duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:54 pm

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Barry
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by Barry » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:40 pm

DankHill wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:54 pm
thanks for all the help. can anyone weigh in on the retake question above? i understand it may be a question of personal priorities, but would retaking to go to HYS meaningfully impact PI/gov career outcomes?
I (pretty) recently sat out a cycle after scoring a bit below you and then retook 4 times. Two of the scores were the same, one was a decline, and the last one did it.

I landed at one of Duke/UVA and recently did OCI.

I say retake. You have a freaking 4.1 and I'd be shocked if you can't squeeze a couple more points. If you get H/Y/S I highly recommend leveraging it for a full scholarship somewhere.

Personally, the extra year more than paid itself off in extra scholarship and fun traveling while working. I genuinely don't see a downside to just retaking while gaining experience in (potentially) both 1) the market you want to land in, and 2) some kind of government work. Both of these will make OCI or fed-Gov apps even easier wherever you land.

Also, my law school experience has been incredibly chill because of the no debt concern. I went through OCI with a very clear idea of what I wanted largely because of the no debt -- turns out I want to be close to family, something I wouldn't have known without that extra year.

I also want to say, I get that "retake" sounds ridiculous to most people. But I truly believe there is no need to start law school this fall instead of next fall in your specific scenario (with better scholarship, work experience, and/or just a fun year before starting the grind).

This is all very anecdotal but I hope it in some way helps.

Feel free to PM me as well. I remember the retake decision being pretty hard.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by BlendedUnicorn » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:48 pm

Barry wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:40 pm
DankHill wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:54 pm
thanks for all the help. can anyone weigh in on the retake question above? i understand it may be a question of personal priorities, but would retaking to go to HYS meaningfully impact PI/gov career outcomes?
I (pretty) recently sat out a cycle after scoring a bit below you and then retook 4 times. Two of the scores were the same, one was a decline, and the last one did it.

I landed at one of Duke/UVA and recently did OCI.

I say retake. You have a freaking 4.1 and I'd be shocked if you can't squeeze a couple more points. If you get H/Y/S I highly recommend leveraging it for a full scholarship somewhere.

Personally, the extra year more than paid itself off in extra scholarship and fun traveling while working. I genuinely don't see a downside to just retaking while gaining experience in (potentially) both 1) the market you want to land in, and 2) some kind of government work. Both of these will make OCI or fed-Gov apps even easier wherever you land.

Also, my law school experience has been incredibly chill because of the no debt concern. I went through OCI with a very clear idea of what I wanted largely because of the no debt -- turns out I want to be close to family, something I wouldn't have known without that extra year.

I also want to say, I get that "retake" sounds ridiculous to most people. But I truly believe there is no need to start law school this fall instead of next fall in your specific scenario (with better scholarship, work experience, and/or just a fun year before starting the grind).

This is all very anecdotal but I hope it in some way helps.

Feel free to PM me as well. I remember the retake decision being pretty hard.
this feels like the best advice. getting an additional 2 or 3 points on the LSAT is probably worth 6 figures, and on the margins may open more doors or at least make law school a little less stressful.

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Nony
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by Nony » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:30 pm

It’s also entirely possible that covid means that law school will still be a clusterfuck this fall.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:36 pm

Nony wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:30 pm
It’s also entirely possible that covid means that law school will still be a clusterfuck this fall.

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Slytherpuff
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by Slytherpuff » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:08 pm

DankHill wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:36 pm
Nony wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:30 pm
It’s also entirely possible that covid means that law school will still be a clusterfuck this fall.

any perspective on the likelihood of there being another crush of applicants/high number of 170 plus scorers in 2021-22?
It's really hard to predict, but I can at least share my thoughts on this.

My sense is that with LSAT Flex, from now on you're unfortunately going to be competing with a bigger pool of 170+ scorers. I think that this application cycle was far more competitive - you had some 0Ls who were supposed to start in 2020 that deferred to 2021 because of COVID, and possibly just more people choosing to apply to law school since it was harder to get (or keep) a job in the middle of COVID. But I don't know if you'll see many fewer applicants this fall, it could take a couple more years before some of the COVID app cycle weirdness sorts itself out.

I do think you underperformed your stats relative to how you would have done in past cycles, which means that retaking is likely the right course of action for you. As long as you think you'll have the time to devote to studying for that 175+, I'd say go for it. But let's see how your other school acceptances pan out too.

Edit: and to be clear, I know very little about LSAT Flex and the implications there, so people who are closer to that should weigh in too! My application cycle was literally 7 years back at this point.

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Nony
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by Nony » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:47 pm

DankHill wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:36 pm
Nony wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:30 pm
It’s also entirely possible that covid means that law school will still be a clusterfuck this fall.

any perspective on the likelihood of there being another crush of applicants/high number of 170 plus scorers in 2021-22?
I'd be surprised if it ended up any worse than this year (although it feels like tempting fate to say that). I don't know anything about the high scorer phenomenon, but I think as covid gets better and more sectors of the economy open up again, there will be a little less incentive to go to law school. But this is just speculation.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:49 pm

Nony wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:47 pm
DankHill wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:36 pm
Nony wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:30 pm
It’s also entirely possible that covid means that law school will still be a clusterfuck this fall.

any perspective on the likelihood of there being another crush of applicants/high number of 170 plus scorers in 2021-22?
I'd be surprised if it ended up any worse than this year (although it feels like tempting fate to say that). I don't know anything about the high scorer phenomenon, but I think as covid gets better and more sectors of the economy open up again, there will be a little less incentive to go to law school. But this is just speculation.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:52 pm

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Nony
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by Nony » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:55 pm

A year off is never going to hurt you. Getting work experience is good, especially if it's legal-related, because it does give you better perspective on what you want. You may have tons of work experience already, I don't mean to assume, but basically, law school isn't going anywhere so there's no rush to go. (Keep in mind I'm not exactly partial b/c I went back after a different career, but still.)

