Law School Discussion

Bad Grades, Great LSAT

Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« on: March 16, 2004, 12:51:35 PM »
My story is the common story of a slacker.  My college career actually started out perfect, high GPA and tons of activities.  Then I hit a bump and decided that I needed to go into the working world, my last semester knocked my GPA down from a 3.6 to a 2.7.

I ended up at the University of TN Knoxville and made a few more common mistakes.  Basically I didnít take my studies serious and switched majors every semester.  Finally I am on track and ready to graduate.  My GPA right now is a 3.13 but that is deceiving.  I had to withdraw from school one semester and I also have 4 Fs on my record (2 from my previous college and 2 at UTK) also I have two W-Fs.  Itís not a great undergrad record to say the least, but then there comes my saving grace.

I have never taken the LSAT so I donít have a score on record, but I have taken multiple timed practice tests.  My score tends to be in the lower 170s.  When I first started practicing I was in the 160s but The Logic Games Bible made Logic games a piece of cake and the rest of the LSAT just came together after much practice.  My cousin who just got into law school wants to kill me; he had a 3.8 GPA and a 152 LSAT. So now comes my question...

What are my chances of getting into a good/decent/amazing law school?  I know the LSAT plays a big role but it is the only element of me that is above average.  Maybe there are other people on here who got into law school with a similar record to mine.  I still have this semester and 2 more until I graduate, if anyone can give me advice on what to do with the time remaining to increase my chances of getting into law school, I would be much appreciative.

Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2004, 09:39:47 PM »
Ace the LSAT.

Go to the best law school that admits you.

If it's not to  your liking, bust your ass and transfer after 1L.

Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2004, 01:27:40 PM »

  Your gpa is a liability for the "better" law schools, but a great LSAT can make miracles.

      I would seriously consider busting my butt, my brains, my everything for a obtaining that goal. Have you considered attending a Kaplan course? I really think a strong review course form Kaplan can do mracles to your LSAT and you will meet various people in a similar situation.

 Myself, having a non-traditional background is planning on attending a Kaplan myself.
  Again, a great LSAT can do miracles. Don't let the gpa discourage you to much.

                Also, from you rpresent progress so far, it looks like you are at the right track.
Good luck and don't give up, you definately will get somewhere :)

 Also, since you are not done yet, I would STRONGLY reccommend any honors coruses or whatever your college offers.
You still have some time to go, just keep working on the LSAT and build up your skill. Your case seems promising to me.



Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2004, 08:52:17 PM »
You need to do some research and find out which schools give more weight to the LSAT than UGPA.  When you are ready to apply, be sure not to put all your eggs in one basket.  With an LSAT in the 170's you may have a shot at some really decent schools, I would recommend you apply to a range.  (I applied to 15. Five reaches, five that I was fairly sure I would get into, and five safeties.) Also, be sure to make it clear in your personal statement why you believe your UGPA is not indicative of your academic potential. 

By the way, I go to UT as well.  In the spirit of a true VOL, I am glad to offer any help or answer any questions you may have.  Email:

Miracles can happen!

Boalt Hall (UC-Berkeley) Incoming Class of 2004


Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2004, 08:54:08 PM »
Oh, and if you are trying to boost your GPA, stay the HELL away from Carcieri's classes!!!!

Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2004, 12:14:35 PM »
Oh, and if you are trying to boost your GPA, stay the HELL away from Carcieri's classes!!!!

 Another alternative (have heard some pre-law students come with this one)..
 IF your gpa is borderline, let's say 3.1-3.4

          Take a class that is KNOWN to be REALLY REALLY hard to get a good grade in and do nothing else that semester. In additon (to back up your time) volunteer or do some subinternship that occupies your time. Check with some official or local firm if there are any options. The key here is to build the network you need early on. It will help you learn how to navigate the grid early on.
         As a non-traditional applicant, I have similar issues and just got into a firm specializing in real estate and asset protection. I cannot stress enough the importance of this enough no matter WHAT field you are intent of entering.

 If you pull out a top grade in such a class and can get a good letter you can make it.

Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2004, 10:01:36 AM »
I am in your situation.

I have a 2.47 UGPA in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas. I graduated in 2000. I made a 171 on the LSAT. My experience has been that I got into a lot of lower tier schools with nice scholarships, and was denied from all the higher ranked schools. Some of the schools (Berkeley) solicited me to reapply as a transfer after my first year. I am wait listed at Santa Clara and George Mason right now. If you look at the top-ten schools, they don't admit many (1-2) people with GPAs like ours. I recommend going to the LSAC ( and to get a look at last years stats versus this years. I think the trend is tougher admissions, but RuskieGirl got into Berkeley, maybee they say to themselves "she could have not studied for the LSAT;..... and look at her GPA". I think that law schools want to see potential and ability. Your weakness right now looks like it is ability, how can you prove that you have ability? ask yourself.


Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2004, 10:32:57 PM »
Well here's my 4 halfpence.  I had one f and several c's - 3.26gpa.  A bit of volunteer work, and a previous law secretary position and a 160.  I applied to U of I and was denied though they left me to the last batch.  American Univeristy denied me out right. I am going to DePaul w/ about a 1/4 scholarship.  Hofstra also offered me a partial scholarship.  Northern Illinois University was my safety.  I should have applied to more schools, but that's life. 

My belief is that schools want to improve their numbers in the rankings (in fact DePaul said as much at a orientation session).  Therefore, if your lsat will help them more than your gpa hurts them your in, if it helps alot more you'll get a scholarship offer.  Employers do look at these scores to an extent, but what it boils down to is name recognition.  If a client has heard of the school you went to and thinks highly of it then they'll be more likely to use your services.  This is why DePaul got the nod from me.


Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2004, 03:46:57 AM »
It's been a long time, but I was once in the same boat.  2.13 GPA and a 97 percentile LSAT. I wasn't exactly the studious type in college. Anyway, I took the shotgun approach and applied to a bunch of schools.  Somehow, I managed to get into two 1st tier schools and several second tier schools, although I was rejected by some schools I was sure I'd get into.  In short, it was a crapshoot.  Just write a good letter explaining your poor undergraduate grades and maybe you'll get lucky.


Re: Bad Grades, Great LSAT
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2004, 08:58:13 AM »
165 and a 3.0 got me into cardozo, brooklyn and full scholarship to seton hall. good luck.