Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: The Poster on April 29, 2006, 11:18:51 AM

Title: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on April 29, 2006, 11:18:51 AM
I figure there should be a thread where everyone who has survived this cycle can give words of wisdom, tips, and things they wish they had done differently to all of the brave souls who are going to go through the next cycle for the first time. I'll start with some of my two cents:

-APPLY EARLY! I cannot stress this enough. I have seen many well-qualified, intelligent applicants get the shaft this cycle because, for one reason or another, they applied after late December, and many well into Jan/Feb (those tend to be the Dec. test takers, which I would advice you to NOT be one of if you can at all help it). Even me, I applied in late Nov./early Dec. and I still got shafted a little bit. Do the June LSAT, spend the rest of your summer crafting your personal statements, get all the letters of rec. and other stuff together well in advance, and send off all your apps in Sept./Oct. if at all possible.

-Cast a WIDE net. I know you hear this all the time too. I applied to 13 schools, and my net wasn't wide enough. Why? Because 10 of those were in the T15, and the other 3 were ranked in the 30's. I totally missed out on the schools ranked inbetween, and I prolly would have had a decent shot at some of those. Nothing wrong with aiming high like I did, just make sure you have a big enough saftey net just in case.

-Make the LSAT your female dog, or you will become its female dog. I took in June and retook in October, I burnt myself out with like 25 practice tests, I reached my peak, stayed there a while, then I dropped. Don't let this happen to you.

more to come. others, please add your own advice!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SanchoPanzo on April 29, 2006, 11:28:30 AM
Don't take the personal statement for granted (especially if you're applying to top-top schools). Even if you have a decent LSAT and GPA, schools may have more applicants with your combination then they can afford to accept. Don't be the one who gets cut!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: verbal on April 29, 2006, 11:28:47 AM
Only take the LSAT once. Take a powerscore course. I took the lsat without studying and made a 159. I took it again 4 months later after doing 10 practice tests and a weekend powerscore course and made a 165. if i wouldnt have taken the first lsat i would have gotten into almost every school i applied to. as it is now i got rejected from most schools.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: redemption on April 29, 2006, 11:49:47 AM
1. Your LSAT score is by far the most important element of your application. It will define your application cycle.

            - it is very, very learnable: do every single LSAC prep test there is until you own it. It is not
               an IQ test; it is a familiarity test.

            - do not take it too early: you'll have a hard time recovering from a mediocre score, even if you retake

            - anticipate a drop of 3 scaled points from your practice average. If you want a 170, practice at 174.


2. Applying early is the second most important element of success

              - ask for your LORs very early

              - don't underestimate how long it takes to write your statements

              - don't get caught in transcript hell


3. Almost nothing can overcome a very low GPA at the T14 schools. Likely not time, not a PhD, not an
     explanation. If you're a splitter, cast a wide net and count on a roller-coaster of a ride.
 

4. The most important aspect of your Personal and Diversity Statements is tone and clarity. Otherwise, they are not nearly as important as you think, except

                - if you're applying to Yale; or

                - if you're a URM or have severely disadvantaged socioeconomic background

                - if you're applying for a specific Scholarship, such as the Furman at NYU


That's it.

Please, people, do yourselves a favor: practice for the LSAT until you're ready to take it. You'll likely never again have the opportunity for that kind of return on investment.

Cheers
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on April 29, 2006, 11:52:17 AM
Thanks for the advice people!

I have a question.  Unfortunately, I can't take the June LSAT (decided this month that I would only take 1 year off instead of 2), thus I'm taking the exam on Sept 30th.

I'm taking a PS course that would end in Aug and leave me with Sept to take a fair amount of prep tests.  As long as I start putting my PS (which I've started), DS, and resume together in the summer, I should be okay to apply late Oct right?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Pirate Pete on April 29, 2006, 11:54:01 AM


2. Applying early is the second most important element of success

              - ask for your LORs very early         


This is the one piece of advice that I never found last year.  You would be surprised just how long it takes for some professors to send them out.  It kind of makes it hard to apply early when you are waiting until January for both of your LORs to come in.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: aerynn on April 29, 2006, 12:14:14 PM
I agree with "ask for transcripts and LORs AT LEAST 3 months before you intend on applying."  It takes so much longer than you would think to get that stuff together.  I started pulling my LORs and Transcripts together after getting my October LSAT score, thinking that it would take a month and I would be all set to apply in early Dec. 

Wrong!  I ended up applying in January and I am pretty sure it made the difference between a waitlist and an accept with UVA.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: bohemian_revolution on April 29, 2006, 12:19:31 PM
Are there any specifications I should give for the LoRs? I'm thinking of asking my professors at the end of this semester just to make sure that they're in on time.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: aerynn on April 29, 2006, 12:26:22 PM
Give them hard due dates, and follow up one a week.  Keep in mind that in 99% of the cases they won't matter one bit, unless they hold up your application and hurt you.  So, get your recommenders to throw something, anything, good about you on paper and turn it in.

Also, give them guidelines as to what they should say.  Most schools have a blurb about how they are looking for someone who is X, Y, and Z.  Ask your recommenders to speak to those points, then remind them of some clear, specific examples they can cite as evidence.  Include your resume.

I would say that the better you prepare your LOR packets to give to your recommenders, the easier it will be for them to sit down, connect the dots and mail that sucker in.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: bohemian_revolution on April 29, 2006, 12:29:54 PM
Thanks for your help. I have some special circumstances regarding LoRs which I've detailed in this thread:http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,61268.0.html

I'd appreciate any help you could give me.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Niiice on April 29, 2006, 12:41:54 PM
Red, what would you label a very low GPA?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: redemption on April 29, 2006, 01:09:29 PM
Red, what would you label a very low GPA?

There's no hard line, and it varies by school. I'd say that anything more than 0.2 below the 25th percentile for a particular school is very low.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Lily Jaye on April 29, 2006, 01:26:02 PM
1. Your LSAT score is by far the most important element of your application. It will define your application cycle.

            - it is very, very learnable: do every single LSAC prep test there is until you own it. It is not
               an IQ test; it is a familiarity test.

            - do not take it too early: you'll have a hard time recovering from a mediocre score, even if you retake

            - anticipate a drop of 3 scaled points from your practice average. If you want a 170, practice at 174.


2. Applying early is the second most important element of success

              - ask for your LORs very early

              - don't underestimate how long it takes to write your statements

              - don't get caught in transcript hell


3. Almost nothing can overcome a very low GPA at the T14 schools. Likely not time, not a PhD, not an
     explanation. If you're a splitter, cast a wide net and count on a roller-coaster of a ride.
 

4. The most important aspect of your Personal and Diversity Statements is tone and clarity. Otherwise, they are not nearly as important as you think, except

                - if you're applying to Yale; or

                - if you're a URM or have severely disadvantaged socioeconomic background

                - if you're applying for a specific Scholarship, such as the Furman at NYU


That's it.

Please, people, do yourselves a favor: practice for the LSAT until you're ready to take it. You'll likely never again have the opportunity for that kind of return on investment.

Cheers

Seconded.

I'd like to add



Dear God am I happy this cycle's over.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on April 29, 2006, 01:31:38 PM
Question to all of you pros out there:

Would you suggest using the LSAC application for the schools or each schools' specific e-app?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Lily Jaye on April 29, 2006, 01:34:17 PM
Question to all of you pros out there:

Would you suggest using the LSAC application for the schools or each schools' specific e-app?

LSAC.  Talk to Piggylola about that. :-\
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: RockyMarciano on April 29, 2006, 01:43:31 PM
Thanks for the advice people!

I have a question.  Unfortunately, I can't take the June LSAT (decided this month that I would only take 1 year off instead of 2), thus I'm taking the exam on Sept 30th.

I'm taking a PS course that would end in Aug and leave me with Sept to take a fair amount of prep tests.  As long as I start putting my PS (which I've started), DS, and resume together in the summer, I should be okay to apply late Oct right?

Yea, you should be fine to apply in late October. Another piece of advice is to write the optional essays because it shows that you actually want to go to that school and it gives you some more room to write about yourself.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on April 29, 2006, 01:49:36 PM
Thanks Lily, Rocky, and Dave! :)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: lovelovelovenyc on April 29, 2006, 01:52:51 PM
*Optional essays are, in most cases, not optional.  If you are dead set on Penn/Michigan/etc, do the "Why __fill in the school___?" essay.

*Make sure your dean cert's get in  I did not have a prob, but I read numerous MSN profiles that made mention of late complete dates due to screw ups over dean certifications.

*When the time comes for you to decide on a school (if you are deciding between T14 schools), take money out of the equation.  This of course depends on the type of practice you wish to pursue, loan repayment assistance if you are doing PI.  But for the most part go where you will be happy, feel most comfortable, and enjoy your fellow students.  Prime example- the number of ppl turning down Hamiltons for HY.  Law school will be difficult no matter what, you might as well spend three years at a school you enjoy.   As someone else said: money comes, money goes. >shrug<
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Lily Jaye on April 29, 2006, 02:11:54 PM
*Optional essays are, in most cases, not optional.  If you are dead set on Penn/Michigan/etc, do the "Why __fill in the school___?" essay.

*Make sure your dean cert's get in  I did not have a prob, but I read numerous MSN profiles that made mention of late complete dates due to screw ups over dean certifications.

*When the time comes for you to decide on a school (if you are deciding between T14 schools), take money out of the equation.  This of course depends on the type of practice you wish to pursue, loan repayment assistance if you are doing PI.  But for the most part go where you will be happy, feel most comfortable, and enjoy your fellow students.  Prime example- the number of ppl turning down Hamiltons for HY.  Law school will be difficult no matter what, you might as well spend three years at a school you enjoy.   As someone else said: money comes, money goes. >shrug<

I completely have to disagree with the third one.  If you prefer a group of schools roughly the same, go to the least expensive.  LRAPs aren't necessarily as helpful as they initially appear to be, and the extra 50-100k is would require living like a monk for two to five years while working at a Biglaw firm. 
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: jb1246a on April 29, 2006, 02:29:52 PM
1. even if you submitted yours early, beware of the power of dean's certs to hold up your application. be sure to check up with your prelaw advisors frequently to ensure that they haven't sat on them for over two months like mine did.

2. be sure to include an experimental section in each practice lsat you take, especially leading up to the big day. try all different combos. i remember feeling frazzled when i had LR, LR, RC, LR, G because i usually practiced with four sections only and allowed myself the luxury of taking the games section somewhere in the middle as a mental break.

3. think very, very hard about cancelling. list pros and cons of keeping v. cancelling. i was 95% ready to cancel because i felt like i bombed, but i'm incredibly glad that i kept my score. also, don't expect to hit your practice average. 3-5 point drop is normal, i think.

4.  for night owls, reset your circadian rhythm so that you are accustomed to waking up early for the sept/oct test. or just take it in june.



