Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: thobart on February 18, 2009, 01:56:02 AM

Title: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: thobart on February 18, 2009, 01:56:02 AM
So I posted on this illustrious board earlier, but I made a huge mistake in calculating my LSDAS GPA.  So, I’m posting a corrected version.  My question is this:  I have a 2.73 LSDAS GPA, and scored a 177 on the LSAT.  My grades were good at first, then exhibited a really really bad downward trend (several terms of all Fs – but never got close to getting kicked out, I was never even on Academic Probation, because these terms followed many “good terms”)  and then exhibited an excellent upward trend with several terms of 4.0 gpa.

My question is, given these stats, what law schools should I apply to?  I’d like to get into the highest ranked law school I can.  What are the highest ranked schools I can consider for safeties, which are my target choices, and which should I choose for realistic reaches?

Thanks for any opinions!
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: sunglee on February 18, 2009, 06:47:18 PM
oh that sucks...what I would do with a 177( dance all night long) Sorry I have no really suggestion..I'm one of those people that don't think everything is so clear cut. I would say apply to the top schools and write a mean-as$ personal statement to explain your gpa...i wish I could lend you my gpa.

Goodluck bud
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: Tetris on February 18, 2009, 06:48:35 PM
I'm just pulling this out of my ass, but I have an entire cycle of LSD-acceptance experience, so here goes.

Highest safety:  Tier 2.  Maybe the bottom of the Tier 1 could be your safety, but I'm overly pessimistic and cautious and don't think so.

Highest reach:  Lower T14.  IF you have the resources, I recommend blanketing everything from NYU down to the Vanderbilt/UCLA area.  Whip up a compelling explanation for your F's (as long as its nothing totally crazy -- use your judgement) and work up some theme that fits your excuse into the broader narrative about you. 

I had a relatively low GPA myself.  My personal statement was about developing a work ethic and how that translated into me becoming a better person and student.  My diversity statement included my socio-economic background.  I wrote a GPA addendum that explained why my GPA didn't really reflect "who I was" (in your situation, I recommend sending a GPA addendum even if its not asked for, unless extra addenda are explicitly forbidden in the application materials).  Notice how all these items in my application had the same theme.
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: Tetris on February 18, 2009, 06:50:50 PM
oh that sucks...what I would do with a 177( dance all night long) Sorry I have no really suggestion..I'm one of those people that don't think everything is so clear cut. I would say apply to the top schools and write a mean-as$ personal statement to explain your gpa...i wish I could lend you my gpa.

Goodluck bud

Your signature was quoted in a footnote of a scholarly Contracts-theory article I read yesterday!  The author was saying that "nobody expects a standard form contract will have unreasonably radical terms".  Pretty nerdy stuff.  I watched the Youtube of the skit and thought it was pretty funny.
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: sunglee on February 18, 2009, 06:57:53 PM
oh that sucks...what I would do with a 177( dance all night long) Sorry I have no really suggestion..I'm one of those people that don't think everything is so clear cut. I would say apply to the top schools and write a mean-as$ personal statement to explain your gpa...i wish I could lend you my gpa.

Goodluck bud

Your signature was quoted in a footnote of a scholarly Contracts-theory article I read yesterday!  The author was saying that "nobody expects a standard form contract will have unreasonably radical terms".  Pretty nerdy stuff.  I watched the Youtube of the skit and thought it was pretty funny.






You got it from a scholarly article and I got it from a movie...Sliding Doors (great film)

OP, I have another suggestion...pray to whom ever you worship, and pick like three top schools you want to go to and apply there.  Then apply to lower tier-1/mid-tier-1 schools
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: thobart on February 21, 2009, 03:45:39 AM
So, these are the schools I'm considerin applying to right now.
Columbia
NYU
Boalt
UChicago
UPenn
Northwestern
UMichigan
UVirginia
Cornell
Duke
Georgetown
Vanderbilt
WUSTL
GWU
Emory
Notre Dame
Fordham
American
UWashington
Willamette
UOregon
Lewis and Clark

Quite a large batch, which I will to have to pare down.  Any comments?
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: Miss P on February 21, 2009, 03:41:52 PM
You should probably take off Boalt and Fordham.  They are hostile to low-GPA splitters.  Chicago, Cornell, Virginia, Duke, and Washington aren't very splitter-friendly, either, but your 177 may just be appealing enough to work.  I recommend adding Hastings if you are interested in the Bay Area and Minnesota if you are interested in the Midwest.

