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Author Topic: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)  (Read 1865 times)

charlesa

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I hate that it is necessary to say it but it is definitely 3rd in importance after LSAT and GPA: I'm a white male.

I'm a Computer Science major at Clemson University(ranked 74th in the top 100).  I'm planning on getting into patent law (CS at Clemson is accredited for the patent bar; not true with a lot of CS programs out there).  Should I write an addendum for my grades (difficult major, also without math being factored in I would have around a 3.8...)?  Being from SC and wanting to stay somewhat close (my ideal would be to be able to have a shot at patent law firms in the research triangle in NC) I would like to go somewhere with nationwide appeal and/or somewhere that is reasonably ranked (for my stats) and nearby--UNC, Vanderbilt, or Emory.  I haven't researched all of their patent programs yet, though I do know about UNC's. As safeties I will definitely apply to UNC and South Carolina.  The reason UNC is a definite safety is cause if safety is the way it goes I will get a deferment, move to NC for at least a year and get a job at a software company (I hear real world work experience is a huge plus with patent law, and hell you never know, it could turn out that I find I don't want to be a lawyer), and then become eligible for instate tuition.  I'd get out of school with a low amount of debt and not get stuck on some bad treadmill paying it off.

Now, here's what I want to know:  What schools of the top 30 or so should I be looking at that would work well with patent law, in North Carolina/South Carolina.  The only lesser ranked one I know of that would be good nationwide(and hence in NC) for patent law is George Washington.

The second thing I want to know: how many other schools of say the lower top 15 should I be applying to?  Seems almost like if I have even a slight chance I should apply to as many as possible...is that foolish?  My dream schools: Stanford--my ultimate dream: joint degree from their law and awesome CS programs, UC Berkeley--its grad CS program is as good as Stanford's so that same dream could apply here, in addition it is public so I could move there and do the same thing mentioned above for UNC but replace research triangle with silicon valley).  I'll probably apply to both of those even though I have no chance (from stats alone it almost appears as if I have a (slight) chance at Berkeley but I have come to find out about their very unique, very GPA dependent admissions process).  Now, beyond those two dream schools where should I be looking as the start and end of my "just give it a shot" range?  I'm definitely applying to Duke (in NC, part of research triangle, awesome intellectual property law) so don't try to cut that out of my range of long shots =). How much higher than that should I attempt before it just gets absurd?  How much lower before it also gets absurd (# of damn applications)?

The dean of admissions at Duke actually came and talked to students in the honors college here.  He said every year duke usually gets around 2 or 3 students from Clemson and that not being in the liberal arts is a definite distinguishing factor for them.  I don't know how it is with other schools, but that was certainly encouraging.

Well anyway, sorry for this longwinded post that I'm sure no one enjoyed reading.  I don't care; it helped me get a lot of things straight in my head--heh, now if only your responses can further that trend.  Thanks

(edit: One last question:  I had 2 alcohol violations my freshman year and got kicked out of my (alcohol free) dorm on the second one.  This will show up when I get the Dean's certification thing sent over.  Will it matter at all, or is the main purpose to make sure you didn't say cheat in a class or something?)

Steve.jd

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2005, 08:47:27 AM »
First of all, your alcohol violations will show up and they are important.  Whether or not they are as important as cheating in a class I cannot say (perhaps they are more so? probably not)...either way they will reflect badly on your character.

As for your chances at top schools:

The Top 10 are out of reach for you.  Not to be harsh, but a 166 LSAT is below the 25% for most of them.  LSAT is king...your GPA is fine (3.7 is plenty high so I dont think that you would even need an addendum)

You should apply to UNC,  although I certainly would not call it a safety school..you are in their 25-75% range and can be rejected as easily as accepted. Same goes for Vanderbilt.  I would apply to schools 10-15 (including Duke) as reach schools, and use 20-30 or so as my targets.

Or...retake the LSAT do better and go to Duke/UNC.
HTH
HLS '09

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2005, 08:54:04 AM »

(edit: One last question:  I had 2 alcohol violations my freshman year and got kicked out of my (alcohol free) dorm on the second one.  This will show up when I get the Dean's certification thing sent over.  Will it matter at all, or is the main purpose to make sure you didn't say cheat in a class or something?)

Just disclose them. It's been two years, as long as you come up with a half way decent excuse no one will care. If you lie either the school or the character and fitness part of the bar will catch you. Then you're screwed.

pacoman384

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2005, 09:38:15 AM »
First of all, your alcohol violations will show up and they are important.  Whether or not they are as important as cheating in a class I cannot say (perhaps they are more so? probably not)...either way they will reflect badly on your character.

As for your chances at top schools:

The Top 10 are out of reach for you.  Not to be harsh, but a 166 LSAT is below the 25% for most of them.  LSAT is king...your GPA is fine (3.7 is plenty high so I dont think that you would even need an addendum)

You should apply to UNC,  although I certainly would not call it a safety school..you are in their 25-75% range and can be rejected as easily as accepted. Same goes for Vanderbilt.  I would apply to schools 10-15 (including Duke) as reach schools, and use 20-30 or so as my targets.

