Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

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genericapplicant2017
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Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby genericapplicant2017 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:09 pm

I have noticed on LSN that over the past couple of years, it is increasingly difficult to find users with 3.8-3.83 GPAs that have received named (or unnamed full) scholarships to T14 schools. There are a couple, but they seem to have incredible softs in their profile descriptions or received non-numbers scholarships (RTK, AnBryce, UVA's PI scholarship, etc.)

I just finished my undergraduate degree at a top public school one semester early with a 3.83 LSAC GPA and a 174 (one take in September 2017, not that that is relevant outside of Yale) and intend to apply next cycle to the T13 plus Georgetown, WUSTL, and Vandy. I am not an URM and have average/typical softs.

I am 100% PI focused (would rather do non-legal public sector work than work in a biglaw firm or in-house), and my career goal is either to do PD work in a major market or PI litigation work related to prisoners rights or post-conviction relief. Aside from a couple of non-law related internships for a political party and an advocacy org, I have some decent undergrad internships at a smallish city's PD's office and have volunteered at a prisoner advocacy org. I will have about 8 months full-time work experience at a non-profit (that is not well-known or directly related to my career interests, but I get to do some non-legal research/writing and have worked there part-time since fall 2016) by the time that I apply next fall.

My ideal outcome would be a full-ride at a T13 (preferably one that is best for PI placement and/or in a major market because I'd love to start my career in Chicago or NYC), but I'm concerned that my GPA will preclude my from a full tuition scholarship at any T14, as I expressed above.

Do I actually have a good chance at a T13 full tuition scholarship? It seems like most Hamilton recipients have 175+ (I have no intention of retaking) and most other full-tuition scholarships go to folks with 3.85 or 3.9+. I do have ACLU/SPLC/impact lit pipe dreams and want to keep that door open, even if it is an unlikely outcome in the T13. My chief concern is that I will get a $120,000 or 150,000 scholarship to a school like Michigan or Northwestern and a small (or even half) scholarship at a NYU or Columbia, which would mean the tough choice between taking on huge debt for schools with fantastic LRAPs and PI placement or taking on smaller (but still too much to service on most PI salaries) debt at a lower-T13 that has slightly less placement power and I'll still be reliant on a (worse) LRAP to service my 60-100k in loan. I will be financing the vast majority of my COA with loans, but will have enough savings and familial support to slightly supplement the COA (think books and non-rent CoL expenses)

Sorry for the long-winded post. I wanted to provide as much context for my situation to hopefully get the best insight. I realize that I have good numbers and will have great T13 options, but as someone who is pretty debt averse, should I be prepared to ride the LRAP train because my GPA will make a full scholarship almost impossible (without fantastic softs)? :o

Thank you!
Last edited by genericapplicant2017 on Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:12 pm

I think you have a decent shot at a full scholarship at NYU on down, but these things aren't totally predictable.

However, if you're fully committed to PI, you should be focusing on LRAPs in addition to scholarships. Even if you don't get a full ride to a school like Columbia or NYU (or one of HYS), the LRAPs at those schools are strong enough to basically count as an additional scholarship on the back end. If you're really concerned you'd miss out, then taking a year or two to get some work experience would help provide a boost to your applications, and it's a good idea anyway.

genericapplicant2017
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby genericapplicant2017 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:24 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:I think you have a decent shot at a full scholarship at NYU on down, but these things aren't totally predictable.

However, if you're fully committed to PI, you should be focusing on LRAPs in addition to scholarships. Even if you don't get a full ride to a school like Columbia or NYU (or one of HYS), the LRAPs at those schools are strong enough to basically count as an additional scholarship on the back end. If you're really concerned you'd miss out, then taking a year or two to get some work experience would help provide a boost to your applications, and it's a good idea anyway.

Thanks for the reply!

I definitely am taking LRAP into consideration (as I outlined near the end of the post -- probably easy to miss given my lengthy OP). However, even though HYSCCN have solid (and some fully endowed) LRAPs, I am a bit debt averse and would love the flexibility of graduating with minimal (less than total CoL) debt that would give me more career and financial options. I am taking a gap year and a half (could be 2.5 if I switch jobs for something more interesting) but obviously that won't alter my GPA.

Seems like schools outside the T6 only offer full tuition scholarships to candidates with 3.9+ GPAs (Dillards; Darrows; Mordecais; Levys) and 170+ LSATs. I realize that 174 is >75th at almost every T13, but my GPA is actually below median at alot of T13s (UVA; Penn; Berk; probably NU and NYU after this slightly more competitive cycle) so wouldn't that preclude me from a full scholarship at any of those schools?

cavalier1138
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:34 pm

I think you probably still have a shot, but like I said, these things aren't that predictable. A 174 LSAT is a pretty sweet find for the lower T13, so I think you could definitely get schools like Northwestern to offer close to full tuition for that.

Veil of Ignorance
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:34 pm

I've got the same concern as you, but with a (slightly) lower GPA and (slightly) higher LSAT. It seems like schools are focusing their scholarship money on pushing GPAs up. LSN appears to show that a high LSAT and a 3.7x might have scored you a Darrow or Rubenstein or something 5 years ago, but now a higher GPA is needed. But really, 150k to Michigan or Virginia is a pretty amazing outcome. That 30-40k in tuition isn't too much when compared to your lifetime income.

Veil of Ignorance
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:38 pm

genericapplicant2017 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I think you have a decent shot at a full scholarship at NYU on down, but these things aren't totally predictable.

However, if you're fully committed to PI, you should be focusing on LRAPs in addition to scholarships. Even if you don't get a full ride to a school like Columbia or NYU (or one of HYS), the LRAPs at those schools are strong enough to basically count as an additional scholarship on the back end. If you're really concerned you'd miss out, then taking a year or two to get some work experience would help provide a boost to your applications, and it's a good idea anyway.

Thanks for the reply!

I definitely am taking LRAP into consideration (as I outlined near the end of the post -- probably easy to miss given my lengthy OP). However, even though HYSCCN have solid (and some fully endowed) LRAPs, I am a bit debt averse and would love the flexibility of graduating with minimal (less than total CoL) debt that would give me more career and financial options. I am taking a gap year and a half (could be 2.5 if I switch jobs for something more interesting) but obviously that won't alter my GPA.

Seems like schools outside the T6 only offer full tuition scholarships to candidates with 3.9+ GPAs (Dillards; Darrows; Mordecais; Levys) and 170+ LSATs. I realize that 174 is >75th at almost every T13, but my GPA is actually below median at alot of T13s (UVA; Penn; Berk; probably NU and NYU after this slightly more competitive cycle) so wouldn't that preclude me from a full scholarship at any of those schools?

Your GPA is actually above median at Berkeley, and also Duke, Michigan, NU.

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Anon-e-miss
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby Anon-e-miss » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:56 pm

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Last edited by Anon-e-miss on Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Veil of Ignorance
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:14 pm

Anon-e-miss wrote:Also, thanks for the sympathy. I feel neurotic for being concerned about my options with really strong numbers, but I would love the opportunity to graduate from law school almost debt free. As great as 120k or 150k at a T13 would be, it still would require me to use LRAP (and the non-T6 LRAPs are totally reliant on PSLF which is a whole different issue), so a true full tuition scholarship would be amazing for my career goals

I feel ya! May the Dillard/Darrow/Mordecai gods smile upon us.

genericapplicant2017
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Re: Is a 3.83 too low for a T14 full? (even with a 174 LSAT)

Postby genericapplicant2017 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:49 pm

Just wanted to give this one bump to see if anyone with my numbers profile can speak from personal experience, or if anyone else has any input. Thank you!




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