PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

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jjbombs4
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PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

Postby jjbombs4 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:38 am

Hello, my question comes to you all in regards to a low gpa with a decent lsat score. I was able to score a 159 on the LSAT my first time around and plan on taking it again in December. However, all things considered lets leave my score at a 159 for now....my UG GPA was a 2.6...however, due to ongoing family issues and working fulltime my freshman and sophmore years really destroyed my gpa. My junior and senior year GPA's average out to a 3.4. so I'm seeking advice as to 1.) how much influence an addendum would have explaining such a large jump in GPA during my final two years. 2.) What kind of schools are realistic with a 2.6/159 and how high I should hope to increase my score to get in to that "next bracket" of schools, if you will. Anything else you feel might be worth knowing, please, feel free.

P.S I am not fresh out of undergrad, I am 24 y/o, having completed UG 2 years ago and have been working since.

Thank you....All responses are much, much appreciated. Happy Friday!

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francesfarmer
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Re: PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:50 am

Where do you live? Where do you want to practice? I'm sorry to tell you this, but with your current stats, I wouldn't go to law school at all. You need to get your LSAT into the 170+ range before you have a chance at any schools worth going to for the amount of money you'll have to shell out. A GPA addendum won't do much/anything at all, especially since your junior and senior year GPA was only 3.4.

This is you now:
Image

Horrible prospects. Don't go (unless you are from Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee or another state with a local flagship that you could get into based on these results, and want to practice there for the rest of your life, then it's maybe not a horrible decision).

This is you with a 170+:
Image

jjbombs4
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:25 am

Re: PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

Postby jjbombs4 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:28 pm

Well, I live in Upstate NY...would like to practice in NY, MA, PA....really any major city in the North East would be preferred. I already realize that making it in to a school outside of the T14 and possibly even T25 is a reach, but, I don't know why the general consensus is that if you can't get in to a T14 it is a lost cause to attend in general. I have a friend who attended Syracuse 2 years ago, and was able to transfer in to Georgetown after his first year. I'm thinking more along the lines of schools such as St. Johns, Temple, Syracuse etc....are the odds really stacked that much against you if you're not graduating from a T1 school? I have another friend who is doing pretty well for themself who went to a school as lowly as Albany...I'm not looking for T14, I'm trying to be realistic about getting in to somewhere fairly reputable....

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francesfarmer
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Re: PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:35 pm

jjbombs4 wrote:Well, I live in Upstate NY...would like to practice in NY, MA, PA....really any major city in the North East would be preferred. I already realize that making it in to a school outside of the T14 and possibly even T25 is a reach, but, I don't know why the general consensus is that if you can't get in to a T14 it is a lost cause to attend in general. I have a friend who attended Syracuse 2 years ago, and was able to transfer in to Georgetown after his first year. I'm thinking more along the lines of schools such as St. Johns, Temple, Syracuse etc....are the odds really stacked that much against you if you're not graduating from a T1 school? I have another friend who is doing pretty well for themself who went to a school as lowly as Albany...I'm not looking for T14, I'm trying to be realistic about getting in to somewhere fairly reputable....

Everyone says that TLS is full of prestige whores and that's why we're T14 or bust, but that's not the case. It's about employment. You need to look at employment statistics. The truth is that outside of top schools (and even among top schools), employment prospects are dim and debt remains high. This is especially true for someone like you with a really low GPA that won't attract significant scholarship money from basically anywhere. Going to a school outside the T1 for free is a defensible decision, but I don't know if that's even possible for you with your current stats.

Look at lawschooltransparency.com and educate yourself on employment statistics.

Your friend who transferred to Georgetown is very lucky to have done well enough to do so (though Georgetown's employment stats aren't even that great--legal hiring is really that bad right now). You should never go to law school with the plan to transfer. Grades in law school are curved and notoriously unpredictable. That means that if you have to be in the top 10% of your class to transfer to a T14 school, you have a 10% chance of doing that well. Everyone goes into law school thinking they're going to do better than their peers, and most people are wrong.

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xylocarp
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Re: PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

Postby xylocarp » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:17 pm

francesfarmer wrote:
jjbombs4 wrote:Well, I live in Upstate NY...would like to practice in NY, MA, PA....really any major city in the North East would be preferred. I already realize that making it in to a school outside of the T14 and possibly even T25 is a reach, but, I don't know why the general consensus is that if you can't get in to a T14 it is a lost cause to attend in general. I have a friend who attended Syracuse 2 years ago, and was able to transfer in to Georgetown after his first year. I'm thinking more along the lines of schools such as St. Johns, Temple, Syracuse etc....are the odds really stacked that much against you if you're not graduating from a T1 school? I have another friend who is doing pretty well for themself who went to a school as lowly as Albany...I'm not looking for T14, I'm trying to be realistic about getting in to somewhere fairly reputable....

Everyone says that TLS is full of prestige whores and that's why we're T14 or bust, but that's not the case. It's about employment. You need to look at employment statistics. The truth is that outside of top schools (and even among top schools), employment prospects are dim and debt remains high. This is especially true for someone like you with a really low GPA that won't attract significant scholarship money from basically anywhere. Going to a school outside the T1 for free is a defensible decision, but I don't know if that's even possible for you with your current stats.

Look at lawschooltransparency.com and educate yourself on employment statistics.

Your friend who transferred to Georgetown is very lucky to have done well enough to do so (though Georgetown's employment stats aren't even that great--legal hiring is really that bad right now). You should never go to law school with the plan to transfer. Grades in law school are curved and notoriously unpredictable. That means that if you have to be in the top 10% of your class to transfer to a T14 school, you have a 10% chance of doing that well. Everyone goes into law school thinking they're going to do better than their peers, and most people are wrong.


Second the lawschooltransparency.com link. OP, anecdotes about people finding success from lower ranked schools are nice, but they're not indicative. To make a well-informed decision, you should be looking at data and statistics.

timbs4339
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:34 am

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=stjohns
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=syracuse
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=temple

Here are the schools you are looking at. All have job placement rates around 50%. Now, of course you're thinking that "well, a 50% chance at a 85/95/105K job isn't that bad!" Before you run off bushy-tailed and bright-eyed, know that based on the salary statistics we do have for these schools and the nation as a whole, it's like that around 15-20% of students at those schools are going to be making more than 60K, and fewer still will be able to have a normal repayment schedule on the absolutely massive amount of debt they are taking out. Anecdotes are not data, but for every one of yours I have several students who graduated from much better schools who are jobless or working for less than 40K in a non-law job.

Right now you are barred from law school. Retake, get a high-160 score, and try again.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: PLEASE HELP...ALL INPUT APPRECIATED

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:05 pm

The problem isn't really going to a T2 school, in my mind. It's taking out a lot of debt to do so. If you go to T2, you may very well get a job...it just might be a job that starts at 40k a year. If you have no debt load, you can afford to do that for a few years while you build your career. If you're trying to make payments on a 150k debt burden, plus keep a roof over your head, good luck.

Going to a school like Temple could be a decent option IF you could do it for free/nearly free. When you're talking about the T2, your goal shouldn't just be "get in". It should be "get in with a huge scholarship." Right now, your numbers don't allow you to do that. Your GPA is your GPA, sadly. Not much you can do about it now. 159, though, is nowhere near where you need to be to have viable options. It does show, however, that you're at least capable of getting the concepts needed to get a good score. Study like crazy, get a 165+ and go to a regional school with some money.




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