Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: NonTrat on October 23, 2015, 04:36:14 PM

Title: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: NonTrat on October 23, 2015, 04:36:14 PM
What are my chances to being accepted? I'm a non-traditional student, so it is ideal for me to go to one of the night, part-time schools.

I was looking at Nashville School of Law as the tuition is only 5K a year. Geographically, I am not limited and willing to move.

My GPA can be explained, from when I first graduated high school over ten years ago, didn't take college seriously, changed my major three times, and didn't finish. Fast forward a decade, I went back to school retook numerous classes and finished school. Unfortunately it seems the cumulative GPA is what matters, which is a 2.05 and not the degree GPA which is a 2.90. I've also worked since I was 16 even through college, currently work as Parole Officer, and am considered a minority.

What is everyone's thoughts?
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: Citylaw on October 23, 2015, 05:41:16 PM
Great job on the LSAT.

There are a number of ABA schools you can get into here is the LSAC Calculator-predictor results. https://officialguide.lsac.org/Release/UGPALSAT/UGPALSAT.aspx  . If Tennessee is where you want to live you have a legit shot at getting into the University of Tennessee Law School.

The non-traditional aspect will not do much one way or the other.

Basically, you have a ton of options it just comes down to where you want to go. Obviously, Harvard, Yale, Stanford are not happening, but I would say you have a good shot at half of the ABA schools in the country.

It is a matter of where you want to go and here is a good article explaining how to choose a law school. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: NonTrat on October 23, 2015, 05:53:34 PM
Thanks for the optimism...I was seriously concerned that the GPA would hold me back.


And the only reason, I mention the 'non-traditional' aspect, is that I would have to attend a school that has a part time night program. Not being able to work, isn't an option at this point.
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: Citylaw on October 23, 2015, 07:00:57 PM
Makes total sense.

I personally am not a big fan of part-time law school, but it can work for the right person. However, I knew many Part-Time students that failed out, because law school is insanely difficult and balancing a career and school is extremely difficult. Again, it can be done, but I personally feel that school is something you either give your all or don't, but I am just a guy on the internet.

With that said there are many part-time programs available and if a local school is not available then I believe it is Hamline Law School that offers a partial online J.D., which is ABA approved.   That is the only ABA approved law school I know of that offers any type of online flexibly scheduled and am ABA approved degree is a lot better to have than a non-ABA approved degree, but exceptions exist.

Again, awesome job getting a 163 that is a great score and good luck in your legal career.
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: loki13 on October 24, 2015, 07:13:25 AM
What are my chances to being accepted? I'm a non-traditional student, so it is ideal for me to go to one of the night, part-time schools.

I was looking at Nashville School of Law as the tuition is only 5K a year. Geographically, I am not limited and willing to move.

My GPA can be explained, from when I first graduated high school over ten years ago, didn't take college seriously, changed my major three times, and didn't finish. Fast forward a decade, I went back to school retook numerous classes and finished school. Unfortunately it seems the cumulative GPA is what matters, which is a 2.05 and not the degree GPA which is a 2.90. I've also worked since I was 16 even through college, currently work as Parole Officer, and am considered a minority.

What is everyone's thoughts?

1. You are an URM (under-represented minority, in the lingo).
2. You are a splitter (your GPA and LSAT don't correlate).
3. You are non-trad (you took time off between UG and law school; more than a "gap year" or "travel abroad").

That's the lingo. Your chances are excellent. Yes, your GPA is incredibly low- but that's okay. There are some schools that will use a matrix to auto-deny you. There's nothing you can do about that. But your LSAT score, combined with URM, splitter, non-trad status will help immensely.

Brief anecdote- when I was applying to law schools, I was non-trad splitter. I listened to advice which unplayed my chances of getting into certain schools. As I have since learned, schools need to accept a certain amount of high-GPA (US News), but outside of those matrix boxes, they will look very favorably on non-trad splitters with high LSATs. Especially if they have been workin and succeeding since UG and have 1) an explanation and 2) signs of improvement (you do). More importantly, you are an URM, which will really help you at a lot of schools. Do not sell yourself short. Look at, inter alia, the historical records of schools at lawschoolnumbers.com of actual applicants.

Finally, you should really consider not doing the night-time course. I'm just mentioning that as an option. If you scored a 163 on the LSAT, and you are an URM, and you've been shown continual signs of improvment since UG, you may be able to open doors you weren't aware of. Just think about it.
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on October 24, 2015, 01:53:46 PM
Loki and Citylaw have already answered your specific questions, but I want to point out a couple of things.

I was a non-trad student, had a job, mortgage and family. I graduated from a part time evening program, so I have some experience with this issue.

