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lazslo93

Mature Student - How much does the LSAT matter? Good resources for Mature applicants?

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Just got a 158, which is disappointing because I was PTing around 165. I'm applying very broadly as a 31yo mature student with a B average, but I've spent 5 years out of school working interesting jobs in China, and in Canadian politics, and I have a graduate degree.

I'm debating spending the money on a retake right now, but I can't figure out if the difference between a 158 and a 165 is worth the time and money involved for a retake.  

 

As a side note, I was curious if there was a good resource or forum somewhere for applying to Canadian law schools as a mature student, useful information has been hard to come by. I've been trying to figure out the weights and averages of LSATs and GPAs for mature students at various schools, and get good descriptions of the kinds of backgrounds that were able to overcome poor GPAs and LSAT scores. I've found a few threads in here but they're usually very school and case specific. A good overview or discussion that would indicate the general parameters for schools' mature student policies would be nice - i.e. don't bother applying to U of T with a GPA below X and LSAT below X, but Western may accept you below those scores if you have an exceptional background. 

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The difference between a 165 and 158 is huge for you. You're probably borderline or out at most schools right now. You'd likely be in almost everywhere except U of T with a 165. 

The mature category is more akin to a crapshoot than a strict cut off, so what you're asking for is unlikely to ever exist. 

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are there any schools where applying mature with a 150 is guaranteed to be a waste? and i mean, its a hard cut off and they won't even look at anything else in the file. 

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On 2017-10-13 at 1:30 AM, contigotravelmug said:

are there any schools where applying mature with a 150 is guaranteed to be a waste? and i mean, its a hard cut off and they won't even look at anything else in the file. 

literally everywhere. a 150 is god awful. don't waste your time, money, and more importantly, the admissions committee time with which they could be reviewing actual competitive candidates. good luck!

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2 hours ago, Nabbo said:

literally everywhere. a 150 is god awful. don't waste your time, money, and more importantly, the admissions committee time with which they could be reviewing actual competitive candidates. good luck!

Yeah that’s not right. Mature category is very different, a 150 LSAT doesn’t put you out everywhere, especially with decent gpa. More focus is put on your work experience.

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2 hours ago, Nabbo said:

literally everywhere. a 150 is god awful. don't waste your time, money, and more importantly, the admissions committee time with which they could be reviewing actual competitive candidates. good luck!

What a time for my first post on this forum.

If applicants actually took your advice, we wouldn’t see the remarkable stories each year on this forum with those who have been admitted with 150s (even 145s in some cases). There is a reason why a number of law schools in this country have a holistic admission policy. These schools give students the opportunity to access a legal education despite barriers that they may have faced which may have impeded their LSAT or GPA.

There is no doubt that a 150 is not a great score, and is definitely not competitive for Canadian law schools. To say not to waste the admissions committee time is a joke, and is completely ignorant. There are a number of reasons why applicants may have achieved “a god awful score” as you say, and law schools give applicants the opportunity to explain any access barriers that may have impeded their low score or GPA.

Please, don’t be so ignorant. 

Edited by Szndrep
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1. There unfortunately isn’t a great resource out there for applying to Canadian schools as a mature student. The best you’ll find is the posts on this forum. The reason for this is the mature category is very hard to pin down, from what I’ve seen it is very subjective. 

2. IMO when it comes to the mature category the LSAT is used as a “is this person smart enough to cope with the program” thing, rather than an apples to apples comparison. Depending on the specifics of your story your 158 could be good enough for every school, or it might not be. I would say I have seen plenty of mature students get in with a score like yours or lower. 

3. Would a rewrite help you? Couldn’t hurt, and it might get you into some schools in the general category which is worth looking into, especially places like Alberta which is a pure index school (which you might actually qualify for right now). Of course you have to balance the cost and the time commitment. 

I think you should go through the old posts on this forum, apply broadly, and see what happens. Good luck! 

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43 minutes ago, Draken said:

Yeah that’s not right. Mature category is very different, a 150 LSAT doesn’t put you out everywhere, especially with decent gpa. More focus is put on your work experience.

150 + 3.2 cGPA will be out at most schools. Neither stat is competitive, even in a mature category. MBA/MA marks are great, but ultimately soft factors.

Not to say they would receive zero offers but the odds are not in their favour.

OP: 158 will get you into a few schools. Maybe not the ones you want, but offers nonetheless. No harm in rewriting. 

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On 10/11/2017 at 8:02 PM, lazslo93 said:

Just got a 158, which is disappointing because I was PTing around 165. I'm applying very broadly as a 31yo mature student with a B average, but I've spent 5 years out of school working interesting jobs in China, and in Canadian politics, and I have a graduate degree.

I'm debating spending the money on a retake right now, but I can't figure out if the difference between a 158 and a 165 is worth the time and money involved for a retake.  

