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Author Topic: I just scored a 149 with a 3.5 GPA. What options can I expect?  (Read 2270 times)

snw010

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I scored a 149 for the first time on the June 2009 LSAT.  Becauze I am pretty disappointed with my score, I am planning to take it again. 

My undergraduate GPA is 3.5 cumulative.  I have a degree in Psychology, with a minor in English and concentrations in Chemistry and Biology. 

I have been active in my fraternity with numerous positions held over the last four years on our Executive Council, and I have also served as a member of the Inter-fraternal Council.  Furthermore, I was an Orientation Student Leader and a Student Leader Liason.  I also served as a Supreme Court Justice for SGA and am a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.  I have been involved with grassroots campaigning with the Louisiana Republican Party.  I am hoping that my extracurricular involvement will be of benefit in the application process. 

I am pursuing a Master's degree in English next year, and hoping to enter law school in the Fall of 2010.  Any advice and information would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter. 

The main schools to which I am applying are LSU, Tulane, Loyola New Orleans, Ole Miss, and SMU. 


Denny Shore

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Re: I just scored a 149 with a 3.5 GPA. What options can I expect?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 06:13:52 PM »
Your best option is to retake the test.
That LSAT score doesn't speak well to the law school concept of "LSAT score speaks to ability to pass the bar".  I think it's a BS test, but administrators tend to weigh it heavily as an indicator of your ability to reason, comprehend what you read, and identify issues.  With that GPA, you should definitely look into either a self-study course or a full on Kaplan type thing.
I plugged your numbers into LSAC.org's official guide to law school's ugpa/lsat search and of the schools you wish to attend, only Loyola New Orleans looks probably.
http://officialguide.lsac.org/UGPASearch/Search3.aspx?SidString=

snw010

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Re: I just scored a 149 with a 3.5 GPA. What options can I expect?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 12:17:48 AM »
Thanks.  While Loyola isn't really on the top of my list, I found out that I would be entitled to a benefactor's scholarshop left by my family. 

What drawbacks are there concerning Loyola?  Why are their admissions easier?  Also, does it hurt me in the long run to get a J.D. from Loyola instead of Tulane or LSU?

Ninja1

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Re: I just scored a 149 with a 3.5 GPA. What options can I expect?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 02:20:39 PM »
Thanks.  While Loyola isn't really on the top of my list, I found out that I would be entitled to a benefactor's scholarshop left by my family. 

What drawbacks are there concerning Loyola?  Why are their admissions easier?  Also, does it hurt me in the long run to get a J.D. from Loyola instead of Tulane or LSU?

The scholarship would be nice. But still...

Loyola is easier because it's not as good as Tulane or LSU, and people with lower numbers tend to go there as a result. They would only take people with 3.5+ GPAs and 165+ LSATs if they could, but that's not an option for them. You're going to want to go to LSU if nothing else.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

mtbrider59

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Re: I just scored a 149 with a 3.5 GPA. What options can I expect?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 02:39:48 PM »
Take one of the review courses and see if you can raise  your LSAT, also do some research and find out the best regional school in the area where you want to end up working and targeted that school as your top school. If that ends up being Loyola, go for it! The scholarship $$ will make life after law school that much more enjoyable- you won't have to worry as much about cranking out billable hours to make top pay to payy off your student loans. Probably the only downside to Loyola over the others is that its not as marketable if you want to go outside the New Orleans area

Denny Shore

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Re: I just scored a 149 with a 3.5 GPA. What options can I expect?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 06:21:26 PM »
Thanks.  While Loyola isn't really on the top of my list, I found out that I would be entitled to a benefactor's scholarshop left by my family. 

What drawbacks are there concerning Loyola?  Why are their admissions easier?  Also, does it hurt me in the long run to get a J.D. from Loyola instead of Tulane or LSU?

Tough questions that many law school applicants face....
The drawbacks are simple:
- recognition
- prestige
- reputation
- job prospects

It all depends on what you plan on doing with your education.  If your goal is to try and get a job in a top tier law firm, your chances of doing so with a degree from Loyola are going to be much lower.  If your goal is to hang your own shingle or work for/with a family member/friend with a smaller firm, it might not matter at all.  If your goal is public defender or state's attorney work, it might matter (I'm not familiar with Louisiana's SA office hiring, so you'll have to figure that out on your own).  Essentially, a top 10% student at Loyola-NO could be viewed by a firm the same way a bottom 1/3 student at LSU might be.  It boils down to reputation and prestige of school.  Many of the bigger firms weigh their own perception of the quality of education more so than class rank/gpa.
Generally speaking, a law degree from LSU or Tulane carries more recognition and prestige than Loyola-NO might.  As a result, a student from LSU or Tulane have an advantage over a student from Loyola in the eyes of potential employers.  If you intend on working for a smaller firm, family/friend, or on your own, it likely won't matter much (or at all).  That's not to say that the degree is diminished, it's just a perception thing that might effect the way your application for employment is viewed.
Loyola likely admits students with a lower gpa/lsat because that's their market - folks who don't qualify for better schools.  Don't feel bad about that.  I'm not judging.  John Marshall in Chicago, for example, was built to fill a need for legal education for women, minorities, etc.  While their rep has improved over the years, they tend to cater primarily to students who can't get into a better law school in Chicago (Kent, DePaul, Northwestern, U of C, Loyola) but still want to attend and practice in Chicago.
Be aware that attending a school with a lower reputation *might* affect your job prospects in the future.  That said, the aba data on loyola-NO shows that they meet or exceed bar passage rates for the state and that 95% of students are employed within 9 months of graduation, so it can't be all bad.
It boils down to what YOU want to do with your JD....