Originally Posted by martinottawa
Hate to break it to you, but a better LSAT score won't necessarily get you into a T14 school, let alone get you a free ride. LSAT is only one part of the equation. You also will need excellent undergrad grades, and preferably a CV that explains how you singlehandedly discovered the Higgs boson while breastfeeding orphan puppies.
That said, you can do well at a lower rung school, as long as you are good at making connections and go to school where you want to live/work. Worked for me (although admittedly, there is less stratification among law schools here).
It's great that things have worked out for you but considering the state of the current legal market in the US, your success story would be a rarity. Well maybe not in Canada as Canadian legal market is infinitely better off than in the US.
I apologize in advance for this wordy response but as I've recently come to the completion of my first admissions cycle, I've been obsessing over law schools for the past few months. Let me try to explain a portion of my arguably subjective reasoning. Here goes nothing:
I took the LSAT without a single hour of preparation in December and scored in the mid 160s (I only decided to take it because a friend of mine was taking it as well). After getting my score, I talked to a pre-law adviser at my undergrad institution who convinced me that this was a great score and suggested I apply to law school. By the time I sent out my first application it was mid-February (terrible idea in hindsight, considering how rolling admissions work).
Sure, going to a "lower rung" school in a place I'd like to live for very little debt was something to which I have given much consideration. But retaking the LSAT again this October means I can not only apply much earlier in the admissions cycle (higher chance of admission), but I can also increase my LSAT score significantly (again, higher chance of admission).
Also, I wouldn't dare dream of a full-ride to a T14. I only mentioned that a higher LSAT score would get me a T14 admit or a full ride to a T20-30. Both of these scenarios are definitely achievable with a higher LSAT score, no work with particle accelerators involved.
Getting into a T14 school is not rocket science. Take Georgetown for example:
Assuming I score anywhere near my current PT average and that the statistics depicted on this graph are at least somewhat representative of the applicant pool at GULC as a whole, I'll be comfortably within the range of applicants that were primarily admitted and occasionally waitlisted, but never rejected. Looking at the same data, a lot of the applicants in this range received at least some scholarship money as well.
Likewise, looking at data for other schools, a similar LSAT score, one that would very likely garner an admit to GULC, would similarly attract very large scholarships to most T1 schools (full-rides in the case of schools that have historically given more weigh to the LSAT).
Knowing this, there's no way I'd be content with the fact that I "settled" for law school after taking the LSAT cold and applying near the end of a cycle.
Well, take my words with a grain of salt as I know nothing about life after law school beyond warnings of a tough legal market and high unemployment rates. I'm just trying to increase my chances of decent employment post-graduation. With the current state of the job market, the chances of being under/unemployed with a T2/3 JD scare the shit out of me.
You may argue that with hard work and significant networking, a T2/3 JD can actually take you somewhere. But I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that with the same amount of hard work and significant networking, a T1 JD will be much, much better.