Law School Discussion

more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?

Jennaye

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.

Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2004, 02:48:08 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.


jacy85

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Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2004, 05:46:53 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

Re: more Oct. 2 blues... will top schools look past a mediocre LSAT?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2004, 09:34:32 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 #4 on: October 06, 2004, 07:20:20 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!