2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

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raferna3
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2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:12 pm

BACKGROUND:

As the subject says, I am a URM with a 2.4 GPA and a 161 LSAT that I took with minimal studying. I missed 11 out of 23 LG questions, and via the awesomeness that is TLS, and you fine folk, I hear that with practice, it is possible to master this section to the point where you miss only 0 to 1. Powerscore's LG Bible is en route to me via Powerscore.com.

That being said, my GPA is a solid 3.7-3.8 over the past 3 years(roughly 60 hours), but my grades at the beginning of my college career had dragged me down to a 1.6 at one point, so the fact that I am even sitting at a 2.4 now is quite incredible (though probably not to you 3.9er over-achievers :) ) .

Unforutnately, I have been arrested, during my tumultuous first few years in college, for misdemeanor drinking related offenses, but with no convictions, and am seperated by those instances by well over 3+ years. However, I have very strong softs. I founded what would go on to become the largest fraternity on my campus, and negotiated the lease to the largest fraternity house on campus(a large public university with 40,000+ students), during my 2 year tenure as President. I also founded a company which has done millions in business(PLEASE spare me the 'you shouldnt go to law school' talks/questions, if I wanted a psychologist I would ask for one. No offense intended.), and I spent almost a half a year interning for a high-profile city official in one of the largest cities in the country. Further, I have a patent pending for a house-hold device I created which I may, or may not, be able to mass-market. Waiting for patent to clear on that one.

My application certainly has its highs and lows, and I am well aware of the need to re-take the LSAT.

QUESTION:

Since I do have a 161, which isnt bad outside the t25(from the medians I have seen), I was wondering if submitting apps to schools like UConn/Rutgers/MichState/SMU/Houston, etc. as soon as their cycles open in September would be a good idea? Or, should I just wait until I get my October LSAT results back? My dilemma lies in the fact that I have read applying early gives you a boost, and I figure I may as well apply early to the schools for which my numbers are already good enough. Hopefully, after re-taking, I am in the 170+ range and could then shift my focus to t-25, and maybe even a t14 like NU or GULC, or at the very least re-negotiate money(or acceptance) to the schools at which I have already applied.

Thoughts?
Last edited by raferna3 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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raferna3
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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:17 pm

I figure having a few acceptance letters back from schools I would be more than happy to attend, like UConn, Mich State, Rutgers, etc. would also help alleviate the 3 week long nervous breakdown that comes with waiting for LSAT scores, as well. Lol.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby nick417 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:12 pm

I think your LSAT score is the most important stat used by admissions counsel. As for GPA, I was sort of in a similar boat as you (except not nearly as drastic). I achieved a 3.95 GPA my last two years of college after having only a 3.0 GPA after my first two years of college. The acceptance letters I received from law schools all remarked about my excellent grades I received the last two years.

My suggestion, if you want more opportunities and more scholarship opportunities, definitely study hard and retake the LSAT. Trust me, the most important thing is getting scholarship money. With the pitiful job market, the only thing guaranteed about law school is the debt you accumulate. The less, the better.

Finally, apply ASAP to any law school you want to attend. If you re-take the LSAT's in October, you can always update your file. In fact, if you are accepted, you can use your higher LSAT score (assuming you score higher on the LSAT) as a bargaining chip for more scholarship money.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:34 pm

nick417 wrote:I think your LSAT score is the most important stat used by admissions counsel. As for GPA, I was sort of in a similar boat as you (except not nearly as drastic). I achieved a 3.95 GPA my last two years of college after having only a 3.0 GPA after my first two years of college. The acceptance letters I received from law schools all remarked about my excellent grades I received the last two years.

My suggestion, if you want more opportunities and more scholarship opportunities, definitely study hard and retake the LSAT. Trust me, the most important thing is getting scholarship money. With the pitiful job market, the only thing guaranteed about law school is the debt you accumulate. The less, the better.

