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Author Topic: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!  (Read 26454 times)

MachuPicchu

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2007, 03:23:44 PM »
Matthies, you raise some interesting points. Beyond merely studying potential correlations between amount of test prep and LS grades, I think the LSAT is due for an overhaul (not the minor "comprehensive reading" changes they've made for the next round of tests). I think the"standardization" conceit needs to be problematized and re-interpreted. Whenever I talk to people from other countries, they express disbelief over "the American system" of standardized multiple choice tests (I elected not to shock them further with the idea of 'Christmas Tree-ing' a test). Many countries' medical, law and other professional schools rely much more heavily on essay-writing, which both they and I believe can shed a lot more light on an applicant's thought processes, style of analysis, etc.

Essays exams--for example, the AP tests in English Lit or Composition--can be pretty standardized with the use of the same questions for all applicants (they've already eliminated the choice of essays on the new LSAT, from what I've heard), a limited time frame, etc. Graders can be instructed to overlook spelling and grammar and award points using a rubric of sorts that emphasizes analytical pattern, argument making, use of supporting evidence/argument, etc. There can be two or more essay-graders for each essay and rules can be made about averaging the graders' marks if they differ more than, say, two letter /numerical points. And, like an AP Lit exam, a "standard" score can be arrived at.

Admissions committees would not have access to the scored/graded essays like they do with the current unscored ones, because they may unconsciously favor applicants with better spelling/grammar and more sophisticated writing skills.

In fact, I know from experience (a free Law School prep class offered as a promo for a company) that a person who has never been to law school can attempt to write a law-school-type exam based on scenarios, spotting issues, etc. by making use of a simplified list of black letter law pertaining to the essay question's scenario and provided alongside the question. In my proposed system, graders would obviously not expect test-takers to know how to take a law school exam proper; I just want to emphasize that an essay LSAT can be administered in a way that gives a better idea of individual analytical strengths than the current multiple choice system alone. 

Also, to address your point of test prep, I think essays would narrow the gap between those who prepared and those who didn't. The Logic Games, for example, seem to scare a lot of people off the test because they are so different from what most people have experienced in most undergrad exams or courses of study. But we all know that learning a "system" to navigate the games (through an LSAT course or a good book) can dramatically improve a person's games scores. This is where I think your "test prep" argument really holds up.

By giving far more weight to scored essays than to Games, the proposed LSAT could ameliorate the current favoring of "test-preppers" (especially Testmasters, Kaplan, etc. formal courses) over those who could only afford to work through a 25 dollar book or CD ROM on their own.

ohstacey

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2007, 09:37:35 PM »
Bump...inspirational thread.... :)



lol... this thread was so long ago... i'm amazed it is still around!! Reading it almost brings tears to my eyes.  I'm happy that my story has been so inspirational to them.... I wish all of you luck in your up in comming cycle and hope that you all have the success that I'v had.

Low LSAT means nothing.!! my LSGPA is now a 3.2! top 1/3 of the class!! Beat kids who got over a 160 on the LSAT.. So again! the LSAT MEANS NOTHING!! IT IS JUST A STUPID WAY FOR SCHOOLS TO SEPARATE STUDENTS!! gOOD LUCK TO ALL!!

Thanks, and I'm glad things have worked out well for you in law school, thanks to your hard work!

Hopefully this thread can give some perspective to others trying to overcome similar odds... :)
Here we go again!
Yes:
No: Jones
WL: Mercer
Pending: GSU,UGA,Bama,Samford

Lindbergh

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2007, 02:02:01 AM »
Bump...inspirational thread.... :)



lol... this thread was so long ago... i'm amazed it is still around!! Reading it almost brings tears to my eyes.  I'm happy that my story has been so inspirational to them.... I wish all of you luck in your up in comming cycle and hope that you all have the success that I'v had.

Low LSAT means nothing.!! my LSGPA is now a 3.2! top 1/3 of the class!! Beat kids who got over a 160 on the LSAT.. So again! the LSAT MEANS NOTHING!! IT IS JUST A STUPID WAY FOR SCHOOLS TO SEPARATE STUDENTS!! gOOD LUCK TO ALL!!

No wonder you did poorly on the LSAT.  What makes you think that you can draw a reasonable conclusion about the correlation between LSAT scores and law school success based on one person's experience? 


Now now, ender, you're bigger than that...   ;)

<----apologizes and humbly asks for forgiveness.  I was actually trying to be funny, but it didn't really come off that way. 



