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Messages - 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?

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.

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.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: My Cancellation Calculations
« on: February 13, 2007, 07:28:42 PM »
Yeah, but no matter how I look at it, I know two months of study wasn't enough to be fully prepared, which means there's room to improve. If I had been studying for six months or longer, I might have admitted to hitting the ceiling.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: My Cancellation Calculations
« on: February 12, 2007, 11:39:09 PM »
Yeah, but I'm thinking that if I don't have a bad score to drag me down, I can plausibly apply to NYU or CLS...

Studying for the LSAT / My Cancellation Calculations
« on: February 12, 2007, 11:14:04 PM »
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... :(

One place where my procrastination never shows up is in school work. Except for the one poetry project, I've never been late or asked for an extension. In fact, except for a few Latin classes, I've gotten A's in every class I've taken at Hunter College. My procrastination almost always involves applications, deadlines (non-assignment related), beauracratic stuff, etc.

10 months is a long time to complete an assignment, but I really did have a lot going on: I took on the household duties for my mother while she was going through chemotherapy, on top of my full-time job and full-time student stuff. I was too exhausted and didn't have the time for the project. Once things cleared up for me, I took my time doing the assignment. That part is certainly my fault.

As for my former work situation, I have a unique problem; both my co-worker (the other computer tech at the office) and our manager speak English as a second language. In fact, I was the one responsible for company memos, projects, etc, because of my English skills. My co-worker and I had a very bad relationship with the manager for almost the entire three years I was with the company (he was a major jerk). Eventually, my coworker was arbitrarily fired and I was openly making plans to leave the company because of the incident. My plans suddenly changed when my mother became ill, so I took a leave of absense instead, promising to come back in a couple of months, but just never bothered calling them or returning to work because of how much I hated that manager.

Because my co-worker and I were very friendly with each other, I'm sure I could write my own recommendation and have him sign off on it. I would have to because his English is not good enough to write one for me. As for my old manager, I doubt he would agree to write me one considering how I left him hanging (though I assure you, he deserved it).

I was one of the two to three people who actually participated in class, I got A's on all of his assignments and I ran into him on the subway several times after class, so I'm guessing I stood out a little bit in his mind. Just a little while before the final assignment was due, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I was in a mad rush to put some money together for her mastectomy. I explained that I was stressed out and that I couldn't wrap my head around schoolwork, and he reassured me that I could take the time I need to finish the assignment.

When I contacted him approximately 10 months later about handing in the assignment, I asked  him if I should bring in some of my old work as well to help him calculate my grade, but he said he remembered that I was a "fine student" and didn't need any other work. When I met up with him, I apologized profusely and he seemed very forgiving and reassuring. He said he totally understood and he was glad things were better in terms of my mother's health. I even told him that I felt like a jerk for asking for a recommendation when I had abused his extension, but he shrugged it off and said he would be happy to.

I agree that he's an "iffy" recommendation, but I think it's leaning more towards the good "if" than the bad "if." In any case, he seems like a really nice guy, so I don't think he'd write something negative; he may just limit his praise.

I can no longer ask that one professor for a recommendation because he moved to Austin, Texas over the summer (something about being attacked by a homeless person in Central Park turned him off of NYC for good).

I recently handed in a final assignment that's been due for over a year. The professor was very nice about it (I had a personal situation) and he agreed to write a recommendation for me. To make the recommendation good, I was thinking about giving him the following materials:

-A few different PS's (I haven't decided which I'm going to go with yet)
-The assignments I did for his class
-A 1-2 page(s) personal bio
-My resume
-The addendums I'm including with my applications

Is there anything I should add or omit from the above list?

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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