Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: ellsnyu on October 24, 2004, 10:36:36 AM

Title: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: ellsnyu on October 24, 2004, 10:36:36 AM
Hi everyone, I just saw this website and found it to be very helpful. I am a student at NYU and I have a pretty good GPA (3.65), and unfortunately, i did very poorly on the LSAT. On the practice tests, i was scoring in the 160's and i did worse on the actual LSAT than i ever did on any practice test. I got a 152. I am very depressed bacause I was aiming at getting into either fordham or cardozo. Is there still any chance at me getting in? I am planning on taking the December one and I know I will score in the 160's on that one. What should I do. If anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: AaronJ on October 24, 2004, 11:29:05 AM
Just write an addendum explaining why this past test was an anomoly.  And before you retake you need to be certain that you will not repeat that score within any close margin. 
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: ellsnyu on October 24, 2004, 11:37:47 AM
i just read somewhere that fordham only takes the higher score if you score 10+ points higher on the second one. is that true?
thanks for the advice.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: AaronJ on October 24, 2004, 11:40:47 AM
I have no idea if that is true or not true.  But you can bet that a 10 point increase will be noticed and taken into account everywhere.  That is substantial, especially in the span of two months and it would make the case pretty solid that your other score was a fluke.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: ellsnyu on October 24, 2004, 12:17:59 PM
thank you very much for your input
i really appreciate it
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: nlyang on October 24, 2004, 12:33:03 PM
according to http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/multiple_lsat.php fordham does take the higher score if it's 10+ greater.

not really sure how about the source though.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: Winnie on October 26, 2004, 04:05:16 PM
ellsnyu:

I am in the same boat as you.  I have a good UGPA (3.99) and a horrible LSAT score (152).  I plan on taking it again in December more to prove to MYSELF that it was an anomaly.  Your high GPA/low LSAT just goes to show that a standardized test is not an accurate indicator of how well a student will do in an academic setting.  Determination, commmitment, and drive are everything!
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: qwertyytrewq on November 01, 2004, 08:41:21 AM
i just graduated from nyu...what did you major in?  i was econ.

and also are you applying for fall 2005?
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: LimitsOnLimits on November 01, 2004, 10:44:52 AM
I would definitely retake the exam.  All hope is not lost.  I am in the same situation and I'm hoping to score at least 10-15 points higher.  I do not handle standardize exams well, but I worked hard in school.  It just goes to show that these exams do not always predict how good or bad a student will do in school. Someone may be a hard worker and may happen to have a bad test day.  Im sure there are people who scored a 1300 or higher on their SATs and did bad all throughout college. 
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: shiveringjenny on November 02, 2004, 09:37:48 PM
lolz.
i made a 1500+ and am only scraping by with a 3.2.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: seebetterdays on November 03, 2004, 09:18:28 AM
I have a 3.8 and 155. Would someone mind telling me if I have a realistic chance at Brooklyn Law school / Cordoza. Is it relatively neccesary to retake in Dec.? Is it absurd to think I have a shot at Cornell? I'm a 29 yr. old single mom and have a 10 yr. old -was a welfare queen gone worker gone union organizer and shop steward gone Political/Legal/Econ Analysis major on full scholarship at Private liberal arts College. Excellent LOR's from philosophy professor and respected legal scholar/professor.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: SuperMoni on November 03, 2004, 11:48:29 AM
I don't understand why people keep calling it cardozA--It's cardozO!!  As in the Supreme Court justice.  I know its not a huge deal but it bothers the hell out of me! Sorry done ranting.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: wannabejd on November 03, 2004, 12:02:38 PM
One common theme seems to be the idea that standardized tests are a good indicator of performance in school.  That's a bunch of bunk and there's lots of evidence that supports that.  I too did well on the practice tests and only got a 148 on the actual exam.  I graduated college with a 2.99 GPA due to some extenuating circumstances, primarily during senior year, but managed to raise my graduate GPA to a 3.45. Despite the obvious vast improvement, admissions gurus at 12 universities thought I was too stupid to go to their law school. For those of you in the same boat, don't sweat it.  First of all, you can always retake the LSAT if the score is just that low.  Second, law schools really like to play the numbers game, despite evidence that their admissions indexes are useless in determining your future success, so don't shoot for the stars if your numbers aren't in line with your dream school's index.  You won't get in regardless of how many great recs you have or how extenuating your circumstances are.  Third, whenever the economy is in a slump and jobs are hard to find, people like to look toward higher education as a way to bide their time until they find a job.  If you really want to practice law, wait a few years, get some real world experience, and try again.  And finally, if you are worried that you won't get a good job if you "settle" for a school that's not in tiers one or two, think again.  I know several people that didn't even go to ABA accredited schools who are working at prestigious firms throughout the country.  There are a several good reasons to pick a less notable school.  I highly recommend reading "Law School Confidential" if you're serious about pursuing a career in law. It's very informative and more realistic about life after law school than any other book I've come across.  Anyway, good luck to everyone and don't take rejections personally.  If Harvard rejects you, you're likely better off at a school who respects your individual accomplishments and not their status quo.

Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: shadowcreeper on November 04, 2004, 08:08:01 AM
What 12 schools did you get rejected from, and were you applying full or part time?
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: oxygen513 on November 05, 2004, 04:03:04 PM
what about 3.97 GPA, 161 LSAT with great internships (White House, California Supreme Court)?  any wisdom?
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: SMarie on November 05, 2004, 04:17:33 PM
I totally agree. People obsessed with rank have no clue what life is like in the working world. I know because I work at one of the top firms in DC and we hire people from all tiers, INCLUDING 4th tiers.   What matters is the GRADES you get at whichever school you decide to attend NOT the rank.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: TLFKARG on November 07, 2004, 08:13:48 PM
I totally agree. People obsessed with rank have no clue what life is like in the working world. I know because I work at one of the top firms in DC and we hire people from all tiers, INCLUDING 4th tiers.   What matters is the GRADES you get at whichever school you decide to attend NOT the rank.

One firm's hiring practices are not indicative of a trend in the entire legal market.  No more than 15 minutes of research will show that the vast majority of BIGLAW firms prefer graduates from T1 schools.  The representation of T1 grads, especially those coming from the top 14, is overwhelming at such firms.  While most firms will hire at least a few associates from lower ranked schools, it is important to keep in mind the realities of the job market in the legal profession.  Whether it is fair, elitist, or sound is, of course, questionable, but individuals seeking those positions ought to have a realistic idea of what to expect. 

Grades are only important when you attend a school that ranks below the top 14. Basically, the prestige associated with the top 14 schools gets grads a job [fairly or not] based on the perceived quality of the school.  That is why many of those schools do not have formal grading systems and do not allow students to display their GPA on resumes.  My legal writing professor told me that unless you want to clerk for the Supreme Court or go into acedmia, grades really don't matter.  People that graduate dead last from our school get BIGLAW positions, if they want them.  I don't think this is necessarily fair, especially to those students who attend schools which rank only a few spots lower, but whose grads are not given the same luxuries, but this is, once again, the reality of the often patriarchal and elitist profession to which we all seek admittance.


