Worth it to go to Villanova or retake and reapply

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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qwerewqw22

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Worth it to go to Villanova or retake and reapply

Post by qwerewqw22 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:19 pm

I currently have a scholarship at Villanova that would bring my COA to around 100k.

I'd ideally like to work in a biglaw environment and am starting to get a little nervous looking at the outcomes of most Villanova grads. I studied really hard for the LSAT and got a 159.

I'm contemplating taking a year off and retaking and reapplying to get into a Top 30 school with a more realistic biglaw prospect, but I'm feeling burnt out from studying for this LSAT. Should I suck it up and reapply or is Villanova at this price worth it?

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cavalier1138

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Re: Worth it to go to Villanova or retake and reapply

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:42 am

No, Villanova is not worth it for biglaw.

If you want a realistic shot at biglaw, you should aim for the T13. You can get it from lower-ranked schools, but I wouldn't try that without a full ride.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Worth it to go to Villanova or retake and reapply

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:40 am

Agreed that you should retake and reapply. Do you have a location preference---Philly, NYC, anywhere that pays market? Some schools outside the T13 give decent biglaw outcomes for their specific market, but Cav is right that (1) T13 is still a much better and safer bet and (2) strong regional schools make sense only when you want to work in that region and the scholarship makes it very cheap to go.

qwerewqw22

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Re: Worth it to go to Villanova or retake and reapply

Post by qwerewqw22 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:56 am

decimalsanddollars wrote:Agreed that you should retake and reapply. Do you have a location preference---Philly, NYC, anywhere that pays market? Some schools outside the T13 give decent biglaw outcomes for their specific market, but Cav is right that (1) T13 is still a much better and safer bet and (2) strong regional schools make sense only when you want to work in that region and the scholarship makes it very cheap to go.
I appreciate the advice from both of you. I don't have a city preference but prefer Boston/NYC/DC. I wouldn't hate living in Philly though.

I also got into Boston College (46% BL, 190k 50th percentile private sector salary) with a small scholarship bringing the COA to around 185k. I am also a URM (non AA) which might help on the edges with securing a job. Would this option make more sense than Villanova, or is this too much for this school?

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Worth it to go to Villanova or retake and reapply

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:30 am

Slightly more sense but still very risky, and not worth the risk when you could retake for better outcomes

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LSATWiz.com

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Re: Worth it to go to Villanova or retake and reapply

Post by LSATWiz.com » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:43 pm

I think URM is going to get you the biggest boost at schools where just being median will secure a job. It's worth noting that URM's do tend to get lower 1L grades (80% of are in the bottom 50%). The reason for this is that the LSAT becomes more predictive of 1L grades in >5 point increments so I wouldn't go to schools where you're 5 points below the LSAT median and expect to be in the top 10%. That definitely could happen, but it is not the statistical norm.

I'd also caution you against relying on BC and Villanova's recent big law placement stats as a proxy for your graduating class. The placement of these schools tends to correlate more closely with the economy than the placement of t-14 schools. When the economy is strong, firms have excess work and need larger classes to maximize profits. As there are a finite # of top 14 students seeking big law and firms generally avoid the bottom 25% of law school classes, law firms end up hiring deeper into the classes at schools like Villanova and BC. During economic downturns, many of these slots go away. No one knows what the fallout of COVID-19 will be but it's very possible we experience such a downturn.

The positive of this is that if you attend a top 14 school and just place close to median then as a URM you are in very good shape to secure big law. With a 5 point score improvement, may also be able to get full rides at the schools you're accepted to now and may also have better 1L grades. There is no data on whether the correlation between LSAT and 1L grades is a result of some inherent skillset or not as there is no way for LSAC to know what someone's diagnostic score is. Speaking from personal experience, however, I scored very highly on the LSAT but always found the reading comprehension section challenging and never scored 27/27 on a practice test and struggled with timing. When I took a new practice test before resuming tutoring during winter break in my first year of law school, I scored a 27/27 in 25 minutes. Anecdotally, there seems to be something about law school work that makes you stronger at critical and efficient reading so I do think that improving your LSAT score will also help you perform better in law school. This is not a reason for doing so, but is an incidental impact of improving your LSAT score.

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