162 on PT's, 3.1 GPA.

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Al-Fakruun
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162 on PT's, 3.1 GPA.

Postby Al-Fakruun » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:25 pm

Salutations Top Law Schools,

So a quick run down of my present circumstance. I am scheduled to take the December 5th LSAT. I'm currently scoring around a 162, on practice tests, on average. I've had a handful of scores as low as 156, and even one as inexplicably high as 174. Go figure. But, on average, low 160's is my territory. With a little over a month left to go I am truly hoping I can bring that up a point or two, perhaps more - I've just discovered this site and it's treasure trove of knowledge, after all. Thus far my studying has consisted of a thorough run through of Princeton Review's 2013 LSAT guide, and doing lots of practice tests purchased from LSAC. From what I've taken away from my past few days of lurking I could probably dramatically improve my studying routine by incorporating some of the strategies on here as well, which I intend to do.

My undergrad GPA was a 3.1, which I understand will be more or less a permanent handicap.

My interests lay generally in Public Interest and perhaps Immigration, as I sort of have a natural foot in both of these doors.

I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which boasts both the Paul M. Herbert Law Center, and the Southern University Law Center (A 4th tier HBCU, but one I have no personal problems attending.) The logical thing to do, I suppose, is to try and get a high enough score to go to either one of those schools with some scholarship money. A friend at LSU recently got in on a 158 with a 75% tuition waiver.

Ultimately my goal is to go to the least expensive school with the best program and prospects, I suspect this will be a defensive exercise, as I doubt I'll have a fighting chance for any school with any real prestige or weight - and I'm okay with that, my goal is a J.D. without much debt, not to be a counselor to kings and emperors or anything like that. I've lived off of 18k a year for so long that the prospect of making 50 grand a year (50 grand, in a year!) is downright titillating. Otherwise, I am just genuinely intrigued by the law and can't really see myself doing anything else.

My conflict comes in when I consider the Louisiana legal market; saturated, limited, and constricting - as I understand it, it's hard to take a Louisiana legal education out of state, and I'm afraid my current position won't allow me to attend any sort of out of state school.

Any advice would be most helpful, any criticisms of my goals and expectations appreciated, and any general guidance what so ever would be of immeasurable value. Is looking out of state feasible? If so, what are some good options?

A few notes, which will probably make their way into my personal statement; I finished undergrad in three years, all of which I wrote for the Associated Collegiate Press and The Daily Reveille at LSU. I served for a little over a year in the United States Army, before falling down a ravine, stress fracturing both knees, and being honorably medically discharged. I am a religious Muslim, and I've been involved in various leadership roles on campus as a part of the Muslim Students Association. I was also orphaned at 15, which gave me great traction in undergrad as far as applying for scholarships went, but I don't know if that'll have any baring at all come law school. I also studied Arabic for two years, don't know if that matters what so ever.

Thank you all for taking the time to consider my position, and again, most of you folks seem like you're well ahead of me as far as this whole process goes and I could definitely use some insight.

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Ramius
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Re: 162 on PT's, 3.1 GPA.

Postby Ramius » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:42 am

It sounds like your best bet is to aim for the highest LSAT possible and shoot for LSU for as cheap as possible. Don't even think about going out of state unless it's T14. You have ties to LA and you're okay with staying in LA, so LSU is by far your best option. Keep working on the LSAT and apply to LSU. They do well in LA and they're one of the cheaper regionals, so it could be a good option for you at the right price.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: 162 on PT's, 3.1 GPA.

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:16 pm

If you were medically discharged, you should be at 100% of the post-9/11 GI Bill. Did you use that up in undergrad? If you still have some left, that'll make a nice dent in your LS expenses.

Aim for LSU for free/close to free for your goals. You almost certainly won't get BigLaw or a federal clerkship or anything, but it doesn't sound like that's what you want anyway. The goal should be limiting the debt enough that you can live comfortably on a starting small law/local government type salary.

tbesancon
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Re: 162 on PT's, 3.1 GPA.

Postby tbesancon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:42 pm

the test is on Dec. 7th by the way.

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Al-Fakruun
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Re: 162 on PT's, 3.1 GPA.

Postby Al-Fakruun » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:43 pm

Thanks for the insight thus far guys.

SpanishMain, I was fortunate enough to not have to use any of my G.I. Bill in undergrad, scholarships and grants helped with that - and you've also hit the nail on the head. I'd like to be a small town lawyer, or work for the local government. I guess I'm an "ideological" candidate, as one of the articles on the site put it, I want to be involved in my community in a positive way and make a relatively decent living doing it. I have no delusions of grandeur. Say I do substantially better on the LSAT than I do, or I retake the test in February after another three months of studying and do much better, considering my goals, how much does the type of law school I go to really matter? And say I do go to a school for free, or next to free, is a JD with out the big name draw worth having, for free? I guess what I'm asking is; is a free JD from a worthless college equivalent to an expensive (debt wise) JD from a semi-decent college - considering my goals?

If I do much better on the LSAT than I anticipate, and I apply to say, Tulane, at sticker price, would going to Southern University on a full ride be smarter?

Maybe that seems like an obvious question, but I'm sort of lost in the sauce (As Drill Sergeant Younger used to say...) at the moment.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: 162 on PT's, 3.1 GPA.

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:40 pm

I wouldn't dip much lower than T2 LSU. Scraping the bottom of the T4 barrel is dicey at any cost, in my opinion, so I wouldn't go for Southern. Really, there should be no need to: you should get into LSU without a problem, and public school + GI Bill = free. Go ahead and apply to Tulane too, and see what kind of aid they throw on the table. GI Bill will still help with a private school, so you might get Tulane without much, if any, debt.

Given your goals, I think location is the number one factor. Stay in state and use your summers to pursue things that demonstrate an interest in A) public interest stuff and B) staying local.

Edit: This is all assuming you score in your PT range. Keep studying and drilling.




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