long time lurker, first post.
I'm just another splitter looking for advice, trying to collect as much data as I can for what essentially amounts to the biggest gamble of my life. In a sense, I know my chances: slim. But I'm looking to maximize my strategies and get a more realistic picture of what I'm up against.
So, with these numbers:
as I said, GPA is 2.82 LSAC. mostly from community college days, there was a decent upward trend after i transferred to a 4- year, one of the lower ranked UC's. Now pulling a 3.7 in grad school
took lsat for a 171, then a 173, retaking again in june and maybe oct depending. But let's assume I'm stuck with these 170/173 scores when analyzing my position, since unless I'm 100% confident that my score went up significantly (i.e. I finish every section in 20 minutes and have time to check my work), I'm planning on canceling my score.
softs: nothing fantastic. MA, some cool research at UC berkeley, worked almost full time pretty much all the way through undergrad, and part time through MA program. Basically have 8-9 years of part time work experience, plus a few failed self-employment ventures.
So, I know that the common wisdom is to ED UVA, maybe northwestern. I'm worried about getting locked into sticker, and would like advice on my chances NOT ed'ing anywhere. so, a few separate questions:
My GPA is abysmal, I'm aware. But does that preclude me from getting substantial scholarships at 2/3rd tier schools? For me, as a risk-adverse applicant, I'd almost rather go to a lower-ranked school (U of San Diego, pepperdine, santa clara--yes, I'm from california!) and end up with less debt in exchange for a lower-paying job. I'm not looking for the big house and fancy car, I'd be happy doing most law that isn't sh!tlaw. Just really want to be a lawyer and practice law. Does this kind of GPA cut me out of the running for significant scholarships for these schools? I noticed that U minnesota isn't afraid of giving out scholarships to splitters, is this just minnesota or is this about the level in the rankings where schools start being generous towards higher LSAT applicants? Might I be in the running for a decent scholly somewhere in the middle of the second tier?
On the other end of the spectrum, there is the allure of the t-20. There's more debt, yes, but the rewards are greater and more of a sure thing. While I wouldn't pay sticker for anything approaching the second tier, it seems worth it for the t-14 and some of the t-20.
Do I have a shot at the end of the t-14 or some of the 15/16/17 area? I happen to LOVE UT, but according to LSN, my GPA locks me out of there. is UT even worth applying to? This is kind of my ED predicament, as, yes, I know that EDing UVA is my best shot at a t-14, but when it comes right down to it I would rather attend UT (even though they're lower ranked, and out of the t-14) because that's where I hope to end up. I'd hate to ED UVA and always wonder if I could have gotten into UT. The same goes for cornell. My wife went to cornell, so we go back for reunions and stuff. I've spent a lot of time on that campus (we lived in ithaca for a little bit) and cornell is much more appealing to me than UVA. do i have a shot there?
Each cycle looks more and more splitter friendly, and I can see on LSn and other sites that they take a few people with my numbers every year. Are these people like legacy, or have incredible softs, or something, or is it possible to have these numbers and just write a really good essay, follow up, bug the adcom until they're sick of me, and somehow wrangle a spot?
thanks for all your input TLS. please let me know if i'm missing info!
tl/dr: with a 2.8 and a 173, is it worth it to ED UVA when there are a few other long-shot schools that are higher up on my personal list, and is it worth giving up any kind of scholarship at a 2nd tier school?
Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
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