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Topics - snickersnicker

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Choosing the Right Law School / Berkeley vs. Michigan vs. Virginia
« on: August 08, 2009, 12:37:13 AM »
166/4.00/'risky' PS/plenty of softs/socioeconomic adversity/Why X? for all schools to which I am applying.

I hope to work for the State Department or DOJ once I'm out of law school. To that end, I plan to focus on international law (boo, hiss, etc). However, the best international law programmes in the country (NYU, Columbia, etc) are out of my range, though I'm still applying to NYU. My numbers put me on the border at Berkely, UM and UVA. I feel like if my cycle goes well, I could get into all three; if it goes bad, I could be shafted at all three.

The current dilemma I'm facing is whether to apply ED at Michigan or not. I won't apply ED at UVA (I calculated my chances of getting in and they're significantly higher than both Berkeley and UM), and Berkeley doesn't have ED. I feel like I would be pretty happy at UM, but I really hate not having options from which to choose. I'm a Michigan resident, so I would also have that going for me, and I feel like if I apply ED, I will get in...but I'm not sure if that's what I want.

So, what say you, LSD?

Choosing the Right Law School / 166, 4.0 -- Chances
« on: June 25, 2009, 10:24:45 PM »
I got my June retake score back today, and it was a 166 just like last October. Even though my PT average was 172 (prior to both writings), I'm not taking this goddamn test again. Anyway, here's the breakdown:

LSAT:  166
GPA:  4.0
UG:  bad third-tier state university
URM:  Not one, but I have a diversity statement about growing up very poor in an abusive household

Plenty of softs:  graduating with triple honours (both majors + general studies, including two theses); undergraduate symposium; resident advisor three years for honours college hall; note-taker for disabled students; grade grievance committee representative; pre-law society; various environmental/animal welfare volunteer work; solid part- and full-time work experience during summers.

My area of interest is international law with a focus on human rights, democracy and labour. I know, jobs for that don't exist, but that's not relevant to me right now. I know Cornell and Virginia have decent courses of study for international law, and those are really the only schools I have even a remote shot at within the T14.

I've checked LSN, Chiashu, etc but would like to hear the opinions of fellow LSDers.


Studying for the LSAT / BOXES ARE FILLING!!!
« on: June 24, 2009, 10:39:32 AM »
Not a flame. The Item Response Report for June 2009 has switched from blank to (Updated 6/29/2009). Bunch of people on TLS have it too. My testing centre was UMich, 6400. I don't know if this means the same as it did for previous tests, though, since the format of the LSAC website has changed.


Studying for the LSAT / So, how does everyone think they did?
« on: June 08, 2009, 03:51:45 PM »
I have no idea. Could've bombed; could've 180'd. Probably at least did better than last October. Definitely some difficult subsections and individual questions.

Oh, and don't talk about the actual questions on the test, of course.  :D

Studying for the LSAT / December 2008 LG
« on: June 06, 2009, 12:28:50 PM »
I'm just trying to gauge if this is a problem I had or something commonly agreed upon. I just took the Dec 08 preptest as my last before the exam coming up this Monday, and totally botched the LG section compared to how well I've done on LG lately (averaging -.5; got -4). Was this section especially hard for anyone else?

I'm currently getting two strong recommendations from academic sources (one consitutional law professor, one philosophy professor who is also one of my thesis advisors), but would like to have the option of submitting a third. I've worked as a resident advisor for the past two years, and will be returning as one next year for the same boss. I'm considering getting either a letter from him, or from the overal housing supervisor at my university. My direct boss has better knowledge of my actual responsibilities as an RA, and could also serve as a good character reference, so I'm leaning more toward him. Would this be considered better than another letter of recommendation from an academic source? I could get one from the head of the political science department, but I've never actually had a class with her--we're just on very good terms.

Any input is greatly appreciated. :)

Studying for the LSAT / 166: To Retake or Not to Retake
« on: February 05, 2009, 11:07:30 PM »
Long time no post, everyone. Hopefully some people here remember me.

I've been struggling with my plan to retake the LSAT this coming June. I took it in October and got a 166. This was nine points lower than my highest timed and realistic practices, and about six points lower than my average practice score under the same conditions.