 

As a side note, I was curious if there was a good resource or forum somewhere for applying to Canadian law schools as a mature student, useful information has been hard to come by. I've been trying to figure out the weights and averages of LSATs and GPAs for mature students at various schools, and get good descriptions of the kinds of backgrounds that were able to overcome poor GPAs and LSAT scores. I've found a few threads in here but they're usually very school and case specific. A good overview or discussion that would indicate the general parameters for schools' mature student policies would be nice - i.e. don't bother applying to U of T with a GPA below X and LSAT below X, but Western may accept you below those scores if you have an exceptional background. 

@OP: I can say that a 158, at Osgoode anyway, with enough professional experience (which it seems like you might have), and a graduate degree, is not a disqualifying factor. Though applications are already submitted so the following won't be very meaningful for you personally, for anyone looking at this in the future in a similar situation: I would make sure that my personal statement reflected my experience and how that experience is going to prove useful in law school and the practice of law generally. I know Osgoode looks for diversity in its class with respect to mature student admissions, so highlighting what you can bring to your class at the law school due to your experience would be valuable, I think. I believe other law schools that are adopting similar holistic admissions standards would tend to work the same.

On 10/13/2017 at 1:30 AM, contigotravelmug said:

are there any schools where applying mature with a 150 is guaranteed to be a waste? and i mean, its a hard cut off and they won't even look at anything else in the file. 

 

On 10/13/2017 at 8:56 PM, contigotravelmug said:

3.2, 3.8, 4.0 mba, 3.9 ma.

@contigotravelmug: This is a tougher question. A 150 is very low; in fact, it's below the 50th percentile. Having two graduate degrees is impressive, however. Your undergrad cGPA is not that great, but your L2 and (for what it's worth in law school admissions) graduate marks are excellent. 

I think putting a focus on your professional experience and academic achievements is the right way to go. If possible, I would try and retake the LSAT, because even the mid-150s for a mature student would make you a lot more competitive than a 150.

So in summary: a 150 is not a "hard no" in the mature category with your background, but you'll definitely find it a tough battle.

Edited by Ryn
Clarified who I was responding to
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OP has a 158 and L2 of 3.8

I don't know why some of say that OP has 150 instead.

I think OP has a shot with L2 schools with a 160+

which schools did you apply?

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5 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

OP has a 158 and L2 of 3.8

I don't know why some of say that OP has 150 instead.

I think OP has a shot with L2 schools with a 160+

which schools did you apply?

Becasue @contigotravelmug chimed in and has a 150 with a 3.2, 3.8 L2, and an MBA+MA (excluding grades for those because every school knows MBA and MA GPAs are massively inflated). 

OP has a 158 and a B average.

 

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15 minutes ago, Luckycharm said:

OP has a 158 and L2 of 3.8

I don't know why some of say that OP has 150 instead.

I was replying to two different posters. Sorry if that was confusing.

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13 hours ago, Nabbo said:

literally everywhere. a 150 is god awful. don't waste your time, money, and more importantly, the admissions committee time with which they could be reviewing actual competitive candidates. good luck!

lol way to go digging for my score. 

I was being respectful before but but after your previous post citing that god awful 1998 HR study and then stating IQ is a direct indicator of job success, your statement doesn't hold much weight. Good luck to you as well- sounds like (aside from your probably stellar LSAT score) you need it.

Edited by contigotravelmug
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10 hours ago, Ryn said:

 

@OP: I can say that a 158, at Osgoode anyway, with enough professional experience (which it seems like you might have), and a graduate degree, is not a disqualifying factor. Though applications are already submitted so the following won't be very meaningful for you personally, for anyone looking at this in the future in a similar situation: I would make sure that my personal statement reflected my experience and how that experience is going to prove useful in law school and the practice of law generally. I know Osgoode looks for diversity in its class with respect to mature student admissions, so highlighting what you can bring to your class at the law school due to your experience would be valuable, I think. I believe other law schools that are adopting similar holistic admissions standards would tend to work the same.

 

@contigotravelmug: This is a tougher question. A 150 is very low; in fact, it's below the 50th percentile. Having two graduate degrees is impressive, however. Your undergrad cGPA is not that great, but your L2 and (for what it's worth in law school admissions) graduate marks are excellent. 

I think putting a focus on your professional experience and academic achievements is the right way to go. If possible, I would try and retake the LSAT, because even the mid-150s for a mature student would make you a lot more competitive than a 150.

So in summary: a 150 is not a "hard no" in the mature category with your background, but you'll definitely find it a tough battle.

Thanks Ryn, appreciate your constructive thoughts.

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You would likely get in at the U of A and U of C. The U of A looks at your last 2 years, regardless of whether they are from an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program. The U of C has a holistic process.

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1 hour ago, providence said:

31 is mature? That was a pretty standard age when I was in law school.

The definition changes based on the school but it’s usually something like: you have 5–7 years of full-time work experience either after graduating high school but before beginning undergrad, or after completing undergrad but before applying to law school. 

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