180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

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hopefulandwishful
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180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby hopefulandwishful » Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:20 am

Hi,

So it's pretty hard to find any data on my particular split. Basically my undergrad was terrible. At the time I was struggling with mental illness and just generally didn't care. I was only there to please my family and graduatetc as quickly as possible.

Since then I have done two certificate programs (one college level and one graduate level) with a 3.9 and 3.8 (respectively). I also plan to take a full course load at university this summer to show I can perform well in typical academic undergrad courses as well.

I have yet to take the lsat but I scored 177 on my first timed practice test (using the most recent official lsat preptest book) and with practice I am consistently scoring 180 so I'm not deluding myself to be able to expect a 179 or 180 on test day (especially with months left to prepare).

Assuming I do, is there any point in applying to any T14 schools.

BigZuck
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby BigZuck » Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:23 am

2.1/no LSAT score has no shot at the T14 so I wouldn't bother applying

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bearsfan23
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby bearsfan23 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:25 am

Your post is irrelevant until you actually have an LSAT score. I was consistently practice testing in the mid to upper 170s and ended up with a 170 on the actual test.

If I were you, I'd just worry about the test now. Once you have a score, then come back for advice. If you get a 180, obviously you're probably not getting into Yale with that GPA, but you should have some good options regardless.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby Clyde Frog » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:33 am

hopefulandwishful wrote:Hi,

So it's pretty hard to find any data on my particular split. Basically my undergrad was terrible. At the time I was struggling with mental illness and just generally didn't care. I was only there to please my family and graduatetc as quickly as possible.

Since then I have done two certificate programs (one college level and one graduate level) with a 3.9 and 3.8 (respectively). I also plan to take a full course load at university this summer to show I can perform well in typical academic undergrad courses as well.

I have yet to take the lsat but I scored 177 on my first timed practice test (using the most recent official lsat preptest book) and with practice I am consistently scoring 180 so I'm not deluding myself to be able to expect a 179 or 180 on test day (especially with months left to prepare).

Assuming I do, is there any point in applying to any T14 schools.


If you're this lsat savant then I'm sure you're smart in other things. I would go into something other than law. A 2.1 won't get you much merit based aid in the t14, regardless of score. Law is also a horrible field of work if you are susceptible to mental illness.

CanadianWolf
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:31 am

Need an actual LSAT score as schools do not accept practice test scores.

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RunnerRunner
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby RunnerRunner » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:44 am

If you do wind up with a 179 - 180, yes, there is a point in applying: you can write an addendum and hope that some adcomm out there is sympathetic with your situation. Unfortunately I do think that GPA is going to be extremely difficult to overcome, despite your (very laudable) improvements in other academic areas, since the 2.1 is all that really counts for law school rankings. But adcomms are people too, and you never know: you might get one who feels like you deserve a chance. In sum, I would not count on getting into the t14, and if that is your only reason for applying I would reconsider, but if you are applying regardless you don't have anything to lose by tossing apps into the t14 (besides the app fees of course :lol: ) Hope you wind up getting that 180!

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:18 pm

If you had legitimate, documented mental illness I'd check into whether your undergraduate institution would let you retroactively withdraw and erase those shitty grades.

kcdc1
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby kcdc1 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:38 pm

Yes, you would have a good chance at Northwestern and you would be a longshot at the other splitter-friendly schools. Once your GPS is under ~3.5, you're going to be under the 25th percentile for every T14. Your 2.1 GPA will not move a school's target numbers any more than would a 3.4 GPA. (This helps you on GPA but hurts on LSAT - your 180 won't help your target schools any more than would a 170.)

How far your GPA comes in below the 25th percentile (and how far above the 75th your LSAT is) matters mostly for optics and perceived likelihood of success in law school. The LSAT will tell schools that you're smart enough to keep pace. The worry is that your GPA could tell schools that you're lazy, immature, and have poor attention to detail. You'll want to draft your applications carefully to avoid that perception - make sure your applications are flawless, tell a story in your PS about a major accomplishment post-undergrad, etc. Don't get defensive about the GPA. Just polish your apps in such a way that it is clear that you are no longer the kid that got D's in undergrad.

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Dog
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby Dog » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:59 pm

There's a point in applying to the t14 if you get anything 170+. Your options will be pretty expensive. I would probably work a couple years or so to distance yourself from that GPA, in addition to the other benefits of WE.

hopefulandwishful
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby hopefulandwishful » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:58 pm

Thanks for the responses. Of course I'm registered to take the LSAT in June, so I have two months to keep practicing and make my 180 even more likely (I am still making 1-2 errors on the analytical reasoning section that could be improved by being faster and thus having more time to check my work). I'm mainly asking because I'm trying to decide how much energy I should put into LSAT prep at this point (will the difference between a 177 and 180 really matter?). I have two months to dedicate here, if I'm already scoring 180s on practice tests, I can still work my butt off taking them upside down or something :p
I also don't want to waste money throwing away application fees for schools that are guaranteed no's.

