3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

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AdviceSeeker123
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3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby AdviceSeeker123 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:59 am

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Last edited by AdviceSeeker123 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:02 am

AdviceSeeker123 wrote:Just took the LSAT today, and I'm looking for advice on what how well I'd need to have done in order not to consider re-taking in the Fall.

Undergrad - transferred to UPenn after two years elsewhere (one semester in community college during the transfer process). GPA first two years was 3.98; GPA at Penn 3.89 (with one "A+" that counted as an "A" in the GPA). Majored in History, graduated with Honors in Major.

Received my MS from the Journalism School Columbia University, which I think will prove a helpful soft factor.

Have been pretty erratic on my practice tests but my average has been ~168 or 169 (range 165-174). Not sure how I did today, but I doubt I was above 170.

Thinking about Duke, UVA, and Penn, NYU, Columbia. Not too interested in going to Michigan or Chicago (nor Ithaca). Where do I need to be on the LSAT in order to get into these schools with my grades and MS? How much does transferring help or hurt me? Does a 3.9 from a top college mean more than an 3.9 from somewhere else? Would ED be a smart idea?

Any info for a neophyte such as myself is much appreciated. Thanks.


A 170 would really do you nicely. I had a 170 with a little bit higher GPA and got into Duke with money, NYU with money and I got waitlisted at UVA. If you get a 169 you might be for Duke. Anything lower and I would suggest EDing to UVA. But don't apply until you get a 172+. I just retook my 170 today and it's worth it.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:10 am

AdviceSeeker123 wrote:Just took the LSAT today, and I'm looking for advice on what how well I'd need to have done in order not to consider re-taking in the Fall.

Undergrad - transferred to UPenn after two years elsewhere (one semester in community college during the transfer process). GPA first two years was 3.98; GPA at Penn 3.89 (with one "A+" that counted as an "A" in the GPA). Majored in History, graduated with Honors in Major.

Received my MS from the Journalism School Columbia University, which I think will prove a helpful soft factor.

Have been pretty erratic on my practice tests but my average has been ~168 or 169 (range 165-174). Not sure how I did today, but I doubt I was above 170.

Thinking about Duke, UVA, and Penn, NYU, Columbia. Not too interested in going to Michigan or Chicago (nor Ithaca). Where do I need to be on the LSAT in order to get into these schools with my grades and MS? How much does transferring help or hurt me? Does a 3.9 from a top college mean more than an 3.9 from somewhere else? Would ED be a smart idea?

Any info for a neophyte such as myself is much appreciated. Thanks.

What are your thoughts RE: Boalt? They have a history of taking lower LSATs.

Check out lawschoolnumbers.com and browse around to get a better idea of what LSAT ranges will and won't work for you. Luckily for you, Penn and Duke are pretty GPA-whorey, so that 3.9 will be significant there. I think you could get away with a 167-169 at Duke, and ditto with Penn provided that you apply ED. UVa is kind of a crapshoot because they like to waitlist people who aren't VA residents. I don't know too much about NYU/Columbia, but to be on the safe side I'd say that you have to be in the 170-range to have a good shot.

Your MS doesn't mean much, by the way (sorry). Ditto with the quality of your school, unless it's HYP or something of that caliber (MIT for math, etc etc). The transfer won't hurt you. See above for my take on using your ED (note that ED will probably lower your chances of getting $$, so use it wisely).

I'm with Mal here though - a retake would do WONDERS for your cycle. How have you been studying for the LSAT? If you can bring your PTs up to a solid 175-ish and then get a 171-173, you're in pretty much everywhere you listed, probably with $$. If you get in the mid to upper 170s, you have a solid shot at Harvard and Stanford.

ahnhub
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby ahnhub » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:36 am

A 170/3.9 is basically a lock for Penn and Duke if you apply early--and you're also likely to get good $$. You probably have a better than 50/50 shot of getting into one of those with a 169. 168 is probably the lowest you can go to have a realistic shot.

I decided not to retake a 170/3.88, mostly because I felt I had maxed out my potential after studying really hard, and I was reasonably sure I was going to get into the places I wanted. It really depends on the individual.

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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby AdviceSeeker123 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:26 am

I really appreciate the input. Too bad I hadn't solicited some advice sooner. Anyway, I'm not too interested in going out West, so Boalt isnt't really on my radar. UT-Austin and Vanderbilt would be more likely candidates, although I'm hoping to stay and practice on the East Coast, regardless of whether I go South or not.

