Law School Discussion

SMU Law Applicant- Chances of Getting in?

SMU Law Applicant- Chances of Getting in?
« on: June 24, 2013, 12:46:45 PM »
So here are my stats. Have a 3.8 in International Business and Energy Commerce, Minor in Spanish from Texas Tech University. Was President of my sorority, was a Business Ambassador of the Rawls College of Business, Congressional intern for Senator Cornyn, on Mortar Board (top 50 student seniors at University). Currently interning with President John F. Kennedy Commemorative Foundation helping plan the 50th Anniversary Event held in Dallas this November. Studied abroad 2 times during undergrad. I am considered a URM with Hispanic on my high school and college transcripts. My practice LSAT's are around a 153-155 but hoping to get it up to at least 160. I'll also have a rec from a prof that is also Hispanic and going to approach that angle. A rec from Senator Cornyn's office, and then also one from this internship (which several on the 50th Foundation are on the board at SMU or founding board). Are my chances looking up? I feel like they are, but am worried. SMU is really the only school I want to go to and am nervous about getting rejected! Any insight would be appreciated!

Re: SMU Law Applicant- Chances of Getting in?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 01:25:16 PM »
The reality is until you have an LSAT score you cannot really know what your chances are.  Law School Admissions is 90% about the numbers all the other things you mention are good, but they are similar to what every other law school applicant has to offer. The thing to realize is that law students were the stars of undergrad and they all want to attend law school. The great equalizer is the LSAT and until you receive a real LSAT score and not a practice one it is pure speculation.

I also want to let you know as an attorney myself that you should not get to hung up on law school rankings or a particular school. Remember that at any ABA school you will learn the same exact same thing whether you attend SMU or South Texas your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, etc and you will read Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court doesn't write different opinions for different law schools.

I wish you the best of luck getting into the school of your choice, but do not get to hung up rankings. Additionally it is a waste of time to speculate whether you can get into a school without having an LSAT score. If you get a 170 with a 3.8 your in a 150 with a 3.8 probably not. Additionally do not be discouraged if you do not score a 160 on the LSAT that puts you in the top 80% of LSAT takers and there is an 80% chance you will not finish in the top 80%. Also remember that people who show up for the LSAT are college graduates who were motivated enough to take the LSAT and the people taking the test are smarter than the general population.

If you score a 150 or above you have a chance at getting into an ABA school, which is an accomplishment and something that majority of people can't do. Again, good luck and stay focused on getting the highest LSAT you can.

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Re: SMU Law Applicant- Chances of Getting in?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 08:56:17 AM »
Bottom line, you have all the right things going for you . . . and have clearly done the hard work to position yourself to be a competitive law school candidate. The last step is to do what it takes to do as well as possible on the LSAT. LivingLegend is spot on about the scores required. But also, you need to think about the money as well. You cannot change your GPA, but every point on your LSAT above 160 will affect your scholarship offers. Above 170 and you might be in the range of a full ride with your other factors. The numbers in play are the $250K COA (cost of attending) that you will pay for SMU and any other private law school. With that in mind, you should consider investing in the time and money for a rigorous LSAT prep course. I know they can cost up to $2K, but since you have a business degree, I shouldn't need to tell you what the rate of return of that investment could be if you can improve your scholarship and stipulation conditions (minimum 1st year grades required to retain scholarships into year 2 and 3).

Finally, I also agree with LL . . . PLEASE do not get wrapped totally up into SMU or bust. It is a perfectly fine law school (mediocre by most national standards, above average in Texas, but extraordinary in Dallas - FYI, I am originally from Dallas and taught at TTU, SMU, UH, and TWU). When it comes time to send applications, cast your net wide . . . You will be surprised at your opportunities.