Beyond that, I'd say you have a shot at all the top-ranked schools you listed and will get into a good number of the other ones.  I can't really tell what you want (big school/small school, corporate/academic/public interest, location, etc.) from your list, so I don't know how else to help you pare things down.  Personally, if I got into either Oregon or L&C, there's no way I'd go to Willamette though.  Salem is such an armpit of a city.

The most important thing is for you to apply early (by early November).  Good luck!
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: LawDog3 on February 21, 2009, 11:17:13 PM
You should probably take off Boalt and Fordham.  They are hostile to low-GPA splitters. 
The most important thing is for you to apply early (by early November).  Good luck!

This is good advice...the OP should take it! Also, it's very astute of the OP to know that the Super-3 do not dip below 3.0...unless you're GWB. 
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: thobart on February 24, 2009, 01:23:43 PM
thanks for the advice everyone... I will likely take Boalt off my list, I had temporarily forgotten how much they like GPAs.... and I will definitely apply early to all my schools... and ED the best one I feel is 50/50 likely to take me.
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: thobart on March 03, 2009, 04:08:19 AM
Also there is another considerations... I am deeply interested in a legal career... but I know that unless one can get into a top school, without scholarship money it may not make economic sense to aquire so much debt, especially since I will not be graduating until age 31.  Do I have a probable shot at getting into a school that makes law school a good choice?
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: LawDog3 on March 03, 2009, 01:11:08 PM
Also there is another considerations... I am deeply interested in a legal career... but I know that unless one can get into a top school, without scholarship money it may not make economic sense to aquire so much debt, especially since I will not be graduating until age 31.  Do I have a probable shot at getting into a school that makes law school a good choice?

Don't worry so much about money. Many people assume debt they would not otherwise have to if they'd just be more proactive and research scholarships. But most people don't want to do the work to apply. If you apply for 10-20 scholarships, you will save a bunch of money.  So, do it! Apply for outside scholarships...every one you can get your hands on, even if you are only slightly qualified for them. So much money goes unused every year. They have scholarships for left-handed law students, for cryin' outloud! lol! There are scholarships for law students who lost relatives in 911 or who have heart conditions...undergraduate major-specific scholarships that also require certain geography. Scholarships for students with high LSAT's and low GPA's!

Do well in your first year and you may be able to defray more of the costs, and that assumes you are not coming from a top school. If at a top school, you have less to worry about, although nothing is guaranteed.

The value of a law degree may be stagnant for a few years, but it isn't going down.
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: Miss P on March 03, 2009, 07:56:48 PM
Scholarships for students with high LSAT's and low GPA's!

::cocks eyebrow::

Where do you get one of these?

The value of a law degree may be stagnant for a few years, but it isn't going down.

What makes you say this?
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: devildog_jim on March 04, 2009, 08:54:30 PM
William and Mary and George Mason in VA, if you can get in state VA rates and maybe some money out of them.
Title: Re: Where should I apply? 177, 2.73
Post by: LawDog3 on March 05, 2009, 02:12:59 AM
Scholarships for students with high LSAT's and low GPA's!

::cocks eyebrow::

Where do you get one of these?

The value of a law degree may be stagnant for a few years, but it isn't going down.

What makes you say this?

Michigan, Baylor and some lower ranked schools have paid students for high test scores. But, in general, financial aid offices do take LSAT into consideration with merit-based scholarships. I also didn't mean to imply that a low GPA was "desirable" in these matters. I sort of worded it wrong. I meant that there are schools where your GPA is much less of a factor than your LSAT in scholarship consideration.

The economy is at a standstill now, but experts proiject that salaries won't go down. I have read numerous articles, namely on Lieter's blog and the NULaw website, among others. When the economy recovers, salaries are likely to begin climbing again, if only gradually. And BigLaw firms will always have to pay top dollar for top talent. That's just the way it is...it's an arms race.