dianao6512dianao6512 Alum Member
in General 169 karma

So, I got my October flex score back...148. I knew after how terrible the LG section was that it would be bad...but wow. I was PT’ing around 154, which I already wasnt happy about because I have been studying for a year now. Last year when I took it in July, I got a 150. I cancelled because I figured a year from then I would be doing much better...but no. Im truly confused on what to do. Im registered for November, I will take a PT and see how im doing and worst comes ill move it to January. Either way, I want to apply this cycle and seeing what happens. I had a 3.92 from Howard U and am a URM. Great extracurriculars, unique PS/DS, strong work history...its just this LSAT.

Everything is already going way off of my plans. I didn’t initially plan on taking a year off, but here I am. I don’t regret it because I have a great paralegal job and am getting great experience...but I have to face the decision of potentially taking another year off. What if I do and my score is STILL the same? Towards the end of my studies for October, I got a tutor and I realized I haven’t been studying correctly. Thats the only thing giving me hope. In the 4 weeks I had a tutor, I didn’t see a score improvement but I did notice I looked at LR a bit questions differently. I honestly dont know how to feel still..or what to do. I want nothing more than to be a lawyer and really want to go to Stanford or Berkeley.

Any words of motivation, advice or stories of personal experience would be much appreciated.


  • lawschoolaspirantlawschoolaspirant Alum Member
    49 karma

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're feeling dejected. It sucks when we put so much time into something only to get disappointing results. You should definitely still apply this cycle; you have a great GPA, and I'm sure the other parts of your application are going to be astounding. I do think taking the LSAT again is a great idea, but I'd caution against taking it in November since it's in two weeks. While the January LSAT date is not desirable, you won't be at a disadvantage if you get your LSAT score up (I'd use and lawschoolnumbers to see the months that URM applicants successfully submitted their apps to schools like Stanford and Berkeley to double-check, but I'm certain you'll be fine submitting apps then). I know you can do it!

  • dianao6512dianao6512 Alum Member
    169 karma

    @lawschoolaspirant thank you for your kind words. Yea i agree, risking another low score in November is not really an option. Hopefully schools are a bit considerate given COVID and the flex and how so much has been changing. I will try again in January and pray for the best. I guess I just hope between now and then I figure out what hasnt been clicking so I can finally score where I know I have the ability to. The LG section in the October test really just took me by surprise.

  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Alum Member
    2054 karma

    @dianao6512 It sounds like you are a really great applicant and would be an asset at any law school. Unfortunately Stanford and Berkeley have an enormous number of excellent applicants and rely on GPA and LSAT to eliminate candidates. They also maintain their strong rankings by placing a high emphasis on things that matter in the rankings, which is GPA and LSAT. I am not sure that with a 148 they would even look at your application. I do not say that to discourage you, the LSAT is not a magic ball to indicate how good a lawyer you would be and it is drastically different from the practice of law. It does not define how good you will be at your chosen profession, but it does have an enormous impact on your opportunity to attend a T14 school. I do not know what the magic LSAT number is, but I suspect it is above 160 somewhere. Definitely delay until January if you have T14 aspirations, but I would also encourage you to reflect on whether Stanford or Berkeley is necessary to achieve your career goals. What specifically do you want to do in law? Is there a field you want to practice? Are you looking for BigLaw or clerkship and that is the reason for pursuing T14? I am guessing that if you are looking at Stanford and Berkeley you want to practice in California. Could another California school help you achieve those goals? What about ASU or University of Washington? Would you be happy practicing anywhere on the west coast or is it California specifically you want? It is not fair that an otherwise strong candidate is judged so heavily on a few hours of standardized testing, but it is reality for T14 and, to a lesser extent, beyond. Hopefully you can take care of business in January. If not though I do not think your journey is over. You can absolutely achieve your goals, Stanford or not.

  • kilgoretroutkilgoretrout Alum Member
    795 karma

    my august LSAT score was way below what i expected and i was feeling really dejected, hopeless and just generally depressed after i got it back. i had been studying full time for around 6 months and it wasnt even my first time taking the LSAT (i took it first in july but had to cancel bc of tech issues). i didn't see myself making ANY progress, despite the fact that i had poured so much time and money in. it was embarrassing more than anything, lol.

    i think the LSAT, for me at least, has been a huge lesson in getting to know myself and teaching myself how to study smart (not exactly the same thing as studying hard), how to persevere, and how to problem solve. i reevaluated my study methods and saw that what i had been doing was not really the most efficient or results-oriented way of studying. its honestly hard to keep track of stuff like that when you're doing things entirely on your own with no one to really keep you on the right track or hold you accountable.

    i think you should reevaluate how you've been studying and be honest with yourself. then, try to attack this issue from a different angle. i've been trying to do that and have seen my score recently increase, ever so slowly, from where i had been plateauing for months. everything on the LSAT is learnable, it just takes time.

    i think you should definitely move to january, because a higher LSAT score is more important than sending in an early application. you have a great GPA and good work experience, so it's definitely worth applying this cycle. you said you had been PTing around a 154- maybe nerves got the better of you or you just werent in the right place mentally on test day. if you focus mainly on logic games until january, i believe you will see a score increase into the 160s. in short, take a few days off to be upset, then jump back into this, because once you do get your score up (its a matter of when, not if), you'll be so proud of yourself. good luck!

