Take the LSAT Again?

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srg1027

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Take the LSAT Again?

Postby srg1027 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:33 pm

Hi all, so I just sent out my applications for this cycle (Fall 2019) and I understand that it is very late in the process and I may be better off waiting to apply in the beginning of the next cycle so maximize my scholarship money and acceptances. With that being said, I have taken the LSAT 3 times already (160, 160, and 162) and am wondering if it would be in my best interest to take it once more in between now and the next cycle. Thanks!

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:55 pm

How have you studied for the LSAT? What's your GPA? What schools are you targeting? What are your goals out of law school? The analysis looks very different for someone with a 2.x/162 interested in joining their family's legal practice in Montana than someone with a 3.9/162 interested in BigLaw.

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby srg1027 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:00 pm

I have only done self-studying and have been PT'ing in the high 160s for the large majority of my practice tests. I am targeting Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and St. Johns because I want to stay in New York. Lastly, I am not certain what my goals are after law school other than having a 6 figure income and enjoying my job.

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:22 pm

If you've been PTing there from the get go, you should be able to hit a 170. In my experience, there may only be a few insights needed for someone like you know and a few sessions of tutoring with self study and finishing out the cycle, you may get a local t-14. You may also consider a course. You're obviously bright but haven't been studying correctly, particularly if you've mostly just been taking prep tests.

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:23 pm

srg1027 wrote:I have only done self-studying and have been PT'ing in the high 160s for the large majority of my practice tests. I am targeting Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and St. Johns because I want to stay in New York. Lastly, I am not certain what my goals are after law school other than having a 6 figure income and enjoying my job.

Then you should definitely retake. You should not even be considering Cardozo, Brooklyn, or St. Johns given that your only goal is to "hav[e] a 6 figure income." Even at Fordham it is more likely than not (i.e., >50% chance) that you will not land a six-figure job out of law school. You need a T13 or at least T20 to reasonably assure that you'll be able to get BigLaw. That means a LSAT of 170+, possibly higher depending on your GPA.

I also encourage you to rethink whether law is actually right for you. Law school is a big commitment, and one that irreversibly "locks you in" to being a lawyer. A J.D. is not a "versatile" degree that lets you do whatever you want. A J.D. is a degree that allows you to practice law, and only that - nonlegal employers will view you with suspicion ("why isn't he practicing law?") and/or as a flight risk ("as soon as he lands a lawyer job, he'll quit!"). And given the cost of law school and the immense stress of being a BigLawyer (i.e., a lawyer with the aforementioned terrific salary), folks who simply want a "6 figure income" and an "enjoyable job" are often well-advised not to go to law school.

It's often said on these fora that folks should only go to law school if they feel a burning desire to practice law. There is good reason for that statement. Law school is not an easy shortcut to a lifetime of easy money.

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby srg1027 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:51 pm

QContinuum wrote:
srg1027 wrote:I have only done self-studying and have been PT'ing in the high 160s for the large majority of my practice tests. I am targeting Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and St. Johns because I want to stay in New York. Lastly, I am not certain what my goals are after law school other than having a 6 figure income and enjoying my job.

Then you should definitely retake. You should not even be considering Cardozo, Brooklyn, or St. Johns given that your only goal is to "hav[e] a 6 figure income." Even at Fordham it is more likely than not (i.e., >50% chance) that you will not land a six-figure job out of law school. You need a T13 or at least T20 to reasonably assure that you'll be able to get BigLaw. That means a LSAT of 170+, possibly higher depending on your GPA.

I also encourage you to rethink whether law is actually right for you. Law school is a big commitment, and one that irreversibly "locks you in" to being a lawyer. A J.D. is not a "versatile" degree that lets you do whatever you want. A J.D. is a degree that allows you to practice law, and only that - nonlegal employers will view you with suspicion ("why isn't he practicing law?") and/or as a flight risk ("as soon as he lands a lawyer job, he'll quit!"). And given the cost of law school and the immense stress of being a BigLawyer (i.e., a lawyer with the aforementioned terrific salary), folks who simply want a "6 figure income" and an "enjoyable job" are often well-advised not to go to law school.