Baguette
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by Baguette » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:57 pm

DankHill wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:52 pm
but realistically, if my score doesn't increase (or if there's a similarly competitive cycle next year), i guess i still took a year to work (perhaps as a paralegal) and gained perspective on the field. am i making sense here, or am i talking myself into another year of waiting?
just got through doing the bolded and can't recommend it highly enough! Your uGPA is an amazin bulwark against any additional craziness in future years - even in the worst-case scenario you'll be a (mild) reverse splitter at the entire T14.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:18 pm

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:25 pm

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Baguette
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by Baguette » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:57 pm

DankHill wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:25 pm
also, assuming i want to gun for a named scholarship at a mid to low t14 (dillard, darrow, mordecai, etc) is there anything else i can do besides improving my lsat score? typically these scholarships have been thought about purely in numbers terms but this year they seem a little black box-y.
My (non-authoritative) sense is that, in addition to the obvious angle of buying median improvements, these scholarships are designed to snag applicants who make one think "wow this kid is going places". A cohesive Why Law narrative, LoRs, and nailing the interview all help evince "wow this kid is going places"-ness.

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necho2
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by necho2 » Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:12 pm

Will second that- I got a named scholly in the T14 and worked very hard on the soft stuff and think it came together nicely. Even more than a Why Law, you want to sell them on that school- your Why X essay should (1) be written even if it's optional, and (2) give a compelling story for why that school is the best for you. They're not gonna throw a named scholly at someone who they don't think is at all likely to actually attend.

More generally- I think grabbing some work experience and trying to up the LSAT makes sense here- your GPA is too good to not take a swing at getting out debt-free, and 173+ puts HYS and a Ruby on the table (I think! This new world is crazy...)

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heythatslife
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by heythatslife » Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:48 pm

I was in a similar boat as a 0L - with a 4.x gpa, I retook a 171, ended up with 173. Admittedly I retook before I sent applications out so I have no way of knowing if I would have snagged H and S otherwise but I think it definitely helped. It kind of sucks to hit the books again after thinking you were done once so I feel you, but my reasoning was that if I raise my score by just two points and get 40k-50k extra in scholarship money, that’s probably one less year in biglaw before I’m debt free.

I agree I don’t think anyone can predict what the impact of another year of LSAT Flex will be. I also agree with others that a year or two between undergrad and law school is never a bad thing.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:56 pm

heythatslife wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:48 pm
I was in a similar boat as a 0L - with a 4.x gpa, I retook a 171, ended up with 173. Admittedly I retook before I sent applications out so I have no way of knowing if I would have snagged H and S otherwise but I think it definitely helped. It kind of sucks to hit the books again after thinking you were done once so I feel you, but my reasoning was that if I raise my score by just two points and get 40k-50k extra in scholarship money, that’s probably one less year in biglaw before I’m debt free.

I agree I don’t think anyone can predict what the impact of another year of LSAT Flex will be. I also agree with others that a year or two between undergrad and law school is never a bad thing.
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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:44 pm

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heythatslife
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by heythatslife » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:06 pm

I don’t think anyone can really provide an informed prediction because LSAT Flex is new, we don’t know how much longer it will go on for or if the bell curve will continue to have fatter tails, etc. Yes there is a risk that there will continue to be a higher % of 170+ scorers with the LSAT Flex continuing which might hurt you if your LSAT score remains the same. But you might also benefit when you retake from the more generous curve. So who really knows? If you were consistently PT’ing higher, though, I think it’s worth a shot.

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pancakes3
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by pancakes3 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:13 pm

I think UVa at 110k is serviceable debt and also bc UVa punches above its weight for your goals (bigfed/DC biglaw) you can get away with not retaking but these are just our best guesses.

if your PTs indicate that you're a 173+ scorer, go for it. you're ruby/hamilton/HYS bound.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:02 pm

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pancakes3
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by pancakes3 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:50 am

if it's with the law school, you should talk to your immediate family member about it. if it's not with the law school, idk if it's worth mentioning.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:50 pm

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sev
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by sev » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:49 am

DankHill wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:50 pm
how about duke for fedgov/dc biglaw? i'm trying to wrangle a bigger scholarship. would 85-90K in debt (about 20K less than UVA) make Duke worth it? Or is there a meaningful difference in job outcomes between the two schools?
GPA cutoffs for DC firms at Duke's OCI were fairly high-ish, at least compared to NY and Houston.

$20k is in the neighborhood of about equal I'd say. I enjoy Duke and Durham, definitely better than Charlottesville, but I'd be on the fence with DC goals.

Edit to add: I don't think you have to retake here. Underperformed, but it's hard to say by how much.

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DankHill
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Re: duke, uva, cornell, or retake

Post by DankHill » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:05 am

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