What are my chances?

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PattyCake
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What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:09 am

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Last edited by PattyCake on Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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snagglepuss
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby snagglepuss » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:28 am

You very well may not get into any of those schools. I'm pretty sure your LSAT is below the median of every school you listed and your GPA is likely below every 25th percentile. You probably have an interesting story and a number of reasons why your LSAC GPA is not representative of your potential, but these schools have to report that GPA and factor it into to their admission stats. They will prefer students will solid numbers over students with shaky numbers and good excuses.

Retaking the LSAT is the most prudent course of action, and most everyone here will tell you this (with varying degrees of pleasantness). If you truly desire a career in law, you will have to make amends for your academic past [the 2.7 GPA] by performing very well on the LSAT. This likely means waiting to apply until next year after you've improved your LSAT score. I would recommend that you retake in June so that you have ample time to develop the essential LSAT skills and become very comfortable with the LSAT. If you look around, you will find a number of guides for how to get the most out of your LSAT studies. Best of luck.

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dowu
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby dowu » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:36 am

retake

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PepperJack
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PepperJack » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:46 am

It sounds like you have done a lot to improve yourself and develop character, and that this has resulted in you getting much better grades. The 155 is separate from that, but because of those grades you need a stellar LSAT to make law school a worthwhile gamble. Law schools won't disregard the previous grades, but the LSAT can overcome it if you break a 170. If you apply the same tenacity to it as you applied to your pre-law life then you should be able to accomplish this.

Also, if the terrible grades from the traumatic experience was related to documented trauma, any chance you could get your previous school to remove them? A 3.8 vs. a 2.7 can be worth several hundreds thousands of dollars (perhaps millions if one assumes big law from a T-14 vs. unemployment from a TTT).

The numbers are dumb, but it's the nature of the game. For instance, if one worked really hard as an actor, knew every rule but just wasn't that talented of an actor and had a 3.0 as a drama major, that 3.0 in no way measures them because they're not competing against Daniel Day Lewis on law school exams, and would his brilliant acting ability even matter on such an exam? You gotta take what you're given, and get the best LSAT.

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midwest17
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby midwest17 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:35 am

PepperJack wrote:The numbers are dumb, but it's the nature of the game. For instance, if one worked really hard as an actor, knew every rule but just wasn't that talented of an actor and had a 3.0 as a drama major, that 3.0 in no way measures them because they're not competing against Daniel Day Lewis on law school exams, and would his brilliant acting ability even matter on such an exam? You gotta take what you're given, and get the best LSAT.


... :?:

OP: I've got family members who struggle with migraines, and I know it sucks. Keep working with your doctor to see if you can get them under control, though, and retake the LSAT when you feel prepared. Keep in mind that law school classes are often graded based on a single final exam, so if stress migraines are a problem on the LSAT they might also be once you get in to school. (BTW: I don't know if you've got a medical condition that would qualify you for an LSAT accommodation, but even if you do, be very careful about taking it. People who have accommodated LSAT scores aren't reported for rankings purposes, and you need a good, reportable LSAT score to overcome that GPA).

Also, the advice about trying to retroactively get those old classes wiped from your transcript is good.

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PepperJack
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PepperJack » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:40 am

midwest17 wrote:
PepperJack wrote:The numbers are dumb, but it's the nature of the game. For instance, if one worked really hard as an actor, knew every rule but just wasn't that talented of an actor and had a 3.0 as a drama major, that 3.0 in no way measures them because they're not competing against Daniel Day Lewis on law school exams, and would his brilliant acting ability even matter on such an exam? You gotta take what you're given, and get the best LSAT.


... :?:

OP: I've got family members who struggle with migraines, and I know it sucks. Keep working with your doctor to see if you can get them under control, though, and retake the LSAT when you feel prepared. Keep in mind that law school classes are often graded based on a single final exam, so if stress migraines are a problem on the LSAT they might also be once you get in to school. (BTW: I don't know if you've got a medical condition that would qualify you for an LSAT accommodation, but even if you do, be very careful about taking it. People who have accommodated LSAT scores aren't reported for rankings purposes, and you need a good, reportable LSAT score to overcome that GPA).

Also, the advice about trying to retroactively get those old classes wiped from your transcript is good.

Yeah, don't do accommodated. Unless you know you can get a 170 with the accommodation, there's a moral issue. Even if you could get a 170 with the accommodation, it doesn't help because with your GPA you need a valuable LSAT score to not harm the school's ranking. Therefore, you need to get that score without the accommidation because law schools aren't only trying to get your money, they're trying to keep the money that comes in from prestige variables (the biggest of which is USNews).