It's often said on these fora that folks should only go to law school if they feel a burning desire to practice law. There is good reason for that statement. Law school is not an easy shortcut to a lifetime of easy money.


I appreciate all the advice you have given and will definitely consider it all when making future decisions. Back to the LSAT conversation, do you feel it would be okay though to take the test once more being that if I did that would make a total of 4 times.

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:56 pm

srg1027 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
srg1027 wrote:I have only done self-studying and have been PT'ing in the high 160s for the large majority of my practice tests. I am targeting Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and St. Johns because I want to stay in New York. Lastly, I am not certain what my goals are after law school other than having a 6 figure income and enjoying my job.

Then you should definitely retake. You should not even be considering Cardozo, Brooklyn, or St. Johns given that your only goal is to "hav[e] a 6 figure income." Even at Fordham it is more likely than not (i.e., >50% chance) that you will not land a six-figure job out of law school. You need a T13 or at least T20 to reasonably assure that you'll be able to get BigLaw. That means a LSAT of 170+, possibly higher depending on your GPA.

I also encourage you to rethink whether law is actually right for you. Law school is a big commitment, and one that irreversibly "locks you in" to being a lawyer. A J.D. is not a "versatile" degree that lets you do whatever you want. A J.D. is a degree that allows you to practice law, and only that - nonlegal employers will view you with suspicion ("why isn't he practicing law?") and/or as a flight risk ("as soon as he lands a lawyer job, he'll quit!"). And given the cost of law school and the immense stress of being a BigLawyer (i.e., a lawyer with the aforementioned terrific salary), folks who simply want a "6 figure income" and an "enjoyable job" are often well-advised not to go to law school.

It's often said on these fora that folks should only go to law school if they feel a burning desire to practice law. There is good reason for that statement. Law school is not an easy shortcut to a lifetime of easy money.


I appreciate all the advice you have given and will definitely consider it all when making future decisions. Back to the LSAT conversation, do you feel it would be okay though to take the test once more being that if I did that would make a total of 4 times.

Yes, you just need a better score. People often ask but won't it look bad if I take the test more than once? The answer is obviously it may be better to have a 170 versus three 160s and a 170, but the 170 will always be much better than the three 160s.

To paint by analogy, pretend you are a practicing attorney working on something for a partner. You first draft of a brief is off base. Instead of sending a corrected brief, you submit the bad one because it would look bad to send two e-mails. Do you think this will generate the better outcome? Again, it's up to you and you can go with your #'s and have a 20-25% chance of getting your desired outcome. Out of every five times, you will succeed once. Or you could give yourself a 60-70% chance. It's totally fine to take the bigger risk as long as you're cognizant of it and dreams come true every day (I'm a big fan of American Idol myself), but just go into it aware of the odds.

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby QContinuum » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:01 pm

Law schools (with the unique exception of Yale) don't care if you take the LSAT multiple times. They only care about your highest score (even if your highest score isn't your most recent score - so, if you get a 171, then retake and get a 169, they'll consider you using the 171). So don't let that stop you.

Best of luck!

srg1027

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby srg1027 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:13 pm

QContinuum wrote:
srg1027 wrote:I have only done self-studying and have been PT'ing in the high 160s for the large majority of my practice tests. I am targeting Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and St. Johns because I want to stay in New York. Lastly, I am not certain what my goals are after law school other than having a 6 figure income and enjoying my job.

Then you should definitely retake. You should not even be considering Cardozo, Brooklyn, or St. Johns given that your only goal is to "hav[e] a 6 figure income." Even at Fordham it is more likely than not (i.e., >50% chance) that you will not land a six-figure job out of law school. You need a T13 or at least T20 to reasonably assure that you'll be able to get BigLaw. That means a LSAT of 170+, possibly higher depending on your GPA.

