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Author Topic: A new horror story  (Read 3361 times)

TwoStepsBack

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A new horror story
« on: October 23, 2006, 06:40:04 PM »
Hi everyone,

Last year I studied very hard, was getting mid-160s on the practice tests, took the actual test, and ended up getting a 159--a result of having nervously failed to properly circle my answers, and then realizing I was filling in the wrong test bubbles on the games section.

I decided to wait a year.  I took a practice test every weekend for the three months leading up to the 9/30 LSAT, and then took the week before the test off and studied like a madman, taking 1-2 practice tests per day.   I was scoring mid-upper-160s, and a few 170+s.

On 9/30, I went in, took the test, and felt good coming out.  Really, peacefully good.  Particularly about the games section, but in general, I felt that it was probably one of the best LSATs I had taken.  I was suspicious of the feeling, but I didn't cut any corners on the test, and was very sure that I did absolutely as well as I could have.  I was sure I would score at least 165, and probably 170 or higher.

I got my score back yesterday.  161.

I can't even...I don't even know what to do now.  I haven't cried in 5 years, and I broke down like a baby for 15 minutes last night before forcing myself to bed to sleep for 4 hours to work a 10 hour stint in the morning.  My dream is to be a copyright lawyer, and I just saw everything I had spent so much time, rearranging my entire life to do, just fall apart ...  ...well, blah blah blah. 

But this isn't just supposed to be a cathartic email.  I'm really wondering what I'm supposed to do now.   I am still relatively in practice, and could take it again in December, even though I've already taken it twice.  Or I could just suck it up and go somewhere nondescript and middle tier.  I don't even think I can get into most NYC (where I live) schools except the awful ones.

Any advice, guys?  I have a 3.8-3.9 GPA, not many extracurriculars in college, degrees in Philosophy and Music, as well as two years experience working in a law firm as a paralegal, including 5 months of trial time.

Thanks, everyone...

Denny Crane

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Re: A new horror story
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 06:50:29 PM »
Apply to George Washington.  You are still fairly competitive for them with your stats, and they have the country's strongest IP program, which would may coincide w/ your interest in copyright law.  Your stats are still good enough to get into many, many quality law schools, any which could help you establish the career you want. 
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Auelan

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Re: A new horror story
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 06:52:07 PM »
Let's start by looking on the bright side. You have a near-immaculate GPA and experience with the "real world" practice of law (ie, not the kind you see on Law and Order). That's two steps in the right direction and should help you out significantly.

I realize the LSAT score hurts because of how you'd been practicing, but it still isn't a horrible score. With your GPA, you can still swing a lot of T1 schools, although I'll admit that Fordham may be a bit of a stretch (albeit not an unreasonable one). If you're willing to leave NYC, you'll find a much less competitive market. That said, if you're confident you can significantly improve your LSAT (I'm talking at least five points), it may be worth retaking the test in December and applying with that score. If you only improve marginally, you can still take off another year. Chin up; this is at most a minor setback, not a life-altering catastrophe.

aerynn

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Re: A new horror story
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2006, 07:49:36 PM »
Lower-ranked DC schools will be find for copyright law.  There is no need for a monster pedigree if you pass the patent bar and work hard.  You'll be fine if you focus on DC instead of NYC.  (You might be fine if you focus on NYC too, I just don't know anyone who is a patent lawyer who graduated from a lower-ranked NYC area school.  I *do* know people who did fine out of DC area schools.)
Here's how it went for me for Fall 2006 admission:
168/3.67
In: Emory($$), UGA ($), W&M ($$), GW($)
Waitlisted:American(W), UVA (W)
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TwoStepsBack

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Re: A new horror story
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2006, 11:38:52 PM »
Thanks for all the advice guys.   I'm feeling a lot better now, after I've researched my options a bit.  I'm still not sure if I should retake the test, but I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt since I've been consistently scoring so high in the practice tests.  I figure I probably won't do worse than I already did.

And thanks for the heads up on George Washington -- It looks very interesting, even if you may have exaggerated my chances of getting in (163-166 range, I read?).  ;)

Not to get off topic, but another thing I'm thinking about seriously considering is part-time programs.  A guide I have (U.S. News) to law schools lists 25-75 LSAT percentiles for various schools' part-time programs in addition to their full time programs, and it looks like it's less competitive even for upper tier schools to go part-time.  The big question is, once you're accepted to part-time, couldn't you just switch over to full-time at the next cycle (sort of a 'soft transfer')?

What do you guys think about the part-time programs?   Also, what do you think about transferring in general--i.e., if it's easier to get into competitive schools when transferring from a different school vs. applying normally?

I haven't looked for threads on these, so if I'm repeating a really obvious or beaten-into-the-ground question, sorry.

Denny Crane

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Re: A new horror story
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2006, 07:11:50 AM »
I'm not too familiar with the prospects for transferring from PT to FT, but I think that it might be more difficult than it seems.  You will have to work really hard and get stellar grades to transfer into the FT program, and because PT programs take 4 years, you might not be ready to transfer to FT after your first year (you might have to wait until the end of your third or fourth semester).  I think there might be some info on this on the GW, Georgetown, and Fordham websites (3 top schools with PT programs worth looking into).
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amaterasu

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Re: A new horror story
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2006, 12:43:18 PM »
Lower-ranked DC schools will be find for copyright law.  There is no need for a monster pedigree if you pass the patent bar and work hard.  You'll be fine if you focus on DC instead of NYC.  (You might be fine if you focus on NYC too, I just don't know anyone who is a patent lawyer who graduated from a lower-ranked NYC area school.  I *do* know people who did fine out of DC area schools.)

Based on the description given by the OP on his major(s), unless he has some significant course work in hard sciences and/or engineering or reads this kind of stuff in his spare time (such that he could pass a comprehensive exam on it), he's not going to be eligible to sit for the patent bar.

Of course, the patent bar isn't required to do copyright law, so that's not really a big deal.
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redemption

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Re: A new horror story
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2006, 12:52:33 PM »
OP -- think about Loyola LA.