Law School Applications

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Offline Helvidius

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Law School Applications
« on: January 06, 2011, 09:49:08 PM »
I am hoping to get some advice on law school. I was hoping for around a 160 on the LSAT, but ended up scoring a disappointing 152 on the December2010  LSAT. I had spent the previous two months studying heavily so I don't know how much better I can do though I had scored between a 158-164 on most of the practice exams I took. I graduated from Lehigh University in three years with a 2.96 GPA. I had gone into Lehigh as a business student, but ended up switching to Political Science and History halfway through my Sophomore year. My Political Science Major GPA is around a 3.5... 

A 152 will not get me into the schools I had previously looked at (ex: Rutgers, Seton Hall), but I am considering applying anyway to law schools and going to whatever I am accepted into. Does anyone have advice as to whether I should retake the LSAT or stick with my score? Also, what are the best law schools I should realistically look at based on the information I have provided? I know LSAC has a law school calculator, but I was wondering how much the name of the school and my having graduated in three years will factor into the equation.

Thanks in advance!

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Offline LSAT Eliminator

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 09:55:16 PM »
I'll let Anne answer the question about schools. She shows up a lot and knows her stuff.

As far as the LSAT, a 152 paired with a 2.96 overall GPA is going to make it much harder. The LSAT means so much in terms of applications that even though you may not ever want to see another LSAT questions again, you probably should seriously consider a retake. That seems especially true if your practice tests were in the 158-164 range.

The Lehigh name, the three year graduation, and the 3.5 major GPA definitely help, but they won't be enough to offset the LSAT/overall GPA combination. those two items will count more heavily than anything else in your application.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news :(

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Offline Helvidius

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 10:02:20 PM »
Yeah, I was really banking on a quality LSAT score. I'm just not sure if the December LSAT was a fluke because I took all the old LSATs and did much better. Thanks for your helpful response!

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Offline LSAT Eliminator

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 10:07:09 PM »
Anytime!

If you were scoring consistently around 160 and then dropped to 152 on the day of the test, it was probably nerves that got to you. Taking it a second time might really help because you would know the drill, and that might help you focus more on the test. The first time through for most anything can be really tough, but having that experience will help if you try again.

Good luck with the decision!

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Offline lawdog

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 11:40:38 PM »
I agree that you should seriously consider re-taking it. If you were doing better on your practice tests, that means that you have the skills to do better. If you do decide to take it again, I would recommend taking a bunch of timed practice tests--hopefully enough so that you can go in there next time and take it without it being a big deal.

The more seriously you take your practice, the less of a leap it is when you are experiencing the real thing. If you know others who are getting ready for the test as well, try to take some practice tests together, so that you can more closely replicate the actual testing environment.

Good luck!

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Offline Anne

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 09:00:05 AM »
I would have to agree with Eliminator and lawdog: Your best bet at this point is to seriously consider retaking the LSAT. I won't repeat everything they said, since they were spot-on and know what they're talking about. I took a look at the schools you metioned, and you're definitely out of their ranges right now:

Rutgers (Camden) - LSAT 159-162, GPA 3.21-3.70
Rutgers (Newark) - LSAT 155-161, GPA 3.13-3.60
Seton Hall - LSAT 158-161, GPA 3.21-3.68

In order to really off-set your GPA (and, I'm sorry to say, your overall GPA will carry considerably more weight than your major GPA), you would have to score at or above the higher LSAT number. Else, your GPA will be so far below their 25th percentile that it will kill any positive effect an LSAT right in the middle of their range may have.

As far as what schools you should look at right now, if you're only looking at Jersey schools, I'm afraid you're out of luck. If you're willing to expand to expand your search to other nearby states, there are a few schools where your chances with your current numbers are better:

New York
Touro Law
New York Law
Pace Law
CUNY Law

Pennsylvania
Widener Law
Duquesne Law

Your LSAT score is either at their 25th percentile or between their 25th and 75th percentile LSAT ranges, so your changes in that regard are better. Your overall GPA is still well below their 25th percentiles, but the major GPA might have more of an impact when your LSAT score is within their range and not completely outside of it. The fact that you graduated in three years may not have much an effect (or it might have a negative one); schools may ask themselves why you accelerated your degree if you weren't able to take the pressure of classes well enough to have an overall GPA of 3.5 or above, or they may wonder if you'll have the chops to take on another 3-year degree and do it well.

There's a big difference between the schools you mentioned and the schools I'm seeing you may have a chance in, particularly when it comes to degree portability and name-brand recognition. Retaking the LSAT and scoring in at 160 or above might be your best bet.
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline Anne

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 09:02:18 AM »
I'll let Anne answer the question about schools. She shows up a lot and knows her stuff.

...and thanks for the vote of confidence, Eliminator. :)
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline need_advice

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 10:48:52 AM »
My daughter feels she bombed with a 159.  it was her 1st real test, she had been scoring 169 on PT.  Not sure what to do now, she was hoping for Georgetown but that seems out of the question.  Her GPA is 3.65 at top school (Ivy).  Any advice?

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Offline LSAT Eliminator

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 11:36:59 AM »
My daughter feels she bombed with a 159.  it was her 1st real test, she had been scoring 169 on PT.  Not sure what to do now, she was hoping for Georgetown but that seems out of the question.  Her GPA is 3.65 at top school (Ivy).  Any advice?

I posted an answer in the other thread: http://www.lsatdiscussion.com/index.php/topic,1804.msg5641/topicseen.html#msg5641

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Offline Anne

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 11:44:25 AM »
My daughter feels she bombed with a 159.  it was her 1st real test, she had been scoring 169 on PT.  Not sure what to do now, she was hoping for Georgetown but that seems out of the question.  Her GPA is 3.65 at top school (Ivy).  Any advice?

