How To Increase My Chances for T14?

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How To Increase My Chances for T14?

Postby ad.astra » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:01 pm

I'm currently a Sophomore at a top-5 ranked liberal arts college (I'd rather not say which one since it's very small), and will most likely be a History/Poli-Sci double major. I'm from Europe and don't have US citizenship but have been in the States for school for almost 4 years now (including the last two years of high school).

My current cumulative GPA is 3.5, but I was diagnosed with a learning disability several months ago that I had been struggling with all my life and have since gotten support for, which has raised my GPA significantly in the past semester. I also had pneumonia for a month a year ago, and was consistently sick for most of that spring.

My GPA for this past fall semester alone would be about 3.7, and my projected graduating GPA should be between 3.65 and 3.8 (obviously the higher the better).

I have yet to take the LSAT, but I've always done well on standardized tests like the SAT and SSAT and plan on practicing for it extensively. I was tested for IQ several times as a child and I was wondering how much correlation there is between that and the LSAT. I know they don't measure exactly the same thing, but they both do seem to focus on logic-based problems.

I worked as a journalist for an English language magazine in my home country last summer and was both offered a job next summer and an excellent recommendation. They usually only hire native-speakers with B.A.s in English or Journalism and only accepted my application because I showed up in person, but I'm not sure how I could convey that on an application without sounding silly. I'm currently planning on working or interning for either a law-based organization or a magazine/newspaper this summer, but that hasn't been set in stone yet.

I know that this process is quite a while away for me, but I've been thinking about it since elementary school and no other career has ever really appealed to me. And even if I end up doing something else I find it helpful to have a set goal to work towards.

So my questions are these:
:?: What sort of schools should I be looking at/could I realistically get into, and what could I be focusing on now to improve my chances (other than the obvious better grades, which I'm already doing)?
:?: What LSAT score would I need at minimum with my GPA/projected GPA to get into a top school?
:?: Do schools care at all about the distribution of your grades? Like if your GPA steadily improves over the course of your 4 years, will that reflect better on you than the same GPA would with the same grades throughout?
:?: Does going to a highly-ranked college matter at all?
:?: Does summer job experience factor highly into admissions, and then what sorts of jobs/internships?
:?: How important are extra-curriculars, if at all? Does it matter if they are related to law or other useful subjects?
:?: Maybe this is silly but I was also wondering if language fluency counted for anything.
:?: Will being international help/hurt my application?

Sorry this is so long! Any feed-back/help is appreciated :)

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Re: How To Increase My Chances for T14?

Postby earthabides » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:09 pm

Depends on the test you took. In my experience there definitely was a correlation, I landed in the same percentile on both the testing I had as a child and the LSAT.

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Re: How To Increase My Chances for T14?

Postby UOI4430 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:17 pm

Get into the 170s with a gpa above 3.7 and you will easily get into the T-14 with $$.

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Re: How To Increase My Chances for T14?

Postby Kratos » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:06 pm

get a good gpa and then get a good LSAT score. Better yet, just get a good gpa and get a good job and skip law school altogether.

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Re: How To Increase My Chances for T14?

Postby jetsfan1 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:23 pm

1) Get your gpa to/over a 3.8 and nothing is out of reach. This should be your main goal right now. That, and you know, enjoying college. Shit goes by too fast.
2) Assuming a 3.8, minimum 168ish for T14 acceptances, hit over 170 to be in the running for CCN, break 173 for H. YS are black boxes even with the numbers.
3) Slightly, but not really.
4) Not really.
5) No.
6) No.
7) No.
8) No.

Hopefully your starting to see a pattern here. Admissions = GPA+LSAT. Focus on the 2, and thats all that matters. But jeez as a sophomore in college? Have some fun and stop worrying so much! Get good grades, study your ass off for the LSAT when it comes time to take it, and you'll be on the right track (again, YS slightly different equation). I'd also highly recommend taking a couple of years off after undergrad. Will maybe help ever so slightly with admissions if you do something cool, but more importantly it gives you a chance to do something else and see if you really want to go to law school. The answer very may well be no.

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