Need help with a decision ... pretty major

Vickpetrosian1Vickpetrosian1 Free Trial Member
in General 139 karma
So took yesterdays Feb 6 LSAT......
(Few quick details so you better understand where I'm standing)

So I did not at all take myself seriously months prior to the LSAT, i have withdrawn twice form the LSAT due to knowing this fact.
(OCT & DEC) Prior to taking the LSAT I had minimal knowledge of formal logical( negating , contrapositives,etc...) Like very lightly I understood the concepts but never enough to actually employ them(Assumptions.n all that).. so about a week an a half prior to the LSAT I did my usual thing and procrastinated. My goal was a 158+ (Target school Loyola) which soon I realized after taking my first legit PT with a (149)......that I would downgrade to a goal of Southwestern( ya i know doomed)......However after a week and a half of almost pure 5-10(had class some days) hour a day practice tests and few reviews, i was hitting 154-ish and the material was actually making more and more sense ( even in that godawful amount of stress) one point I actually even got intrigued as to why like....I don't know it felt like a hunger to spot-recognize-repair-improve....

Sorry for all that bit long but heres my question I'm seeing my life with two options as of now....

1.If I score a 152+ with my (3.3UGPA) apply to Southwestern(YES I KNOW) my ass off first year top 15-20%(Yes i know its difficult,everything in life is) then transfer to (,USC..ect) or.....its a big OR

2.Spend this next year studying for the October LSAT apply to top tier schools(T14- 20) with likely a scholarship....(And yes I believe I can hit 170+) not cause I'm a genius...(i wish) but because I'm decently inteligent with a new acquired taste in LSAT...

Ill give you an idea of what I'm feeling, literally after sitting through my first LSAT.....I came home my mind was blurry and literally the only comfort I found was by doing LR questions to calm my nerves....

PS:JY STRAIGHT UP TAUGHT ME EVERYTHING ABOUT LG GAMES...Smart Gentleman( Will be buying the ultimate test guide if option 2 is chosen....I hope that doesn't suffice as evidence in some kind of bias fashion to anything you may post :)


  • ellie1991ellie1991 Alum Member
    237 karma
    Option 2. Seems like with more practice you can get what you need and want. Going with option 1 is just too much of a hastle to go through, and law school is already pretty tough.
  • mysojulimysojuli Alum Member
    98 karma
    Here is a way to think about it.

    YES you could get into law school with option 1 likely with little scholarship and you COULD transfer but how much student debt are you taking on? $100k-150k? Do you think you can land a job that can pay off the loans?


    Option 2. You take the test again get a high score and get a big scholarship!! Who knows maybe a full ride. No worries about loans and you are not forced into picking big law.

    I think both options are solid picks but you have to consider it from a financial aspect. Read some articles about people with big law school loans and factor money into your decision.
    edited February 2016 248 karma
    I think the odds of you going to USC arent great even if you were top 15% of your class, I'm pretty sure there gonna ask for your LSAT scores and UG GPA. Second, you have no guarantee of being in the top of your class, everyone is there to work hard and the tests are a lot different from anything you've seen. Not sayin it's impossible but youre rolling dice. Maybe you get into USC, they arent gonna give you any substantial money for transferring. Living in LA plus tuition is an easy 65k a year. Their corporate placement is 1/3. If you aren't in that 1/3, youre gonna be in crippling debt...
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    edited February 2016 3197 karma
    I agree with going option two but wanted to add something for the transfer student part.
    @2RARE2CARE said:
    gonna ask for your LSAT scores and UG GPA
    Yes, it will be on the application, but your class ranking is much more important than the LSAT for a transfer student, as schools only have to report the incoming 1L LSAT scores, not the entire schools LSAT. But you really have to be top of your class, and willing to pay the full price of tuition. I think its extremely rare for a transfer student to get any scholarships from the school, if it happens at all.

    My good friend who works at a Top - 10 firm, bombed the LSAT (many times). She had a great GPA (MCL) but horrible score in the late 2000s. She had to fight her way off of a wait list, basically guaranteeing a school if they accepted her shed write them a check for full tuition right there. She worked her tail off, was a top 10 student and transferred to UCLA, she has shared that her class ranking was the most important thing for her to be able to transfer.

    As a transfer student your competing based off of your school rank, grades and school competitiveness. Plus your marketability to get a Law Position. 1Ls its all about your stats, after that it is all about, can you help us with our employed in law numbers.

