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lawcat

Haven't Heard Back Yet - Really Upset and Need Some Advice

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Hi everyone:

Let me start by saying that I know that it is just a waiting game from this point forward. However, I would still love everyone's opinions on my realistic chances.


I applied (in the access category) to Western, Queens, Ottawa, Windsor and Osgoode. My cGPA is 3.3 and L2 is 3.54. I know these are not stellar grades, and to top things off, I also only got a 159 on my LSAT, which I know is below average. So, needless to say, I feel really defeated. I have no idea what to do. If I don't get in this cycle (which it seems I won't lol), I have no backup plan. I haven't been applying to jobs, I haven't applied to any master's degrees, and I really don't want to have to come back to school for a fifth year. Has anyone experienced anything similar? What did you do? Any input would be appreciated. I am feeling really defeated and beaten down :( 

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1 minute ago, lawcat said:

Hi everyone:

Let me start by saying that I know that it is just a waiting game from this point forward. However, I would still love everyone's opinions on my realistic chances.


I applied (in the access category) to Western, Queens, Ottawa, Windsor and Osgoode. My cGPA is 3.3 and L2 is 3.54. I know these are not stellar grades, and to top things off, I also only got a 159 on my LSAT, which I know is below average. So, needless to say, I feel really defeated. I have no idea what to do. If I don't get in this cycle (which it seems I won't lol), I have no backup plan. I haven't been applying to jobs, I haven't applied to any master's degrees, and I really don't want to have to come back to school for a fifth year. Has anyone experienced anything similar? What did you do? Any input would be appreciated. I am feeling really defeated and beaten down :( 

Okay here are a lot of points:

- Your scores aren't good enough for early admission to any of those schools

- This is so early in the cycle for someone to feel down for your score because some schools haven't even dug into their waitlist yet

- You'll be a waitlist admit if you get in, and that won't be for a few more months if I had to wager

- You can still apply to masters programs. I know of some programs that still have apps open

- Jobs? You can literally get a job whenever you want on your schedule if you're a university graduate. Wouldn't you be getting a summer job anyways before law school? Get a summer job, and if you don't get in then apply for full-time jobs in your field.

Seems like you need to start thinking about solutions to your problems rather than how "terrible of a position you're in". Solutions will make you feel better.

Cheer up and good luck with the admissions process

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Don’t waste your time, energy and money getting a masters just because you don’t know what else to do with yourself. If you happen to not get in this year you can find a part time job, improve you LSAT and just relax. Having a year off can actually be beneficial 

there is no need to get into law school right away. Also.... it’s only March. Still very early so relax 

Edited by healthlaw
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I'm in the same position as you and with similar stats (cGPA 3.32 L2 3.6 LSAT 153, 157, 157) and I applied to all the same schools except I applied Lakehead instead of Windsor. I also applied access category and have yet to hear back from any schools. 

I've also been stressing as some schools have already sent out rejection letters. It seems that planning my future is centered around law school responses. I'm currently working a part-time job and if I don't get into any law schools, I plan on applying for a full-time job. However, I am an anxious person and would like to start applying now but the problem is, if I do get into a law school, I would definitely go and it doesn't make sense to go through the efforts of applying and then training for a full-time job just to leave after a few months in the summer so my plan is to wait until after I receive responses before I start applying for anything. 

Like you, I also thought about doing a Master's just because I don't know what to do but then I decided that it seems to be a waste of money and I rather work some jobs and figure things out before either applying to a Master's program or before re-applying to law school. I'm pretty burnt out from the LSATs so I definitely would need a few more months before diving back in to re-write. 

My advice for now is to distract yourself and keep yourself occupied to prevent yourself from obsessively checking the student portals and worrying. I'm just playing some silly computer games to keep myself occupied for this long wait. I'm expecting to probably get put on the waitlist and have a few months of waiting with my stats. Also keep in mind that all the schools take longer with access category applicants because it's more individualized and considered on a case to case basis.  

