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Author Topic: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)  (Read 25341 times)

Jittery

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I very much want to become a lawyer but I fear that my poor undergraduate GPA (the absolute minimum for graduation, 2.0) and likely mediocre LSAT score (my practice test scores are in the low 160s even though I haven't taken the actual exam yet) give me only 2 chances of getting into law school: slim and none.

2.0 GPA: I wasted my time early in my undergraduate career at a big state u and boozed it up while I was dismissed for poor scholarship - a few years later I returned to the university and earned a 3.34 GPA after returning which lifted my overall average to a 2.04 GPA, not enough to graduate Summa, Magna or just plain old Cum Laude, but just by the skin of my teeth "Thank you Lordy" with my bachelor's degree in physics.

I really want to become a patent/intellectual property lawyer but fear that my early undergraduate career will prevent me from getting into an accredited law school. Should I even bother taking the LSAT test, acquiring recommendations and going through the process of applying to law school, or would I be wiser to just save my time and energy and focus on other things in my life because I'll never be a lawyer in this lifetime?


oceansmarine

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 12:46:21 PM »
Your GPA will be leveraged by the LSDAS services.  After they post your new GPA, take the LSAT test which would indicate your ability to get thru a law school curriculum.

Apply to the law schools that work within your range GPA so that you can do the work and graduate as required/ontime with a respectable GPA...

You will do fine !!

Jittery

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 05:51:30 PM »
oceansmarine I appreciate the fact that you responded to my message.

I am aware of the LSAC and LSDAS services. What I would like to know is if it turns out that my "leveraged" GPA is 2.0 or so, and the best LSAT scores I'm capable of getting are in the 160 range, what are my law school prospects?

I have not talked to any experts on the subject and would prefer finding out without having to pay the LSAC and wait several weeks.

Here's what I think my situation is (perhaps you and others on this board could comment on this). My assumed 2.0 "leveraged" GPA and 160 LSAT eliminate me from serious consideration by all but the very lowest ranking, least prestigious law schools -- and there's no guarantee that I'd even be able to get into any of them. The fact that I was in what many may consider to be a hard major (physics) is not a significant factor to most law schools, nor is the fact that I finished the second half of my undergraduate academic career as a 3.34 GPA student - only my "leveraged" 2.0 GPA and assumed 160 LSAT score would really matter.

With this in mind, I would be fortunate to get into a bottom of the barrel law school, probably the kind of law school that produces graduates that are only employed locally and with relatively low salaries because they are consistently beat out for jobs in more populated areas by graduates of more prestigious law schools. 

Does this sound about right?

TruffleMomma

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 12:16:49 AM »
I disagree... Your degree background in physics does matter. It definitely trumps my 4.0 in basket weaving! The fact that your LSDAS GPA is going to be low can be explained with an addendum to your application. What law schools want are people who will come in and succeed.

That said... work on that LSAT. If you need to invest a couple thousand in a prep program, DO IT! The difference between a 158 and a 168 is a lot of scholarship money and a guaranteed second look at your application.

There are excellent T3 Schools out there and most T2's will allow you to transfer after the first year if you can stay in the top of your class. We had a couple go to Cooley for a year then transfer in after being turned down.

Your undergrad degree in physics makes you a good candidate for patent law... an excellent area with a great need. Most undergrad degrees are not in a science-based field so few qualify to even go into that area.

Just a thought or two for you. Nothing about law school is easy... they make it like that on purpose. Show them you are prepared to dig in and excel in your application and they will see this dedication will carry over to your law career.

the white rabbit

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 07:25:44 AM »
I'm going to make myself unpopular here and say that the answer might very well be yes.  I don't think that your physics background matters very much.  What schools want are people who will come in and boost their statistics.  The 4.0 in basket weaving will probably trump the 2.0 in physics.  It is also a terrible idea to go to school based on the assumption that you will transfer somewhere better.  Everybody's trying to do that, but not everyone can do it.

That having been said, it might still be worth it to study hard for the LSAT and at least see how you do.  Lots of people have been able to raise their score significantly through practice.  A high LSAT score can compensate for a bad GPA.  To a point, anyway.

I disagree... Your degree background in physics does matter. It definitely trumps my 4.0 in basket weaving! The fact that your LSDAS GPA is going to be low can be explained with an addendum to your application. What law schools want are people who will come in and succeed.