Finally, apply ASAP to any law school you want to attend. If you re-take the LSAT's in October, you can always update your file. In fact, if you are accepted, you can use your higher LSAT score (assuming you score higher on the LSAT) as a bargaining chip for more scholarship money.


Yeah, that is what I was thinking. But others seem to think I should wait until AFTER I receive my october score... I was hoping to get in the door early though.

Do you think I have a shot at t14 with my gpa? I am a URM and do have great softs, but t14 seems like it may be pretty tough to break for me. I ask because with a 161, my softs, URM status, and 3.8ish gpa over the last 3 years, I figure I already stand a pretty solid chance between t25-t75... or do I? I am slightly below, slightly above, or right smack in the middle of most of their LSAT medians, but I figured my URM status(and other factors listed) would bump me a bit.

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Nova
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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby Nova » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:49 pm

What kind of URM are you?

you likely have very little shot at schools with medians of 162+ because of your GPA.

Pretty good shot at schools with medians of 161 and below.

play with http://www.mylsn.info

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raferna3
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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:58 pm

Nova wrote:What kind of URM are you?

you likely have very little shot at schools with medians of 162+ because of your GPA.

Pretty good shot at schools with medians of 161 and below.

play with http://www.mylsn.info


I am Cuban and Puerto Rican. Is that considered URM?

Also, when you say median, are you referring to a schools 50th percentile, 75th percentile, 25th percentile?.. I know what median means, and perhaps therein lies my answer, but with my GPA perhaps I need to be at or above the 75th. Thoughts?

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:02 pm

raferna3 wrote:
Nova wrote:What kind of URM are you?

you likely have very little shot at schools with medians of 162+ because of your GPA.

Pretty good shot at schools with medians of 161 and below.

play with http://www.mylsn.info


I am Cuban and Puerto Rican. Is that considered URM?

Also, when you say median, are you referring to a schools 50th percentile, 75th percentile, 25th percentile?.. I know what median means, and perhaps therein lies my answer, but with my GPA perhaps I need to be at or above the 75th. Thoughts?

You are a URM (PR).

Median is the middle score, so the 50th percentile.

Your GPA is so low as to preclude you from many schools. Your LSAT should be as high as possible.

Where do you want to practice?

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Nova
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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby Nova » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:06 pm

PR is a URM.

50th. The higher you are above the 50th the better of course. But breaking the median is most important because that is the only lsat stat that affects usnwr.

Eta: scooped.

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raferna3
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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:07 pm

francesfarmer wrote:
raferna3 wrote:
Nova wrote:What kind of URM are you?

you likely have very little shot at schools with medians of 162+ because of your GPA.

Pretty good shot at schools with medians of 161 and below.

play with http://www.mylsn.info


I am Cuban and Puerto Rican. Is that considered URM?

Also, when you say median, are you referring to a schools 50th percentile, 75th percentile, 25th percentile?.. I know what median means, and perhaps therein lies my answer, but with my GPA perhaps I need to be at or above the 75th. Thoughts?

You are a URM (PR).

Median is the middle score, so the 50th percentile.

Your GPA is so low as to preclude you from many schools. Your LSAT should be as high as possible.

Where do you want to practice?


I have moved around my entire life. I am open to practicing almost anywhere that isn't rural Mississippi or the like. If the city has more than two pro-sports teams, I would be okay with it. LA, Chicago, Houston, NY, Boston, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, etc would all be fine by me.

So, basically, I am just trying to get into the best school possible. I have read on TLS that with a 168-170+ LSAT I would have a shot at Northwestern, UVA and GULC, which are supposedly splitter friendly, especially as a URM, but I am also trying to be realistic...

I would be happy at WUSTL, UConn, UCLA, Rutgers, Michigan State, SMU, Houston, Florida, FSU, UIllinois, and a score of others. But just like anyone else, I would prefer t14 if it is within reach.

