179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

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Chris22
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179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Chris22 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:03 pm

Alright, I'm in a very particular situation here and I'm looking for honest advice.

I got a 179 LSAT score which I know is outstanding but there are two parts to law school admission, and the other is GPA, which for me would look like a steaming pile of shit through the eyes of an admissions counselor.

I go to Princeton right now as an engineering undergrad. As many of you may know, Princeton is notorious for their grade deflation, in which there is a hard rule that only 35% of students in any class receive A's. That's hard for most people, but because I'm in engineering, there is a secret unspoken rule that the number be halved, so no more than 17% of people in my classes get A's. I wasn't one of those 17%. I actually despise engineering, that's why I'm going into law. I realized that a long time ago but made the mistake of finishing my engineering degree. Doing particle physics and multivariable calculus for another year while hating it really tanked my grades.

So now I'm left here with a 3.1 GPA, which is horrendously below the 25th percentile for every top law school. I wish I would have chosen a cupcake major at a cupcake university. Then I would be choosing the law schools instead of the other way around.

Do I have a chance at all to get into any top law school?

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:12 pm

yes, you are screwed
jk you will get in to some T14s that are splitter friendly (ex. Northwestern)
you probably won't get much money though
you will have full ride offers from a lot of T1s

there was someone at my school with your profile: top undergrad, extremely high LSAT, low gpa. He took a full ride here. He was #1 in class after 1L and transferred to HYS.
Last edited by Hutz_and_Goodman on Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

suppy183
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby suppy183 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:16 pm

Very likely to get NU with some work experience. Probably a good shot at GULC and Cornell too.

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WhiskeyAndCupcakes
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby WhiskeyAndCupcakes » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:18 pm

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Last edited by WhiskeyAndCupcakes on Fri May 29, 2015 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Big Red
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Big Red » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:21 pm

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/

You can look at past cycles to see how people with your numbers did (you're an outlier, so there won't be many), but I'd bet you'll be a lonely green dot at a couple of schools in the bottom of the t14

Life2good893
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Life2good893 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:35 pm

If you are still in undergrad, can you take a bunch of GPA padding classes? Maybe take an extra quarter to graduate (provided you don't exceed your school's unit ceiling) and take four easier classes that you are interested in (and get all A's). Not only could it be really interesting but it might help your GPA. Get your GPA up to a 3.3 and your entire picture changes (according to mylsn.com)

EDIT: there also aren't very many people with your specific combination of numbers so mylsn.com might not be a very good predictor.

Also in your recommendation letters, ask your professors to explain the rigor of your program and your ranking within that program. That way schools have a better idea of the unforgiving curve at your school. Maybe an addendum is in order too if you can find a public quote about your school's specific grading policy.
Last edited by Life2good893 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rpupkin
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:35 pm

Apply everywhere--even to HYS. You'll probably get rejected or waitlisted at most of the T14, but I bet you'll get at least a couple of offers. Your cycle will be unpredictable.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:01 pm

Congrats on the 179. Based on LSN, you'll probably get into Northwestern and GULC, with a maybe at NYU, Cornell, and Michigan. But, as others have pointed out, you have a pretty unique situation, so you may outperform your numbers. In short: No, you're not screwed, and you could probably get into a top law school.

However, you should probably make sure that you want to be a lawyer first. Why do you want to go to law school? "I didn't like engineering" isn't good enough of an answer. If you haven't already, talk to lawyers about what they do and really try to figure out whether you'd like it. I say this because you probably won't get a ton of money from a top school, so assuming you're debt-financing law school and choose to attend a top school (instead of a strong regional school on a scholarship), you'll have to take out a ton in loans. Which would result in misery if you don't like practicing law (many, if not most, law graduates don't), because you'd be stuck with it until you pay of those loans.

Life2good893
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Life2good893 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:02 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote: However, you should probably make sure that you want to be a lawyer first. Why do you want to go to law school? "I didn't like engineering" isn't good enough of an answer.