I just tend to root for the underdog.  Obviously, the post in question is somewhat questionable.  For one thing, I'm not sure if a 3.2 is really top 1/3, even at IU.  Secondly, you're correct that you can't really extrapolate from one individual in this context.  Finally, I think most people understand the LSAT does have some correlation with LS grades, even if (partly) simply because it reflects the amount of time and effort invested in one's prep. 

However, given that the LSAT is weighed so heavily in this process, and given that everyone knows its importance, I can't really blame someone for blowing off steam by making broad statements when he beats the odds.  The truth is that work and effort are just as important as aptitude in law school, and all the aptitude in the world won't matter if you don't go to class or do the reading.  The OP is therefore a shining and inspiring example of the tortoise/hare proverb.   :)

Its pretty common that your LSAT does not correlate with your LSGPA, at least at my school. #1 in our class has a very high LSAT for my school (for any school even Yale), he also took it cold, no prep, and is just a freaking genius. The rest of the top people (most of which I know very well) have average to below average LSAT scores for my school (in fact number 4 was denied admission three times before they finally let her in). I am below the 25% mark for both LSAT and UGPA at my school, yet I have taken the highest grade in a class four times and comfortably within the 20% of the entire class (at least last year, ranks are not out yet for this year).

Personally I think the LSAT has little predictive value anymore. It did at one time, possibly, but the advent of extensive prepping over the last 10 years has changed that. Taking the test cold is one thing, taking the test after months of learning the test is another thing. I think it looses it predictive value as its no longer testing your innate skills, its testing your prep. That is not what it was designed to do. It was designed as a standardized test, not a test to be taught to, teaching to the exam now means its testing the amount of prep one person does, against another, against those who donít prep at all. Itís no longer ďstandardizedĒ. 

At least in a very unscientific review of my friends, none of them who prepped extensively are in the top 20% of the class, except me, and I bombed the LSAT (that I know of, I donít know every single person there well, but I know most well enough to know how they got into law school). Again, based on just random talking with my classmates, many did not prep at all, or only took one practice test. Anecdotally, I tutored two students at my school who had scholarships based on LSAT scored both of which had prepped extensively, one had a 170, both lost their scholarships. I think coming to a place like LSD we see far more people who prep than actually do for the test (and ten years ago almost no one prepped because we did not have LSAT schools on every corner and tons of books to practice on). This teaching to the test is a rather new development.

Iíd like to see a more recent full correlation study for the LSAT (I believe the big one on the website is from í95 or í98). My guess is the rise in test preparation has probably led to a decline in correlation. But we canít know this for sure until a FULL correlation study is done. It would also be interesting to track those who prepped vs. those who did not to see if any correlation exists. But this kind of correlation study could be risky, if the LSAT drops below its present correlation (like .23 or something?) this could cause the test to loose its favor in admissions, likewise LSAC makes a lot of money as the only re-seller of actual practice tests. Therefore there is not a lot of incentive for LSAC to study the rise in prep as it correlates to 1st year law school grades.

Granted the skills its takes to seriously prep for the LSAT are valuable in law school; exam prep. But, you donít have 4-5 months to learn one subject, the exams are not objective like the LSAT, and knowing the exam wonít help you on law school finals. I think its unwise to assume that although it took you six months to go from a 150-170, you are all of the sudden going to be at the top of your class (especially when you meet someone like the guy in my class who could out score 99% of the people cold).

The LSAT helps you get into schools, but at least from my rather limited observations over the past 3 years, it does little else other than that (unless you get cocky because of your score, then your in trouble). Am I saying prepping for the exam is a bad idea, no not all, Iím just saying extrapolating from a prepped score to success in law school does not seem to make sense to me. It gets you in, after that I would leave your score at the door, because unless youíre a genius, it does not mean much one class starts.



I think it's difficult to extrapolate from a few anecdotal cases to discuss correlation generally.  Yes, sometimes the tortoise will outwork the hare, but the question is what occurs over large groups of people. 

All available studies show a significant degree of correlation. Moreover, this correlation (and your own observations) are all measured within the current admissions regime, where most students at any given school score fairly close together. 

I'm pretty sure that if students were admitted without regard to LSAT, you'd see a huge increase in the correlation, as the 170+ students would probably tend to dominate the 130 - 150 students to a much greater degree than they currently dominate the 167 students. 

(If you don't believe this, then ask yourself what would happen if students were admitted without regard to GPA.  Then, factor in the fact that the LSAT is a significantly better predictor than GPA.)

Finally, I don't think prepping detracts from predictive value -- if anything, it probably makes it a better predictor, because it now also measures how long and hard you're willing to prep for the damn thing.  These characteristics are probably even more important than aptitude in law school, of course. 