Going to bust my tail for October LSAT... I think I have a realistic shot at 168+. I missed 11 in the LG section on June's LSAT. Powerscore LG Bible & workbook is being shipped to me right now.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby nick417 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:07 pm

raferna3 wrote:
nick417 wrote:I think your LSAT score is the most important stat used by admissions counsel. As for GPA, I was sort of in a similar boat as you (except not nearly as drastic). I achieved a 3.95 GPA my last two years of college after having only a 3.0 GPA after my first two years of college. The acceptance letters I received from law schools all remarked about my excellent grades I received the last two years.

My suggestion, if you want more opportunities and more scholarship opportunities, definitely study hard and retake the LSAT. Trust me, the most important thing is getting scholarship money. With the pitiful job market, the only thing guaranteed about law school is the debt you accumulate. The less, the better.

Finally, apply ASAP to any law school you want to attend. If you re-take the LSAT's in October, you can always update your file. In fact, if you are accepted, you can use your higher LSAT score (assuming you score higher on the LSAT) as a bargaining chip for more scholarship money.


Yeah, that is what I was thinking. But others seem to think I should wait until AFTER I receive my october score... I was hoping to get in the door early though.

Do you think I have a shot at t14 with my gpa? I am a URM and do have great softs, but t14 seems like it may be pretty tough to break for me. I ask because with a 161, my softs, URM status, and 3.8ish gpa over the last 3 years, I figure I already stand a pretty solid chance between t25-t75... or do I? I am slightly below, slightly above, or right smack in the middle of most of their LSAT medians, but I figured my URM status(and other factors listed) would bump me a bit.


Highly, highly doubtful with 2.4 GPA. A 161 LSAT score is good, but definitely not top 14 good. A 161 is borderline with many tier 1 schools even with a respectable GPA. Tie in your 2.4 GPA, and you have little chance. Remember, others with 161 LSAT scores and 3.4+ GPAs will be your competition. You have a shot with tier 2 schools, but I doubt you have a shot with many tier 1 schools. A 161 LSAT score does not hide a 2.4 GPA. When law schools post admissions stats, your 2.4 GPA will be included regardless of your minority status and senior year grades. Also, I would be more concerned with scholarship money vs. admissions. I don't know about your money situation, but you don't want to be taking out huge loans to go to law schools ranked outside of the top 15. I would rather go to a tier two law school with a huge scholarship versus a lower tier 1 school with very little scholarship.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:13 pm

nick417 wrote:
raferna3 wrote:
nick417 wrote:I think your LSAT score is the most important stat used by admissions counsel. As for GPA, I was sort of in a similar boat as you (except not nearly as drastic). I achieved a 3.95 GPA my last two years of college after having only a 3.0 GPA after my first two years of college. The acceptance letters I received from law schools all remarked about my excellent grades I received the last two years.

My suggestion, if you want more opportunities and more scholarship opportunities, definitely study hard and retake the LSAT. Trust me, the most important thing is getting scholarship money. With the pitiful job market, the only thing guaranteed about law school is the debt you accumulate. The less, the better.

Finally, apply ASAP to any law school you want to attend. If you re-take the LSAT's in October, you can always update your file. In fact, if you are accepted, you can use your higher LSAT score (assuming you score higher on the LSAT) as a bargaining chip for more scholarship money.


Yeah, that is what I was thinking. But others seem to think I should wait until AFTER I receive my october score... I was hoping to get in the door early though.

Do you think I have a shot at t14 with my gpa? I am a URM and do have great softs, but t14 seems like it may be pretty tough to break for me. I ask because with a 161, my softs, URM status, and 3.8ish gpa over the last 3 years, I figure I already stand a pretty solid chance between t25-t75... or do I? I am slightly below, slightly above, or right smack in the middle of most of their LSAT medians, but I figured my URM status(and other factors listed) would bump me a bit.