   
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on April 29, 2006, 02:30:39 PM
wow, thanks to everyone for adding so much to this so quickly! I hope this will be a good resource for our fellow lsders in the coming cycle.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: bohemian_revolution on April 29, 2006, 02:33:01 PM
Thanks everyone, the advice is fab.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: redemption on April 29, 2006, 02:59:36 PM
2. be sure to include an experimental section in each practice lsat you take, especially leading up to the big day. try all different combos. i remember feeling frazzled when i had LR, LR, RC, LR, G because i usually practiced with four sections only and allowed myself the luxury of taking the games section somewhere in the middle as a mental break.

Yes. That's important.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: aerynn on April 29, 2006, 03:10:02 PM
Having a great personal statement is a plus, but getting your apps in early is a bigger plus.  Don't let optional essays and polishing your personal statement to a shine delay your application process.  Knowing what I know now, I would have sent my PS in on a cocktail napkin if it meant getting it there a month earlier.

Buy Law School Confidential and read it now, don't wait until after the cycle.  They have great application advice in there.

Don't read too many Law School message board, because the people here and on XO and elsewhere are going to promote their school and their choices.  That doesn't mean they are the right schools for you.  My anxiety went up reading these board, my satisfaction with my choices went down, and I actually considered going to GW for a minute because of getting sucked into the rankings obessions, instead of W&M where I *know* I will be happier and have 1/3 the debt.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: redemption on April 29, 2006, 03:22:33 PM
W&M over GW?????!!!

j/k  ;D
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on April 29, 2006, 03:24:51 PM
W&M over GW?????!!!

j/k  ;D

LOL...nicely done.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: l1lshady0 on April 29, 2006, 03:33:27 PM
If you're fresh out of undergrad, take some time OFF!  Travel, see the world, volunteer, work... do something with your youth besides sitting in academia!

Second, research schools like crazy, especially if you're looking out of state.  Take time with your PS and resume... they really can make a difference (at least I feel like they did in my cycle anyway!)

Good luck!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: aerynn on April 29, 2006, 03:46:24 PM
W&M over GW?????!!!

j/k  ;D

Oh no!  Did I make the wrong choice?
 :P
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: thenextstep on April 29, 2006, 04:15:20 PM
Good advice all...  I think you should also really know WHY you want to go to law school.  Be convinced for your own reasons, not your parents or your feeling that you "should" do it.  That will really help in figuring out which schools to apply to as well as which to go to once you get in - the one that will best fit for why you are going in the first place.  If you don't know why, go figure it out before you shell out 100K for something you aren't sure you want.  There are lots of ways to have interesting, fulfilling, and lucrative careers, law school is not the only way.

Also I think it is silly to apply to schools you would not attend because it is the right ranking - they cost money to apply to.  So research schools ahead of time as much as you can!  Yes you can apply to schools that are a bit less exciting to try to get a scholarship, but only if you'd really take it.  Otherwise it's not very good leverage because it may not work out.

And yes REALLY TAKE THE LSAT SERIOUSLY!!  My cycle went really well because I was lucky but for many T14s you need over 170 to get a scholarship... and for many career paths less debt is really helpful!

Oh and if you want to do public interest, like you really know you want to do it, then you need to really apply wisely to get the most scholarship at the most highly regarded school you can.  There are some public interest scholarships at great schools, but they are very competitive so make sure your resume supports your career goals.  But even in public interest, or maybe especially, the reputation of the school you go to is important so money is not everything there... that said I would take the money and run nearly 100% of the time if it were me.

Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: jhare on April 29, 2006, 04:57:59 PM
Quote
be sure to include an experimental section in each practice lsat you take, especially leading up to the big day. try all different combos. i remember feeling frazzled when i had LR, LR, RC, LR, G because i usually practiced with four sections only and allowed myself the luxury of taking the games section somewhere in the middle as a mental break.

I don't disagree, but remember that the best way to study depends on the person. I would focus on the sections that you the worst on, and just do as many of those as you can.

And remember that if you seem like a slacker by the standards of message boards, you are still probably in pretty good shape relative to the entire applicant pool.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on April 29, 2006, 05:18:05 PM
How early?

I'm going to have my recommendations already sent in by the end of summer, my transcript sent in, and hopefully my Dean's certification...so I am planning on having my applications go in at the beginning-middle of September. Obviously the earlier the better, but is there such a thing as "too early," as in you don't want to be the first app they review due to the "well he's ok but let's wait" effect?



there is NO such thing as too early. trust me on this.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: redemption on April 29, 2006, 05:19:38 PM
there is NO such thing as too early. trust me on this.

Bolded and underlined.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Pythagoras on April 29, 2006, 05:27:03 PM
1. If a law school has an official option for "EA", definitely take it.  (Be wary of "ED" though) I think this is a good idea for those applicants who have a fairly narrow idea of where they would like to attend and are looking to not drop too much money on apps.  For example, Penn EA saved me application fees at M,V etc

2.  For URMs, do take your personal statement very seriously.  Allot yourself enough lead time to craft a good essay and to have it critiqued by at least 5 different people--preferrably of varied personalities & tastes.  Have a liberal arts professor read/edit it if you can manage it.

3. Also for URMs, don't assume that that status will necessarily make you a shoo-in for T-14.  On the other hand, don't undersell/restrict yourself either.  LSN can be a great resource when it comes to finding out where others with similar stats were accepted and what their particular soft factors were.

4. Take Powerscore. Or Testmasters.
5. Stalk your professors if you have to when it comes to getting your LORs done on time.  Remember to buy them a thank you gift after. You may need their help again when applying for outside scholarships.

6. Read Ivey's book and Montauk's book too.
7. Stay logged in to LSD.  It will keep you sane--when the mass anxiety isn't making you insane.  ;)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: A. on April 29, 2006, 05:44:23 PM
there is NO such thing as too early. trust me on this.

Bolded and underlined.

With the caveat that quality should not be sacrificed for earliness.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: piggy-buttercup on April 29, 2006, 06:51:20 PM
lsac. makes thing much more organized.

i used all three varieties. paper-apps, lsac apps, and school specific e-apps.

i had my personal reason of the paper-apps route. i do not recommend this.

specific e-apps has its advantages if you want them to be processed a little quicker (used gtown's & penn's to meet their EA deadline) but i can be wrong on this. so check.

MAKE SURE YOU APPLY EARLY!

MAKE SURE YOU DO THE DIRTY WORK(TRANSCRIPTS AND LORS) NOW! SOON!!


ps: how ya been lily?  :)

Question to all of you pros out there:

Would you suggest using the LSAC application for the schools or each schools' specific e-app?

LSAC.  Talk to Piggylola about that. :-\
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on April 29, 2006, 07:44:06 PM
there is NO such thing as too early. trust me on this.

Bolded and underlined.

See everyone, if red. is agreeing with me, I must be on to something with this. :)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Alexis27 on April 29, 2006, 08:00:43 PM
Thank you for this advice. I am applying next cycle, and I really appreciate the information.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on April 29, 2006, 08:01:42 PM
Thank you for this advice. I am applying next cycle, and I really appreciate the information.

You are welcome. This is why I started the thread. :)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: aerynn on April 29, 2006, 09:48:31 PM
there is NO such thing as too early. trust me on this.

Bolded and underlined.

With the caveat that quality should not be sacrificed for earliness.

I can't think of a better quality than being early.  90% of it is numbers, 5% is when you turned it in, 4% is the Personal Statement, and 1% to other stuff like LORs.  (Percentages vary for URMs).  Get the 5% bonus for being at the head of the pack.  That personal statement will sound 100 times better if it is the first one the adcomms read this cycle instead of the 1500th. 
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Towlie on April 30, 2006, 01:20:32 AM
Grow a beard. Trust me, it works.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Pirate Pete on April 30, 2006, 01:21:23 AM
Grow a beard. Trust me, it works.

LOL, did you see the latest Towlie episode where he sported the fake moustache?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: A. on April 30, 2006, 07:18:11 AM
there is NO such thing as too early. trust me on this.

Bolded and underlined.

With the caveat that quality should not be sacrificed for earliness.

I can't think of a better quality than being early.  90% of it is numbers, 5% is when you turned it in, 4% is the Personal Statement, and 1% to other stuff like LORs.  (Percentages vary for URMs).  Get the 5% bonus for being at the head of the pack.  That personal statement will sound 100 times better if it is the first one the adcomms read this cycle instead of the 1500th. 

I disagree with your percentages.  A person with borderline numbers and a lousy PS isn't getting in in November or April.  However, a borderline person with an amazing PS and recs has a chance of getting in both in November and in April, but the chances are higher in November when it is more unlikely that the school hasn't accepted 20 other people like him.  Harvard isn't going to accept a 3.8/168 just b/c he got his app in early.  They know they will have plenty of applicants like him.  But if he blows them out of the water and his app is in early, then he has a chance...but he would also have a chance in February if he is truly spectacular.  Getting your app in early matters more at the margins (and red. is a testament to that).  But if your PS and recs are crappy, you're not getting into the reaches anyway.


EDIT: And for the completely average person, with average numbers and an average PS, then, yes, getting your app in early is key.  But I think it is better to get your app in in November with average numbers and a great PS than to submit it in September with average numbers and an average PS.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: redemption on April 30, 2006, 07:27:24 AM
Some perspective is in order:

For HYS, statements make a big difference. For "lower ranked" schools, progressively less so. The balance between early application and perfecting your statements should take that into account.

Never submit crap, though - that'll kill your app for sure.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: A. on April 30, 2006, 08:20:28 AM
For HYS, statements make a big difference. For "lower ranked" schools, progressively less so. The balance between early application and perfecting your statements should take that into account.

Well, I had taken Y and S out of the equation, since, especially in Y's case, there isn't much of a correlation between when you submit your app and when you get in (except for the candidates who bypass faculty review).  I don't think Harvard is much different from any other school that has to accept large numbers of people in that the borderline cases will be "held" until later in the cycle unless the school is given a good reason to accept them (thus negating the effect of submitting early).  There will always be more applicants than acceptances, and I think soft factors outweigh time of submission in most cases.

A bunch of people who apply early are, in reality, rejected outright...it's just that most schools don't send out rejections until later in the cycle, enhancing the visibility of those few amazing ones who managed to get in, and therefore giving the appearance that your chances of getting in are higher earlier in the cycle, when that might not actually be the case.

That said, I don't think there is much of an excuse for submitting a late (post November) app.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ivywhore on April 30, 2006, 08:21:12 AM
go to med school.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ivywhore on April 30, 2006, 08:36:29 AM
avoid law school its not worth the rat race.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Steve.jd on April 30, 2006, 09:23:08 AM
This is awesome advice. I have a couple of questions though:

1- How soon should I get my professors to write my letters of recommendation. Can I get them to do it say in May and send it to LSDAS? Or should I wait to the start of the next semester in September.