:D Seconded

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cc78
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby cc78 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:33 pm

No way you're screwed...you're basically going to be playing the lottery with the T14, so buy as many tickets as possible (apply to them all, except perhaps Y and S). Princeton is very well known for its grade deflation and I have to think someone is going to take that into account with that incredible LSAT.

Love the question here about whether or not you really want to be a lawyer...if you're just seeking a lucrative career, allow me to suggest the work for a couple of years then go to b-school route. The math's not as intense as engineering and the upside is wayyy higher.

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Dr. Nefario » Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:54 pm

All in all, your cycle will be very unpredictable. Blanket apply to t14 then whatever strong regional is in the area you want.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:03 am

Image

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jbagelboy
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:11 am

My friend with a gpa in the 3.1X range in EE/CS at Princeton started at Box as a programmer after graduation - she actually chose it from among a handful of offers from SV tech firms. No prior software-specific languages required. It's a lot of work but starts out at like $95K with equity. That sounds a shitload better than law school to me. Don't miss the forest for the trees.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby UnicornHunter » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:20 am

rpupkin wrote:Apply everywhere--even to HYS. You'll probably get rejected or waitlisted at most of the T14, but I bet you'll get at least a couple of offers. Your cycle will be unpredictable.


this is great advice, especially if you replace the "--" with "after working for a year or two."

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Clyde Frog
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Clyde Frog » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:48 am

The schools in the t14 will probably question your intelligence for choosing law over an engineering degree from Princeton.

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MagicMike80
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby MagicMike80 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:07 pm

I know a guy who was an engineering major at a much worse school than P, GPA screwed him out of t14, but he ended up transferring to HYS. You're definitely smarter than the rest of us.

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romothesavior
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:49 pm

rpupkin wrote:Apply everywhere--even to HYS. You'll probably get rejected or waitlisted at most of the T14, but I bet you'll get at least a couple of offers. Your cycle will be unpredictable.

I think this is credited. Your major and undergrad may help cushion the low GPA a bit, possibly leading to an oddball acceptance or two. Apply liberally, and consider getting some work experience.

Chris22
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby Chris22 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:58 pm

Alright. Thanks for the advice. I guess I have a lot of applications to fill out. I'll do the Top 14 but should I also increase the number of safety schools? Do you think that any of the safety schools aren't "safe" anymore simply because of my GPA?

In my essays, should I make it a big point that engineering at Princeton is probably the biggest GPA-killer out there?

As for the engineering vs law school argument, I've pretty much grown to hate engineering after 4 years of it. I can't really imagine myself working in some physics lab for a career. I feel like I would get totally creamed by the people who actually enjoy engineering.

Also part of me is salty that I would get $0 in scholarship money because of my GPA, whereas if I had gone to an easier school and had like a 3.9 I would be drowning in scholarship dollars.

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rpupkin
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:15 pm

Chris22 wrote:Alright. Thanks for the advice. I guess I have a lot of applications to fill out. I'll do the Top 14 but should I also increase the number of safety schools? Do you think that any of the safety schools aren't "safe" anymore simply because of my GPA?

Stop thinking in terms of safety schools. Just apply lots of places; you'll get in somewhere. If there's a good regional school in a city in which you want to live and work, then apply there as well.


In my essays, should I make it a big point that engineering at Princeton is probably the biggest GPA-killer out there?

No. The Adcomms already know this. But if you think it would help for the point to be made somewhere in your application, ask a recommender to do it in a letter.


As for the engineering vs law school argument, I've pretty much grown to hate engineering after 4 years of it. I can't really imagine myself working in some physics lab for a career. I feel like I would get totally creamed by the people who actually enjoy engineering.

Fair enough. But make sure that you don't reveal your hatred for engineering in your personal statement. Focus on the positive—say what it is that attracts you to law and why you think your engineering background would be an asset.


Also part of me is salty that I would get $0 in scholarship money because of my GPA, whereas if I had gone to an easier school and had like a 3.9 I would be drowning in scholarship dollars.

Get over it. Schools need high LSATs more than high GPAs; you might get some scholarship money with your 179/3.1

thisone2014
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Re: 179 LSAT/3.1 GPA - Am I screwed?

Postby thisone2014 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:03 pm

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