Highly, highly doubtful with 2.4 GPA. A 161 LSAT score is good, but definitely not top 14 good. A 161 is borderline with many tier 1 schools even with a respectable GPA. Tie in your 2.4 GPA, and you have little chance. Remember, others with 161 LSAT scores and 3.4+ GPAs will be your competition. You have a shot with tier 2 schools, but I doubt you have a shot with many tier 1 schools. A 161 LSAT score does not hide a 2.4 GPA. When law schools post admissions stats, your 2.4 GPA will be included regardless of your minority status and senior year grades. Also, I would be more concerned with scholarship money vs. admissions. I don't know about your money situation, but you don't want to be taking out huge loans to go to law schools ranked outside of the top 15. I would rather go to a tier two law school with a huge scholarship versus a lower tier 1 school with very little scholarship.


Everyone seems to have a different tier definition, so what do you consider to be t1 and t2?

I agree, my GPA sucks, but I am a URM and have a strong upward trend(3.8gpa last 3 years), and very strong softs. I know that law school is a numbers game though, so I plan on re-taking the LSAT in October. LG killed my score on this test. Ordered the Powerscore LG Bible and aiming for a 168+ this next go around.

Just curious as to my chances as I currently stand at schools like UConn, SMU, Michigan State, UH, etc., as well as my chances at splitter friendly schoolslike Nwestern, WUSTL, etc. if I achieve my goal of a 168+

ETA: Money is not a huge concern of mine. Of course, I would prefer to attend for free, but my main concern is simply getting into the best school I can.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby Nova » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:17 pm

On TLS:

T1 is top 50
T2 is top 100

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:47 pm

Nova wrote:On TLS:

T1 is top 50
T2 is top 100


Okay... I was wondering what Nick thought since he seems to think I am screwed anywhere in t1. You've been more optimistic as to my chances though... I think I like you better. Lol.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby Nova » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:13 pm

I was a URM splitter too, lol. So i got your back.

i dont think what nick and I said was too inconsistent. You are a long shot at schools you are below the LSAT median, and most schools in the first tier have LSAT medians above 161. Even schools with medians of 160 are still more or less unpredictable targets. Its good that you are willing to blanket markets and relocate. Flexibility is important for splitters cause you never know who will bite.

I think you have a great shot to score much better in October, so hopefully this thread won't matter soon.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:21 pm

Nova wrote:I was a URM splitter too, lol. So i got your back.

i dont think what nick and I said was too inconsistent. You are a long shot at schools you are below the LSAT median, and most schools in the first tier have LSAT medians above 161. Even schools with medians of 160 are still more or less unpredictable targets. Its good that you are willing to blanket markets and relocate. Flexibility is important for splitters cause you never know who will bite.

I think you have a great shot to score much better in October, so hopefully this thread won't matter soon.


Good to talk to someone who can relate to my situation. Definitely going to blanket somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 schools. Hopefully, if my LSAT justifies it come October, I will add a few more. Definitely have to take what I can get, within reason, in my situation.

PS LG Bible just arrived. Guess the work begins now!... Ugh... Lol. Thanks for the advice and taking the time to respond!

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby californiauser » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:30 pm

Yeah, don't even waste time filling out applications until you have a 170+. Your URM boost will be negligible.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby nick417 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:11 am

Like said above:

T1 =50 and below
T2 =50-100
T3 = 100+

I understand your "softs". My point is that what matters is the LSAT first, GPA second. Those are the numbers law schools report and what make up their rankings. The "softs" come into play if you are a borderline candidate. A 161 LSAT score is a fine score, but its not an automatic, slam dunk score. Combine that with a 2.4 GPA, and that really hurts your chances at a Tier 1 school (and a majority of Tier 2 schools). Here is a simple thing to do. Go to the admissions website of the law schools you want to attend. Look for the acceptance stats, and find the 75% LSAT score. Take that score and add about 5 points to that. That is the LSAT score you want to get if you want to hide your 2.4 GPA. Most Tier 1-2 school's 75% LSAT score are above 158, so a 161 will be extremely borderline.

