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Author Topic: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa  (Read 20742 times)

Jolie Was Here

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2009, 04:47:47 PM »
Here's the thing: if you're a deep splitter with a GPA that's going to be <25% just about everywhere, the best case scenario for admissions is 1) LSAT > 75%, 2) several years distance from that GPA, preferably with 3) an interesting career in the intervening years, and 4) a graduate degree with good numbers.

The LSAT piece is obvious; no sense rehashing that. And I believe there's consensus that time away won't erase the sting of a crap GPA but will slightly mitigate it (if it's coupled with a high LSAT). The interesting career is definitely a soft it's not going to drastically alter the range of schools that will take you, but will likely boost you over someone with similarly desirable (or undesirable) numbers and no interesting career.

The real wild card is the graduate degree. No question that even in this scenario it's a soft, but I believe that these are the candidates who benefit the most from the grad degree. The LSAT/GPA thing isn't just for the rankings adcomms also live by them because they have *some* predictive value. The classic story is that the LSAT tells them if you have the intellectual chops to do the work and the GPA tells them if you have the discipline and drive to do the work. (Don't shoot the messenger! I'm the first to tell you that this analysis is crap for many many people, but it's the story nonetheless). This is one of the reasons that time away will help temper a low GPA. Anyway, I have it straight from 2 different horses' mouths that a good graduate transcript reassures them that a high LSAT/low GPA splitter candidate is a safe bet. Now, I'm sure that not every Dean of Admission views it this way, but many do.

So basically this was a really long-winded way of saying that if you're stuck with a sub-3.0 UG GPA, this is the best possible set of circumstances for T14 admissions. And (although this is purely anecdotal and should be taken with the proverbial salt lick) I'm not entirely talking out of my ass:

Jolie 28 y.o. at submission of application (matric. at 29), 2.6 UG GPA, 172, 6 years WE in an interesting career (though not nearly as interesting as the OP's, from the sounds of it), 3.9 grad GPA. 2 T14 acceptances, 2 T14 WL (w/drew before final resolution), 2 T14 dings.
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

LawDog3

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2009, 02:01:06 AM »
You have no worries...a masters degree and a stellar LSAT, with your background is enough to get you into any school. Your Poli-sci major is solid. Yale, Stanford and Berkeley rarely take anyone with below a 3.2 GPA, but you are the exact type of student who might be an exception. Hype up those soft factors...and if you can, take two or three extra courses (hard, upper-level ones like statistics, micro-econ, classics, psychology, English, calculus, etc, get A's, and send them in over the summer with an additional essay if you get waitlisted.

this post is terribly misinformed and almost 100% inaccurate.  masters degrees count for next to nothing.  172 LSAT, while very good, is not so stellar as to outweigh a 2.8 gpa.  poli-sci majors are a dime a dozen.  OP would be wasting his or her time applying to yale, stanford, or berkeley.  probably the outside reaches are CLS and NYU, and even those would be serious reaches.

First...DID YOU READ THE POST PROPERLY? I said "HYS RARELY take anyone with a GPA of less than a 3.2". You agreed with me, but called me "terribly misinformed"!

The OP has the best shot at T14 (minus HYS). I also said that IF HYS were to make an exception, the OP would be the type of student they would make an exception for.

How did you do on the reading comprehension section of the LSAT?

Secondly, you are flat out wrong. As for your prediction? Tell that to my friend at Penn (white, 3.8/158, 3L signed offer w/Paul Weiss, Rivkind, Wharton and Garrison), or my 1L friend at Duke (White 2.9/170), or my friend at Georgetown (White, 3.9/145, 3L signed offer w/Cravath, Swaine and Moore).

Just the fact that I KNOW several people who have done it, and they are white, should tell you how prevalent it is. Only 3% of the population scores above 170. It's rare. Every school will at least give this person a look. And, she has a masters degree, which, contrary to what you say, does help. If the OP is close to admission, the graduate degree will make a difference, let's put it like that.