My study habits for this go-around were a reversal of the adage "Work smarter, not harder." I put in a good six months with old tests and the Power Score Bibles, but didn't think they did much to help me with Reading Comp and Logical Reasoning. Also I have no idea how I did today, so it will be tough to say I maxed out. Still, I do think I'm capable of 172-174 with some tweaking.

Few follow up questions:

1. If I decide to re-test, is there any advantage to the Fall test as opposed to the Winter test or vice versa?

2. Is it right to say that, depending on your interests and your scores, you have to make a calculation on where to use your one ED and hope for the best? Can applying ED ever work against you in some way or is it always a positive factor since you're making the admissions committee's job easier?

3. Is there a clear winner among UVa, Duke, Penn, NYU or does it depend too much on where and what kind of law I want to practice afterwards? On the flip side of that, if I wanted to practice in NYC, but only got into, say, Duke and not the others, would I be better off going to a Fordham or a St. John's? Likewise, if I wanted to practice in the South, do I take Duke over Columbia assuming I get in both?

Thanks again.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:42 am

Answers to your qs:

1) If I decide to re-test, is there any advantage to the Fall test as opposed to the Winter test or vice versa?

From an application standpoint, doing it in the Fall will give you the ability to apply earlier, which IMO gives you a small intangible benefit. January is quite late in the cycle to apply, and if you are borderline with your LSAT it might hurt your cycle because schools will have already accepted most of their class.

2) Is it right to say that, depending on your interests and your scores, you have to make a calculation on where to use your one ED and hope for the best? Can applying ED ever work against you in some way or is it always a positive factor since you're making the admissions committee's job easier?

Basically, yes to your first sentence. To the latter half - it can have a negative impact on scholarship money (if, for example, you are borderline at a school but ED because you REALLY WANT TO GO...this may basically guarantee you don't get funding, whereas applying RD may lead to surprise scholarship money). This is obviously not applicable been ED programs are associated with full rides (ie NU).

3) Is there a clear winner among UVa, Duke, Penn, NYU or does it depend too much on where and what kind of law I want to practice afterwards? On the flip side of that, if I wanted to practice in NYC, but only got into, say, Duke and not the others, would I be better off going to a Fordham or a St. John's? Likewise, if I wanted to practice in the South, do I take Duke over Columbia assuming I get in both?

It really does depend on what you want to do and where you want to do it. I'd say Penn and NYU are probably the best for E Coast. UVa has a pretty strong foothold in NY too though. Honestly it's not TOO bad because NY is the easiest market to break into without ties, and it seems like you already have ties to the E Coast anyway. If you want the South, I think CLS is strong enough that it shouldn't hurt you provided you have ties to the area. If Duke offered you a huge scholly though, that might be worth re-considering, but not merely on the basis of its location. Ditto with the Duke v Fordham example - it depends on scholly money and whether you have ties to the area. Like I said though, NY is comparatively easier to break into. Oh, and as a disclaimer, when I talk about markets I'm speaking purely about BigLawl markets. I'm not sure how government/PI jobs work in this respect.

This is basically what I tell everyone when it comes to the LSAT, I hope you'll find it helpful:

1) Buy the Powerscore Bibles & acquire a bunch of practice tests (PTs), preferably all of them. Do ONE PT to gauge where you are starting from. This will give you a good idea of which section you need the most work in. Also, it's kind of cool to see where you started before studying and where you end up :D

2) DO NOT do any more PTs. Just work through the Bibles, make sure you understand the tricks and theories behind why certain answers are correct, what you should look for in diff sections, how to diagram LGs, etc etc.

3) Once you've worked through the Bibles, do ONE (1) PT to gauge where you stand. Based on that PT, you should have an idea of how you have improved after reading the PS bibles.

4) Drill, baby, drill! Do practice problems for the section/question types that trouble you. Begin by doing them untimed and shoot for 100% accuracy. Once you have the accuracy down, work on timing them.

5) Once you're done drilling, THEN move on to doing practice tests. The reason why you want to put this off is because you cannot improve without a good foundation for the LSAT: otherwise, you're just burning through PTs that you've paid for without really improving.

6) After every PT, analyze your incorrect answers and the qs that troubled you THOROUGHLY. This should include asking yourself these questions (keep a notebook/log if it helps you...here is mine: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=146970#p3986201):
  • Why was my answer wrong?
  • Why was the right answer correct?
  • Did the writers of the LSAT use any 'tricks' to get me to pick the wrong answer?
  • Is there any methodology I can use to combat this sort of a trick on this question type in the future?
If you need an example of the above process, I can make one up, I'm just too lazy to type it up right now.