BIG POINT: Don't rely on "softs". Every law schools looks at "softs" differently. It is impossible to figure it out. Base your application on your "hard" stats, LSAT score and GPA. "Softs" help you if you are a borderline student. Your GPA is going to well below the 25% mark at every school you apply to. Therefore, your LSAT score is going to have to be well above the 75% mark. ALSO, you are going to have to address your poor GPA score in your application either through your personal statement OR an addendum. It is a lot easier to argue a poor GPA when your LSAT score is high.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby nick417 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:19 am

Also, you should check and see if law schools have a minimum GPA requirement.

I wouldn't be shocked if most schools immediately toss your application because it is below a 2.5 GPA.

Best advice: take time off. Re-take the LSAT and score extremely high. Create a buffer between undergrad and law school. Fill that buffer with work experience.

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:23 am

nick417 wrote:Like said above:

T1 =50 and below
T2 =50-100
T3 = 100+

I understand your "softs". My point is that what matters is the LSAT first, GPA second. Those are the numbers law schools report and what make up their rankings. The "softs" come into play if you are a borderline candidate. A 161 LSAT score is a fine score, but its not an automatic, slam dunk score. Combine that with a 2.4 GPA, and that really hurts your chances at a Tier 1 school (and a majority of Tier 2 schools). Here is a simple thing to do. Go to the admissions website of the law schools you want to attend. Look for the acceptance stats, and find the 75% LSAT score. Take that score and add about 5 points to that. That is the LSAT score you want to get if you want to hide your 2.4 GPA. Most Tier 1-2 school's 75% LSAT score are above 158, so a 161 will be extremely borderline.

BIG POINT: Don't rely on "softs". Every law schools looks at "softs" differently. It is impossible to figure it out. Base your application on your "hard" stats, LSAT score and GPA. "Softs" help you if you are a borderline student. Your GPA is going to well below the 25% mark at every school you apply to. Therefore, your LSAT score is going to have to be well above the 75% mark. ALSO, you are going to have to address your poor GPA score in your application either through your personal statement OR an addendum. It is a lot easier to argue a poor GPA when your LSAT score is high.


Good advice, and I agree that this is the best way for me to look at it. Thanks for taking the time to clear that up. Definitely re-taking and aiming for a 168+, which shouldn't be a problem assuming I get the games section down. Fingers crossed! Luckily I have much more time to study this go around. I only had 2 weeks for the June LSAT and did nothing but take PTs which ranged from 155-170. I did not study very efficiently at all. I wish I had found TLS sooner! But it is what it is, no excuses for October!

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Re: 2.4 / 161 / URM ... Possible to apply & do LSAT re-take?

Postby raferna3 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:29 am

nick417 wrote:Also, you should check and see if law schools have a minimum GPA requirement.

I wouldn't be shocked if most schools immediately toss your application because it is below a 2.5 GPA.

Best advice: take time off. Re-take the LSAT and score extremely high. Create a buffer between undergrad and law school. Fill that buffer with work experience.


Well, I graduate this December and will have SOME time off between December and Fall of 2014. But I am hesitant to wait much longer than that. Because of starting the fraternity and starting my business I am a bit older than the average undergrad and in the latter portion of my mid-twenties. For me, it is now or never. I do not want to be one of these guys who goes to law school at 35 with a wife and kids. No offense to those that do, but I just dont envision myself taking the plunge and performing well if I am in that situation.

As for the GPA, it seems like some schools, like UW, value GPA quite a bit more than others. Definitely noticed trends on lawschoolnumbers.com. But it seems like for most schools, LSAT squarely trumps all.

Someone mentioned in another thread that if your GPA is below the 25th percentile, it doesn't matter how close to it you are, or how low your gpa is. If they're 25th is a 3.3, you'll be on the same footing with a 2.3 as someone else is with a 3.0, assuming LSAT is equal. Clearly, 3.0/170 is more desirable than 2.3/170, but I suppose at that point the person who mentioned this was insinuating they'd take a close look at both apps. Not sure how true this is, I am just repeating what I was told.




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