Law School Discussion

i'm new, and looking for advice

i'm new, and looking for advice
« on: July 10, 2004, 12:11:39 PM »
hey everyone, i'm new here, applying this fall.  I looking for advice as to whether or not I should retake the lsat.  I have a 3.92/166 and will be graduating from a large state school this year, with majors in math, economics, and linguistics.  I was hoping to score 170+ but kindof choked back in february.  I was planning to apply about 5 schools in the 7-17 range, a couple longshots like harvard and stanford, and maybe 2 safeties.  Would it be worth it to retake in october, or should I just apply really early?  I dont really have much location preference, and dont know what i want to do after law school, but i think in general, I could be strongly persuaded by money over prestige.  Thanks ahead of time for your help.

katrina at law

Re: i'm new, and looking for advice
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2004, 12:34:17 PM »
I think it really depends on where you want to go.  With a 166, even if you retake it and get a 180, you'd still average to 173, which may or may not be worth all the time and effort.

Using LSAC's guide to ABA approved schools (, you have over a 75% chance at these schools-

Boston University, Boston College, Davis, Hastings, Emory, George Washington University LS, USD, Northeastern, the list goes on... so it seems like you're in pretty good shape already.  If I were you, I wouldn't retake it but it all also depends on how much you prepared beforehand, your chances for improving, and the schools you really want to go to.

Re: i'm new, and looking for advice
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2004, 01:27:53 PM »
I'm pretty sure I won't do worse, seeing as I never practiced below 166, and definitely choked the day of the test.  If for some reason I come out of the October test feeling bad, i'll just cancel i guess.  I'm just wondering if its worth all the effort, the studying, the anxiety of the test again if i score a 168 or something.  I guess anything better than 166 is a good thing, but going through the whole LSAT process again is not something i'm looking forward to.  I really would like to be at a school in the 6-10 range or so, and I guess where I am now its kindof a longshot.

katrina at law

Re: i'm new, and looking for advice
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2004, 02:21:20 PM »
A general rule of thumb with just numbers is that if you fall within the 25th to 75th percentile of the school's GPA/LSAT, your chances are pretty good...

Starting with Colombia-
Median LSAT: 169 25th - 75th Percentile: 166 - 172
-Median GPA: 3.64 25th - 75th Percentile: 3.49 - 3.80

-Median LSAT:  166  25th - 75th Percentile:  164 - 168
-Median GPA:  3.65  25th - 75th Percentile:  3.49 - 3.79

Median LSAT: 167 25th - 75th Percentile: 163 - 168[6]
-Median GPA: 3.57 25th - 75th Percentile: 3.47 - 3.78[7]

Median LSAT:  166-168 [4]  25th - 75th Percentile:  162 - 168 [5] 
-Median GPA:  3.73 [6]  25th - 75th Percentile:  3.59 - 3.86 [7]

This is data from their 2002 year, so you may want to add 2-3 points for the LSAT as the median... here is the website where I got the info (

Just from numbers alone, it looks like your chances for a school in the 6-10 range is reasonable, good luck!


Re: i'm new, and looking for advice
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2004, 02:57:03 PM »
Don't retake. A retake is only useful if you can *substantially* improve your score. Even, say, a 172 would fall short of what would be expected on a retake, given your original score. There are two reasons for that: First, your score is read not as a single number, but as a statistical band which includes at least one number higher and lower than your reported score. Thus, the low edge of the band for a subsequent score must be higher than the high edge of the band for your current score in order for an admissions officer to view it as improved, even slightly. Second, scores tend to rise on subsequent LSAT's, so any improvement equal to or less than the expected improvement would be viewed as "gaming" the system and not actual improvement.

No admissions office (of a good school, anyway) has set knockout numbers, and all are aware that test numbers fluctuate somewhat depending on personal factors and test conditions. Your very high GPA, combined with a score that is within the admit numbers nearly everywhere should be sufficient to get you into some top fourteen schools.


Re: i'm new, and looking for advice
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2004, 06:37:26 PM »
Hmm, thanks elo and others, I never thought of it that way.  I'm still considering it at least, but worst case scenario i guess is that I just apply to a lot of schools and see where I get in.