2.3-2.5 GPA, 176-180 LSAT, Options?

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workaholic82
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2.3-2.5 GPA, 176-180 LSAT, Options?

Postby workaholic82 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:45 pm

Background Info: I am a 30 year old with around 4 years of full-time work experience, mostly as a paralegal. I graduated from a strong state school 6 years ago. After scoring a 163-165 on the LSAT twice in 2009, I buckled down this year and, coming from a place of greater maturity and discipline, scored a 176-180. The kicker is this: My GPA from undergrad was a dismal 2.4. I suffered from an undocumented anxiety disorder and failed many classes due to lack of attendance. I also took 3 years off after my freshman year during which I took some courses at a community college, some of which I also failed. While there is a general upward trend over my college career, it's not like I went from a 0.00 semester to straight A's; I was never a stellar student.

Q: Is there any way that my distance from Undergrad teamed with my work experience and potentially good essays and stellar LSAT score could enable me to gain entry into, say, a Northwestern or other T14? Do I stand a chance of garnering full tuition scholarships at some second tier schools because of the LSAT score plus work experience?

Any advice or opinions are greatly appreciated.
Last edited by workaholic82 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Ti Malice
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Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, non-trad

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:49 pm

Congratulations on your terrific score!

There's so little data on applicants with numbers like yours, and I would have thought what data there is would say that things are bleak with a sub-2.5 GPA, but I was wrong about that. I ran a myLSN search for people with GPAs of 2.2-2.49 and LSAT scores of 170-180 and then messed around with the parameters to find out more precise information about the applicants. Out of five Northwestern applicants that fell within those ranges, four were accepted and one was rejected. Two of the admits had 2.2x GPAs, one had a 2.3x GPA, and both one admit and the rejected applicant had 2.4x GPAs. The admits' LSAT scores were 170, 172, 173, and 173; the rejected applicant had a 171. So things look a lot better for you than I had imagined, especially since your LSAT score is substantially higher than any of these other admits' scores. Excuse the glitchiness of this chart showing the above data; every T14 school that's not visible had some number of applicants within the above ranges and accepted 0% of them:

Image

Your best bet will be to apply to NU, obviously, and to submit an ED app to UVA, where the most likely outcome will be a rejection. There's a chance you'll get on the WL, and someone with numbers like yours (but a lower LSAT) has been accepted before. Write every extra essay, take every interview opportunity, etc. (By the way, just because UVA is ranked higher in USNWR than NU doesn't mean anything. Most of the lower T13 are fungible, with Penn probably being an exception. If you're lucky enough to be able to choose between UVA and NU, ranking should not figure in your decision to any degree whatsoever. Decide based upon your target markets and overall fit. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

It's unlikely that you'll get a full-tuition scholarship at any decent school with your LSAT, unless WUSTL and Minnesota spend even more for high LSATs next year than they did this year. As far as financially intelligent choices go, it's probably T14 or nothing for you.

I think it's usually best to avoid mentioning things like anxiety disorders, depression, and so forth whenever possible (despite how common these mental health problems are), but in your case the overall GPA, the multiple failures, and the long breaks during your college education scream for a decent explanation. You should write an addendum in which you are candid about your undiagnosed anxiety disorder and how it affected your grades (and life), but you should also make it very clear that, after receiving a diagnosis and treatment (perhaps ongoing), you have mastered the condition and are able to lead a stable and productive life. Holding a full-time job for four years is good evidence of that.

Edit: multiple typos / grammar fails
Last edited by Ti Malice on Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Clearly
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Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, non-trad

Postby Clearly » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:06 pm

Welcome to Northwestern!

workaholic82
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Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, Options?

Postby workaholic82 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:49 pm

Northwestern would be great for my ego, and possibly for my future, but at sticker is it worth it?

nebula666
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Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, Options?

Postby nebula666 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:04 pm

workaholic82 wrote:Northwestern would be great for my ego, and possibly for my future, but at sticker is it worth it?


It's either NU at sticker or the best school you can attend for under $50k in the area you would like to work.

PRgradBYU
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Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, Options?

Postby PRgradBYU » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:54 pm

nebula666 wrote:
workaholic82 wrote:Northwestern would be great for my ego, and possibly for my future, but at sticker is it worth it?


It's either NU at sticker or the best school you can attend for under $50k in the area you would like to work.


TITCR

workaholic82
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Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, Options?

Postby workaholic82 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:31 am

Last 2 posters, those were my thoughts exactly, thanks. Thinking the best school I can get for $50 or under potentially is WUSTL, but I need to do a better search for field-specific programs at schools. My ideal areas would be corporate or intellectual property, but, given that I have no science background I don't know how to get into IP. Anyways, thanks for validating my initial thoughts.

Oh, I gather by 'area' you mean region, but I took it as practice area. I would like to stay in Chicago, and the best I can get for cheap anywhere near here is still WUSTL, but I've heard entry into the Chicago market from there is not guaranteed.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, Options?

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:15 am

workaholic82 wrote:Last 2 posters, those were my thoughts exactly, thanks. Thinking the best school I can get for $50 or under potentially is WUSTL, but I need to do a better search for field-specific programs at schools. My ideal areas would be corporate or intellectual property, but, given that I have no science background I don't know how to get into IP. Anyways, thanks for validating my initial thoughts.

Oh, I gather by 'area' you mean region, but I took it as practice area. I would like to stay in Chicago, and the best I can get for cheap anywhere near here is still WUSTL, but I've heard entry into the Chicago market from there is not guaranteed.


Sent PM.

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

Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, Options?

Postby nebula666 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:53 am

workaholic82 wrote:Last 2 posters, those were my thoughts exactly, thanks. Thinking the best school I can get for $50 or under potentially is WUSTL, but I need to do a better search for field-specific programs at schools. My ideal areas would be corporate or intellectual property, but, given that I have no science background I don't know how to get into IP. Anyways, thanks for validating my initial thoughts.

Oh, I gather by 'area' you mean region, but I took it as practice area. I would like to stay in Chicago, and the best I can get for cheap anywhere near here is still WUSTL, but I've heard entry into the Chicago market from there is not guaranteed.


WUSTL for under $75k is not a bad option at all. While only 8% (of those reporting) get into Chicago from there, over 30% end up in NY, DC, CA, TX, and foreign employed. I'm assuming those people wanted to work in those areas. Just try not to be one of the 25% who stays in MZ. Though, again, I'm sure some of them wanted to be there.

I'd also consider trying to leverage a $$$ from Illinois, which places only slightly less into Biglaw and more into Chicago than does WUSTL. Notre Dame could also be a decent option for Chicago if it is a similar price.

workaholic82
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: 2.42 GPA, 177 LSAT, Options?

Postby workaholic82 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:35 am

Good suggestions, thanks.




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