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Messages - starfish86

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Pre-Law in high school / Re: Uh oh.
« on: January 08, 2008, 03:33:32 PM »
Yeah, that should be "don't have major testing anxiety."

Pre-Law in high school / Re: Uh oh.
« on: January 08, 2008, 03:30:43 PM »
Wow, this is really getting contentious! Guess I should have known that mentioning specific scores as cutoffs would provoke some controversy. I just don't see why the majority here appears to be vehemently opposed to so much as looking at a sample test to see what it's like during HS. Doing so certainly helped me feel more confident about my college choice, since I figured that I stood a decent chance of being able to work my way up to a pretty solid score and thus wouldn't need to go into massive debt for a super-expensive prestige undergrad in order to bolster my chances of LS admission. So I still think that checking out the exam could be beneficial for the OP.

But seriously, jman888, you don't need to set up a study regimen NOW for the LSAT or anything. I just thought that checking out one practice exam to find your current base score might help you figure out your college plans. You really don't want to run out of PrepTests before you're even in college!

And dashrashi, it's awesome that you were able to manage such a large score jump. I just don't think that the average taker manages more than a 20-point jump from initial diagnostic to actual score, even with prepping. Otherwise, how come more people who put in a decent effort and don't have major testing anxiety don't wind up scoring 170+? Do you think it's because they simply didn't work hard enough on prep work?

Pre-Law in high school / Re: Uh oh.
« on: January 07, 2008, 10:37:34 PM »
Just offering my opinion, which the OP is of course free to listen to or disregard as he/she sees fit. BTW, I highly doubt that being done with the application process somehow makes you the one supreme and all-knowing guru on the subject of LSAT prep, dashrashi.  ::)

I'm certainly not advising high school students interested in law school to spend a ton of time studying for the LSAT, but I think it would be beneficial for them to spend a few hours on one practice test in order to get some idea of what their current level of preparedness is before going through four years of college counting on being able to ace the exam one day and get into a top school. Unrealistic expectations can only lead to serious disappointment later on, which is precisely what I'm trying to help the OP avoid.

And I never said that the LSAT isn't learnable; I'm just suggesting that we all have a certain "base level" that we tend to hover around score-wise before we start prepping in earnest. It simply seems unlikely to me that a person starting out below a certain point will be able to make a large enough score jump to catch up with people who start their prep work at a significantly higher level, even with a lot of practice. There will always be some people who manage to do just that, of course... but from poking around some of those threads featuring starting versus final scores, such individuals appear to be the exception rather than the rule.

Pre-Law in high school / Re: Uh oh.
« on: January 06, 2008, 04:24:33 PM »
I couldn't agree more with all of the posters who are advising you to save $$$ on undergrad and then aim for the top law schools by grubbing up a stellar GPA and an excellent LSAT score. This is exactly what I wound up doing, and since I am now just as admitted to Harvard Law as those who attended pricey Ivy League undergrads, I couldn't be happier about this decision. Other than the top rungs of legal academia, which I think might be somewhat difficult for me to attain without an undergrad degree from a "name" school, I believe that my college choice won't have much of an impact on my career prospects in the legal field.

As an added bonus, because attending a more affordable but lower-ranked institution will most likely make you something of a big fish in a small pond, you may be able to develop close relationships with professors who are impressed by your comparatively exceptional academic abilities. This can lead to great recommendation letters!

If you're not entirely sure that you want to practice law, however, this might not work out so well for you. I feel that the best thing you can do for yourself to determine if you will eventually be able to get into a top law school is to take a properly timed LSAT PrepTest and see how you score before selecting a college with the goal of ultimately attending law school in mind. I took my first timed PrepTest during my senior year of HS just to see how I would do, and when I revisited the exam to commence serious prepping during my junior year of college, my initial diagnostic score had increased by all of one measly point.

If you score in the 160s or above on your first timed test, I think you've got a good shot at being able to work your way up to the 170s with further prepping. If you're below 145, in my opinion it will probably be a struggle for you to get your score into the range that top schools (assuming that by "top" we're talking "top 14") look for, and you might want to consider other careers if you're determined to attend a top school or not go at all. Good luck!  :)

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Is the OC Any Good?
« on: December 19, 2007, 11:19:56 AM »
As someone who watched the first season mainly because it was the "it" show for a time during my high school years and I would've felt totally out of the loop if I hadn't been able to chat about it at lunch, I'd say it's not worth getting. But if you really want to, go for the first couple of seasons. I didn't watch the final seasons, but just from the commercials, I got the feeling that they weren't so great.

If you're open to recommendations for other series you may have missed, I suggest that you go w/Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's awesome! The first season isn't necessarily the best, but it's still crucial in terms of character development, so I'd say you should still probably start there.

Recommendations / Re: Advice needed
« on: December 11, 2007, 07:45:46 PM »
Since most schools seem to "strongly prefer" that you submit at least one academic recommendation letter, I'd advise you to play it safe and find a former professor who's willing to help you out. If you still happen to have any particularly good papers or other assignments from a professor's class, I suggest that you attach them to your letter request e-mails (assuming that you'll be getting in touch with them via e-mail) so that they can be reminded of who you are and why you're brilliant and deserving of a great recommendation. Good luck!  :)

Law School Applications / Re: HLS binders have arrived
« on: December 07, 2007, 12:14:42 PM »
Just got mine!  :)

I'm in the Midwest, if anyone wants to know. OP was telling the truth: no T-shirt (at least for me), but two stickers. They're oval-shaped and feature "HLS" in black and "Harvard Law School" underneath in crimson.

The binder's large, crimson, and stuffed with info! It contains sections like "Why Harvard Law School?" and "Courses and Curriculum," in addition to all the necessary forms and other stuff. There's also an interesting "Harvard Law Bulletin" magazine.

We've also already been assigned HLS e-mails, as the last poster just mentioned. If yours is anything like mine, it'll consist of "first initial last name"

Still no sign of the package for any of us yet, huh? Well, I'm comforted that I'm not alone. I had my first "it came!" dream last night, in which the package included a Harvard coffee mug but no T-shirt. I'll be weirded out if that actually happens, not like it probably will.

I almost have to admire the admissions department's craftiness: the longer we have to wait, the more time we spend obsessing about how much we like the school and want to get more info about it!

General Off-Topic Board / Help Feed the Hungry- quick & FREE!
« on: November 21, 2007, 05:11:25 PM »
Since this site caters to an exceptionally word-savvy lot, I thought some of you might be interested in checking out

The site was started in October, and the general concept is that for every vocabulary word you select the correct definition for, 10 grains of rice are donated to the hungry. This adds up quicker than you might think, so it's worth doing. The money for the rice comes from banner advertising revenues. So go! Click! Spread the cheer this Thanksgiving!  :)

Law School Applications / Re: Accepted to Harvard!
« on: November 21, 2007, 04:01:58 PM »
For anyone else who, like me, listed a land line phone number, doesn't have call waiting, and was online for a long period today using dial-up, check your e-mail too... that's how I found out. AAAAHHHH!!! This is unbelievable!!! Congrats all around!!!!!!  :)

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