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midwest17
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby midwest17 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:01 am

PepperJack wrote:
midwest17 wrote:
PepperJack wrote:The numbers are dumb, but it's the nature of the game. For instance, if one worked really hard as an actor, knew every rule but just wasn't that talented of an actor and had a 3.0 as a drama major, that 3.0 in no way measures them because they're not competing against Daniel Day Lewis on law school exams, and would his brilliant acting ability even matter on such an exam? You gotta take what you're given, and get the best LSAT.


... :?:

OP: I've got family members who struggle with migraines, and I know it sucks. Keep working with your doctor to see if you can get them under control, though, and retake the LSAT when you feel prepared. Keep in mind that law school classes are often graded based on a single final exam, so if stress migraines are a problem on the LSAT they might also be once you get in to school. (BTW: I don't know if you've got a medical condition that would qualify you for an LSAT accommodation, but even if you do, be very careful about taking it. People who have accommodated LSAT scores aren't reported for rankings purposes, and you need a good, reportable LSAT score to overcome that GPA).

Also, the advice about trying to retroactively get those old classes wiped from your transcript is good.

Yeah, don't do accommodated. Unless you know you can get a 170 with the accommodation, there's a moral issue. Even if you could get a 170 with the accommodation, it doesn't help because with your GPA you need a valuable LSAT score to not harm the school's ranking. Therefore, you need to get that score without the accommidation because law schools aren't only trying to get your money, they're trying to keep the money that comes in from prestige variables (the biggest of which is USNews).


Again.... :?:

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:24 am

I'm waiting to retake in February so I can use the prep course. I honestly can't afford another cycle - its been EXTREMELY draining for us financially for me to apply this year, and I won't be able to do it again. I'm already into an MPH program with a full scholarship, so if I don't get in I'll have to be satisfied with that.

I'm a little surprised though. I thought I had a half-way decent chance at a few of those schools, and I'm at or above the median LSAT for 2 or 3 of them. I guess my question comes down to this: is it possible for an amazing PS and huge upward trends to sway a committee with my numbers? My prelaw advisor says she's never seen a PS like mine (in a good way). I wish I could have worked with a consultant because I have a really unusual background, but I can't afford it. I'd be SO grateful if anyone would read it and give me feedback. I know it's a bit late, but it sounds from the above advice like I might want to apply to some safer schools, so I'd be very appreciative of another few outside opinions before I submit it anywhere else.

Thank you all for being so helpful!

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:33 am

PattyCake wrote:I'm a little surprised though. I thought I had a half-way decent chance at a few of those schools, and I'm at or above the median LSAT for 2 or 3 of them. I guess my question comes down to this: is it possible for an amazing PS and huge upward trends to sway a committee with my numbers? .

Thank you all for being so helpful!


All the schools you listed are regionals (of varying quality) and provide a substantially lower chance of a high paying big law gig immediately following law school. If the school has decent employment numbers and is in the region where you want to work long term, a regional can still be a good choice.

Big caveat: it is super important that you go at the right price. Your goal at a regional shouldn't be just "get in". It should be "get in with a nice fat scholarship." That's why you raising your LSAT score substantially is important.

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:46 am

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Last edited by PattyCake on Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:50 am

Depending on what your specific career goals are, international work is very difficult to come by, even from the very top tier of law schools. You may want to revise your expectations. If your goal is to work in international development/humanitarian stuff, a law degree is almost certainly not the best way to get there anyway.

I would completely discard schools like Hofstra, Buffalo, American, etc. They're complete toilets. Most of the others could good choices at the right price and with appropriate, realistic goals.
Last edited by TheSpanishMain on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

HYSenberg
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby HYSenberg » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:51 am

If it is financially draining to simply apply to law schools even when you have fee waivers to all but two, the burdens of law school are going to be shocking in comparison. Although I admittedly do not know much about the scholarship stats of those schools, none of the ones in the second tier have good employment numbers and it would be a travesty to pay sticker or close to it. In addition, your chances of getting into a first tier school are all but precluded. Nobody cares about excuses or a compelling PS, and your pre-law advisor isn't doing you any favors by claiming that it may be a significantly mitigating factor.

Tl;dr retake without accommodations or don't go to law school.

