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Topics - LawSchoolDunce

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Due to some life crap that came out of nowhere these past few weeks, I've decided not to take the Monday administration of the Dec. 2009 LSAT.

Is it too late to get a refund, even a partial one? More importantly, what happens if I don't show up and get marked "absentee?" Is this bad to have on my record?

What's the best way to handle this? Should I show up to the test and fill out the cancellation form (that would be the 2nd cancellation on my record, the 1st one being almost 3 years back)?

I'm thinking I'll be putting off my application for an additional year, so I'm afraid an "absentee" or another "candidate cancel" might look bad on my record. What do I do so as not to hurt my future chances at getting into the school of my choice?

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Recommendations / What If I Can't Find Recommenders?
« on: February 25, 2009, 07:15:26 PM »
I posted a similar thread a couple years back, before I quit studying for the LSAT. I'm studying again now.

Here's my situation: I've basically taken a few years off to get my sh*t together. I finished school three years ago and I've been unemployed for just as long (not counting some freelance web design work).

I'm pretty sure my old professors have long ago forgotten who I am and I have no managers or supervisors I can turn to.

Any advice is appreciated.

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I was half-assed studying for the LSAT and considering law school a few years back, but got scared off by some things I read on this board and elsewhere. The points that concerned me most:

  • The idea that prospective students should be super-interested in the law
  • The high dropout rates for 1L students
  • The Socratic Method (sue me, I'm a bit shy)
  • Fear of acquiring a debt I won't be able to pay off

I took the February 2007 LSAT but canceled my score and decided not to apply anywhere (my scores on actual preptests taken at home were around 162 and my gpa is 3.75). I was thinking Fordham was likely, with BLS as a backup, and Columbia and NYU potentially being within reach (if I could get my score near 170, which I expect I can do).

Throughout my undergrad years, I heard over and over again that my qualities as a student would make me a good candidate for law: I'm a good writer, can plant myself for hours and hours of studying/research at a time, I like to read and can pretty much learn anything when I want to. I've never found myself particularly interested in the law (though I enjoyed US History and Government courses), but I've never heard of students who applied to dental school because they loved teeth, or students pursuing Pharm-Ds because they can't get enough of counting pills.

So this leaves me in a weird place right now. I took a long break from school and work (which will probably hurt my application), and I'm trying to figure out how a person decides that law is in their future. I read half of "Happy Hour is For Amateurs," which made law school seem both crappy and doable at the same time. The author didn't have the greatest of careers, but it put bread on the table better than my BA in English Lit is doing for me right now.

What has helped other people decide they want to try law? How bad is it debt-wise if you drop out in your first year?

I was thinking about getting an entry-level position at a law office (legal assistant? secretary?) to see if it will give me a taste of what a career in law will be like. Is this a sound plan or a waste of time? Is there a better way to find out if law is for me? BTW, I don't know any lawyers to ask these questions to, though I know of several lawyers who weren't nearly as good students in school as I was, yet got through law school and make decent money.

I didn't intend to make this post so long, but I thought explaining my situation would make it easier for people to give me some advice.

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Studying for the LSAT / My Cancellation Calculations
« on: February 13, 2007, 02:14:04 AM »
I typically score around 73 credited responses on Preptests (works out to 160, I guess). I always do better on standardized tests in the test center than at home (without fail). However, I guessed on at least 6 questions in each of the LG sections I had, a section I was weak on already.

Even if I somehow managed a 160, it's not enough for Fordham (my top choice) and at best, only enough to be waitlisted at Brooklyn (my 2nd choice).

So the big questions are: Leave the score and still try to get in for Fall 2007? Or cancel it so I can try again and have a better shot at Fall 2008?

I should mention that my mom is kicking me out... :(

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Recommendations / What to do if I have no good recommenders?
« on: November 30, 2006, 07:22:38 PM »
My family has been in an f'ed up financial situation for the past 4 years or so. Because of this, I worked full-time and attended Hunter College at night. Due to my personal time constraints and the fact that Hunter is a urban/commuting school, I didn't really have a chance to cultivate the sort of personal relationship with professors that seems to be necessary for law school recommendations (if I'm to believe everything I've read in these boards and other places).

Even the professors that I had for more than one class didn't really get to know me personally (or vice-versa). My favorite professor, who mostly knew me based on my class performance, would only have written a general recommendation, I think. Incidentally, I did approach him and he told me to find a tenured professor to do it because it would look better than a recommendation from an adjunct (I think this may have been his polite way of declining).

I don't know what to do. From what I understand, general recommendations are worthless. I can't get one from my employer of the past several years because I left the job on bad terms.

Are there alternatives?

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Where should I go next fall? / I'm Terrified of the Socratic Method
« on: November 30, 2006, 12:52:25 AM »
I get the feeling I'm going to attract serious criticism for this topic, but I'm posting it anyways.

I've almost always been a good student. I'm a good note-taker, I always do homework, reading, etc. I always write good papers and do well on exams. Basically, I've discovered the closest thing I have that resembles a talent is the ability to figure out what a professor wants and giving it to them. However, in performing this action that comes so naturally to me, I tend to avoid class participation.

I don't know why; I always have the right answer when the professor calls on me, but I just can't bring myself to raise my hand and offer the answer before I'm called on. Every semester, I dreaded the opening week where some professors would go around the room having every student state their name and something about themselves.

In short, I'm really shy.

If you managed to get through the above without gagging, you might understand why I'm absolutely terrified of being grilled by a law professor this fall.

My question, finally, is: Which schools don't use the Socratic Method? You may be guessing that this is a yellow-bellied attempt to run away from something I don't want to do, and you'd probably be right.

I'm specifically interested in finding out about the schools in NYC that use this method (Fordham, Cardoza, Brooklyn, etc). Unfortunately, a Google search revealed nothing...

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Law School Applications / How Important are Old Undergrad Transcripts?
« on: November 27, 2006, 11:57:32 PM »
I suspect I might already know the answer to this, but I'm hoping someone here knows something I don't and proves me wrong.

First, a little background: I started out as an undergrad at an Ivy League university but flunked out (sue me, I was immature). Since then, I got my act together: I worked a full-time job and attended classes at night (also full-time). I managed a 3.7 gpa at the school I graduated from.

My question, as stated in the title, is: How important are old undergrad transcripts?

If law schools factor in my Ivy League gpa, my cumulative gpa drops to around a 3.1. If this is the case, I'm almost completely sure that I won't get into Columbia Law or NYU Law, my top choices. I'm sure it won't help that Columbia is the school I flunked out of (meaning they have my record already) and NYU's application requires a letter from the dean's office of the dismissing school concerning the circumstances of the dismissal.

I've had several people tell me that my transcript will look good to prospective schools because they'll see the complete about-face I've made academically. However, I have a feeling that as good as it might look, it won't be enough for the top two schools I want to get into (and maybe not good enough for my number three, Fordham, either). The fact that I don't have any extracurriculars due to my full-time job doesn't help my case either, I believe.

Any insight on my situation would be greatly appreciated.

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