Here's the deal:
Law school is about a hundred times more demanding (of both your time and intellect) than undergrad. Undergrad is easy. You can pretty much show up and be reasonably assured of getting a "C". Not so with law school. The amount of work that would have easily landed you a solid "A" in undergrad will get you a barely passing grade in law school. Your fellow students will be far more motivated and competitive, and the slackers from undergrad will have been largely weeded out.

I say this because your LSAT indicates that you have the intellectual potential to succeed, but your GPA indicates a lack of motivation and discipline. I'm not saying this to be a jerk, it's just something you need to consider before dropping a ton of time and money on law school. You will need to recalibrate your entire approach to studying and time management if you want to succeed. 

Going to law school at night is very, VERY demanding. All of your spare time (weekends, lunch breaks, etc) will be spent prepping briefs, reading cases, and getting ready for exams. You really need to mentally prepare for a four year long break from your normal life. Again, I'm not trying to be overly dramatic, I'm telling you the truth. I had no life outside of school and work for four years, and it was the same for all of my classmates. Seriously consider this before jumping in.

Lastly, think about what you want to do after law school and let that inform the process. If your goal is to hang out your own shingle in Nashville and do criminal defense, then Nashville School of Law may be fine. But be careful about moving away from your intended place of practice to attend a non-elite out of state school. Once you get away from the prestige institutions, law is a very local business. If you want to live in TN, I wouldn't go to law in school in Texas, for example.

You can PM me if you need to.
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: NonTrat on November 08, 2015, 07:23:48 AM
I say this because your LSAT indicates that you have the intellectual potential to succeed, but your GPA indicates a lack of motivation and discipline. I'm not saying this to be a jerk, it's just something you need to consider before dropping a ton of time and money on law school. You will need to recalibrate your entire approach to studying and time management if you want to succeed. 

Thank you for the advice. Like I said before my cumulative GPA is not my degree GPA. There are numerous hiccups from when I first attended college close to ten years ago, as opposed to when I finally graduated last year. There is almost a gap of 7 years.

My transcript reflects an uphill evolution and not a down-whirl spiral towards the more 'difficult', senior classes.


And the night school that I will be attempting to go to only meets two nights a week, it is geared towards working adults.
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on November 08, 2015, 04:51:57 PM
What are my chances to being accepted? I'm a non-traditional student, so it is ideal for me to go to one of the night, part-time schools.

I was looking at Nashville School of Law as the tuition is only 5K a year. Geographically, I am not limited and willing to move.

My GPA can be explained, from when I first graduated high school over ten years ago, didn't take college seriously, changed my major three times, and didn't finish. Fast forward a decade, I went back to school retook numerous classes and finished school. Unfortunately it seems the cumulative GPA is what matters, which is a 2.05 and not the degree GPA which is a 2.90. I've also worked since I was 16 even through college, currently work as Parole Officer, and am considered a minority.

What is everyone's thoughts?
Not sure if they still do, but Cooley used to brag about giving a 100%...........repeat that.........100% scholarship if you had a 160 LSAT (no matter what your GPA was)
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on November 09, 2015, 10:07:10 AM
Thank you for the advice. Like I said before my cumulative GPA is not my degree GPA. There are numerous hiccups from when I first attended college close to ten years ago, as opposed to when I finally graduated last year. There is almost a gap of 7 years.

My transcript reflects an uphill evolution and not a down-whirl spiral towards the more 'difficult', senior classes.


And the night school that I will be attempting to go to only meets two nights a week, it is geared towards working adults.

That's good, it means you've already modified your approach to school.

Just curious, what is the schedule at your school like? My part-time program required classes four nights a week, with a different class each night, in order to finish in four years. So a typical first year might look like:

Monday: Contracts
Tuesday: Torts
Wednesday: Criminal Law
Thursday: Legal Writing/Research

You had to maintain a similar load all four years plus take one or two summer courses to graduate on time. Usually one of the classes was a two-unit class, and not as demanding, like "Mediation and Arbitration Skills" or "Juvenile Courts".

Again, just curious, how do they do it with classes only two nights a week? Do you take two classes per night? Or maybe TN requires fewer units to graduate?
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: NonTrat on November 09, 2015, 06:54:17 PM
Well, I wouldn't call it "my school" just yet.  ;)

But this is the link to the class schedules at the school I hope to be admitted to.

http://www.nashvilleschooloflaw.net/class-schedules.php
Title: Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on November 10, 2015, 12:04:16 PM
So if I'm reading it correctly, it looks like you take two or three classes per night? That's a very demanding schedule, but so are all JD programs. Good luck with your future studies, law can be a very rewarding career.