  • Micaela_OVOMicaela_OVO Alum Member
    1018 karma
    Option 2. Why apply with a subpar score and try to play "catch up" for the next couple years while taking on tons of debt? Judging by your post, you seem to know that you've barely skimmed the surface during your studies. You have so much room for improvement.

    This is a learnable test. This fact shines through time after time when people go from a low150 diagnostic to 170+. Yes, it will be hard. It's going to take a lot of discipline and a lot of tears (only half joking about the latter..). You can conquer this test ONLY IF you put in the work. It's not uncommon for high scorers to study for 6 months- over a year to get their goal score.

    You'll often hit a plateau and feel like you can't improve. This is when your analytics come into play. What LR question types are giving you the most trouble? Not finishing games on time? RC science passages giving you a headache? Be honest with yourself when looking for weaknesses, and then drill them like crazy. RC is my weakest section. Guess what I do? I make that my experimental 5th section every timed PT I sit down to take.

    I'll end with one of my favorite quotes. "The best way to ensure success is to deserve it." -Mike Kim, The LSAT Trainer.
  • bbutlerbbutler Inactive ⭐
    401 karma
    @Vickpetrosian1 I would agree with the posters above and would highly recommend option 2. Many of us here have gone through similar situations where we wanted to attend in a certain cycle and decided to wait and study longer and have had remarkable results. Others have sat for the LSAT many times only to finally get the score they wanted on the 3rd take. The fact that you already understand that the LSAT is conquerable if you put in hard work is already a good sign. Not to mention you have a newly acquired taste in the LSAT which is also amazing for the grind that you're going to go through. If you put in the time and work I'm sure you can reach your goal of hitting 170+ and that means a nice scholarship. Another way to think of it it this, let's say that you take a year off or even a year and a half to study for the LSAT so you can get a full scholarship worth approximately 150k. That means you're making around 100k a year studying for the LSAT, far more than many people working jobs. Remember that when people in your life start saying negative things should you decide to wait. Either way whatever you decide good luck and we're here to help!
  • Mike StoneMike Stone Member
    edited February 2016 111 karma
    I think you STRONGLY underestimate how hard a 170 is. So while Option 2 makes far more sense than option 1, you still should set some realistic incremental goals. Start with a goal to get into UMiami at #63 (for example). Prep until your prep tests are fairly their range. Then a more difficult school like #34 of BC. Then Georgia at whatever they are. (I'm just naming schools I like.) Then rise your goals up the rankings until you hit your peak. If you get a 170, great. But if you're a procrastinator who is banking on a 152 from yesterdays test, I'm sorry but you're not going to go from 50% to 90% of LSAT takers in 6 months. Do those numbers even make sense to you? Bell curve, brah.

    Also, USC (like many other Cali schools) has a reputation of being a GPA snob. I have done a ton of research on USC because it is my second favorite prospect. I have a 3.4, I'll score in the low 160s, and everything I read tells me I have no chance. You're likely to be in the same boat, not accounting for essay, resume, etc. Take a look at the LSAC website's school search. They have a calculator that gives you your chances of getting into a school based on your GPA & LSAT; I think it works by juxtaposing your grid with those of past applicants. Even if you get your 170, its just unlikely. I'm telling you this because I don't think it is reasonable to expect a 20 point jump in 6 months to get into the #14-20 schools. USC is #20. As far as transferring in, one of the posts above me nailed it. Everyone is going there to bust ass and compete. (Consider also the students who are WAY smarter than the rest of Southwestern Law School students, but they got full rides and fat schollys to SW, and don't have much/don't want debt/whatever. They're gunna bump your motivated ass down the list.) You're not going to just walk in and own the joint because you decided to do so. You may. But you won't. Do some extensive research.

    Lastly, consider what type of law you want to practice. My favorite prospect is ranked a bit below USC, but they have a far superior program for my particular area of study. That mentality may behoove you.

    Good luck, I sincerely hope you prove me wrong and bring that score way up. I just felt an affinity with this post because I used to have similar dreams of "well all I gotta do is figure out how to LSAT, I kind of like this method of thinking. Maybe Michigan? ...Cal? ...UCLA?" Yeah, nah.

    Feel free to inbox me, because I believe my response is well researched. Happy to offer my two cents.
  • Vickpetrosian1Vickpetrosian1 Free Trial Member
    139 karma
    Thank you everyone who gives me motivation and those that give me the opposite as well. The most negative(realistic) comments are takin into account as well, thank you as well for I really like seeing the challenges of whatever road i may choose. None the less the research is well behind me both i have read in and out side to side all across, of these two choices I was just trying to see which would be considered more realistic (Transferring folks is not that awful especially in state CA) might I remind aren't you there to learn? I mean this is your passion for school if you honestly don't enjoy working hard having those long nights contemplating if your gunna make it or not then maybe transferring from one school to another might not be a good choice or getting170 LSAT scores is not for you. BECAUSE both these tasks require dedication and a unbendable will........

