3.3 and 165+

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CarolinaLawGirl

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3.3 and 165+

Postby CarolinaLawGirl » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:20 pm

Hi there! I am a non-traditional student. I am almost 32 and will be graduating with my BA next spring. I worked my way through college as a single mom to two children on the autism spectrum so I spent a lot of time going to school part time in undergrad. I would be looking to start law school fall 2021. My kids will be well into their teen years at that point. I am also now married to a man who wants to see me succeed in law school and is willing to make it possible without me needing to take out cost of living loans.

I have taken two timed practice LSATs. I got a 165 on the first one (cold and no studying). I got a 168 on the second (the only studying was taking the previous test). Logic puzzles are a hot mess but my other sections were nearly perfect. I hope if I put in some time studying that I can hit 170, but anything over 165 is okay with me. My GPA can be pushed up to 3.3 by the time I finish my last 12 credits.

I am coming from a private women's college that was ranked in the top 10 for women's colleges. It has an amazing reputation locally but not as much name recognition as someplace like Vanderbilt. I went there because they offered me lots of scholarship money. I have an AA and graduated Magna Cum Laude from community college but my GPA has not been as pretty in the rigorous environment of the women's college. (A 92% is a B+ at this school and an 87% is a B.)

My softs include running my own business as a doula for over a decade (which included being comfortable with contract writing), being published in a couple of magazines and one scientific journal, starting a non-profit focused on health law reform, helping draft health legislation, and successfully lobbying for major legislative changes in my state of origin. I was chair person of the honor board (basically the disclipinary committee) at my university and the student representative for several policy committees at the school. Additionally, I have run for office and am about to step into some more policy related leadership positions in my community. I also have amazing letters of reference: one from the head of a major research company (I helped on an 18 month NIH funded study for her), an administrator at Catholic U who was my faculty advisor for the honor board when she worked at my school, and the head of the psychology department at my school.

I currently am a resident in North Carolina but am planning to apply to a couple out of state schools. I want to apply to:

Wake Forest
UNC Chapel Hill
University of Maryland (they have a good track record of offering scholarships to people from my school)
Catholic U (if and only if they offered scholarships to be less than a state university...admission would be a given)

The calculators I found said I could have a really good shot at scholarships to Wake Forest if I got the LSAT score I am gearing up for but it still feels like kind of a pipe dream to go from high school drop out and teen mom to attending a top 40 law school with scholarships.

If it matters at all, I would like to be a public defender if I can manage to get out of law school without drowning in debt. I am not doing law school because I want a six figure salary. We already have that kind of income in our household and any money I bring in will be superfluous. To be honest, if I got a full ride somewhere I could happily spend the rest of my life doing pro bono work. I love policy more than most people I have met, have a natural aptitude for the LSAT, and have dreamed of going to law school since I was a child. I also do not think I could be happy pursuing any other advanced degree besides law.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: 3.3 and 165+

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:30 pm

Focus completely on the LSAT for now. Getting a 165 cold implies you can break into the high 170s, and if you can do that you should have some amazing options for your goals - a full ride at UNC, for example, seems like a dream outcome for you and should be very attainable with a high enough LSAT score.

CarolinaLawGirl

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Re: 3.3 and 165+

Postby CarolinaLawGirl » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:13 am

High 170s on the LSAT would be wild. I plan to take it by next February at the latest and to work through the Logic Games Bible before. I have read on these forums that UNC is not too keen on splitters and my GPA would put me in that category. They may admit me with a high LSAT but I think it would still be a long shot for scholarship money. It is the campus closest to where I live so going there would be convenient.

Wake Forest would be a dream come true because the culture of the school seems so similar to my undergrad. The small class sizes and reputation for building strong student-professor relationships makes me think that it would be easier for me to get through law school there. Plus, I saw on their Instagram that they do tea parties and have their bell tower play the Hogwarts theme at the end of the first week of the semester; I showed my husband and said, "They are calling me home." :lol: That kind of atmosphere is similar to the school I attend now and made me really want to go to that campus. Wake Forest has given an almost full ride to some people with my GPA and LSAT in the high 160s in the last five years. At least one was an URM, which I am not aside from my age and alternative back story, so it may not apply to me. However, I also read that in 2017 an alumnus died and left $70 million for scholarships. Given the fiscal conservatism of North Carolina, I can't help but think WF probably has more money available to be able to give out scholarships (which is why they have been more generous to splitters than UNC). As a bonus, the public defender for my county of residence is a WF grad and I've read WF has a strong alumni network. Going there might help my chances of getting internships in the area of law I want while being close to home.

