Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: ThomasUnderling on October 16, 2009, 11:50:10 PM

Title: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: ThomasUnderling on October 16, 2009, 11:50:10 PM
I just got my LSAT score and did worse than I expected and prepped (I was averaging 164).

LSAT Score: 159
Current GPA: 3.56
Attending a well-rated California State University.

My number one choice is UCLA. However, their stats state that the average acceptance range is:

25th-75th percentile LSAT: 164 - 169
25th-75th percentile GPA: 3.49-3.87


I don't have much extracurricular experience apart from very brief eboard experience for an on-campus org. However, I am currently in the running for acceptance into the National Model United Nations (just had my interview today and I think I nailed it). And I am looking to get involved in my college's United Business Student Senate as an executive member.

Either way, I don't want to necessarily rely on this so I am planning on retaking the LSATs this December in hopes of increasing my score. Meanwhile, I have to decide whether to start applying to schools now or wait, including UCLA. I had wanted to try to do their early decision program but am scared because of my current score.

So what you you think of this? Am I screwed on this and should just retake the LSATs and wait to apply for everything, or should I take a chance and go ahead and apply to my colleges, including UCLA?

Any advice is appreciated.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: Ninja1 on October 17, 2009, 01:17:42 AM
Your numbers are too low for UCLA. Consider applying to some other schools or retaking the LSAT, depending on what you want.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: ThomasUnderling on October 17, 2009, 01:27:00 AM
Your numbers are too low for UCLA. Consider applying to some other schools or retaking the LSAT, depending on what you want.

Well, time to go sign up for the December LSATs then. :(

Do the schools not put much weight in your extra curricular activities? I was hearing that stuff like the mock UN thing helps a lot with admissions, but I figured it wouldn't counter a low LSAT score.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: 'blueskies on October 17, 2009, 12:00:03 PM
It wouldn't bring you past your numbers.  If you're set on UCLA, you should retake if you think you can get a better score
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: saks5th on October 17, 2009, 12:48:51 PM
look...UCLA are big number whores, you may or may not get in. All I can say is write the best personal statement your mind will allow you to write, and apply!! You never know. My thinking is: UCLA will certainly accept at least one person with numbers like yours, you just have to go all in. I have similar numbers like yours, except higher GPA and more extra.C, and I applied to UCLA.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: verysmiley on October 17, 2009, 02:23:50 PM
I'm in a similar situation with UCLA . . . 163 LSAT, 3.9 GPA at an Ivy, very good softs and whatnot.  UCLA is just one of those applications I'm shooting out there with hopes of them maybe throwing me a bone.  Anyone think it's worth the application price for me?
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: 'blueskies on October 17, 2009, 03:33:26 PM
Thanks for the info. I signed up for the December LSATs already so I am definitely taking it.

The question now is if I do that, can I still apply for UCLA (and my other choice law schools) now and let them know I will be taking the LSATs again in December or should i hold off until I get my results the second time around?

You can definitely do this, then when your score comes in they can begin evaluating your application.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: 'blueskies on October 17, 2009, 03:35:19 PM
I'm in a similar situation with UCLA . . . 163 LSAT, 3.9 GPA at an Ivy, very good softs and whatnot.  UCLA is just one of those applications I'm shooting out there with hopes of them maybe throwing me a bone.  Anyone think it's worth the application price for me?

Looks like you will most likely get waitlisted, I would say it's worth the price if you really want to go: http://ucla.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0809/?whichCycle=0910
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: nealric on October 17, 2009, 05:32:01 PM
Quote
I was hearing that stuff like the mock UN thing helps a lot with admissions

You heard wrong.

Remember: you are beautiful and unique snowflake, just like everyone else.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: 'blueskies on October 17, 2009, 06:47:09 PM
My main concern is since I have already taken the LSATs once, they won't pay attention to the fact that I am scheduled to retake it again this December and will make a decision based off of my first score.

Does anyone know a specific way I can avoid this? Such as what exact channels I must go through to make it clear to them so they will wait.


Again, blueskies and everyone else, thank you so much for the help you've provided so far.

Yes, on the application they ask if you plan on taking a future LSAT and which date, so it can be included in the application itself.  Also, you can attach an addendum stating that you will be retaking in December.  I did both of these, and all of my schools waited for my second score before evaluating my application.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: nealric on October 17, 2009, 07:03:44 PM
Quote
So that really isn't worth it then? Seemed it is a fairly unique thing to do.

The point is, everyone has something that is very unique and special. The result is next to nobody actually stands out. The people who got into those T15 law schools probably had the numbers to get in. Grad schools are a different animal.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: nealric on October 18, 2009, 11:06:41 AM
Quote
So, as a current 3L at Georgetown, do you not feel this to be the case? Is unique simply unique, regardless of its area of focus? I value your opinion on this.

 

You really can't prove causation in this case. However, I highly suspect that those applicants the professors were talking about already had the numbers for Georgetown. Based on the data we have available (lawschoolnumbers.com/chiashu), it's extremely rare for someone to get admission to a school well outside their numbers range unless:

#1. They are a URM
#2. They are famous
#3. They did something very extraordinary (start a well known business, non-profit, etc.)
#4. Other extraordinary story (child of refugee, etc.)
#5. Major donor or relative thereof


I can't tell you they won't think the UN thing is impressive, it's just that you shouldn't expect it will make a difference. Law school is much more of a numbers game than undergrad. Factors that might have been important there won't be in law school. I'm not saying don't apply, I'm just saying don't get your expectations too high and count it as a reach school.

LSAT is a total game-changer. Looking at the graphs, a 168 would at least get you a waitlist, a 170+ would probably get you in. However, your biggest issue is your GPA. UCLA in particular values high GPA very highly.
Title: Re: LSAT 159, GPA 3.56, Too low for UCLA?
Post by: Ninja1 on October 18, 2009, 10:53:21 PM
Your numbers are too low for UCLA. Consider applying to some other schools or retaking the LSAT, depending on what you want.

Well, time to go sign up for the December LSATs then. :(

Do the schools not put much weight in your extra curricular activities? I was hearing that stuff like the mock UN thing helps a lot with admissions, but I figured it wouldn't counter a low LSAT score.


Soft factors (ECs) help, but this game is about numbers 95% of the time.