Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

This Admissions Cycle or Next Admissions Cycle?

Hi everybody! I have really been stressing out lately. I've been really harping down on myself about my current situation and I'm really frustrated. I know that there are some discussions similar to this, but I just really need some advice in real-time. So I had a bit of an existential crisis over the summer about what I wanted to do with my life and decided in July that I was going to apply to law school and take the LSAT. This left me with only two months to study, and while I studied about seven hours a day, it still was nowhere near the amount of time needed to study for the October LSAT. I got my score back and it's a 150, which I was SUPER disappointed with because of my UG-GPA. I attended two four-year universities and one community college. My performance at my first college was really abysmal primarily because of extenuating circumstances, a really shoddy mental health situation, and undiagnosed ADHD (which I recently got put on meds for). Realistically, I need to raise my score by A LOT to make up for my GPA. I am mostly wondering, based on what I have said, should I wait to apply until the next Admissions Cycle or not? I plan on taking the January and February test to improve my score and I've read that it might be a little late to apply to schools by the time that I get the results back. Let me know what your thoughts are! If you answer the poll please give me a reason why!

Admissions Cycle poll
  1. Which cycle should I apply to law school in?116 votes
    1. Current cycle (Fall 2020/Spring 2021) for Fall 2021 admission.
    2. Next Cycle (Fall 2021/Spring 2022) for Fall 2022 Admission.


  • Law and YodaLaw and Yoda Alum Member
    edited November 2020 4306 karma

    Hi @taylordipan , a couple things I recommend asking yourself before making the decision is; 1) is there any particular reason driving you to apply for this current cycle? I know for some students their life circumstance don't allow them to push back their cycle to the next so that's a factor to consider alone. 2) Are scholarships and financial aid a strong factor in helping you decide where to pursue going to law school - would you mind graduating with loans if you don't receive financial aid? The amount of financial aid given (depending on the university) may decrease as the cycle continues. Many of the sagers on here and other forums talk about scholarship outcome as time goes on so I'd recommend reading those to learn more about the financial incentives to applying earlier in an application cycle versus later (Jan/Feb/March). Do keep in mind that some schools don't offer merit-based scholarships so if you do apply to such schools I would think that when you apply plays less of a role. 3) Do you have the other supplemental pieces ready to go if you do like your score when you retake - recommendations, personal statement, any addendums you need to include, etc.

    Another option you could look into (granted you like your score in Jan/Feb) is applying this cycle and based on the financial package received determine whether you want to commit or deny and reapply earlier next cycle. (I don't know how that works in terms of how the university will view your next application).

    I'll drop a couple links down below that discuss financial aid in terms of the application period you apply in - hope this helps!


  • bluree09bluree09 Member
    25 karma

    I had a rough time in college, which resulted in a horrific gpa. I was in a similar situation last year. I ended up applying to schools after getting a 160. I did get waitlisted at a couple spots but failed to receive an acceptance letter.

    To be honest, 150 is a difficult score to be considered with for schools in the upper half of the rankings. It is made even more difficult when it is not accompanied by an excellent gpa. You mentioned that you were disappointed by your October test score. Don't get me wrong. After 2 months of study, 150 is not a bad score. You shouldn't be down about that.

    But, I want to tell you that the lsat is a very learnable test. Reaching a score within the 160s is so possible with a good amount of prep time and effort. I know you can do it. You're already on the right website to get you to that goal. Overall, I want to say that applying with a 150 is very different from applying with a 160+.

    I'm not sure where your target schools are. However, I would lean towards a serious attempt in the next cycle. I would definitely advise that, if possible, you apply to some schools to get a sense of the whole process. Speaking with school admins, composing the right application, these are all elements that we have to face before going to law school. I see no harm in getting ahead in that respect.

    Also, the January test can be tough. Christmas. Sigh. It can really kill your groove. Maybe it was because my nephew was born around that time, but I had a hard time getting my concentration level back to an acceptable range. February may be better choice.

  • Angela KimAngela Kim Core Member
    98 karma

    I would recommend trying for this current cycle because you still have enough time to improve your score by Jan. and Feb. Many schools accept Jan. as their last write, so don't be discouraged because if you have a competitive LSAT score, you will get in regardless. Don't stress and do your best ! Good luck.

  • BeMoreChill99BeMoreChill99 Member
    44 karma

    150 is still a competitive score! Someone will want you. If I were you I would apply now-- if you are content with applying to less competitive schools or are confident in your app materials (LORs, PS, Diversity Statements, and etc.) I also agree with the others that recommend taking the February or January test admin.

  • Determined_-1Determined_-1 Member
    924 karma

    Girl, even if you have to retake in January, do what you think is best for you. That way, when all is said and done, you know you were the only one influencing your decision!

  • Meg_5280Meg_5280 Core Member
    49 karma

    Hey girl! I read like 3 sentences and KNEW we were the same person. I too have ADHD and literally woke up and decided to go to law school. I got a 149 on the October test and have felt lost ever since. If you want to join my support group and chat and study, please do! I set up a discord and I would love to be there to support you through this journey :) much love. You can do anything.


  • ibarre98ibarre98 Member
    44 karma

    January isn't too late to apply this cycle. There's still 2 months till the Jan test- that will put you at a minimum of 4 months of studying under your belt (5 if you studied after your Oct test till now).

  • UCLApleaseUCLAplease Member
    edited November 2020 281 karma

    @BeMoreChill99 said:
    150 is still a competitive score! Someone will want you. If I were you I would apply now-- if you are content with applying to less competitive schools or are confident in your app materials (LORs, PS, Diversity Statements, and etc.) I also agree with the others that recommend taking the February or January test admin.

    150 is not a competitive score. It's a score that diploma mill law schools will want. Do not apply to law school with a 150. Retake the test and score at least a 160.

  • Prayfor_mePrayfor_me Alum Member
    119 karma

    I'm lowkey confused about one thing you mentioned in your post, did you just decide randomly to go to law school or it's something you've always wanted to do? But to answer your question, you know yourself better than we do. I was in a similar position so some questions to ask yourself:
    1- Can I do better on this exam and am I ready to put the effort in?
    2- Do I really need to go to law school next year? What can I do with my time in the meantime?
    3- Do I need to do more research on the schools I'm interested in? Research in general (I add this because during my time I've found tons of scholarships both for the LSAT and law school that many have never heard about and will be useful in the long run)
    4- If I do plan to attend law school next year, am I mentally/physically/emotionally ready?

    I know with this generation at least and how social media is used by many, a lot of us feel pressured to join this competition of who's "winning at life." (Not saying this is what you're doing). But just sit and ask yourself what works best for you. It's not a race and you'll get to where you need to be on your own timing and not anyone else’s. Never compare yourself! Goodluck :)

  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    edited November 2020 6867 karma

    Yes, you can apply this cycle if you take in January. But that doesn't mean you should.

    You are spending a quarter million dollars (most of which probably will have to be borrowed) and 3 years of your life on whatever law school you end up going to. You are then tasked with recouping that investment through your subsequent employment opportunities, all while being subject to 5-6% compounding interest on said loans.

    As such, your goal is not to get into any old law school - your goal is to get into a law school that will set you up for success. If you wanted to go to any old law school, Thomas Cooley would probably accept you right this moment, and then you can have fun with their 47.2% post-grad employment rate or their 43.9% bar pass rate.

    I mean, it's not impossible to succeed/flourish from there - but that doesn't mean it's a good decision.

    This doesn't even take into account the fact that improving on the LSAT takes time because it's freaking hard. I've taught this test for a decade now and I promise you I haven't yet run into a single student who's ever overestimated how long it'd take them to improve.

    Compared to what you're putting on the line by going to law school, why fret over a gap year? Given the situation you've shared - suboptimal GPA that needs to be made up for with an LSAT score, freshly-medicated for ADHD which will take some getting used to - at this point, the question you should probably be asking is why you'd even attempt to rush for this cycle. I can't think of a single good reason based on the information presented here.

  • lexxx745lexxx745 Alum Member Sage
    3190 karma

    Retake and apply next cycle

  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Member
    2054 karma

    I think we need more information to know whether you should apply this year or not. You alluded to having a poor GPA. If you GPA and LSAT are below median at a target school you are probably not getting in. Additionally, as others have pointed out, a 150, while it will get you into some law schools, is probably not going to get you into a law school that is worth the investment unless you are above their median for GPA and, based on your post, I am guessing that might not be the case. You do not need, as someone said, a 160 to get a law education that is worth your time. I have a friend that got some full ride offers at schools ranked around 50th and got scholarship at #23 GWU with a 157 LSAT. However, she had a good GPA and excellent references and a strong LSAT addendum. I think there are also plenty of schools in the lower T100 that do have good employment and bar passage numbers in their local market. FIU in Miami is ranked 90th but has one of the best bar passage rates in Florida at 87.7% and 10 month out employment numbers at 83.6%.

    However, you need to be at least around median with both LSAT and GPA or above with one and below another. At FIU for example that would mean around 157 LSAT and 3.61 GPA.

    The reason several people have said push till next year is that you want to be as competitive as possible at as good a school as possible. This year is also a very unusually competitive cycle.
    While there are some diamonds in the rough at lower ranked schools reputation will help you out a lot long term. If you are able to get a good score in January would you be able to get a much better score in August that would also allow you to compete with a less competitive incoming class? I think the answer is yes. So, if it is critically important to you to enter next year go for it, and if you rock the January LSAT certainly apply at places performing dramatically above their ranking like FIU, but I think the better outcome for you long term is to push to 2022.

    Also, full disclosure, I did grad work at FIU and the university at large is not very concerned with their students or their faculty. The university administration for grad students was horrid. That said, those I knew in the law school liked it much better and were also treated better. Law brings in more money than arts and sciences and FIU is always concerned with more money. Take the discussion of FIU only as a recommendation of their law school stats and not the university at large as well as an easy example of a school performing well above their ranking.

  • jarred.williams99jarred.williams99 Alum Member
    34 karma


    Wait until next cycle. Just take a deep breath and realize that all of your opportunities for law school (if not more) will still be there in 12 months. The only considerable difference between now and then is that you'll have months more prep under your belt as well as another year to boost your resume and explore what you're wanting out of your future career.

    I was in a similar position for this cycle. I'm currently a senior at my UG school. After 8-10 months of off and on studying (and admittedly putting far less effort into it than I should have), I sat for the August FLEX and received a 157. My UGPA calculated by LSAC is a 3.97, so applying with that score would have made me the same time of "splitter" that you would be with your 150.

    Like you, I knew I was capable of a much higher score. I did some research and found that, for the most part, there are pretty much ZERO drawbacks to waiting a cycle to apply so long as you stay on track and spend the time bolstering your application. Go ahead and look at admission statistics for law schools this last cycle, and I promise you'll be surprised at the median age of first year students. It was much higher than I thought it was.

    Needless to say, I canceled my August 157 (as I am aiming for a T14 school in the 2021-2022 cycle), buckled down, and will be waiting a year to apply. I'll be spending the next 10-12 months finishing my degree, studying for the LSAT hard, working, and volunteering in the city I live in while also gathering my 2nd LOR.

    Don't be discouraged from waiting a year - I promise you're not missing out on anything.

  • ZingZingZipZipZingZingZipZip Core Member
    25 karma

    This is a challenging process under the best of circumstances, and it sounds like you're under a lot of pressure. In terms of your immediate needs, can you afford to wait for a year? If you have an income and place to live, it's much easier to study for this test over an extended period of time (provided you actually follow a study schedule) and easier to perform well if you're under less stress. What, if anything, will change for you if you wait a year? There's no real reason to think of waiting for an additional year as a setback, particularly if there are real advantages (better score, better school, better scholarship; less pressure, less covid complications) of holding off. Coming from the perspective of someone who is already well over the typical age to start law school and also considering waiting an additional year to improve my own prospects, in the grand scheme, it's much better for you to put your best self forward in those applications. If that's you in a year from now, wait.

Sign In or Register to comment.