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Author Topic: Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?  (Read 5666 times)

Daseinen

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Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?
« on: October 02, 2008, 12:57:20 AM »
Hey, I'm a 29 yr. old white guy who's done all sorts of things since he graduated college.  Mostly, these days, I'm a professional tutor and I'm writing a math book for a GMAT review course.  Thinking about law school to give me a little more leverage in the world, but I've got a 3.2 GPA.  Plus, I took the LSAT four years ago and got a 167.  I only practiced for about a week and a half, so I thought I could do better with more time focused on the test.  I seem to be running somewhere around a 173 after a few weeks of practice.  I'm from an unpopulated state, and I've maintained residency, and I have a couple of professors who will give me great recommendations (plus some friends who are professors and will give me great recommendations if I ask).  Anyway, that's how things seem to stand.  What I'm wondering is whether I have any shot at a top 10 law school with those stats.  I can probably get my LSAT up a little higher, but between the averaging with my old LSAT and my GPA, it just seems like too much strain for the top schools.  Anybody have any idea what's really going on with this stuff?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Ninja1

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Re: Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 02:20:41 PM »
You're probably cool for GULC part time with your current numbers. Not top 10, but it will do if it has to. Also, consider that you're really cool for a lot of very good schools with your current numbers. Some places will happily buy that LSAT and eat the GPA.

And don't worry about averaging if you want to retake. Since schools now only have to report the highest score an applicant received, the whole averaging thing seems to be almost dead, especially when the first score was still pretty damn good.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

MauveAvenger

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Re: Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 02:33:54 PM »
Most schools don't average the LSAT any more. Also, you might have to retake it anyway, since some schools only accept scores from within the last three years. You can check on the websites though.

senseless

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Re: Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008, 12:07:08 AM »
If you seriously got an LSAT score of 167 with only 10 days of practice, you should try practicing for a couple months and see what score you get. Actually, you should aim for 180 and see how long it takes to get there.

qt314

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Re: Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 09:05:23 AM »
Ditto on what everyone else said.

Talk to your undergrad pre-law advisor. Mine gave me the conventional wisdom about good GPA, good LSAT, but then she inserted the caveat about one kid before me who had a 2.9 GPA, and 180 LSAT... and got into U.Chicago. This (and my own subsequent performance/story) led me to believe that GPA is irrelevant; it's all LSAT.
NYU Class of 2011!

MauveAvenger

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Re: Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 09:27:29 AM »
You might be lucky depending on where you apply. While the LSAT score expires after 5 years, some schools only take the more current 3 years. That means you could wait a couple months-a year and take that time to study and get 170+ while the old score expires. Check out schools though as I'm not too sure about the T10.

gossard267

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Re: Middling GPA/Very Good LSAT? Should I give it a shot?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2008, 09:42:26 AM »
I'm in a similar situation: 3.39 GPA, testing around 176 average.  I've looked extensively at the data on LSN, and to me it seems to indicate that, if you are going to split, high LSAT is much better.

My reasoning goes like this: If you look at the data points for top 14 schools on LSN, you'll notice a relatively huge cluster with high gpa, but mediocre (for top 14) LSAT scores.  Then you'll see that there are often few or even no data points with low (for top 14) GPA and high LSATs.  Now obviously, to protect means, schools would love to get the best of both worlds: GPA and LSAT at or above their current means.  However, schools can't guarantee that admission equals attendance, and many of those 'ideal' candidates will be admitted to higher ranked schools. 

So an inferior, but I would guess fairly common, way of protecting means would be to balance splitters of different kinds against one another.  If the mean GPA is 3.5 and the mean LSAT is 172, then admitting one 3.7/168 and one 3.4/175 would leave the mean unchanged.  Also, these are the type of students less likely to be admitted to higher ranked schools, so I would imagine this type of approach might also help protect yields.

So if this makes sense, and if this actually occurs (I'm no statistics major, so I wouldn't know), I would guess you are a breed of splitter that is more sought after.  Still, one is probably going to be waitlisted quite often in this situation.