Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: porco on December 01, 2014, 10:26:26 AM

Title: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: porco on December 01, 2014, 10:26:26 AM
Do I have a chance to go to a halfway decent Law School with these stats? Should I even bother applying?
3.27 GPA Political Science/International Relations
1400 Hours Teacher's Aide in inner city middle school (700 Math 700 English)
Currently a Volunteer EMT
Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: Citylaw on December 01, 2014, 05:53:04 PM
Yes you have a chance at a number of ABA schools with a 3.27 GPA, but you need to take the LSAT. Once you have a LSAT and GPA you will no what your real options are. If you get a 150 or higher on the LSAT with a 3.27 you can get into one of the 200 ABA schools in America. Here is a great article explaining how to choose a law school. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

The volunteering in schools is great, but really your extracurricular activities will have little impact on whether you are admitted or not, unless your numbers are in the middle. If you get a 160 and 3.27 there are a number of schools that will admit you without even looking at your application. There will be others where your numbers will put you in the median and they will then look at that type of stuff, and then a school like Harvard will auto-reject a 160 3.27 applicant unless they did something newsworthy i.e. NFL quarterback, Navy Seal, climbed Mt. Everest then they might consider the application.

So basically at this point all you need to do is take the LSAT, and once you have that score you will know if you have a chance. With a 3.27 UGPA you are intelligent enough to do well on the LSAT, but it will be up to you to focus and actually take the test. The majority of people that actually follow through and take the LSAT go onto law school, but the majority of people that end up going are to scared to actually take the test and it never gets done.

Good luck on your pursuit of a legal education.

Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: barprephero on December 01, 2014, 06:55:28 PM
The volunteer EMT is a "soft" at best, it won't help or hurt unless you are applying to a public interest based program.
The major has zero impact, OTHER than the fact that if you are "on the line" they will see that is an "easy" GPA courseload and you won't be able to play the "I was premed with a minor in pharmacy" line.

Your main issue is LSAT score. Just take a prep course, keep it high. 150 is a score needed to get into a place like Whittier. If you want a "good" school aim closer to 170.
Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: Citylaw on December 02, 2014, 08:47:45 AM
Getting a 170 is unlikely, but I hope you get it. There is nothing wrong with Whittier if you have realistic expectations, and it might even be a better choice than "higher ranked" school if you obtain a scholarship and your goal is to be a D.A., City Attorney, etc. If your goal is to be a partner at Cravath then Whittier will not open that door.

That I guess leads to a bigger question regarding what you want out of law school. If you just want to make a lot money, which many people do then law school may not be the best option. If your goal is to be a lawyer, because you like the pressure of court, resolving conflicts, etc then it might be the right choice.

Regardless of the goal the first step is to take the LSAT whether you attend law school or not depends entirely on that. If you hate the LSAT process then you will probably hate law school, but if you like the LSAT process you will probably like law school.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on December 02, 2014, 10:02:31 AM
Short answer: yes, you can get into a "decent" law school with a 3.27 GPA.

However, it depends on your LSAT score and your definition of "decent". Don't get too caught up in rankings when you evaluate schools. With a 3.27 places like Harvard are out of the picture anyway, so you're looking at local schools. Whether a particular school is right for you should depend more on finances, goals and location rather than USNWR rankings.

Secondly, without an LSAT score everything is speculation. The LSAT is such a huge part of the process that your score will basically determine where you can go. The difference in options between a 3.27/165 and a 3.27/155 is huge. Study for the LSAT, see how you do, then you can evaluate your options.
Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: barprephero on December 02, 2014, 11:57:41 AM
Getting a 170 is unlikely, but I hope you get it. There is nothing wrong with Whittier if you have realistic expectations, and it might even be a better choice than "higher ranked" school if you obtain a scholarship and your goal is to be a D.A., City Attorney, etc. If your goal is to be a partner at Cravath then Whittier will not open that door.

That I guess leads to a bigger question regarding what you want out of law school. If you just want to make a lot money, which many people do then law school may not be the best option. If your goal is to be a lawyer, because you like the pressure of court, resolving conflicts, etc then it might be the right choice.

Regardless of the goal the first step is to take the LSAT whether you attend law school or not depends entirely on that. If you hate the LSAT process then you will probably hate law school, but if you like the LSAT process you will probably like law school.

