Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: How "safe" should my safeties be?  (Read 1284 times)

jms297

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
How "safe" should my safeties be?
« on: July 04, 2008, 12:24:34 PM »
Hi all,
  I've been trying to figure out which schools to apply to- I want to apply to enough that it will give me some choices, but not so many that it's just a waste of money.  I am 3.65/176.  My softs are pretty average, nothing to complain about but nothing that would make me stand out. 
These are the schools on my list right now, but I want to narrow them down:
Harvard
NYU
Columbia
UPenn
UMich
UVA
Northwestern
UT Austin
BU
Emory
GW
Fordham
BC
W&M

My question is, with my GPA and LSAT (I'm a bit of a splitter), how many (if any) of these are real "safeties"?   LSAT-wise anything below HYS is pretty safe, but to get to a real safety GPA-wise I have to go much farther down in the rankings. I don't want to apply to more than 2 or 3 safeties if I can help it, so if I could knock some of these schools off that would be great. I'd appreciate any advice/insight y'all may have.
Thanks!!!

BurtsBees

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 342
    • View Profile
Re: Splitter here- how "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2008, 12:41:26 PM »
Hi all,
  I've been trying to figure out which schools to apply to- I want to apply to enough that it will give me some choices, but not so many that it's just a waste of money.  I am 3.65/176.  My softs are pretty average, nothing to complain about but nothing that would make me stand out. 
These are the schools on my list right now, but I want to narrow them down:
Harvard
NYU
Columbia
UPenn
UMich
UVA
Northwestern
UT Austin
BU
Emory
GW
Fordham
BC
W&M

My question is, with my GPA and LSAT (I'm a bit of a splitter), how many (if any) of these are real "safeties"?   LSAT-wise anything below HYS is pretty safe, but to get to a real safety GPA-wise I have to go much farther down in the rankings. I don't want to apply to more than 2 or 3 safeties if I can help it, so if I could knock some of these schools off that would be great. I'd appreciate any advice/insight y'all may have.
Thanks!!!

Nice LSAT.  You will certainly get into a fair share of those barring something glaringly bad on your application. Good luck. 

Laura Roslin

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 160
    • View Profile
Re: Splitter here- how "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2008, 03:05:59 PM »
Is a 3.65/176 really a splitter?  I'm just wondering because if you're a splitter, then so am I.  I tend to think of splitters as the <3.3, 170+ folks. 

Right, now onto your question:

You have strong chances at all the schools you named except HLS.  Your GPA is over the 25th percentile, and the LSAT will help.  The LSAT seems to hold more weight in the admissions process for many schools.  And your GPA isn't awful by any means.  For example, Columbia seems to forgive quite a bit for a 175+ LSAT: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/graphs3.php?school_code=2163

You need work experience for Northwestern, as you may know - if you're applying straight from UG, I'd drop NU from the list.  If you're really worried, you can apply to two T15-25 schools - you shouldn't need more than that, and you'll be offered scholarship money.  Pick two that you really like, and drop the rest.  (Regional preferences become more important after the T14, so choose your two T25 schools in the region you'd like to practice in.)

HLS is a tougher needle to thread with that GPA, but send in an application - you'll always wonder 'what if' otherwise. 

This should leave you with about 8-10 schools, some of which will have sent you fee waivers on the basis of your LSAT score.  That should be enough to be admitted to several great schools.  (You're in my numbers range, so I've looked at a LOT of similar LSN profiles in the last day or so. :D

You may have your reasons for not applying to Chicago and the rest of the T14 (Duke, Cornell, GULC.) But you should consider applying to those schools, especially if they send you fee waivers.  Good luck!
I have a PhD in horribleness!

LSN

Pop Up Video

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 7275
    • View Profile
Re: Splitter here- how "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2008, 03:16:35 PM »
Not even close to being a splitter. You're what they call " an applicant with a good GPA and a great LSAT score."

The last 6 or so schools on your list are "safeties" to some extent. You may not get into all of them. BC can be weird, for example. The only real reaches for you are HYS.

jms297

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: Splitter here- how "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2008, 06:22:17 PM »
Thanks everyone for your advice.  Sorry for any confusion... I called myself a splitter b/c, like I mentioned, to get to a safety GPA-wise I'd end up in T2, while LSAT-wise I'm in a pretty good position for most schools-  I'm just not sure exactly where I stand when the two are combined together. For example, would GW really be a safety for me?  In terms of LSAT definitely, but I'm not above their 75% in terms of GPA...


