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Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT)

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Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2011, 08:47
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Since it looks like MBA2be hasn't been active since ~2010, I'd be happy to answer any questions regarding the LSAT or the law school admissions process.

A little about myself if you're interested... I thought that while I'm lurking on this site in an attempt to decide whether or not I'm capable of tackling the GMAT, I'd make myself useful since the LSAT/law school admissions have been my life for the last 6 months. I did well on the LSAT and have one top 10 law school acceptance so far in this cycle. I do not have a steller undergraduate GPA and have held a couple full time jobs in the finance industry and legal industry.

ETA: Law School admissions is about 90% a numbers game, with the exception of a couple of schools. In the "T14" (the law schools that carry more national/international prestige--designated "T14" because the same schools, with only minor exceptions, have been in the top 14 since US News and World Report began ranking law schools in 1987) Yale, Stanford, Berkeley and to a lesser extent UMich have been more "holistic" and unpredictable. Whereas Harvard, NYU, Duke and pretty much the rest of the T14 law schools are very numbers driven. Other schools (UVA) take advantage of their Early Decision pool to fill a good portion of their class so applicants who want to lock a T14 school with borderline numbers will often ED to UVA.

A good resource to check out is lawschoolnumbers (google it; I can't quite post links yet since I'm still a greenhorn on these boards). It's a website where applicants from each cycle voluntarily state their numbers and results (the caveat being since it is self reported, there is the possibility of people being dishonest/rounding). There are a couple more resources I can list but at the risk of spamming these boards, I'll wait until there is some interest in additional resources before I post them.
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2011, 08:45
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aadityaisking wrote:
Congrats, JD/MBA is surely a winning combination, i also am very interested in pursuing JD/MBA, please share some more of your story and also GPA etc. Also what do you think about Feb LSAT, do people who use feb LSAT for same fall admission are at a disadvantage? Thanks and warm regards
Adi

Ahh, my screenname is a bit of a misnomer--apologies. I'm currently considering a JD/MBA.

I posted my long story in the peer review board (profile-eval-should-i-take-the-gmat-123969.html) but I've basically come to the conclusion that I should get some more work experience before I apply for a MBA. However, I am going to take the GMAT now since the score is valid for 5 years and I'm still in "test mode" after completing the LSAT. I have a 3.5 undergraduate GPA and about 1 year of full time work experience.

The February LSAT puts you at a HUGE disadvantage when attempting to apply for the same cycle. The fact is that many top schools have admissions deadlines before you would get your scores back. LSAT scores come back during the middle of March for February exams. Unfortunately, it isn't like the GMAT where you see a raw score immediately.

The law school admissions process is a rolling one which means that most law schools fill up more than half their seats, conservatively, before the February test is even administered. Therefore, in my opinion, you would be at an extreme disadvantage. www.lawschoolnumbers.com shows anecdotal evidence that people who apply after December who would have been admitted to top schools end up being rejected or waitlisted simply because they applied late. This is true of most top schools but there are exceptions to the rule; Yale is the only elite school I can recall that does not do rolling admissions and USC does rolling but doesn't make decisions until ~February so taking the LSAT then wouldn't be so bad. If you absolutely have to take February, prepare to under-perform your numbers. I would highly suggest waiting until next cycle to get a head start and to make sure your essays/letters of rec/resume/etc are flawless.

Another interesting bit about the February LSAT is that it is a "non-disclosed test" which means that, unlike June/October/December tests, test takers are not allowed to see which answers they've gotten right/wrong. There is no breakdown of your score. Therefore, if make stray marks on accident/aren't sure if you erased an incorrect answer fully, there is no way of knowing if the scantron machine misgraded your test for you to request manually scoring by a LSAC grader (LSAC is the company that administers the LSAT). The Feb test is like this because LSAC will use questions from the February test for make-up purposes such as Sabbath Observers since the LSAT is often administered on Saturdays or for some other extenuating circumstances people are allowed to make up their tests (think Earthquake during the middle of the exam type events).

I hope that was helpful! Feel free to post any other questions.

Last edited by MichJDMBA on 07 Dec 2011, 08:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2012, 21:38
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Thanks a lot man, these are very helpful advices!!

MichJDMBA wrote:
Since it looks like MBA2be hasn't been active since ~2010, I'd be happy to answer any questions regarding the LSAT or the law school admissions process.

A little about myself if you're interested... I thought that while I'm lurking on this site in an attempt to decide whether or not I'm capable of tackling the GMAT, I'd make myself useful since the LSAT/law school admissions have been my life for the last 6 months. I did well on the LSAT and have one top 10 law school acceptance so far in this cycle. I do not have a steller undergraduate GPA and have held a couple full time jobs in the finance industry and legal industry.