Good luck.
She was asking if she could get into a "good" school, not if life would end if she chose a school that literally anyone could get into.
I agree life doesn't end with a rejection from IVY, but that wasn't what was being asked.
Also there is a MAJORITY chance of not graduating at Whittier since they have around a 52% first year attrition rate alone.

Heck, if getting a JD is the goal alone for someone and you are in CA anyways.........Go to Taft?
Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: Citylaw on December 02, 2014, 06:01:41 PM
The question becomes what is a good school.

It is untrue that anyone can get into Whittier Law School and they rejected 598 out of 1874 applicants that were college graduates that were motivated enough to actually take the LSAT. (Documentation here)  http://www.lsac.org/officialguide/2014/lsac_4028.asp

As to the attrition rate again this is always misunderstood at every school.

The attrition rate is 23% not 52%.

There were a total of 56 students listed in attrition 36 of those 56 were due to transfers, and another 8 were for other reasons often people that decide the law is not for them after one year. Therefore only 12 people actually "failed out".  Here is the actual data http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/official-guide-archives#V-Z

I don't like to see anybody knock an ABA school by listing inaccurate facts. My favorite judge to appear in front of went to Whittier and if you ever appear in his court tell him his school doesn't matter.

Again, the question turns to what is a "good school" and the answer is unique to each individual. I have never met the OP nor do I know OP's goals. There are 200 ABA law schools out there and if you gain acceptance to any of them it is an accomplishment, and any of them will provide you with the skills necessary to obtain a license to practice law.   

OP's first step before deciding what is or is not a good school for their purposes is to take the LSAT and see what options they have.







Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: barprephero on December 02, 2014, 07:14:32 PM
So the definition of "good" is ABA?

Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: Citylaw on December 03, 2014, 09:06:23 AM
To some people yes. To others only an Ivy league school will do.

It is entirely up to the goals of the individual.  For example if OP wants to be a Public Defender in Whittier there is no better law school to attend than Whittier, and plenty of people want nothing more than to join a Public Defender's Office, and schools like Whittier, La Verne, California Western, etc can accomplish that goal, and therefore it is "good" for that student.

If the student wants to become a big law partner then Whittier, La Verne, California Western etc are "not good". However, many people have no desire to become a big-law partner.

For all intents and purposes you will learn the exact same thing at any ABA school, as all ABA schools have to follow ABA guidelines. Certain schools have far more prestige as far as employment prospects go, but as you know the majority of law consists of reading Supreme Court cases, and the Supreme Court does not write one opinion for Whittier students and another for Yale students.

To sum it up I do think any ABA school is "good", but you have to go whatever law school you attend with the appropriate expectations.
Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on December 03, 2014, 09:22:49 AM
Citylaw has summed it up nicely, but just to expand on a couple of points:

So the definition of "good" is ABA?


I would say yes.

The entire point of ABA accreditation is to ensure that law schools which carry the imprimatur have met or exceeded a series of standards. This creates a predictable, reliable system of legal education which doesn't really differ much between schools.

The standards for accreditation require that the school not only offer an approved curriculum, but that it be financially solvent, have faculty hiring practices in place, offer academic support, meet bar passage standards, and about a hundred other criteria.

In other words, ABA accreditation tells the consumer that they will receive a "good" legal education subject to objectively verifiable criteria. And contrary to popular belief, it's not that easy to obtain ABA accreditation. It takes a lot of money, a lot of dedication on the part of the institution, and years of time. ABA site teams visit every year during the application period and report back to the committee on legal education. They stay on campus for about a week at a time interviewing students and faculty, going over finances and admission standards, sitting on classes and evaluating the academic program.

Prestige is an entirely different matter. Some schools have it and some don't, and it has nothing to do with ABA accreditation. I guarantee that Harvard and Yale were considered elite long before ABA accreditation was conferred. 
Title: Re: Do I Have a Chance?
Post by: barprephero on December 03, 2014, 01:27:35 PM
I think you guys worded your opinions very nicely and I can see how someone would make those arguments..........BUT....... ....

OP can you tell us what schools you WANT to get into? (so we can get past the "what does she think 'good' is" argument)
It is subjective to her afterall. Let's get HER to tell us what SHE is thinking.

Heck, I'll agree that I've seen people say that certain non ABA schools are "good" even. (but somehow I doubt that is OP since LSAT and GPA are almost not even factors for them)

IF ABA alone is the standard I'd say just get a 2.0 and a community college degree with an LSAT you sat raw and hung over. But I doubt that's what OP is thinking either.