I am preparing for next year rather than deciding about this year, but I want to understand what my best strategy is. I am a mid career 34 yo supersplitter with a terrible undergrad GPA but have an MA with a 3.87 and extensive international work experience. My LSAT goal is 174, which is slightly optimistic but doable for me. I know that getting substantial financial aid as a supersplitter is going to be hard and so I have compiled a list of schools based on program and scholarship opportunities. Duke, UVA, Wash U, Minnesota, ASU, Vanderbilt, and UNC. I would much, much prefer to go to Duke and UVA not just for their incredible programs but because they are close to my elderly parents and I have been abroad a long time. However, I also have existing grad school debt and a free ride while retaining high employment statistics is an even bigger concern. It is my understanding that early decisions at Wash U get substantial scholarships, often including full/nearly full rides. While I would love to roll the dice with Duke and UVA (as well as the rest) am I wrong in thinking that Wash U's early decision program is probably my best shot at a full/nearly full ride at T20?
Come back when you have some actual numbers, because a goal of 174 is much different than an ability to get a 174. As for GPA, your LSAC GPA is what is important to know here, which should reflect your undergraduate GPA. Your MA GPA is irrelevant.
Before I touch on anything else, a couple of questions need to be answered. What are your goals? How much is your existing student loan debt?
Moving this to the appropriate forum, since you aren't actually choosing between law schools yet.
And deciding which schools make the most sense for applications is going to be based on your goals and your LSAT/GPA. You don't have an LSAT, but knowing your GPA can help people figure out whether you're even in the running for some of your goal schools (or whether you could reasonably expect a scholarship). And knowing your goals can help people figure out whether you should be applying to UNC, ASU, or neither.