Law School Discussion

New User, Many Questions! 3.89 GPA, need to boost 154 LSAT practice score

I am brand new to this website so I apologize if i did not start this topic in the appropriate place.  I am currently a Junior, soon to be Senior.  I have a 3.89 GPA in Accounting, and my raw score on an LSAT Kaplan administered practice test was a 154.  I am registered to take the LSATs in June.  What score do i need to boost my 154 up to to be considered at BU and BC? These are my top school choices.  Would I even be considered?  Also, what are some other good law school in the Boston/ Massachusetts area? I live in RI, but have heard bad things about RWU..

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Your GPA is excellent, which is  a great help. You'll probably need a 160-165 to have a good shot at BU/BC (closer to 165 for BC). Have you considered taking the LSAT in February instead June? This would give you more time to practice and maximize your score. Take alook at the Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, it will give you a very good idea as to what your chances are at most law schools. As far as RWU, I don't know much about it. It's ABA apporved and has a decent bar pass rate, which are good signs, but I don't know about it's local reputation. If you want to stay in RI it might be good choice, especially if they offer a scholarship.

UMass-Dartmouth just opened a law school. It's not ABA approved yet, but with the UMass system behind it I suspect it will be in a few years. Suffolk is in Boston, but I don't know much about its reputation. 

Here are some general tips:

1) Consider your post-law school goals. What do you want to do? Biglaw, solo practice, government? Your answer to this question can guide your choice of law school. If you want a prestigious job in biglaw or a federal agency, then you'll need to go to an elite law school and perform very well. However, if you want to open your own office in the suburbs and practice family law, a scholarship at a small local school might make more sense.

2) Be realistic and set achievable goals. The people who are happy and productive in law school tend to be the ones who have a clear idea of where they're headed and know how to get there. You should try to  figure this out before you commit to spending $100,000-$150,000. Some people go to law school convinced that the only jobs worth having are in biglaw, or that a JD guarantees a high salary, or that they are destined to be in the top 10%. Those people are usually disappointed and frustrated.

3) Rankings matter, but not as much as you might think. This is especially true the further down the list you go. Very few school have the kind of powerful national reputation that will get you a job based on pedigree alone. Maybe ten or so schools in the entire nation (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc). The rest are essentially regional or local schools. For example, Boston University is a great school , but it is primarily an east coast/New England school. If your goal was to work in Seattle, you might be better off going to a local WA school even if it's ranked lower than BU. Most schools have an alumni base, employment contacts, etc all of which are local. Many students choose their school based on ranking alone and ignore the reality of the situation: the vast majority of schools are relatively unknown outside of their immediate region.

4) Do as many internships and clekships as you possibly can, attend local bar association meetings, and start making connections from day one. The legal industry is changing rapidly and you can't rely on your law school's career services office or on-campus  interviewing to get a job. The trend is moving away from big firms and towards smaller, specialized firms. Experience is key, I cannot stress this enough. Most firms (and govt offices) don't have the time or money to train a new clueless associate. They want people who can hit the ground running with minimal supervision. It is imperitive that you get real world experience, especially if you're not carrying around a Harvard degree.

Good Luck!