My circumstances at the time I took the LSAT were not the best. In the week leading up to it my grandmother passed away, I ended a two and a half year relationship, and started a new one which moved way too fast. I don't think I slept more than four hours a night the entire two weeks prior. I went into the test feeling pretty good, though, and was certain that I would have a great LSAT score. I was completely deflated when I got my score.

I have been planning to retake in June with, believe it or not, less studying than the first time around. I prepped for the October test for well over a year, taking three to five PTs per week in the summer and two to four once classes started up. The LSAT took over my life, and I think it became so routine that I lost the will to really exert myself because I could just blow through and get 172s no problem. I get out of school at the end of April, and I plan to study only the three weeks leading up to the June test date. I'll take ten to fifteen PTs and drill the PS Bibles into my head again (is the RC worth picking up for someone who is consistently -0 to -2 in that section?). I think taking it easier will allow me to focus better when the actual thing comes around.

Recently, however, I've been doubting the need to retake. I've got a great GPA and am involved with a few student organisations and university committees, and I think I interview and write about myself very well. I think I will have a realistic shot at UMich (as a Michigan resident), UVa and Cornell, all of which have pretty good international law programmes. However, my dream schools have been Georgetown and NYU since I became interested in law school (well, and Harvard, but I've blown my chance there), but I'm a few points outside of their admittance range.

Any feedback, advice, et al would be appreciated. My ideal plans after law school would be work within the State Department or an international NGO, so if my chances of landing those would be highly improved with a better score (and therefore better school), let me know.

Thanks everyone.

General Off-Topic Board / Has anyone done a State Department internship?
« on: October 23, 2008, 07:28:26 PM »
I've been looking over the options for a while, and it seems like something I might like to do. They do some internships in cooperation with Georgetown (one of the places I'm potentially interested in attending for LS), and I think I would be able to land some of the scholarships they give out. I plan on going into the international relations/international law/whatever field (preferably within the State Department), so this would probably be useful experience.

So has anyone done one of these? Thoughts, opinions, etc? Just to clarify, I would not be travelling abroad, but working in DC.

It seems like there aren't many threads on this board about peoples' tastes in media and so on. Anyway:

1. Star Wars IV - VI (if this is a cop-out, then just the Empire Strikes Back)
2. Taxi Driver
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
4. Umberto D
5. Dawn of the Dead (1978/George Romero version)
6. The Thing (1982/John Carpenter version)
7. The Shining (1980/Stanley Kubrick version)
8. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
9. Alien
10. Bicycle Theives

(Bonus mentions to Fritz Lang's M, many prominent Italian films from 1940-1975, and classic sci-fi/horror movies in general.)

1. CaP'n Jazz
2. Jawbreaker
3. Modern Life is War
4. Portraits of Past
5. The Weakerthans
6. Minor Threat
7. The Mountain Goats
8. Gorilla Biscuits
9. The Lawrence Arms
10. The Smiths

(This was hard and is only slightly representative of my tastes over the years.)

TV Shows
1. Arrested Development
2. The Office (UK or US)
3. Hockey Night in Canada
4. Futurama
5. Stella
6. Mythbusters
7. Cowboy Bebop
8. What Not to Wear
9. King of the Hill
10. Project Runway

(I really don't watch much TV...outside of the top five, I don't wantch any shows regularly, so this is sort of a crapshoot.)

Books or authors
1. David Hume (all)
2. Haruki Murakami - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
3. Franz Kafka (all)
4. Haruki Murakami - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
5. John Locke - The Second Treatise of Government
6. Yevgeni Zamyatin - We (if you like dystopian literature, you NEED to read this; wildly influential yet criminally underrated)
7. Haruki Murakami - A Wild Sheep Chase
8. Haruki Murakami - Dance, Dance, Dance
9. Jules Verne (all)
10. Aldous Huxley - Brave New World (even if it is just a variation on 'We')

(So many Murakami works are on this because he wrote too much awful stuff for me to say that I like all of it...definitely my favourite author of fiction, though.)

Studying for the LSAT / People PTing in the 170 - 175 range
« on: July 26, 2008, 08:42:38 PM »
For those of you who were scoring in the low- to mid-170s prior to your LSAT date, what did you actually score? If you retook, what changes did you make in your study habits? My date is a while away, and I plan to study somewhat more leniently during the school year and pretty intensely once next summer starts. I'd just like to see how people scoring really well during study ended up actually doing, since people often talk about scores dropping significantly on the actual test.

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