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Author Topic: Is 156 the end of hope?  (Read 1482 times)

Jgunnz

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Is 156 the end of hope?
« on: October 23, 2004, 01:30:32 PM »
I've been keeping track of this message board, and have been impressed with the quality and timeliness of responses. It's really a great thing to have a community of people going through the same experience you.

I got my lsat score back yesterday and I was taken back. I had been sporadic at times with my scores but my last 10 LSAT practice exams averaged to a 162 (167,165,157,161,162,164,162,160,160,163). Yesterday I was bestowed with the horrific score of 156:'(

Here is my question, as a Cornell student with a 3.6 GPA (in Policy Analysis and Management) and extensive academic and extracurricular involvement what are my chances of getting into a decent schools such as American, Villanova, Northeastern, U Conn, or Brooklyn Law.

Just to qualify my above statements during my time at Cornell. I was an operations manager in a research project founded  by a 1 million dollar grant. I was president of the Mock Trial Team here, and am currently vice President of our Pre-Law Undergraduate Society. I'm also working with a world renowned Psychologist on publishing original research in which I will be the primary author, on relating a novel personality theory to juror decision making.

I'm curious, what does it take for a school to look past one bad exam score? My plan for now is to apply to the schools I listed above by the end of the month, and then take the exam again in December and if the scores reflect my true ability the next time around to then start applying to the next level of schools (Boston College, GW, Fordham etc.) I'd love any advice.  ;D
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Butch

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2004, 01:44:24 PM »
<<Im curious, what does it take for a school to look past one bad exam score? My plan for now is to apply to the schools I listed above by the end of the month, and then take the exam again in december and if the scores refelct my true ability the next time around to then start applying to the next level of schools (Boston College, GW, Fordham etc.) I'd love any advice>>


Dude, your score isn't bad. You're still in the what..75th percentile or something?  My score is similar.  When you post here, you think your scores are bad compared to everyone else's...but you have a good score.  If you're intent upon going to Harvard or Yale or something, then yes you need to do better. But, it's a myth that the only successful, big money makers went to those schools. There are thousands and thousands of filthy rich lawyers who didn't go to a Top 14.

The problem with retaking it is...that if you score 156 again, it just proves that is your true ability. At least with this score, you can write say that you had been practicing much higher but had a bad test day.

You're a Cornell Grad and you have a decent sscore and good credentials. I woudlnt freak out ab out all the 170s here. A lot of them are probably lying and a lot of them are the ultra serious competitive types. In 10 years, they probably wont be in any different a position than you.

liberty shark

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2004, 01:47:22 PM »
man, im in the same boat as you;  i averaged 163 on my diags, and topped out at 168; yesterday i got a 159 dropped in my lap.  ouch, eh?  unfortunately, i cant say that i've got any advice, only that i can sympathize with your situation because im in the same one.  im prayin for American U at this point; i think it's about a 50/50 shot at northeastern with numbers like ours.
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linquest

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2004, 02:42:43 PM »
Hey, I know how you feel.  I was getting 161-163 on my practice exams, just hoped for an even 160 on test day, and ended up with a 156 as well.  I'm a Cornell grad too, but I have a crap GPA.  I think you've got a very solid GPA and sound well-rounded, so you should be OK.  I think you're a lock for Northeastern and have a good chance at American.
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shadowcreeper

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2004, 02:50:57 PM »
A 156 is definitely not the end of hope. I think the original poster still has a very good chance at getting into the schools that he listed. The 156 may not have been what you were hoping for but it is not the end of the world. You have to play with the cards you are dealt and wish for the best. Gamble on yourself and apply to the schools you really want to go to, you never know what the outcome will be. If you are really concerned, you can get into a lot of phenomenal programs in the part time program with your scores... just a suggestion.

Do not feel bad, you gave it your all. Try being the woman who was scoring 155 to 158 on her practice tests and then score a 150 on the real deal in June.

Good luck, I am sure you will all get into really great schools.
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Jgunnz

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2004, 05:07:56 PM »
Thank you for those of you who responded you suceeded in reassuring me that a solid law school is still within reach.

But I am still curious as to what my course of action should be:

Option 1: Apply to all my schools (Duke, BC, GW, Wakeforest, Fordham, U Conn, Brooklyn, American, Villanova, Northeastern, Cardoza) now with my current lsat scores and hope that some of these schools will be able to look past the numbers game and see what I've done above and beyond as an Undergrad and do not re-take the LSATs in December.
 
or

Option 2: Apply to all my schools (Duke, BC, GW, Wakeforest, Fordham, U Conn, Brooklyn, American, Villanova, Northeastern, Cardoza) now with my current lsat scores and hope that some of these schools will be able to look past the numbers game but retake the LSATs in December and have my updated score report sent to these schools.

or

Option 3: Apply to the schools where I think i'll be competitive with my current score (U Conn, Brooklyn, American, Villanova, Northeastern, Cardoza)  but retake the LSATs in December and if I increase my score to where it should be then apply to the upper echelon schools (Duke, BC, GW, Wakeforest, Fordham etc.).

or

Option 4: Wait on all applications until the December scores come in?
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elisel

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2004, 05:16:34 PM »
I think option 3, apply to your competitive schools now is the best bet.  Then I'd retake the LSAT in December, and if you do a lot better on it, hold off for the Fall 06 admission cycle when you can get your apps in early to Fordham, Duke et. al. If no such luck, then just go to one of the original schools you applied to.

Lulu

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2004, 05:21:50 PM »
It sounds like you have wonderful other-than-LSAT credentials, so I would go ahead and apply to all your schools now rather than waiting and possibly lowering your chances due to a late app.  It sounds like although your score was lower than expected, it wasn't THAT low for what your practice tests were- if you retook and got a 160 your average would still be a 158, so I wouldn't count on the retake to up your chances all that much unless you start consistently practicing high 160's or 170's. 

Agree. Apply now. Also...you can't guarantee that your score won't actually go DOWN if you retake. I think when you get a lower score than expected, it has a lot to do with the curve- preptests are from years past, and if the applicant pool is getting tougher every year, it is a logical assumption that the curves get tougher as well. Every time. I think even looking at June and October there is a difference in the curves...

Additionally, with the avaraging factor, you'd have to score pretty significantly higher in order to make a difference. Plus, between 156 and 158 there's not a HUGE difference I don't think. And to bring it up to a score that would make a difference, and to GUARANTEE you'd score that high with the tougher curve (assumption, I know, but seems fairly valid) you'd have to, as the other poster said, be scoring near a 170.

Just my opinion though...also, I just sent you your ps back :)

futurejd20

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2004, 05:23:25 PM »
156 is a solid score. I didn't read your post, but with a decent GPA you can probably get into a lot of Tier 2's. Don't stress out about it - just do well in law school and you will be set no matter where you go.

elisel

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Re: Is 156 the end of hope?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2004, 05:26:23 PM »
I edited my post to say that I think he should apply to the schools he's got a reasonable shot at now.  Frankly I don't think he's got a realistic chance at Duke, Fordham, etc. with his current score, so there's no point in applying.  I think if he applies now to reasonable choices and retakes in Dec., he'll be in a good spot to decide if he wants to add schools that are now reaches.