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Messages - The Brian

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: LR: speed or skill?
« on: October 05, 2010, 06:04:40 PM »
the only strategy i use for LR is the first 15 questions in 15 minutes.

that way i have 20 minutes for the final 10 questions. this helps a lot, since i usually get -0 in the first 15, but miss more from the 15-20-25 range.

as for the OP; time is not your issue. you need to be a lot more accurate before you even worry about timing. 

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Retake Testmasters or try Blueprint?
« on: October 05, 2010, 06:00:30 PM »
So I have just about completed a Testmasters course in Los Angeles and have decided to postpone my exam until December.  I had something like a life explosion, and was not able to focus as much attention to study through the course as I would have liked.  Though I did attend every class and found it helpful (albeit not much in reading comp).  All the same Im debating if it would be more beneficial to retake the course and fine tune the Testmasters concepts with a teacher I know I like, or if Blue print is worth a go.  I've heard Blueprint focuses more on RC which would be particularly good.  However I don't want to get all messed up conceptually or end up preemptively seeing all the PT's and or questions from the PT's Im planning to save for the 5 weeks prior to the december exam.
Anyone out there have experience with this?

i'm taking blueprint right now, and while their tips on RC are helpful, it isn't likely to help you much if speed is a problem.

blueprint, i think, is very good with LR though, but i don't know how it differs from testmasters.

i would stay with testmasters if price is an issue, though i think blueprint might be better. 

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LSAC and LSDAS / When do I send in my transcript LSAC?
« on: September 14, 2010, 04:58:17 PM »
I'm going into my last year of undergrad and I'm applying this fall; obviously the last year's grades won't be complete, so when do I send in my transcript?

Also, do I have to send in another transcript after I graduate?

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"nice try though?" haha, what? am i missing something here? your input has helped me refocus my statement, but that last post came off ridiculously juvenile. did i hurt your feelings when i said being the last person to leave a test while  also studying for it when you were already overachieving is commonplace?

my bad, then.

You'll have to excuse me, I'm not having a wonderful day and I'm growing a bit impatient.  I believe you need to make your statement more powerful.  I've offered all of the advice that I can now. Take it as you will.
don't worry about. i've definitely put your input to use.

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it seems to me that your instance of being the last to leave during your last college test is pretty commonplace in its own right

Not really.  I seriously don't know anyone that (1) already had the highest grade in the class, (2) was willing to study for and (3) spend a Saturday morning taking (4) their last college examination.

Nice try though.  You'll get in everywhere you apply!!1!11!!!

"nice try though?" haha, what? am i missing something here? your input has helped me refocus my statement, but that last post came off ridiculously juvenile. did i hurt your feelings when i said being the last person to leave a test while  also studying for it when you were already overachieving is commonplace?

my bad, then.

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also, i don't know what quite makes a "winner" in the way you mean it? what is a winner? am i supposed to talk about awards, a grander scale, or how i want to be the best lawyer there ever was?  i don't know i quite agree with grand aspirations being a plus; no one wants a dreamer. perhaps i'm a realist.


There is no one way to go about it.  You need a compelling reason why they should select you - which might include a number of things (naturally progressing in life not being one of them).  Tell them why you MUST go to law school, tell them that you have some sort of special talent to offer them, tell them that you plan to do x or y with your law degree, tell them why they should select you over Joe Blow.  Just don't tell them that you plan on being mediocre.

I'll give you an example. On my app, I talked about how I was taking my last college exam and how I didn't need the grade, but sat there on a Saturday morning and was the last damn person (besides the TA) to walk out of that room.  It's things like that which define me as a person - I'm hard working, focused, and determined.  I'm not okay with being mediocre.  I'm not a normal person.  I want to be the best and am willing to sacrifice for it.
i think the thing that you might be missing is that my statement is about my natural progression, but that isn't the main point. the main point is that through the two specific instances i chose within that progression, you see the skills that appeal to law schools: writing ability, hard work, and persistence. perhaps it might be a bit too subtle; you have to read for example that being on the phone for 3 hours = persistence/hard work.  also, my paper is meant to be relative to the world; when i say commonplace i mean it because i'm sure little things like these happen everywhere. it's what i took out of it and how i applied these normal things that made special.

it seems to me that your instance of being the last to leave during your last college test is pretty commonplace in its own right, but it draws a parallel to some of my examples in that it shows something about you and who you are. perhaps if i stress this point more, it would be clearer that my focus in the paper is not only my progression, but that my progression reveals the talents/traits that make me a compelling choice for a law school.

thanks again, a refocusing of the statement is in order.


 

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Its good! I enjoyed reading it. If it were my work, I'd re-write the opening paragraph so that it has a sense of direction. Plus, it has way too many commas.  I'd also scratch the first sentence in the closing paragraph. Other than that, its cool.

Best Wishes
thanks. i kinda threw the opening paragraph without a clear bridge between the rest of the statement; i'll probably rework it a bit.

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It's very well written, however, I'm not sure I like the theme.  It seems as though you are referring to yourself as just another ordinary person.  I would submit to you that most people are shaped by the small influences around them rather than a single defining moment, and that nothing in your personal statement suggests that your development in life was anything out of the ordinary.  For example, your story rings similar to the following statements:  "As a child, I spoke my first word.  After I spoke that first word, my mother praised me.  Her praise influenced me to speak more.  I can now speak extraordinarily well because of her praise."  There's really nothing extraordinary about that -- it's just natural development.

You need to think long and hard about what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd.  Why do you want to go to law school?  From what I can gather in your proposed statement, law school would be just another "'little' thing[] in life" that you could use to "move on to the next modest-but-defining moment."  No law school wants someone that like that.  Law schools want winners (i.e., extraordinary students with grand aspirations).
thanks for the input. i thought long and hard about what you said when i first wrote it in fact, and i decided in writing the statement the way i did, i wanted to speak about my natural progression, my writing ability, and a few specific things that have shaped me. i wanted to show myself as what i am: a normal guy that's had certain circumstances develop certain skills that make me ideal for law school. i took into account that it made me sound a bit ordinary (self-admittedly) but the "bigger things" in the last statement was supposed to be law school, not the "next modest moment".

also, i don't know what quite makes a "winner" in the way you mean it? what is a winner? am i supposed to talk about awards, a grander scale, or how i want to be the best lawyer there ever was?  i don't know i quite agree with grand aspirations being a plus; no one wants a dreamer. perhaps i'm a realist.

i'll keep your feedback in mind though when i look to edit it. thanks again.


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First, I think the theme/scope is very compelling and unique.  However, the presentation needs significant focusing, better articulation, and a stronger nexus to the pivotal "why law" question.  If you need more involved assistance with the statement, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Kal, Write Track Admissions

i agree except for the "why law" part. the personal statement, with a few tweaks, tells us a bit about the OP, about her writing ability, and about the parallels between art and law. it also shows progression of interest and direction. i don't think "why" law needs to answered. it's my opinion that it doesn't matter why, it matters that the OP show he/she is well suited for it regardless of personal motivation. personal motivation for a legal career may be a great topic to write about, but it doesn't need to be fit here unless there's a prompt that asks for it.

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