Law School Discussion

156 LSAT 2.3 GPA


156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« on: December 15, 2003, 09:48:47 PM »
Hello all.  I have a B.S. in neurophys with a 2.3 GPA.  I got 156 on the Oct. 2003 LSAT.  I have two questions:

1.  I did very well on all the sections except for the games.  I got roughly 20 out of 25 correct on all 3 "word" sections, but I got roughly 5 out of 20 correct on the "games" section.  Would re-taking the exam be a good idea?  How much of an improvement over 156 would be necessary to justify the retake?

2.  Do I even have a shot at 1st and 2nd tier schools with my creds?  Or am I destined for 3rd and 4th tiers?  FYI, I have 5 years working experience (information technology) and I have 2 *very good* recommendations (no I didn't pay them!  :)  ).  I'm just trying to figure out how much my lousy GPA is going to pull me down.

Any input is GREATLY appreciated.  Thanks!

inca jones


Re:156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2003, 10:45:49 PM »


Re:156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2003, 07:22:47 PM »
Hmm...over 40 views and no replies.  That's interesting.

Bobby D

Re:156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2003, 06:26:42 AM »
Did you go to an Ivy or highly-rated ungergrad school?  Do you have extensive work experience?  Are you hoping to go into health/commercial law (like have you worked at a BioTech startup or something else compelling)?  Good story (like child of poor immigrants, etc)?

It's the LSAT score that basically torpedoes your chances--the low UGPA (and that's pretty low, we usually counsel people on their "very low" UGPAs of 2.7) is surmountable.   Schools can be convinced that your undergrad grades, especially if they're 5+ yrs old, are not indicative of your future success in law.  You have got to retake the LSAT after extensive prep--I would say there is no point in simply giving it a second shot--you need to spend a good amount of time either in a top-flight prep program or with a book/CD combo.

I have to say that you are far from competitive for most Tier 2 schools, more or less Tier 1.  If you said "I have a 2.3 and a 178 on the LSAT," we might have all jumped in to offer suggestions.  I think Tier 1 is unrealistic.  Why would a Tier 3/4 school be so bad?  If you do extremely well, apply to get an LLM at Yale/Harvard (I know two people who have pulled this off and gotten in at top NY firms).

Answer the questions I've posed and I bet we can come up with a few good schools (maybe even Tier 2).  Hope this helps :)

Bobby D

Re:156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2003, 06:36:55 AM »
I missed the work explanation in my first read.  Sorry!

When you say IT, what do you mean?  Helpdesk or a classy management consulting firm doing IT implementation/strategy?  Engineering?  

Work experience can be a BIG strength, but only to a point.  I had a friend who was asked to write a letter of rec to Stanford B-school for an entry-level helpdesk guy.  He honestly thought that two years doing desktop and network support was substantive business exerience.  I guess the message is (and I realize this is a fine balance, since I just said work is key in your case) that you need to make sure you aren't overselling mediocre work credentials.  My wife is in IT, so I am not demeaning it :) , you just need to realize it may not wow admissions officers unless you craft your statement with good spin and explaination.

These two recs--who are they from?  Again, I have watched too many friends get "super letters of rec" only to find that the author wrote a supportive, but vapid or generic letter.  Make sure they aren't just lauding you but saying WHY someone with your background is qualified for law.  Specifics are key--"Increased IT dept revenue by 6.2% by switching suppliers after extensive research and personal calls to the owners" is great, "is a hard worker" is lame.


Re:156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2003, 08:33:01 PM »
   My undergrad GPA is only slightly better than yours (2.53) and so far I've gotten into one tier 2 school (Santa Clara...bottom tier 2).  I haven't heard back from anyone else yet.  I will keep you posted.   :)

inca jones

Re:156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2003, 10:40:01 PM »
Bobby D and "Guest",

First of all, thanks for the input.  To answer your questions...

1. I received my BS from Univ. of Maryland, College Park.  I'm not sure of its ranking (somewhere in the top 30???).

2.  My IT work experience has been, in fact, desktop and network support.  No management experience at all.  I understand you are not being demeaning.  However, I am curious as to why this type of work experience would be considered "mediocre".  Don't get me wrong - I know I'm not saving lives here  ;D , however, compared to an applicant with zero work experience, wouldn't 5 years of *any* work experience (anything besides flipping burgers) be looked upon favorably?

3.  I realize 156 isn't stellar.  However, since it technically surpasses 70% of other scores ("70th percentile", right?), is it not considered a good score?  Are you exaggerating when you say it "torpedoes" my chances?  Just to clarify, I am not expecting to get into Harvard, Yale, or Princeton.  

4.  My 2 rec letters are from a former professor and my current boss.  

5.  As for "Why would a Tier 3/4 school be so bad?"  I may be mistaken, but wouldn't graduating from a tier 3/4 school make it more difficult to find a job upon graduation.  Please correct me if I'm wrong in this assumption.  

FYI,  some of the schools I'm considering:

American U.*
U. of Florida
Florida State
George Mason*
George Washington*
Howard U.
Louisiana State
U. of Maryland
U. of Nevada, Las Vegas
U. of North Carolina
Ohio State
U. of San Diego
U. of South Carolina
Southwestern U.

* I realize there is almost no chance of me being admitted to these schools.  However, since I live in the MD/DC area, I figure I'd apply anyway.  The rest are a mix of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier schools.  Please feel free to give ANY input.  

inca jones

Bobby D

Re:156 LSAT 2.3 GPA
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2003, 06:26:20 AM »
Okay, so here goes...

Maryland is a good school--it will not hurt your chances of getting in to any of the schools you listed.  It is a strong, respected public school.

No exageration on the 156 basically ending your chances.  70th percentile or not, it would seriously injure the chances of  someone with a strong UGPA.  Schools love the LSAT, and it can overcome even an awful set of grades.  You need to get it into the 165+ range to even be considered at the vast majority of the schools you listed.