Law School Advice?

YallYall Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey gang,

I was thinking seriously about going to law school, and wanted to check with the crew here to see if anyone had any thoughts or experience on being accepted, LSAT's, or anything else that might be pertinant.

I'm 33, white, have a BS in CS with a 2.75 GPA, which I know isn't so hot. What I think will work in my favor is the LSAT. I'm a king when it comes to standardized tests, especially those invloving logic, reason, and reading comprehension. So far of the few practice LSAT's I've taken, my score has not been below an 84% (I'm not sure how that translates to the 120-180 range).

I'm thinking with my GPA I'll need to score around 165-170 to get accepted at the University of Buffalo. A few things I do have in my corner is that I can get a number of letters of recommendation from former alumni of the UB legal program, including a former DA and a current NYS assemblyman.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice?

Thanks in advance.

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Yall on

Posts

  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Law is one of the few fields out there where grades are taken very seriously so you 2.75 won't be a big help if you want to get into a good school. Fortunately the LSAT is a big deal to law schools, so if you study/practice you'll be in good shape. Regarding your recommendations, those might provide pull at schools where someone knows or cares who people are—so you're in good shape if you plan to stay around Buffalo—but anywhere else they won't mean much.

    supabeast on
  • YallYall Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    supabeast wrote:
    Law is one of the few fields out there where grades are taken very seriously so you 2.75 won't be a big help if you want to get into a good school. Fortunately the LSAT is a big deal to law schools, so if you study/practice you'll be in good shape. Regarding your recommendations, those might provide pull at schools where someone knows or cares who people are—so you're in good shape if you plan to stay around Buffalo—but anywhere else they won't mean much.

    Yeah, even the recommendation letters are supposed to be form someone who can vouch for your acedemic potential, so I'm not sure how much weight my letters will have coming from alum. Fortunately, as you said, the LSAT's are a very big deal. I looked up the UB admission averages, and the median LSAT for this years class was 154. I'm thinking with careful preperation, I could hit 165-170 which could really help my cause.

    Plus I've been in the professional work force for 6 years now with experience in the banking and tech fields. I can also get at least one letter of recommendation from a former professor who can attest to my abilities, if not for my motivations during my college career.

    Do you (or anyone) know of a good LSAT prep course? There seem to be a TON on the web, but I'd like to make sure I was getting a good one if I'm to fork over any dough.

    Yall on
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  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    So what is the recommended GPA for Law School?
    At the moment I'm a senior with a 3.23. How much should I try to raise it by?

    Kyougu on
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    The fact that you're out there working and have been for years is going to help you, and offset your GPA a bit.

    deadonthestreet on
  • YallYall Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Kyougu wrote:
    So what is the recommended GPA for Law School?
    At the moment I'm a senior with a 3.23. How much should I try to raise it by?

    Median at UB is 3.44.

    Yall on
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  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Ah... I love law school threads. I was in a position similar to yours a little while back. Now, here I am in my second year of law school at a school I'm happy with. I'll let you know what I learned from three admissions offices over these two years that I WISH I knew back then...

    You want to go to University of Buffalo Law? Then get in your car and go talk to the admissions office. Find someone in that office and have a meeting with them. Keep this person as your point of contact unless they tell you otherwise. This keeps you from just being a faceless packet (which most people are).

    Start early! If you want to get in for Fall of 07, you're behind schedule. Most schools are going to have a March 1-30th deadline for apps, and it looks like you haven't even taken the LSAT yet. If you're trying to get in for Fall of 07, get your packet done ASAP.

    Most people will do exactly what you're doing with the letters of recommendation. I had a letter from a Congressman and the Dean of Student Affairs, who sat on the admissions board, told me it would get me little to no mileage. They'd much rather see a letter from a professor, and one saying that you show up ever day and give 100% is actually better than one saying you aced the class.

    Every school has "target" ranges that they want your numbers to fall in, but nothing is set in stone. I'm at a near top 50 school and my undergrad GPA was around 2.25. Luckily, I did well on the LSAT and had a good personal letter (which is another area people seem to skimp). Of course, you don't want to be too far of an outlier from previous medians (check those on lsac.org).

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  • naporeonnaporeon Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    The fact that you're out there working and have been for years is going to help you, and offset your GPA a bit.
    Raggaholic wrote:
    I'm at a near top 50 school and my undergrad GPA was around 2.25. Luckily, I did well on the LSAT and had a good personal letter (which is another area people seem to skimp).
    Take these two folks to heart. I had an abyssmal GPA for the schools I applied to, and out of my top three choices (Columbia, NYU, and Boalt Hall @ UC-Berk), I was only denied admittance to NYU. What did I have going for me? Life experience, for one. I had spent years working (including two abroad) and gaining real-world knowledge. Also, my letters (all from professors) were stellar, and I submitted my applications on the first day of the rolling admission period for each school. Last, my LSAT was outstanding.

    Lock down as many of these as you can, and you'll be just fine. Also, I'm sure that you can do better than UB, but that's just my opinion.

    EDIT: Also, I modified my personal statement/admissions essay for each school I applied to. I'm not sure if this helped, but it couldn't have hurt.

    naporeon on
  • TalondelTalondel Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Just FYI, a 170 is the 98th percentile on the LSAT. LSAT scoring works like this, 150 is defined as the mean score, each 10 points is one standard deviation. So a 160 is one SD above the mean, a 170 is 2 SD above mean.

    While the above posters are correct about the factors good recomendations and personal statements can have, they won't overcome bad GPA and LSAT scores on their own.

    This link should be useful: http://officialguide.lsac.org/UGPASearch/Search3.aspx?SidString=

    You can plug in your GPA and LSAT scores, and see where people with similar number have been accepted and rejected. If you look around on the web, many school publish their admissions data, and in you go to the library, book store, or Amazona, you can buy books that will show you the admissions data for just about every accredited school out there.

    Talondel on
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    www.lawschoolnumbers.com is good too. Unless you are part of an underrepresented minority, your soft factors/background/experience is not going to do you much, if any good. It might help if they only take ten people with a certain GPA/LSAT index, but I wouldn't think so.

    UB would probably, though not necessarily be a very bad choice if you did that well on the LSAT. What do you want to do with a law degree?

    kaliyama on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    The actual college you went to is important too. Law schools only accept from some colleges, not all, no matter how good your grades and LSATs.

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