These schools take people with those stats every year, and they come from all backgrounds. In fact, everyone knows that your LSAT score gets more weight at the top schools (about 60-40). Through both numerical and documented evidence, I have already proved that schools can and do pick most of their students from a pool of applicants that mostly have one or the other; these numbers are rarely balanced for any applicants, and for a considerable number, they are completely out of balance. Relatively few applicants have both a stellar LSAT AND a stellar GPA, and it is a well-kept secret that schools will take one or the other. They are still able to maintain their 25%/75% and medians that way.

See my post on "Any MFA's Out There?", and you'll get some evidence. Many of these people who all walk around top schools saying they have 3.7+ and 170+ are straight-up lying.

That reminds me, I was supposed to walk people through the "Vector" to show them how admissions departments arrange the numbers. You obviously wouldn't know anything about that, because you think a 2.8/172 w/ good softs is doomed to low-1st tierdom. 

LawDog3

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2009, 02:06:31 AM »

The LSAT/GPA thing isn't just for the rankings adcomms also live by them because they have *some* predictive value. The classic story is that the LSAT tells them if you have the intellectual chops to do the work and the GPA tells them if you have the discipline and drive to do the work.

LSAT measures "preparation" for first-year study (and there's some question about that), not "intellect", but on GPA you are correct, according to the conventional thinking. And LSAT/GPA IS, as you say, purported to have "some" predictive value.

I think you agree with me that the door is not closed on the OP. A 172 speaks very loudly. Nothing is a slam-dunk, but it gets OP in the door for a serious look. And, we haven't read any essays or LOR's, we haven't seen the resume. So, it is really irresponsible to tell OP 100% yes or 100% no.

OP has a shot, though not as good as if her GPA were 3.3-4.0. That grad degree and W-E WILL help.

Tetris

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2009, 02:38:19 AM »
Ouch.  Most people see high LSAT and low GPA and think lazy (since you have the potential to get a 3.9 but not the motivation).  You will have to be careful but all hope is not lost (I got into Michigan with a 3.37 and some pretty good softs).

Cast a VERY wide net... all the way up to Columbia.  YHS are probably out of the question.  Columbia may be too, but you need a super reach in there.  Focus on (a) writing a good GPA addenda (took time off and earned a better work ethic, GPA has an upward trend, etc.), and (b) offering the school a desirable PERSON, since your numbers are not all that desirable (done through diversity statement, personal statement).

No need to retake the LSAT.  You're already at the Yale median... another retake would be grasping at straws.

Anyway, most schools will probably ding you even with your awesome LSAT, but I'm sure at least a couple T14 will take you if you apply to all of them. 
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Stole Your Nose!

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2009, 10:43:32 AM »
LawDog3, 1) I find it surprising that you know so many people with bad GPAs or LSATs and that you actually know their LSAT scores. WTF do you and your friends talk about?
2) I think you're underestimating the awesome resumes of other applicants.  If Harvard were to make an exception, it would be for a URM with something better than a 4-year stint in the military.  While that is a good resume boost throughout the T14, it is by no means so unique that it would trump the GPA for Harvard. (And even the "good" MPA GPA is lower than most of the students at Harvard's UGGPA.) If OP were Purple Heart, releasing his second novel, and was part of the US Olympic swimming team, then that'd be an impressive resume that'd trump a crap GPA.

Gitmo Jones

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2009, 02:22:43 PM »
You have no worries...a masters degree and a stellar LSAT, with your background is enough to get you into any school. Your Poli-sci major is solid. Yale, Stanford and Berkeley rarely take anyone with below a 3.2 GPA, but you are the exact type of student who might be an exception. Hype up those soft factors...and if you can, take two or three extra courses (hard, upper-level ones like statistics, micro-econ, classics, psychology, English, calculus, etc, get A's, and send them in over the summer with an additional essay if you get waitlisted.

this post is terribly misinformed and almost 100% inaccurate.  masters degrees count for next to nothing.  172 LSAT, while very good, is not so stellar as to outweigh a 2.8 gpa.  poli-sci majors are a dime a dozen.  OP would be wasting his or her time applying to yale, stanford, or berkeley.  probably the outside reaches are CLS and NYU, and even those would be serious reaches.

