172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now Forum

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GLZ19

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172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by GLZ19 » Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:00 pm

Hi, All.

I just turned 26 and my stats are 172 and 3.64. I originally applied to law school in the fall of 2019, across the T13 and to WashU but was only accepted by WashU, Northwestern, and Columbia. I accepted an offer form Columbia for sticker price (I didn't get a scholarship from NW and I decided late in the cycle that I didn't want to go to St. Louis).

I deferred two consecutive years and ultimately decided Columbia for sticker isn't worth it - I've been making plenty of money outside of law school and debt, when you don't come from wealth, is scary.

I still really like the idea of practicing law so I decided to reapply to a bunch of T13s, Boston U, Texas, University of Washington, and CU Boulder. I've noticed stats for the Class of 2024 were absurdly high across the T20 compared to 2019 and heard that the 2020 LSATs were really easy.

I'm hoping that won't be the case again in 2021, but if it is, do people think my 172 from 2019 will receive extra weight given that it was harder to score 172 in 2019 than in 2021 - of course, only if 2021 proves to be as easy as 2020? Also, is it becoming more difficult to get into law school year over year?

I'm also curious what people's perspectives are about applying outside the T13. I know employment stats are pretty poor outside the T20, but plenty of T50 schools, of which CU and UW are two, have fine employment placement locally. I'd be very happy to live in Denver and Seattle, respectively, since I've enjoyed living in both since undergrad. Moreover, I know tons of people, granted all in their 30s or older, in both Denver and Seattle who work at big law firms, in house, or private practice making 200k+ who went to T100 schools. The similarity among them is that they were all very happy to work in the nearest metro area out of school.

If I were to receive massive scholarships from CU, UW, or especially BU, I think they'd be very difficult to turn down compared to a near-sticker at any T13. What, if anything, am I missing in this logic?

Thanks in advance

CanadianWolf

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Re: 172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by CanadianWolf » Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:53 am

Does CU-Boulder offer large scholarships ? Consider the University of Denver law school if you want to receive a large merit award & you want to practice in the Denver area.

Have you checked lawschoolnumbers for scholarship amounts from the University of Washington at Seattle law school ? (Seattle University may offer full scholarships in you want to practice in Seattle.)

Do you have a strong interest in any particular area of law ?

A 172 from a more difficult testing cycle is still a 172. = No special consideration.

A 172 is still above median for Virginia, Duke, Michigan, Northwestern, Cornell, USC, Vanderbilt, WashUStL, BU, Georgetown, & GWU.

Reasonable shot at NYU & Penn.

Strong LSAT score for Berkeley & UCLA.

BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?)

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Re: 172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?) » Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:17 am

You're right 172 in a previous cycle is worth more than a 172 now. But as wolf pointed out, it won't be given the extra weight it deserves. Why not retake and get what you actually deserve?

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: 172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:43 am

do people think my 172 from 2019 will receive extra weight given that it was harder to score 172 in 2019 than in 2021
Hard no on this. You'd have a very difficult time getting into Columbia in the current environment.

GLZ19

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Re: 172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by GLZ19 » Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:30 pm

Thanks for the responses so far. Answers to a few of the questions asked:

I feel dumb not checking for scholarship numbers at UW and CU - that was a good suggestion. Interestingly, neither seems to hand out massive scholarships, though in-state tuition at UW and CU is effectively a $60k scholarship compared to worse-ranked private schools in Seattle and Denver.

Most interested in Constitutional Law, but would likely gravitate toward Technology Law, especially if studying at UW, because I assume the latter is more immediately lucrative (though the nerd in me wants to focus on Constitutional Law). Could be wrong though.
Tech law makes sense because I've worked at Microsoft and at Peloton, though both roles were in finance, so I have an above-average understanding of tech policy/tech regulatory environments/technology driven companies than an average law school applicant.

