157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

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shutoutstreak
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157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby shutoutstreak » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:01 am

Hi, I'm a long time lurker on here so this is actually my first post. I appreciate any help possible. I initially went into the October LSAT with barely any prior studying and came out with a 148. I just got my retake from December back and I improved to a 157. I went crazy studying in November, but I was still disappointed that I did not get in the 160-165 range. Obviously that would have been a huge jump, but with the way that my score has progressed so far I know that I'm very capable of hitting that score if I had another chance. . I took the Dec test with barely any studying on the RC due to time constraints (and LR could've used more time for sure), so there's definitely room for improvement. This leads me into my question. What are my chances of getting into the University of Georgia and Georgia State University?

- My GPA: 3.02 (Explained further down)
- LSAT Scores: 148 (Oct), 157 (Dec)
- LORs and Extra Curricular: Very good. I interned for a very high ranking member of my state House of Reps, and I had work passed off to our Secretary of State. The rep knew me very well. I also got an LOR from the Dean of my University who I took a class with my senior year. Finally I got an LOR from a lawyer who I worked with during my internship. Overall, I feel these are very strong and all of these people knew me personally and saw me work. My extra curriculars are strong as well as I used to play football for my school, I'm co-President of one student political organization and the treasurer of another, and I belong to the only Political Science honor society in the country.

I have looked at Law School Numbers so I understand that just with the numbers Georgia would be very tough to get into. I believe Ga State is more attainable, but do you guys think UGA would give me a shot based on my LORS and extra curriculars? Also, I've presented at least 2 or 3 research papers and I'm going to a national conference for one of them.

My GPA is low due to my Freshman year. I did completely awful my first semester, coincidentally while I was playing football, and my GPA has never truly recovered from it. So if a Law School were to look at my GPA minus that semester, it would be significantly more desirable.

I promise I'm almost done now :). I do have one final question as well. If my LSAT is what's holding me up from getting into either one of these schools, should I retake in February? I am willing to do that if necessary, but I am not entertaining the idea of waiting a year at all. I understand the benefits, but that is not a desirable situation for me.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope you are having a good start to your new year!

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gobuffs10
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby gobuffs10 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:11 am

Retake if you can. Georgia State you may be okay, but I think Georgia is definitely a stretch, even with your softs. I'll echo the TLS wisdom that they're called softs for a reason. This is mostly a numbers game (and I'm sure someone will correct that to read entirely, but I'll leave it be), and UGA probably won't take the hit a 157/3.02 would bring them. They don't get to report your softs to USNWR.

Listen, we all get that waiting a year isn't desirable. Nobody wants to sit out and do retail or something like that. However, with a 3.02, you'll probably need a low to mid 160s LSAT for UGA. And TLSers can correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember UGA as a school that weighs GPA more than LSAT, which means you've got extra ground to make up. It's going to be tough to do by February (not impossible, but tough), and spots will fill while you're waiting for those scores.

Maybe you can apply and hope for the best, but my advice is to sit a cycle and prepare for the June LSAT. The difference between going to UGA and Georgia State is, in my view, significant enough to warrant the year wait.

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Nova
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby Nova » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:34 am

It is extreamely unlikely you will be admitted to UGA OR GST with your current numbers because you are below the GPA and LSAT medians. UGA is close to 0% chance as is.

The only way to have a real shot this cycle is to retake in Feb and score median or above (UGA 164+/GST 159+).. 159-161 would give you a 50/50 shot at G ST but still wouldnt be good enough for UGA. A 164-166 would give you about a 40% chance of admission to UGA and would make you a lock at GST.

You would have a considerably better chance of admission if you applied with median or above scores in august. So if you do score above median and dont get in, I would encourage you to wait instead of going to Mercer or somthing.

Because you only have 1 retake left, the true best course of action would be to study till June, take the June LSAT and apply early next cycle.

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Nova
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby Nova » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:37 am

gobuffs10 wrote:And TLSers can correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember UGA as a school that weighs GPA more than LSAT, which means you've got extra ground to make up.

Georgia loves 164+ and will dip into the high 2.* to get them.

Check out the wall of green: http://georgia.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1112/

But yeah, I agree with pretty much everything you said.

