Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169 Forum

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Should I apply this year or wait?

Apply this year
2
20%
Wait a year
8
80%
 
Total votes: 10

sltu2

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Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169

Post by sltu2 » Wed Dec 01, 2021 10:53 am

Hey guys, I need some advice.

I just got back my November LSAT score this morning and I received a 169. I'm pretty disappointed with this score since I know I could have done better and my aspirations are T14. I expected a 170+ on the exam, but of course, it's normal to underperform on the actual thing. So here's my predicament:

I'm currently a senior in undergrad and my 3.62 is pretty much set in stone. Given my GPA, the lower T14s are a reach with a 169 and I definitely won't be getting much $$. The issue is, I need a substantial amount of aid to attend law school; I won't be attending any school at sticker. Since I'm aiming for T14, it seems like reaching my goal is fairly unlikely for this cycle.

I am not opposed to taking a year off between undergrad and law school, although my preference is to go to law school sooner rather than later. However, my numbers aren't awful, and a part of me knows that it's not a bad idea to shoot my shot and see what I can get. I don't want to waste money on application fees though, and I feel like even if I get decent offers I'll always be wondering how much more I could have gotten if I just waited a year. I also know that this cycle is not looking to be much better than last year's.

Should I even bother applying for law schools this year given my T14 goals, or should I take an extra year to prepare and boost my LSAT/apps before applying?

Here's some other info/stats that might be relevant:

Majors: BS in Aerospace Engineering, BA in Philosophy (w/honors)
GPA: 3.62 (cum), 3.95 (non-engineering)
Notable Softs: Military (4 years in Marine Reserves, still serving), interesting story about overcoming mental illness, extensive engineering research experience, a lot of volunteering/service positions

My applications were definitely rushed this year, and juggling my finals with my app essays will definitely detract from both if I go through with applying. My prep time in the month before the LSAT was also less than ideal; again, I KNOW I can get a significantly better score if I have another year. If I try and apply this year, I'll probably submit my applications shortly before Christmas. There are a few different employment options that I have if I choose to take the year off.

Access

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Re: Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169

Post by Access » Wed Dec 01, 2021 12:56 pm

Sounds like you've answered your own question, if you're reasonably confident a retake will increase your LSAT, do it. There's no rush.

Why is your GPA set in stone? Can you take easy classes in the spring semester and raise it? Maybe even delay graduation and load up on fluff. Just a little increase can bump you over the 25 mark at a lot of schools.

STEM/patent eligible + military is a great background, add in a year or two of work experience and you're just about as good as possible without unicorn status. My personal feeling is not to emphasize mental health history, law school is very stressful and you don't want to raise concerns. Your background is very strong without it. In fact, with your background, it might be worthwhile to go to a T25 with money if you don't get into a T14.

sltu2

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Re: Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169

Post by sltu2 » Wed Dec 01, 2021 5:53 pm

Access wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 12:56 pm
Why is your GPA set in stone? Can you take easy classes in the spring semester and raise it? Maybe even delay graduation and load up on fluff. Just a little increase can bump you over the 25 mark at a lot of schools.

STEM/patent eligible + military is a great background, add in a year or two of work experience and you're just about as good as possible without unicorn status. My personal feeling is not to emphasize mental health history, law school is very stressful and you don't want to raise concerns. Your background is very strong without it. In fact, with your background, it might be worthwhile to go to a T25 with money if you don't get into a T14.
Due to my dual degree program, I've taken a ton of credits already (well over 200) and I'm approaching my limit. My university won't allow me to stay once I finish my degrees, so adding more classes isn't a possibility. The highest I can get my GPA at this point is 3.65 if I ace all of my classes, but engineering makes that nearly impossible so I'm not counting on it.

That's good to hear about my background. Although I'm optimistic that I'll achieve a mid to high 170 on a retake, I also know that it's hard to predict or be certain about these things. If I'm only able to raise my score to a 172 by next year, how much do you think it will realistically increase my odds at T14s or for more $$?

Does anyone else have opinions on including the mental health history? It qualifies as a disability and so I was thinking of using it as a supplemental topic for diversity essays.

crazywafflez

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Re: Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169

Post by crazywafflez » Sun Dec 05, 2021 11:11 am

Take a year off. We have no way of knowing what the cycle will be like next year, but taking a year off to improve your application, work some, and mature a little will go a long way. I get wanting to rush into your career, but I'd encourage you to wait a year- especially if you feel you have room to grow on the LSAT.
It isn't too late in the cycle per se to apply now but you'll be potentially foregoign a lot of scholly monies.
Come back next year, with your degree finished, your app polished, another year of life, and hopefully a higher LSAT, and swing early. I'd also encourage you to look at a T20 in the region you want to practice in, as getting a full scholarship to Vandy, in my opinion, is a much better option than paying fullboat at Gtown or Mich.
Best of luck.

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ManhattanElitePrep

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Re: Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169

Post by ManhattanElitePrep » Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:07 pm

Hello!

We suggest you to apply only when you are fully prepared. Or you can apply this year to get your feet wet. If things work out, great. If not, you can strengthen your applications and try it again next year with more confidence and experience.

Whether or not you retake the LSAT is highly personal choice. While there is a chance that you can raise your score, your score may also be the same or lower after your retake. This being said, if you have enough time and the ability to study for another administration, it can be very helpful for you to attempt to raise your LSAT score, as the higher your LSAT score is the more likely you are to be granted admission into a law school.If you want to retake the LSAT, take note of our retake tips below for the best results.

Change Your Study Methods
For students that have previously taken the LSAT, it can be helpful to switch up your study methods to something that is more effective for your learning style. You should be able to gauge from your previous test what worked and what didn't, so now is the time to re-evaluate your study methods and begin the preparation process with a renewed studying technique.

Target Weaknesses
During previous LSAT administrations and practice tests, you may have been able to narrow down what your weakest subjects are. You should focus on these question types and work on understanding them because even a few additional correct questions can be incredibly helpful in improving your overall LSAT score.

An LSAT prep course or tutor can also help you identify your weakest LSAT areas and ensure you focus on the right subjects during the preparation process.

Leave Ample Study Time
It is important to leave ample study time before your retake of the LSAT. Cramming information or trying to fit studying into your schedule when there is no room for it will surely only lead to burnout and not a lot of improvement. Make sure when signing up for a retake that you select a date far enough in the future that you have time to prepare and make sure that you are completely ready to raise your LSAT score on test day.

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

Manhattan Elite Prep

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Saami

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Re: Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169

Post by Saami » Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:52 pm

You should 100% wait until next cycle. Even a 3–4 point increase would make you a much more competitive applicant. I was in a similar situation as you a few cycles ago (3.81/165). Decided to wait and really dedicate a ton of time to studying for the LSAT. I'm talking like 15–20 hours of studying per week as well as a practice exam in realistic test settings every Saturday morning for a year. Got a 173 on my second try and a 176 on my third try. Ended up getting a full ride to a T14. And while my GPA was higher than yours, I believe you'd very much be in the running for at least some money at a T14 if you boost your LSAT into the mid-170s.

jbob1628

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Re: Help! Should I still apply? 3.62/169

Post by jbob1628 » Sun Dec 26, 2021 12:55 am

If OP had a 170 do you think this would be a different story? What would a target/reach be for a 3.65 170 applicant?

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