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Hi, everyone I am currently moving into a new city and a new school that I recently become not to happy with.  I am about 5 hours from my home and want to practice law closer to my home, but decided to attend a school further away because I was not accepted to the local schools and was offered a decent scholarship at the school I am beginning to attend.  My LSAT scores were only 148 and 151 so i did not expect to many acceptances and or money for attedning any law schools.  Now that I am in my new city away from everything, family friends and girlfriend of 4 years, I am regretting my decision more and more.  I still have the option of getting out of my lease and I am definitely considering it.  This is where I need everyones help, I recently have found out that my scholarship is applied to tuition differently than I previouusly thought.  This has not made me to happy and I feel that I am paying more for an education that I may not have necessarily picked a few months ago.  Can you please help me with my choices???

My ideas are to stick it out and go to school.  Hopefully I will be able to transfer, I know this is not a good possibilty however and I do not want to be stuck in this city for 3 years. 

My other option would be to take a year off again, and study for the LSAT, I have never studied for it and took both tests cold.  They are the only two LSAT's that I have taken.  I would enroll in a Kaplan or Powerscore class something along those lines, work part-time and study full time for the december LSAT.  I really want to attend a local school in Pittsburgh such as Duquesne, Pitt or even WVU or Penn State I would be happy with any of those. 

Please help with ideas, or if you think these feelings will go away.  THANX

While this could just be pre-law school jitters, it seems that if you are this unhappy and school hasn't even started, you probably shouldn't continue at this point. Your first year is going to be stressful/busy/anxiety ridden, so you want to be in the most comfortable situation possible. If your emotional needs require more interaction and support with old friends and family, then perhaps this is not the best situation for you.

I agree with the others... don't go to a school with the plan on transferring. In undergrad that is more of a possibility since your grades mostly depend on your own performance. In law school however, your grades are influenced by the performance of your peers. So even if you write an A or B exam, you may end up getting a B,C, or D due to the curve.

If PA is where you want to be, I think it would be to your benefit to take another year and better prepare for the LSAT and try again with the application process. With a better LSAT, you may find a better reaction from schools regarding admissions and $cholarship money. Perhaps you can also have an admissions counselor provide a one-time application review and see if there are any ways you can improve your apps.

It's good that your are being honest with yourself at this point.... let us know what happens!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is this possible?
« on: August 13, 2006, 10:13:17 AM »
I just took my first LSAT test from a book that my friend lent me and I've realized that I have a lot to learn about the LSAT!  (149)

Here's my question:  Is it possible to improve substantially in time for the Sept 30th LSAT?  Because of other obligations, if I don't take the test in Sept I will need to wait until next year (Feb or June) so I want to see if it's even a possibility before I spend the money to sign up for the test.


What do you consider 'substantially'?
In your time span, you should definitely make a 5-7 point increase. With enough practice time, you may likely make a 10 point increase. If you were taking a class, you might be more likely to land a 10 point increase.

My estimation is that if a 'substantial' increase meanse 10+ points, you will either need seriously step up your study time, or extend your timespan to the Feb. test.

Don't let the 149 scare you. Many people started out with that score, but certainly won't admit it (there's more glory in simply saying you got a 165, instead of saying you went from a 149 to a 165...).

Good luck to you!

After reading through this thread, I think the interesting yet sad reality is that in 2006, minority applicants have to keep these kind of issues in mind when choosing a school. I will even admit that I allowed the same factors to work against my decision to attend a higher ranked school in IN.

Yes, it does sound silly to say "XYZ city doesn't have a lot of minorities" but I think what people are really saying is that when there are more minorities present in a city, they know that perhaps whites are more tolerant of their presence. Comparing the harshness of Harlem to that in Lexington is a bunch of crap. You can get beat up/mugged/assaulted in LA, Miami and other parts of NYC just as easily - and the attackers don't necessarily care what color you are (AND your attackers are not necessarily going to be black!!). I think the OP's justified concern is not necessarily about being attacked in Lexington, but having to face subtle discrimination because of his race/ethnicity. I don't think you can truly empathies with what it feels like to be followed in a store, ignored when you walk in a restaurant, racial jokes made in front of your face, your kids being snubbed at school, and you know why it's happening. It really break you down, and some people would rather not place themselves in that kind of environment. Those may be hard words to hear, but until you've walked a mile in another moccasins.....

These type of decisions do not propagate racial tension as was said earlier. If anything, this is just one more person of color trying to navigate through current and continual racial tensions - certainly tensions that they did not bring about. Although we are forty years past the civil rights movement, the reality is that there are still places in this country where people of color are not welcome. Where minorities still ignored when they walk into establishments, where they still get stared at, ignored, asked snidely if they speak English, and many times harassed.

