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Messages - mnewboldc

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Scored a 152 on my first practice test. Scored a 174 on the last one 6 months later, and a 169 on the real LSAT. It took about 40 practice tests to get there. Treat studying as a job, do lots of work outside of the class... I practiced on the subway going to work, on my lunch breaks, etc. Did a real test every Saturday.

Princeton Review's classes are designed to improve middle-range scorers; those on the low or high end are pushed towards private tutoring. Don't rely on the materials your teacher provides - get as many of the "real" tests as you can and practice with those, once you're familiar with the layout of the test and the general makeup of the questions.

Don't stress if you don't see a lot of improvement right away. It takes a significant number of correct answers to move from the mid 140's to the high 150's (if I remember correctly, it winds up being something like 20-25 more correct answers on average).

Wait List / Re: Vanderbilt Wait List
« on: May 21, 2008, 09:43:07 PM »
169/3.4 GPA from t15 private liberal arts. Strong extracurriculars and publishing credentials. $75,000 scholarship from Cornell. Waitlisted at Vanderbilt.

Anyone else in the same boat?

Wait List / Re: Michigan
« on: May 21, 2008, 09:40:25 PM »
Haven't heard anything. Fingers are crossed.

Wait List / Re: 2008 GULC Waitlist - Update?
« on: May 21, 2008, 09:39:30 PM »
I sent Georgetown a form "optional essay," and mistakenly forgot to swap "William and Mary" for "Georgetown" in the sentence where I extol the intrinsic virtues of the school.

I wound up on their "non-preferred" waitlist...

Oh well.

Keep an eye on Northwestern... their LSAT scores have been going up for a while. They're also unique in that they strongly recommend an in-person interview.

You might consider throwing in UGA or 'Bama... the latter offers a $20 I-tunes gift certificate with acceptance.

Am not sure how transferable a J.D. from 'Bama is, though. My only grounds for this is the application, which had about three or four questions centering on whether I "wanted to stay in Alabama." I didn't want to practice there, and so wound up foregoing the I-tunes. Maybe I'm wrong? They are probably the cheapest school in the top 35.

I applied to a gaggle of tier 2 schools (Brooklyn, Temple, Case Western, Cardozo, UC-H, William & Mary). They were all fee waivered except UC-H, or free, though. In the end, I probably could have dropped half of them and saved myself some time. Because I had two LSAT scores, though, I wanted to hedge my bets.

But honestly, with a 170, good grades and lots of extracurriculars, you're looking at schools like Emory/GW as safeties. If you want to drop down another peg for piece of mind, I'd recommend William & Mary or Washington & Lee.

If you score 170+, I'd consider the next rung up. Whereas the schools listed in the "mid" range I listed vary in placement ability among the three locations you listed, you can take a Harvard, Yale or NYU degree anywhere and get a job.

And if you really want a slam-dunk safety with some transferability, you might consider Tulane. Am not sure how they place in other cities, but I believe do very well in New York City.

I'm not sure about the comprehensive usefulness of this chart... it's probably a good guide for the regional schools, but doesn't tell you anything about the "transferability" of a t14 school to other parts of the country. UChicago and Northwestern, according to the Ciolli stats, place very well in NYC, and I believe UMich is very competitive in Chicago. That information isn't reflected on this graph.

I'd find it hard to believe that HLS has a more difficult time placing graduates in Chicago biglaw than does Chicago-Kent... but if one wanted to practice in Chicago, and was deciding between, say, Harvard and Columbia, this graph wouldn't have much to offer.

To chime in about the LSAT: I'd add that your "projected" LSAT might in no way reflect performance on the real exam. Unless you're a very good test taker, or very lucky, expect your score to go down from those scores reflected on your tests. For example, I took the LSAT's twice... the first time I was averaging 168/9 on the practice tests, and got a 161; the second time I was got as high as 174 but wound up with a 169. Also, differences between a single point or two can be enormous in admissions decisions. I believe Cornell's 25-75  LSAT ranges were 167-9 last year, for example.

Though if you've taken one diag and hit 170, you're in pretty good shape, provided you put in some practice time with the most recent LSAT administrations.

Based on those markets and your presumed credentials, I'd recommend:

-UChicago (stretch)
-Northwestern (mid)
-UMich (mid)
-Duke (mid)
-UVa (mid)
-Georgetown (mid)
-Vanderbilt (mid/safety)
-George Washington (safety)
-Emory (safety)

If you score higher than a 171 all bets are off.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Cornell being grueling???
« on: May 21, 2008, 03:40:31 PM »
I've heard that it's easier to "enjoy" oneself at a school like Columbia or NYU, probably because one's employment prospects are better, and by extension one doesn't have to compete to be in the top percentage of one's class in order to secure a good first job. By extension, Cornell's employment prospects are generally better than students from Fordham. Which in turn are better than prospects from Brooklyn. And so on.

I have been talking to several current Cornell students who have told me they graduated Magna, and have secured biglaw positions, on the strength of 2-3 hours of study a night (excepting times around exams). They were quite adamant in saying that the quality of one's study far outweighs the quantity of one's study.

Cornell's undergrad program is supposed to be grueling, a way of "making up" for the disparity in prestige between themselves and the Harvards/Yales of the world. I wonder if this reputation has "slid" over a bit onto their grad programs?

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Brooklyn or St. John's?
« on: May 21, 2008, 03:31:08 PM »
Living costs depend on a lot of factors. Soho is probably impossible for less than around $1000. But you can survive in Manhattan for $650 a month if you really want to... it would essentially involve getting a by-the-week hotel room in Harlem or above (though these types of places are disappearing), investing in a sturdy lock and a WWI-size supply of toxic chemicals, eating rice every day, traveling exclusively on a monthly MTA card, partying exclusively at free small-gallery art openings in Chelsea, and stealing WiFi from your neighbors. It absolutely can be done - and for a student, this is actually closer to the way you'll be living, anyway.

With a dog, though... you're probably better off looking in Queens or New Jersey.

I agree that a sort of "gentleman's agreement" is preferable... then again, the Cornell cash basically stipulates that repayment should occur only as "your financial situation permits" (leaving me free to pursue government work/clerkships, if so desired). Even if that may not be an option for me, I appreciate the sentiment.

And besides, what's gentlemanly about our world today?

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