168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

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afitouri
Posts: 90
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168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby afitouri » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:58 pm

So my GPA is 3.59 and my LSAT was 168. I want to get into Cornell, ideally, or maybe UCLA, maybe Georgetown.

Here's the softs:

I'm from an extremely low-income household.
I'm the child of an immigrant from North Africa (although not black) and have been to Libya many times.
My mother is absent because she was a drug addict.
My step-mother fell into alcoholism.
I held a 1.8 GPA in my senior year of high school.

I plan to write my essay to include these details. I will be able to get 2 solid recs from professors, and 1 from a current practicing attorney.

What do you think my odds are? Do I need to re-take the LSAT?

afitouri
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:54 pm

Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby afitouri » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:04 pm

Sorry, two more.

I was vice-President of the Muslim Student association in college, a year later the group won a regional award for being one of the most active extracurriculars (unfortunately all my admin was set up the foundations for that without winning the award).

And I was the President of my Junior Class in high school.

I have worked all through college with about 3 years of retail experience, and 6 months in an internship. I worked 1 month as a temp position in December in a law office.

joedf
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby joedf » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:07 pm

I'm sorry, man, you've been through a tough life but your "softs" won't necessarily persuade an admissions counselor here.

Going to Libya certainly doesn't; being from a low-income household in itself doesn't (perhaps it might make a strong personal statement, certainly, or if you did something with that situation; a mother being absent is the same, it's not an admissions boost, it's just very hard; step-mother, same deal; high school GPA, that's nothing I'd ever want to advertise.

A good soft is something you did or created, not an adverse circumstance in itself. For example, Teach for America for 2 years, or creating an organization to help out people in your situation, or having had extensive and meaningful work experience in Libya.

Just going to Libya doesn't send a message that you'd be a person they'd want at your school.

Edit: Just read your update.

The Muslim student association is good, high school junior class VP doesn't matter. Your work experience is good, that's great that you did that.
Last edited by joedf on Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nebula666
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Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby nebula666 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:07 pm

Probably in at both but you will be paying sticker at Cornell. I'd also throw an app to Michigan and GULC.

You really should retake. 2 points will get you MVP and down, with some $. 3 more points and NYU is locked down.

afitouri
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Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby afitouri » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:10 pm

Is it worth it to pay sticker anywhere except HYS? I'm sure that's still often debated but in my mind it just doesn't seem like $150,000 in debt is worth the J.D certificate. Interest will accrue on that so extremely that I can't see someone earning the average lawyer's salary from T-14 (which is like 80k, right?) paying that off in less than 7-10 years.

joedf
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby joedf » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:13 pm

afitouri wrote:Is it worth it to pay sticker anywhere except HYS? I'm sure that's still often debated but in my mind it just doesn't seem like $150,000 in debt is worth the J.D certificate. Interest will accrue on that so extremely that I can't see someone earning the average lawyer's salary from T-14 (which is like 80k, right?) paying that off in less than 7-10 years.


You're right, it's a huge question we're all facing.

Sticker isn't just $150,000 in debt, either. It's more like $210k on average, $150k is pretty much just tuition at sticker (not costs of living, etc.). Interest accrues on the debt throughout, so by the time you finish law school it may be $250-270k+, and will continue to rise as you struggle to pay it off.

A lot of people on this forum will agree with you and say it isn't worth it.

fallingup
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Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby fallingup » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Are you planning to apply in the fall? If you can study REALLY hard and retake in June and October to hit 170 you could have a chance at money at UCLA based on LSN and TLS stats. (Aim for 180 obviously, but even just 170 would catapult your chances.)

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052220151
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Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby 052220151 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:53 pm

afitouri wrote:So my GPA is 3.59 and my LSAT was 168. I want to get into Cornell, ideally, or maybe UCLA, maybe Georgetown.

Here's the softs:

I'm from an extremely low-income household.
I'm the child of an immigrant from North Africa (although not black) and have been to Libya many times.
My mother is absent because she was a drug addict.
My step-mother fell into alcoholism.
I held a 1.8 GPA in my senior year of high school.

I plan to write my essay to include these details. I will be able to get 2 solid recs from professors, and 1 from a current practicing attorney.

What do you think my odds are? Do I need to re-take the LSAT?


Retake

nebula666
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:19 pm

Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby nebula666 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:05 pm

It's almost certain that a year off would net you 2 more points. With a 170, you can negotiate for a substantial amount of money. You will earn more money in scholarships by retaking than you will spend by taking a year off.

Retake

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jbagelboy
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Re: 168 / 3.59 but open to see my softs. Cornell, UCLA

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:04 pm

Unless you score 176+, one could always technically retake the LSAT and have more chances at more money at more prestigious schools. As another poster mentioned, your difficult family situation isn't exactly a "soft", but more an opportunity to craft a strong statement and/or convincing argument for why you want to become an attorney. The specific achievements (besides GPA) you've made, those are your softs. For the LSAT, it really depends on what you want and how hard you are willing to work for it. I am of the opinion that if you study a lot and you are relatively intelligent, which it seems you certainly are, you can improve your score, but at the financial and psychological cost of classes/extra time/stress. Everyone on TSL will tell you "not to waste" other areas of your application by applying with a lower score, but since that advice could apply to almost anyone, its up to you to determine whether or not its worth it.

My first score (164) while I was a senior in undergraduate would have barely sufficed for the lowest schools I would deem it worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend. So I waited. My retake a year later (172) changed everything and I am very happy I did it. But if I'd gotten a 168 or 169, I probably would have just applied that cycle and accepted it, since retaking the LSAT ran me about $1500 direct and 3 months of roughly 20 hours a week time commitment, which I had to manage in addition to my full time job, ultimately also affecting my relationship, my friendships, and my family.

And then there's always the distinct possibility that after all of that time and energy and stress, something happens on test day and you don't perform; and believe me, its very easy to perform worse than 168.

So yea. think on it.

Edit: sorry I didn't really address your original question. I think you could get in to UCLA now as you stand. To get significant money with a 3.59, from the collective wisdom of TSL you would probably need 171.




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