7) Once you are comfortable with PT-ing under testing conditions (early morning if possible, not in your bedroom, 35 min per section with no breaks except for 1 10 minute break between section 3 and 4) THEN you should try to move on to PT with less time. AKA, move from 35 min/section to 30 min per section. Why should you do this? Because inevitably, time passes faster when you're taking the actual test. 35 minutes will feel like a lot less. If you're used to having 30 minutes though, you won't end up running out of time during the actual thing. In fact, you'll probably still have 2-3 minutes to look back over your answers for all of your sections. In a test where nerves can fuck you up badly, this can be a lifesaver. Even having 45 seconds at the end of a section to put your pencil down, take a deep breath, and relax will help you a lot during the test.


Of course, you may need to change this around a bit depending on how much prep work you've done already.

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UtilityMonster
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby UtilityMonster » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:58 pm

A 3.9 from UPenn and a 169 is good enough for Duke, definitely good enough for UPenn or Virginia ED.

A 168 and I think you are out at all three.

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Kring345
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby Kring345 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:09 pm

UtilityMonster wrote:A 3.9 from UPenn and a 169 is good enough for Duke, definitely good enough for UPenn or Virginia ED.

A 168 and I think you are out at all three.

I can more or less confirm what's been said about P and V. Im a 3.8 / 168 person, had 3x combat tours with the USMC, and was WL'd at Penn and UVa.

Fucking 168/169 are the worst scores ever. Get that 170 and it will change your entire trajectory, which is completely ridiculous but true.

Also, I dont think I'd ever ED anywhere (except maybe Northwestern). It fucks you for funding (again, except NU) and $$$ is everything. Not to mention my number 1 choice of schools changed almost daily for 9 months, so dont presume your 'dream school' is where you REALLY want to be. As a 0L who has only been researching schools for 3 months, how much do you really know? In the end, or during OCI, you'll have a much different perspective than as a 0L and your "dream school" could be a distant memory.

AlexGrace
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby AlexGrace » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:26 pm

As someone already suggested, check out LSN... Here's mine, with my crappy LSAT score and everything lol... http://lawschoolnumbers.com/AlexGrace
Apply early!

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Kring345
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby Kring345 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:38 pm

AlexGrace wrote:As someone already suggested, check out LSN... Here's mine, with my crappy LSAT score and everything lol... http://lawschoolnumbers.com/AlexGrace
Apply early!

Does your tar refer to your LSN?

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Elston Gunn
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:51 pm

3.9+/174 is in at Harvard, good shot at YS. Plus you don't have to wait out a new cycle. Definitely retake if you're not at least at 172. I'm glad to see you seem open to it.

AlexGrace
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby AlexGrace » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:52 pm

Kring345 wrote:
AlexGrace wrote:As someone already suggested, check out LSN... Here's mine, with my crappy LSAT score and everything lol... http://lawschoolnumbers.com/AlexGrace
Apply early!

Does your tar refer to your LSN?



hah I completely forgot I did that... I think I'm visible again.

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thelawyler
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby thelawyler » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:00 pm

If you don't score in the upper band of your range, I would definitely retake.

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Law Sauce
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby Law Sauce » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:19 pm

I know people with high GPAs like yours that got into UVA ED with a 163 and 165. UVA and many other schools will give you a shot if you are above only one of the medians and ED.

The way admissions work, for instance, is schools will game their medians by admitting, by way of example:
171, 3.1
165, 3.9
170, 3.8
166, 4.0
173, 3.2
This would result in a median of 170 and 3.8 but the 170, 3.8 is probably the strongest applicant. As you can see, the median game makes being above one median very important (this is why 170 is a magic number for people without spectacular GPAs, however you don't have to worry about that). You are above one median almost everywhere. To getting $, however, you need to be above one median and at least at the other median. This is why splitters almost never get money, but they can get into higher ranked schools, especially with an ED, then could a more balanced applicant. (Note: the exception is at T30 schools that effectively subsidize their cost to raise their rankings by giving everyone scholarships, see WUSTL, Illinois, Indiana etc., btw this works because tuition costs directly influence the USNews rankings).