I plan to hold off on touring WF and meeting with their dean of admissions until after I have my LSAT scores in hand to maximize my chances of being courted by them. I am touring UNC and meeting with their assistant dean next week, but I am going to treat it like an informational interview more than anything since I am still so far out from taking the LSAT. I just want to sit in a class and ask the dean questions to triple check that I want to spend years of my life in law school.

Anyways, thank you for the vote of confidence and encouragement! I will definitely make the LSAT my top priority in this process since I need to compensate for my meh GPA.

QContinuum

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Re: 3.3 and 165+

Postby QContinuum » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:10 pm

Kudos on coming so far whilst being a single parent to two special-needs kids. That's an incredible accomplishment and you should be very proud of your grit and determination.

Your LSAT practice test performance is extremely promising. As LSAT Airbender says, you should focus on perfecting your performance still further. If you're starting out in the 165-168 range, you should be able to break into 170+ territory easily. In your practice tests so far, are you turning in perfect logic games sections? If not, that's an obvious initial candidate for improvement.

Once you have an actual LSAT score, come back here and we can give you more detailed advice. But right off the bat, I can say that if you do break into 170+ territory, as your PTs forecast, then you should be able to set your sights much higher than UNC or Wake Forest. Especially coupled with the challenges you've overcome, you could easily be looking at T20 with $$$ with a 170+ LSAT.

Also, is your 3.3 only your current GPA, or is it your overall GPA including your community college grades? What matters for law school admissions is your overall GPA (as calculated by LSAC), so your community college grades will be weighted and considered equally with your women's college grades.

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CarolinaLawGirl

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Re: 3.3 and 165+

Postby CarolinaLawGirl » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:33 pm

:shock: Wow. I think that was the best news I have heard all week. My GPA from my current school is 3.3 but I finished my first 60 credits at community college with a 3.7...so I guess the LSAC would calculate my GPA to be higher than I thought.

Logic games is the only section on which I have room for significant improvement. I completely bombed logic games and did not even finish them all before running out of time (and the ones I did answer were hit or miss with correctness). I am kind of thinking about signing up for the June LSAT and just spending six weeks learning how to solve logic puzzles. I figure if I can not improve in that time frame then I probably am not going to get it. :lol:

Thanks for the encouragement and helpful info, guys! I will check back in and update when there is more to tell.

QContinuum

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Re: 3.3 and 165+

Postby QContinuum » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:18 am

CarolinaLawGirl wrote::shock: Wow. I think that was the best news I have heard all week. My GPA from my current school is 3.3 but I finished my first 60 credits at community college with a 3.7...so I guess the LSAC would calculate my GPA to be higher than I thought.

That's terrific! Again, this all depends on your actual LSAT score, and also on how high your final GPA turns out to be. But if you do as well on the actual LSAT as your PTs suggest, and if your GPA is actually going to be ~3.4-3.5, then the T13 could come into play as well.

CarolinaLawGirl wrote:Logic games is the only section on which I have room for significant improvement. I completely bombed logic games and did not even finish them all before running out of time (and the ones I did answer were hit or miss with correctness). I am kind of thinking about signing up for the June LSAT and just spending six weeks learning how to solve logic puzzles. I figure if I can not improve in that time frame then I probably am not going to get it. :lol:

Logic Games is the easiest section of the LSAT to improve quickly on. Do you have the PowerScore Logic Games bible? If not, order a copy and start drilling. That book, plus lots and lots of drilling LGs from old LSATs once I'd mastered the strategy, was a lifesaver for me (take it from someone who went all the way from a 0 in LG to frequent perfect LG scores in timed PTs).



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