Edited by penguinh
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You can't change your GPA but you can change your LSAT so focus on that. If you think it will take you a long time before you can improve your score, you can look for a job in the meantime. I am currently working full-time and studying for the LSAT. My GPA is lower than yours so the chances of me getting into the law school I want is near impossible unless I get a really good score. I felt defeated and stressed as well. However, because I have a job it doesn't feel like I'm just sitting here doing nothing/just waiting. 

Everyone gets into law school and finishes law school at their own pace. Finishing law school earlier than someone else doesn't determine your career or your future either. Don't feel like you need to chase after it and get into as fast as the others. I read a guy on here took the LSAT six(?) times before getting into the school he wanted. 

Take your time. Work on it at your own pace and keep yourself busy with other things if it's taking longer than you expected.

Edited by elliniagreenslime
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I can totally relate! I royally screwed up my first semester in university, took on way too many courses without considering the impact, and almost lost my scholarship. I worked my butt off to get the scholarship back and brought my average back to cgpa 3.5, 3.8L2. 

I wrote the LSAT 2 times, and got 159 each time and was so defeated I decided to just apply. I was PTing at 165+ and just not test well. Happily, I was very involved during my entire high school/university with many community groups, jobs, events, etc. I also worked hard to engage in university to get strong persuasive professors who knew me very well to write me LORs. I feel like that is what pushed me up a little higher to be slightly more competitive.

I feel like what everyone else is saying is all you can do. As someone who has received the same advice that you are being given, I understand it is super hard to hear, and depending on what you feel capable of doing, do try to improve the LSAT. Try to maybe be more engaged, perhaps volunteer and work somewhere to get some more extracurriculars. 

The waiting game is hard and so frustrating. I feel like I can't make summer travel plans, I can't make any solid decisions as everything feels like its up in the air.  I think what is so important is to celebrate how far you've come, how brave it was to even make this step, and acknowledge that for yourself. All the best, wishing you luck this cycle! :)

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I feel the same way and am in the same boat with 3.25, 3.73 and 164 + MA degree in Access. Waiting really is incredibly frustrating. If I don't get in this year, I'm going back as a special student to raise my cGPA, and may rewrite the LSAT but leaning towards raising my GPA. Someone was trying to tell me that potentially I haven't received an offer yet is because I wrote the LSAT with accommodations and schools will know and have a preference for scores taken without accommodations. Really has me bummed out even though it's probably not true.

Edited by capitalttruth

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Hey! I know many schools have barely even scratched the surface of their applications. There are still two weeks left before people have to make their decision. From what I understand, after that the schools will re-evaluate and send out more offers and waitlist spots. I got in with a 3.47 155 and thought I was hopeless, so just hang on! 

Also, I would also advise against a masters if law school is the goal. The only reason why I applied for both was because I had a genuine interest in academia and law and wanted to keep my options open. So, I would suggest that you apply for jobs anyways. It's easier to leave a FT job for law school than it is to find one after getting dinged. Keep your options open and don't give up!

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3 hours ago, lawcat said:

Hi everyone:

Let me start by saying that I know that it is just a waiting game from this point forward. However, I would still love everyone's opinions on my realistic chances.


I applied (in the access category) to Western, Queens, Ottawa, Windsor and Osgoode. My cGPA is 3.3 and L2 is 3.54. I know these are not stellar grades, and to top things off, I also only got a 159 on my LSAT, which I know is below average. So, needless to say, I feel really defeated. I have no idea what to do. If I don't get in this cycle (which it seems I won't lol), I have no backup plan. I haven't been applying to jobs, I haven't applied to any master's degrees, and I really don't want to have to come back to school for a fifth year. Has anyone experienced anything similar? What did you do? Any input would be appreciated. I am feeling really defeated and beaten down :( 

At this point, I think you should take some time to reflect on why you want to go to law school. Is it because it's prestigious? It's a guarantee of wealth? It will bring you happiness? There is no guarantee that being a lawyer will bring you the type of life that you want. If you get into law school, that's great. But if you don't, that doesn't mean your life is a failure. It's simply a different path forward. You can try to apply again, or you can choose to do something else. There are people in the trades who make more than lawyers. There are lawyers who are absolutely miserable and wish they had done something else. There are also lawyers who are fabulously wealthy and love their jobs. It's what you make of it.

