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Author Topic: Older prospective student -- advice!  (Read 1871 times)

mbw

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2008, 07:48:22 PM »
From what I've seen UGPA for non tradional students still matters a lot. I agree that it will matter a lot less than a student fresh out of Undergrad, however I wouldn't characterize it as "barely taken into consideration", not by a long shot. I've seen plenty of non-trads on LSN and almost all fit neatly into what you would expect with their GPA and LSATs.

How do you tell if someone's a non-trad on LSN?  There's no search for that, and besides, how do you compare time out of school with what someone has done during that time?  I won't even attempt to use LSN to predict next year's outcome, as the number of people on LSN with similar numbers and softs as I have is probably less than a handful.  The OP is sixteen years out of undergrad - I've read, and been advised, that anything over ten, particularly with successful work experience, is discounted, in part because of grade inflation, but also due to the fact that there are now much better predictors of success, such as that valuable work experience.

From LSN I've judged just from browsing users and looking at their softs. I'm sure your advice is true for some institutions, but for a large majority the look at numbers first and PS/Softs second.

Please provide some hard evidence for the OP.  Otherwise, you're just providing random anecdotes, which is all too often the modus operandi here at LSD.

OP, I would seriously consider obtaining the advice of a professional admissions consultant.  I certainly will recommend mine (PM me if you'd like details), but there are many good ones, including Anna Ivey herself.

Your right, it is just random anecdotal evidence. I'm not going through LSN for specific examples. I've been glued to LSN and LSD for a while and I'm sure that OP's UGPA will be a factor with MOST schools.

That being said, I have also seen plenty of people getting into institutions above their scores based of softs, PS, etc. You are right that work experience means a lot, especially for a nontrad student, and will be a big advantage in some ways. However, I still contend that the majority of schools will still heavily consider UGPA

Once again, provide hard evidence, even including your own experience.  In fact, however, you're not a non-trad, but a 23 yr old recent grad, aren't you? (Or at least, according to an earlier post.)

Josh, all ABA-accredited law schools only report 25th and 75th percentiles, and medians, not averages - which gives them great latitude to accept certain qualified people below the 25th percentile.  If you can provide an LSAT above the median of any school, and provide an otherwise strong application, many schools will forgive your ancient UGPA.  Do not sell yourself short and only apply to schools within your UGPA range - yes, add some for "back-ups", and cast a wide net, but your LSAT will determine your target schools, not your GPA.
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archival

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2008, 10:08:43 PM »
You must kill on the LSAT.

Yes.

I'm with frybread.  It seems to me, after watching a few cycles' worth, that "splitters" (the high lsat / low gpa variety) do better when they're a bit older.
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Papa Bear

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 11:42:09 PM »
Welcome, Joshm18. We like to argue. :)

Based on very little experience (my own), I think GPA matters. It's not solely determinative, and it's nowhere near as important as your LSAT score, but it makes a difference. If you kill the LSAT like Archival it'll probably offset your lower GPA. A well-written addendum might earn you some breathing room, and your work experience may nudge you over the borderline, if that's where you fall.

As far as picking a school goes, I totally agree with vjm.

Best of luck to you!
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flyaway

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2008, 04:31:27 AM »
I had about 8 years of strong work experience, and I think I got in exactly where you would expect according to my LSAT/GPA... I don't feel that there was any mitigation of the impact of my mediocre GPA due to the time that had passed or because I had proven myself professionally.

That said, you should definitely not be afraid to apply to reaches!  I think it's easy to be cautious and apply to too many safeties and not enough reaches.
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tebucky

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2008, 08:46:12 PM »
I agree with most of the above posters - you will be constrained to a certain extent by your GPA.  I had 8 years of work experience and was a low GPA/high LSAT splitter at my targets and low gpa/mid lsat splitter at my reaches.  i think where the work experience came into play was that i didn't get rejected from anywhere - including alot of T-14s that my GPA should have automatically disqualified me from.  that said, i haven't gotten off any of their waitlists either!  Flyaway is right on - don't be afraid to go for the reaches!  good luck!

joshm18

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2008, 09:20:49 AM »
First of all, let me than you all for taking the time to offer your advice on my situation.  It's a big step, first changing careers, and second, returning to law school being 36 with two little children.  It's exciting, but scary.

From what I can gather, my UGPA is what it is.  At this point, I can only do everything possible to prepare for the lsat and do the best I can.  I'll hopefully be able to leverage my work experience, life experience and success thus far to offset a UGPA that clearly doesn't accurately reflect what I'm capable of.  However, I now understand how important the lsat will be.

As for professional advisors - has anyone hired one and if so, is their advice and guidance really worth it?

I'd also love to some thoughts on studying for the lsat - which programs, books, classes, etc are the best and worth the time and money.

again, to everyone, thanks again!  Great site and great users.


Best regards,

Josh

vjm

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2008, 09:43:13 PM »
Many, many people seem to swear by the Powerscore Bibles and classes. I did not use them (to my detriment, as we all know) so I can't personally vouch for them.

Papa Bear

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2008, 01:08:48 AM »
I used the Powerscore logic games bible and took a bunch of practice tests over about five months, I think.  I pulled together the logical reasoning and reading comp sections without any assistance.The first thing I suggest you do is take a practice test and find out where you need the most work, then come back and look for more specific advice. You can buy books of practice tests from LSAC or from most major booksellers. The general advice is to start with the oldest available exams and work up to the newest.

I didn't take a class, but people swear by Powerscore and TestMasters. As far as professional advisers, a friend of mine used the Anna Ivey and thought she was helpful. I think people generally decide whether to use professional advisers after they take the LSAT, if you know what I mean.
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joshm18

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2008, 07:44:36 PM »
Thanks again...

I ordered the PowerScores books and will start with those.  We'll see how far I get.

As for the advice on applying, once I take the LSAT, I think casting a wider net than originally thought it probably a good idea and not being hesitant to shoot high (with some fall backs) is a good idea.


olderapplicant

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Re: Older prospective student -- advice!
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2008, 08:03:25 PM »
For LSAT study - I would buy a whole bunch of real tests and do as many as you can.  I think I did about 20 or so - all under "real" test conditions.

I am also nontraditional with two young kids.  From what I've been told, UGPA matters but if you have a stong LSAT it matters less.  Strong being 170+ and maybe a little higher if you are a male. Unless your work experience includes curing cancer, winning the  nobel prize, etc. I would definitely write an addendum as to why law school.  Don't waste your PS on that topic.  Make sure your recs are strong and really encourage your recommenders to write about things that demonstrate your intellectual aptitude.  If you are applying to Yale you may want to hunt down an old professor of a class you did well in to see if he can write you anything.