  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    I think both your options have a good bit of wishful thinking built in (that's not to say it won't happen, but I wouldn't count on it as a given).
    The transfer route hinges on the assumption that your target schools would take someone from Southwestern at all AND the assumption that if they do you will be that someone. The downside is that you end up with a lot of debt and a degree from a school with a checkered record of job placement. You might have factors going for you that you haven't mentioned that would make your individual prospects better than the average, so it might not be as grim of a prospect as it seems.
    For the postpone and apply next year route, I wouldn't automatically count on a T14-T20 with scholarship. You may get the 170 or you may not. It's certainly not impossible, but it is a score that only ~2% of takers get, so it's not a guarantee either. A 3.3 GPA is below the median for more or less all the T20 schools, so it might be difficult to get a full ride. That said, with a strong score you might be likely to get a substantial scholarship at a strong regional school. Certainly better than sticker at Southwestern. The only real downside to this scenario is that you lose a year - you don't get any better at the LSAT and you are back to option 1 a year later (pretty unlikely). The upside is that you do get a great score and end up going to a good school with a plump scholarship (maybe not T20, but a good school with decent employment prospects). I'd take those odds anytime, but again, I don't know your individual situation, so there might be more at play than we know.
  • Vickpetrosian1Vickpetrosian1 Free Trial Member
    139 karma
    @runiggyrun well heres the thing Southwestern for me would be a bridge school I have checked it out transferring to Loyola for example is sooo doable USC not as doable.... I have family at both btw.... But you mean to tell me that low170's plus a 3.3 is not good enough for a T20! lol My friends cousin got into UCLA and she pushed in with a lovely 165 and slightly higher gpa then me.... GPA is hardly accounted for . I mean unless its just horrible (2.2-@2.9) .... even then with 170+ its just irrelevant with gpa you will get into third of the T20....
  • UsernameChangeUsernameChange Free Trial Member
    349 karma
    This shouldn't even be a question imo. If you can't even bring yourself to take the LSAT seriously up to now, what makes you think you are going to be able to take law school seriously and finish top 10%? Even then that's by no means a rock solid transfer to a top 20 school. And God forbid you got stuck at Southwestern where the employment rate is around 30%, you would basically be giving yourself a 60% chance of being unemployed with a bunch of debt. Retake the lsat and take it seriously. It is the most important test you will have taken to this point towards your legal career. I adamantly disagree with the above poster who said "both are Good options," one is a horrible option and the other should be the ONLY option. Good luck.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    @Vickpetrosian1 - I'm not implying that you wouldn't be able to get into a T20. Just that a full ride to one is not a given. I'm not that familiar with California schools, so I can only go by numbers, and according to LSAC a 170/3.3 gives you a 28-38% chance at UCLA, and 43-58% chance at USC. That's a substantial chance, and your personal circumstances can make that chance higher or lower, but it's not a slam-dunk and it doesn't say anything about your chances at a scholarship. Any LSAT point above that improves your chances, but you can't count on that until you have that score in hand.
    I'm not trying to discourage you from either path, just pointing out that both of your stated alternatives rely on future performance, and there's never a guarantee about that, and that from my limited point of view, the risk/benefit ratio seems to point toward waiting.
    Just bear in mind that none of us is really in your shoes. We are just strangers on the internet, and our advice is just what we would be likely do, based on the information we have. If FOR YOU a year is more valuable then the potential for a higher rank and less debt, then you should choose accordingly. If Loyola is good enough to fulfill your career goals, and you've realistically researched your transfer chances and they look good, then it's only a matter of money - apply this year and transfer, or apply next year and get a scholarship (which is definitely doable even with a modest increase in LSAT score).
    Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised by your February score and it will all be a moot point.

