Law School Discussion

URM wondering about chances...

URM wondering about chances...
« on: October 29, 2008, 06:52:45 PM »

I'm a male Hispanic (Guatemalan), first college grad in family, with a 3.47 GPA (LSAC) that shows definite upward trend (from 3.36 freshman, 2.86 sophomore, 3.67 junior, 3.85 senior), did thesis, graduated with some honors from top liberal arts college.  Have worked as corporate legal assistant in white-shoe NYC firm for three years.  Haven't taken the LSAT (plan to in Dec.) and hopefully will get somewhere in the 163-165 range.  I know that with these factors I have a pretty good shot at Brooklyn, Fordham, Emory, Villanova, etc.  Do you think I should aim higher, like Michigan, Virginia, Northwestern, even NYU?  Mind you, I haven't taken the LSAT yet but I am scoring my PTs in the range indicated above.  Since I have no LSAT score on record, is it also a good idea to start sending in applications right now so that adcomms can start reviewing my other factors now, and then make up their minds once my LSAT score is out?  I'd like to know if there are other people out there who were/are in the same situation (no LSAT score but sent in application material anyway).  Thanks.

Re: URM wondering about chances...
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 06:58:48 PM »
OK a couple of things:

- you need to have an LSAT score before considering schools, especially given your GPA, which is solid (read: not good, not bad). Your LSAT will make/break you at most schools.

- which brings me to my 2nd point. You're going to need to do higher than 163-165 to put Mich, UVA and NYU on the table. Anecdotally, it seems that the Hispanic URM boost is not that great, and especially not that great if you're not Mexican or Puerto Rican. Northwestern is a little different, and since you have work experience, that could be a good reach school for you.

- adcoms will not read your application without an LSAT score because your file will not be complete. you could send your stuff in now, and it will be complete once you do have a score, but I would caution against this. Many people (myself included) are quite surprised by their first LSAT scores and are forced to rethink their application strategies. Application fees are expensive - don't spend hundreds of dollars if you're not positive about what your score will be (hint: no one is positive about what their score will be).

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Re: URM wondering about chances...
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 08:17:47 PM »
I agree.

In the law school application world, you don't know who you are until you have your LSAT score. 

Get your score and go from there.  I'm personally against the apply early with no LSAT, take in December and then go complete once the score is released.

And you can't bank on ANY range you'll be in until you actually start taking numerous PT's.

That said, with your GPA, the fact you're a URM, and a 163-165 LSAT, I think you're competitive anywhere in the nation if you can put together a solid application package.