All this aside, though, it is good that there are a variety of schools out there with different admission standards, so most people have the chance to shine, transfer, excel after school, etc.

Lindbergh

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2007, 02:05:19 AM »
Matthies, you raise some interesting points. Beyond merely studying potential correlations between amount of test prep and LS grades, I think the LSAT is due for an overhaul (not the minor "comprehensive reading" changes they've made for the next round of tests). I think the"standardization" conceit needs to be problematized and re-interpreted. Whenever I talk to people from other countries, they express disbelief over "the American system" of standardized multiple choice tests (I elected not to shock them further with the idea of 'Christmas Tree-ing' a test). Many countries' medical, law and other professional schools rely much more heavily on essay-writing, which both they and I believe can shed a lot more light on an applicant's thought processes, style of analysis, etc.

Essays exams--for example, the AP tests in English Lit or Composition--can be pretty standardized with the use of the same questions for all applicants (they've already eliminated the choice of essays on the new LSAT, from what I've heard), a limited time frame, etc. Graders can be instructed to overlook spelling and grammar and award points using a rubric of sorts that emphasizes analytical pattern, argument making, use of supporting evidence/argument, etc. There can be two or more essay-graders for each essay and rules can be made about averaging the graders' marks if they differ more than, say, two letter /numerical points. And, like an AP Lit exam, a "standard" score can be arrived at.

Admissions committees would not have access to the scored/graded essays like they do with the current unscored ones, because they may unconsciously favor applicants with better spelling/grammar and more sophisticated writing skills.

In fact, I know from experience (a free Law School prep class offered as a promo for a company) that a person who has never been to law school can attempt to write a law-school-type exam based on scenarios, spotting issues, etc. by making use of a simplified list of black letter law pertaining to the essay question's scenario and provided alongside the question. In my proposed system, graders would obviously not expect test-takers to know how to take a law school exam proper; I just want to emphasize that an essay LSAT can be administered in a way that gives a better idea of individual analytical strengths than the current multiple choice system alone. 

Also, to address your point of test prep, I think essays would narrow the gap between those who prepared and those who didn't. The Logic Games, for example, seem to scare a lot of people off the test because they are so different from what most people have experienced in most undergrad exams or courses of study. But we all know that learning a "system" to navigate the games (through an LSAT course or a good book) can dramatically improve a person's games scores. This is where I think your "test prep" argument really holds up.

By giving far more weight to scored essays than to Games, the proposed LSAT could ameliorate the current favoring of "test-preppers" (especially Testmasters, Kaplan, etc. formal courses) over those who could only afford to work through a 25 dollar book or CD ROM on their own.


I think the use of essay grading would be hopelessly subjective and inconsistent.  It would also tend to reward those with better overall education (in forming arguments, writing generally, etc.).  At least the LSAT (and other standardized tests) can ID aptitude even where little or no training has occurred.

KD03

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2007, 03:08:35 PM »
Matthies, you raise some interesting points. Beyond merely studying potential correlations between amount of test prep and LS grades, I think the LSAT is due for an overhaul (not the minor "comprehensive reading" changes they've made for the next round of tests). I think the"standardization" conceit needs to be problematized and re-interpreted. Whenever I talk to people from other countries, they express disbelief over "the American system" of standardized multiple choice tests (I elected not to shock them further with the idea of 'Christmas Tree-ing' a test). Many countries' medical, law and other professional schools rely much more heavily on essay-writing, which both they and I believe can shed a lot more light on an applicant's thought processes, style of analysis, etc.

Essays exams--for example, the AP tests in English Lit or Composition--can be pretty standardized with the use of the same questions for all applicants (they've already eliminated the choice of essays on the new LSAT, from what I've heard), a limited time frame, etc. Graders can be instructed to overlook spelling and grammar and award points using a rubric of sorts that emphasizes analytical pattern, argument making, use of supporting evidence/argument, etc. There can be two or more essay-graders for each essay and rules can be made about averaging the graders' marks if they differ more than, say, two letter /numerical points. And, like an AP Lit exam, a "standard" score can be arrived at.

Admissions committees would not have access to the scored/graded essays like they do with the current unscored ones, because they may unconsciously favor applicants with better spelling/grammar and more sophisticated writing skills.

In fact, I know from experience (a free Law School prep class offered as a promo for a company) that a person who has never been to law school can attempt to write a law-school-type exam based on scenarios, spotting issues, etc. by making use of a simplified list of black letter law pertaining to the essay question's scenario and provided alongside the question. In my proposed system, graders would obviously not expect test-takers to know how to take a law school exam proper; I just want to emphasize that an essay LSAT can be administered in a way that gives a better idea of individual analytical strengths than the current multiple choice system alone. 