ETA: Law School admissions is about 90% a numbers game, with the exception of a couple of schools. In the "T14" (the law schools that carry more national/international prestige--designated "T14" because the same schools, with only minor exceptions, have been in the top 14 since US News and World Report began ranking law schools in 1987) Yale, Stanford, Berkeley and to a lesser extent UMich have been more "holistic" and unpredictable. Whereas Harvard, NYU, Duke and pretty much the rest of the T14 law schools are very numbers driven. Other schools (UVA) take advantage of their Early Decision pool to fill a good portion of their class so applicants who want to lock a T14 school with borderline numbers will often ED to UVA.

A good resource to check out is lawschoolnumbers (google it; I can't quite post links yet since I'm still a greenhorn on these boards). It's a website where applicants from each cycle voluntarily state their numbers and results (the caveat being since it is self reported, there is the possibility of people being dishonest/rounding). There are a couple more resources I can list but at the risk of spamming these boards, I'll wait until there is some interest in additional resources before I post them.
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2011, 00:29
Congrats, JD/MBA is surely a winning combination, i also am very interested in pursuing JD/MBA, please share some more of your story and also GPA etc. Also what do you think about Feb LSAT, do people who use feb LSAT for same fall admission are at a disadvantage? Thanks and warm regards
Adi
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2011, 12:34
What makes you think you are incapable of taking the GMAT? The work load? I decided to step out of the law school spectrum for the time being but you are in the somewhat "safe" zone with the school you have been accepted to. I scored a 161 after choking on the Dec 2010 test (furious about it) but it almost was a blessing in disguise because I was an extreme long shot to land in a worthwhile school.
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2011, 14:45
RefleX wrote:
What makes you think you are incapable of taking the GMAT? The work load? I decided to step out of the law school spectrum for the time being but you are in the somewhat "safe" zone with the school you have been accepted to. I scored a 161 after choking on the Dec 2010 test (furious about it) but it almost was a blessing in disguise because I was an extreme long shot to land in a worthwhile school.

I've gotten sound advice from this message board and upon self reflection, I realized that I should probably obtain a longer period of substantial work experience before pursuing a MBA in order to make it more worthwhile. It's not that I think I'm incapable of the workload; I want to make sure that I get all I can out of the experience. I'm still planning on taking my GMAT during the spring in order to keep my options open.

Sorry to hear about what happened to you last year. 161 is a good score but I know how it feels to know that you are capable of much more. My first practice LSAT was in the low 150s. :) The LSAT is definitely a learnable test.
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2011, 14:29
Understood. At first I thought you were selling yourself short thinking the GMAT is substantially harder than the LSAT, and then the high score made it even more confusing haha. I'm in the same boat as you (not academics wise) because I'd rather be getting work experience than drudging through school without purpose again.
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 00:13
Thanks a lot Buddy, i will keep in mind your advice.... :-D
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 18:17
The Consensus T14 Law Schools are at:

Yale, Harvard, Stanford, NYU, Columbia, Chicago, Michigan, Berkeley, UVA, UPenn, Duke, Northwestern, Cornell, GULC

As a Virginian, I can tell you for sure that UVA law is essentially a private school, because it doesn't take state funding which is instead drawn to the undergrad program. UVA-Darden is also like the law school in this regard. Michigan and Berkeley are prob like this too given that the law schools are nationally elite.

A JD/MBA or MBA/JD depending on how you want to think about it looks like a pretty damn good deal considering that every law school here has a good business school too, though some business schools' reputations aren't quite as hot as the law schools (Georgetown, Yale only because the Law School is so elite) and vice versa with UPenn being the biggest culprit here because of Wharton's reputation.

I would say that law schools are very numbers driven because of these factors:
1. There are only 200 law schools in the US and nearly the entire LSAT pool (minus the Canadian Law applicants) apply to these 200 schools. The entire GMAT test takers' pool spans a lot more schools and therefore, the super high GPA guys are spread out more internationally at least among Americans.
2. Most law schools enroll students right out of college and students who are typically no older than 25 (two or three years out of college). Students entering in their late 20's are likely the bridge between the young'uns right out of college and the outlier older folks. Note that Northwestern is an exception to this but it doesn't seem to be this way at most schools.
3. Law is a totally new profession for everyone who gets in law school. Even if you were a paralegal or legal secretary before school, you will prob still have to change your way of thinking in class, at least from my friends who went to law school, and there were plenty.