Or...retake the LSAT do better and go to Duke/UNC.
HTH


Just because he's below the 25% at a lot of the top 10 schools doesn't necessarily mean he has no chance. At a top 10 where the 25th is a 168, and they're trying to fill up a class of 250 people, that means 60 or so people in the incoming class have less than a 168. You could definitely say his chances aren't as good as someone who falls at the 75th% of the pool, but that doesn't mean his chances are nonexistant.

My advice to you, charlesa--it seems like you've been thinking a lot about why you want to go to law school, and if you can put together a really good application that reflects that, suddenly your 166 doesn't matter as much. Definitely apply to Duke. I'm doing my undergrad there right now and it's a really really awesome university that carries a whole lot of weight wherever you go--especially the southeast. Plus their IP law is among the best in the country.

LawGirlSF

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2005, 01:25:22 PM »
Do alcohol violations really matter? I got two of them my freshman year, the first one was the first day we moved into the dorms and I got busted for being in the presence of alcohol even though I wasn't drinking and there were people over 21 there. Anyway, All i had to do was take an alcohol education class on line (took about 1.5 hours) and later on the semester, when I got my second one, I had to meet with the drug and substance abuse counselor. That was the end of it. I'm a senior now and my school isn't a "dry" campus since when I was inducted into the school’s honor societies they were serving us beer and wine.

I just don't see alcohol violations as a big deal. But do adcoms? Anyone with similar experiences apply? What happened?

jwilcox1024

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2005, 01:49:52 PM »
Alcohol violations during your freshman year will probably not hurt your chances too much. The message schools will take away won't be about the alcohol, but instead that you couldn't follow the rules (twice). Where it will hurt you is when you are on the bubble and it distinguishes you from an otherwise comparable app.

pacoman384: It is true that he still has a chance even though he is below the 25% LSAT score. His chances are really slim, however. Many of those people who get admitted below the 25% will be URMs or others who have had challenging life experiences, but can bring some real diversity to the class. A white CS grad straight out of school has a difficult time competing against those individuals.
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jwilcox1024

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2005, 02:07:49 PM »
Your post was too long... I can't read more than a paragraph.  make cliffnotes and I might reconsider.

This explains why you had to settle for Princeton Law.
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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2005, 02:11:25 PM »
Also you might want to find out if NC has a policy, whereas if you defer admissions for a year, you remain ineligible for in-state tuition even if you live there for a year. I believe UTexas has something similar, in that if a person is accepted, they are accepted as either a "resident" or a "non-resident" and that acceptance is valid for the entirety of that particular admissions decision, deferal or not.

Steve.jd

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2005, 03:18:13 PM »
Even though people get in below the 25%, they are usually URM and/or have some sort of amazing life experience.  Do what males get in below the 25%? Yes.  Can you find me an example? Most likely.  Would I bet on it happening? Not a chance.
HLS '09

charlesa

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Re: 166 LSAT/3.7 GPA at a Public University--Where can I go? (Be brutal)
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2005, 04:23:55 PM »
Ok I definitely was wrong in listing those schools as safeties.  I don't know the terminology here that well.  But yeah I did think I had better chances at UNC than I guess I actually do.  Anyway, I wasn't gonna go into it with a chance of not being accepted anywhere (mentioned I'm applying to SC definitely).  Stanford and Berkeley... I probably won't even apply to Stanford.  I'd like to have one school that is a total long shot--Berkeley will probably be it.

Now that I think back on it I remember UNC undergrad being very difficult for out-of-staters relative to in-staters like some of you say.

Unfortunately retaking LSAT isn't gonna happen; I do really really random on the analytical section and I did about my best ever on it on the test.  Other than that I did about like normal and about 2 questions less than normal on the reading (it was my first section, I always start slow).  So I'm looking at moving up about 1 or 2 points max (.5 or 1 after averaging it with my last), and possibly going down a whole lot more.

So, (roughly) in order of difficulty I'm thinking of:  UC Berkely, Cornell, Duke, UCLA, Texas, Vanderbilt, George Washington, William and Mary (fee waiver), UNC, Emory, South Carolina.  That's like 11 schools, is that way too many, or not enough?

I had pretty much the exact same situation with my alcohol violations as LawGirlSF.  Clemson isn't a dry campus (or else that on campus bar is really out of place), but the freshman dorms are almost all dry dorms.  But like you my first one was on the first day and it was just for being in the presence (as far as they could determine, but I was actually drinking).  I got one later in the second semester not for having alcohol in the dorms but just for coming in drunk from a party.  When I went to judicial services I learned that technically I was a "container."  Yeah.  Honestly I probably wouldn't have gotten kicked out of my dorm on the second one if it had been like the first, but it wasn't like the first at all.  Some patrolling RA found me passed out in the hall with a pool of vomit next to me and started asking me for my ID, who I was, etc.  I told them I was a guest and took off running... for about 10 feet.  I got tackled and put in a cop hold and still wouldn't tell them my name (still somehow thought I could get out of it, I was really drunk).  They started counting down from 10 and said at one they would call the police and report me as a trespasser since I wouldn't tell them who I was.  At that point, I had to give up and take them to my room to get my ID (I was in sandals and boxer shorts, which helps explain why earlier I couldn't run and now didn't have my ID).  I just have to hope that too much detail isn't gone into on my second violation.