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What LSAT would make me competitive for NYU and Columbia?

FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
edited June 4 in Law School
I will be taking the LSAT in November. I'd like to ask what score I would need to be competitive for these programs and competitive for a scholarship as well. I took one practice LSAT blind with no preparation and scored 165. I'm hoping six months of 2 hour study sessions per day will be enough to significantly boost my score. From what I understand, the LSAT is relies on many strategies that can be learned to better prep.

Here are my stats:
Applying regular decsion
Age: 32 - married with children.
Undergrad - NYU as non-traditional student
Degree: BS Information Systems Management
GPA: 3.65
Applying as URM - half mexican, half middle eastern
Other possible hooks: Developed severe epilepsy during college leading to multiple seizures per day at one point. I worked full time and attended school full-time during the peak. I'm in better health now.

Work experience: 10 years total in finance/IT startup environments. Own a small consulting firm managing 4 associates.
Volunteer: My company does pro bono work for local non profits

Plan to focus on cybersecurity and privacy laws which I feel are a natural progression from working on IT security for a decade.

Replies to: What LSAT would make me competitive for NYU and Columbia?

  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,935 Senior Member
    In general 171+ should give you a great shot, but Hispanic is more of a wild card and a lower score could be competitive.

    Apply broadly, unless you have to be in NYC (for family reasons). Someone with the numbers to get into Columbia & NYU would likely receive big merit money from the lower T14.
  • FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    I won’t be able to leave NYC, but both schools are within a reasonable length train ride for me. To be honest, NYU is my top pick because I would save about 30 minutes on the subway each way.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,935 Senior Member
    ^^understand. But also consider Fordham -- lower ranked and they might throw some money your way. They offer 1-2 full rides per year (Mordecai).
  • ILoveSchool2ILoveSchool2 Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    171 for Columbia
    169 for NYU
    Good luck!
  • FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    @bluebayou , thank you. I’ll be applying to Fordham as well, I just don’t find their program strong in cyber security, but that’s really a secondary concern. My first consideration will be scholarship
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,935 Senior Member
    you can ignore any special programs, like cyber security, at law schools. They are mostly just marketing spin (and an elective or two).

  • NoKillliNoKillli Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    @FrankieSaysRelax

    I don't know anything specific about elite law school admissions except you need great LSATS, but as an IT pro, you and I both know cyber security is changing almost daily.

    New laws are going to be a mangled mess of special interests and politicians showing how tough they will be on crime. The next big one will happen when there is a large physical attack and a cyber take-down of critical infrastructure. Imagine a 9/11 type attack or multiple coordinated smaller attacks with no phones and data in a large geographical area. The legislation coming out of that will be a frightening

    I can't imagine any specific program being of any value. Keep up your IT knowledge and go to conferences and vendor pitches. Maybe become the computer security writer/editor for law review.

  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 20,729 Forum Champion
    edited June 13
    You can Google the class profile for each law school you are interested in and get all of their admission statistics.

    Agree with adding Fordham if you are hoping for scholarship money.
  • FrankieSaysRelaxFrankieSaysRelax Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    @NoKillli , Yes, I agree. Tech changes fast, but laws do not. I wouldn't plan to practice cyber-security law, but I feel that I can excel in those courses/clinics, so I'd rather pad my class schedule with those courses instead of something I find my boring and likely won't do as well in.

  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 2,549 Senior Member
    edited June 19
    If you scored a 165 on the LSAT without any preparation & with proper timing, then with a solid plan of test prep you should break 170.

    As an aside, why law school & what will happen to your consulting firm & its 4 associates ?
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 2,549 Senior Member
    edited June 19
    OP: If your first consideration is scholarship merit money, you will probably need an LSAT score in the mid 170s for these schools (NYU & Columbia).

    After earning an actual LSAT score, consider George Washington University as you may qualify for a very substantial scholarship award that may make shared housing in DC an option.

    I cannot assess the value of cyber security programs or courses offered by law schools, but Columbia, Maryland & GWU are worth investigating for their offerings in this specialized area.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,935 Senior Member
    but I feel that I can excel in those courses/clinics, so I'd rather pad my class schedule with those courses

    You have no way of knowing what courses in LS that you will be able to excel in. It may be that the cybersecurity prof is the absolute worst at that LS. OTOH, maybe the Prof who teaches Federal Constitution is the best of the best and not-to-be missed. Even so, Profs take sabbaticals, so a course might not even be offered when you have a opening in your schedule.

    Clinics can be awesome, but are generally very competitive to get assigned to.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,187 Senior Member
    @Publisher and @bluebayou consistently give good advice.
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