Get them to send as early as you can.  I waited until September and couldn't get apps out until late October waiting on them - and my recommenders were pretty quick/good about it, other people had much worse experiences.

Quote

2- Are specialized letters of recommendation better? That means would I have to ask professors to write me more than one, meaning doing one per each school I am applying to? Or is the generalized letter of recommendation through LSDAS which all schools get ok?


Generalized letters are fine.  I had one targeted letter to UPENN and they dinged me anyway ;)

Quote

3- If I should do the LSDAS letter of recommendation option, how many professors should I ask? 2, 3, 4? Please let me know.

4 if you can get 4 good ones, have at least 3 though
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ivywhore on April 30, 2006, 09:24:03 AM
believe me they're all sharks.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: A. on April 30, 2006, 09:26:47 AM
This is awesome advice. I have a couple of questions though:

1- How soon should I get my professors to write my letters of recommendation. Can I get them to do it say in May and send it to LSDAS? Or should I wait to the start of the next semester in September.

Ask them now, before you leave for the summer.  Set up your LSDAS account and have them submit the recs over the summer.

Quote
2- Are specialized letters of recommendation better? That means would I have to ask professors to write me more than one, meaning doing one per each school I am applying to? Or is the generalized letter of recommendation through LSDAS which all schools get ok?

Generalized unless the prof is an alum.

Quote
3- If I should do the LSDAS letter of recommendation option, how many professors should I ask? 2, 3, 4? Please let me know.

I did two, which is sufficient.  Three is fine if they're good.  Four is overboard.  Recs are almost universally positive, so they make little difference in the end.  Just get a couple of glowing ones.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on April 30, 2006, 11:38:22 AM
This is awesome advice. I have a couple of questions though:

1- How soon should I get my professors to write my letters of recommendation. Can I get them to do it say in May and send it to LSDAS? Or should I wait to the start of the next semester in September.

Ask them now, before you leave for the summer.  Set up your LSDAS account and have them submit the recs over the summer.

Quote
2- Are specialized letters of recommendation better? That means would I have to ask professors to write me more than one, meaning doing one per each school I am applying to? Or is the generalized letter of recommendation through LSDAS which all schools get ok?

Generalized unless the prof is an alum.

Quote
3- If I should do the LSDAS letter of recommendation option, how many professors should I ask? 2, 3, 4? Please let me know.

I did two, which is sufficient.  Three is fine if they're good.  Four is overboard.  Recs are almost universally positive, so they make little difference in the end.  Just get a couple of glowing ones.


Definitely good to know...I have two in the bag (asked both already and gave them the forms to keep on file on campus in the career services office).  I had a third in mind but he's really flakely and I'm 99% sure that he would hold up my apps.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Pirate Pete on April 30, 2006, 11:40:37 AM


Definitely good to know...I have two in the bag (asked both already and gave them the forms to keep on file on campus in the career services office).  I had a third in mind but he's really flakely and I'm 99% sure that he would hold up my apps.

Might as well ask him now.  That way, he has until October to get it in.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ivywhore on April 30, 2006, 11:41:27 AM
MED SCHOOL
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on April 30, 2006, 11:45:10 AM
MED SCHOOL

This is a better option.  Doctors pwn lawyers. 

DUNSON!!!!!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on April 30, 2006, 11:48:33 AM


Definitely good to know...I have two in the bag (asked both already and gave them the forms to keep on file on campus in the career services office).  I had a third in mind but he's really flakely and I'm 99% sure that he would hold up my apps.

Might as well ask him now.  That way, he has until October to get it in.

True but I have heard numerous first hand examples of people asking him months in advance and he still doesn't write them.  I might ask all the same...but at least I have the minimum two (which seems fine and acceptable) and I'm pretty sure that they will be great.  Plus, hopefully I will land a FT job by middle of the summer and I can get my boss to possibly write a rec for me as well.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ivywhore on April 30, 2006, 11:54:32 AM
MED SCHOOL

This is a better option.  Doctors pwn lawyers. 

DUNSON!!!!!

quack?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: A. on April 30, 2006, 12:02:48 PM


Definitely good to know...I have two in the bag (asked both already and gave them the forms to keep on file on campus in the career services office).  I had a third in mind but he's really flakely and I'm 99% sure that he would hold up my apps.

Might as well ask him now.  That way, he has until October to get it in.

True but I have heard numerous first hand examples of people asking him months in advance and he still doesn't write them.  I might ask all the same...but at least I have the minimum two (which seems fine and acceptable) and I'm pretty sure that they will be great.  Plus, hopefully I will land a FT job by middle of the summer and I can get my boss to possibly write a rec for me as well.

Yeah, you should be in good shape.  My only advice is to be cautious about career service people.  With the LSDAS service, the need to keep recs on file with the career service people was basically obviated (and some schools prefer to receive everything in one packet from LSDAS anyway).
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on April 30, 2006, 12:12:44 PM


Definitely good to know...I have two in the bag (asked both already and gave them the forms to keep on file on campus in the career services office).  I had a third in mind but he's really flakely and I'm 99% sure that he would hold up my apps.

Might as well ask him now.  That way, he has until October to get it in.

True but I have heard numerous first hand examples of people asking him months in advance and he still doesn't write them.  I might ask all the same...but at least I have the minimum two (which seems fine and acceptable) and I'm pretty sure that they will be great.  Plus, hopefully I will land a FT job by middle of the summer and I can get my boss to possibly write a rec for me as well.

Yeah, you should be in good shape.  My only advice is to be cautious about career service people.  With the LSDAS service, the need to keep recs on file with the career service people was basically obviated (and some schools prefer to receive everything in one packet from LSDAS anyway).

Thanks for the info Alci.  However, the dossier service is my only bet--I will not be at school in the fall so the service is pretty helpful.  Also, I spoke with the pl advisor and he said that once I sign up for LSDAS and LSAC, to let career services know and they will send them over.  As far as I know, there haven't been any problems (knock on wood).
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ivywhore on April 30, 2006, 12:13:13 PM
MED SCHOOL
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: aerynn on April 30, 2006, 03:16:29 PM
there is NO such thing as too early. trust me on this.

Bolded and underlined.

With the caveat that quality should not be sacrificed for earliness.

I can't think of a better quality than being early.  90% of it is numbers, 5% is when you turned it in, 4% is the Personal Statement, and 1% to other stuff like LORs.  (Percentages vary for URMs).  Get the 5% bonus for being at the head of the pack.  That personal statement will sound 100 times better if it is the first one the adcomms read this cycle instead of the 1500th. 

I disagree with your percentages.  A person with borderline numbers and a lousy PS isn't getting in in November or April.  However, a borderline person with an amazing PS and recs has a chance of getting in both in November and in April, but the chances are higher in November when it is more unlikely that the school hasn't accepted 20 other people like him.  Harvard isn't going to accept a 3.8/168 just b/c he got his app in early.  They know they will have plenty of applicants like him.  But if he blows them out of the water and his app is in early, then he has a chance...but he would also have a chance in February if he is truly spectacular.  Getting your app in early matters more at the margins (and red. is a testament to that).  But if your PS and recs are crappy, you're not getting into the reaches anyway.


EDIT: And for the completely average person, with average numbers and an average PS, then, yes, getting your app in early is key.  But I think it is better to get your app in in November with average numbers and a great PS than to submit it in September with average numbers and an average PS.

While it is better to submit a good PS, instead of a "crap" PS, how much improvement on the PS will 2 month make?  Maybe if you show it to 10 people in that 2 months and improve it, but seriously, it is written by the same person.  I think one person can only improve their statement so much in that amount of time.  Get it in 2 month earlier.  Most PS are only average quality (that's what average means, right?) so be the first "I helped the homeless" or the first "I've always wanted to be a lawyer" or the first "I have awesome work experience" PS they read.  It will artificially improve the quality, but not sounding so trite.  Check it for errors, polish it as much as possible, but don't hold up your application so you can get the PS just a little bit better.

That said, I agree, you can hold it and polish a bit if it is the difference between Sept. and Nov.  Those are both early applications.  But don't hold it from Oct. to Dec. polishing it.  Those same 2 months of edit time will kill you.

And looking at LSN, people with my numbers got admitted to UVA if they applied in Oct/Nov.  The rest of us got waitlisted.  The best predictor of success was numbers and date of application.  No need to know how great the PSes or LORs were.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: smiley on May 01, 2006, 08:57:12 AM
Definitely ask for recommendations early - I waited until September and had October as my target date to send my apps. I cut it a little close. Actually my one recommender passed away while he was in the midst of writing my letter, so I ended up asking another professor to write it.

For the PS, my one piece of advice would be to be careful about whom you choose to read and give advice on it. You don't have to show it to 20 or even 10 people. Pick a few people who know you well and who are good writers and thinkers and whose advice you admire. Someone who will be fair with criticism and compliments. My best advice came from a friend of mine who worked through some of the PS issues with me, and he really cared about me and that came through in his advice.

Cast a wide net and consider many options, but don't seriously entertain all the options. There are also schools you don't necessarily think you'll want to go to, and then when it comes time to choose, you wish you would've applied differently. There are so many threads on here like "I only got into these 2 schools, but I really wanted to go to Cornell, Penn, Gtown, etc." Consider all the options, but when it comes down to it, apply to the ones you think are the best fit and don't apply to ones that you seriously wouldn't go to.

Don't be afraid of taking time off. Maybe it's just me and the way I think, but I'll be 33 when I finish at Michigan and I still wish I could have next year off. Time is just something you never get back.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ibroadrunr on May 01, 2006, 08:59:58 AM
Also get one person who doesn't know you to read the PS.  Friends may be too forgiving with the tone of the piece.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Pirate Pete on May 01, 2006, 11:11:35 AM
Also get one person who doesn't know you to read the PS.  Friends may be too forgiving with the tone of the piece.

That reminds me, I don't know if she is doing it this year, but the essay queen was quite cheap and very helpful.  Do a search for "essay queen" to find her email.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Messily on May 02, 2006, 11:30:42 PM
This is such a great thread -- thanks to everyone for your advice!

I have a pretty specific LOR question, but since I think a lot more people are likely to read this than a post in the LOR folder, I figured I'd toss it out here: 

I've been out of school since 2002 and working in my current field for over three years.  The way my work is structured is essentially freelance, and the longest I've ever been at a single gig is about 3-4 months.  Should I still attempt to get an employer LOR?  I have one professor who I know still remembers me fondly, but I'm far enough away from UG that I don't want to try to find another.  I do volunteer work (that's both legal-related and related to my field) and have been doing so for a much longer continuous period of time -- would it be appropriate to submit an LOR from someone at that organization instead?  Does anyone else have any experience with this?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Pirate Pete on May 03, 2006, 12:01:12 AM
This is such a great thread -- thanks to everyone for your advice!

