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Author Topic: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?  (Read 1687 times)

Jennaye

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Alright, this isn't exactly a "horror" story, but my (predicted) LSAT score is rather mediocre.  I've been getting consistent 160s on practice exams (once got a 164), even after taking Kaplan (which is only useful for providing administered practice tests, in my opinion).

I have a really strong GPA (3.84 on LSAC), honors program, lots of interesting political involvement -- anti-war organizer, leader of campus drug-policy reform group, etc., studied politics at University of Oxford for a summer, got a research grant for my honors thesis, etc.  I also can get great LORs.  Sooo, my questions...

1) Will top schools (my dream schools are Stanford, Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, and UCLA) look past my mediocre LSAT?  I'm worried that they'll reject me out of hand solely based on my LSAT.

2) If I think I could raise my score a couple points (4 or 5), should I take the December test?

3) One of my prof's is a JD from Columbia, and knows lots of law professors around the country.  He has pledged to not only write LORs for me, but said he will call his connections and really try to lobby for me.  Does that helo at all?  Do profs have any say in admissions?


Thanks! This is a great messageboard. Just found it today.

jacy85

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Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2004, 07:36:55 PM »
Not wanting to be pessimistic here, but the dream schools you listed will most like reject you after one or two readings of your app due to your lsat score (if you get a 160).  I would never say don't apply to them though, as you definitely won't get in if you don't try.

With a 160 and your strong gpa, you will almost definitely get into a tier 1, based on the numbers and your "extras"  You're still a very strong candidate, jsut not for the top 14, most likely.  (Stanford will definitely be a no, unless you've cured cancer with a 160...and they may pass even then, from everything I've heard about the "erratic" admissions for HYS).

If you really want to boost your lsat score, which is almost alwyas possible, try the powerscore stuff.  The Logic Games Bible is huge, and the Kaplan and PR games strategies aren't even in teh same league.  I though the PS logical reasoning stuff was good too, and if that's a trouble area, I'd say get the LR bible too, although I haven't used it, so I can't say from experience.  (it wasn't out in time for the june lsat, but i did take a PS weekend course, and got the LR strategy there)

Lobbying might help.  I don't think it can hurt, but it will depend on how much pull these professors have.  I would think that their influence is limited though, and probably wouldn't do much for you if you were in the presumptive reject pile.  If you were in teh "borderline" area though, that extra pull could be just enough.

Gin&Juice

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Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2004, 04:48:08 PM »
Why the hell not?  U sound like quite the dynamic person, and I have friends who have numbers worst than urs who got into some of those schools.  The reason they got in was because they all had interesting stories to tell.. and weren't these vanilla applicants (typical poli sci major) who are the same story.  Having someone lobby for you on the inside, that def. is a big boost.  U never know till u try.  One negative about this board is that people believe that numbers are the end all be all.  Remember medians are medians.  If schools are taking students that are much higher than average lsat scores, there are probably a few that are lower than them as well.

Alright, this isn't exactly a "horror" story, but my (predicted) LSAT score is rather mediocre.  I've been getting consistent 160s on practice exams (once got a 164), even after taking Kaplan (which is only useful for providing administered practice tests, in my opinion).

I have a really strong GPA (3.84 on LSAC), honors program, lots of interesting political involvement -- anti-war organizer, leader of campus drug-policy reform group, etc., studied politics at University of Oxford for a summer, got a research grant for my honors thesis, etc.  I also can get great LORs.  Sooo, my questions...

1) Will top schools (my dream schools are Stanford, Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, and UCLA) look past my mediocre LSAT?  I'm worried that they'll reject me out of hand solely based on my LSAT.

2) If I think I could raise my score a couple points (4 or 5), should I take the December test?

3) One of my prof's is a JD from Columbia, and knows lots of law professors around the country.  He has pledged to not only write LORs for me, but said he will call his connections and really try to lobby for me.  Does that helo at all?  Do profs have any say in admissions?


Thanks! This is a great messageboard. Just found it today.

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jacy85

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Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2004, 07:46:53 PM »
Stats from the lsac info pdf from lsac.org for # of apps and # of accepts to each school with a gpa 3.75+ and an lsat of 1. 160-164 and 2. 155-159.  All numbers from 2003/2004 Academic year.

Stanford - no data provided

Berkley - 1. 606 applied/92 admitted   2.  280 app/31 admit

NYU - no data provided

Columbia - no data provided

UCLA - 1. 507 app/73 admit  2.  234 app/13 admit

I think one could assume that Stanford, NYU and Columbia will have more apps and few admits in these score ranges due to their higher rankings.  So while your odds may not look great, you'll never know unless you send your app in.

I think saying that everyone here on this board think numbers are the end all be all is being really unfair.  Many here have done their research, and are very realistic, but at the same time, we accept that there are those few that are admitted to the top schools that don't have that 4.0 or 175.  This is why I always say to send out apps to the schools you really want to go to in addition to those schools you like with numbers that match up more closely with what you have.  That way, you do your best to ensure that if the dream schools don't pan out, you'll be left with some viable options, just in case.

It's possible to be encouraging *and* realistic, but many refuse to see that.

Jennaye

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Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2004, 11:34:32 PM »
Ahhh... those are some pretty depressing numbers.  Should I cancel my score?  (I don't think I will... from hearing other peoples' stories it sounds like it's pretty easy to get schools to look at a second score if it's higher)

I'm definitley going to still try, and I will hound the admissions people day and night until they admit me   :D

jacy85

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Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2004, 09:20:20 AM »
I'd keep the score too, since you seem relative sure that it wasn't below your range.  And I think if a score is 7-10 points higher, many will look at the higher score.

At the very least, doing better will still give you a higher score with the average, and every point counts!

Good luck with retaking (possibly) and applying!