My predictions are, with a strong GPA you need:
For YHS: crapshoot, probably 173+
For CCN with ED: need at least a 169 probably 170
For Mich, Penn with ED: probably possible with 167 or 168
For UVA ED (especially those applying on sept. 1st): possible with 165 (I know people who had less)
To Get Money in MVP range (or to be safe without EDing): you will need to be above or at both medians, so probably 170 or so for MVP up

All this does not mean that a retake couldn't be TCR because you have a shot at $$ and HYSCCN whereas lower GPAs don't really

AdviceSeeker123
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby AdviceSeeker123 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:46 pm

AlexGrace wrote:As someone already suggested, check out LSN... Here's mine, with my crappy LSAT score and everything lol... http://lawschoolnumbers.com/AlexGrace
Apply early!



Very Interesting; thanks. Would applying in the early Fall mean that the schools receiving my resume wouldn't be considering the score of a retake if I chose to take one in Sept./Oct.?

AlexGrace
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby AlexGrace » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:23 pm

AdviceSeeker123 wrote:
AlexGrace wrote:As someone already suggested, check out LSN... Here's mine, with my crappy LSAT score and everything lol... http://lawschoolnumbers.com/AlexGrace
Apply early!



Very Interesting; thanks. Would applying in the early Fall mean that the schools receiving my resume wouldn't be considering the score of a retake if I chose to take one in Sept./Oct.?


I’m not sure how to answer this question because I only had one score when I applied and never scheduled a retake, although I believe the schools that you apply to early are able to see that you’re scheduled to take the October test, and they might wait to evaluate your application until after the October score comes in. I’m not 100% on this though… I’m sure someone else here could answer that for you.

glaw01
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby glaw01 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:06 pm

Took the LSAT for the first time on Monday...and all this numbers talk is making me nervous. Can we just find out our scores already?! July 6th can't come fast enough...

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twenty
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby twenty » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:34 pm

Honestly, unless you got a 173, I'd probably retake. You have a really good shot at H being over the median and all. I might even go for December, too.

Obviously you're in a really good spot. I think the masters degree will help you the most at the HYS level, and the only thing in your way at this point is the LSAT.

Good luck. :)

AdviceSeeker123
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby AdviceSeeker123 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:27 pm

AlexGrace wrote:
AdviceSeeker123 wrote:
AlexGrace wrote:As someone already suggested, check out LSN... Here's mine, with my crappy LSAT score and everything lol... http://lawschoolnumbers.com/AlexGrace
Apply early!



Very Interesting; thanks. Would applying in the early Fall mean that the schools receiving my resume wouldn't be considering the score of a retake if I chose to take one in Sept./Oct.?


I’m not sure how to answer this question because I only had one score when I applied and never scheduled a retake, although I believe the schools that you apply to early are able to see that you’re scheduled to take the October test, and they might wait to evaluate your application until after the October score comes in. I’m not 100% on this though… I’m sure someone else here could answer that for you.



I guess if you only took the LSAT once then my question wouldn't apply to you. Basically what I'm wondering is even if I get my apps in ASAP come the Fall, do they count as "early" if the admissions committees have to wait on an October re-take score? I know that I can apply in Sept. and then send scores, but do I then lose my "early" status if the scores arrive in Nov.?

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20130312
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby 20130312 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:35 pm

Surprised that nobody has lawschoolnumbers.com'd you yet

redbullvodka
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Re: 3.9 and what gets me into UVA, PENN, DUKE?

Postby redbullvodka » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:40 pm

AdviceSeeker123 wrote:
AlexGrace wrote:
AdviceSeeker123 wrote:
AlexGrace wrote:As someone already suggested, check out LSN... Here's mine, with my crappy LSAT score and everything lol... http://lawschoolnumbers.com/AlexGrace
Apply early!



Very Interesting; thanks. Would applying in the early Fall mean that the schools receiving my resume wouldn't be considering the score of a retake if I chose to take one in Sept./Oct.?


I’m not sure how to answer this question because I only had one score when I applied and never scheduled a retake, although I believe the schools that you apply to early are able to see that you’re scheduled to take the October test, and they might wait to evaluate your application until after the October score comes in. I’m not 100% on this though… I’m sure someone else here could answer that for you.



I guess if you only took the LSAT once then my question wouldn't apply to you. Basically what I'm wondering is even if I get my apps in ASAP come the Fall, do they count as "early" if the admissions committees have to wait on an October re-take score? I know that I can apply in Sept. and then send scores, but do I then lose my "early" status if the scores arrive in Nov.?



Absolutely still considered early by normal standards, "on time" by TLS standards. FWIW, I applied right after Thanksgiving for my apps, with a 3.6/173, and got into Duke, Georgetown, Vandy within two weeks after. Got into UChicago ED so had to withdraw the rest, but I suspect my other apps (Penn, Michigan, Cornell) would have gone the same as someone would expect with my numbers.




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