Law School Discussion

What's the highest ranked school I can get into

What's the highest ranked school I can get into
« on: June 16, 2016, 02:30:31 AM »
2.95 gpa. 146 credits. 3.3 for last two years. I have psi chi honors. LSAT practice was 149. The actual thing maybe just that. Degree in psychology and paralegal studies. I have a misdemeanor. I have been expelled from one university. I have an impressive personal statement. I have two LORs. Also is there a chance I could get a full scholarship at Charlotte law? Or Cooley?

loki13

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Re: What's the highest ranked school I can get into
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 07:58:29 AM »
2.95 gpa. 146 credits. 3.3 for last two years. I have psi chi honors. LSAT practice was 149. The actual thing maybe just that. Degree in psychology and paralegal studies. I have a misdemeanor. I have been expelled from one university. I have an impressive personal statement. I have two LORs. Also is there a chance I could get a full scholarship at Charlotte law? Or Cooley?

Let's break this down into separate components-

1. How much weight should you give your personal statement and letters of recommendation? Almost none. Really. Your admissions chances will be almost entirely based on your uGPA (undergrad GPA) + LSAT score. To determine how likely you are to get admission to various schools, look at lawschooltransparency ("LST") and lawschoolnumbers ("LSN"). LST will give you percentiles for admitted students. LSN will give you some numbers from students who were admitted/rejected (anecdotal information).

2. The misdemeanor and expulsion will be red flags. Depending on the misdemeanor, reason for expulsion, and jurisdiction of the school, these may be reasons to automatically deny you. But not necessarily- and you should look carefully at the admissions policies of both the school, and the Bar (Florida, for example, tends to be much more restrictive on these types of issues). Regardless, please make sure you have a rationale for these, which includes taking responsibility.

3. I, personally, would not recommend going to either Charlotte or Cooley. Look at the numbers at LSN for those schools. In addition, if you do get a scholarship, please make sure you look at the conditions- many schools in the tier you are looking are notorious for offering scholarships that seem reasonable (maintain a 3.0) without telling you that they set the class rank well below the number required to maintain the scholarship.

4. My best advice? Work on improving that LSAT. I am of the belief that, for many people, you cannot achieve giant improvements in your LSAT (I don't think you're going to score a 165). But your chances will improve immensely, both for admissions, and for a scholarship, with every single point you get on the LSAT.

Re: What's the highest ranked school I can get into
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 08:53:50 AM »
Everything Loki said, with an emphasis on 2 and 4.

Here's the thing: the LSAT is such a huge factor in law school admissions that until you have an actual score (or at least a series of consistent practice scores) everything is speculation. GPA and LSAT determine just about everything. LORs, grade trends, etc are of minimal importance.

For now, focus on improving your score as much as possible. With a prep course or some kind of structured study regimen you can almost surely gain a few points. Even raising your score 3-5 points will give you many more options.

Lastly, research the state bar admission rules of the state in which you intend to practice. A misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances, could give you trouble beyond just law school admission. 

Re: What's the highest ranked school I can get into
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2016, 11:11:55 PM »
I was in a similar stance. I scored 2 points lower and got into 5 schools, but I had 4 years work experience, grad degree, and about a year of management experience plus an excellent LOR from a well known lawyer in the area. So I don't think you should have any issues. Some schools really really care...others could care less. It was weird....