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:23 am

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:34 am

I don't think anyone here is saying that the education is bad at any of the schools you've mentioned; when they say things like "school X is a toilet," they mean that the school's employment statistics are bad, such that the chances of getting a decent job are insufficient to make the cost of the school worth it. If you really are following a career path where having a JD is all that matters, and you aren't going to need any of the benefits of going to a school that offers significant employment prospects, that's a different calculus than for most people going to law school, who are very concerned with getting a job afterwards. "Bad" schools are schools out of which very few graduates get jobs, even though they probably get just as good an education as anywhere. Rankings aren't a proxy for quality, they're a proxy for employability.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:41 am

I think retaking is your best option. If that's out, and it's shouldn't be, then go to a school in the region you'd like to end up in. Don't go to Emory or Washington, for example, with the hopes of ending up in the Boston area. If you have a guaranteed job with your family's firm, then I suppose no school will really be catastrophic.

And the point isn't that lower ranked schools necessarily teach the law poorly or incorrectly. It's that the degrees are way less geographically portable, and job opportunities are way more restricted. Check out Law School Transparency. Sure, there are a few lower ranked schools with some relatively good employment numbers, and a few higher ranked ones that are really struggling, but in general higher ranked school = lower chance of being unemployed.

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:44 am

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:49 am

TheSpanishMain wrote:I think retaking is your best option. If that's out, and it's shouldn't be, then go to a school in the region you'd like to end up in. Don't go to Emory or Washington, for example, with the hopes of ending up in the Boston area. If you have a guaranteed job with your family's firm, then I suppose no school will really be catastrophic.

And the point isn't that lower ranked schools necessarily teach the law poorly or incorrectly. It's that the degrees are way less geographically portable, and job opportunities are way more restricted. Check out Law School Transparency. Sure, there are a few lower ranked schools with some relatively good employment numbers, and a few higher ranked ones that are really struggling, but in general higher ranked school = lower chance of being unemployed.


I understand. That's one reason why I like Northeastern so much. We have family in Boston and their co-op program is helpful to make employment connections if you're interested in a niche field. my numbers aren't there, though. Hopefully after my retake things will open up a bit.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:49 am

PattyCake wrote:
I have this under control at least. My doc just gave me a scrip for this new pen thingie that supposedly stops my type of migraine in its tracks - its like an epi pen for headaches. I hope it works if I need it! I'm hoping it's obvious from my score report that I was ill at the beginning of the test - my final section was nearly perfect and sections 3 & 4 show steady improvement as I started to feel a little better. do they even look at those factors if you write an addendum?



I don't think so. Your LSAT score is your LSAT score. Schools are looking out for their own interests, not yours. A school isn't going to negatively affect their median because you had a migraine, even if they sympathize. If you retook and scored higher, you could submit an addendum explaining that your first test wasn't indicative of your ability because you were ill. Not that anyone averages anyway.

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:59 am

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Last edited by PattyCake on Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:08 am

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:30 am

PattyCake wrote:
PepperJack wrote:Also, if the terrible grades from the traumatic experience was related to documented trauma, any chance you could get your previous school to remove them? A 3.8 vs. a 2.7 can be worth several hundreds thousands of dollars (perhaps millions if one assumes big law from a T-14 vs. unemployment from a TTT).


It never even occurred to me to ask about that. Do schools actually do that?


Worth a shot. If whatever it was (understand you'd probably rather not get into it) involved medical or legal documentation, you might be able to swing it.

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PepperJack
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PepperJack » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:48 pm

Stopped taking this seriously at job statistics don't matter, and the plan to learn American law to go and work in developing countries that don't use American law. I don't even want to know the purported logic of this plan. I'd imagine it's something like a villager sobs, "Our water is contaminated and our village doesn't have working drinking water in 110 degree heat so we may all die." You return, "Well, have no fear because in Palsgraf...."

HYSenberg
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby HYSenberg » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:03 pm

Rankings do matter. Concentrations do not matter. Human Rights is absurdly unlikely. International law is a unicorn. All law schools are certainly not respected lol. If you have a job from your family firm, however, then that is the only way rankings don't matter. You will probably not be a lawyer with a degree from the majority of the schools that you mentioned, so if you don't get a full ride, then it is not worth it whatsoever. Forget focusing on specific specialities of law and start thinking of whether or not you'll even be employed at graduation.

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:18 pm

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Last edited by PattyCake on Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PattyCake
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Re: What are my chances?

Postby PattyCake » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:12 pm

Does anyone know what "Hold for further reviews" means for W&M? Is that different from wait list?




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