I have a pretty specific LOR question, but since I think a lot more people are likely to read this than a post in the LOR folder, I figured I'd toss it out here: 

I've been out of school since 2002 and working in my current field for over three years.  The way my work is structured is essentially freelance, and the longest I've ever been at a single gig is about 3-4 months.  Should I still attempt to get an employer LOR?  I have one professor who I know still remembers me fondly, but I'm far enough away from UG that I don't want to try to find another.  I do volunteer work (that's both legal-related and related to my field) and have been doing so for a much longer continuous period of time -- would it be appropriate to submit an LOR from someone at that organization instead?  Does anyone else have any experience with this?

I believe that almost all law schools say that they prefer academic letters but are willing to accept other letters if academic letters are not available (i.e. because you have been out of school for several years).  As far as I know, someone from your volunteer work (especially a supervisor) would be fine.  I have read that 99% of recommendations don't make that much of a difference one way or another.  It is only those rare gem letters or the lack of any letters that makes a difference.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on May 03, 2006, 01:03:32 AM
This is such a great thread -- thanks to everyone for your advice!

I have a pretty specific LOR question, but since I think a lot more people are likely to read this than a post in the LOR folder, I figured I'd toss it out here: 

I've been out of school since 2002 and working in my current field for over three years.  The way my work is structured is essentially freelance, and the longest I've ever been at a single gig is about 3-4 months.  Should I still attempt to get an employer LOR?  I have one professor who I know still remembers me fondly, but I'm far enough away from UG that I don't want to try to find another.  I do volunteer work (that's both legal-related and related to my field) and have been doing so for a much longer continuous period of time -- would it be appropriate to submit an LOR from someone at that organization instead?  Does anyone else have any experience with this?

I was in a similar situation - out of school for years and the one professor who knew me best passed away a few years ago, and because I'm a self-employed contractor I didn't have any "work supervisors" who could write for me either.  What I did was ask two lawyers who knew me well (nobody remotely famous or anything) to write me one, and one other person, a non-lawyer, but someone who I've worked with on various political projects over the last couple of years (she would be somewhat famous locally, but probably not known to adcomms at most of the schools I applied to).  All three wrote me excellent letters (and I know, because two of them asked that I write them drafts that they could modify, and they both chose to just sign and send what I gave them as-is), and it doesn't seem to have hurt me any with my results.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Messily on May 03, 2006, 01:37:55 AM
I was in a similar situation - out of school for years and the one professor who knew me best passed away a few years ago, and because I'm a self-employed contractor I didn't have any "work supervisors" who could write for me either.  What I did was ask two lawyers who knew me well (nobody remotely famous or anything) to write me one, and one other person, a non-lawyer, but someone who I've worked with on various political projects over the last couple of years (she would be somewhat famous locally, but probably not known to adcomms at most of the schools I applied to).  All three wrote me excellent letters (and I know, because two of them asked that I write them drafts that they could modify, and they both chose to just sign and send what I gave them as-is), and it doesn't seem to have hurt me any with my results.


Awesome.  I knew I couldn't be the only one in this situation.  Thanks so much for responding!  Ivey and Montauk really ought to address this kind of situation in the next editions of their books.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SouthSide on May 03, 2006, 02:28:15 AM
1) The thing that has not been stressed enough on this thread is the LSAT. The LSAT is by far the most important factor in your application, so you have to respect it and take it seriously. It is a test that, with proper study, you should be able to raise your score significantly on, which will change the nature of the schools you will be able to consider.

2) Also, apply in November or earlier. There is no good excuse for not getting a head start on the process, and it can earn you a slight edge.

3) In terms of your PS, be very open to criticism and comments from different readers, and be willing to completely re-do it until you get it right.

4) Get recommendations from full professors who know and like you. Ask them early, and provide them with a resume and a letter in which you explain what points you want their recommendation to highlight.

Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SouthSide on May 03, 2006, 04:12:26 AM
This is a great point.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on May 05, 2006, 04:54:30 PM
I'm really glad people have been making use of this thread. keep it up!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Kittyl30 on May 06, 2006, 11:58:03 AM
my advice

APPLY TO REACHES!!

not to say you shouldn't apply to a large range of schools including targets and safties, but include a few schools you're numbers may not quite be good enough to get into but you really want to go to. why? b/c i ended up not getting a single rejection lette rthis cycle and only one deferral. this is not b/c I have a 178 and a 4.0 and got into every top 14 it is b/c i didnt apply to enough reach schools and did not apply to a single top 14 school. and b/c my numbers are NOT that high i am not apply waiting a year and re appying but going to a very good top tier 1 school, just out of the top 14.. now i am left constly wondering "what if..." dont let this happen to you


research where you apply carefully. dont be like "yeah that has a good name i think ill apply there." figure out if it is really somewhere you would actually like to study

someone said that $$ should not be a factor. i could not disagree more. you need to weigh prestige AND money.  dont give up a top ten for a TTTT, but i dont think somethign like choosing the hamilton over HYS is necessarily a big "step down"

and i guess you dont need me to tell you how damn important the LSAT is  :P

and my school royally messed up my deans cert and i didnt even know they messed up until bklyn sent me a letter saying it was missing from my app. of course it was after that i realized it was also missing from other schools that needed it.  make sure this doesnt happen to you by checking in with ur school frequently

also...try not to go too crazy..its hard work but law school itself is much much harder
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Lily Jaye on May 06, 2006, 02:52:41 PM
my advice

APPLY TO REACHES!!

not to say you shouldn't apply to a large range of schools including targets and safties, but include a few schools you're numbers may not quite be good enough to get into but you really want to go to. why? b/c i ended up not getting a single rejection lette rthis cycle and only one deferral. this is not b/c I have a 178 and a 4.0 and got into every top 14 it is b/c i didnt apply to enough reach schools and did not apply to a single top 14 school. and b/c my numbers are NOT that high i am not apply waiting a year and re appying but going to a very good top tier 1 school, just out of the top 14.. now i am left constly wondering "what if..." dont let this happen to you

research where you apply carefully. dont be like "yeah that has a good name i think ill apply there." figure out if it is really somewhere you would actually like to study

someone said that $$ should not be a factor. i could not disagree more. you need to weigh prestige AND money.  dont give up a top ten for a TTTT, but i dont think somethign like choosing the hamilton over HYS is necessarily a big "step down"

Seconded.  It's very important to remember that when people say "you have better job opportunities at higher ranked schools," what they really mean is that the GPA cutoffs for elite Vault 50 firms are lower.  That's great, but law is still a pretty regional discipline.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Alamo on May 06, 2006, 03:19:42 PM
Also, I may be off base on this (feel free to shoot me down if I am), but if you get a fee waiver from a school you're really interested in, write a personalized letter to the dean of admissions thanking them for the fee waiver and stating what you like about the school.

I did this with Columbia and W&L.  I'm on the Columbia reserve list when my application could easily have been rejected outright, like it was from UChicago and Georgetown.  W&L was my first acceptance and gave me a better scholarship, most likely, than I deserved.

Maybe with Columbia, this just speaks to good luck, and is a better argument for casting a wide net than anything.  You never know who in an admissions committee is going to see your application and really like a particular thing about it that other schools' admissions committees may not give a second glance.  Apply to every reach that you have a shot at that you'd go to if accepted.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on June 26, 2006, 12:23:21 PM
baff...excellent thread
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on June 26, 2006, 12:27:04 PM
baff...excellent thread

thank you!!! this just goes to show that not all of my threads are pointless. :)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: skeeball on June 26, 2006, 02:06:21 PM
Bippity Bippity BAFF!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Sgee44 on June 26, 2006, 02:09:57 PM
My important piece of advice- just because your waitlisted doesnt mean you dont have a chance!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on June 26, 2006, 02:16:11 PM
My important piece of advice- just because your waitlisted doesnt mean you dont have a chance!

doesn't mean you do have a chance, either. :P
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: spud1987 on June 26, 2006, 02:56:49 PM
I have a question.  How long does it take for LSDAS to process transcripts.  I want to wait for my summer grades to come in so I wouldn't have them sent till around August 20.  However, I want to have all my apps in by the middle of sept at the latest.  Thanks and great thread btw. 
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Chandler Bing on June 26, 2006, 03:02:04 PM
I have a question.  How long does it take for LSDAS to process transcripts.  I want to wait for my summer grades to come in so I wouldn't have them sent till around August 20.  However, I want to have all my apps in by the middle of sept at the latest.  Thanks and great thread btw. 

I sent mine in a week ago Friday (the 16th) and it was just processed today. You should be fine.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: skeeball on June 26, 2006, 03:09:24 PM
I have a question.  How long does it take for LSDAS to process transcripts.  I want to wait for my summer grades to come in so I wouldn't have them sent till around August 20.  However, I want to have all my apps in by the middle of sept at the latest.  Thanks and great thread btw. 

I sent mine in in March and they processed it in like, 3 days.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: spud1987 on June 26, 2006, 03:12:16 PM
Cool, thanks paige and skeeball.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: kristen823 on June 26, 2006, 05:14:09 PM
Yes you guys are awesome for sharing your hard-learned lessons. I was going to ask for my LORs in late august, but I'm gonna aim for July now b/c I want to apply in September. Thanks!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: rtqw on June 26, 2006, 06:31:04 PM
Yes you guys are awesome for sharing your hard-learned lessons. I was going to ask for my LORs in late august, but I'm gonna aim for July now b/c I want to apply in September. Thanks!

I wanted to ask in August as well, before I read the advice here. Bad news is that I live five hours away from my school, bleh- it's probably not a good idea to ask for a LOR over email.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: smiley on June 26, 2006, 06:59:17 PM
Yes you guys are awesome for sharing your hard-learned lessons. I was going to ask for my LORs in late august, but I'm gonna aim for July now b/c I want to apply in September. Thanks!

I wanted to ask in August as well, before I read the advice here. Bad news is that I live five hours away from my school, bleh- it's probably not a good idea to ask for a LOR over email.

I think it depends on the level of familiarity you have with your potential recommenders. I did ask all 4 of my recommenders over email, but I am "friends" with them and have been in regular contact with them since I graduated (which was a while ago). If you don't know them as well or have a more formal, professor-student type relationship with them, then I can see how email might not be the best way to go.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: TNlawguy on June 26, 2006, 08:35:47 PM
Advice hmmm....

(1). Presentation is everything. This means that in addition to submitting your applications in a timely fashion, i.e. *at least* a week prior to the deadline, your personal statement and any additional writing samples should be as close to perfect as possible. Having done reasonably well last cycle and having worked on many interview panels for work, I can tell you that it DOES matter to the committee making a decision on your file how, and when, you turn in application materials.

(2) Cast your net wide...just because you may have strong numbers doesn't guarantee you a spot anywhere! There were many people (including ppl on this board) whose stats should've qualified them for MENSA but didn't get them into the door of their dream schools. I'm not saying to not have reach schools because you should at least 2 or 3. But, you should also have anywhere from 6-9 schools where you will more than likely be admitted based off of past applicant profiles (this can be gleaned from the ABA The Officially Approved Guide to US Law Schools--available for free on LSAC.org).

