Law School Discussion

I need advice too...

I need advice too...
« on: March 02, 2006, 05:11:25 PM »
Hi all.  I have been working as a civil engineer for 2 years, and have recently decided to go to law school.  I took the LSAT in February and got a 159, I am somewhat disappointed with my score as I was doing much better on practice tests (165 range). 

I am fairly new to the world of law school, will the following stats get me into a decent law school?

-159 LSAT
-3.4 GPA
-2.5 years work experience (environmental remediation/land development/water system 
                            design)

Should I retake the LSAT in June?  Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2006, 06:05:38 PM »
Should one retake the LSAT?  This is a question that comes up often, and the answer is to only retake the LSAT if you are confident to get a higher score. 

In your case, you should retake the LSAT since you scored less than 6 points below what you've been averaging on your practice tests.  Have you ever scored below a 159 on your practice tests,

159 and 3.4 can get you into pretty good schools, but a 165 and 3.4 can give you a decent shot at the top 25.

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2006, 07:52:53 PM »
Have you ever scored below a 159 on your practice tests,

159 and 3.4 can get you into pretty good schools, but a 165 and 3.4 can give you a decent shot at the top 25.

Thanks for the reply.  I didn't get to study quite as much as I would have liked.  I took 6 timed practice tests, and scored 163-166 on all of them except for one, which I scored a 158 on. 

I will probably retake the LSAT in June, but the thought of scoring even lower makes me hesitant.  Most of the schools I would like to attend (Utah, Oregon, Boulder, etc) are ranked in the 40-70 range, so I'm not sure how this should affect my decision. 

lsatflunkie

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2006, 09:35:11 PM »
I wouldn't rely upon anyone's advice except the admissions people at the schools you want to apply to.  Call them- even if it's anonymously- they'll answer your questions.

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2006, 09:42:33 PM »
Any admissions office will tell you the same thing if you ask them whether or not you should retake the LSAT.  I'm just offering my view on how I would handle the situation if I were you.

I think you have a decent shot at those schools even with your current score.  You're soft factors will be the difference-maker.  How about taking a couple more practice tests(simulating the real test situation and environment) before you make a decision?  If you don't score below 159 on any of them, then you can sign up to retake the LSAT.  If you get the same score or even a lower score like a 158, it won't hurt you because most schools average your scores.  With that in mind, you should be able to relax and handle the pressure on the test day.

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2006, 05:55:30 AM »
Do you have an engineering degree?  I'll trade you my 166 for it.

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2006, 06:30:58 AM »
As previous posters said, if you think you can do MUCH better...which it sounds like you do...then retake it.  There seems to be a "line in the sand" around 160 for admissions and scholarships.  That said, all depends on where you want to go.  A 159 is a strong score for Tier 3s and 4s (IMO).  I actually got a 157 without studying the first time around and thought that I would get higher the second time if I prepped for it...ended up with EXACTLY THE SAME SCORE!  Crazy huh? 

Another thing that I wish I had known...I too have a Civil Engineering degree.  I really thought that would count for something when schools were considering my GPA (i.e. I would be equivalent with a higher GPA).  Turned out not to be the case.  The schools I was accepted to seem to all have been in the range of my actual GPA.  Just thought I would mention it :)

Best of luck!

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2006, 08:09:20 AM »
Do you have an engineering degree?  I'll trade you my 166 for it.

I do have an engineering degree.  Hopefully, I will also have my Professional Engineer (PE) license by the time I enter law school (fall 2007)- although I doubt that has any bearing on admissions. 

As jvan2619 mentioned, I was hoping my engineering degree might offset my somewhat low GPA.  I was also hoping work experience would strengthen my application.  As far as tier 3/4 schools go, I hadn't really considered any- maybe it's time to start looking at a few.  I live in Missoula, so I was thinking that U of Montana could be one of the "sure thing" schools I apply to. 

Honestly, I hadn't really considered the possibility of schoalrships- I just assumed I was going to spend whatever it took to go to law school.  If a few more points on the LSAT could really affect my chances of getting ANY type of scholarship (even just out-of-state tuition waived) that would be aweseome.

Thanks again everyone!

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2006, 03:01:58 PM »
As has been said, if you're committed to a retake, better be sure you'll do significantly better. I think the engineering will help you, as that tends to be a less-represented major.

Another thing that's always an option is getting into the school you can now (and I think tier 2 for sure, maybe some tier 1's, depending on location), and look at transferring up.

Re: I need advice too...
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2006, 06:21:51 PM »
As has been said, if you're committed to a retake, better be sure you'll do significantly better. I think the engineering will help you, as that tends to be a less-represented major.

Another thing that's always an option is getting into the school you can now (and I think tier 2 for sure, maybe some tier 1's, depending on location), and look at transferring up.

That's another thing I hadn't considered - transferring.  How common is it and how easy is it to do?  I'm assuming you would transfer after your first year?