While you wait, I suggest you come up with a back up plan, just in case. You will feel more at ease knowing that you are still working towards a goal. Keep your options open - law school isn't the be all and end all.

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What does access category typically mean? I have seen a lot of people mention they applied access on this site.

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16 minutes ago, IrishStew said:

What does access category typically mean? I have seen a lot of people mention they applied access on this site.

Access generally means they take your application with a little more consideration and with less emphasis on traditional measures: i.e. grades and LSAT. To apply Access you may be a mature student with older grades that are traditionally to old to consider so you can submit a resume or CV as well, or you could have a medical consideration that somehow impeded your academic success that you're wanting the admissions committee to consider when assessing your application. The medical consideration can be a couple different things. If you fell gravely ill halfway through a semester and your grades absolutely plummeted, applying Access in this case urges the admissions to maybe look past that a little, and in that way acts as an addendum. Alternatively, medical considerations could be chronic illness or disabilities that have ailed one for the duration of their academic career and, in their eyes, has curtailed their academic success. Also, one could apply to Access if they've endured something that stunted their academic attendance or performance - e.g. suffered from violence, grief, trauma etc. 

Applying access is by no means "the easy way in." Many schools Access route is as competitive as General admissions, because there is some incredible applicants applying Access who are just asking for a touch more consideration due to extenuating circumstances, and feel they do not meet the traditional cookie-cutter assessment of LSAT/GPA/EC's/LOR's/PS.

Edited by thesizzlingwok
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Thank you everyone for your input! I really appreciate all the advice and feedback :) law school is not the be all end all - I am going to try to devise a Plan B!

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:30 PM, capitalttruth said:

I feel the same way and am in the same boat with 3.25, 3.73 and 164 + MA degree in Access. Waiting really is incredibly frustrating. If I don't get in this year, I'm going back as a special student to raise my cGPA, and may rewrite the LSAT but leaning towards raising my GPA. Someone was trying to tell me that potentially I haven't received an offer yet is because I wrote the LSAT with accommodations and schools will know and have a preference for scores taken without accommodations. Really has me bummed out even though it's probably not true.

I don't think they know whether or not you take your LSAT with accommodations... where did you get this info?

 

The LSAC site directly says: 

How are accommodated scores reported to law schools?

  • Scores earned with testing accommodations, including the testing accommodation of extended time, are reported in the same manner as nonaccommodated scores.

 

https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsac-policy-accommodations-test-takers-disabilities/frequently-asked-questions-about-process

 

Don't let that bum you out! I really don't think it's true.... 

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2 minutes ago, monnnnz said:

I don't think they know whether or not you take your LSAT with accommodations... where did you get this info?

 

The LSAC site directly says: 

How are accommodated scores reported to law schools?

  • Scores earned with testing accommodations, including the testing accommodation of extended time, are reported in the same manner as nonaccommodated scores.

 

https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsac-policy-accommodations-test-takers-disabilities/frequently-asked-questions-about-process

 

Don't let that bum you out! I really don't think it's true.... 

Some schools ask you if you had accommodations. I don’t know if the intent is because they consider those scores less valid or if it strengthens an access claim and lets them know they may need to accommodate a student. 

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Just now, providence said:

Some schools ask you if you had accommodations. I don’t know if the intent is because they consider those scores less valid or if it strengthens an access claim and lets them know they may need to accommodate a student. 

Yeah! I recall Uvic asking. But if they don't ask and you don't tell them... LSAC doesn't tell them either

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10 minutes ago, providence said:

Some schools ask you if you had accommodations. I don’t know if the intent is because they consider those scores less valid or if it strengthens an access claim and lets them know they may need to accommodate a student. 

