Thanks for the advice. I graduated from UNC in 2003 and majored in econ. I have been getting "apply everywhere" from a lot of people but that is going to be very expensive. Does anyone know how and when schools decide to give you a application fee waiver? Do they look at your LSAT only or work experience as well? I don't know if I can explain away my grades but I did work while in school so I will mention that. I feel like my post college work experience is solid = worked for Sen. Edwards Senate office for 2 years and now as a legislative analyst at lobbying firm in DC. Hopefully this will be enough to make up for my low grades. I know this sounds crazy but does anyone think it makes sense to retake the lsat and try to move up to a 177 range. 3.2/177 looks a lot better than 3.2/171
They decide to send you the waivers based on the LSAT and GPA Information on your LSAC account.
To get any waivers, you must sign up with CRS. To do this, go to the LSAC website, click on the Profile Tab --> Authorizations --> and check "Release my info to ABA approved schools."
You can also release your info to NON-ABA approved schools, but there's no real point in that considering where you intend to end up.
My advice: Use any and all of these waivers (even those in the 30-50 range) and then blanket the Top 20 (there should be some overlap). Each waiver means applying to that law school costs only $12 (for the LSAC report, which you must pay no matter what--the waivers only waive the school's fees, not the LSDAS fees).
I basically DOUBLED my exposure from 12 schools to 25 by using waivers (12 schools x 12 reports = $144). Any school that doesn't give you a waiver will cost you the $60/70/80 PLUS the $12 report fee. And keep in mind that these reports must be prepaid--otherwise your application, though submitted to the school, will never go complete.
So yeah, it's expensive, but the waivers are a good way to hedge your bets on the cheap, and you just never know how things are going to work out for you! Better to cast your net wide once than to be unhappy with the results and have to do it all again later...