Law School Discussion

Admissions chances...

Admissions chances...
« on: April 03, 2011, 01:54:13 PM »
Hi all,

I'm 26 and considering applying to law school for Fall 2012.  I have a solid 3.74 GPA from my undergrad (B.S. in Mathematics), and I am planning on taking the LSAT in October of this year and applying to a regional law school in my state.  Their admissions website states that the 25th to 75th percentile of students had a 3.0-3.60 undergrad GPA and an LSAT score of between 152 and 158.  I feel pretty good about my undergrad performance, but will they worry about my writing abilities given that my major did not include much writing?  I do have a minor in History, several Psychology courses, and took almost the full sequence of Secondary Education courses with the original plan of being a teacher after undergrad.  I'm hoping that the coursework outside of my major stands as proof that I am capable of researching and writing papers and such.

Does anyone have any advice for non-traditional students like me?  I have been out of undergrad for 5 years now, and I am just starting on my progress towards law school.  Do you have any study advice for the LSAT?  Are there any books that you recommend reading before completing your resume, personal statement, etc?  I did pick up The Law School Admission Game by Ann Levine, and I found that quite informative.

I'm confident that I will do well on the LSAT - but there are still nagging doubts.  How strongly will my undergrad speak for me when the Admissions Department evaluates my application?



Re: Admissions chances...
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2011, 02:09:37 PM »
I don't think admissions committees give much thought to undergrad major.  Otherwise, they'd be giving guidance like, "major in X, not in Y."

As for the LSAT, I had no trouble with any of the sections because they were all essentially reading comprehension, except for the logic games.

I did okay, but could have done much better if I'd prepared.  If I were doing it all over again, I'd buy the powerscore logic games bible and work through it, first.  I probably could have raised my score by 15 points or so if I had.

I think with pretty much any LSAT score, you're likely to gain admission.  Best of luck.

Re: Admissions chances...
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 09:03:00 AM »
I think your thinking is roughly on the right track.  You should be focused almost exclusively on LSAT right now.  You could also start to think about whether any professors remember you well enough to write you a letter of recommendation. 

The major with the highest acceptance rate to law school is Math/Physics. 

I don't think you need to worry.  There is a link to a Free book on my signature--it has a checklist that will take you through the process. 

Re: Admissions chances...
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 11:48:35 AM »
The highest scorers on the LSAT are math/physics majors, followed closely by philosophy majors.  Presumably, these are also the highest achievers in law school.  You have to study a lot for the LSAT, but you're in a good position to do very well.  The LSAT is a very learnable exam, and the more you study, the higher your score will be. 

When evaluating your chances for admission, keep in mind that your GPA is very impressive, especially for a math major.  Admissions committees know that math is a much harder major than political science or English, so that will weigh in your favor.  Another consideration is that, once you take the LSAT, the LSAC will send law schools a score report that includes the average GPA of all students in your undergrad.  The lower that average, the stronger your 3.74 will appear.   

As to performing well in law school, I wouldn't worry about your limited writing experience at all.  On law school exams, you will have to resolve legal puzzles using terse logic.  Exams are definitely not an exercise in eloquent writing, especially due to time constraints.  Once you're a 2L and 3L, you might take some seminars that require more writing, but that will be your choice.

Math majors are in a very strong position to do well on the LSAT and in law school.  I really believe it is one of the strongest majors you can apply with.  The key, once you take the LSAT, is to learn everything you can about law school before it begins. It defintely makes sense to read as many books about law school as possible so you know what to expect once you start.  You can also watch the Planet Law School DVD series -- the videos are very informative. 

Re: Admissions chances...
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 03:29:10 PM »
I will second everything that the prior posters said, with this added note:  don't limit yourself to the regional school, even if it is pretty good.  You have a very good law school acceptance resume so far - if you score above 170 on the LSAT, you will have a very legitimate shot at the very best schools, in which case you should seriously consider the very best schools.

[plug]I also suggest reading Thane Messinger's Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold.  He discusses extensively exactly your current predicament - deciding where, or whether, to go to law school, and how to go about it.[/plug]

Also, yay math majors!