First...DID YOU READ THE POST PROPERLY? I said "HYS RARELY take anyone with a GPA of less than a 3.2". You agreed with me, but called me "terribly misinformed"!

The OP has the best shot at T14 (minus HYS). I also said that IF HYS were to make an exception, the OP would be the type of student they would make an exception for.

How did you do on the reading comprehension section of the LSAT?

Secondly, you are flat out wrong. As for your prediction? Tell that to my friend at Penn (white, 3.8/158, 3L signed offer w/Paul Weiss, Rivkind, Wharton and Garrison), or my 1L friend at Duke (White 2.9/170), or my friend at Georgetown (White, 3.9/145, 3L signed offer w/Cravath, Swaine and Moore).

Just the fact that I KNOW several people who have done it, and they are white, should tell you how prevalent it is. Only 3% of the population scores above 170. It's rare. Every school will at least give this person a look. And, she has a masters degree, which, contrary to what you say, does help. If the OP is close to admission, the graduate degree will make a difference, let's put it like that.

These schools take people with those stats every year, and they come from all backgrounds. In fact, everyone knows that your LSAT score gets more weight at the top schools (about 60-40). Through both numerical and documented evidence, I have already proved that schools can and do pick most of their students from a pool of applicants that mostly have one or the other; these numbers are rarely balanced for any applicants, and for a considerable number, they are completely out of balance. Relatively few applicants have both a stellar LSAT AND a stellar GPA, and it is a well-kept secret that schools will take one or the other. They are still able to maintain their 25%/75% and medians that way.

See my post on "Any MFA's Out There?", and you'll get some evidence. Many of these people who all walk around top schools saying they have 3.7+ and 170+ are straight-up lying.

That reminds me, I was supposed to walk people through the "Vector" to show them how admissions departments arrange the numbers. You obviously wouldn't know anything about that, because you think a 2.8/172 w/ good softs is doomed to low-1st tierdom. 

it's not worth my time to read the entirety of your post.  i'm just going to repeat, for the record, that you are either an idiot or a liar, though i suspect you are actually both.

true and true

LawDog3

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2009, 09:08:29 PM »
LawDog3, 1) I find it surprising that you know so many people with bad GPAs or LSATs and that you actually know their LSAT scores. WTF do you and your friends talk about?
2) I think you're underestimating the awesome resumes of other applicants.  If Harvard were to make an exception, it would be for a URM with something better than a 4-year stint in the military.  While that is a good resume boost throughout the T14, it is by no means so unique that it would trump the GPA for Harvard. (And even the "good" MPA GPA is lower than most of the students at Harvard's UGGPA.) If OP were Purple Heart, releasing his second novel, and was part of the US Olympic swimming team, then that'd be an impressive resume that'd trump a crap GPA.


Let me ask you this...how many of you have ever seen what goes on in an admissions department? I have terminology, graphs and every other relevant piece of insider info. That separates me from you.

You guys are incredibly sheltered, and you speak of things you know nothing about, and it's painfully obvious.


LawDog3

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2009, 09:13:39 PM »
You have no worries...a masters degree and a stellar LSAT, with your background is enough to get you into any school. Your Poli-sci major is solid. Yale, Stanford and Berkeley rarely take anyone with below a 3.2 GPA, but you are the exact type of student who might be an exception. Hype up those soft factors...and if you can, take two or three extra courses (hard, upper-level ones like statistics, micro-econ, classics, psychology, English, calculus, etc, get A's, and send them in over the summer with an additional essay if you get waitlisted.

this post is terribly misinformed and almost 100% inaccurate.  masters degrees count for next to nothing.  172 LSAT, while very good, is not so stellar as to outweigh a 2.8 gpa.  poli-sci majors are a dime a dozen.  OP would be wasting his or her time applying to yale, stanford, or berkeley.  probably the outside reaches are CLS and NYU, and even those would be serious reaches.

