Law School Discussion

Going back - A little older, a little wiser?


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Re: Going back - A little older, a little wiser?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2009, 09:07:31 AM »
If you can get your LSAT into the low-mid-160s, you should be able to get into a part-time program at a second-tier school in New York.  You'll also need to write an addendum explaining the difference in scores and why you want to go back to law school now, and I bet there are people around here who can help with that when the time comes.  Good luck, steelersfan. :)

As Miss P correctly stated the easiest way to increase your odds and discount your UGPA is to retake and kill the LSAT. If you were willing to take four years to do another BA studying hard every day for six months for the LSAT is simple in comparison. Do that and you will greatly increase your odds.

I had a 2.9 (including numerous Fís followed by 100 credits if straight Aís eight years later, but the Fís did their work) and a 150 (five years ago). There is another way to show you can handle law school without getting a second BA, or even retaking the LSAT. But itís a HUGE risk, it involves likely moving and spending about 50k. I donít recommend going this route unless it your only hope of law school and you want to be a lawyer really, really badly.

There are a few law schools out there that offer Master of Law Studies degrees, these are often identical in requirements for the Master of Laws degree (the LL.M or the post JD degree) but that allow people without the JD to enroll (hence the Studies designation rather than Laws designation). Basically you take 24-36 credits in the law school, of law classes, against second and third year law students without you having had the first year law classes. Your are graded exactly the same, and your thrown to the wolves. BUT, if you do well, and get good grades in these classes then you have good and recent law school grades to show law schools that you can do the work despite your LSAT score. Of course if you do bad, then your screwed no LSAT score is going to save you then. Itís a last ditch, expensive, gamble that takes balls of steel to pull off.

But thatís what I did. Iím severely dyslexic, I suck balls at standardized tests, the worst thing you can do to a dyslexic who transposes letters and numbers was to ask him to put eight people named A-H around  a table numbered 1-8 with lettered answer choices. 150 was as good as I was going to get, and I could not change my Fís from my stupid youth.

So I took this route and I rocked the curve against law students, even taking the top grade in two classes Environmental Law and Natural Resources Law without having a clue what law exams where like, how to read cases, or what a tort was. I taught myself all those things, and it paid off, when I re-applied I had 12 credits of law school classes (24 by the time I got some accpatances), LORs from law profs who taught me and an addendum that (along with my having dyslexia) was believable when I said my LSAT score was not indicative of my ability to do well in law school. I got into a bunch of T2 schools, a school ranked in the 30s and even got a scholarship.

But itís a hail marry if you have no other shot deal, studying for the LSAT for six months is much, much easier, cheaper, and faster than my route.

Good luck with your retake.

Thanks :)

You idea scare me, I'm a risk taker, but that's too risky.
Nice to see that you made it though.

Yea like I said its a last ditch no other option route, I don't recoemnd it. Focus on the LSAT, kill that, and then you should be well on your way.

Re: Going back - A little older, a little wiser?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2009, 11:34:19 PM »
I'm going to provide a little "healthy skepticism" to all the plans suggested here.
First, yes, a killer LSAT would be a real boost, but I doubt it's realistic.  Statistically, 90% or so of the people who take the LSAT can't break 160.  Given that you scored below the 50th percentile last time, I think 160 is a huge stretch, even with preparation.  It's not a knowledge-based test; I would expect you to be able to pull your score up a few points, but unless there was a specific circumstances beyond your control last time (like filling in the circles in the wrong spots), I doubt you can make it up.
I think the idea of a second undergrad or masters just for the sake of getting into law school is equally dubious.  What if, after all those years of taking other classes, you still don't get in?  And if you do, what if you end up making $50,000 a year for several years?  You'll have spent eleven years of school to make a mediocre salary.  And what if, after all those years, you really do get sick of school?
If I may make some other suggestions:
1) Try to convince your old law school to let you back in, without retaking anything.  It won't cost you years of school or lots of money.
2) Trying the rarely-used path of a lawyer apprenticeship, if your state allows it.  Instead of law school, you work with a lawyer firsthand.
3) Since you don't mind more school, why not get a second degree in something else you know you'll enjoy?
I apologize if I am "crushing dreams" or anything similar.

No problem. realism is healthy. It keeps me from floating into the clouds at times.  :D

Option one is feasible, but I'll only use it as a last resort.  I DO NOT want to go back there at all. If I had to do it all over again, I would have deferred my decision for a year until all of my other schools have responded. Theoretically, I could try and jump a few hoops and try to go there again. Then again, it would behoove me to try to put myself in a better position than I was when I went there.

Option two is actually feasible. In my state, NY, you could take the bar while being an apprentice. The problem is that you must complete one year of law school.

Option three is kind of what I'm doing. I just want to go to law school afterwards  ;D

My LSAT score was 149, mainly because I aimed way too low. For the schools I was applying for (because of my UGPA),  my LSAT didn't need to be too high. Instead of trying to succeed I was trying not to fail. Not surprisingly, I also was not willing to spend a year studying for the LSAT (yes, I know, shocking). I only took the October 2005 LSAT because I missed the previous deadline - I had no time to study for the June 2005 exam. I also wanted to go right away and get it over with.

Also, even if I get a 180 (unless I'm going to be aiming for lower t3 and t4 schools), I'd still have to show that I'd be ready for the work. One test score is not enough to change things overnight. I mean, I haven't done anything spectacular at work. I don't think that my LORs from 2005 will apply in 2010 or later. The classes will help, even a semester will. I mean, I got a 149, there's no way but up from that.

Believe me, I'm not high on drugs, in thinking that I'll get a 180 just like that. Remember, it's what your objectives are that will determine the outcome.  It's like a foreign language - you determine the proficiency you want do you want. If you want to speak a few phrases (a 130),  conversability (a 160), or achieve natural mother-tongue proficiency (a 180) it is up to you.

Even if all this does not work, I'd still have another bachelors. I have a bachelors in Political Science. You'd need to get a Ph.D in it before it's of any use (to teach in college) - a master's in it is just a space-filler.  Considering that my best grades are in Political Science, I'd be foolish to apply for a master's program in much else and expect to get in. Actually, if I were to provide the proverbial backup, the bachelors would be the next best thing. Besides, making $50,000 upon graduation is not a a bad thing - mainly nurses, and some engineers make higher.  (All others need higher degrees).

I'll keep what you said in mind. Considering that not too many people break 160, it'll be all the sweeter.

Thanks for the advice though, I really do appreciate it :)

Above BOLDED: Good observation! ;D

This all supports what I am saying. You are going to be shooting for the reinvention route. Good move, esp. since there are so many people applying for law school right now. You'll be applying at the end of Barack's first term, when, hopefully, the economy will be in recovery mode and enticing many people to work. Build your resume, take those classes, and take your time building relationships so you can get good LOR's. Prepare hard for that LSAT, so you can reach the 160's. And this will all make you a better writer, so your essays will be more compelling. Make some money so you don't have to take out a bunch of loans. Thirty is really a good age for law school. Increasingly, the top schools are favoring older students (or certainly those with five years W-E) over stright-to-grad applicants.

You are doing the right thing if you wait a while.