  • UsernameChangeUsernameChange Free Trial Member
    349 karma
    @Vickpetrosian1 said:
    GPA is hardly accounted for . I mean unless its just horrible (2.2-@2.9) .... even then with 170+ its just irrelevant with gpa you will get into third of the T20....
    This is pretty much 100% false. GPA is considered and is relevant no matter what LSAT score you have. Someone on TLS was posting last week with a 178 or 179 and they got denied to quite a few top 20 schools because their GPA was bad.
    As a side note, you are implying as though you will just knock out a 170+ like its no big deal with "hard work." A lot of people on this forum studied for over a year and still have not broken 170.
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    edited February 2016 2086 karma
    Let me just put it this way. I see way too many "Ifs" in option 1. The more "ifs" there are, the more likely it is that some wont be satisfied.
    Option 2 is wiser. Don't rely on schools giving you what you want. Rather, give them a reason to WANT to give you whatever it is you're seeking.
    In the interest of avoiding a long debate, I'm just going to suggest you look into the job prospects and BAR passage rate of some of the schools that you would consider, if option 1 is chosen.
  • 45 karma
    I understand procrastinating and last minute being pretty sure you could do a lot better. I would honestly advise, if you can, wait a year. Even if you don't end up going to your first choice school, if your score is higher you will have more possibilities at scholarship money at the schools you do get into instead of paying sticker price for lower ranked schools with low possibility of transfer. Then if you do transfer are you okay with sticker price at that school as well? I guess it depends on your finances and how much debt you can handle.
  • Vickpetrosian1Vickpetrosian1 Free Trial Member
    edited February 2016 139 karma
    Thank You everyone for helping me out on my very tough decision I'm going to wait another year for the LSAT likely OCT if June is too soon for my goal score.... Thank you !!!



    @paulina.m.cook @MrSamIam @runiggyrun @bbutler @Micaela_OVO
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Don't cancel. There is no benefit to it at this point.
    edited February 2016 248 karma
    You'd be naive to believe a top 20 school isn't going to seriously consider your uGPA and LSAT scores, even if its not gonna be reported on their admission stats. Im sure a shit ton of kids in the top 10-20% of their class try to transfer. I'd bet you wouldnt get in being the top 10% and a 152 LSAT. I'm almost positive that the school you mentioned isn't competitively ranked so I'm sure they will strongly consider your LSAT score.. plus transferring is going to affect your class ranking and probably nullify your ability to go on law review. It makes your 35% ish chance of going corporate out of USC marginally smaller. Big firms recruit the top freshman... your chances are going to diminish as a transfer
  • Vickpetrosian1Vickpetrosian1 Free Trial Member
    139 karma
    @2RARE2CARE Hey are you bored with your life ? Half the things you say are very inaccurate and ignorant so please stop giving people on here a good reason to laugh....You might be going through a tough time with apps or your score or grades whatever it may be, acting negatively towards others will not make your chances any better..... PS the entire idea I'm basing my idea of attending a t20 is if and only if i get a substantially higher score I never said I'm going to get in with my 152 and a 3.3......and if you think during transfers any scores or gpa matters from UG your sadly mistaken.....the only thing your accurate about is the fact that transferring will nullify your ability to go on law review....
    edited February 2016 248 karma
    @Vickpetrosian1im not reacting negatively, I'm telling you it's not a good idea. I think you're just mad you didn't get the answer you wanted. Maybe they won't ask for your grades but they'll definitely ask to report your LSAT. Regardless of the grades, what I said was accurate. Don't get mad when the truth hurts? We might be doing you a favor with an unrealistic . What's laughable is that your butt hurt about it
  • AidoeAidoe Free Trial Member
    236 karma
    Let's keep our comments beyond reproach and stay above the fray here, guys.
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma

    I'm confident that the tone of recent posts in this thread is not beneficial.

    Only address others on this site in a way in which you yourself would like to be addressed.

    Kindness. Humility. Patience. Gratitude. Meditate on these things. And if you do not feel prepared to mix these virtues into your discourse, then please choose silence over speech.
  • Mike StoneMike Stone Member
    111 karma
    @Vickpetrosian1 dont cancel, you can only take 3x in 2 years including cancellations, so you might as well see what you got.

    also, @2RARE2CARE has been pretty dead on with both of his posts that i've read, and you're jumping at him pretty quick. you guys are acting ridiculous. but dont ask advice if you dont want to heed answers that are unappealing. I suggest you both take a deep breath and end this thread, because neither of you is going to convince the other of anything.

    7Sage has been a phenomenal platform for teamwork, motivation, and helpful advice/constructive criticism in conquering what is likely to be the second most grueling test of your life (the first being the bar should you choose to take it). Keep the positive flow. This is not a shady blog/chat room for cyber bullying or condescension. Ultimately the only people judging your law school aptitude are the adcoms, not some fella ya met online who said you will never be good enough for the T20.
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