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Messages - luboman411

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Law School Admissions / URM wondering about chances...
« on: October 29, 2008, 06:52:45 PM »

I'm a male Hispanic (Guatemalan), first college grad in family, with a 3.47 GPA (LSAC) that shows definite upward trend (from 3.36 freshman, 2.86 sophomore, 3.67 junior, 3.85 senior), did thesis, graduated with some honors from top liberal arts college.  Have worked as corporate legal assistant in white-shoe NYC firm for three years.  Haven't taken the LSAT (plan to in Dec.) and hopefully will get somewhere in the 163-165 range.  I know that with these factors I have a pretty good shot at Brooklyn, Fordham, Emory, Villanova, etc.  Do you think I should aim higher, like Michigan, Virginia, Northwestern, even NYU?  Mind you, I haven't taken the LSAT yet but I am scoring my PTs in the range indicated above.  Since I have no LSAT score on record, is it also a good idea to start sending in applications right now so that adcomms can start reviewing my other factors now, and then make up their minds once my LSAT score is out?  I'd like to know if there are other people out there who were/are in the same situation (no LSAT score but sent in application material anyway).  Thanks.

I am no Ward Connelly (sp?), God forbid, but I do think that the racial AA status quo is just too unfair at this point.  I am a URM from an impoverished background who feels that, nowadays, the greatest barrier in this country is not race, per se, but class.  It seems like it's much harder for your average poor white kid from West Virginia to advance than for a black kid with lawyer/banker parents who lives in NYC.  I went to an elite liberal arts college in New England and found a greater number of the latter and far fewer of the former.  That struck me as patently unjust, especially since the former a) definitely represents a much larger percentage of the U.S. population as a whole and b) the latter most likely had gotten a leg up due to traditional race-based AA.  Point being, I would rather law school (or any graduate or undegrad) admissions committees emphasize far more strongly the class background of applicants and ditch, on a large scale, the racial categories that are central to their idea of "diversity".  Considering that class inequality is at its worst in this country since 1929, and that a smaller and smaller share of the student bodies at the most highly selective colleges come from middle- and lower-class backgrounds, I would love to see fewer privileged black and hispanic students and more obviously poor white and asian students at these places.  Doing this would not likely dent the number of poor hispanics and blacks at these schools because being of these races almost always means being poor in certain sections of the country.  This measure would at least preclude people who obviously don't need the help from getting it.  And I would know these colleges are doing at least something to mitigate the growing class disparity that will destabilize the U.S. sooner or later.  I also hate the whole informal AA system that legacies enjoy (i.e. I know of this white straight guy who got into Yale Law without neither winning academic honors of any kind nor having even graduated at the top 25% of my class, whereas some people didn't even get in with Phi Beta Kappas, summa cum laudes and top 5% ranks), but that's a topic for a future rant. 


How about a Hispanic kid with both a UGPA and an LSAT score at the top 25% of what Howard accepts?  I obviously could get in somewhere that is ranked much higher than Howard, but I was thinking of using Howard as my one of my safeties.  And the LSAT score is still negotiable since I haven't taken it yet (probably in Oct., most likely in Dec).  I ultimately seek to work in big law, so Howard's popularity in the big law recruitment circuit is mighty tempting...

I've been getting 157 consistently on those three testmasters tests.  The cold-turkey score I got in June was 147.  So there's been improvement, and a 10 point jump stoked my all-important LSAT confidence, making me think that getting over a 165 was a realistic goal.  At this rate, I can only hope for something over 160 by the time the October test rolls around, unless I do something drastic...

I was wondering if anyone out there is having the same problem I am having.  I started the Testmasters course about a month and a half ago.  Since I had taken the first testmasters diagnostic test before--in fact as my first cold-turkey test--I got a score much higher than the previous sample tests I had taken up til then.  Saw that as a fluke and discounted it, thinking that the second diagnostic would be much more indicative of what my raw score would be since it would be a test I had never seen before.  Took the second and found that the score was identical to the score of the first test, which was surprising since that score was 10 points higher than what I had first scored way back on my cold-turkey practice in June.  I was satisfied since it indicated I was making some progress, the test having been one I had never seen before.  Now after three solid weeks of studying, I took the third testmasters diagnostic this past weekend and found the exact same test score (even the exact same number of questions right) than my previous two tests.  If there are people out there who are finding or have found themselves in a similar situation--regardless of the prep-test course they took--what did you do or not do to get over this hump?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated it.

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