some cases, are stipends awarded on top of tuition scholarships? Also, can anyone point me in the direction of some sort of ranking/listing of law schools based on their relative areas of strength?

Thanks again to all of you for your input so far; I'm looking forward to receiving any more feedback that you guys have to offer.

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby Mr. Somebody » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:25 pm

MCPHYBS wrote:Thank you to everyone for your input. So it seems that the consensus is, given a high enough LSAT score, I shouldn't have much problem getting into the top 14 and even some top 5 schools. Out of curiosity, what would a reasonable lower bound be on a LSAT score for top 5 in my position?

Is the reason that no one has commented on my criminal history that it isn't too much to be worried about, or rather, that no one really knows what to say about it and/or has experience with such a situation?

Side note: Since scholarships were mentioned: do scholarships typically only take the form of (partial) tuition, or in some cases, are stipends awarded on top of tuition scholarships? Also, can anyone point me in the direction of some sort of ranking/listing of law schools based on their relative areas of strength?

Thanks again to all of you for your input so far; I'm looking forward to receiving any more feedback that you guys have to offer.


I think you'd be better off doing a search. Most of your questions are so elementary that they've probably been answered a thousand times or more in this forum.

Different law schools will be stronger in different regions which you can figure out by looking on a map (except for HYS which are dominant everywhere). Don't worry about specialty rankings.

Long story short, with your GPA don't settle for anything outside the T14.

MCPHYBS
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby MCPHYBS » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:37 pm

Thanks, Mr. Somebody. Regarding areas of strength, I was actually referring to specialty rankings. Surely there has to be some consideration for relative specialty strengths, right (especially if I end up not having much of a shot at HYS)?

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: What are my chances at T14? - interesting profile

Postby Mr. Somebody » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:40 pm

MCPHYBS wrote:Thanks, Mr. Somebody. Regarding areas of strength, I was actually referring to specialty rankings. Surely there has to be some consideration for relative specialty strengths, right (especially if I end up not having much of a shot at HYS)?


General consensus on here is that specialty rankings don't matter much. Now if you want to do PI work then you should be looking at schools with strong LRAP programs. If you want to do corporate biglaw in a certain region you should look at schools that place well there. But placement is relatively similar through the lower T14, somewhat better at CCN, and obviously superior at HYS.




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