Ti Malice
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:02 am

shutoutstreak wrote:- LORs and Extra Curricular: Very good. I interned for a very high ranking member of my state House of Reps, and I had work passed off to our Secretary of State. The rep knew me very well. I also got an LOR from the Dean of my University who I took a class with my senior year. Finally I got an LOR from a lawyer who I worked with during my internship. Overall, I feel these are very strong and all of these people knew me personally and saw me work. My extra curriculars are strong as well as I used to play football for my school, I'm co-President of one student political organization and the treasurer of another, and I belong to the only Political Science honor society in the country.


I'm with everyone else who urges you to retake.

I want to focus in particular on the part above. To the extent that law schools care at all about LORs (and many really do not, unless the LOR casts you in a bad light), they strongly prefer LORs from people who can make credible and specific evaluations of your academic work -- that is to say, they strongly prefer LORs from professors for whom you have done significant written work. Adcomms do not care if the professor was the Dean or was a non-tenured lecturer. They just want academic recommendations. They generally don't care about LORs from U.S. senators, much less state legislators. They will care even less about the LOR from the lawyer. The fact that these LORs are derived from internships and not from paid employment makes them even weaker. Just submit the two strongest academic recommendations you can get, regardless of the writers' titles.

Also, your extracurriculars will not distinguish you. The only honor society that means anything to anyone is Phi Beta Kappa, and I doubt it means much to adcomms, since it is just the product of a high GPA. The GPA is what they care about. Leadership in student organizations is nice, but it won't move the needle in admissions at all.

Accordingly, the only things that matter are LSAT and GPA. Your GPA is presumably nearly fixed. See how everything comes back to retaking? The LSAT is by far the most important component of your application, and you still have complete control of it. A solitary point on the LSAT counts for more than all of your extracurriculars by a long shot.

shutoutstreak
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby shutoutstreak » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:09 pm

Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I appreciate all of it.

@gobuffs, nova, and ti: Thank you for taking the time to respond and consider my situation. You've definitely convinced me that I need to retake. As of right now, I'm not completely sure whether that will be in February or June. I believe you guys when you advise June, and I am more and more taking that into consideration now. Also Ti, thanks for the advice on the sorts and LORs. I'll give those another look for sure.

So I'll definitely retake. Anyone else have advice on whether that should be in February or June? It would seem I'm around 12 questions away from getting the score I would need for a UGA. Also, I know gobuffs mentioned it, but what are everyone else's opinions on the difference between GA State and UGA? Hypothetically, if I were to get into GA St, should I take the year off and try and improve for UGA or go to state? I recognize that's a very personal question, but I assume all of you have had some experience on here or heard some things about the two. Thanks again guys!

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gobuffs10
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby gobuffs10 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:54 pm

shutoutstreak wrote:Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I appreciate all of it.

@gobuffs, nova, and ti: Thank you for taking the time to respond and consider my situation. You've definitely convinced me that I need to retake. As of right now, I'm not completely sure whether that will be in February or June. I believe you guys when you advise June, and I am more and more taking that into consideration now. Also Ti, thanks for the advice on the sorts and LORs. I'll give those another look for sure.

So I'll definitely retake. Anyone else have advice on whether that should be in February or June? It would seem I'm around 12 questions away from getting the score I would need for a UGA. Also, I know gobuffs mentioned it, but what are everyone else's opinions on the difference between GA State and UGA? Hypothetically, if I were to get into GA St, should I take the year off and try and improve for UGA or go to state? I recognize that's a very personal question, but I assume all of you have had some experience on here or heard some things about the two. Thanks again guys!


I should emphasize here that I know very little about Georgia State. When I said that the difference between the two is significant enough to wait a cycle, I meant that I believe UGA is a more respected institution and may give you better job prospects. I just glanced at LST, though, and it appears that this might not be the case.

Still, I have to stress again that you wait until June. At this point, February is going to be a rush job, and scores come back very close to admissions deadlines for this cycle. You have little to gain from rushing it. Basically, it's weighing one more year of misery against going to school where you want to. I had to sit a cycle to get in at my #1 choice, and let me tell you, it's entirely worth it (from a happiness, not necessarily a financial, perspective).

