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Author Topic: What are my chances?  (Read 10305 times)

ChadAW

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What are my chances?
« on: January 28, 2013, 01:36:06 AM »
My first year of college I had no idea what I wanted to do. As a result I did not attend class very often, and my GPA was a 3.2. Since then I have maintained a 3.8 GPA, or higher, through my sophomore and junior years. If I keep my GPA high and do well on the LSAT do I still have a chance to get into a great law school, or does that first year with a 3.2 GPA ruin my chances?

Maintain FL 350

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Re: What are my chances?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 02:47:06 AM »
Much of this depends on your LSAT, and without a score everything is pure speculation. The LSAT can be a weird test, and it's very difficult to predict your score unless you've taken multiple practice exams. I don't think a 3.2 for one year is going to make too much difference, as long as your overall GPA/LSAT/class rank are high.

I will say this, however:

At elite institutions (which I assume you mean by "amazing") high numbers alone are often not enough. They have so many well qualified candidates to choose from that they seem to pay more attention to things like impressive work experience, social justice/non-profit experience, graduate work, the prestige of your undergrad institution, etc. I remember reading somewhere that the average age at Yale was something like 27, which means they're taking people with quite a bit of post-grad experience.

So, if you really want to shoot for the top, keep your grades up, score very high on the LSAT, and try to develop some other aspects of your application that will help you stand out among the sea of over-achievers.

Also remember that even if you don't score in the top 1%, there are still plenty of good law schools that can provide you with a solid education. Don't get too caught up in the rankings like so many others. 

jack24

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Re: What are my chances?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 04:41:04 PM »
My first year of college I had no idea what I wanted to do. As a result I did not attend class very often, and my GPA was a 3.2. Since then I have maintained a 3.8 GPA, or higher, through my sophomore and junior years. If I keep my GPA high and do well on the LSAT do I still have a chance to get into a great law school, or does that first year with a 3.2 GPA ruin my chances?

The LSAC calculator is a good place for you to start. https://officialguide.lsac.org/release/OfficialGuide_Default.aspx


 Most law schools look at the raw data first (since that's what impacts their rankings).   They divide the applications into three piles.  Automatic in, automatic reject, and further review.   The further review applications are analyzed a little bit (but job experience and awards are really only tiebreakers), and then they are divided into reject, waitlist, and accept.

According to LSAC, If you have a 3.5 cumulative and a 165 LSAT, you are the median applicant at schools like  Fordham, BYU, Wisconsin, and UC Davis.

You'd be in the bottom quarter of applications at places like Harvard, NYU, Duke, Penn, Virginia, UCLA, Michigan, USC, Texas, and Cornell.

By contrast, if you had a 3.8 and 165, you'd still be in the bottom quarter of Harvard, NYU, Duke, Virginia, Penn, and Michigan, but you'd be above the bottom quarter of Cornell, UCLA, Vandy, and you'd be around the median at schools like Texas and George Washington.