Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

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CandyCrushed
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Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby CandyCrushed » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:11 pm

Disclaimer: I rather not factor my race/orientation/background into my law school admissions process, but the reality is that these things affect the outcome of applications and it would be foolish for me not to even ask a law school admissions discussion board about them. I'd rather this not become an AA debate, if possible. I'm considering retaking the LSAT even if my chances are decent at the schools I'm interested in, because I think I'll feel better about myself if I go to a top school with a score at/above their median than if I get in with my current LSAT score and feel that I'm at the bottom of the admit pile.

GPA: 3.35 from a non-Ivy private university (think Amherst)
LSAT: 165 from December 2013, 159 from June 2011. Thinking about retaking the LSAT in June, as I could have study LR and LG much more and think I can increase my score 5-7 points. On one hand, the better the LSAT score, the better my chances. On the other hand, the reality is that very few AA males score above 165 -- apparently only 29 AAs (male and female) scored above 170 in 2003 or 2004, so it's not insane to think that only perhaps 100 or 150 AA applicants score over 165 in a given year.

URM status: AA male, gay. 1st generation American but not a 1st generation college student (both parents have at least a MA/MS, once has a PhD...). Two years' work experience (would rather not divulge further, but it's good work experience). On one hand, I'm from a low-income family (I paid 5K a year at my UG, the rest financed through need-based grants from my UG and fed loans). On the other hand, I make really good money now, though I live in a fairly high-COL area.

Chances at YHSCCNP with the 165 LSAT?
Chances at YHSCCNP with an LSAT score of 166-172? (That's where I'd realistically end up after retaking).

Other: Personal Statement not in good shape yet (talk about writer's block) and I'm running out of time to finalize it if I'm still applying this cycle.

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CandyCrushed
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby CandyCrushed » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:30 pm

Hmm...awfully quiet around these parts...

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bombaysippin
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby bombaysippin » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:41 pm

CandyCrushed wrote:Hmm...awfully quiet around these parts...


Lol awfully quiet? It's been like 20 minutes between your posts...

Your gpa is low so a retake is the only credited response. You know your chances increase exponentially even with a couple points.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby ScottRiqui » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:42 pm

First off, the aggregate statistics regarding how many AA takers score over a particular number are a poor predictor of your specific performance. If you can score over 165 consistently in your practice tests, then it doesn't matter how all the other AA takers did on the LSAT.

As far as applications, I'll let others chime in who know more about the AA admissions boost, but as it stands right now, you're below the 25th percentiles for both LSAT and GPA at the schools you're talking about. It would be great if you could retake and get closer to their LSAT median, just to give the adcomms something to hang their hat on.

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twenty
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby twenty » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:49 pm

I'm sort of lashing out because of the influx of people that pull rubbish like this. "I feel like I can do better" and "I will invariably get a 166-172" are two COMPLETELY different things. If you feel like you can do better, good for you, go retake the LSAT in February.

Wouldn't say you're out at CCN right now (or even H, really), but your chances increase drastically if you actually do end up with a few more points on the LSAT.

Cellar-door
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby Cellar-door » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:52 pm

Re-take.
It can be hard to judge how high a boost URM status will give you, but with your low GPA I'd guess you'll need to improve that LSAT to have a reasonable chance at your target schools. I'd swing by the URM forum too, but I'd guess they'll suggest you re-take as well.

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CandyCrushed
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby CandyCrushed » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:03 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:I'm sort of lashing out because of the influx of people that pull rubbish like this. "I feel like I can do better" and "I will invariably get a 166-172" are two COMPLETELY different things. If you feel like you can do better, good for you, go retake the LSAT in February.

Wouldn't say you're out at CCN right now (or even H, really), but your chances increase drastically if you actually do end up with a few more points on the LSAT.


I suppose I should have said, regarding that LSAT range, "that's where I would HOPE to end up". I'm almost definitely retaking -- I think trying to retake in Feb would be a bit nuts due to the time constraint, so June it probably is. I'm already reading through the Power score LR bible (the only test prep book I used last time around was the LG bible...lol.)