That said... work on that LSAT. If you need to invest a couple thousand in a prep program, DO IT! The difference between a 158 and a 168 is a lot of scholarship money and a guaranteed second look at your application.

There are excellent T3 Schools out there and most T2's will allow you to transfer after the first year if you can stay in the top of your class. We had a couple go to Cooley for a year then transfer in after being turned down.

Your undergrad degree in physics makes you a good candidate for patent law... an excellent area with a great need. Most undergrad degrees are not in a science-based field so few qualify to even go into that area.

Just a thought or two for you. Nothing about law school is easy... they make it like that on purpose. Show them you are prepared to dig in and excel in your application and they will see this dedication will carry over to your law career.
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SaraJean

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 10:11:44 AM »
I'm going to make myself unpopular here and say that the answer might very well be yes.  I don't think that your physics background matters very much.  What schools want are people who will come in and boost their statistics.  The 4.0 in basket weaving will probably trump the 2.0 in physics.
 

It depends on what the OP means by "wasting my time."  If the OP wants to get into a T1 or T2 school, I agree with you.  However, the data in the 2010 Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools UGPA/LSAT Search includes plenty of schools (alibet with lower rankings) at which someone with the OP's numbers would have a 75% chance of being admitted.  Here's the URL: http://officialguide.lsac.org/.

Quote
It is also a terrible idea to go to school based on the assumption that you will transfer somewhere better.  Everybody's trying to do that, but not everyone can do it.

True, but if one finds a less prestigious school that suits one's needs, there's no harm done if one decides not to transfer at the end of one's first year.

sereion

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2010, 12:42:33 PM »
I'm in the same boat as Jittery; I was a mediocre student in undergrad (2.4 GPA)--which is why I am hesitant of even applying. There are some law schools that have a pre-entry program which, will allow you to take a couple of  courses to see how if you're capable of handling the courseload. I would like to talk to someone who was in the same situation, and ended up being accepted.

My advice to you, Jittery is to go for it; you have nothing to lose--even if you're denied admission, as least you've made that effort; however, I'm sure there some school will accept you based on your work experience and LSAT scores.

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2010, 04:20:11 PM »
Mention it in your personal statement, it may help, but don't be foolish enough to lie to yourself and others saying that your major makes ANY impact on how they view your GPA. Remember ANY major get you into lawschool, so even prelaw isn't prefered over "basketweaving" in their review of your applicatoin. Honestly phsyics might help if you want to be a patent attorney(which you can become a patent agent NOW without lawschool just go take the test) but it won't help at all with lawschool studies. How many science classes does your JD have in it?There you go......the patent agent this is real though if you want to look into it.


I disagree... Your degree background in physics does matter. It definitely trumps my 4.0 in basket weaving! The fact that your LSDAS GPA is going to be low can be explained with an addendum to your application. What law schools want are people who will come in and succeed.

That said... work on that LSAT. If you need to invest a couple thousand in a prep program, DO IT! The difference between a 158 and a 168 is a lot of scholarship money and a guaranteed second look at your application.

There are excellent T3 Schools out there and most T2's will allow you to transfer after the first year if you can stay in the top of your class. We had a couple go to Cooley for a year then transfer in after being turned down.

Your undergrad degree in physics makes you a good candidate for patent law... an excellent area with a great need. Most undergrad degrees are not in a science-based field so few qualify to even go into that area.

Just a thought or two for you. Nothing about law school is easy... they make it like that on purpose. Show them you are prepared to dig in and excel in your application and they will see this dedication will carry over to your law career.

sheltron5000

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2010, 05:58:04 PM »
You might even want to consider baccalaureate classes to try to raise your GPA. although if you averaged 2.04 from a 2.0 and a 3.3, that might not work out too well.
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cooleylawstudent

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Re: Am I Wasting My Time? (GPA: 2.0, LSAT Practice Scores: circa 160)
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2010, 06:19:12 PM »
if you want to raise your GPA, pick EASY stuff that you can get A's for sure. On campus at community college take GYM, online take 101 level stuff, just raise the cumulative man, ask LSAC if you don't believe me.

You might even want to consider baccalaureate classes to try to raise your GPA. although if you averaged 2.04 from a 2.0 and a 3.3, that might not work out too well.