Georgetown's full-time program stats look like this:

LSAT 25th-75th percentile range: 168-172
GPA 25th-75th percentile range: 3.42-3.81

I hate to confirm bad news, but with a 159/3.65, Georgetown (as you stated in your original post) is not really a possibility. Although her GPA is from a good school and well within Georgetown's percentiles for admitted students in 2009, it still won't make up for her LSAT score. If her heart is set on Georgetown, then her best bet is to take up the LSAT books again, study, take as many timed practice LSATs as possible, and retake the test. If she was scoring around 169 on practice tests, it's likely that she just succumbed to test anxiety on the actual day of the exam, and that 159 isn't really indicative of her LSAT potential.

Be aware: She needs to decide if she wants to retake the LSAT in February within the next few days; the deadline to sign up for it is January 11. This may not give her enough time to decide if she thinks she can study enough to get closer to or surpass that 169 she'd been achieving in her practice tests. Georgetown Law does take the results of the February LSAT, although they recommend that students take an earlier administration (as per their website, "Due to our rolling admissions process, however, we strongly encourage you to take the LSAT by the October test date if you plan to apply for the Full-time program. Although we will accept the February LSAT, taking an earlier exam is strongly encouraged.")...taking the February test is definitely something she could do, but certainly not the optimum scenario.

If waiting until the fall of 2012 to start school is something she would be okay with, perhaps that might be her best bet. Then she could do a number of things:

1. Take her time and study for the LSAT for the next few months, then take the LSAT in June.
2. Work on her applications through the summer, making sure that everything in them is as flawless as it can be.
3. Submit her applications in October, at the start of the admissions cycle, which will maximize her chances.

Taking the LSAT in June will also give her the option of re-taking it in October, if she doesn't do as well as she would like in June and wants to try her hand at it again.

If she still wants to apply to school this year, there are plenty of schools that would jump at the chance of a 159/3.65 Ivy grad. I don't know if she had a particular location (D.C.) or school ranking (top-14) in mind, though.

I hope that helps!
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline Helvidius

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 11:16:23 PM »
Thanks everyone for the advice! I signed up for the February LSAT so hopefully I can pull a 160+ like I was doing on practice tests.

Anne,

Thanks for the advice! Graduating in three years was because: 1. I came in as a business major which requires way more credits so I was taking five classes a semester (which is standard in the business school) as opposed to four for political science/history majors. By the time I switched major I was way ahead in credits. My GPA is poor because I wasn't doing well in my business classes.
2. Lehigh is very expensive and graduating in 3 years saved me mucho dinero.

Should I write a GPA addendum to colleges explaining this? I was hoping they would view graduating in three years as a positive.

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Offline Anne

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 10:49:07 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice! I signed up for the February LSAT so hopefully I can pull a 160+ like I was doing on practice tests.

Anne,

Thanks for the advice! Graduating in three years was because: 1. I came in as a business major which requires way more credits so I was taking five classes a semester (which is standard in the business school) as opposed to four for political science/history majors. By the time I switched major I was way ahead in credits. My GPA is poor because I wasn't doing well in my business classes.
2. Lehigh is very expensive and graduating in 3 years saved me mucho dinero.

Should I write a GPA addendum to colleges explaining this? I was hoping they would view graduating in three years as a positive.

:) I can totally understand the desire to save money! In that regard, graduating in three years was the best choice possible!

Were I you, I would write an addendum explaining both your grades and your decision to graduate in three years. I completely see what you're saying: Graduating in three years is definitely impressive, considering you took a four-year courseload and completed it in three; however, it is most impressive when your grades were stellar. In your case, the overall GPA is not. What were your grade trends? How did each of your three years look, grade-wise? 
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline lawerguy12

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 05:03:34 PM »
Do law schools like to see that you have interned at a law office in the past?  I have interned at my uncles law office for the last 3 summers.  I'm hoping that this will help me get into the law school that my father attended.  Do law office internships increase my chances of getting into a good law school?
How safe is investing in a emergency seed bank compared to other investments?  I want to get one, but I'm not sure if it's the best way to spend my money.  PM me if you have any suggestions.  Is kratom legal in the US for example?

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Offline Anne

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Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 11:10:10 AM »
Do law schools like to see that you have interned at a law office in the past?  I have interned at my uncles law office for the last 3 summers.  I'm hoping that this will help me get into the law school that my father attended.  Do law office internships increase my chances of getting into a good law school?

Law office internships, unfortunately, do not look that impressive, and won't really increase your chances that much. Both law office internships and paralegal positions are very common in law school applicants, so they don't do much to differentiate you from the crowd (which is, I think, what you're ultimately going for). However, it does demonstrate that you have an interest in the profession; I wouldn't play it up too much or feel that you can talk about "the life of a lawyer" or "the law" very much because of your internships...often, what interns/paralegals do and what actual licensed attorneys do are two very, very different things, and you don't want to come off sounding presumptuous or naive. Just add it to your résumé and let that speak for itself. For the other softs in your app, really focus on things OUTSIDE the law that you believe make you unique and set you apart--those are the things that will make you memorable and will increase your stock as an applicant.
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

Re: Law School Applications
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2012, 03:20:24 AM »
Becoming a lawyer is a difficult but rewarding process. However, before being accepted to law school you must take the LSAT which is a test for admittance, then they must pass the bar exam. Then they will become licensed lawyers, ready to begin their professional experience. I would like to add that the growth path of a lawyers career is expected to rise 18%, which is really good.