Reverse Splitter - Duke ED?

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AT9
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Reverse Splitter - Duke ED?

Postby AT9 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:09 pm

First note to keep in mind: I AM RE-TAKING THE LSAT AND WILLING TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR.

Now that I have that out of the way, here's the situation...

163/3.83
2 years quality legal WE
Non-URM

My plan is to study for a re-take and sign up for a date once I'm ready, whether that's Dec, Feb, or even June. I'm applying this cycle only as a back-up plan. If I don't do much better on the LSAT because of some emergency beyond my control, I'll at least have the option to attend next fall if I get any decent offers. Otherwise, I'll kill the LSAT and reapply next fall for T-14 with $. As one more thing to keep in mind, my wife will be working when I'm in school, so hopefully cost of living will be mostly taken care of. I know the re-take mindset here and agree with it, so no need to waste your time on that lecture.

I hadn't given ANY thought to applying to the T-14 (or really the top 20) because I know my chances are tiny and I'd probably be paying sticker if I got in by some act of God....that is, until I got an e-mail from Duke the other day. The e-mail gave me a fee waiver, "invited" me to apply binding ED, guaranteed a response within 10 days, and said if I am admitted, I'd be given a $30K ED grant if I end up applying for need-based aid (which I will). There was another reverse splitter here who got the same e-mail (as opposed to priority track), so maybe they're targeting this demographic for some reason?

As for my questions:

1. Given my plan, is it a good or bad idea to ED? I don't really have a dream school, but Duke has about everything that's important to me: in the southeast, in a decent-sized metropolitan area, has gerat placement in locations I'd like to work, etc.
2. Honestly, how much of a Hail Mary is this? Like 5-10% chance of admittance?

Thanks for your help!

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MistakenGenius
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Postby MistakenGenius » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:32 pm

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AT9
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Re: Reverse Splitter - Duke ED?

Postby AT9 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:45 pm

MistakenGenius wrote:Honestly, I would be fairly shocked if you got into Duke with a 163 LSAT. Your GPA is golden, but your LSAT is way below all the T-14's 25th percentiles. Your work experience might help a tiny tiny tiny bit, but I'd still put your chances right around your numbers, about a 7% chance of getting in. That said, I really wouldn't waste my time applying now. I would spend all my time focusing on a retake. If you knock the LSAT out of the park, we're now talking full rides at the lower T14s and possibly HYS.


Thanks for the reply. I certainly wouldn't waste $100 applying to any school with an LSAT below the 25th, but i figured "what the hell?" since they're at least offering to reject me for free. However, I'm only 2 below the 25th at Duke. Still sucks but it could be worse. I understand the argument for not applying at all, but I want to at least keep all options on the table. If for some reason I really don't improve much or at all on the re-take and I didn't apply, it would be a wasted year. I plan to have my apps in by October 1st so I'll have plenty of study time for Feb at least. What kind of bump do you typically see when applying ED? For instance, could it be generally quantified as a point on the LSAT or something?

20141023
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Re: Reverse Splitter - Duke ED?

Postby 20141023 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:11 am

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MistakenGenius
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Postby MistakenGenius » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:52 am

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AT9
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Re: Reverse Splitter - Duke ED?

Postby AT9 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:09 pm

MistakenGenius wrote:
AT9 wrote:
MistakenGenius wrote:Honestly, I would be fairly shocked if you got into Duke with a 163 LSAT. Your GPA is golden, but your LSAT is way below all the T-14's 25th percentiles. Your work experience might help a tiny tiny tiny bit, but I'd still put your chances right around your numbers, about a 7% chance of getting in. That said, I really wouldn't waste my time applying now. I would spend all my time focusing on a retake. If you knock the LSAT out of the park, we're now talking full rides at the lower T14s and possibly HYS.


Thanks for the reply. I certainly wouldn't waste $100 applying to any school with an LSAT below the 25th, but i figured "what the hell?" since they're at least offering to reject me for free. However, I'm only 2 below the 25th at Duke. Still sucks but it could be worse. I understand the argument for not applying at all, but I want to at least keep all options on the table. If for some reason I really don't improve much or at all on the re-take and I didn't apply, it would be a wasted year. I plan to have my apps in by October 1st so I'll have plenty of study time for Feb at least. What kind of bump do you typically see when applying ED? For instance, could it be generally quantified as a point on the LSAT or something?


It's certainly not a waste of time. Duke's a good school and you have a slight slight slight chance of getting in, albeit at sticker. I'm not saying it is a waste of time to apply to Duke, I'm saying it's stupid to apply RIGHT NOW. A bunch of people would kill to have your GPA. Trust me on that one. Obviously you're very bright to have one like that. I have no doubt you are capable of getting a much higher LSAT score. Remember, this one test is weighed more heavily than all four years of undergraduate work combined. If you study as hard as you can and retake, the situation changes. Get that 170, and suddenly we're talking money at Duke. 175, you're getting into Harvard and Duke would be free. Is 3 months of intense study worth $150,000 to you? Just my two cents.


I get your point, and I agree with the your advice to retake. I know the value of even 3-4 more points, not to mention a 170+. It's absolutely worth the retake. So, perhaps I should elaborate on my plan/reasoning. I'll go to law school only under the following corcumstances:

1. I re-take, get a high score, and reapply next fall.
2. I re-take, don't improve by any more than 1-2 points, and have a decent financial option at one of my choices this fall (FSU with some $ and in-state tuition, for example)
3. I ED into a T-14 like Duke AND I don't improve on the re-take.

Given my ED chances at Duke are small and I'm confident that I can at least improve to high 160's, both options 2 and 3 are highly unlikely. I'm only applying this cycle to keep more than one option on the table.

Trout et al
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Re: Reverse Splitter - Duke ED?

Postby Trout et al » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:43 pm

Max out your retakes before considering an ED. It should be a last resort to make your numbers stretch.

Duke was offering the ED grant last year to some "accelerated EDers" as well, but it was 15k IIRC. Maybe it will increase again next cycle if your retakes aren't successful.

Max out your retakes and if you are in the same or a similar position next cycle, look into Duke ED with that grant. 30k plus your SO covering COL isn't a horrible deal.




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