Many of the posters here seem truly bothered that a person would pass up a good school because of an issue of racial dynamics, but this is one more factor that a minority has to deal with. How many of you can say you looked at the percentages of minority students at various schools and took that into account when you submitted your apps? If you say, "well it doesn't really matter" then I consider you to be very lucky to be in a position where those factors don't really matter for you. But for others, these kind of factors are important to evaluate in the decision making process...Everyone wants to be in a place where they are comfortable, happy, accepted, and treated with basic dignity... where you are simply just a "student" and not labeled as "the asian/ the latino/ the black student"..... and not all campuses and cities are conducive for these kind of needs when it comes to people of color.

I think it's very wise for the OP to consider the experiences of his family and himself, and not solely just consider the reputation of the school.

Law School Admissions / Re: Admissions Consulting Services????
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:47:51 PM »
Has anyone used any service like this? My apps are complete..I have my PS, my LORs everything done etc, but was inquiring on having someone look it all over. Has anyone used Testmasters or any other online services for this, if so was it helpful and how much we looking at??? Thanks in advance..

I used Testmasters.... Some things were moderatly helpful, but I really wish I had that $125/hour today instead of blowing it on a consultant. You can find out what you need on your own, and save that money for your books for next fall.

If you want to double check things and you have the money, perhaps you can pursue one-time an application review, but don't spend a cent more.

Law School Admissions / Re: URM Status Question
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:44:25 PM »
Do Vietnamese count as URM??

I know Asians such as Japanese and Chinese are not considered URM simply because they have been here for so long and are already established, but the Vietnamese have been here for 30 some odd years.

Most Viets are also a bit poor.

URM status has nothing to do with whether or not a group has "been here for so long." It has everything to do with the relative representation of certain ethnicities in higher education compared to their constitituve size in the general US population. Statistically speaking, Chinese and Japanese are overrepresented. Same with people of jewish descent.

African Americans, Mexicans, etc are not. They are underrepresented. Hence the term, Underrepresented Minority and not just "Minority". You'll have to look for statistics on vietnamese students in higher education and contact schools directly to find out. One school's URM is another's general applicant.

And, just as a point of curiousity, are you a bit poor? I'm beginning to wonder how representative the LSD and LSN community actually is-not just in terms of ethnicity, or LSAT score, but in general. There was a recent thread concerning legacies at UMich, were a couple of people shared the fact that they had uncles, and sisters, and bears (oh my!) that had attended the Law School.  That seemed surprising to me.

It's not as much about 'representation in education' as it is about representation in the field. While there may be larger amounts of Asian lawyers in places like California, Asians are still underrepresented in the field of law. There are PLENTY of firms around this country that have ZERO Asian attorneys, and perhaps have ZERO people of color. One of my best friends in externing at a firm in PA and out of 200 ATTORNEYS and STAFF, there are only three people of color working there: 1 Cuban attorney and 2 externs who are minorities.

I will say that at in my law program, there are FAR less Asian students than there are Black and Latino students.

Poor or rich, Asians still suffer from many of the professional disadvantages that other minorities face, especially in the legal field. A Polish-American is not going to face discrimination based on inherent factors the way a person of color would. Sure, people aren't getting sprayed by waterhoses or sent of to internment camps these days, but unfortunately subtle discrimination is still rampant, especially in the legal community.

The ABA also put out a great article about the experiences of women of color in firms, and on the front cover of the magazine they feature an Asian attorney. The article covers issues that attorney of color have and continue to face, and they interviewed Latino, Asian and Black attorneys. You can read more about it here:

So yes, to answer your question: Asians are underrepresented minorities.

Law School Admissions / Re: Chances of getting in at LMU or USD
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:30:34 PM »
Hey guys, been a long time since i posted.

I know this topic is asked all the time, but here goes

Applying to lawschools this fall and was gonna apply to UCD, USD, USC, UC Hastings, Loyola Marymount, UOP, UIUC and probably like UI-bloomington i think.

Got really bad grades and got kicked out of school first 3 years, these past two have been doing decent, a's, b's.  overall gpa is probably like 2.5 because of all my retakes that I got f's in.  Took lsat last year and got a 165. what are my chances at these schools??  Realistically i'm looking at USD and loyola.

The 'getting kicked out of school' part may hinder you at some schools more than the 2.5 will. Some schools just don't dig the whole academic probation stuff. However, you did seem to make a turnaround by not giving up on school and getting a good lsat score. Your upward trend in grades will certainly help you out a lot.

It's truly going to come down to an KICK A$$ personal statement and hopefully some good LORs for you. IF you can talk about your downfall and how you really turned things around and show your dedication to the field of law, this would be a good thing. Everyone loves a "rags to riches" story. If you can set it up the right way, you very well may be a more attractive candidate than the "traditional applicant" who has never faltered or overcome any failures.

I figure you'll have better luck with you apps to :
USD, UOP, and and perhaps even UI-bloomington (although the are a T1, they still take a lot of soft factors into consideration)

You are probably going to have more of a battle with:
UCD, Loyola Marymount, and UIUC

USC is most likely not going to happen, UC Hastings is going to be a tough call. However, both are still worth taking a shot, because you never know.....

