Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

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kristaann_vt
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Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:32 pm

Hello everyone,

This is my first post, and I'm hoping to find some honest advice. My school does not have a pre-law advisor at the moment, so I do not have anyone I can talk to about this situation.

After studying for 6 months, completing 4 practice books (all 3 Powerscore and the LSAT trainer) I am taking the LSAT Saturday. I'm extremely nervous, because even on my best exams I have only been able to score 155. I plan to retake in June, but I'm unaware of things I could do to improve this score, as I have put in lots of time, and cannot afford a formal class. Any thoughts on this would also be helpful!

This is disheartening, as I currently hope to attend Boston College for law school. I want to pursue a joint JD/MSW program, and am impressed with their juvenile law clinic. Additionally, due to family reasons, I really need to move back to New England.

Although I may earn a low LSAT, I have other characteristics I believe make me stand out, and am wondering if these could offset an under 160 LSAT score.
*I have a 3.7 GPA and rising
*I will graduate with 2 degrees, 4 majors and 6 minors after only 4 years in undergrad (I completed nursing school while in high school, and came to college with lots of credit)
*I am my school's nomination for the prestigious Truman Scholarship
*I currently work 5 jobs (averaging 46 hours per week)
*I began a club at my school dedicated to ending sex slavery in Arkansas as a Freshman, and it is now the most influential student group on campus. As a result, my group and I have been featured in many local newspapers and magazines.
*I work as an advocate at a Rape Crisis Center and 2 Child Advocacy Centers (I am the first college student they have allowed to be an advocate)
*I complete a very controversial research project my junior year, and after contacting over 100 churches, discovered what churches can do to be more welcoming of sexual assault survivors, and now I present my research at churches.
*I have excellent recommendations

As you may be able to see, my focus is on sexual assault advocacy, and I hope to become a prosecutor at a Child Advocacy Center. I believe my application could stand out because I am currently pursing change, and can explain how these experience have made me want to pursue law. I have done all of this amidst many struggles, such as working 46 hours a week because I am fully financially independent.

Will all of these factors make it possible to overcome a <160 LSAT? Or, are low LSATs impossible to overcome?

I'd appreciate your honest advice, as I'm trying to evaluate my plans for applications, school visits, ext.

Thank you!
Krista
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smiles123
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby smiles123 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:36 pm

Are you a URM?

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Clemenceau
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT?

Postby Clemenceau » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:37 pm

150s lsat is a backbreaker, to be honest

Powerscore books alone are not nearly sufficient to fully prepare yourself for the lsat

It's all about drilling and timed practice tests - dozens and dozens of them

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schmelling
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baal hadad
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby baal hadad » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:39 pm

You can overcome a low lsat with accomplishments, but only if that accomplishment is being a URM

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RZ5646
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby RZ5646 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:39 pm

Retaking will help you overcome a low LSAT.

kristaann_vt
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:40 pm

No. Although I am Native American, I am only 1/16, and my tribe requires you to be 1/8 to have a card.

I know this is not an important factor for law school, but I am the first person in my family to graduate high school, let alone go to college. Additionally, I have been on my own since I was 16, as I had to move out due to abuse. I'm trying to decide if I could tactfully put this in my personal statement.

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tortsandtiaras
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby tortsandtiaras » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:44 pm

kristaann_vt wrote:No. Although I am Native American, I am only 1/16, and my tribe requires you to be 1/8 to have a card.

I know this is not an important factor for law school, but I am the first person in my family to graduate high school, let alone go to college. Additionally, I have been on my own since I was 16, as I had to move out due to abuse. I'm trying to decide if I could tactfully put this in my personal statement.


I think your accomplishments are inspiring...and that you definitely deserve to go out and reach for your dream of going to law school. See how the test goes on Saturday, and if you are not satisfied just retake! You are young and have plenty of time :) I'm assuming you are applying for next cycle so you still have june and October to prepare!

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:46 pm

legallyrose wrote:
kristaann_vt wrote:No. Although I am Native American, I am only 1/16, and my tribe requires you to be 1/8 to have a card.

I know this is not an important factor for law school, but I am the first person in my family to graduate high school, let alone go to college. Additionally, I have been on my own since I was 16, as I had to move out due to abuse. I'm trying to decide if I could tactfully put this in my personal statement.


I think your accomplishments are inspiring...and that you definitely deserve to go out and reach for your dream of going to law school. See how the test goes on Saturday, and if you are not satisfied just retake! You are young and have plenty of time :) I'm assuming you are applying for next cycle so you still have june and October to prepare!


Thank you for that encouragement. I do not graduate until June 2016. However, I attend college in Arkansas, so planning out visits at schools where I could potentially be admitted requires a lot of planning.

I hope to apply in the Fall of 2015, as I believe applying earlier in the cycles of rolling admissions schools may help.

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RZ5646
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby RZ5646 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:47 pm

I'll be honest with you. 155 is a bad LSAT score. Not just low, it is terrible. You also have a low GPA. So, even if you get into a mediocre school like BC, you won't get a scholarship, which makes attendance a very bad idea.

Start studying for June and aim for at least 170. If you can't consistently reach 165 in practice, look into some other career path.

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:49 pm

Clemenceau wrote:150s lsat is a backbreaker, to be honest

Powerscore books alone are not nearly sufficient to fully prepare yourself for the lsat

It's all about drilling and timed practice tests - dozens and dozens of them



I have completed both books of the "10 Actual LSATs" and "10 More Actual LSATs", which is why I am disheartened, as I can't seem to bump up more score, even after months of studying and doing drills and full length, time tests.