One last thing: everyone says get a 170, etc., and the tendency of a lot of posters is to dismiss that as elitist or impossible. For example, I PTed until I was scoring high enough to get me into my #1 choice, nothing more. Had I given it more time, I would have been looking at a much higher score, more options, and some money. Hitting a school's medians may gain you admission, but that might not be worth it. Aim for a 180 and hope for the best, as it could mean the difference between admission and a scholarship. I promise you that after one semester in law school, you'll be questioning your decision to pay full price, and you'll wish you'd studied harder for the LSAT. You have one chance to do this right, and I can't overemphasize how important it is for you to do your best and put yourself in the best position to not only get in where you want, but to do it as cheaply as possible. All that said, June gives you enough time to dedicate yourself to this, and to score your best. Good luck.

Ti Malice
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:00 pm

gobuffs10 wrote:
shutoutstreak wrote:Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I appreciate all of it.

@gobuffs, nova, and ti: Thank you for taking the time to respond and consider my situation. You've definitely convinced me that I need to retake. As of right now, I'm not completely sure whether that will be in February or June. I believe you guys when you advise June, and I am more and more taking that into consideration now. Also Ti, thanks for the advice on the sorts and LORs. I'll give those another look for sure.

So I'll definitely retake. Anyone else have advice on whether that should be in February or June? It would seem I'm around 12 questions away from getting the score I would need for a UGA. Also, I know gobuffs mentioned it, but what are everyone else's opinions on the difference between GA State and UGA? Hypothetically, if I were to get into GA St, should I take the year off and try and improve for UGA or go to state? I recognize that's a very personal question, but I assume all of you have had some experience on here or heard some things about the two. Thanks again guys!


I should emphasize here that I know very little about Georgia State. When I said that the difference between the two is significant enough to wait a cycle, I meant that I believe UGA is a more respected institution and may give you better job prospects. I just glanced at LST, though, and it appears that this might not be the case.

Still, I have to stress again that you wait until June. At this point, February is going to be a rush job, and scores come back very close to admissions deadlines for this cycle. You have little to gain from rushing it. Basically, it's weighing one more year of misery against going to school where you want to. I had to sit a cycle to get in at my #1 choice, and let me tell you, it's entirely worth it (from a happiness, not necessarily a financial, perspective).

One last thing: everyone says get a 170, etc., and the tendency of a lot of posters is to dismiss that as elitist or impossible. For example, I PTed until I was scoring high enough to get me into my #1 choice, nothing more. Had I given it more time, I would have been looking at a much higher score, more options, and some money. Hitting a school's medians may gain you admission, but that might not be worth it. Aim for a 180 and hope for the best, as it could mean the difference between admission and a scholarship. I promise you that after one semester in law school, you'll be questioning your decision to pay full price, and you'll wish you'd studied harder for the LSAT. You have one chance to do this right, and I can't overemphasize how important it is for you to do your best and put yourself in the best position to not only get in where you want, but to do it as cheaply as possible. All that said, June gives you enough time to dedicate yourself to this, and to score your best. Good luck.


Great post. I really have nothing to add.

uvabro
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby uvabro » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:14 pm

don't listen to these haters. you're top 14 secured. you have an LOR from a lawyer for god sake. This is huge in the admissions games, because it shows you have access to and have met a lawyer. Most law school adcoms have never met a real lawyer before, and their panties drop when somebody knows a lawyer. This will always set an applicant apart from his peers. It's not a #'s game in your situation, because you know a lawyer. Congrats.

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suralin
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Re: 157- 3.02 +Great LORS (UGA, GA State)

Postby suralin » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:22 pm

uvabro wrote:don't listen to these haters. you're top 14 secured. you have an LOR from a lawyer for god sake. This is huge in the admissions games, because it shows you have access to and have met a lawyer. Most law school adcoms have never met a real lawyer before, and their panties drop when somebody knows a lawyer. This will always set an applicant apart from his peers. It's not a #'s game in your situation, because you know a lawyer. Congrats.


Lol. OP, as said, don't aim for just above median. Aim for the best score you can get so that you'll have a solid margin for error come test day, and so that you can secure not only admission but scholly $$.




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