2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

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jenni12043

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2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby jenni12043 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:40 pm

Hey everyone!

I have a low gpa at 2.7 but I will be writing an addendum explaining my low gpa. I have a high lsat at 174! I plan on taking it again and aiming for a 180. I wanted to know if I have a chance in getting into any Top 20 schools

The schools I plan on applying to are
Rutgers
Elon
Georgetown
Washington University in St Louis

QContinuum

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:43 am

IMO, this is one of those rare situations where I don't think a retake is worth the effort/cost/time. At a 174 (congrats!), your LSAT is already above the 75% of almost every law school in the country, barring YSH, which, with a 2.7, you're most likely not getting into anyway even with a 180. So I don't think there are much (if any) pluses to trying to improve on your LSAT.

I do think that you should apply broadly across the T20 (excluding YSH if application fees are a concern, unless you have gangbuster softs). You'll do very unpredictably due to your sub-3.0 GPA, but I think that if you apply broadly and early next cycle, you stand a very good chance of getting in somewhere in the T20 (and maybe even a lower T13). I don't think you need to be eyeing Rutgers or Elon just yet.

The most critical thing for you will be applying broadly. Don't throw away a chance at a T20 acceptance (or even merit aid) out of a desire to save a few bucks on application fees. Please don't limit your chances by only applying to four law schools.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:23 am

QContinuum wrote:IMO, this is one of those rare situations where I don't think a retake is worth the effort/cost/time. At a 174 (congrats!), your LSAT is already above the 75% of almost every law school in the country, barring YSH, which, with a 2.7, you're most likely not getting into anyway even with a 180. So I don't think there are much (if any) pluses to trying to improve on your LSAT.


Yeah, there's no point in a retake with that score. Apply broadly and hope for the best. The 2.7 is going to keep you out of a lot of the T13, but you might get some surprising offers. Your cycle isn't going to be predictable.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby JoshLyman13 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:32 am

I had a similar LSAT/GPA and I go to Penn, so t14 is possible. Retaking the LSAT would likely be a waste of effort, focus on your application now.

jenni12043

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby jenni12043 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:12 am

Thank you all so much! Do you know any good schools I could get into with my stats? What does soft's mean?

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby albanach » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:25 am

jenni12043 wrote:Thank you all so much! Do you know any good schools I could get into with my stats? What does soft's mean?


Good softs - Olympic team, Nobel prize or something close to it, other international recognition. Are you the sort of person they would write about on the front of their website and use the mere fact of your attendance to attract more students to impress alumni donors?

Helpful softs. Military service. Rhodes Scholar. Maybe a Fulbright or something similar, but less so since they're more common.

Meh softs. Worked on The Hill. Worked at a law firm.

As for good schools, all the T20 schools are good and there's a decent chance you'll get into one. That said, outcomes very a lot between those at the top of the T-20 and those lower down. The elite schools are known as the T-13 or T-14 and have national reach. The 6 or 7 schools lower down the T-20 generally have more regional placement of their graduates. Employment opportunities are significantly better at the top than the bottom in terms of where you might end up - largest, highest ranked firms, clerkships, etc. and this is even more the case in times of economic downturn.

No one can predict your cycle with much accuracy because your stats make you an outlier. That's why you have the recommendation to apply to all the T-20 excluding the T-3 because, absent on of those "good softs" you're not likely to be accepted there.

You need to give some thought to your degree of comfort with debt and level of risk aversion. There's a chance you could be accepted to a very good school at sticker, i.e. with no scholarship dollars. Are you willing to take on $250-300,000 in debt for your legal education?

jenni12043

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby jenni12043 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:31 am

Thanks! I really appreciate it.

albanach wrote:
jenni12043 wrote:Thank you all so much! Do you know any good schools I could get into with my stats? What does soft's mean?


Good softs - Olympic team, Nobel prize or something close to it, other international recognition. Are you the sort of person they would write about on the front of their website and use the mere fact of your attendance to attract more students to impress alumni donors?

Helpful softs. Military service. Rhodes Scholar. Maybe a Fulbright or something similar, but less so since they're more common.

Meh softs. Worked on The Hill. Worked at a law firm.

As for good schools, all the T20 schools are good and there's a decent chance you'll get into one. No one can predict your cycle with much accuracy because your stats make you an outlier. That's why you have the recommendation to apply to all the T-20 excluding the T-3 because, absent on of those "good softs" you're not likely to be accepted there.

You need to give some thought to your degree of comfort with debt and level of risk aversion. There's a chance you could be accepted to a very good school at sticker, i.e. with no scholarship dollars. Are you willing to take on $250-300,000 in debt for your legal education?

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:07 pm

albanach wrote:Good softs - Olympic team, Nobel prize or something close to it, other international recognition. Are you the sort of person they would write about on the front of their website and use the mere fact of your attendance to attract more students to impress alumni donors?

Helpful softs. Military service. Rhodes Scholar. Maybe a Fulbright or something similar, but less so since they're more common.

