Law School Discussion

3.37 Biomed Major; 173+ LSAT. How to ensure T14 (ECs listed)

3.37 Biomed Major; 173+ LSAT. How to ensure T14 (ECs listed)
« on: January 06, 2014, 02:07:01 AM »
I made a huge mistake for the past 4 years and have just wasted time in college with the intention of pursuing a career in the sciences only to regret said decision. It took me a long time to realize that I want to pursue a career in law and I am currently fighting an uphill battle, however I would like to go to a T14 law School.

LSAT practice scores without any prep/self-study: 173, 175, 173.

I am curious as to whether I have a shot at any of the top Law schools with my GPA and a 173+ LSAT

My ECs are:
Work in a Hospital
Research Assistant in Lab
Teaching Assistant - 2 different courses for multiple semesters
Investment Club - Pharma/Biotech analyst
Microbiology Club - Member
Well over 300 hours of community service - Various organizations
Positions within my Fraternity
Taught at local elementary schools on many different occaPsions

I have recently applied for graduation however I was contemplating postponing graduating until the end of the Summer (or even Fall) in order to take 8 classes between now and then and get A's in all of them in hopes of bringing my GPA up to a 3.4+, I believe it is very possible that I can get a 3.4 after this semester with straight A's.

I intend on applying to every T14 par Virginia.

I'm not sure if this is worth mentioning in my appendum but I dealt with a very bad drug problem in the middle of my college career and completely turned my life around without seeking outside help and have been sober for 9 months

My dream school has always been Columbia and would be willing to ED. Money is not an issue for me.

Re: 3.37 Biomed Major; 173+ LSAT. How to ensure T14 (ECs listed)
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 09:52:20 AM »
1) If you get a 173+, you certainly will have a shot at several top 14 schools, even with a 3.37 GPA. Check out for more specifics. Your soft factors will certainly play up your application.

2) Although you may have rocked those practice tests, understand that the strong majority of LSATers will score under their practice test scores. I'm not saying its impossible for you to score in the range you want, but it will be harder than you think. My best advice is to quickly review a test prep book(s)  like Kaplan or Powerscore.. then take every single PT under exact test conditions until test day.

3) The difference between a 3.37 and 3.4 is exceptionally nominal. I think your time would be better served trying to get about 3 points on your LSAT or even writing stronger essays. Now, if you can get a 3.5 or 3.6, then thats another issue, but three one-hundredth of a decimal point is not all that alluring. On top of that fact that you will HAVE to get perfect scores in those classes. Which, based on your current record, may be harder than you think unless you take throw away easy classes. On top of the fact that you will have to explain to Columbia why you postponed graduation to take basketweaving to bump your GPA... Just my thoughts.

4) Although law schools really like seeing people overcome hurdles, be them external or self imposed, they also want assurance that the hurdle is FAR behind the student. My only concern with the drug issue is time. Although nine months is certainly very commendable, it is not in the same ball park as saying you have been ten years sober. If you are going to discuss your drug problem, then, you have to have several other hard pieces of evidence to substantiate your claim that it is really behind you and you have grown because of it. Have your grades improved drastically since you became sober (i.e. straight Ds and Fs to now straight As and Bs)? Finally, placement will be key. Although addendums are exactly what this kind of thing is for, you may decide that having a short paragraph in your personal statement is easier to acheive the above. You will be able to keep what you say more broad/vague, add luster to your personal statement, and still get the benefit of talking about a personal hurdle you overcame. Just a thought.

5) Finally, apply to more schools that just the top 14. Although there are certain perks in the top 14, it is not exclusive to them. If you know where you would want to live/work, apply to all the top full time and part time schools in that region. If you have a specific area of specialization you want to pursue (i.e. intellectual property), apply to all the top schools for that, even if the schools aren;t in the top 14. Not only will this give you more options, if you end up scoring as high as you hope, you will be able to snag strong scholarships (i.e. full rides). You may then be able to use those scholarships to negotiate for money at schools you would really like to attend (even some in the T14).

Good luck!!!

Re: 3.37 Biomed Major; 173+ LSAT. How to ensure T14 (ECs listed)
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 11:11:35 AM »
Thank you for the advice Miami88.

WIth regards to the grades thing, my drug problem started after my sophomore year. Prior to my addiction, my grades were A's and an occasional B; after they were A's, B's and C's; and after finally sobering up, I received a 3.7 my first semester while taking Biochemistry, Clinical Neuroscience, Endocrinology and one BS elective. The biggest issue I had wasn't difficulty in courses, in fact I have never gotten below an A in a class where I have actually wanted to get an A and was willing to put 2-3 hours/week into it; rather my issue was in the fact that I just didn't care about anything. I would never go to class. I'd rarely study for tests, but I would do enough in order to still maintain just above a 3.0. I was an addict, but I was still sensible.

As for the LSAT, I intend on taking the exam in June and studying 5-10 hours/week for the next 4 months and then putting in a solid 5-hours/day come May/June. I understand the practice tests aren't reflective of your actual score because of test taking conditions and mental stress etc however I never been one to actually get bad test anxiety. I always think through things very logically and hedge my emotions. On standardized tests I understand that there is always another opportunity to take the exam and being under stress achieves nothing which leaves me calm and confused as to why everybody panics as though their mother's life depended on said exam... Let's hope I didn't jinx myself.

Re: 3.37 Biomed Major; 173+ LSAT. How to ensure T14 (ECs listed)
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 08:57:13 PM »
Miami offers some good advice and I want to add onto it.

1) I completely Gree postponing graduation in hopes of going from a 3.37 to a 3.4 will do little to improve your admission chances. On top of that it is also possible your GPA will go down gettmg Straight A's is a good goal, but getting 8 As is not a certainty. I think you are better off finishing strong and on time opposed to making last minute adjustments. On top of that you are better served studying for the LSAT opposed to eating straight As

2) 173 would be a great score, but I don't know how many OLs tell me the are getting 170+ scores on their practice scores, but it is practice often the test is never taken or a much lower score is attained. Obtaining a 173 puts yo in the top 5 percent of test takers and nothing personal, but there is a 95 chance you will not be in the top 5 percent.

3) Indtead of considering schools etc get a real LSAT and GPA if you finish with a 3.3-3.4 and 173 LSAt you will have man choices, but so many law students start considering schools etc before they have numbers and it is just wasted energy better conserved on studying for the LSAT

4) Additiomally, I would encourage you to not solely base your law school de vision on rankings. There are a number of more important factors such as location, cost and your personal feelings about each school.

What an unregulated for profit magazine like U.S News thinks about a school should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

Although Columbia is certainly an outstanding school, but I don't think You needed U.S News to tell you that.

Good luck with everything and I sincerely hope you score 173 on the LSAT, but don't be discouraged if you come away with a 155-160 believe it or not 90 percent of lawyers did not attend the top 10 percent of schools.