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bombaysippin
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby bombaysippin » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:04 pm

CandyCrushed wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:I'm sort of lashing out because of the influx of people that pull rubbish like this. "I feel like I can do better" and "I will invariably get a 166-172" are two COMPLETELY different things. If you feel like you can do better, good for you, go retake the LSAT in February.

Wouldn't say you're out at CCN right now (or even H, really), but your chances increase drastically if you actually do end up with a few more points on the LSAT.


I suppose I should have said, regarding that LSAT range, "that's where I would HOPE to end up". I'm almost definitely retaking -- I think trying to retake in Feb would be a bit nuts due to the time constraint, so June it probably is. I'm already reading through the Power score LR bible (the only test prep book I used last time around was the LG bible...lol.)


FTFY

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby ScottRiqui » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:28 pm

CandyCrushed wrote: On one hand, the better the LSAT score, the better my chances. On the other hand, the reality is that very few AA males score above 165 -- apparently only 29 AAs (male and female) scored above 170 in 2003 or 2004, so it's not insane to think that only perhaps 100 or 150 AA applicants score over 165 in a given year.


You seem a little intimidated by the small number of AAs who score 165+ (and you're correct that it's a very small number). But let me give you a similar (and even more extreme) example to show that it's not necessarily anything to be worried about:

The median LSAT score for takers my age (40+) is 144. One. forty. four - that's in the bottom quarter of all LSAT takers. If I believed that had any predictive power regarding my performance, I never would have considered law school. But it's not that aging turns you into an "LSAT dummy" - it's much more probable that the people who wait until their 40s to take the LSAT for the first time are the same people who would have scored in the 140s while they were still fresh out of undergrad.

Likewise, test centers in the Southeastern United States report the lowest LSAT median by a fair margin, while New England's is the highest. Does that mean that someone who lives in Miami should fly up to Providence to take the LSAT? Of course not.

In short, historical aggregate data from a large group is pretty much rubbish for predicting an individual's future performance - don't let it spook you.

natevines
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby natevines » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:03 am

Anyone can be 'gay' in law school apps. I'm a downright sodomite when it comes to being competitive for apps.

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twenty
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby twenty » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:13 am

natevines wrote:Anyone can be 'gay' in law school apps. I'm a downright sodomite when it comes to being competitive for apps.


wtf.

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CandyCrushed
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby CandyCrushed » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:21 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
CandyCrushed wrote: On one hand, the better the LSAT score, the better my chances. On the other hand, the reality is that very few AA males score above 165 -- apparently only 29 AAs (male and female) scored above 170 in 2003 or 2004, so it's not insane to think that only perhaps 100 or 150 AA applicants score over 165 in a given year.


You seem a little intimidated by the small number of AAs who score 165+ (and you're correct that it's a very small number). But let me give you a similar (and even more extreme) example to show that it's not necessarily anything to be worried about:

The median LSAT score for takers my age (40+) is 144. One. forty. four - that's in the bottom quarter of all LSAT takers. If I believed that had any predictive power regarding my performance, I never would have considered law school. But it's not that aging turns you into an "LSAT dummy" - it's much more probable that the people who wait until their 40s to take the LSAT for the first time are the same people who would have scored in the 140s while they were still fresh out of undergrad.

Likewise, test centers in the Southeastern United States report the lowest LSAT median by a fair margin, while New England's is the highest. Does that mean that someone who lives in Miami should fly up to Providence to take the LSAT? Of course not.

In short, historical aggregate data from a large group is pretty much rubbish for predicting an individual's future performance - don't let it spook you.



Thanks. I was actually referring to the difficulty in determining whether retaking the LSAT is worth my while given that for black applicants, I'm already likely already in the top 5% of scorers. Yes, I should want to have objectively high marks, but the reality of the admissions process is that over a certain LSAT score, a better score may not radically improving a black applicant's chances because the likelihood that he will be admitted will already be very high (e.g., a black applicant is already a lock at most places with a 170 or 171 -- retaking for a 178 isn't improving his chances much).