Please feel free to correct me if I'm totally wrong
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2012, 09:24
I generally agree with your overview. I do have some thoughts that I've highlighted below:

novanative wrote:
The Consensus T14 Law Schools are at:

Yale, Harvard, Stanford, NYU, Columbia, Chicago, Michigan, Berkeley, UVA, UPenn, Duke, Northwestern, Cornell, GULC

That is the consensus of what the T14 is comprised of (i.e. none of these schools were ever ranked outside of the top 14 since US News first began their rankings in the 80s). While it's likely that this poster is aware of this, the US News rankings are not the end-all for law schools. Within the T14, you should be looking at specific programs that are offered by each school. There are, however, subgroups that divide the T14 into tiers (i.e. HYS -> CCN -> MVP -> BDNCG; the orders within each subgroup, and sometimes cross-groups, are completely interchangeable depending on what type of law/career the person wants to pursue). Outside of the T14, it might make more sense for someone to attend a lower ranked regional law school that dominates the market they want to work and is willing to offer the applicant more scholarship money. It all depends on what you want to do with a law degree.

Apologies if this sounds like a humble-brag but to illustrate how little rankings matter once you get within the T14... I'm currently facing the decision of choosing between Mich, Penn and Northwestern and it is an extremely difficult choice. Northwestern has the most b-school lean out of any law school and 95%+ of its students have had at least one year of full-time post-UG work experience--which is extremely attractive to me. UPenn has Wharton and allows a plethora of degrees and certifications between its different graduate programs. UPenn also has the "international prestige" of being an ivy league school which, even though it's just an athletic conference within the US, internationally seems to carry a lot more weight; having access to every other ivy league schools' library database isn't a bad thing either. And while Northwestern and UPenn both have extremely renowned professors, UMich is known for their absolutely amazing professors who put priority in teaching as opposed to being focused solely on research e.g. J.J. White, who literally wrote the book on commercial law and transactions (Uniform Commercial Code), is also an absolutely fantastic professor inside the classroom. UMich also has a much more balanced small-town midwestern atmosphere which is pretty attractive to me.


As a Virginian, I can tell you for sure that UVA law is essentially a private school, because it doesn't take state funding which is instead drawn to the undergrad program. UVA-Darden is also like the law school in this regard. Michigan and Berkeley are prob like this too given that the law schools are nationally elite.

It's mostly true that UVA is more similar to a private than a public but there is still a big distinction. Both UVA and University of Texas (ranked 14 this year but typically not regarded as a T14 school because 2011 was the first year UT was ranked within the top 14) have state constitutional quotas for in-state students. These quotas are no joke. UVA's student body MUST contain 40% Virginia residents and UT's student body MUST contain 65% Texas residents. Obviously this is a huge advantage for residents of those states. Private schools have no such quotas. While UMich is a public school and the dean of admissions has said that she wants to actively recruit more Michigan residents, there are no quotas in Michigan and the data suggests that their students come from all around the US/world.

A JD/MBA or MBA/JD depending on how you want to think about it looks like a pretty damn good deal considering that every law school here has a good business school too, though some business schools' reputations aren't quite as hot as the law schools (Georgetown, Yale only because the Law School is so elite) and vice versa with UPenn being the biggest culprit here because of Wharton's reputation.

I would say that law schools are very numbers driven because of these factors:
1. There are only 200 law schools in the US and nearly the entire LSAT pool (minus the Canadian Law applicants) apply to these 200 schools. The entire GMAT test takers' pool spans a lot more schools and therefore, the super high GPA guys are spread out more internationally at least among Americans.
2. Most law schools enroll students right out of college and students who are typically no older than 25 (two or three years out of college). Students entering in their late 20's are likely the bridge between the young'uns right out of college and the outlier older folks. Note that Northwestern is an exception to this but it doesn't seem to be this way at most schools.
3. Law is a totally new profession for everyone who gets in law school. Even if you were a paralegal or legal secretary before school, you will prob still have to change your way of thinking in class, at least from my friends who went to law school, and there were plenty.

I think there are many different reasons why law school admissions are a numbers driven game. The points you've stated may very well all play a role in their decision making process. (Personally, I think #2 plays the biggest role out of the three.) But directly from a couple of the deans at T14s' mouths... it's because of US News Rankings. So many applicants use those rankings to decide where they want to go to school and the most direct way a potential student can affect a law school's ranking is by your UGPA and LSAT--making up 22.5% of a school's ranking. If you're interested in their methodology you can see it here. The deans I spoke with all said that if applicants didn't use US News as much as they did, the law schools wouldn't have to cater to the rankings either. However, THAT'S the way things currently are and anyone who's seriously interested in law school should work hard to bring up your GPA, if still finishing up your undergrad, and make sure to study hard and not take the LSAT lightly.

Please feel free to correct me if I'm totally wrong

I hope that was helpful!
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2012, 22:44
i also am very interested in pursuing JD/MBA, please share some more of your story and also GPA etc. Also what do you think about Feb LSAT, do people who use feb LSAT for same fall admission are at a disadvantage? Thanks and warm regards
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Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT) [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2013, 06:01
I'm pursuing a JD/MBA right now. After speaking with admissions from various schools for the past few months, you really want to focus on your LSAT score first.
Re: Willing to answer questions re LSAT/Law School (170+ LSAT)   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2013, 06:01
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