To answer the concerns of the OP and a few other posters, numbers are the predominant determinative factor in the admissions process, but that is not to say that other factors are not given proper consideration.  Law schools, unlike BIGLAW, tend to be less elitist with their selectivity.  Every year, a number of applicants with numbers significantly below the median are admitted to top 14 schools.  These applicants are usually exceptional and their admission is, by no means, a given, but they successfully demontrate to the admissions committee in question that numbers are not an adequate reflection of their potential as a law student, and later, as an attorney.  I was admitted to a top 14 school with a 157/3.9 and have a number of classmates with similar numbers who also got into other T14's.  Having low numbers doesn't necessarily doom you to Cooley School of Law and, subsequently, 30 years of ambulance chasing.  If you have your heart set on a school that you may think is out of your reach, apply anyway.  The worst thing that can happen is that you exchange 50 bucks for a rejection letter.  But think about the implications of a best case scenario.... ;)
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: Atlas429 on November 07, 2004, 09:15:52 PM
I totally agree. People obsessed with rank have no clue what life is like in the working world. I know because I work at one of the top firms in DC and we hire people from all tiers, INCLUDING 4th tiers.   What matters is the GRADES you get at whichever school you decide to attend NOT the rank.

That's interesting.

I don't mean to be offensive, but if that's the case then why did you cancel your October LSAT? Personal reasons? Did you think you did poorly?
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: TLFKARG on November 08, 2004, 05:31:39 PM
I totally agree. People obsessed with rank have no clue what life is like in the working world. I know because I work at one of the top firms in DC and we hire people from all tiers, INCLUDING 4th tiers.   What matters is the GRADES you get at whichever school you decide to attend NOT the rank.

That's interesting.

I don't mean to be offensive, but if that's the case then why did you cancel your October LSAT? Personal reasons? Did you think you did poorly?
You make an excellent point, Atlas.  Even those who purport not to give any weight to the rankings will Harvard over Cooley.  Any sensible person would.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: Atlas429 on November 08, 2004, 05:53:07 PM
I totally agree. People obsessed with rank have no clue what life is like in the working world. I know because I work at one of the top firms in DC and we hire people from all tiers, INCLUDING 4th tiers.   What matters is the GRADES you get at whichever school you decide to attend NOT the rank.

That's interesting.

I don't mean to be offensive, but if that's the case then why did you cancel your October LSAT? Personal reasons? Did you think you did poorly?
You make an excellent point, Atlas.  Even those who purport not to give any weight to the rankings will Harvard over Cooley.  Any sensible person would.

Thanks....I think?

Like I said I'm not trying to be rude, just curious due to what Ruskie described.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: Runner on November 11, 2004, 08:51:58 PM
So much to say, and yet, I'll be as brief as possible.

I whipped myself into a frenzy studying for this test, and frankly, it hurt me on Test Day. I got a 151, even though I went through roughly 40 actual preptests. That was not a typo. I went through just about every preptest that exists and still scored dreadfully- well, I guess it could have been a wee bit worse.

But, the lesson I learned and that I would impart to future test-takers, is do the preparation, but if you work yourself too hard, you won't have your mojo with you on the one day that matters. If you get worked up enough, all the preparation in the world won't save you.

Most people would have a nervous breakdown after such an outcome. But, I didn't because I know what went wrong and why. My next stop is the GRE. Lesson learned.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: Matthew_24_24 on November 13, 2004, 09:04:23 PM
I dont think its because you necessarily took 40 preptests.  You probably were too anxious to perform adequately. 

Stress provides a benefit to your results up to a certain point, and then its all downhill from there. 

For an example of the curvilinear relationship:

No stress, no worries: LSAT 155
A little stress, but not very pumped up: 160
Concerned, but not overly anxious: 165
Majorly stressed over it: 160
Life of Death situation: 155

Whatever stress level you practice at, if you don't try and bring yourself down, you'll play the game at 1-2 levels higher.  These are gross approximations, but the curvilinear relationship between anxiety and performance is well documented in the literature.  Thus, if law school is your life's goal, I'd suggest really trying to psych yourself out of its importance, or go in sleepy or groggy to the point that you'd rather sleep.  Your natural endorphins will take care of the rest.

I went into the exam off of a full night's rest (which is unusual for me and tests) wound up like a cannonball.  I had been up since 3:30 am and I just outstressed myself to death. Consequently i scored 6 pts lower than i had on any practice test of my last 15. (164).  It was horrible lol. 