I also encourage you to rethink whether law is actually right for you. Law school is a big commitment, and one that irreversibly "locks you in" to being a lawyer. A J.D. is not a "versatile" degree that lets you do whatever you want. A J.D. is a degree that allows you to practice law, and only that - nonlegal employers will view you with suspicion ("why isn't he practicing law?") and/or as a flight risk ("as soon as he lands a lawyer job, he'll quit!"). And given the cost of law school and the immense stress of being a BigLawyer (i.e., a lawyer with the aforementioned terrific salary), folks who simply want a "6 figure income" and an "enjoyable job" are often well-advised not to go to law school.

It's often said on these fora that folks should only go to law school if they feel a burning desire to practice law. There is good reason for that statement. Law school is not an easy shortcut to a lifetime of easy money.


I have heard of people getting 6 figure jobs out of cardozo though, in fact somebody I know personally did so. He says that you have to be in the top 5% so it is possible to have a high paying job out of a school of that caliber, it just seems much harder.

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Re: Take the LSAT Again?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:52 pm

srg1027 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
srg1027 wrote:I have only done self-studying and have been PT'ing in the high 160s for the large majority of my practice tests. I am targeting Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and St. Johns because I want to stay in New York. Lastly, I am not certain what my goals are after law school other than having a 6 figure income and enjoying my job.

Then you should definitely retake. You should not even be considering Cardozo, Brooklyn, or St. Johns given that your only goal is to "hav[e] a 6 figure income." Even at Fordham it is more likely than not (i.e., >50% chance) that you will not land a six-figure job out of law school. You need a T13 or at least T20 to reasonably assure that you'll be able to get BigLaw. That means a LSAT of 170+, possibly higher depending on your GPA.

I also encourage you to rethink whether law is actually right for you. Law school is a big commitment, and one that irreversibly "locks you in" to being a lawyer. A J.D. is not a "versatile" degree that lets you do whatever you want. A J.D. is a degree that allows you to practice law, and only that - nonlegal employers will view you with suspicion ("why isn't he practicing law?") and/or as a flight risk ("as soon as he lands a lawyer job, he'll quit!"). And given the cost of law school and the immense stress of being a BigLawyer (i.e., a lawyer with the aforementioned terrific salary), folks who simply want a "6 figure income" and an "enjoyable job" are often well-advised not to go to law school.

It's often said on these fora that folks should only go to law school if they feel a burning desire to practice law. There is good reason for that statement. Law school is not an easy shortcut to a lifetime of easy money.


I have heard of people getting 6 figure jobs out of cardozo though, in fact somebody I know personally did so. He says that you have to be in the top 5% so it is possible to have a high paying job out of a school of that caliber, it just seems much harder.

Nobody is saying it's impossible. We're speaking about odds. It's also important to note that top 5 and I'll even give you top 10% are necessary conditions here, not really sufficient. It's conceivable that you can be top 5% at Cardozo and still come up empty-handed - I know of people who had this happen to them and there was nothing off about them socially or anything, but I digress.

We're speaking about odds. I will even grant you something that hasn't really been argued but is almost certainly true: it is easier to get above median at Cardozo than at Columbia and I'd bet that median at Columbia would be at least top 25% at Cardozo based solely on how transfer students tend to perform at their second school.

However, the top 5% at any school is going to be very competitive - virtually everyone there is going to work very hard, be very good at law school exams and also be lucky. Such a ranking means they really can't mess on any law school exam, and it's difficult to predict when you'll get sick, your SO will bring you stress, family issues will distract you, etc. You are banking on none of these things happening around the time of a specific exam. The attractiveness of schools that provide 50-70% of graduates their desired outcome is not that they guarantee these jobs, but they remove the need to be perfect and lucky from the equation. You can mess up an exam or two, and still get your desired outcome.

I'd also say that in many instances not retaking the LSAT is a glorified form of procrastination - rather than studying for the test, you're banking on studying that much harder once you're in law school. This is tough to maintain day to day. Isn't it at least plausible that you'd procrastinate once in law school as well?



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