Meh softs. Worked on The Hill. Worked at a law firm.

As for good schools, all the T20 schools are good and there's a decent chance you'll get into one. That said, outcomes very a lot between those at the top of the T-20 and those lower down. The elite schools are known as the T-13 or T-14 and have national reach. The 6 or 7 schools lower down the T-20 generally have more regional placement of their graduates. Employment opportunities are significantly better at the top than the bottom in terms of where you might end up - largest, highest ranked firms, clerkships, etc. and this is even more the case in times of economic downturn.

No one can predict your cycle with much accuracy because your stats make you an outlier. That's why you have the recommendation to apply to all the T-20 excluding the T-3 because, absent on of those "good softs" you're not likely to be accepted there.

You need to give some thought to your degree of comfort with debt and level of risk aversion. There's a chance you could be accepted to a very good school at sticker, i.e. with no scholarship dollars. Are you willing to take on $250-300,000 in debt for your legal education?

Agree with all of the above. Minor clarification: Law school admissions are almost entirely driven by undergrad GPA and LSAT score. The "good softs" noted above can help an applicant "overperform" their GPA/LSAT (i.e., get into better schools than expected based on their GPA/LSAT), but having "meh softs" won't hurt an applicant's chances. This isn't like college admissions where things like extracurriculars or volunteering or whatnot are critically important.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby BaronBarrister » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:56 pm

Apply ED to UVA early next cycle and you will have a very good chance at admission. In 2009-2014, Northwestern and GULC loved splitters who were sub 3.0 but 170+ LSATs. Their love for extreme splitters has cooled just slightly, but UVA is now very hospitable to splitters, as is Penn. Do the following:

1) Apply ED to UVA
2) Apply RD to:
- Penn
- G'Town
- Northwestern
- Michigan

Cornell, Duke, Berkeley, NYU, and the rest of the T14 are generally less forgiving of a sub 3.0. For Cornell, Duke, and Berkeley, they just seem to value a higher LSAT, particularly Cornell, but they are coming around - more and more splitters are having good results at these schools, probably because the adcomms are beginning to account for the fact that the LSAT weighs so heavily in USNWR rankings. For NYU, Columbia, and the like, they just have so many applicants with high #s who they are confident will matriculate that they generally don't need (or likely want) to dip below a 3.0.

Congratulations on the LSAT. You may well have a very good cycle (T14) ahead of you if you don't have any significant C&F issues, but you should a) get some impressive work experience (prestigious firm, bank, or government/public interest work) and craft a well-written and original personal statement, along with persuasive "Why X" or optional essays for each school (each of their optional essays have different prompts, so don't just create one boilerplate for all of them).

I realize this is a bit late - hopefully your cycle went/is going well. If not, reapply early next cycle, and my advice above still applies.

Good luck!

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby foregetaboutdre » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:09 pm

jenni12043 wrote:Hey everyone!

I have a low gpa at 2.7 but I will be writing an addendum explaining my low gpa. I have a high lsat at 174! I plan on taking it again and aiming for a 180. I wanted to know if I have a chance in getting into any Top 20 schools

The schools I plan on applying to are
Rutgers
Elon
Georgetown
Washington University in St Louis


Don't bother applying to Rutgers and Elon. Apply to the T20 minus YSH (unless you are curious) + any school you have no intent of attending. See who gives you the most money and enjoy!

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby LSATWiz.com » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:19 pm

Many people with this profile get t-10 acceptances. I do think it makes the other documents you apply with more important. From a rankings perspective, a school doesn't lose anything taking you vs. taking a 3.5/174. It's just a question of whether they decide you're likely to be able to effectively compete against the law school curve. If you're young, highlight work experience in your PS.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby albanach » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:00 pm

BaronBarrister wrote:Apply ED to UVA early next cycle and you will have a very good chance at admission. In 2009-2014, Northwestern and GULC loved splitters who were sub 3.0 but 170+ LSATs. Their love for extreme splitters has cooled just slightly, but UVA is now very hospitable to splitters, as is Penn. Do the following:

1) Apply ED to UVA
2) Apply RD to:
- Penn
- G'Town
- Northwestern
- Michigan


I thought about recommending ED to UVA, but decided against it because there's still a chance of money somewhere else that might be a better offer than UVA at sticker.

I suppose if OP knew they would turn down $100k from WUSTL and take UVA at sticker, then that would absolutely make sense. I just want them looking back with regret when graduation comes round and they're $300k+ in the hole.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby SuperSplitter18 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:21 pm

Under no circumstances should u retake, it will make u look neurotic. Focus on the other parts of your app and volunteering. Dont expect to get much higher than NU, sure it happens but its a long shot

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby BaronBarrister » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:51 am

albanach wrote:I suppose if OP knew they would turn down $100k from WUSTL and take UVA at sticker, then that would absolutely make sense. I just want them looking back with regret when graduation comes round and they're $300k+ in the hole.


