Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Should I take the LSAT again?  (Read 2017 times)

MEMEMEME

  • Guest
Should I take the LSAT again?
« on: January 10, 2011, 08:14:21 PM »
I was reasonably pleased with my LSAT score, considering I felt I choked on test day. I am applying to three law schools and for two of them, my LSAT score is 5-7 points about the median. For the other, my score is the median. I signed up for the February exam immediately after I left the December test because I thought I completely choked and did horribly. In any case, I don't mind giving the LSAT another shot and raising my prospects (God knows it would be nice to get some $$$ in today's market) and the third school (LSAT median school) is my first choice. I would love to go there. My GPA is between the 25th and 50th percentile for them, so I thought raising my LSAT score a bit from what it is now would help me. This school says they take your highest score, so technically, if I did worse on the next test it wouldn't matter. But I'm afraid that if I did in fact get a lower score, it would be held against me unofficially with them and perhaps the other two school. What are you opinions? Take it again or see what happens with this score?

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 01:12:01 AM »
You should call each school and ask if they average your scores. If the schools take the highest score only then you are playing with house money and have nothing to lose by taking it again. If on the other hand some of the schools average your score then you need to weigh your options, but first step should be to check with each schools and determine their policies regarding taking the highest score or averaging them out.

d0rk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 10:36:05 PM »
If you had other factors to help your application (strong personal statement, volunteer work, etc.) then I'd definitely just accept the first score you got.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 10:40:01 PM »
Your soft factors like Volunteer Work, Personal Statement etc mean almost nothing to an admissions committee. If you had EXCEPTIONAL soft factors then it might improve your chances by at absolute most 10%. Exceptional soft factors would need to be something exceptional like being an NFL Quarterback, Mayor of a City, Foreign Ambassador, being a Cop or firefighter might be a more everyday one that might help you out. Simply working 40 hours a week or in a law firm etc is something almost every single law student has done and it will not make you stand out. Law school admissions is about one thing and one thing only numbers and URM status. If you think you can do better on the LSAT and you schools will not average your score retake it.

MEMEMEME

  • Guest
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2011, 06:39:22 PM »
Thanks bigs for the tip about seeing if they average scores. None of them do and I am retaking as long as my preptest scores don't drop.

In response to your second post, I think it's a bit drastic. If I have the same LSAT score as someone else applying and they work 40 hours a week in HR for example and I work 40 hours a week in a law firm doing paralegal work, I do think it gives me a rather sizeable boost against that person- especially if my PS, LORs, etc. are all better. However, if I am competing with a bunch of people who scored better than me (let's say 700 people for example), then yeah, perhaps my paralegal work experience isn't going to help me that much.  It all depends who else is applying.

So, has this majority of law school applicants worked as file clerks, summer interns, or paralegals in law offices? I am honestly curious because I'd never heard that almost all law school applicants had worked in law firms before now.

MEMEMEME

  • Guest
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2011, 11:08:47 PM »
Well, I do discovery review to brief and motion writing, does that help?

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 11:41:21 PM »
I could be wrong I am some random guy on the internet, but the majority of people at my school have worked in a law firm in some capacity. However, being a paralegal does nothing to boost a school's ranking. As sick as it is that is the sole responsibility of law school admissions to boost rankings. Not the top schools, but low tier 1 and on down believe 90% of their job is to boost rankings. They will send fee waivers to people they have no intention of admitting so they will apply and they can make themselves more competitive. They will take manipulated GPA's to boost their first year class GPA. LSAT score of course and so on. If you have some kind of fascinating experience it might help. Honestly, having done discovery work at a law firm is more than likely not going to raise any eyebrows. There are 3,000+ applicant at almost every law school and I would say at least 1/3 have done some type of work in the legal field. So it really probably won't help much it certainly will not hurt and it will be of assistance when applying for a job during your 1L summer. However, law school admissions just well not care much in my 2nd year law student opinion, which means almost nothing.

Jeffort

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 214
  • LSAT Tutor
    • View Profile
    • LSAT Discussion - Free LSAT Logical Reasoning Question Type Finder Utility
    • Email
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 11:02:16 AM »
Although law school admissions is primarily a numbers game, I think some of the comments in this thread are underestimating the influence and importance of soft factors.  Admission committees do pay close attention to and place significant weight on personal statements and LOR's, etc.