(3) Don't be afraid to call offices to ask serious questions! But, you should employ discretion to discern what's serious and what's just annoying. Although I haven't heard of any schools throwing out applications because of excessive phone calls, it can't be warmly received when they've got *so* many files to pour over. So, be kind to them and yourself, by letting them spend the time with applications instead of unnecessary phone calls.(Note: the exception to this rule is when/if you've been waitlisted or put on hold. In these instances, it may be a good thing to maintain consistent contact so as to show continued interest).

(4) Save now! If you aren't the heir-apparent to an oustanding fortune, which most of us aren't, you should start saving now b/c application fees and deposits will start to stack up before too long. Even if you receive a waiver to apply, you will more than likely be required to submit a deposit (which can range anywhere from $250-$700 depending on the school).**

(5) Save even more! Redundant? Yes. But, this can't be overstated. In addition to LSAT and LSAT course fees, LDSAS registration, and application fees, you should start now figuring in the costs of visiting said schools. I'd recommend visiting the schools closer to the time when you're going to make a decision/deposit. But, it can't hurt to visit them earlier either b/c you may decide that after visiting that school...that it's not for you. And that's okay!Brochures and mail outs can't give you as visceral a feel for that school as a visit can. What once seemed like *the* school for you may not even be in consideration after the visit. This happened to me, and I would wager to a great deal of ppl on here.

(6) Talk to students currenlty enrolled at the school in which your interested (preferably students that AREN'T guides or panelists at Admitted Students Events)! I can't stress this point enough because, despite what you may see or be told on visits, these average joes and jo anns will tell you exactly what they think: the good, the bad, and (in some cases) the ugly. Although it may shatter the fantasy you've just been spining away, it will save you time and grief later on.

(7) I should've put one this after #1..but oh well. Get solid rec letters from the professors that (a) know you the best and (b) that you highly esteem. My reasoning here is two fold because in following (a) you will get killer rec and in following (b) you will confidant in the letter they write you, which is especially important since you will probably waive the right to read these letters. Also, if you have a professor that's a graduate from your particular school of choice, then have them write a targeted letter for you to that school.

(8) Don't kill the mail man/woman. Just don't! As ludicrous as this sounds, they'll be days when this will seem like a very plausible idea. Resist.

(9) Send thank you notes/cards to those who wrote letters of rec for you. It's a nice thing to do and, quite frankly, you may need them again before the cycle is over either for additional LORs or for morale boosters.

(10) Mingle with other students at Admit Day events. This is important b/c, if you decided to attend that school, you could likely be in the same section. Sound like a stretch? Okay. Maybe, it is. But, it can't hurt. I found this helpful since I've hung out with some of my future classmates twice already this summer.

Hope this helps someone!










**To my knowledge, there are only two schools that don't have deposits but rather rely upon honor codes: IU-B and some other school? Also, you should consider whether or not a school requires multiple deposits.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: redemption on October 23, 2006, 04:32:20 PM
BUMP
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Zam on January 31, 2007, 01:16:00 PM
Everything I know about how to apply to law school I learned from this thread.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Pink on January 31, 2007, 01:29:43 PM
This thread should have been put on a daily bump schedule starting in September.

EDIT: Or Sticky'ed
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: orangie on January 31, 2007, 01:55:14 PM
This thread should have been put on a daily bump schedule starting in September.

EDIT: Or Sticky'ed


Yeah, I definitely agree with this.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on January 31, 2007, 02:01:40 PM
wow, i remember when i started this thread...
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Zam on January 31, 2007, 02:18:42 PM
wow, i remember when i started this thread...

How does it feel to be incredibly old by LSD standards?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on January 31, 2007, 02:20:05 PM
wow, i remember when i started this thread...

How does it feel to be incredibly old by LSD standards?

By LSD standards I'm just middle-aged. Some people have been here twice as long.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Kittyl30 on June 25, 2007, 07:36:38 PM
hmmm.....

its been said by so many..but really, From now personal experience.if you want to do BIGLAW go to the best school you get in to.  too many people think that its so easy to be at the top of the class at a t2 and they can get a good job in NYC or other high paying markets.  OCI is a female dog and super super competitive.  dont turn down a t14 for a scholarship somewhere else if you seriously want to work in a firm. 

that said, if you get a scholarship to say UVA but no money from harvard, you may want to pick UVA. but if its between UVA and even something like william and mary, pick UVA.

but thats just my opinion
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: flyaway on June 25, 2007, 07:46:36 PM
If you are taking the December LSAT, go ahead and send in the apps for what you think will be your target and reach schools during those weeks while you're waiting for the score.  That way, the schools are only waiting for that score, and you'll be complete before most Dec LSAT takers. 

But hold off on sending your safety school apps until you get your score, because you may find that you don't really need them, and you can save yourself the money or use it for some super reaches instead.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: AJaKe on June 25, 2007, 07:47:08 PM
Taggity tag tag.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: bubDread on June 25, 2007, 07:48:52 PM
Don't take the personal statement for granted (especially if you're applying to top-top schools). Even if you have a decent LSAT and GPA, schools may have more applicants with your combination then they can afford to accept. Don't be the one who gets cut!

I work with molten iron.

pretty cool at 2700 degrees F.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Kittyl30 on June 25, 2007, 07:51:13 PM
visit the school!!!! research professors, check out facilities, etc.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on June 26, 2007, 01:52:39 AM
visit the school!!!! research professors, check out facilities, etc.

Really?  I liked your advice about going to the best school you get into much better.  A law school is a law school is a law school, for the most part.  There are good things about all of them, and things that suck about all of them.  The only important thing about them is what they are going to do for you when you're trying to get a job (i.e., what school looks best on your resume).  Don't go to a school that isn't going to do the most for your career prospects because it's got better sticky buns at the reception.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: thedudebro on June 26, 2007, 02:16:46 AM
HYS only. Everything else = waste.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 26, 2007, 08:06:20 AM
visit the school!!!! research professors, check out facilities, etc.

Really?  I liked your advice about going to the best school you get into much better.  A law school is a law school is a law school, for the most part.  There are good things about all of them, and things that suck about all of them.  The only important thing about them is what they are going to do for you when you're trying to get a job (i.e., what school looks best on your resume).  Don't go to a school that isn't going to do the most for your career prospects because it's got better sticky buns at the reception.


I don't agree.  I only visited Michigan because I received a full scholarship.  I liked it so much that I ended choosing it over higher ranked schools, inclusing Harvard and an almost full scholarship at NYU.  In the end, you have to make the choice that's right for you.  Would I have had more 'options' out of Harvard?  Of  course.  Will I still have fantastic options out of Michigan?  Of course.  There comes a point when schools are close enough that career prospects shouldn't be the only deciding factor or even the major factor.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Kittyl30 on June 26, 2007, 08:17:48 AM
i dotn see whats wrong in advising someone to visit a school. i, for one think location is a huge factor and know nothing about the areas a great majority of the schools are in and would DEFINITLY have to visit.  and i still do adhere to the advice of go to the best school you get in to. but if its between NYU and Penn, and you hate big cities, you may want to go to penn..
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Alamo on June 26, 2007, 10:18:01 AM
Eat a healthy breakfast.  Every morning.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Kittyl30 on June 26, 2007, 10:26:36 AM
buy nice suits to interview in
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on June 26, 2007, 05:15:29 PM
suzie! I'm surprised to see my old thread bumped and to see you on here again. how was 1L?

newbies: read this thread. the whole thing. it is gold.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on June 26, 2007, 07:03:14 PM
I don't agree.  I only visited Michigan because I received a full scholarship.  I liked it so much that I ended choosing it over higher ranked schools, inclusing Harvard and an almost full scholarship at NYU.  In the end, you have to make the choice that's right for you.  Would I have had more 'options' out of Harvard?  Of  course.  Will I still have fantastic options out of Michigan?  Of course.  There comes a point when schools are close enough that career prospects shouldn't be the only deciding factor or even the major factor.

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

But as a URM, you don't need to worry about that anyway.  Some day my career services office will stop sending me reminders about Yet Another Minority Recruiting Job Fair, and on that day I shall celebrate.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on June 26, 2007, 07:05:39 PM
I don't agree.  I only visited Michigan because I received a full scholarship.  I liked it so much that I ended choosing it over higher ranked schools, inclusing Harvard and an almost full scholarship at NYU.  In the end, you have to make the choice that's right for you.  Would I have had more 'options' out of Harvard?  Of  course.  Will I still have fantastic options out of Michigan?  Of course.  There comes a point when schools are close enough that career prospects shouldn't be the only deciding factor or even the major factor.

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

But as a URM, you don't need to worry about that anyway.  Some day my career services office will stop sending me reminders about Yet Another Minority Recruiting Job Fair, and on that day I shall celebrate.

there was a thread on xoxo in which a poster regretted turning down the Darrow in favor of HLS bc all he wanted was a firm gig.  in cases like that, it doesn't make sense to go into added debt just for the name.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on June 26, 2007, 07:12:26 PM

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

Doing poorly for free is pretty nice though.

titcr
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Last King of Edinburgh on June 26, 2007, 07:14:58 PM
APPLY EARLY, APPLY EARLY APPLY EARLY!!!

Wonder why? take a look at my sig. Dont get shafted like I did, taking the december LSAT, applying by late dec-jan even with great numbers already puts you at a disadvantage.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Titus on June 26, 2007, 07:16:28 PM
Hey, uhh your link to the "essay" takes me to YouTube

Really my advice ...

 I have to say it is absolutey essential for you to read this brand new essay  (http://tinyurl.com/2g9mqh) by Anna Ivey about the process.

You'll be glad you did!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: sinkfloridasink on June 26, 2007, 07:25:04 PM
Hey, uhh your link to the "essay" takes me to YouTube

Really my advice ...

 I have to say it is absolutey essential for you to read this brand new essay  (http://tinyurl.com/2g9mqh) by Anna Ivey about the process.

You'll be glad you did!

You've just been Rick Roll'd!!!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: . . . . . . on June 26, 2007, 09:59:05 PM
tag
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: sinkfloridasink on June 26, 2007, 10:10:50 PM
Hey, uhh your link to the "essay" takes me to YouTube

Really my advice ...

 I have to say it is absolutey essential for you to read this brand new essay  (http://tinyurl.com/2g9mqh) by Anna Ivey about the process.

You'll be glad you did!

You've just been Rick Roll'd!!!

Not that you weren't warned, of course...

(http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3167/rickrollmr8.jpg) (http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3167/rickrollmr8.jpg)

This was elaborate.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 27, 2007, 07:04:40 AM

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

Doing poorly for free is pretty nice though.

