Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: rezamza on September 06, 2015, 02:33:11 PM

Title: Quick Question about Oct/Dec LSAT...thanks in advance!
Post by: rezamza on September 06, 2015, 02:33:11 PM
Hey there,

I was just hoping to get some advice on a course of action that Im currently considering in light of a few new developments on my path towards law school. But first, some background info...

I sat for my first LSAT in June of 2014. I was vastly unprepared, my testing anxiety overwhelmed me, and I cancelled my score.

My second LSAT was in December of 2014 and again, my anxiety was a major hinderance beginning the night before...allowing me only five hours of sleep and a score of 157...10 points below my then average!

Because of various life circumstances beginning in January of this year, I moved far from home, paid off all undergrad debt, gained some experience as a receptionist at a law office, and am scheduled to retake this coming October.

The reason Im seeking advice is because although I quit my job in order to dedicate between 3-7 hours per day, everyday, towards studying for the past two months, Im still not seeing the score increase that is necessary for admittance into my target schools. Im almost 28 years old, graduated from UCSC about four or five years ago with a GPA of 2.9 (too involved with a girlfriend my last semester...regretful), and am shooting for Fordham, UCI, or UCD. Im nervous about the potential for a few application weakeners (including my age, limited valuable/applicable work experience, low UGPA, a cancelled score, a 157, and the fact that Im taking my third! LSAT so far after my last one).

Just wondering if any of these worries are valid? Im currently in the mid 160s range and according to the LSAT Calculator, Id need at least a 167 to have a 50% chance of acceptance into my target schools, and a 169 to have a 75% chance. I don't know if my confidence is high enough to assume that Id gain the ability to maintain at least a 167 on every PT between now and October (three weeks).

Any and all advice is sincerely appreciated!
Title: Re: Quick Question about Oct/Dec LSAT...thanks in advance!
Post by: Miami88 on September 07, 2015, 09:22:50 PM
you need to focus your mental energy on things that are within your control. anything that is not within your control is pointless to think about. right now, the only thing that you can focus on is preparing for the LSAT. at this point, that means working through prior exams and reviewing your mistakes. repeat.

as for what score you need to get into what school.... forget it. it is all speculation at this point. the score you need is the best score that you can get. period. let what come come. we can worry about what school that translates into after the exam. but for now, just focus on killing the LSAT.
Title: Re: Quick Question about Oct/Dec LSAT...thanks in advance!
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on September 08, 2015, 10:37:15 AM
Hi Rezamza,

A few quick points:

First, I agree with Miami. At this point it is counterproductive to say "I need to get at least a score of X to get into school Y." I know that you want to get the highest score possible and get into the highest ranked school possible, all of us did. The problem, as Miami pointed out, is that until you have an actual score it's all speculation. You're putting the cart before the horse. Don't worry about schools right know, just focus on the LSAT. After you get a score on the board you can think about where to take it.

Are your GPA and prior score going to hurt you?

I believe that most schools will look primarily to your last score, and it's common for people to take the test a few times. I don't think that's a big deal, especially if you score higher than 157 in October. Your GPA is low for the schools you've mentioned, and yes, this will matter. A high LSAT score can help offset your GPA, of course.

Test Anxiety

This is something you need to get control of before dropping $100-200,000 on law school. If you can't, then I would seriously reflect on whether or not law school is the right choice. Law school exams are far more demanding than the LSAT and you will not get to cancel your score and retake. The three day long CA bar exam makes the LSAT look like kindergarten. I'm not trying to be negative here, but if you have serious test anxiety you need to consider this.

Law Schools

You have some very specific law schools that you want to attend (why Fordham?), and that's fine. But it's good to have a backup plan. Ask yourself "If I don't get into one of these schools, do I still want to go?" Also, what are your goals? Is admission to one of these schools the only way to accomplish them?

Depending on your LSAT score, you may need to be willing to cast a wider net or reevaluate your goals.
Title: Re: Quick Question about Oct/Dec LSAT...thanks in advance!
Post by: Citylaw on September 08, 2015, 11:35:54 AM
Great posts above.

I think shooting for a 169 is probably unrealistic. I hope you get that, but odds are you will not finish in the top 10% of test takers, I hope you do, but I certainly did not get a 169. I actually got your score a 157. I did not get into Harvard, but I went on to get into an ABA school with a substantial scholarship. I finished in the top 10% of my class, passed the bar first time, and work as a litigation attorney, which is what I wanted to do.

My LSAT score never comes up in real life nor do my grades in law school. I wish I could go into court for my injunction this afternoon and saw your honor I got the Witkin Award in Remedies so I win. That would be great, but not real life and frankly I don't know what opposing counsel's LSAT score was nor what grade they got in remedies.  It doesn't matter.

What you should do is take the LSAT get a score apply to the schools you have a chance at and move on. I have known so many people in your situation that put the LSAT off forever and put their lives on hold. You could already be a 2L if you stuck with a 157. Maybe you will improve your LSAT to a 159 hell maybe you will get a 169, but most people don't.

Conclusion:
It sounds like you have done everything in your power to prepare for the LSAT. Whatever you get on this next LSAT apply don't put your life on hold for this standardized test. Also, the LSAT is stressful, but it is a joke compared to the test anxiety you will face on your first law school exam, then the law school exams are a joke compared to the bar. Then once your a real attorney the anxiety you will have when a client is relying on you to get a result and if you f'up they will suffer real consequences such as going to jail, losing their house, losing their business etc is a joke compared to the bar.

Law is a stressful profession and the LSAT is the baby-step take it and proceed. If your not comfortable with stress then maybe law is not for you.

Here is a good article about how to choose a law school. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

Good luck.

Title: Re: Quick Question about Oct/Dec LSAT...thanks in advance!
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on September 08, 2015, 04:20:45 PM
157 is super bad, but for sure retake. I bet you do better.
Title: Re: Quick Question about Oct/Dec LSAT...thanks in advance!
Post by: Citylaw on September 08, 2015, 05:43:54 PM
A 157 is not super bad it will get you into a number of ABA approved law schools. It is not something to write home about either, but it puts you in the top 30% of test takers. http://www.alphascore.com/resources/lsat-score-conversion/

This means that 70% of college graduates that were motivated enough to take the LSAT get worse than a 157.

People can spend years on various courses hoping to improve their score, but life will eventually pass them by. Do your best and move on from the LSAT. Don't under-prepare, but if you have taken it three times you are unlikely to drastically improve.

Good luck to you and don't listen to anyone that says 157 is a terrible score.  It is fine, but far from great.