This is bad advice. An extreme splitter who is non-urm will not get money in the T14; it's a stretch for T20, and MAYBE a T30 will offer a modest scholarship. However, it's very difficult IMHO to justify selecting a T30 over UVA (or NU/GULC) at sticker after taking employment outcomes into account.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby albanach » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:36 am

BaronBarrister wrote:
albanach wrote:I suppose if OP knew they would turn down $100k from WUSTL and take UVA at sticker, then that would absolutely make sense. I just want them looking back with regret when graduation comes round and they're $300k+ in the hole.


This is bad advice. An extreme splitter who is non-urm will not get money in the T14; it's a stretch for T20, and MAYBE a T30 will offer a modest scholarship. However, it's very difficult IMHO to justify selecting a T30 over UVA (or NU/GULC) at sticker after taking employment outcomes into account.


I disagree; it's never bad advice to consider the cost of attendance.

MyLSN suggests OP has a 50% chance of getting $130k from WUSTL, a school already on OP's list of targets. I'm presuming from that, that they are comfortable working in the midwest where WUSTL is strongest.

If that is a target employment market and WUSTL is a target school, I think the a total cost of attendance of <$170k (assuming that scholarship were to materialize) is at the very least competitive with UVA with a total cost of attendance closer to $310k. Even with BigLaw, $310k is a huge amount of debt.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby jsnow212 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:25 pm

Going to speculate that, unless OP is URM, they will not get any notable scholarship from a T20 except maybe WUSTL.

OP's current outlook is an @sticker acceptance to a random T20 with extremely low chances for schools above UVA. This seems like a rare case in which applying ED to UVA and getting that admissions "boost" is well worth the expected opportunity cost (50% chance of getting into WUSTL with a scholarship) based on our limited sample from MyLSN.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby BaronBarrister » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:06 pm

Considering the relative value of the degrees, scholarship money is a feather on the scale. I'm willing to bet that the lifetime value of a UVA Law degree is twice what the value of a WUSTL degree is. Far more UVA graduates secure clerkships, partnerships, and positions in academia and business. Most UVA graduates pursuing big law or clerkships will attain their goals. WUSTL will be far more cutthroat, and substantially fewer graduates will obtain these positions. Honestly a no-brainer.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby nixy » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:23 pm

BaronBarrister wrote:Considering the relative value of the degrees, scholarship money is a feather on the scale. I'm willing to bet that the lifetime value of a UVA Law degree is twice what the value of a WUSTL degree is. Far more UVA graduates secure clerkships, partnerships, and positions in academia and business. Most UVA graduates pursuing big law or clerkships will attain their goals. WUSTL will be far more cutthroat, and substantially fewer graduates will obtain these positions. Honestly a no-brainer.

Scholarship money is never just a feather on the scale. We also have no idea what the OP wants to do with their degree.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby Dads707 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:13 am

2.7/170 here. See profile for 2016 cycle info.

BaronBarrister wrote:Considering the relative value of the degrees, scholarship money is a feather on the scale. I'm willing to bet that the lifetime value of a UVA Law degree is twice what the value of a WUSTL degree is. Far more UVA graduates secure clerkships, partnerships, and positions in academia and business. Most UVA graduates pursuing big law or clerkships will attain their goals. WUSTL will be far more cutthroat, and substantially fewer graduates will obtain these positions. Honestly a no-brainer.


Graduating from WUSTL in a few weeks. My experience has not at all been a cutthroat. WUSTL's scholarship generosity has created an environment where people are comfortable to just do well.

2018 employment stats just came out, we're over 50% biglaw+clerkship. Many of the folks that aren't going that route self-selected out early for public interest work. That seems to be a big draw since many are here on scholarships. There are a few still looking in the 2019 class, but from what I've seen, generally they're somewhat picky and don't need to have a job lined up right away.

2018 Employment Stats

https://7gxsl10eqdj9anba1k3swtoo-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/EmploymentSummary-2018.pdf

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby Dave118 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:20 am

Just dropping in to say that a friend of mine had a 173 and 2.7 and was accepted to Yale a few years back. She was URM but didn’t have any outstanding softs.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:29 am

Dave118 wrote:Just dropping in to say that a friend of mine had a 173 and 2.7 and was accepted to Yale a few years back. She was URM but didn’t have any outstanding softs.


Being a URM is an outstanding soft. Even so, your friend's situation is extremely rare, if she was being honest about her GPA, which I'm not taking for granted. The absolute bottom GPA attending Yale from last cycle was a 3.48, so I'm deeply skeptical of them admitting anyone with a 2.7.

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Re: 2.7 gpa 174 LSAT, do I stand a change getting into top 20 school

Postby icansortofmath » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:31 am

I just wanted to drop in and say it's really random for people with such big splits. You just have to apply across the board and hope. (HYS is probably out though. They just never need the help with LSAT and can't afford to take hit on GPA either)

I had a slightly higher GPA and even higher LSAT.

I got Chicago but struck out on 4-12 and got in Cornell/GULC. Was waitlisted at UPenn before I withdrew.



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