Exactly.  I'd rather be bottom of the class at Michigan with 0 debt (cause I'm still getting a job!) then top of the class at Harvard with $150k of debt.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Myshkin on June 27, 2007, 09:51:08 AM
I'm glad I turned down Michigan for New Mexico.  A high ranking school does not always indicate a better decision.

Didn't get into Harvard though... if I had then... I probably would have dumped them too.  I even had my letter already written.

Dear Harvard,

Welcome to Dumpville
Population: You

-Myshkin
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: rtqw on June 27, 2007, 10:09:15 AM
I'm glad I turned down Michigan for New Mexico.

I'm glad too.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 27, 2007, 10:14:15 AM

Exactly.  I'd rather be bottom of the class at Michigan with 0 debt (cause I'm still getting a job!) then top of the class at Harvard with $150k of debt.

In fact, imma request you do poorly to save me a spot in the top 10%.   ;)

I'll try my best  :P
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Myshkin on June 27, 2007, 10:17:06 AM
I'm glad I turned down Michigan for New Mexico.

I'm glad too.

We should keep in touch; see who made the better decision upon graduation.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: bubDread on June 27, 2007, 06:53:43 PM
How much money am I going to need for Applying to 10 T14 schools, seat deposits, and everything.

Do schools pay for you to go to admitted student weekends?

Just trying to get my budget for 07-08 worked out  ???
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on June 27, 2007, 07:40:05 PM
How much money am I going to need for Applying to 10 T14 schools, seat deposits, and everything.

Depends on how many few waivers you score.  Apps are btwn 65-85 for the t14 (NYU's is 85 and was the most expensive I saw), and each lsdas report is $12. Seat deposits range from 0-500 (CLS's deposit is $500 whereas Chicago doesn't have a deposit)

Do schools pay for you to go to admitted student weekends?

Some schools will reimburse up to a certain amount (ie, I got a $200 reimbursement from Chi)



Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on June 27, 2007, 07:51:58 PM

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

Doing poorly for free is pretty nice though.

Exactly.  I'd rather be bottom of the class at Michigan with 0 debt (cause I'm still getting a job!) then top of the class at Harvard with $150k of debt.

Then you are retarded.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: flyaway on June 27, 2007, 07:56:00 PM
If you take the June or Sep LSAT, you'll probably get more fee waivers than you would as a Dec taker.  I still got quite a few, but there were other schools that I don't think sent them out after Dec.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on June 27, 2007, 07:56:45 PM

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

Doing poorly for free is pretty nice though.

Exactly.  I'd rather be bottom of the class at Michigan with 0 debt (cause I'm still getting a job!) then top of the class at Harvard with $150k of debt.

Then you are retarded.


 ::)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on June 27, 2007, 08:31:06 PM
How much money am I going to need for Applying to 10 T14 schools, seat deposits, and everything.

Do schools pay for you to go to admitted student weekends?

Just trying to get my budget for 07-08 worked out  ???

Good question! You are right to be planning, too, since the costs are quite high.

I applied to ~15 schools, had fee waivers at 4, and ended up spending about $1,000 on applications, LSDAS fees, transcript requests, postage, and that stuff.

For seat deposits, it depends on how good your numbers are relative to the schools you want to get into. If you are an autoadmit or close, you may get in earlier on and have your cycle complete by March or April. If so, you'd be one of the lucky ones and would prob only have to pay a deposit at one school. Most schools use a two deposit system with the total hovering between $500 and $900 combined (one deposit of a smaller amount in April, and another larger one in June in many cases). If, however, you are a splitter or are a reach at the schools you want, then you may have to deposit at one school, and then a second (or a third!) as you get in off of waitlists. In my case, I've paid $1200 in seat deposits this year as a result of two WL, Accepted offers each one month apart. Yeah, being a splitter is fun but expensive.

As for ASD's, some pay for you to do this and some don't. Some cover part of the cost, others condition reimbursement on attendance (UMinn does this), and others I think give you zilch. So the answer is "it depends." For T14s, I imagine they'd all cover at least some of the cost.


the bolded isn't the case.  UVa offered no type of reimbursement, nor did MIch ( but i got this trip reimbursed through the MBLSA)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 28, 2007, 07:17:34 AM

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

Doing poorly for free is pretty nice though.

Exactly.  I'd rather be bottom of the class at Michigan with 0 debt (cause I'm still getting a job!) then top of the class at Harvard with $150k of debt.

Then you are retarded.


Since you seem to be asking for it:

Yeah, that's why I got into every t-14 I applied to up to and including Harvard.  ::)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 28, 2007, 07:26:42 AM
lol @ splitfinger.

He was the Jihad_Jesus of last cycle.  Sometimes amusing but never worth responding to.

good to know  :)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: OCLawGirl on June 28, 2007, 05:42:31 PM
As nervous as I am about the application process, I am sooo looking forward to it.  I feel my life is on HOLD!  I take the LSAT in Sept; I cancelled the June LSAT. 

I kinda get anxious to study cause it's something that just gives me a sense of direction, hope and a path to a new beginning.

Does that sound weird?

Thanks to everyone that gave advice!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on June 28, 2007, 05:49:02 PM

If you do poorly at Michigan, you'll wish that you were doing poorly at Harvard.  Because doing poorly at Harvard is better than doing poorly at pretty much any other school.

Doing poorly for free is pretty nice though.

Exactly.  I'd rather be bottom of the class at Michigan with 0 debt (cause I'm still getting a job!) then top of the class at Harvard with $150k of debt.

Then you are retarded.


Since you seem to be asking for it:

Yeah, that's why I got into every t-14 I applied to up to and including Harvard.  ::)

Retarded AND a feminine hygiene product.  Yeah, you'll do great.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on June 28, 2007, 06:09:37 PM
As nervous as I am about the application process, I am sooo looking forward to it. I feel my life is on HOLD! I take the LSAT in Sept; I cancelled the June LSAT.

I kinda get anxious to study cause it's something that just gives me a sense of direction, hope and a path to a new beginning.

Does that sound weird?

Thanks to everyone that gave advice!

just wait until law school...
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: gowi on June 29, 2007, 07:15:36 AM
Thanks for this thread. I just read the whole thing, start to finish.  ;D
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on June 29, 2007, 09:03:27 AM
Thanks for this thread. I just read the whole thing, start to finish. ;D

In reading this thread from start to finish you agree to pay me 10% of your total yearly earnings. I will take your silence as acceptance.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: S.A. on June 29, 2007, 10:41:13 AM
I think it is AWESOME that Moni picked Michigan!! And I don't get why you would call someone retarded for choosing to do something that they were really happy and excited about! (And that was pretty much free!)

My corny advice is: When it comes time to make a decision, follow your heart, don't blindly listen to what other people tell you. Other people can give you advice, and the advice and information I got from LSD has been invaluable, but only you know what's best for you.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on June 29, 2007, 10:55:45 AM
I probably called it retarded because it was, in fact, retarded.

But people do retarded stuff every day and survive... he/she/it probably will, as well.  But it's still a stupid move.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Kittyl30 on June 29, 2007, 10:57:31 AM
i dotn believe that going to the 8th (or whatever its ranked- something like that) best law school in the country debt free could EVER be considered "retarded". the correct wording would be "not the decision i would have made had i been under the same circumstances"
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Mpmav1 on June 29, 2007, 11:04:12 AM
IF you have two LSAT scores different from one another… for the LOVE OF GOD PLEASE write an addendum addressing why your scores are different.  Even if you have no good reason as to their difference (as I didn’t), make something up!  I met with the dean of a school I was rejected to and was essentially told that everything was strong but they wanted to know why my LSAT score was 10 points higher the second time.  Thus, I was rejected.  So, when in doubt, write an addendum.  

Also, apply everywhere and know that admissions decisions can be seemingly random.  Don’t think you are an “in” somewhere, even if every factor says you are.  Also, believe you have a chance for some reach school and/or $$$, as again, admissions decisions can be seemingly random.  

Take an LSAT prep course.

Take all LSD advice with a huge grain of salt, and

Please don’t think rankings on US News are the most important factor in your decision and remember there is really no difference between a few points difference in schools.  
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: rtqw on June 29, 2007, 11:07:49 AM
If accepting a full tuition scholarship to a top ten school is stupid, then I don't want to be smart.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: S.A. on June 29, 2007, 11:16:08 AM
And if loving Moni is wrong, then I don't want to be right
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: goosenesque on June 29, 2007, 11:26:43 AM
Apply to schools all across the country - don't limit yourself to only 1 state or region.  You might think you're 100% sure of where you'd like to work, but you're probably more flexible than you think. 

The day I applied, I was 110% sure I'd want to stay in Dallas...at the end of the cycle, I was ready to take a year off rather than go to SMU.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 29, 2007, 12:16:05 PM
Clearly attending Michigan could never be a stupid decision if only for the awesome people who will be my classmates!  I heart you guys!  :-*  :-*  :-*
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 29, 2007, 12:22:10 PM
GAK!

I heart Qui too.  :-*  :-*  :-*

/GAK
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on July 01, 2007, 08:34:17 PM
Gawd, what a bunch of tools.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: SplitFinger on July 01, 2007, 10:07:18 PM
You vastly overestimate your own importance.  Very few people are concerned with the opinions of self-impressed law-student-wannabes.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: TwinkyBean on July 01, 2007, 10:17:52 PM

-Make the LSAT your female dog, or you will become its female dog. I took in June and retook in October, I burnt myself out with like 25 practice tests, I reached my peak, stayed there a while, then I dropped. Don't let this happen to you.

more to come. others, please add your own advice!

I totally burnt myself out at the end, and totally crashed the day of the test!! How do I not let myself do that again?.. Every second I wasn't studying, I was thinking about it.. and feeling guilty for not doing it.. I got slightly obsessed, and ended up screwing myself over.. :( 
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Ilovecheese on July 02, 2007, 11:33:32 AM

-Make the LSAT your female dog, or you will become its female dog. I took in June and retook in October, I burnt myself out with like 25 practice tests, I reached my peak, stayed there a while, then I dropped. Don't let this happen to you.

more to come. others, please add your own advice!

I totally burnt myself out at the end, and totally crashed the day of the test!! How do I not let myself do that again?.. Every second I wasn't studying, I was thinking about it.. and feeling guilty for not doing it.. I got slightly obsessed, and ended up screwing myself over.. :( 

Do not worry, 2nd time around it will be much easier.  The experience you got from taking the LSAT in JUne will jelp you deal with stress as you are more familiar with the test now.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: TwinkyBean on July 02, 2007, 10:34:58 PM

-Make the LSAT your female dog, or you will become its female dog. I took in June and retook in October, I burnt myself out with like 25 practice tests, I reached my peak, stayed there a while, then I dropped. Don't let this happen to you.

more to come. others, please add your own advice!

