The odds are likely not in my favor.

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tschr14
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The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:01 am

Hello everyone,

I am currently planning to apply to law schools in September of 2014 (class of 2018). I would first like to give some background information before giving my raw numbers. I am 24 years old and a veteran of the Marine Corps. I left active duty in May of 2012 and am currently a senior at John Carroll University graduating this May. I have taken 17 or 18 credit hours every semester since leaving active duty to graduate as quickly as possible to get move towards law school. While on active duty I was essentially a paralegal and that is when I made the decision practicing law was a desirable career for me. When I first left active duty I went to a local community college and graduated with an associates degree in December 2012. My John Carroll GPA only includes my classes taken there so it really only reflects my performance in upper level classes.

While in school I have had some major life events happen that I may or may not include in my applications depending on feedback given here, I am also unsure where I should include these in my application. These events include planning (and financing ourselves) a wedding, the birth of our first child and during one semester my father had major surgery. I include these in the description because I wonder how they will be viewed by law schools or if they should even be mentioned.

When I graduate I will still have almost 3 full years of GI Bill benefits remaining so the schools I intend on applying to will participate in the Yellow Ribbon program to finance the education and minimal (if any) loans will have to be taken out. This was another reason I went to the community college initially and paid for tuition out of pocket. My intention all along was to get a bachelors using as little of my GI Bill as possible so I could use it for law school. However, I am reconsidering my decision because I am having doubts I will have much of a chance to get into a desirable school since I think the law schools will focus on my GPA at John Carroll. Also to note while considering feedback is that John Carroll (for those that do not know) is a small Jesuit University in Cleveland. It generally has a strong reputation in the Midwest and Pittsburgh areas but is hardly known on a national level.

Now I have not taken an official LSAT (I am taking it this June) but my first attempt at a practice test I scored a 156 before doing any LSAT prep. I think with some studying and possibly taking a LSAT prep class as well (recommendations on a course would be helpful as well) I could score at least a 160. I think a 165+ is not out of the question but I do realize the odds are slim.

My GPA at John Carroll is a 3.1 currently and at the community college a 3.8. I think my adjusted GPA will be somewhere in the 3.3-3.5 range. When I graduate 70 of my 128 credits will have come from John Carroll.

I am undecided of which reach schools would best fit my specific scenario but I have a list of schools that do participate in Yellow Ribbon so I intend on applying to at least 2 and at most 4 programs. This list includes Stanford, Michigan, Fordham, Harvard, Chicago, NYU, Georgetown and GWU. I would like to know which ones of these (if any) I would have even the slightest chance of being admitted to.

The other schools I intend on applying to are Univ of Pittsburgh, Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, Univ of Colorado, Pepperdine, Univ of Cincinnati, Univ of San Diego and DePaul. I would like to narrow this list down to 6 to 8 schools. I consider Cleveland State to be a pretty safe school but I am not even sure of that. Thanks in advance everyone.

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:09 am

I forgot to include that I am an Economics major. Just thought that might be relevant information as well.

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sublime
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby sublime » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:11 am

..

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unodostres
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby unodostres » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:13 am

Your odds are not slim to score a 165+, esp with a 156 diag. Your undergrad reputation doesn't matter nor does your major in this case. What matters is your GPA.

Where do you want to practice? Seems like you are shotgunning your apps. (even w/o a reportable LSAT score)
Last edited by unodostres on Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:14 am

Thanks for the reply and fair enough. The next possible LSAT is June if I am not mistaken, I do have time to retake in October if the first attempt doesn't get it done. My intention for waiting a year was to have my applications in as soon as possible to give me best chances at being admitted into a reach school which would be delayed if I waited until October but the higher LSAT score would be worth it I am assuming.

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drawstring
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby drawstring » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:16 am

A 156 diagnostic is solid. I know of several people who have leaped from there to the 170s.

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:16 am

I am undecided where I would like to practice, probably Cleveland area but my wife would like to leave the area so I am pretty open to any area that I am applying.

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sublime
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby sublime » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:17 am

..

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unodostres
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby unodostres » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:18 am

October and December are still fine for applications.

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:19 am

drawstring wrote:A 156 diagnostic is solid. I know of several people who have leaped from there to the 170s.


That is really encouraging. I assumed a 10 point leap was extremely unlikely.

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:21 am

sublime wrote:
tschr14 wrote:Thanks for the reply and fair enough. The next possible LSAT is June if I am not mistaken, I do have time to retake in October if the first attempt doesn't get it done. My intention for waiting a year was to have my applications in as soon as possible to give me best chances at being admitted into a reach school which would be delayed if I waited until October but the higher LSAT score would be worth it I am assuming.



Yea, even a 1 point bump will be worth it, in the current state of affairs, schools will take the numbers whenever they can get them.

Like you said, I would aim for June, which leaves you with two possible retakes to be comfortably in that cycle.

Browse the LSAT subforum, there really is tons of great resources there.


Thanks and will do.

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sublime
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby sublime » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:22 am

..

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:23 am

unodostres wrote:October and December are still fine for applications.


That is good to know as well. I hope to get a strong score the first attempt (who doesn't?) but it is nice to have the time to still be competitive later.

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unodostres
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby unodostres » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:24 am

tschr14 wrote:I am undecided where I would like to practice, probably Cleveland area but my wife would like to leave the area so I am pretty open to any area that I am applying.


That's a big part of where you should apply.