Good luck!!!

Law School Admissions / Re: What to do with two GPA's?
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:18:21 PM »
Call the schools and check with them. You don't want to hinder your app with the lower GPA, but you don't want to mislead the adcomm either.

The schools may suggest writing a short addendum (just a few sentences), just to clarify things.

Law School Admissions / Re: Yet another addendum question...
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:12:45 PM »
I would like to get an opinion on what addendum I should submit, so here's my situation.....

1) My GPA is 3.23, I graduated a year early, and my LSAT last year was 160 and I am taking it again come December. I worked through college to finance my education and had a tough 2nd year with classes outside my major. I was sick during the LSAT and did way below what I'm capable of.

2) I applied last year and wrote an addendum about my grades because I wanted to explain my financial situation that caused me to work during college and have a bad 2 semesters.

3)So, this time around, I will have my same 3.23 GPA and an LSAT I predict to be around 168 at least. I don't think I should submit 2 addendums. Which should I submit? If I end up making an 8+ point LSAT increase, should I use the addendum on that? Would it be ok to leave out the explanation with my grades?

Thanks for your help.
It sucks to be one who has BOTH GPA AND LSAT that need to be explained.....

Don't write an addendum for the GPA. Your work history on your resume as well as any specifics about how many hours/week you worked during UG will match up with the tougher times of your GPA trend. You may want to make mention of any hardships you encountered during your UG, but don't allow that story to become an excuse for getting a 3.2 (which is still a good gpa). Sell the positives - your work ethic, ability to stay > 3.0 while working, and resourcefulness in dealing with a personal financial challenge.

If you make a big jump on your LSAT (5+++ points), a brief addendum (brief meaning 4-5 sentences max) explaining that you were ill during the first exam and you don't believe the score accurately reflected your abilities. More schools are taking the higher score, and others will take your big improvement into consideration.

Either way, make your addendum SHORT, and no crybaby sob stories about why you didn't get a 4.0. That approach will hurt you more than help you. Work with the numbers that you have....sure you're not going to Yale, but neither are thousands of other applicants. You are still in good shape with the numbers you currently have, and if you make a jump on your LSAT you'll be even better. It also sounds like you have a good story to tell (re: your circumstances in UG) so hopefully you have a solid PS and you should be just fine.

I disagree with most of the board.  We are talking about a FULL RIDE scholarship here.  Granted it isn't in the area you want to be, but its not like you have to move to a worse school to get the scholarship.  You will have to work harder to get a job in LA, thats true, and there wont be a lot of OCI, but think about it, with all the money you are saving you can easily afford to fly back once or twice for OCI, and you have very little debt when you graduate, an awsome situation to be in.

SW is better in Cali, there is no doubt, but its not like cali firms are going super deep into the class anyway.  I would go to toledo.  If you do well, you will have to do the legwork, but you should find something in cali.  If you dont do well, you aren't that much worse off than not doing well at Southwestern, and you have a lot less debt to pay off when you are finished.

LS09, you've heard everything I've had to say regarding your situation. As for this piece of advice, I totally disagree with it. It sounds like you have made a great decision to go to SW and I'm sure you will be fine.

If you want to work in CA, you would have a much harder time coming back to CA if you had chosen UT. Toledo certainly places well in the midwest, but I'm sure career services is going to do little to nothing to help you look for jobs out west. Additionally, you'll have to navigate the hurdle with CA employers by explaining why you went out of state for school. Sure, a lot of Californians go out of state for a T14 school, or a T50 school, and some go for specific law programs, but what would tell your potential employers? "I went to UT cuz they gave me a lot of money"? You have certainly made the logical choice by going with SW.

Also, don't worry about the firm recruitment issue. Your first job out of law school will certainly not be your last, and even if you don't get picked up by BIGLAW straight of law school, it's not the end of the road. But that doesn't mean that it's impossible to get to big law, and remember, OCI isn't the only way to get your foot in the door. There are many novel ways to get your resume in the right hands, if a firm wants you, they want you. Furthermore, there are plenty of midsized firms that higher SW grads, and many grads also start out in government (City of LA, AG's office, etc) and then go into the private sector afterwards. As a lateral hire, you are often more attractive than a recent grad because a) you have experience and the firm doesn't have to pay to train you,  b) you can be a rainmaker and bring in the money for the firm, and c) if you start out in government, that's a plus because you have contacts in the courts w/ judges, city attorneys, etc and this will benefit the firms. There are many options out there, so don't become paralyzed someone else says that the main pathway doesn't seem as promising.

Again, congrats on getting some $$ from SW... yes, you will have to take loans like the rest of us (except for the trust fund babies), and you will have many many years to pay back the debt. It can seem daunting, but in the long run, it's an investment in yourself and your future.

p.s. You will be grateful for not having to worry about nuisances like groceries and utilities. The comforts of home will work to your benefit!!

That's great news!! Glad to hear that things are working out!

Best of luck to you, LS2009!!

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