As of now I'm thinking BC, Emory, and W&M are off the list- probably UT Austin also because I don't plan on practicing in Texas.  I'm going to keep Fordham because I would really like to be in NY would like at least one of my safeties to be in the city.
Northwestern will stay on the list, I will have 1.5 yrs work experience before applying.
I guess I could add a few more T14s, but none of the others appeal to me as much.  Cornell is out- went there for undergrad and vowed I'd never return.  Chicago sounds like the place where fun goes to die (please correct me if I'm wrong!).  Berkeley would be my #1 choice...if it were on the East coast. I might add Duke and GULC though.

Thanks again to everyone who answered!

blues86

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
Re: How "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2008, 07:49:35 PM »
Hi Moisy, congrats on the great LSAT score!  Based on my own research and personal experience during my recent cycle, I would think that everything from BU on down would be a safe bet for admission.  BC seems like a lock (I snuck in there with a 3.1 and a 167 LSAT), as do Fordham and BU (two other schools I seriously looked at).

It appears that with all the hard work you put in during college and on the LSAT, you'll have a wealth of options, and based on that list, it seems like you're willing to go anywhere in the country for a top-notch legal education.  Given that you'll probably have lots of offers to sift through, you might want to begin researching each school more in-depth to see if they fit with what you want to do with your career as a lawyer.  If you're interested in international law, for example, you might want to check to see if each school has any distinguished faculty in that field, if they have study abroad opportunities, and if the career services office has had success placing students in international firms, NPO's, NGO's, etc.  I imagine that if you have a strong interest in a particular field, you'll be able to narrow down the list a bit based on whether or not a particular school is suited to your interests.  Cheers and good luck!

penguinfiasco

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: How "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2008, 10:50:48 PM »
Ah! I'm pleased to see this thread (and to read the encouraging responses) because my numbers are virtually identical to the OP.  3.67 GPA and 176 LSAT.  For the record, I do not think of myself as a "splitter," although I had also been trying to figure out how my GPA might limit me in the application process.

I am curious, though, how would the I (or the OP) fare at Berkeley?  I am pretty interested in the idea of living in California, particularly San Francisco, but I also understand that Boalt places substantially more emphasis on GPA over LSAT in the admissions process.  Although this wouldn't be to my advantage, could I still expect to have a reasonable chance of being admitted?

Cabra

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
    • View Profile
Re: How "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2008, 11:42:33 PM »
I applied super late (day of deadline for some schools) with a 3.66 and 174. Georgetown was as "safe" as I got--and it turned out fine. :)
As long as you apply to a variety of your target schools you should have a range to choose from.
Some of your safety choices (and Duke, GULC, Cornell...) are great if you would like a full ride or want a little bargaining power with other schools.
And as was mentioned, Chicago belongs on your list.
CLS 2011

Mori

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 221
    • View Profile
Re: How "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2008, 11:56:10 PM »
"Chicago sounds like the place where fun goes to die (please correct me if I'm wrong!)"

Whaa...whaaa whaaaat? I hope you were being sarcastic!!! lol

If you have never been Chitown, I would seriously recommend it. One of the most beautiful, clean and vibrant cities in the US. And this is coming from someone who grew up on the Southern Californian beaches and decided to make the move to the big city.

This was "off-topic" but I just HAD to respond to that remark :P
LSN

"Congrats - you'll be the feminine hygiene product non trad gunner who everyone hates" -
Lollypotter

Cabra

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 733
    • View Profile
Re: How "safe" should my safeties be?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2008, 12:04:00 AM »
Ah! I'm pleased to see this thread (and to read the encouraging responses) because my numbers are virtually identical to the OP.  3.67 GPA and 176 LSAT.  For the record, I do not think of myself as a "splitter," although I had also been trying to figure out how my GPA might limit me in the application process.

I am curious, though, how would the I (or the OP) fare at Berkeley?  I am pretty interested in the idea of living in California, particularly San Francisco, but I also understand that Boalt places substantially more emphasis on GPA over LSAT in the admissions process.  Although this wouldn't be to my advantage, could I still expect to have a reasonable chance of being admitted?

It seems like the only people who get in with lower GPAs are in-state. A few others do make it in every year, so if you'd like to be there it's worth an application.
CLS 2011