I'm not terribly interested in retaking, tbh. I wouldn't be able to take the LSAT until January and there's no guarantee I'd score higher. A few months of studying would be required only to give myself what feels like a 50/50 shot of scoring higher - and scoring lower could be really bad.

I'm not bitter about LSATs being higher now, so I don't want this question to come across that way. I'm curious whether people think the fact that LSAC and schools don't weight tests differently year-to-year is a mistake or is the correct approach. Maybe it's a more complicated matter than can be addressed with a binary response.

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The Lsat Airbender

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Re: 172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Sun Oct 10, 2021 11:38 am

GLZ19 wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:30 pm
I'm curious whether people think the fact that LSAC and schools don't weight tests differently year-to-year is a mistake or is the correct approach. Maybe it's a more complicated matter than can be addressed with a binary response.
How we should treat LSAT inflation for the purpose of assessing aptitude is a very interesting question, and you're not wrong to ask if Flex scores should be discounted for that reason.

But that's not even the main reason schools care so much about LSAT scores, especially in the 170+ realm where everyone is "bright enough to handle law school." Schools are ruled by USNews rankings, which make medians an end in themselves. And for that purpose, only the raw number counts. It's like how a loan payment doesn't care about the rising/falling value of a dollar.

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ManhattanElitePrep

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Re: 172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by ManhattanElitePrep » Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:43 pm

Hello!

A great LSAT score and GPA are necessary, but not sufficient, to guarantee admission at Harvard/Yale/Stanford (HYS). A candidate’s soft factors, such as work and life experience, assume a larger role in making these “tie-breaker” decisions. Evaluating soft factors is, of course, much more subjective than comparing LSAT and GPA numbers, which makes admissions decisions at these schools much harder to predict.

If you have a good score on the LSAT and grade point average, it is easier to get into Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. But if there are two people with the same score and grade point average, the person who has done interesting things with their life will have a better chance of being accepted into Harvard, Yale, or Stanford.

It is hard to get into Harvard, Yale, and Stanford because a high LSAT score and great grades are not always enough. Ideally, you’ll have other things, like extra-curricular activities. Some people get in even though they didn’t do so well in the classroom.

Email us at info@manhattaneliteprep.com or call/live chat with us on our website (https://www.manhattaneliteprep.com if you need any admissions consulting help! Thanks for your interest!

Manhattan Elite Prep

nixy

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Re: 172 LSAT from 2019 - but applying now

Post by nixy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:06 pm

GLZ19 wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 4:30 pm
I feel dumb not checking for scholarship numbers at UW and CU - that was a good suggestion. Interestingly, neither seems to hand out massive scholarships, though in-state tuition at UW and CU is effectively a $60k scholarship compared to worse-ranked private schools in Seattle and Denver.
Yeah, the tuition difference can reduce the value of a scholarship at DU compared to CU. Both are good options for the Denver area - DU doesn't have any particular advantage from being in the city itself since CU students intern in Denver all the time and there's a huge alumni pool there - so either is great for low cost, though if costs are comparable I'd go with CU. I think your points about employment are reasonable, but you need to consider what the typical starting salary for a median student would be, which is why it's good to keep costs low for schools outside the T14.

I wouldn't really pay much attention to Manhattan Elite Prep's comments about HYS - yes, interesting life experience can be important for those schools, but you still need to have the grades, unless you are actually famous in real life or something.

I don't think admissions offices really have any great basis for weighting scores differently from year to year. First, just because it's harder to get a 172 in a given year doesn't guarantee you'd get a higher score if you took it this year; collectively that's probably the case, but you can't guarantee it for any given one person, and you really can't tell what that score would end up being (would you have got a 173? a 175? no one knows). Second, schools can't submit the year in which you got your score to USNWR as part of their ranking - they can't say "our 75th percentile is 173 but 54% of those students took the test in years when it was harder to get a 173 so their LSATs should count for more." So a 176 this year is still way more valuable for rankings than even a 175 from 2 years ago.

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