Law School Discussion

3.8 gpa/bad LSAT

3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« on: July 06, 2008, 11:36:00 PM »
okay so I just took the June LSAT and scored a 147. Am I disappointed? definitely. However, I am being totally honest when I say that I do not perform well on standardized tests. Anyways, with that said, the other 411 on me is that I am going into my senior year of UG with a 3.8 GPA and plenty of decent SF such as Resident Advisor for 5 semesters, dean's list every semester, certified student leader, community service and so on. Being that I do have a such a difficult time with the exam (and I did prepare adequately with my timed preptests reaching into the mid 150's), my plan has been to apply to

RWU, WNEC, Franklin Pierce, Nova Southeastern, New England School of law, and NYLS

and hopefully after a year transfer into a better school. I know that transferring tends to be frowned upon but in my case I think it is the only way that I will have a chance at attending a better law school. So here's the thing, what do you think my chances are at getting into the above listed schools, as there's no way I'll be able to transfer out of them if I can't get into them in the first place! I appreciate any feedback.

Or do you think that I should def retake in Oct. just to be on the safe side with these schools? (I think this will probably be what I end up doing).

Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 01:03:15 AM »
Have you tried taking a prep course? I mean What kind of prep work did you do for the LSAT? did you take any prep tests? How much work you put into the LSAT might be relevant to whether or not you should re-take in october.

Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2008, 07:44:50 AM »
I have a 3.9 UGPA with a 157 LSAT. The advice I have gotten so far is to retake the LSAT. In your case, I would double that sentiment. The law schools that you are looking at are the bottom of the barrel and will leave you with meager job prospects at best. If you study hard for six months and take a prep course, you should be able to improve significantly. Unfortunately, one bad day at a test center can wipe out 4-5 years worth of hard work in undergrad study. This is somewhat unfair, but it is the nature of law school admissions. Take heart, with diligent study you can improve your score. It will be worth the time invested, trust me.

Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 02:10:08 PM »
I agree. Retake the test. Take one of those expensive prep courses (I know that sucks) and study hard and retake the test in December or if you feel comfortable, in the fall. I have a really good friend that was in a very similar situation to yours. He had great GPA and got a 150 on his LSAT. He still applied with those numbers to about 20 schools and did not accepted to any (some of the schools were in the top 10, I know he was out of his mind, but some of them were in the 2nd and 3rd tier) Anyway, he took two years off and worked, decided to study really hard again and retake the LSAT. He improved, but only marginally, to a 154. However, he did end up getting accepted to a top 35 law school. Maybe it was the work experience, but even a marginally better LSAT score helps!

Good Luck 

Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2008, 02:29:08 PM »
Here's what I'd do if I were you:

-kick a** your senior year (keep that high GPA!)
-find out why you don't do well on standardized tests
     -is it the pressure?  see a psychologist/expert in meditation/someone who can help
     -do you have a learning disability?  again, see someone who can help
     -ADD/ADHD? again...
-take a prep course in the winter
-do some intense self-study/work with a tutor over the summer
-sign-up for and take the October 2009 LSAT 
-apply to LS for fall 2010
-find something fun to do for the year off

I just think it'd be a waste to not do everything you can to increase your score- especially with your GPA.  You obviously are capable of putting work into studying, don't settle for a 147 and a snowball's chance in hell at transferring to a better school.  (That's the conventional wisdom, anyway)  Good luck ;)


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Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2008, 02:46:59 PM »
Iím also one of those people who scored low, and had no chance of bettering my score. If you can, at all, improve and re-take Ė do it. If not, and only if your 1000% sure you want to be a lawyer and could not with time and effort improve your score, you have two options:

1) Apply to T2-4 schools with PART-TIME programs, schools do not have top report your score for ranking if your PT, this allows more of your other factors to stand out. Apply to a bunch and hope for the best, w/o much work experience its likely to be an uphill battle.

2) This option is only available if you have a spare 50k laying around, or can afford to borrow an extra 50k on top of what you already will have to borrow for law school, and its extremely risky, if it does not work you will never get into law school. Last resort so I wonít even bother describing it.

In the end the easiest way is to retake, trust me as someone who did not have that option and a 150 LSAT, it took two years, a lot of work, money, luck and over 40 apps for me to end up at a T2 school. Retake, itís a much, much easier path.

Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2008, 09:42:40 PM »
Your situation is not completely hopeless.  Not everyone in the world is capable of scoring incredibly high on the LSAT.  With that being said, many people do worse the second time around.  However, if you feel that something specific was wrong that day (i.e. feeling ill, overly nervous, etc...), by all means retake.  Personally, I scored a 150 the first time and did worse (147) the second time.  However, my 3.92 UGPA was enough to get me on the waitlist and eventually accepted the best law school in my state (granted it is still a T3).  However, I am happy working in my home state.  Just take the time to think about your situation and do what seems logical. 

Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 10:05:11 PM »
I suppose the most important question is whether or not you think you can do better than 147. If that is the best you can do, you may have to run with it and take your chances at a lower tier school. To offer a glimmer of hope, the best attorney that I know attended California Western and got a 152 on the LSAT. He regularly wins murder trials and has a winning record as a defense attorney (something that doesn't happen very often).

If I felt that I had left something on the table, even just a few points, I would retake the exam. Even a jump from 147 to 152 or 153 would do wonders for your chances. All you have to lose is the registration fee and five and a half hours of your time.


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Re: 3.8 gpa/bad LSAT
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2008, 11:57:03 AM »
Retake the LSAT, but only for the purpose of getting a better score that will help you at better schools. You're probably good at most of your current selection of schools thanks to your GPA.