Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: wkm11 on June 29, 2016, 08:55:22 AM

Title: 168 LSAT, 3.99 GPA, hoping for T14 with good money, should I re-take?
Post by: wkm11 on June 29, 2016, 08:55:22 AM
I just got a 168 on the LSAT (first time). I have a 3.99 GPA from an Ivy League, with a degree in biology. I worked all throughout undergrad and will have 2 years of work experience post-undergrad. I'm a white female.

I scored higher than my average PT but I was hoping to break 170 (even though I only got that on one PT). I self-studied for 6 months, and raised my diagnostic 6 points. I only got 3 wrong on LG, got the most incorrect on LR, so not necessarily a ton of potential for raising my score. I know there is no harm in re-taking, but it would be nice to spend the fall focusing on my application and picking the best school, rather than spending all my free time studying.

I am hoping for T14 with a good amount of money... Stanford would be nice but probably out of reach. I don't need to do Harvard/Yale, etc. I am happy with a mid/low tier T14 as long as the financial package is good. Is it worth it to re-take or are these stats good enough for a T14 school with substantial scholarships?
Title: Re: 168 LSAT, 3.99 GPA, hoping for T14 with good money, should I re-take?
Post by: loki13 on June 29, 2016, 03:17:32 PM
I just got a 168 on the LSAT (first time). I have a 3.99 GPA from an Ivy League, with a degree in biology. I worked all throughout undergrad and will have 2 years of work experience post-undergrad. I'm a white female.

I scored higher than my average PT but I was hoping to break 170 (even though I only got that on one PT). I self-studied for 6 months, and raised my diagnostic 6 points. I only got 3 wrong on LG, got the most incorrect on LR, so not necessarily a ton of potential for raising my score. I know there is no harm in re-taking, but it would be nice to spend the fall focusing on my application and picking the best school, rather than spending all my free time studying.

I am hoping for T14 with a good amount of money... Stanford would be nice but probably out of reach. I don't need to do Harvard/Yale, etc. I am happy with a mid/low tier T14 as long as the financial package is good. Is it worth it to re-take or are these stats good enough for a T14 school with substantial scholarships?

Let's break this apart into spearate components-

1. You've already spent 6 months practicing, and raised your diagnostic 6 points.
2. You've only ever scored 170 once on a practice test.
3. A 168 corresponds to roughly the 96th percentile (I don't have the absolute most recent numbers)- this isn't a straight scale, and the differences become more pronounced (or, as some might say, more variable) in the range above 165.
4. You currently have a 168/3.99, which should get you in at a T14.

So, what does that mean?

It's up to you. Is there a chance you'll score better? Sure! Maybe you'll get a 169 ... maybe even a 172! Or maybe not. But here's the thing- you'll be giving up time, money, and peace of mind. It's not just the registration fee for the LSAT - you're in the area of severely diminishing returns (it's not like you had a logic games issue). It already appears that you have derived a significant advantage in LSAT study; I don't think you're going to get much more, if any, and you're going to have to spend a lot of time studying the exact same dry materials. Like I said- diminishing returns.

I wouldn't do it. If I were you, I'd apply to your dream school (Stanford), maybe a handful of other T14s (for scholarship), and a few good schools outside of the T14 in areas that you'd be interested in practicing (because they will definitely be interested in giving you $$$$). Let it ride.

And congratulations. Try to enjoy the time before law school!
Title: Re: 168 LSAT, 3.99 GPA, hoping for T14 with good money, should I re-take?
Post by: wkm11 on June 30, 2016, 08:36:48 AM
Hey loki13, thank you so much! You made me feel a lot better. A few people on other forums have been telling me to retake, but I think your answer makes the most sense to me. I feel like I put it all out there when I took it the first time, I had a really good test day and felt like I did my best- raising it a few more points doesn't seem worth the time and energy and stress. Glad to hear someone agrees, so thank you! :)
Title: Re: 168 LSAT, 3.99 GPA, hoping for T14 with good money, should I re-take?
Post by: loki13 on June 30, 2016, 09:13:29 AM
Glad to hear that I helped!

If you haven't already, I would recommend lawschoolnumbers.com (make sure you look at the graphs tab) to research the schools you like and see how similar people did in prior cycles; looking quickly, it would appear that you are on the border for Stanford. I would also recommend lawschooltransparency.com to get a good idea of what the school's actual employment numbers and prospects (incl. clerkships, if you're into that) look like.

Finally, in addition to applying to your dream school and other T14 schools that are "national schools," definitely apply to some schools (the "safety schools") in the region you want to practice, so you have some comparable offers.
Title: Re: 168 LSAT, 3.99 GPA, hoping for T14 with good money, should I re-take?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 30, 2016, 09:36:36 AM
I agree with what Loki has already said, and with your numbers you will get into most schools.

One thing to consider:

Don't get too caught up in the T14 thing. What I mean is, not all T14 schools are magical just because they are T14. Some, like HYS, are truly elite institutions and you will probably get a job based on pedigree alone.

But, depending on where you want to live and what you want to do, any T14 is not necessarily better than any non-T14, especially of there is a big price tag attached.

Let's say you want to live in LA and your dream is to be a prosecutor. Would T14 Virginia be a better bet than UCLA/USC at a steep discount? In my opinion, no.

The T14 are all great schools, don't get me wrong. My point is that you should at least consider other well respected schools, especially if there is money on the table.
Title: Re: 168 LSAT, 3.99 GPA, hoping for T14 with good money, should I re-take?
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on July 01, 2016, 01:22:36 AM
If on a 4.0 scale you are ok, but it hurts the brain how many have 5.0 or even 6.0 or above GPA scales anymore.

Its like telling your kid they are an A student, but A=C