Also, to address your point of test prep, I think essays would narrow the gap between those who prepared and those who didn't. The Logic Games, for example, seem to scare a lot of people off the test because they are so different from what most people have experienced in most undergrad exams or courses of study. But we all know that learning a "system" to navigate the games (through an LSAT course or a good book) can dramatically improve a person's games scores. This is where I think your "test prep" argument really holds up.

By giving far more weight to scored essays than to Games, the proposed LSAT could ameliorate the current favoring of "test-preppers" (especially Testmasters, Kaplan, etc. formal courses) over those who could only afford to work through a 25 dollar book or CD ROM on their own.


I think the use of essay grading would be hopelessly subjective and inconsistent.  It would also tend to reward those with better overall education (in forming arguments, writing generally, etc.).  At least the LSAT (and other standardized tests) can ID aptitude even where little or no training has occurred.

God - can you imagine how long it would take LSAC to get scores out if the writing section were graded? heinous, heinous suggestion. The thing should be removed from the test altogether.

mycousinvinny13

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2013, 09:12:18 PM »
Kaplan is an awful test prep. Try a different test prep company after researching how others feel about it and retake.
Anything below a 150 is not going to do you any good unless your a URM.

Keep your head up and try again.

CA Law Dean

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2013, 12:52:28 PM »
Idea for California applicants who are terminally wait listed or rejected. O.K. The 2013-2014 cycle is almost over and Plan A isn't working out. Gut check time . . . What is your most important objective? If the answer is becoming a lawyer . . . and not just becoming a "________" law school graduate . . . then it is NOT too late to consider one of the 17 California accredited law schools (such as Monterey College of Law) for Fall 2013. These regional schools are accredited by the State Bar of California, not the ABA. Many of them have very respectable bar pass rates (competitive with the unranked ABA law schools), are a fraction of the cost of the traditional ABA schools, and offer part-time programs so that you can actually begin working in law related jobs to gain relevant experience before graduating. Most have strong ties to the local bench-bar that result in jobs after graduation Of course this is not the path if your goal is to work in a large urban center in a multinational law conglomerate. But if the idea of being a small firm lawyer, DA, Public Defender, Legal Services lawyer, or solo practitioner is what you are after . . .  select one of the California accredited law schools in an area that you might like to live/practice and get an application in . . . right away. Then go visit to see if it fits your goals. Ask hard questions about bar pass rates, costs, job placement, clinical,programs, etc. Most of the non-urban areas of California need lawyers (despite the articles in the national news) and many of them are great places to live and raise a family if you have not already decided to be a big city lawyer.

The biggest limitation is that upon graduation from one of the California accredited law schools you must take (and pass) the California bar exam first. You cannot go directly to another state and sit for their bar exam until you are licensed in California (and some states will require minimum years of practice as well). That is why the option is primarily for those who already know that they want to live and practice in California. Bottom line, if you really want to be a lawyer, make it happen.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

CA Law Dean

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Re: What do you do when you get denied by every school you applied to??!
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2014, 01:21:55 PM »
An update on this topic for the 2014 cycle - If you were denied by every school you applied to . . . then you didn't have the right list! In these times of reduced applications to law schools across the country, if you have the passion and desire to earn a law degree (with the focus on EARN), there is no reason that you cannot get into an accredited law school. This doesn't mean that law schools are, or should, take every applicant. However, it does mean that there should be a law school that fits your profile.

For example, Monterey College of Law (disclaimer! where I serve as dean) has a rigorous academic support program for non-traditional students who may need supplemental workshops or tutoring to reach their potential. We are less interested in LSAT scores (a poor predictor) and are willing to consider special circumstances that had a detrimental effect on undergraduate GPA. For our older students who are returning to graduate school with considerable work experience, that undergraduate GPA is sometimes decades old . . . and has no relationship to the current potential of an adult student.

We look at every file from the perspective of evaluating the student's current potential to be successful in the study of law. Maturity, dedication, work ethic, academic passion . . . these are critical aspects of a successful law student.

If you have been denied admission by traditional ABA law schools that use a formula of LSAT/UGPA . . . consider a "Plan B" and look at one of the California accredited law schools such as Monterey College of Law. Feel free to send me a direct message if you have questions. If you want more information about California accredited law schools, check the posts on this site under the school specific comments in "M" for Monterey College of Law. Dean Mitchel Winick.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu