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Another gap year?

KbrizzleKbrizzle Legacy Member
in General 22 karma
Hi all,

I have been seriously studying for the LSAT since about the beginning of July. I joined 7Sage pretty late, at around the beginning of August. I hurried through the curriculum and due to parental demands, took the October LSAT and scored a 155. Since then I have been PTing and BRing but have not seen an improvement in my scores.
I desperately want to go to law school; I have some exposure to the field and I loved every minute of it. However, my parents simply won't allow me to postpone the test/application process any longer. At least, not with their continued support.
I have a good GPA (can disclose if needed) and I know what a good LSAT score could do for my future.
I suppose my question is this: Do I suck it up, get a mediocre score, get into a mediocre school and try to transfer? Or is it really worth it to postpone the test again, disappoint the parents, but put myself in a better place for the future? I am currently in my gap year (graduated in May), so this would mean taking another year and waiting until Fall of 17 to enter school, as I understand it.

Comments

  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    @Kbrizzle said:
    Do I suck it up, get a mediocre score, get into a mediocre school and try to transfer?
    Horrible idea. Never go into law school with the intent to transfer, you will end up disappointed in almost every way.
    @Kbrizzle said:
    Or is it really worth it to postpone the test again, disappoint the parents, but put myself in a better place for the future?
    You already know it is. You just want someone to bail you out and give you permission to go ahead with the horrible idea above. If not taking the LSAT is really going to disappoint your parents you don't need that negativity in your life. Go get a job, move out and take your time, prep for June or next fall and crush the LSAT when you're ready. Law school and the LSAT will always be there when you're ready, and rushing it can lead to you settling for the wrong school or for attending at sticker. Both of those are bad ideas. Do what you have to do to make your own way and determine your own future. And don't worry, once you're finally at law school, or when you finally become a lawyer, I'm sure your parents will come around and it will all be water under the bridge. So suck it up and postpone. Good luck!
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Legacy Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    Ask your parents how much they plan on supporting you after you graduate with $150k worth of debt and no way to pay it off, because you followed their wishes and rushed the process. I know this isn't the case with everyone, but it can be for many.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @Kbrizzle said:
    I suppose my question is this: Do I suck it up, get a mediocre score, get into a mediocre school and try to transfer?
    NO.
    @Kbrizzle said:
    Or is it really worth it to postpone the test again, disappoint the parents, but put myself in a better place for the future?
    You know what would really disappoint your parents? Going to a mediocre law school, having awful job prospects, and a ton of debt. Having a huge debt load and not being able to pay it off: that's what a mediocre LSAT score portends. A lot of people go $200k in debt and can't get a job that pays more than $70k. Run the numbers. That's a horrible investment.
  • hazelnut13hazelnut13 Alum Member
    244 karma
    If it makes you feel any better, I am in almost the exact same boat! I just decided (literally, yesterday) that I am not going to settle for my LSAT score and take another year to do my best. It was such a scary decision to make, but I think it's worth it. Would you rather be stuck wondering what you could've achieved given another year off? I could've attended ____ or ________ if I had gotten a better LSAT score. I didn't want to deal with that kind of mentality. Feel free to message me about my specific stats, which are similar to yours, if I may add. Take the leap!
  • pattyesqpattyesq Member
    28 karma
    From reading your comments, do you even want to go to law school? Or do your parents want you to go to law school? You say you do, but if I really wanted to go to law school, I would care more about disappointing myself, rather than my parents...Also, you're probably going to be more of a disappointment to them when your law school acceptances come out, versus waiting another year (if they care about the "name brand" value of the school).

    Take the LSAT when you are ready. If you are fine going to those schools in which your LSAT/GPA will be accepted, then by all means, take the test ONLY if you feel you will score higher than a 155. Don't let other people force you into taking the exam when you are not ready - people did that with me, and despite my gut feeling, I listened to their advice and ultimately had to cancel. Just know that once you take the December test, you will only have one try left (for a two year period). Also, even if you waited until February to take the test and applied next cycle, you would have much needed time to work on your essays and such, and apply early.

    And by support, are you referring to financial? My parents did not support me financially, verbally, emotionally, or otherwise. My mother in particular has been extremelyyyy vocal about her disapproval of my choice in career. And I turned out fine (scored in the 97 percentile for the October test) after starting out at a 148. Yes, I had to spend an extra year out of school than I had originally planned, but all in all, things worked out for the best (in terms of my score).
  • lsatingslsatings Alum Member
    349 karma
    As someone who worked in a law school for a long time, and worked with transfer students as well as incoming students who had high GPA's and low LSAT scores I can tell you a few things:
    1 - transferring is not as guaranteed as you might like to think it is. You're opening the floor to a lot of risks (such as not doing well your first year) and being stuck where you're at
    2 - transferring sets you back, a lot. you wont be able to participate in a lot of moot courts, or law review, or even the crucial OCI (on campus interviews)/EI (early interview) program which places you in an associate position for the next year.
    3 - you're getting a lot of debt in exchange of just post poning it another year and getting a better score. its the worst financial mistake you could do.
    4 - sacrificing the potential of getting scholarship money, that will make your finances easier. if you have a good GPA and get a high lsat score (~170+) then you can likely get into a top 14 and if you're good at it, even negotiate a scholarship offer with them. That will take you so much further than settling.
    5 - if you listen to your parents and regret your decision, this will be something that you'll be bothered about for years. this is a permanent decision to make, so be cautious.

    my advice is to do what i'm already doing for myself, and disobey your parents.
  • GSU HopefulGSU Hopeful Monthly
    edited November 2015 1644 karma
    @nicole.hopkins said:
    A lot of people go $200k in debt and can't get a job that pays more than $70k
    My exact fear in a nutshell.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    @LSATsagha said:
    2 - transferring sets you back, a lot. you wont be able to participate in a lot of moot courts, or law review, or even the crucial OCI (on campus interviews)/EI (early interview) program which places you in an associate position for the next year.
    While I agree that attending law school with the intention to transfer is a stupid idea, I would just like to highlight that none of these examples are ironclad. There are write-ons for law review at the beginning of 2L year that transfers are eligible for at many schools, and there are many stories of people doing 2 OCIs due to the specific schedules of the schools they attended. This also works against some people that end up with 0, though it seems most people end up with 1 either at the school they leave or the one they transfer into.
  • lsatingslsatings Alum Member
    349 karma
    @Pacifico said:
    I would just like to highlight that none of these examples are ironclad.
    I would say its situational. It's not ironclad, but there is also the very real (and common) possibility that it is. Many schools start recruiting for OCI and creating interview schedules much earlier than some transfer students are able to submit applications. Depending on the academic schedule for your school, and the OCI schedule/academic calendar for your target school, there can often be an overlap and it can cause you to miss out on opportunities. Schools are corresponding with interviewers months in advance to the actual OCI and submit a list of interested applicants almost immediately after the end of the school year so that interviewers can select the students they want to proceed with. Some transfers we had we were able to fit in for some of the firms interviewing students in October (which is typically considered late for OCI), but the vast majority of firms we had interviewing much earlier on. For one of the schools I worked at, we were only able to accommodate 1 transferring student. At a top 14 school I worked at, we weren't able to help any. This is not necessarily anyone's fault -- we had interested transfers and we treated them like any other 1L, but many of them had to wait up to 6 weeks to get their transcripts, etc. which put a lag on their applications that firms didn't want to wait on (especially when hiring managers themselves are being pressured to decide on applicants in a very short amount of time).

    Also, if you're thinking big law then there is some grey area you have to work around, especially because they're not only interested in you as an applicant, but also the school you go to. If you're a transfer then you haven't officially started your new school (so they haven't seen your performance there and don't know what your grades/rankings will look like at that school -- which is something they care about), but you also are no longer affiliated with your old school and this can either be good or bad depending on the situation, or how the interviewers choose to interpret it.

    Obviously, this is not guaranteed to be ironclad, but it isn't necessarily easy, or always possible. If you are transferring then you need to absolutely make sure you contact your target school in advance to inquire about OCI/EIW (whatever your school decides to call it) and try to get involved in it, submit your apps, etc. Most of the time the career counseling office is pretty receptive of it and will try to help you. Request your transcripts from your 1L school immediately so that you can have them ready. The same goes for law review and moot courts because schools do not necessarily reach out to transfers and let them know about these things (its a major gap, but some schools are working to address it), but from my experiences unless a transfer takes initiative and works to get placement in any of these, then they usually miss out. Don't always rely on the school to tell you what is/isn't available as an option to you. If you do transfer, then good luck. It's not impossible, and it's worth it to be at a school you feel more comfortable in/have better career prospects at, but if you're planning to transfer as a result of settling for a lower LSAT score then that is an unbelievably stupid decision to make.
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