3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

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xdskyline
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:36 am

3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

Postby xdskyline » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:04 pm

3.2 GPA, Polisci major from non HYP, graduated this year. No extenuating circumstances, only worked part time. Minor increase from freshman-senior year, but nothing drastic. I minored in Bio, which did hurt my GPA, but it wasn't chem, physics, engineering, etc and I didn't even get a degree out of it, so an addendum probably wouldn't help. It is what it is.

Canceled score, 166. My first time through, I'd heard you couldn't really study for the LSAT, so I signed up around 4 weeks before the test. Started doing practice tests/researching study methods and realized 4 weeks was obviously not enough time. It was already past the refund date so I took the test and canceled the score on the spot. Second time through I took a full length Blueprint course and studied pretty hard.

I know TCR is retake, but between the 4 weeks initial study and the course I think I might have been about as prepared as I could have been. I was consistently scoring 167's so it's not like a 166 was a fluke. If I do retake it, when I schedule it will be very important since it'll be my last shot.

Softs: average-weak. I've had 2 relevant internships, but they're both short at 3 and 5 months. LOR's: I was stupid enough to not make any connections with professors in undergrad. I'm currently cold-emailing profs I got A's with, showing them essays I wrote for their classes and hoping they're willing to write me a letter. Even if they do, it'll probably be pretty weak. There's also the possibility none of them want to write me a LOR, in which case I'd have to submit two employer LORs, which would be pretty damning for someone just out of undergrad as far as I've heard. I have two LOR's from my internship, one pretty weak and the other very strong. PS: I think my PS is strong, but not one so amazing as to override my numbers.


My (huge) list, as of now: I'm from California and would prefer to work here. Unfortunately, Cali schools are generally splitter unfriendly (not even sure I even qualify as a splitter with a 166, but oh well). I'm looking at out-of-state schools, obviously, but I would still prefer a school that has a decent record of placing jobs in Cali. I haven't been able to do a ton of research on schools, I basically added a bunch of schools that had low gpa floors and were still reputable. Any suggestions of what to add/take off based on this?

BU
BC^ Had these two on the list just because I visited them when I happened to be in Boston. I know my chances are terrible, take them off?
UC Hastings: This is probably my #1 school in terms of being a school that I would want to go to vs somewhere I have a shot of getting into. Do I still have a chance with a 166?
UC Davis
Emory
Fordham
GWU
UIUC
Loyola Marymount
Emory
Pepperdine
Tulane
WUStL
Notre Dame
USC* My dream school, probably going to apply here regardless of how shitty my chances are.
Originally had Northwestern, UCLA, Georgetown on here, but since I didn't get a miracle 170+ I took them off.


I'm really not sure if I should apply this cycle with my current stats. My options are:
1. Apply as is
2. Retake in December. Pros: still go to law school this cycle. Cons: less than optimal amount of time to study (this would be my last shot for 4 years), can't ED/EA/puts me behind the curve for rolling admissions.
3. Take a year or two off to work. Pros: Improves resume, slightly distances myself from crappy GPA, possibly could get away with submitting 2 strong work LORs? AIt gives me a lot of time to study for a retake. It would also give me the opportunity to look for something I'd rather do than law/see if I really want to go to law school. Cons: I always planned to go to law school soon out of undergrad/my parents and friends all expect me to too, it would feel terrible changing up the plan. I'm also scared of getting stuck in the rut of having a job and never going back to school.
4. Don't go to law school. Unfortunately, law is one of the only lucrative options open to a polisci major like me, so...

Thoughts? Schools to add/take off? Anything helps, thanks.
Last edited by xdskyline on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

WanderingPondering
Posts: 444
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:47 am

Re: 3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

Postby WanderingPondering » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:13 pm

Way to piggyback on my 3.1/166 non-URM thread!

Don't have any answers for you, but good luck!

xdskyline
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:36 am

Re: 3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

Postby xdskyline » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:17 pm

WanderingPondering wrote:Way to piggyback on my 3.1/166 non-URM thread!

Don't have any answers for you, but good luck!


Haha right after I posted my thread I went back to the forum, saw your post and thought "huh, that's my post but I don't remember wording it like that..." good luck to you too!

xdskyline
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:36 am

Re: 3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

Postby xdskyline » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:26 pm

bump. could use some advice. also, I did check multiple calculators/databases, but a lot of them give me conflicting opinions. for example, official lsac calculates my chances at hastings at a dismal 26-36%, hourumd (says it runs off of lsn numbers) chances me at a pretty optimistic 66%, and lawschoolpredictor says 55%.

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hohenheim
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:30 pm

Re: 3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

Postby hohenheim » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:56 pm

2. Retake in December. Pros: still go to law school this cycle. Cons: less than optimal amount of time to study (this would be my last shot for 4 years), can't ED/EA/puts me behind the curve for rolling admissions.


Under the new retake rules, you're allowed to take three times in two years, not five years. So you'd be able to take it sooner than you're thinking. That being said, I think you might want to take in feb/jun and be ready for next cycle with a year of WE as well.

Also, I think you make friends with some professors, quick. You need academic references. 1 year out of UG is too soon to cut ties and rely on professional references exclusively.
Last edited by hohenheim on Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

senorhosh
Posts: 470
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:45 am

Re: 3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

Postby senorhosh » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:21 pm

Retake for next cycle. In terms of applying, do it once and do it right.

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TrialLawyer16
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: 3.2/166, non-URM. Should I even try? Take time off?

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:48 pm

Obviously if you can retake then do that, but as it stands now I'd guess you'd get into at least half of those schools on your list. You're either at or above median at every one of those schools except USC and 166's are getting harder to come by with each cycle. Don't get discouraged by LSN if most of the green (acceptances) you see for some of those schools are numbers way better than yours because LSN is skewed due to selection bias. The people most likely to use LSN are those with great stats, so LSN is a bit more accurate in gauging T-14 chances. So, if you're applying to schools with a median LSAT of 161/162 like the ones on your list and you have a 3.2/166 I'd say you're in great shape if you're not worried about a full-ride, etc. I'd expect money from the lower ranked schools as well or at least being able to negotiate into some after acceptance by using your LSAT as leverage.




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