Also, I was reading on BC Law's website that they take your first LSAT score into consideration. Therefore, even if I do improve, wouldn't a 150 range LSAT still hurt me?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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tortsandtiaras
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT?

Postby tortsandtiaras » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:51 pm

kristaann_vt wrote:
Clemenceau wrote:150s lsat is a backbreaker, to be honest

Powerscore books alone are not nearly sufficient to fully prepare yourself for the lsat

It's all about drilling and timed practice tests - dozens and dozens of them



I have completed both books of the "10 Actual LSATs" and "10 More Actual LSATs", which is why I am disheartened, as I can't seem to bump up more score, even after months of studying and doing drills and full length, time tests.

Also, I was reading on BC Law's website that they take your first LSAT score into consideration. Therefore, even if I do improve, wouldn't a 150 range LSAT still hurt me?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


BC is in no way a "mediocre" school --- I believe that is very subjective. If OP wants to practice in Boston, then BC is a fine decision.

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schmelling
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Hand
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby Hand » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:54 pm

If your achievements are truly exceptional, a strong LSAT addendum may do wonders. Consider e.g.

Image

kristaann_vt
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:55 pm

RZ5646 wrote:I'll be honest with you. 155 is a bad LSAT score. Not just low, it is terrible. You also have a low GPA. So, even if you get into a mediocre school like BC, you won't get a scholarship, which makes attendance a very bad idea.

Start studying for June and aim for at least 170. If you can't consistently reach 165 in practice, look into some other career path.



First, I appreciate your honesty, because I didn't realize that a 155 LSAT and a 3.7 GPA were terrible (considering I'm not trying to get into any Top 10 school).

I've met with the dean of admissions at Tulsa Law several times (far from a top law school, I know), and due to my state of residence and having a GPA above their 75th percentile, I immediately qualified for scholarships that would make my yearly tuition below $20,000, without any federal or state aid/loans/grants (and my state offers several grants for graduate school for students with my income).

Since I'm not hoping to go into corporate law (again, hoping to work at a CAC), and am hoping to take advantage of repayment programs for non-profits currently offered by my state, I didn't think that sounded too awful. Do you?

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:58 pm

schmelling wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:I'll be honest with you. 155 is a bad LSAT score. Not just low, it is terrible. You also have a low GPA. So, even if you get into a mediocre school like BC, you won't get a scholarship, which makes attendance a very bad idea.

Start studying for June and aim for at least 170. If you can't consistently reach 165 in practice, look into some other career path.


A 3.7 is not a particularly low GPA.


Additionally, my GPA is rising (I have 3 semester, counting summer, before I apply to some law schools).

Additionally, the reason my GPA is so low is because I was a Biology major my first semester, and earned 2 C's (I was in and out of the hospital all semester with an illness, had an engagement broken off, and lost 2 close family members. I am proud of those two C's). Since changing majors (or, I should say, deciding to pursue 4 majors outside of science), the lowest grade I have earned is a B+, and that was in 2013. This year, I have earned all A's, so I have a positive trend.
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hoos89
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby hoos89 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:59 pm

On what planet is a 3.7 an objectively low GPA for law school admissions purposes? I think that's pretty good.

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:00 pm

schmelling wrote:I have to agree with the above. You have achieved a lot. If your 3.7+ is what shows up as your LSAC GPA, then you should not be aiming for BC. You should be aiming for a 171+ and t14 with money.



Thank you for this advice. Could you expand your reasoning a little? Should I not be aiming for BC because my GPA is too low and I will need to earn a 171 to get in? Why the t14 schools?

Thank you in advance for any advice. It is much appreciated.

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby logdog » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:01 pm

You can get into Uof A with that score. Go there, practice in Arkansas, continue the work you have already begun in Arkansas.
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Hand
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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby Hand » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:02 pm

kristaann_vt wrote:
schmelling wrote:I have to agree with the above. You have achieved a lot. If your 3.7+ is what shows up as your LSAC GPA, then you should not be aiming for BC. You should be aiming for a 171+ and t14 with money.



Thank you for this advice. Could you expand your reasoning a little? Should I not be aiming for BC because my GPA is too low and I will need to earn a 171 to get in? Why the t14 schools?

Thank you in advance for any advice. It is much appreciated.


Because job prospects will look a lot better if you go to a better school. And I agree that your GPA is fine (unless you're aiming for HYS), especially if you can improve it further.

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:02 pm

logdog wrote:You can get into Uof A with that score. Go there, practice in Arkansas, continue the work you have already begun work in Arkansas.


Thank you! However, due to some family issues, I am really hoping to return to New England (I'm originally from Southern Vermont, so the Boston area would be ideal). Any suggestions?

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby loomy78 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:03 pm

i know a non-URM who got HLS with a 164 and a 3.8. But his credentials could be considered top 1%.

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Re: Is It Possible To Overcome a Low LSAT With Accomplishments?

Postby kristaann_vt » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:10 pm

schmelling wrote:It doesn't matter if you want to go into corporate law. You can and should be aiming higher than Tulsa and should accept nothing less than 80% scholly or more from BC.

Many T14 schools have extensive repayment assistance programs for those going into public interest and would be throwing money at you with a 170. Which you can achieve. You would also have a more valuable degree and potentially more and better opportunities in PI. T14 schools place nationally and your degree would be more mobile as well.

Can you answer my original question about your nursing degree?


Thank you for taking the time to answer that.

I do not have a BSN in nursing. When I graduate in 2016, I will be graduating with my first bachelors degree.

No grades from my time in the community college nursing program currently count towards my institution's undergraduate GPA.




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