I don't think its because they consider them less valid. I got into the schools that asked around the same time as everyone else despite having accoms but maybe thats just me 

Edited by Megbean123

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21 minutes ago, monnnnz said:

I don't think they know whether or not you take your LSAT with accommodations... where did you get this info?

 

The LSAC site directly says: 

How are accommodated scores reported to law schools?

  • Scores earned with testing accommodations, including the testing accommodation of extended time, are reported in the same manner as nonaccommodated scores.

 

https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsac-policy-accommodations-test-takers-disabilities/frequently-asked-questions-about-process

 

Don't let that bum you out! I really don't think it's true.... 

My LSAT score is an accommodated one (157) as well; my understanding is that law schools will scrutinize applicants who have an accommodated LSAT score and their potential ability to do well in law schools. I have no idea of how law schools will evaluate Access applicants' potential ability, but I think that if they conclude that the Access applicants have that ability, they will accept the applicants. Otherwise, in my opinion, law schools will consider an accommodated LSAT score as an invalid one.

In other words, I believe that law schools will largely examine whether applicants with an accommodated score (or Access claimants) will succeed in law schools or not regardless of the validity of applicants' accommodated LSAT score.

Personally, it seems to me that law schools have identified my LSAT score as an invalid one; my stats are 3.78 CGPA, 3.84 L2. 3.84 B2, MA in history (A- average), quite unique ECs, and currently doing another combined degree of two master program (A- average). I was rejected from U of T law, and I have not heard back any decisions yet. (I have applied to all law schools in Ontario.)   

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Yes. The school may tell whether you have been accommodated simply by checking your writing sample topic— accommodated one may be assigned with a topic different from that of regular test takers under non-disclosed tests—even the test content could be totally different. I once read it from reddit about this Jan’s test in USA. 

But anyway the above is simply my guess. I hope it won’t be true anyway.

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2 hours ago, ArchivesandMuseums said:

My LSAT score is an accommodated one (157) as well; my understanding is that law schools will scrutinize applicants who have an accommodated LSAT score and their potential ability to do well in law schools. I have no idea of how law schools will evaluate Access applicants' potential ability, but I think that if they conclude that the Access applicants have that ability, they will accept the applicants. Otherwise, in my opinion, law schools will consider an accommodated LSAT score as an invalid one.

In other words, I believe that law schools will largely examine whether applicants with an accommodated score (or Access claimants) will succeed in law schools or not regardless of the validity of applicants' accommodated LSAT score.

Personally, it seems to me that law schools have identified my LSAT score as an invalid one; my stats are 3.78 CGPA, 3.84 L2. 3.84 B2, MA in history (A- average), quite unique ECs, and currently doing another combined degree of two master program (A- average). I was rejected from U of T law, and I have not heard back any decisions yet. (I have applied to all law schools in Ontario.)   

Due respect, but you've come up with a very novel explanation, using reference points no school even claims to employ (what's an "invalid" LSAT score?) to explain being rejected from U of T, when there is a far simpler and more likely explanation available. And by "more likely" I mean 100% certain to be the truth.

U of T isn't accepting or rejecting you based on whether they believe you have the ability to succeed in law schools. They are accepting or rejecting you based on whether or not you are in the top X candidates who applied to the school, where X is the number of spots they have to fill (with some additional variance allowed for schools making extra offers, anticipating some won't be accepted, etc.). In other words, your strange idea that the only factor involved is your ability is utterly false. You are in competition with other people - obviously so. And despite your obvious (and perhaps inflated) faith in your own abilities, it doesn't really require ornate explanations to simply accept that there may have been 200 or so applicants deemed to be better than you.

Anyway, that isn't to say you won't get into other law schools, and don't deserve to get into other law schools. But a 157 LSAT, accommodated or not, is almost a non-starter for U of T. It doesn't require anything more complex than that, to explain why you were rejected.

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