Applying with the GRE?

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
cbw442

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:57 pm

Applying with the GRE?

Postby cbw442 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:13 pm

I have about three years of full-time research experience at a top think tank in D.C., and I'm considering applying to law school.

I have a 3.60 GPA from undergrad. I took the GRE a couple years ago (when I was considering grad school or Ph.D. programs) and received a 166/170 on the quantitative section and a 164/170 on the reading section. According to ETS, this equates to roughly 171 on the LSAT, although I'm not sure how much I trust this conversion.

My question: do I have a chance at top law schools (Columbia, Penn, Georgetown, UVA, or others)? I am not sure how law schools consider the GRE. Would it be worth it to take the LSAT?

Although my GPA is on the lower side, I have dozens of publications (both at my think tank and other well-respected outlets) and interesting work/research experience. I believe that I could write a decent personal statement, as well as receive excellent letters of recommendation.

dvlthndr

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:34 pm

Re: Applying with the GRE?

Postby dvlthndr » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:46 am

The research work is impressive, but it won't make you stand out in the greater scheme of LSAT admissions.
This will still come down to GPA and test scores. With that in mind, there are two different issues here: (1) what kind of schools you could get into; and (2) the impact of using a GRE score instead of the "equivalent" LSAT score.

Options if you had an actual 171 LSAT score
You would be competitive at any school other than Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. Your chances wouldn't be great at Chicago/Penn/Berkeley since they put more of an emphasis on GPA instead of the LSAT, but you never know what will happen in a given cycle. Columbia, Georgetown, and UVA would be very realistic options.

Once you have all your materials together, you can (and should) apply to basically the full T14. You would have several acceptances, and there is an off-chance that somebody would offer you scholarship money. If you applied schools a little further down in the rankings, you could probably get a "generous" scholarship.

Using the GRE instead of the LSAT
There is too little data out there. Nobody can really predict how schools will respond to using a GRE score in lieu of an LSAT score. The ETS calculator guesstimates based on percentiles (e.g., having a 166/164 GRE puts you around the 98.0%, which is the same as a 171 LSAT). The best case is that schools treat it like an equivalent LSAT score using a similar conversion scheme, but it is likely that they will discount it a bit. Also, there is rumor that using the GRE alone makes you less likely to get scholarship money (although there is no real data to back that up).

My sense is that most people that did well on the GRE could do well on the LSAT with a couple months of study (it's all anecdotal, but I've never heard of somebody with a great GRE score than kept bombing LSAT practice tests despite studying for a couple months). Because of this, the standard advice is something along the lines of: "don't be lazy, do it right, and apply next cycle with a real LSAT." If you are going to be applying next cycle, you should at least put in a good faith effort to study for the LSAT and try out some practice tests.

That said, if you really want to apply ASAP, you can just "go for it" with the GRE and see what happens. If you already had fully polished essays / recommendation letters prepared, you don't lose much by throwing the dice and seeing what happens. It's not something people will actively encourage -- but if you don't like the outcomes, you can always study for the LSAT properly and reapply next cycle. Just be sure that you are fully informed and doing it with the "right" attitude going in.

cbw442

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:57 pm

Re: Applying with the GRE?

Postby cbw442 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:49 pm

Thank you so much! I really appreciate this helpful information. I’m also leaning toward applying next cycle after taking the LSAT.

I understand that it’s quite difficult to read the tea leaves, but how do you think a LSAT score a few points higher or lower than 171 (e.g. a 174 v. 168) would affect my estimated chances, if at all?

Also, might it be worth submitting both the GRE and the LSAT scores - or would the GRE probably not matter if I took the LSAT?



Return to “What are my chances??

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: decimalsanddollars and 41 guests