  • ineedbrunchineedbrunch Alum Member
    92 karma

    apply this cycle, your gpa is excellent. if you're already registered make the lsat your life for the next two weeks. delete all of your social media, remove any distractions, tell your friends you're only available to talk for a few hours a day and stick to that, leave group chats & get added back after the exam. make work and studying your LIFE. take off extra days from work to study. cancel alllllllll social plans. its only ~15 days away, you can do it. put in the EXTRA work. BE CONFIDENT.

  • dianao6512dianao6512 Alum Member
    169 karma

    @VerdantZephyr Thank you for your honest and kind words. I really want to go to a T-14 because I want to go into biglaw for a few years before opening my own criminal defense/immigration firm and eventually become a judge (hopefully). I want to specifically either go to school in California or Washington D.C. (which is where I currently live as a post-grad, my family lives in Cali and that is where I want to eventually practice). I wish money wasnt such a big issue, but I want to make a good amount after graduating law school to pay for undergrad debt and have a solid foundation and from my research its pretty tough getting paid substantially once you go below T-20. I am considering the option to transfer after a year, but I know in order for that to happen I have to get into a school I would still be happy with graduating from incase transferring doesnt work out.

    English is a second language for me and standardized tests have never been a strong suit of mine and the LSAT is really exposing both of these issues. I think moving my November exam to January is my best bet, even though I am applying way later than I want to. Hopefully I do well enough by January to get into a top choice. If not, ill re-evaluate and apply again in a year I guess. Im just worried about taking another year off and then being stuck at the same score once again.

  • dianao6512dianao6512 Alum Member
    169 karma

    @kilgoretrout You are 100% right, towards the end when I finally decided to get a tutor, I realized I was not studying in the right way. Its really hard to efficiently self study for a test that is literally all about technique and skill. I have the foundations, I just need to take a step back and re-evaluate that maybe all of the "extra" things I keep reading people do (write out explanations for every questions, time each question, etc) may be necessary. Its just tough while working full time, but it has to be done. Thank you, i definitely still plan on applying this cycle, I owe it to myself. But I most definitely was not in the right headspace for the October test. Like 2 weeks beforehand I burnt out terribly, so I think I just did not recover in time. But thank you, I will take a few days to digest and jump back in.

  • dianao6512dianao6512 Alum Member
    169 karma

    @"Instructor Not JY" Thank you for your vote of confidence! I definitely need to meditate or something and regain my focus. If after a PT or two my score is back where it used to be, ill still take it in November. If not, I will probably move to January. I work full time and sadly cant take much time off, so I need to find a balance between work, study and mental sanity haha because I definitely lost a bit of sanity leading up to the test.

  • TakingOnTheBeast-1TakingOnTheBeast-1 Alum Member
    edited October 2020 206 karma

    Sleep. Let your brain rest and go at it again. "Persevere: Continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success." Only, you have a track record of success and this is a HIGHLY learnable test, it is highly possible to perform well. Try different approaches.

    YOU are absolutely going to get this. You are putting extra pressure on yourself stressing over specific schools. It would be nice to have that branded diploma on your wall plus the fun experience of studying there, but you know that clients who come in to your firm almost never ask where the lawyer went to school - they just know the lawyer has a reputation as an attack dog and they need help. Don't forget you are a HOWARD woman. All the potential is right there inside of you. You can do this.

  • dianao6512dianao6512 Alum Member
    169 karma

    @"Elizabeth B." Thank you so much. Trying to not get all emotional this morning but all of your motivating comments have been helping so much. And you are right, its definitely time to take a step back and evaluate how i've been studying because im obviously doing something wrong.

    And you are right about it all. If Howard taught me one thing, its how to persevere. Thank you, I needed to hear that :)

  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Alum Member
    edited October 2020 2054 karma

    @dianao6512 So the good news is that you decidedly don't need to T14 or even T20 to go Big law and really don't need to T14 to save money. The bad news is that if the purpose of big law is to save money and money is a concern neither DC nor Cali are going to help you do that. Obviously do your best to take the LSAT down in January. But also take some time and look at all the stats on schools. If you can perform similarly well in law school to your academic performance in undergrad you have a great shot at going big law outside of the T20 even. I'll also say that you would probably get that money together for your eventual goals faster making slightly less salary but living outside of DC or Cali. Texas, UNC, and Washington and Lee to name a few in the 10's, 20's and 30's are great schools that have really strong employment outcomes. W and L obviously would filter into DC but NC and Texas would be better markets to start your career in. While pay is higher in DC than those places the cost of living and taxes leave the real wages of DC lawyers lower than the NC and Texas wages. Georgia might be another place to look where #24 Emory in Atlanta I think has pretty strong employment numbers if I recall correctly. UNC lawyers dominate the good legal market in NC and the judge positions there as well. Texas obviously is just outside the T14 (and even kicked Georgetown out briefly a few years ago). I'm not saying give up on getting a solid 160-something on the LSAT in January, but Stanford and Berkeley are not the only path to your goals. Check out Above the Law's industry rankings for a better picture of career outlook, contextualized by average cost of the school.

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