Looking for some advice on what to do: Low GPA, URM, 168 LSAT below potential

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JsLS2017

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Looking for some advice on what to do: Low GPA, URM, 168 LSAT below potential

Postby JsLS2017 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:51 pm

Hello,

Just wanted to solicit some thoughts about where I should be applying and when I should be applying. I’ll just list off the important factors about me below:

1) URM (half African American)
2)UGPA: 2.72 I believe based on LSAC calculations. My GPA is hindered by a semester at community college of 3 failing grades where I did not withdraw (retook all classes and got As), a few bad quarters when I first went to a four year out of high school (before withdrawing, going to community college, then re-entering and graduating), and a few NP classes during the later time in my college career. I was a full time student and full time employee from the time I first withdrew to the time I graduated.
3) LSAT: 168
4) I graduated in summer of 2015 and have been working full time for a government legal office since then as a clerk. I figured the distance from undergrad and professional experience in a legal environment could help.
5) This is a big one: DUI at the start of 2016. I’ve already been convicted/paid fines, and have had no legal issues since then. I also no longer drink, though thay may be irrelevant on this one.

So given those basic factors, where should I be applying? I’m considering a retake of the LSAT, I took it after a night of no sleep and the day after a break-up in a long term relationship, and I know I can do better. I did not go in nearly as focused and mentally stable as I planned, and my score was below my diagnostics. I think I’m capable of at least 172 and up to 175+ depending on the games on the LSAT.

My goals are UC Davis, UC Hastings, or most T14 and a couple T20 schools. I’d particularly enjoy Georgetown or GWU, because the idea of being around DC appeals to me if I’m not in California. I plan to practice law in either CA or DC.

So what should I do? Is it worth retaking the LSAT and trying for a better score, given that I know I can test higher? I’d have to take it in February (not sure how many schools look kindly/even accept apps that late) or apply for next cycle, which is a bummer. Should I just apply now and see where I land before I think too much about what to do next? I haven’t started any applications or requested any LORs.

Any input or advice would be very much appreciated!

Thanks.

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rpupkin

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Re: Looking for some advice on what to do: Low GPA, URM, 168 LSAT below potential

Postby rpupkin » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:54 pm

JsLS2017 wrote:So what should I do? Is it worth retaking the LSAT and trying for a better score, given that I know I can test higher?

Yes. This is not a close question.

JsLS2017

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Re: Looking for some advice on what to do: Low GPA, URM, 168 LSAT below potential

Postby JsLS2017 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:58 pm

rpupkin wrote:
JsLS2017 wrote:So what should I do? Is it worth retaking the LSAT and trying for a better score, given that I know I can test higher?

Yes. This is not a close question.


Should I take it in February and shoot for this cycle? Or should I just apply next cycle and retake it in either June or September.

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rpupkin

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Re: Looking for some advice on what to do: Low GPA, URM, 168 LSAT below potential

Postby rpupkin » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:07 pm

JsLS2017 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
JsLS2017 wrote:So what should I do? Is it worth retaking the LSAT and trying for a better score, given that I know I can test higher?

Yes. This is not a close question.


Should I take it in February and shoot for this cycle? Or should I just apply next cycle and retake it in either June or September.

The most important thing is that you retake; the when is less important. But if I were you I'd retake in June and apply next cycle. Another year of work (to further distance yourself from your 2.7 undergrad GPA) wouldn't hurt.

JsLS2017

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Re: Looking for some advice on what to do: Low GPA, URM, 168 LSAT below potential

Postby JsLS2017 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:13 pm

rpupkin wrote:
JsLS2017 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
JsLS2017 wrote:So what should I do? Is it worth retaking the LSAT and trying for a better score, given that I know I can test higher?

Yes. This is not a close question.


Should I take it in February and shoot for this cycle? Or should I just apply next cycle and retake it in either June or September.

The most important thing is that you retake; the when is less important. But if I were you I'd retake in June and apply next cycle. Another year of work (to further distance yourself from your 2.7 undergrad GPA) wouldn't hurt.


Thanks for the advice my friend, I definitely felt I should retake and it helps to hear it from an outside source. Most of my friends/family think I should just apply now and not delay another year, but none of them really understand the admissions process or how important the LSAT is for me to get where I want, given my GPA.

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rpupkin

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Re: Looking for some advice on what to do: Low GPA, URM, 168 LSAT below potential

Postby rpupkin » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:20 pm

JsLS2017 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
JsLS2017 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
JsLS2017 wrote:So what should I do? Is it worth retaking the LSAT and trying for a better score, given that I know I can test higher?

Yes. This is not a close question.


Should I take it in February and shoot for this cycle? Or should I just apply next cycle and retake it in either June or September.

The most important thing is that you retake; the when is less important. But if I were you I'd retake in June and apply next cycle. Another year of work (to further distance yourself from your 2.7 undergrad GPA) wouldn't hurt.


Thanks for the advice my friend, I definitely felt I should retake and it helps to hear it from an outside source. Most of my friends/family think I should just apply now and not delay another year, but none of them really understand the admissions process or how important the LSAT is for me to get where I want, given my GPA.

For what it's worth, I've noticed that late 20s/early 30s is the ideal age for maximizing your chances of getting competitive post-grad legal jobs (including jobs at firms, government, and clerkships). Older is generally better, up to a point.



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