Clyde Fro: yes, I am smart at other things, but the lsat is actually just a perfect fit for my personal intellectual strengths. I'm a very fast reader and very logical. I've always been a good test taker too. Luckily my mental health is now excellent, and the mental illness was caused by abuse and neglect in childhood, which has now been overcome. The diagnosis and treatment is documented and I have been symptom-free, happy and high functioning for over five years now. I've actually always been very interested in the law, rules, and policies and always wanted to be a lawyer until the reality of my bad grades really sunk in midway through undergrad. If I have to do another undergrad degree I will, because what is the point of wasting my talent on a second choice career?

kcdc1
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby kcdc1 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:02 am

hopefulandwishful wrote:If I have to do another undergrad degree I will, because what is the point of wasting my talent on a second choice career?

I don't think more undergrad coursework would help -- LSAC stops counting it toward your undergrad GPA after you finish your first undergrad degree. Someone mentioned asking your school to wipe your grades on account of your health issues. Not sure if that might change things.

Either way, work experience is going to help you more than additional school. Put some years and achievements between yourself and your bad grades as a 19-year-old. FWIW, I'm attending Northwestern, and I had a 2.8 uGPA.

hopefulandwishful
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby hopefulandwishful » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:45 am

^nice. I also have a few years of work experience. My last grade below a B+ was in 2009. I've been working steadily since then.

I know they won't count any grades outside of an undergraduate degree but I was told that a second degree can be considered. It needs to be an undergraduate degree though.

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middlebear
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby middlebear » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:33 pm

hopefulandwishful wrote:I know they won't count any grades outside of an undergraduate degree but I was told that a second degree can be considered. It needs to be an undergraduate degree though.


...that sounds super made-up. Sometimes having a Master's can be viewed as a decent "soft," but again, it's all about that uGPA/LSAT.

03152016
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby 03152016 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:13 pm

kcdc1 wrote:(This helps you on GPA but hurts on LSAT - your 180 won't help your target schools any more than would a 170.)

not sure about that, though that is the conventional wisdom on tls

there are certainly diminishing returns above the 75th percentile
but i do think there there would be a noticeable difference between 170 and 180 for op
see my post here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=241368#p8271796

kcdc1
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby kcdc1 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:27 pm

Brut wrote:
kcdc1 wrote:(This helps you on GPA but hurts on LSAT - your 180 won't help your target schools any more than would a 170.)

not sure about that, though that is the conventional wisdom on tls

there are certainly diminishing returns above the 75th percentile
but i do think there there would be a noticeable difference between 170 and 180 for op
see my post here: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 8#p8271796

I said that a 180 won't help the schools any more than would a 170. A 180 will certainly help the applicant more.

03152016
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby 03152016 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:33 pm

kcdc1 wrote:I said that a 180 won't help the schools any more than would a 170. A 180 will certainly help the applicant more.

kcdc1 wrote:(This helps you on GPA but hurts on LSAT - your 180 won't help your target schools any more than would a 170.)

then your phrasing was confusing

it sure sounded like you were tying how much the numbers helped the school to the applicant's chances
but maybe i misinterpreted

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RunnerRunner
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby RunnerRunner » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:44 am

hopefulandwishful wrote:I'm trying to decide how much energy I should put into LSAT prep at this point (will the difference between a 177 and 180 really matter?). I have two months to dedicate here, if I'm already scoring 180s on practice tests, I can still work my butt off taking them upside down or something :p

This is exactly what you should do (and I am only half kidding). If you are already scoring highly on the LSAT you should practice taking the test under all kinds of less than optimal conditions, since game-day screw-ups are essentially all that stand between you and a great score. I practiced under all kinds of conditions (once in a room with construction going on on the roof overhead, no joke). You'd be surprised the number of curve balls that people report coming out of test centers (e.g. super dim lighting, loud sporadic noises or lawnmowers right outside the testing room, etc). Prep in weird conditions so that nothing will shake you on test day.

Also (and I know this has been addressed) but yes definitely there will be huge differences for you depending on where you score between 170 and 180. I think it's especially important for you to get a stratospheric score because you have to give people a reason to look at your application despite your gpa. Nothing blows people away like a 180.

