Law School Discussion

Took 1st Practice LSAT Today

Took 1st Practice LSAT Today
« on: December 01, 2014, 10:52:57 PM »
I just took the a practice LSAT today, December 1st. I used a test from one of their official test books.
I took the test under strict time constraints without having ever studied anything about the LSAT or reading about what to expect.

I scored a 135  :'( :'( :-[ :o

My top three choices in order of preference are GW Law in DC, AU Washington College of Law in DC, and Pacific McGeorge in Sacramento, California.
I have a very strong interest in international law and those three law schools have strong international law programs.

I understand that a 135 is embarrassingly low, but I had never even looked at any practice questions beforehand or studied in any capacity.
I also understand that GW will probably be out of reach for me, and honestly I like AU and McGeorge a lot so it wouldn't be the end of the world for me. I should also point out that I like GW and AU WCL a bit better than Pacific Mcgeorge, but I think all of my choices are interchangeable, meaning I don't strongly prefer/like one school over the other, I like them all fairly equally.

I have what I feel is a good study plan in place, and am prepared to study 20+ hours a week. But my question is this: would it be possible to raise my LSAT score into the high 160's to low 170's?
I know that is a large gap, so maybe between 165 and 171?

As an undergrad I went to two different colleges, junior college than I transferred. My junior college GPA was 3.3 and my graduating institution GPA was 2.74.
My two GPA's were not combined when I transferred nor were they combined when I graduated with my BA.
I also have a solid work background, a background in working abroad and in  international business, and a good internship history.

What is the possibility of getting into my three choices?

I plan on officially taking the LSAT in June of 2015. 

Re: Took 1st Practice LSAT Today
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 07:55:46 AM »
A 135 for diagnostic is not that bad, and I guarantee your score will rise.

However, like many 0L's you are not likely to score in the top 90% of test takers and obtain a high 160 low 170 on the LSAT. This is an important thing to realize many undergraduate students that want to attend law school have a hard time accepting it. You are a college graduate and doing well enough in college, but law school takes the all-stars of undergrad and puts them all together, and I root for you, but the odds of you scoring in the top 10% of LSAT takers is 10%.

Again, if and when you attend law school on the first day of class 100% of students are certain they are going to work hard and finish in the top 10% of the class, but again there is only a 10% chance of that happening and 90% of students will not be in the top 10% of the class.

Does any of it really matter at the end of the day?  Not really, once you graduate from law school and pass the bar your a lawyer, and whether you succeed or not is an attorney is up to you and if you got a 180 or 140 on your LSAT will be irrelevant.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.


Re: Took 1st Practice LSAT Today
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 10:59:25 AM »
I wouldn't let this bug you. You are clearly in the start of your studies. I doubt you sat it "raw" but likely very close to it. The score will go up.
Plus factor in the curve. That buys you a few points too. Just take an actual lsat prep and not one of those used books from the book store self study deals.

Re: Took 1st Practice LSAT Today
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 11:17:24 AM »
There's no way to predict what your LSAT score will be based on one practice test. There are too many variables at work: your own intellectual abilities, time, your approach, the specific test you get, etc.

Study hard, prepare as much as possible, take the test and get a real live score, then evaluate your options.

A word about specialty programs:

Put some serious time and effort into researching the international law field before you choose a school based on a sub-ranking. Although such course offerings may be helpful, you'd be surprised how little weight employers attach to such things.

International law is often the province of big firms, government agencies, and NGOs. They tend to want graduates of elite schools, regardless of the school's specific sub-ranking in international law. If you attend a non-elite school there is a very good chance that you will not end up working in international law. I'm not trying to be negative, but this is a possibility that should be considered when evaluating your options.

In other words, think about whether you would be happy working as a family law attorney or public defender in central California or suburban DC, in case the international law route doesn't work out.   


Re: Took 1st Practice LSAT Today
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 12:30:37 PM »
I noticed the two GPA's but I don't think either is your official cumulative GPA. I take it when you transferred it only transferred as credit with no GPA and you had to start fresh again (as most do) right? You need to figure out your cumulative GPA based on credits. Law Schools and LSAC use that as how they determine your "real" GPA.
The good news is it should be higher than your graduating one.

Being below a 3.0 is not good, but it won't be the end of all hope. I'd rule out T1 schools unless you get a super high LSAT score, but there are lots of other options out there. I'd aim for a school in the area you want to practice in. That way you get to do internships in that same area and build connections and learn the "tricks" of the local courts. Many times the judges are your profs.