I totally burnt myself out at the end, and totally crashed the day of the test!! How do I not let myself do that again?.. Every second I wasn't studying, I was thinking about it.. and feeling guilty for not doing it.. I got slightly obsessed, and ended up screwing myself over.. :( 

Do not worry, 2nd time around it will be much easier.  The experience you got from taking the LSAT in JUne will jelp you deal with stress as you are more familiar with the test now.

I'm definitely feeling that way.. i'm ready to start studying again.. I feel much more familiar with it, and not so stressed out about it. This month has been a nice break from it all..
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: cassise on July 26, 2007, 03:45:37 PM
Tips:

Study for the LSAT, no matter what else you have going on, study for the LSAT.  If you cannot take a class get the PS/TM coursebooks and do it on your own.  No matter how much you think your soft factors are awsome, your LSAT will be the single most important factor in your application.

Don't get lazy on the essays.  Yes writting school specific essays is a drag but do it.

Dont fret over two places in the US News rankings.  20 places prolly matters, especially in T1, but a handful of spots means nothing, don't be a slave to the rankings.

Visit schools. 

APPLY EARLY there is NO NO NO NO excuse to not apply early other than lazyness.  Don't make the mistake of waiting to send out your applications.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Denny Crane on July 27, 2007, 03:26:32 PM
Tips (probably been repeated ad nauseum by previous posters):

1.) Apply early.  The earlier, the better.

2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

3.) Essays matter for everyone, not just people on the margins.  If you have high numbers, you're likely applying to schools that have hundreds/thousands of applicants with similar numbers, so make sure you make yourself stand out w/ your essay.

4.) Explain any awards/scholarships you have, don't just name them.  What were they for?  What do they provide?  Why should the adcom care you got it?

5.) Get your recommenders to send their letters ASAP.  Keep on them.  Don't let them brush you aside. 

6.) Make sure your recommenders have something good to say about you.  Make sure you get people who know you well to write letters on your behalf.  Names/position of recommenders matters much less than how well they know you and how well they can speak to your abilities and accomplishments.  Basically, get someone who would be enthusiastic about writing a letter for you.  That way you can avoid problems with tip #5 above.

7.) Once your apps are out, let them be.  You've done what you can.  Try to avoid falling into the LSD speculation trap.  You'll get your decision eventually. 


Good luck to future applicants.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on July 27, 2007, 03:31:44 PM
Tips (probably been repeated ad nauseum by previous posters):

1.) Apply early. The earlier, the better.

2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend. If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again. There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

3.) Essays matter for everyone, not just people on the margins. If you have high numbers, you're likely applying to schools that have hundreds/thousands of applicants with similar numbers, so make sure you make yourself stand out w/ your essay.

4.) Explain any awards/scholarships you have, don't just name them. What were they for? What do they provide? Why should the adcom care you got it?

5.) Get your recommenders to send their letters ASAP. Keep on them. Don't let them brush you aside.

6.) Make sure your recommenders have something good to say about you. Make sure you get people who know you well to write letters on your behalf. Names/position of recommenders matters much less than how well they know you and how well they can speak to your abilities and accomplishments. Basically, get someone who would be enthusiastic about writing a letter for you. That way you can avoid problems with tip #5 above.

7.) Once your apps are out, let them be. You've done what you can. Try to avoid falling into the LSD speculation trap. You'll get your decision eventually.


Good luck to future applicants.

Very nice! I'd like to boil your suggestions down to a few key things:

BE EARLY WITH EVERYTHING, APPS, RECS, LSAT

RETAKE IF YOU CAN DO BETTER

PUT YOUR HEART AND SOUL INTO YOUR ESSAYS AND TELL THEM WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT YOU, DON'T BE SHY

FOLLOW UP WITH EVERYTHING, APPS, RECS, ETC.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on July 27, 2007, 03:36:48 PM
Tips (probably been repeated ad nauseum by previous posters):

1.) Apply early.  The earlier, the better.

2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

3.) Essays matter for everyone, not just people on the margins.  If you have high numbers, you're likely applying to schools that have hundreds/thousands of applicants with similar numbers, so make sure you make yourself stand out w/ your essay.

4.) Explain any awards/scholarships you have, don't just name them.  What were they for?  What do they provide?  Why should the adcom care you got it?

5.) Get your recommenders to send their letters ASAP.  Keep on them.  Don't let them brush you aside. 

6.) Make sure your recommenders have something good to say about you.  Make sure you get people who know you well to write letters on your behalf.  Names/position of recommenders matters much less than how well they know you and how well they can speak to your abilities and accomplishments.  Basically, get someone who would be enthusiastic about writing a letter for you.  That way you can avoid problems with tip #5 above.

7.) Once your apps are out, let them be.  You've done what you can.  Try to avoid falling into the LSD speculation trap.  You'll get your decision eventually. 


Good luck to future applicants.

i pretty much agree with all of Denny's points.  2 things tho:

1) apply early by all means--but don't kill yourself to get apps out as soon as schools will take them.  honestly, i've seen ppl apply to schools almost 2 months b4 me and i got my answer WAY before them and our stats were similar.  obviously, applying earlier than me didn't help them.  if you can get your apps to go complete by Nov, i'd say you are in a good position.

****** For those applying to UChi, they seem not to accept anyone after a late complete date (like late Jan/early Feb).  So with that school, it's prudent not to bs with their app


2) just like Denny said, make sure that your recommenders can write good things about you.  I make sure to clearly ask if they would be comfortable with writing a GOOD recommendation for me.  if anyone hesitates, you should 4get about them and ask someone else
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Denny Crane on July 27, 2007, 03:44:23 PM
What Jem says is true.  Apps sent in by November are in good shape time-wise.  Also, as she mentioned, recommenders who hesitate are to be avoided.


Another bit of advice for bettering your shot at getting a good letter of recommendation:

Submit a letter to your recommenders reminding them of your performance in their classes, your history with them, any accomplishments you have that they might not know about, which schools you're applying to, and why you want to pursue law.  Many adcoms have stated that when they see that a recommender mentions things that an applicant has mentioned in his/her application (like awards, career goals, etc), it shows that the applicant really took the time to make a meaningful application and inform their recommenders.  It makes your intent to law school seem more genuine and makes your professional qualities (attention to detail, etc) more apparent.


Treat the application process seriously.  You're applying for a professional school that will lead into a professional career.  ACT PROFESSIONALLY.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: dashrashi on July 27, 2007, 06:19:51 PM
Hey cass--

Forgive my prying, but what on earth did you write your DS about? A general gist would be great. Just curious because my pre-law counselor basically laughed at me when I asked about it.



As for recommenders, make everything easy on them. I gave each one a folder with my resume, and some work I did for their class on one side of the folder, and the LOR form (pre-printed and signed by me), and a prepaid Priority envelope on the other side. When they were done, all they had to do was sign the form and put it and the letter in the envelope and put it in with their regular outgoing mail. I know other people asked the same recommenders for LORs and mine went out first because they were easier to deal with.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Stuart on July 27, 2007, 07:22:17 PM
1) Read Denny's post above.

2) Think very hard before you apply to both law school and grad school / something else exciting, unless you definitely want a dual degree. The decision in the spring can be truly brutal. Try to know what you want and go for it. (I didn't, of course, and maybe couldn't have.... but try)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: dashrashi on July 28, 2007, 09:51:45 AM
Oh, um, btw:

Denny's #4 and #6 are slightly less essential than the others, #4 especially so, which is to say: Don't freak out if you don't have any awards to explain. It happens to the best of us.

Also, just do the best you can with LORs. A LOT of people do not have faculty members or even TAs that look upon them as surrogate sons or daughters. Pick people who have seen good work from you if you don't have a personal relationship with anyone. I'm fairly certain that I got a form letter from one of my recommenders, and I don't think it hurt me at all. That said, I did well in his class (a lecture), and was taking his seminar at the time. Nevertheless, try not to stress too much about LORs. I did and was miserable for 6 weeks, when it clearly didn't really matter.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on July 28, 2007, 11:58:17 AM
Oh, um, btw:

Denny's #4 and #6 are slightly less essential than the others, #4 especially so, which is to say: Don't freak out if you don't have any awards to explain. It happens to the best of us.

Also, just do the best you can with LORs. A LOT of people do not have faculty members or even TAs that look upon them as surrogate sons or daughters. Pick people who have seen good work from you if you don't have a personal relationship with anyone. I'm fairly certain that I got a form letter from one of my recommenders, and I don't think it hurt me at all. That said, I did well in his class (a lecture), and was taking his seminar at the time. Nevertheless, try not to stress too much about LORs. I did and was miserable for 6 weeks, when it clearly didn't really matter.

i gotta agree with Dash on these points.  i didn't have any awards either and it didn't hurt me. plus, the 2 faculty recs i got were from profs i had during my SENIOR year, so it's not like we had some stable concrete relationship that formed over the years.  and i know that one of the recs (bc she let me read it) was absolutely stellar.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Denny Crane on July 28, 2007, 12:06:01 PM
Oh, um, btw:

Denny's #4 and #6 are slightly less essential than the others, #4 especially so, which is to say: Don't freak out if you don't have any awards to explain. It happens to the best of us.


Well clearly that advice was contingent on actually having awards to describe.  There are just people who list obscure awards like the "John Q. Public Award" without giving any explanation as to what that is.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on July 28, 2007, 03:00:45 PM
Oh, um, btw:

Denny's #4 and #6 are slightly less essential than the others, #4 especially so, which is to say: Don't freak out if you don't have any awards to explain. It happens to the best of us.


Well clearly that advice was contingent on actually having awards to describe. There are just people who list obscure awards like the "John Q. Public Award" without giving any explanation as to what that is.

i'll add that if you think hard enough you can prolly find *some* lind of award or honor or distinction to mention
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: dashrashi on July 28, 2007, 03:04:36 PM
Oh, um, btw:

Denny's #4 and #6 are slightly less essential than the others, #4 especially so, which is to say: Don't freak out if you don't have any awards to explain. It happens to the best of us.


Well clearly that advice was contingent on actually having awards to describe. There are just people who list obscure awards like the "John Q. Public Award" without giving any explanation as to what that is.

i'll add that if you think hard enough you can prolly find *some* lind of award or honor or distinction to mention

In a panic, I put that I was a National Merit Scholar. Absolutely no awards, distinctions, or honors since I graduated from high school.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on July 28, 2007, 03:10:30 PM
Oh, um, btw:

Denny's #4 and #6 are slightly less essential than the others, #4 especially so, which is to say: Don't freak out if you don't have any awards to explain. It happens to the best of us.


Well clearly that advice was contingent on actually having awards to describe. There are just people who list obscure awards like the "John Q. Public Award" without giving any explanation as to what that is.

i'll add that if you think hard enough you can prolly find *some* lind of award or honor or distinction to mention

In a panic, I put that I was a National Merit Scholar. Absolutely no awards, distinctions, or honors since I graduated from high school.

same...and i didn't even try to scramble to put anything either
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: The Poster on July 28, 2007, 03:12:37 PM
Oh, um, btw:

Denny's #4 and #6 are slightly less essential than the others, #4 especially so, which is to say: Don't freak out if you don't have any awards to explain. It happens to the best of us.