It's impossible to assign an across the board percentage to how much weight is placed on soft factors since it varies by school.  Some LS's are numbers whores, whereas other admission committees go with a much more holistic approach in making admit/reject decisions. 

Treat soft factors as insignificant/unimportant and submit a half-baked/low quality personal statement and LOR's  at your own peril! 

A crappy personal statement and/or weak LOR's can easily tank admission chances and cause rejection of an applicant that would otherwise be an auto-admit by the numbers alone.  I've heard of many instances of people with a high or near perfect GPA and high LSAT score getting rejected by schools they were at or above the 75% index numbers for.  Typically those people didn't take the PS and other application components seriously, didn't put in the effort, and submitted crap because they figured their numbers would cover for it and carry the day. 

As far as work experience is concerned, having worked in a law office or as a paralegal does not impress admission committees or even raise an eyebrow.  It does not give you any sort of edge over applicants that haven't worked in a law office/in the legal field.

PS:  please people, use the enter key to paragraph when making a long post, it makes it a lot easier to read.  ;)


bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2011, 04:01:45 PM »
Of course do a good job on it, but I imagine any serious law school applicant puts together a decent personal statement and solid LOR's it is just a given. The majority of people entering any law school are competent enough to get 2 LOR's and generally have some form of work experience or something interesting. If you look at lawschoolnumbers you can see that pretty uniformly students with certain numbers get in and others do not. There are exceptions, but you really need to have done something exceptional to stand out.  IMHO working full time at a law firm is not something that is going to be that impressive to an admissions committee.

I suppose my main point was that if you are counting on your soft factors to override your numbers then you are probably going to be disappointed. In a close call if you are around the 25th percentile to of a schools numbers then your soft factors might get you in over someone else. At some point you are just going to go into the auto reject or auto admit piles based on your numbers unless something is glaringly bad or glaringly excellent. Almost nobody applying to law school will do a glaringly bad job. The vast majority of people have not anything glaringly amazing. Plenty of people held jobs and had two professors and one boss that liked them. Maybe they even volunteered in some capacity, but those are not glaringly amazing factors. I think a lot of people think there experiences of working in a firm or getting a few professors to recommend them qualifies as GREAT soft factors, but those are pretty standard for law school applicants. Glaringly different things like being in the Peace Corps, holding an elected office, being a professional athlete in one of the major sports leagues or something along those lines would grab an admission officers attention.

My soft factors were I coached High School basketball (I suppose community service, I played college sports at a Division 2 school, which is not that impressive. I worked in a few law offices in college and got 4 LOR's. I think the majority of people even at my school have pretty similar soft factor maybe they did not play sports, but they probably held some other type of role in their undergrad. They probably did some type of community service and almost everyone I know worked in a law office in some capacity. Nothing I have done is an amazing soft factor. I think they are solid you could definitely do worse, but with those soft and my numbers I got into the schools I should have. I got rejected by the schools I should have and you can see that on my lawschoolnumbers profile. I think I have basically the most standard soft factors a person could have had and they did not really hurt or help me. I had a pretty typical path to law school and so they just went with the numbers. Most people go through the same trajectory as me and have similar soft factors so it admissions committees go by the numbers. It is pretty apparent if you look at schools on lawschoolnumbers. The only school that I really think looks beyond the numbers is Valparaiso. I think they are one of the few schools out there that will look at the soft factors above the numbers. I have respect for everyone I have ever met from that school btw.

EarlCat

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2533
  • i'm in ur LSAT blowin' ur curve
    • AOL Instant Messenger - EarlCat78
    • View Profile
    • EarlDoesLSAT.com
Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 05:08:42 AM »
In response to your second post, I think it's a bit drastic. If I have the same LSAT score as someone else applying and they work 40 hours a week in HR for example and I work 40 hours a week in a law firm doing paralegal work, I do think it gives me a rather sizeable boost against that person

No, it doesn't.  If anything it makes you worse off because paralegals are a dime a dozen in law school applications.  The best career for law school admissions is going to be something rare and interesting.  Go be a missionary, a rock musician, or a spelunking instructor.  Anything that makes you unique.  Volunteer volunteer volunteer.  Travel.  Play sports.  Make yourself interesting.  After the numbers, that's what law schools want.  Paralegals go to law school by default and make for really boring applications.  I hope your personal statement is something more than how it's always been your dream to be a lawyer, battling for justice in the courtroom.  ZZZzzzz....