If I have no shot, is it due to my first year or my LSAT? If it is due to my LSAT, how greatly will my first year affect me? Is there any way I can get it to not be in consideration?
Based on the LSAC site ( you should play with it to see what I'm talking about), you're a 0% chance with the LSAT you put up and your grades from first year.
Shoot, is there any way you can get your profs to give you "withdrew" or "withdrew passing" for your grades? They're freakin' killing you.
With a higher LSAT, that just brings that side of the equation up a bit. It's not that your GPA is bad. It's that it's bad for admission to NYU law.
Play with the site and see what you can do to get your chances to move off of zero.
At that point, I'd say a strong personal statement and making a HUGE effort to draw attention to your grades from 2nd thru 4th year, you might get in.
Trouble is, admissions officers are reviewing hundreds of application files. The first swipe they take, in all likelihood, is just for numbers alone. So, if your numbers are great, you are probably an automatic accept. Granted, they probably review to make sure you don't have something really wrong like a felony conviction, etc.
Likewise, they probably make a first pass to get rid of folks whose numbers are simply not anywhere near what they need to be. You'd be in that boat at NYU, probably. Keep in mind, it's one of the hardest schools in the country to get into.
They won't look at your transcript when making those first cuts. They'll just look at your gpa. You need to get them to look at your transcript or at least get far enough that they can READ your personal statement. They will not read thousands of personal statements. They'll only read the ones of people who stand a shot at admission.
So, see how it works? With a higher LSAT, you might, numerically, get into the "maybe" pile instead of the "no way" pile after that first cut. Once there, then you can sort of get a chance to explain (though mostly even then it's on numbers.) Your grades are so good after your first year that you might be able to punch above your weight, gpa-wise.
In your shoes, I'd be spending every waking minute trying to get the mother of all monster LSAT scores. Like 175 or higher. Like close to 180. That puts you in the upper range of LSAT scores for admitted students and you might get a chance to explain the situation with your grades.