First, just like sublime said, you need an LSAT score. Get the score, figure out where you want to practice, and go from there. If you want to play around with numbers, use:

http://mylsn.info/r/pre-law/admissions/search/

Good luck.

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:27 am

unodostres wrote:
tschr14 wrote:I am undecided where I would like to practice, probably Cleveland area but my wife would like to leave the area so I am pretty open to any area that I am applying.


That's a big part of where you should apply.

First, just like sublime said, you need an LSAT score. Get the score, figure out where you want to practice, and go from there. If you want to play around with numbers, use:

http://mylsn.info/r/pre-law/admissions/search/

Good luck.


Thanks. I really would like to leave NE Ohio for law school but come back to practice but I realize that is unlikely so I would say I am pretty undecided. Any recommendations for a class to sign up for?

tschr14
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby tschr14 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:31 am

unodostres wrote:
tschr14 wrote:I am undecided where I would like to practice, probably Cleveland area but my wife would like to leave the area so I am pretty open to any area that I am applying.


That's a big part of where you should apply.

First, just like sublime said, you need an LSAT score. Get the score, figure out where you want to practice, and go from there. If you want to play around with numbers, use:

http://mylsn.info/r/pre-law/admissions/search/

Good luck.


That website is a great tool! Thanks for that.

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unodostres
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby unodostres » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:31 am

tschr14 wrote:
unodostres wrote:
tschr14 wrote:I am undecided where I would like to practice, probably Cleveland area but my wife would like to leave the area so I am pretty open to any area that I am applying.


That's a big part of where you should apply.

First, just like sublime said, you need an LSAT score. Get the score, figure out where you want to practice, and go from there. If you want to play around with numbers, use:

http://mylsn.info/r/pre-law/admissions/search/

Good luck.


Thanks. I really would like to leave NE Ohio for law school but come back to practice but I realize that is unlikely so I would say I am pretty undecided. Any recommendations for a class to sign up for?


For prep?

I'd do self study first. Plenty of different guides on TLS. Cheaper too. Plus you can tailor it to your needs since you are probably looking to shoot into the high 160's low 170's.

I'd buy:

Manhattan bundle guides
Cambridge packets 1-40 for drilling
PT's 41-71

follow one of the guides on TLS.

Hit 170+.

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sublime
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby sublime » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:33 am

..

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unodostres
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby unodostres » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:38 am

7sage is the bee's knees. Heard great things about velocity as well.

Here are all the LG explanations on their channel:

http://7sage.com/logic-game-explanations/

Good luck bro!

Hat Trick
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby Hat Trick » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:47 am

tschr14 wrote:
drawstring wrote:A 156 diagnostic is solid. I know of several people who have leaped from there to the 170s.


That is really encouraging. I assumed a 10 point leap was extremely unlikely.

Some encouragement: I went from a 155 cold diagnostic to a 173 in October and a 177 in December thanks to the amazing resources on TLS. DO NOT settle for a 160 or even a 165. With a 156 diagnostic, you have a great shot at a 170+ on the real thing. With your military background, that could mean a full ride to UVA.

rad lulz
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:52 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawst
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby Lawst » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:59 am

My diagnostic was I think around 155, and I ended up with a 165 (I absolutely sucked at logic games, as in routinely got half the questions wrong, and still got a 165).
I did self study with the Powerscore bibles and a study plan from a blog I found - lsatblog. com or something , I think. It worked fine for me.
Also, I got really nervous on the day of my first LSAT and got a 158, even though I was scoring the mid 160s on practice tests. I retook in December for the 165, and I think schools overloooked the 158 completely. So you can always retake if you don't do as well as hoped on the first one for whatever reason.
Also, leave Cleveland. I grew up there, and it's good to get out and explore places that are not Cleveland.

drevo
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby drevo » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:03 am

Hat Trick wrote:
tschr14 wrote:
drawstring wrote:A 156 diagnostic is solid. I know of several people who have leaped from there to the 170s.


That is really encouraging. I assumed a 10 point leap was extremely unlikely.

Some encouragement: I went from a 155 cold diagnostic to a 173 in October and a 177 in December thanks to the amazing resources on TLS. DO NOT settle for a 160 or even a 165. With a 156 diagnostic, you have a great shot at a 170+ on the real thing. With your military background, that could mean a full ride to UVA.


100% agree with this. 156 is a great starting place and you certainly have a great shot at 170+ given proper studying. The LSAT prep section of TLS is full of solid guides.

As far as books I would also full heartedly endorse Manhattan LR and, to a lesser extent, their RC. I never read their LG so no idea how it is. I would give BluePrints LG a shot though. I actually took a BluePrint course so I didn't use their standalone LG book, but their strategies for all games I found clicked better than the PowerScore LG Bible. FWIW I got -0 on LG and a 175 overall thanks in large part to the guides on this site and the aforementioned books. Best of luck to you!

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Pneumonia
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:11 am

If you really got a 156 on your diagnostic then that is actually pretty incredible, assuming you took it under strictly timed conditions etc. I had a similar score and ended up going up by more than 20 points, so no, 165 is not a long shot. In fact that probably shouldn't even be your floor. Study for a 180. Now-June is plenty of time if you study hard.

I also used the LSAT forum here and self studied, which for someone in your position is going to be the best thing. Once again assuming that your 156 was taken under test-like conditions, you're not going to get much out of a class anyway.

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guano
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Re: The odds are likely not in my favor.

Postby guano » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:21 am

Keep in mind that military provides a boost at some schools.
I know that if you get into the 160s you've probably got a shot at Fordham




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