But, thanks for your post. Good to remind myself that my individual performance isn't dictated by membership in a particular group. (And my goals shouldn't be dictated by shooting for the bare minimum generally needed by that group either, which is why I'll be retaking.)

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby ScottRiqui » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:30 am

CandyCrushed wrote:Thanks. I was actually referring to the difficulty in determining whether retaking the LSAT is worth my while given that for black applicants, I'm already likely already in the top 5% of scorers. Yes, I should want to have objectively high marks, but the reality of the admissions process is that over a certain LSAT score, a better score may not radically improving a black applicant's chances because the likelihood that he will be admitted will already be very high (e.g., a black applicant is already a lock at most places with a 170 or 171 -- retaking for a 178 isn't improving his chances much).


Oh, I understand what you were saying now. I agree that for a black applicant, the point of diminishing returns comes earlier, so the calculus changes somewhat. I'm glad to hear you're re-taking, though - best of luck!

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PepperJack
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby PepperJack » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:35 am

It may make a difference whether OP is male or female. My understanding is there a fewer AA males than females with 165+ scores, and no LS wants a class with 0 AA males.

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CandyCrushed
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby CandyCrushed » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:06 pm

PepperJack wrote:It may make a difference whether OP is male or female. My understanding is there a fewer AA males than females with 165+ scores, and no LS wants a class with 0 AA males.


Yep, male. (I'm almost definitely retaking though. I don't think I want to go through life knowing that I didn't retake the LSAT and get the best score possible because I accepted lower standards for myself.)

I'm also considering shooting off just one or two applications to schools that aren't HYS (perhaps just NYU and Penn).

Does anybody know the answers to the following questions?

1. Do recommendations used this year stay on the LSAC system so I can use them again next year in the event that I reapply to schools (or in the event that I apply to some schools this cycle and apply to other schools next cycle)? (I'm having recommenders fill out a different LSAC recommender form for each letter.)

2. I know schools ask if you've applied to them in the past, but do schools ask whether you've applied to OTHER law schools in the past (i.e., will Harvard ask me next year whether I applied to NYU last year?) I haven't come across this yet on my applications, but it would be good to know.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:05 pm

twenty wrote:
natevines wrote:Anyone can be 'gay' in law school apps. I'm a downright sodomite when it comes to being competitive for apps.


wtf.


This is really fucked up and has no place in the on topics

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twenty
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby twenty » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:34 pm

I'm also considering shooting off just one or two applications to schools that aren't HYS (perhaps just NYU and Penn).


Since URM admissions are so unpredictable (and you're solidly below everyone's 25ths), I would highly, highly recommend sending more apps.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby bombaysippin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:53 pm

CandyCrushed wrote:
PepperJack wrote:It may make a difference whether OP is male or female. My understanding is there a fewer AA males than females with 165+ scores, and no LS wants a class with 0 AA males.


Yep, male. (I'm almost definitely retaking though. I don't think I want to go through life knowing that I didn't retake the LSAT and get the best score possible because I accepted lower standards for myself.)

I'm also considering shooting off just one or two applications to schools that aren't HYS (perhaps just NYU and Penn).

Does anybody know the answers to the following questions?

1. Do recommendations used this year stay on the LSAC system so I can use them again next year in the event that I reapply to schools (or in the event that I apply to some schools this cycle and apply to other schools next cycle)? (I'm having recommenders fill out a different LSAC recommender form for each letter.)

2. I know schools ask if you've applied to them in the past, but do schools ask whether you've applied to OTHER law schools in the past (i.e., will Harvard ask me next year whether I applied to NYU last year?) I haven't come across this yet on my applications, but it would be good to know.


Yes to 1, No to 2.

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danitt
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Re: Gay Black 1st Gen URM - chances before/after LSAT retake?

Postby danitt » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:00 pm

natevines wrote:Anyone can be 'gay' in law school apps. I'm a downright sodomite when it comes to being competitive for apps.

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