WhatCouldHaveBeen
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby WhatCouldHaveBeen » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:20 am

All good points. Just study and study, see where you are when you have a real score. As I'm sure many can attest to, there's no mimicking the real LSAT no matter how many practice tests you take, you won't be able to replicate the physical feeling of taking the test and there are just too many variables outside your control, e.g. noisy room, girl next to you has SARS and is spilling mucus all over her desk, you get a RC passage or a game that doesn't click , etc....all the reverse of those things, the positives, could happen too.

A bit of a tangent, but I personally believe high scores on the LSAT do indicate intelligence, it's a beast of an exam and you can get lucky or unlucky by a few points but luck won't break 170. That said, I equally believe lower scores do not necessarily indicate low intelligence and I am proof of this (or I'm an idiot ans think I'm smart). I think it's absurd 3 hours of your life counts toward so much, but life isn't fair, and one of the reasons I am going into law is because I hate the unfair and I want fight it. I am not a great standardized test taker and would have killed for your scores, I ended up as a savage reverse splitter but my awesome gpa from a top20 undergrad and a very strong resume with 5 yrs work experience in top tier consulting and banking firms landed me some t14s, with money.

Bottom line, spend your time studying and once you have a real score see where you're at. If you don't go for it, you'll be left wondering : see my username.

sandwhich
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby sandwhich » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:26 am

WhatCouldHaveBeen wrote:... I personally believe high scores on the LSAT do indicate intelligence...I equally believe lower scores do not necessarily indicate low intelligence


K...

abl
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby abl » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:50 am

At what school did you receive your undergrad degree? At what schools did you receive your certificates? If you have a 2.1 from community college, documented health disorders, and have gone on to get certificates (I'm not sure what that means) from strong schools with good GPAs, I think the sky's the limit for you.

I don't think that Yale and Stanford in particular are super concerned about their reported GPAs, but instead are trying to build the best and most interesting classes possible. If you've proven that you're capable of strong work, and that your undergrad grades are not reflective of your true performance, I think that a compelling story potentially could push you over the edge at these schools (and it's hard to imagine that you don't have a more interesting background than the average YS student with that UGPA). I see this as akin to someone who scored 155 and then 175 on the LSATs (back when just about all schools averaged results). If you were able to show that it is your lower score that was the fluke--and given a discrepency that wide, it was often fairly easy--many of the top schools would happily ignore the lower score for admissions purposes (and, despite the fact that they may have had to report you to USNews as a 165, would admit you as if you were a 175). I think you're going to face a greater challenge in proving that your UGPA is a fluke than you would a low LSAT, but I don't think it's going to be impossible.

If all of your schools have been in the mediocre range, though, I'd consider trying to get into a masters-type program in an area that interests you (ideally something less competitive but still respected like social work). I'm not sure how much a 3.8 in a certificate program counts for (which means that it may be an uphill climb for you to convince law schools that those certificate GPAs are what really reflect your abilities). But I'd feel pretty confident that a 3.8 in a masters program at a school like Vanderbilt would be of huge help. On top of that, this will give you the chance to think hard about whether law is the right thing for you--which I think is a wise thing for any prospective law student to do.

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BananaSplit626
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby BananaSplit626 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:58 pm

I would keep studying and see how it pans out. As others have said, there's no reason to be doing anything right now except working towards that 180. Obviously it is pointless to conjecture without a real LSAT score, but just know you'll have options with a 180. If you truly want to be a lawyer, just keep your head up (or keep it down in the books until June).

Uzairkhan
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby Uzairkhan » Fri May 22, 2015 6:59 am

I always sea 180 is good for academic record, but some time 180 is also little help the student.
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tmanthedman
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby tmanthedman » Thu May 28, 2015 8:53 am

kcdc1 wrote:
hopefulandwishful wrote:If I have to do another undergrad degree I will, because what is the point of wasting my talent on a second choice career?

I don't think more undergrad coursework would help -- LSAC stops counting it toward your undergrad GPA after you finish your first undergrad degree. Someone mentioned asking your school to wipe your grades on account of your health issues. Not sure if that might change things.

Either way, work experience is going to help you more than additional school. Put some years and achievements between yourself and your bad grades as a 19-year-old. FWIW, I'm attending Northwestern, and I had a 2.8 uGPA.


I'd take a chance on you FWIW (but I'm not in admission so can't help ya there). I think you have a compelling story and if you refine and polish it to tell a consistent, persuasive story throughout your application then you could convince others to take a chance on you. I would focus all of your efforts on studying for the lsat now.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Thu May 28, 2015 10:07 am

wtf. u dont even have an lsat score. lol at this thread title.

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pancakes3
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Re: 180/2.1 + good academic record since undergrad

Postby pancakes3 » Thu May 28, 2015 10:19 am

Why is OP taking a full summer course load?




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