jselson wrote:Actually, there may be a few regional schools in very small markets that completely dominate where the OP might be making an okay risk assessment by attending if he had ties
To confirm 'jselson's' previos point, I might suggest that one of the California accredited law schools might be worth at least considering.
Some factors to consider:
First, the financial cost/employment ratios are more likely to work for you.
- Tuition is much lower (<$70K for the entire degree).
- You can work during the day to cover living expenses and maybe even part/all of tuition.
- If you have to take out some loans, they will likely be relatively small (under $50K total) and even in smaller rural communities where CBE schools are located, the local job market for new lawyers is likely to pay high enough ($50-70K) to cover the debt payments and a reasonable living standard while you build your practice.
Second, CBE schools are going to look at your last two years (that you say were much stronger academically) and not just your final GPA.
Third, even if you did not move significantly higher on your June retake, your current LSAT of 155 is above the median for CBE schools that are used to non-traditional (older, working) students having lower scores on standardized testing.
Finally, small CBE schools like Monterey College of Law (where I am Dean) can afford to have extensive academic support programs to help non-traditional working students, because we know that these types of programs (study skills, exam skills, extra writing support) are the only way that our graduates can be successful on the bar exam and in the job market.
Note: We are NOT for your average, normal TLSer who is planning their life around BigLaw. However, we do provide an alternative for someone who has a strong enough desire to be a lawyer that they will do the extra hard work to overcome a poor undergraduate academic experience and who is interested in the lifestyle and attorney work style of a small community.
NOT trying to talk you into a different path . . . but you asked about the alternatives, and given your specific credentials, you might look at the CBE alternatives. FYI, even with the CBE schools, if you are looking at Fall 2013 you need to kick it in higher gear. Our popular Jurisprudence course for incoming 1Ls starts July 1.