Law School Discussion

URM African American Male

URM African American Male
« on: January 31, 2017, 07:40:19 AM »
LSAT 140 GPA is 3.1 any really chances of getting into any 2 tier or 3 tier law schools? I am a year out of undergrad now. I worked with lawmakers/ interned on Capitol Hill in DC as a congressional intern and I'm currently working at the Biggest Law Firm in my state.  I've heard of a URM boost to some applicants. Does every law school practice this, cause I know that some states view Affirmative Action stuff as unconstitutional. What schools do I need to apply to? HELP!!!! 

loki13

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Re: URM African American Male
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 10:12:38 AM »
LSAT 140 GPA is 3.1 any really chances of getting into any 2 tier or 3 tier law schools? I am a year out of undergrad now. I worked with lawmakers/ interned on Capitol Hill in DC as a congressional intern and I'm currently working at the Biggest Law Firm in my state.  I've heard of a URM boost to some applicants. Does every law school practice this, cause I know that some states view Affirmative Action stuff as unconstitutional. What schools do I need to apply to? HELP!!!!

First, the bad news. A 140 is a really low LSAT score. As put famously in a presentation to the Florida Coastal School of Law, an LSAT score of 144 or below is "low aptitude, extreme risk."

The reason that I am writing that is as follows:
Can you get into a law school, somewhere? Yes, you can. Given the cratering of admissions, and your URM status, you can.
Should you? Ehhh...

Look, your LSAT score indicates that you are very much at risk for not passing the Bar Exam. If you don't pass the Bar, you won't practice law. That's three years, and a lot of money, down the drain.

So, my main recommendation is this- take the LSAT again. Really work it. You should be able to improve on general test taking and the logic games section. You should shoot for at least a 147 (147-149 is moderate aptitude, high risk of not passing the bar). And seriously consider if you want to go to law school.

Okay, after you've observed that, you need to focus your search. Where do you want to practice, and how much can you afford? Then take a look at websites (lawschoolnumbers for people admitted, and lawschooltransparency for median numbers and trends) to inform you.

Good luck!

Re: URM African American Male
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 10:16:47 AM »
You might be able to get into a Tier 3 school, Tier 2 seems unlikely (though not impossible). Of course, there is significant variation even among schools in the same tier. You need to look at the admissions criteria for the specific school(s) you are considering. 

URM status will definitely give you a boost at most law schools. You mentioned the legalities of affirmative action. Here in California, the public university cannot admit students based solely on race, but they can still consider diversity as a factor and allow diversity statements. I believe the vast majority of law schools will at least allow a diversity statement as part of your application package, even if they don't follow the traditional affirmative action model.

Here are a couple of additional points I think you need to consider:

Retaking the LSAT

140 is a fairly low score. Did you prepare? Take a prep course? Devote serious time to studying? If the answer is no, then I'd seriously consider retaking.

If the answer is yes, then you need to consider whether law school is the right choice. Scoring 140 does not mean that you can't get through law school and become a lawyer, but it is an indicator of aptitude. Law school is far more demanding than undergrad, and a 3.1/140 indicates that you need to really consider if this is the right path.

Geography

You need to think about where you want to live. When you're considering the schools that might accept you with a 3.1/140, you're talking about schools with a local reputation/local appeal. These are schools that are going to present you with local job opportunities (if any). I'd worry less about what tier the school is in and more about where you want to live and work.

In other words, if you get admitted to Arizona Summit or Whittier don't plan on moving to New York City.   

Re: URM African American Male
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 10:44:04 AM »
What's the LSAT boost for AA males, I'm just curious?

Re: URM African American Male
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 11:59:31 AM »
It varies, but it's significant. The problem you have, though, is that 140 LSAT.

Here's what I mean:

An AA male with a 155 would get a big boost, and would be able to compete for admission at schools that usually snub 155's. An AA male with a 165 would have a legitimate shot at Harvard, no joke.

140, however, is so low that even if you get boost equivalent to say, ten points, you're still only at 150. Mind you, the URM doesn't work exactly this way, but I'm offering the scenario for comparative purposes.

So, with a 3.1/140 I think you are still looking at Tier 3/Tier 4 schools. 

Re: URM African American Male
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 01:09:42 PM »
A law degree is a law degree to me. I'm fine with a median tier school.

loki13

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Re: URM African American Male
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 02:23:28 PM »
A law degree is a law degree to me. I'm fine with a median tier school.

I'm trying to be nice. Even as an URM, a 140 is really, really low. Check out LSN (lawschool numbers). In 2013, when it was (slightly) easier to get in, you can see this user profile-
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/bettsn

Yeah, URM, 145 LSAT, got into Ol' Miss. But there's a big gap between a 140 and a 145. With a 140, you're looking at Florida Coastal type of schools. A 143 and a 3.1 got an URM into the Charleston School of Law (yeah ....).

You will get in somewhere. But that "somewhere" may not be where you want to go to school. And with a 140, you are predicted to seriously struggle in law school, and if you get through the 3 years, to struggle to pass the bar.

I cannot recommend highly enough re-taking the LSAT. Even a 145 (with URM) substantially improves the schools you can get into.

If you must go with that score, send apps to the lower-tier school in the state/metro region you want to practice in, along with a few apps to some reach schools.

Good luck!