Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 12:53:07 AM

Title: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 12:53:07 AM
As a foreigner I got a descent LSAT score and got into some T14.
But now I begin to worry about my poor spoken English and English writing will bite me in 1L.
Though I can do well in the tests that only need me to choose A,B,C,D, I have never speak english longer than 5 minutes or write an article longer than two pages without any grammar mistakes in a short time( So don't surprise if you find some grammar errors in this post 8) since I have never been abroad before and there is no need for English.
And my friends told me that GPA of 1L is very important, but I think it'll at least take me 3 months to get used to an English environment.
So please give me your opinion, I surely want to learn law as soon as possible, but if it is worth of one year deferring to practice my English?
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: SCgrad on May 02, 2006, 01:05:04 AM
how are you going to practice your english?
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 01:08:56 AM
I don't know. Maybe see a lot of English movies,read a lot of English books.What's more, I would like to be a LSAT tutor for free if he/she is a native speaker. I got excited about the idea of going to LS and then nervous about how my poor English would kill me in 1L.
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: SCgrad on May 02, 2006, 01:13:59 AM
if you did well on the lsat, your problem is not in reading and probably not in listening.  what country do you live in? 
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 01:17:54 AM
I think the main relevant fact is there are few chances for me to practice.
China.
Maybe a few months of practice in US can make it better but I don't know if it's too late to save my already-down GPA?
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 01:21:37 AM
In fact, I got full mark in TWE(test of writing English,attached to TOEFL).
But it is still very difficult for me to put down my idea clearly in english writing.
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 01:26:57 AM
Yes, I got a 172. I think maybe because in a standard test you only need to read quickly and gain the main idea of it. Many times I only skip tons of words I don't know and try to guess the meaning ot them according to the context.

Thanks for your kind words. I guess if LSAT is in Chinese I will do better than now :)
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: SCgrad on May 02, 2006, 01:30:10 AM
In fact, I got full mark in TWE(test of writing English,attached to TOEFL).
But it is still very difficult for me to put down my idea clearly in english writing.


Do you have TOIC in China? I know it is the best thing in Japan.  I also know that in Japan there are tutors available for private use (conversation practice).  If that is not possible, i suggest what we refer to as "English Bandits" which is basically going up to foreigners and starting long conversation with them for the purpose of practicing your English.  Just remember to at least act as though you actually want to be his or her friend so they are less aware that this is what you are doing.  I can't believe I am telling you this, with how much I loathe English Bandits.  Good luck with your choices though  :)
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 01:38:13 AM
I have taken TOEFL( test of english as a foreign language) but not TOEIC. It is said that TOEIC is designed mainly for the job hunter to prove their English abilities.

Do you have more information about "English Bandits" or their website? I just googled it but found nothing relevant.
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: SCgrad on May 02, 2006, 01:46:36 AM
I live in Japan.  The people who study for TOEIC are generally better speakers than the TOEFL crowd.  "English Bandits" is a word we foreign teachers made up here in Japan for people who walk up to us when we are enjoying a weekend and start talking to us for no reason.  There is no actaul group called the "English Bandits."  If you want to be one, all you have to do is not be shy, and talk to foreigners who are strangers, that is all.
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: lulu on May 02, 2006, 01:50:12 AM
Oh, I see, then I will take my courage to be an English bandit and then become one you hate. ::)

Just kidding, Thanks for your help.I will try my best.
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: CLS09 on May 02, 2006, 02:42:12 PM
This is a tough one.  Law school is all about reading (tons of it) and writing, and a lot of the reading contains very complicated language and ideas which I would think you would need to be fluent in English to understand.  But a 172 on the LSAT means you must understand English pretty well.

If you understand English better than you speak it or write it, I wouldn't worry too much.  I don't think any professor is going to downgrade a non-native speaker for grammar and spelling errors, but they will downgrade you if you don't get the ideas, and/or can't get your own ideas across in writing.  Why don't you get hold of a Contracts or Property book from a US law school and try reading it, to see how well you understand?  Good luck!
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: BTK on May 02, 2006, 03:31:47 PM
This is a tough one.  Law school is all about reading (tons of it) and writing, and a lot of the reading contains very complicated language and ideas which I would think you would need to be fluent in English to understand.  But a 172 on the LSAT means you must understand English pretty well.

If you understand English better than you speak it or write it, I wouldn't worry too much.  I don't think any professor is going to downgrade a non-native speaker for grammar and spelling errors, but they will downgrade you if you don't get the ideas, and/or can't get your own ideas across in writing.  Why don't you get hold of a Contracts or Property book from a US law school and try reading it, to see how well you understand?  Good luck!
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: dukenukem on May 02, 2006, 03:41:46 PM
welcome to america, where would you like your social security check sent?  oh and enjoy our complimentary healthcare and continental breakfast.
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: rider06 on May 02, 2006, 07:19:26 PM
welcome to america, where would you like your social security check sent?  oh and enjoy our complimentary healthcare and continental breakfast.

since when is there complimentary healthcare?  i was born here and i dont get that
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: queencruella on May 02, 2006, 07:30:15 PM
Lulu- have you tried finding a native speaking friend who you can email or send text messages to? It's not really advanced writing, but it will get you used to expressing your ideas through writing and help you see natural English when your friend responds. I lived in Japan for 2 years and learned a lot just by writing Japanese text messages everyday and reading the responses. Good luck!
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: misery on May 03, 2006, 12:25:09 PM
I think you'll be fine... there are plenty of foreign LLMs at law schools (especially top ones) too.  Granted, I don't know if they compete directly with JDs, but professors will understand that English isn't your first language. 
Title: Re: LS this fall or defer a year to practice my English?
Post by: icf on May 03, 2006, 02:17:46 PM
also, once you actually get to the US, i'm sure that just being immersed in an English speaking environment will help you out so much in a few weeks.  The schools you got into read your personal statements so I would assume that they wouldn't accept you if they felt like your ability to write in English wasn't up to par.

good luck with whatever you decide.