Well clearly that advice was contingent on actually having awards to describe. There are just people who list obscure awards like the "John Q. Public Award" without giving any explanation as to what that is.

i'll add that if you think hard enough you can prolly find *some* lind of award or honor or distinction to mention

In a panic, I put that I was a National Merit Scholar. Absolutely no awards, distinctions, or honors since I graduated from high school.

Sounds good enough to me.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: jimfoolery on July 28, 2007, 03:35:44 PM
2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

The new policy is indeed your friend, unless of course it isn't.  If you get a score you are satisfied but not thrilled with the first time, you are now obligated to retake in order to keep up with the Joneses and give yourself a fair shot at scholarships and reach schools.  Enjoy!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: und3r3stimat3d on July 28, 2007, 10:27:47 PM
2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

The new policy is indeed your friend, unless of course it isn't.  If you get a score you are satisfied but not thrilled with the first time, you are now obligated to retake in order to keep up with the Joneses and give yourself a fair shot at scholarships and reach schools.  Enjoy!

Eh, I think the impact of the ABA policy change is pretty minor. I don't think many applicants even know about it. I doubt US News lsat medians are going to skyrocket next year.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Denny Crane on July 28, 2007, 10:30:59 PM
2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

The new policy is indeed your friend, unless of course it isn't.  If you get a score you are satisfied but not thrilled with the first time, you are now obligated to retake in order to keep up with the Joneses and give yourself a fair shot at scholarships and reach schools.  Enjoy!

Eh, I think the impact of the ABA policy change is pretty minor. I don't think many applicants even know about it. I doubt US News lsat medians are going to skyrocket next year.

Most of the people on this board know about the change, and that's who this advice is geared to (clearly). 
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: und3r3stimat3d on July 29, 2007, 09:11:58 AM
2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

The new policy is indeed your friend, unless of course it isn't.  If you get a score you are satisfied but not thrilled with the first time, you are now obligated to retake in order to keep up with the Joneses and give yourself a fair shot at scholarships and reach schools.  Enjoy!

Eh, I think the impact of the ABA policy change is pretty minor. I don't think many applicants even know about it. I doubt US News lsat medians are going to skyrocket next year.

Most of the people on this board know about the change, and that's who this advice is geared to (clearly). 

True, but such a low percentage overall of people who are applying to law school use this and other boards, I'm not sure it helps to retake that 170+ just because you can.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Denny Crane on July 29, 2007, 09:15:20 AM
2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

The new policy is indeed your friend, unless of course it isn't.  If you get a score you are satisfied but not thrilled with the first time, you are now obligated to retake in order to keep up with the Joneses and give yourself a fair shot at scholarships and reach schools.  Enjoy!

Eh, I think the impact of the ABA policy change is pretty minor. I don't think many applicants even know about it. I doubt US News lsat medians are going to skyrocket next year.

Most of the people on this board know about the change, and that's who this advice is geared to (clearly). 

True, but such a low percentage overall of people who are applying to law school use this and other boards, I'm not sure it helps to retake that 170+ just because you can.

True, but I'm not saying everyone should retake just because they can.  I'm saying that people who score lower than they feel they can score should retake it.  For example, someone who scores a 163 when they were practicing at around 167-68 should feel free to retake it since there is not very little downside in retaking.  Who knows, that person might score a 175  on the retake :)
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: flyaway on July 29, 2007, 12:12:20 PM
I also think that this change isn't good for everybody, simply because it's not good for those who are able to do well on the LSAT on their first try.  It diminishes their advantage a little, when more people have similar or higher scores because of being able to take multiple times to get them.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Denny Crane on July 29, 2007, 12:39:19 PM
I also think that this change isn't good for everybody, simply because it's not good for those who are able to do well on the LSAT on their first try.  It diminishes their advantage a little, when more people have similar or higher scores because of being able to take multiple times to get them.

Yeah, that's true.  However, the vast majority of people don't do significantly better on retakes of the LSAT, so your advantage is fairly secure.  Also, adcoms have stated that even though they'll take the higher of two scores, they will give a slight advantage to an applicant who managed to pull a high score the first time around when comparing that person against someone who scored highly on a retake.

The people who are most likely to be hurt by this change are low-GPA/high-LSAT splitters, though even then it's hard to measure how much they'd be hurt.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ->Soon on July 30, 2007, 08:19:24 AM
whats the huge deal on applying early?  do they do admissions on a first come first served basis?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: und3r3stimat3d on July 30, 2007, 08:33:58 AM
2.) The LSAT reporting change is your friend.  If you get a score you're disappointed with, take the test again.  There is much less risk in taking it again now than there was before the policy change.

The new policy is indeed your friend, unless of course it isn't.  If you get a score you are satisfied but not thrilled with the first time, you are now obligated to retake in order to keep up with the Joneses and give yourself a fair shot at scholarships and reach schools.  Enjoy!

Eh, I think the impact of the ABA policy change is pretty minor. I don't think many applicants even know about it. I doubt US News lsat medians are going to skyrocket next year.

Most of the people on this board know about the change, and that's who this advice is geared to (clearly). 

True, but such a low percentage overall of people who are applying to law school use this and other boards, I'm not sure it helps to retake that 170+ just because you can.

True, but I'm not saying everyone should retake just because they can.  I'm saying that people who score lower than they feel they can score should retake it.  For example, someone who scores a 163 when they were practicing at around 167-68 should feel free to retake it since there is not very little downside in retaking.  Who knows, that person might score a 175  on the retake :)

I hope not!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Matthew on July 30, 2007, 11:42:26 AM
whats the huge deal on applying early?  do they do admissions on a first come first served basis?

Are you kidding?

Every law school has a rolling admissions process, so yes, absolutely.

Aside from improving your LSAT, getting your app in early is probably the best thing you can do to improve your chances of acceptance.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on July 30, 2007, 11:44:30 AM
whats the huge deal on applying early?  do they do admissions on a first come first served basis?

you've been here how long and you are actually asking this quesiton?!?!?!
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: ->Soon on July 30, 2007, 11:47:47 AM
i focused on one thing at a time

now that the lsat is done, its time for me to start focusing on the application process.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: future_lwyr on August 05, 2007, 01:41:46 AM
i heard that it is better to take the LSAT in December if it will increase your chances of doing well -- even if it only means a three point gain. 
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: Hank Rearden on August 05, 2007, 01:44:00 AM
i focused on one thing at a time

now that the lsat is done, its time for me to start focusing on the application process.

I'm just amazed you have time to think about anything but sex. 

Or online articles about sex. 
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: dpwc on June 04, 2008, 09:27:33 PM
i heard that it is better to take the LSAT in December if it will increase your chances of doing well -- even if it only means a three point gain. 

true, but then you should everything ready to go. LOR in, PS done, any addenda or additional essays done, applications filled out (assuming you know what ballpark your score will be in), etc.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: sinkfloridasink on June 04, 2008, 10:12:20 PM
Bumping this thread just makes me realize how long I've been here.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: juliahula on June 04, 2008, 10:58:58 PM
this thread is awesome (I have been lurking here for a while, but this deserves props)
 ;D
thanks for the great advice everyone!

One question: are the two books besides Anna Ivey's mentioned still relevant?
(Law School Confidential and Montauk's Guide)
I have heard that some of these types of books become less helpful as times change.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: pikey on June 04, 2008, 11:04:10 PM
this thread is awesome (I have been lurking here for a while, but this deserves props)
 ;D
thanks for the great advice everyone!

One question: are the two books besides Anna Ivey's mentioned still relevant?
(Law School Confidential and Montauk's Guide)
I have heard that some of these types of books become less helpful as times change.


I haven't read LSC, but Montauk's Guide is definitely well worth it.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: bloomlaw on June 06, 2008, 04:53:34 PM
tag
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: dashrashi on June 07, 2008, 05:21:44 PM
LSC's still good for basic *&^%. I don't know how much stays exactly relevant from year to year (numbers, etc), but it's written fairly broadly in the attempt to stay timeless. It's a good book.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: WashLaw on June 07, 2008, 07:46:38 PM
Alright I'm hearing a lot about asking for LORs extremely early. I had a plan to do just that, and I asked my first prof in April. Well, she seemed to think it was too early for me to be asking and told me to come back next fall. My PL adviser thought that was wise as well. But that's not what I'm hearing here. Should I ask for LORs this week (last week of class for me) or should I go ahead and wait for the fall? I'm applying in October ideally.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: GCoop. on June 07, 2008, 08:03:39 PM
The people who are most likely to be hurt by this change are low-GPA/high-LSAT splitters, though even then it's hard to measure how much they'd be hurt.

Under what theory?

I found the exact opposite to be true in my individual case, and am having trouble coming up with the underlying logic of why that would be the case.
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: WashLaw on June 07, 2008, 09:06:40 PM
Alright I'm hearing a lot about asking for LORs extremely early. I had a plan to do just that, and I asked my first prof in April. Well, she seemed to think it was too early for me to be asking and told me to come back next fall. My PL adviser thought that was wise as well. But that's not what I'm hearing here. Should I ask for LORs this week (last week of class for me) or should I go ahead and wait for the fall? I'm applying in October ideally.

Ask for them ASAP.  Chances are that:

1. The professor won't remember you as well in the fall.  Strike while the iron is hot and she's capable of going to bat for you.

2. Your Pre-Law advisor is somewhat incompetent.  In fact, I'm almost sure that this is the case, considering the advice she gave you.

Yes, I would have to agree that my PL adviser is not the most idea person (hasn't even been to LS, so yeah I guess he is pretty bad).

Also, I'm curious about Dean's Certificates. Is it a common practice for Law Schools to require this? I was just making a list of requirement to each school on my short list (about 10) and I could only find one that required it (W&M I believe). I'm worried now that more schools require it and I just missed it. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: ADVICE to the next cycle of applicants
Post by: blues86 on June 08, 2008, 02:09:54 AM
This might go without saying, but if you or anyone you know has a connection or an "in" to a law school that you're applying to, seek out that person and ask for his or her help.  During my cycle, I sought out professors, family friends, relatives, etc. that had connections to schools I applied to and each person was happy to help, either by writing a recommendation, giving me advice, meeting with me, or a combination of the three.  I was a bit shy at first when I sought these people out, but I realized that generally people are happy to help others try to reach goals they themselves have already achieved.  If you're a bit shy at first like I was, you might want to try to put yourself in the other person's shoes; if someone sought you out asking for help, wouldn't you be happy to do it?  After all, most of you have already spent some of your time helping your fellow LSD'ers with their problems and questions.  Cheers all and good luck!