Matt
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: Runner on November 14, 2004, 09:28:59 PM
I am applying to a handful of mildly respectable schools- respectable in their own backyard, that is. They could probably all go either way in what will happen.

While I can't say for sure that I'll get admitted, I'm taking the GRE's just in case my law school plans completely implode. It does happen to some people.

People pursue a law degree for many different reasons. Some of them really want good paying jobs. Others just want to have a degree that will enable them to go into almost any profession- that is what a law degree is, in essence. But, one thing I have noticed that seems universal among this growing number of prospective applicants is that they have very little idea about what they will be doing after their legal education. They just assume that having the degree will make things fall into place. In some sense, law school for these people is becoming an extension of the undergraduate years, when things were just as foggy and lacking in concrete objectives.

This is the danger that law schools should be mindful of, as they look at an ever-increasing pool of applicants. If they want to preserve the prestige and distinction that a law degree affords, they must do one of the following:

1. Become more selective. Yes, that's right. Law schools might make it even harder to get in. Before we know it, the only legitimate contenders will be those who have 170 or above. Everyone else will just bring up the rear.

2. Increase the requirements for completing a law degree. If it takes more time to get a J.D., then fewer people will do it. One of the reasons that applications for Ph.D programs are not going through the roof in the same way they are for law schools is that getting a Ph.D usually takes 5 years or more.

3. Increase tuition rates. Cruel, to be sure. But, don't count it out.

There are many implications to consider as more and more people apply. With the increasing number of people entering this level of education, something has to change.
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: Matthew_24_24 on November 16, 2004, 01:41:16 AM
Maybe for some.  I went back to university explicitly to go to law school.  Which is what I'm factoring in as to why i bombed my LSAT. Way too much pressure.

Matt
Title: Re: high GPA, bombed lsat
Post by: christylove on January 05, 2005, 02:28:05 PM
One common theme seems to be the idea that standardized tests are a good indicator of performance in school.  That's a bunch of bunk and there's lots of evidence that supports that.  I too did well on the practice tests and only got a 148 on the actual exam.  I graduated college with a 2.99 GPA due to some extenuating circumstances, primarily during senior year, but managed to raise my graduate GPA to a 3.45. Despite the obvious vast improvement, admissions gurus at 12 universities thought I was too stupid to go to their law school. For those of you in the same boat, don't sweat it.  First of all, you can always retake the LSAT if the score is just that low.  Second, law schools really like to play the numbers game, despite evidence that their admissions indexes are useless in determining your future success, so don't shoot for the stars if your numbers aren't in line with your dream school's index.  You won't get in regardless of how many great recs you have or how extenuating your circumstances are.  Third, whenever the economy is in a slump and jobs are hard to find, people like to look toward higher education as a way to bide their time until they find a job.  If you really want to practice law, wait a few years, get some real world experience, and try again.  And finally, if you are worried that you won't get a good job if you "settle" for a school that's not in tiers one or two, think again.  I know several people that didn't even go to ABA accredited schools who are working at prestigious firms throughout the country.  There are a several good reasons to pick a less notable school.  I highly recommend reading "Law School Confidential" if you're serious about pursuing a career in law. It's very informative and more realistic about life after law school than any other book I've come across.  Anyway, good luck to everyone and don't take rejections personally.  If Harvard rejects you, you're likely better off at a school who respects your individual accomplishments and not their status quo.


I can so appreciate this post. I am not concerned with the image of Law School I just want to get in. As with any other program of study, after graduation you are going to have market yourself. When I graduated from nursing school nobody asked me what I school I went to, they just wanted to know if I could take care of my patients. Rank is overrated and very bias in my opinion. I also know lawyers that did not come from places like Harvard and Yale, and they are the top in thier fields. Example: Willie Gary (pi/med. mal), or Renee Rockwell (criminal) Willie told me that when he was growing up, he didn't even know what Harvard Univ. was. I agree with you 100%