First...DID YOU READ THE POST PROPERLY? I said "HYS RARELY take anyone with a GPA of less than a 3.2". You agreed with me, but called me "terribly misinformed"!

The OP has the best shot at T14 (minus HYS). I also said that IF HYS were to make an exception, the OP would be the type of student they would make an exception for.

How did you do on the reading comprehension section of the LSAT?

Secondly, you are flat out wrong. As for your prediction? Tell that to my friend at Penn (white, 3.8/158, 3L signed offer w/Paul Weiss, Rivkind, Wharton and Garrison), or my 1L friend at Duke (White 2.9/170), or my friend at Georgetown (White, 3.9/145, 3L signed offer w/Cravath, Swaine and Moore).

Just the fact that I KNOW several people who have done it, and they are white, should tell you how prevalent it is. Only 3% of the population scores above 170. It's rare. Every school will at least give this person a look. And, she has a masters degree, which, contrary to what you say, does help. If the OP is close to admission, the graduate degree will make a difference, let's put it like that.

These schools take people with those stats every year, and they come from all backgrounds. In fact, everyone knows that your LSAT score gets more weight at the top schools (about 60-40). Through both numerical and documented evidence, I have already proved that schools can and do pick most of their students from a pool of applicants that mostly have one or the other; these numbers are rarely balanced for any applicants, and for a considerable number, they are completely out of balance. Relatively few applicants have both a stellar LSAT AND a stellar GPA, and it is a well-kept secret that schools will take one or the other. They are still able to maintain their 25%/75% and medians that way.

See my post on "Any MFA's Out There?", and you'll get some evidence. Many of these people who all walk around top schools saying they have 3.7+ and 170+ are straight-up lying.

That reminds me, I was supposed to walk people through the "Vector" to show them how admissions departments arrange the numbers. You obviously wouldn't know anything about that, because you think a 2.8/172 w/ good softs is doomed to low-1st tierdom. 

it's not worth my time to read the entirety of your post.  i'm just going to repeat, for the record, that you are either an idiot or a liar, though i suspect you are actually both.

true and true

You have no idea how wrong you are. You speak about the admissions proccess, b ut it's obvious you don't know as much as you think you do. I have worked in admissions...I know for a fact what goes on. I have probably taken more statistics courses than 90% of the people on this site. You obviously do not know how to interpret them. I am telling you, you need to read that other post so you get the truth.

But no...you'd rather remain rich, self-entitled white-boys (or Asians) who desperately seek ways in which to declare themselves "superior" to the rest of the world. God forbid someone prove that their high test scores mean little or nothing. I have those same scores, and I am saying it. They mean very little in the grand scheme of things. And most applicants' numbers are imbalanced, whether you want to accept it or not.

Print out my stuff and take it to your university's statistics departments. I have zero to hide. You have never worked in admissions, I have. So I know how this works. I understand statistics, so I know. I have analyzed this at tables with others, so I know.

STFU with your nonsense. I am done with you. Do not write me anything else, it's like talking to a brick wall. And I have nothing to lie about, you don't know me. I am actually trying to spread some valuable knowledge, but, as is typical with your kind, you are too stupid to listen...too stupid to open your mind.

You guys need statistics courses, that would put all of this to rest. You read the statistics and the data, but you do not understand how to interpret them. You actually believe that (w/exception of Yale, where it may be true), the medians at the schools mean "most" of the students have numbers in both categories. Talk to any pre-law counselor or LSAT instructor...or any admissions counselor who tells the truth, and you will find out that YOU ARE FLAT OUT WRONG. It just doesn't work that way.

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2009, 10:05:49 AM »
LawDog3, your post is just a laughable disaster on so many levels. 

I am the Dean of Admissions of a T10 Law School AND I have taken more statistics classes than 99% of the people on this board. So YOU STFU.

non parata est

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Re: Getting into T14 w/ low gpa
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2009, 11:34:49 AM »
Well I'm Toby Stock, and I think you ALL should STFU.

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