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Update: The Logic Games Bible price has been dropped to $40.94

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These must-have prep books rarely go on sale, but right now Amazonis having a hell of a deal.

The PowerScore LSAT Logic Games Bible - $46.79 w/ free shipping (Normally $64.99)

The PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible - $40.94 (Normally 64.99)

The PowerScore LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible - $37.97 (Normally $59.99)

The PowerScore LSAT Logic Games Ultimate Setups Guide (Powerscore Test Preparation) - $23.09 (Normally $34.99)

Get all 4 and it will only run you $148.79 instead of $224.96 (save yourself like $76.00). Amazon always has free shipping on orders over $25, and if you sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime you get free 2-day air or $3.99 overnight.

If you want to add other books while you are getting free shipping, here is my thread for recommended reading/prep material for self-study: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4017355.msg5264152.html#msg5264152

While you are waiting for your books, read my advice thread here: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4018103.msg5286249.html

I'll be spending some time here through the weekend, so feel free to ask questions. I was prepping for the June LSAT lsat year around this time, so I feel your pain :)

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LSAT Test Day Preparation

Walking into the testing center can be intimidating. I'd recommend driving there tomorrow, the day before your test, and checking it out. This will allow you to become a bit more familiar with the testing location and ensure that you know how to get there. Time yourself while driving to get an idea of how long it takes to get there.

Prepare your one gallon zip-lock bag the day before your exam. Include some nice new pencils, a snack, your wallet, keys, your ID, your admission ticket, some quarters for the vending machine, your analog wristwatch, and whatever else you might need, so long as it is allowed by the LSAC: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/day-of-test.asp

Wear layers so that you will be able to adjust and make yourself comfortable at any temperature.

Leave for the testing center 30 minutes before you think that you need to. You don't want to have to expend any mental or emotional energy just getting to the testing center. Allow yourself plenty of time so that if you happen to get stuck in traffic, pulled over, or otherwise delayed, you will still arrive on time.

Eat a light, healthful breakfast. You will need the energy. Don't eat anything too heavy or anything that might upset your stomach.

Don't drink too much water prior to the exam.

Be aware that you will be standing in line and then sitting in a room listening to instructions for up to an hour or two. Be mentally prepared to maintain your drive and focus throughout this period.

If you have a bad section, assume that it is the experimental section. Don't allow the consideration of any other possibility until AFTER the exam. Don't allow a difficult section to affect your performance on the rest of the exam.

Show up and attack the LSAT!


Should I Prep The Day Before The LSAT?

I think this question has to do with personal preference. Most people will tell you to take the day off and relax... While this is probably the best advice for the majority of test takers, I generally believe that such blanket statements as "Don't study the day prior to the exam" are intended for the average test taker. If you are trying to get a 175+, then you aren't the average test taker, and you should remember that. Taking a prep test the day before the exam might be a good practice for SOME people. Sure, you wont LEARN anything that day, but it may help calm your nerves and keep up your sense of pacing. I always noticed that if I took the weekend off, I'd never perform quite as well on Monday. My sense of pacing would get thrown off by a few seconds per question and I'd end up missing one or two questions near the end of the first section that I took. Sure, you don't want to be burnt-out, but you don't want to be rusty either. If you usually score a 175 on Monday after taking a couple of days off, then score a 177 on Tuesday, and a 178 on Wednesday... then perhaps taking a day off prior to the exam isn't such a great idea for you. If, however, you find that you get burnt-out taking exams on back-to-back days, then take the day off. Again, the important thing is doing what is right for YOU, not for the average test taker.

Personally, I took the day before the exam off, but then that freaked me out so I woke up early on the day of the exam and took 2 full LR sections to warm up.

Today is all about getting yourself mentally prepared to walk into the testing center tomorrow and CRUSH the LSAT. Make sure your head is in a good place, so to speak. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and prepared. If you are comfortable taking the day to relax, by all means do so. If taking today off is going to cause anxiety, then don't be afraid to work some problems out. Either way, stay away from alcohol, television, and anything else that will stress you out or dull you down. Get your head in a good place today, whatever that may take.

Good Luck!
 

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Somehow this thread got deleted after 6000 views... No clue why, so I thought I'd post it again for June LSAT takers...

HYSHopeful's Last Minute LSAT Tips & General LSAT Advice



RC Timing - 3 minutes  (+/- :30) to read each passage and approximately 45 seconds per question... +bubbling time. If one passage has 5 questions and another has 8 questions, attack the 8 question passage first and take a bit more time. It takes 3 minutes to read nearly any passage, regardless of the number of questions associated with it. Spend this time wisely by attacking passages with 7/8 questions first.

RC Order - I always flip through the section, write the number of questions per passage at the top of the page for each passage, and attack the longest passage first, the shortest passage last. If one passage has 5 questions and another has 8 questions, attack the 8 question passage first and take a bit more time. It takes 3 minutes to read nearly any passage, regardless of the number of questions associated with it. Spend this time wisely by attacking passages with 7/8 questions first.

RC Bubbling - Bubble after each passage

General RC Tips - It is important to have a general understanding about certain things that you can expect to see on the questions: Main point, organization, author's attitude & purpose, paragraph function, etc.

In addition, be aware of:
-shifts in point of view ("Despite," "however," "nevertheless," "on the other hand," "on the contrary," "proponents claim...," "critics claim...", etc.) [be sure to know which point of view the author subscribes to]
-lists ("first... second... third...", "one such... another...")

It is less important to know specific details (scientific nomenclature, definitions, etc.). It is, however, important to know WHERE these unfamiliar terms are so that you can quickly refer to them when you see a question regarding them.

Granted, it is always great if you can quickly read a passage and fully comprehend every detail... it simply isn't always possible to do so. If you cannot, then try and get the gist of the passage and move on to the questions without wasting too much time reading and re-reading. It is easy to refer back to the passage to answer questions on specific points, as long as you understand it well enough to know where to quickly find the

Personally, I usually feel like I've read a passage properly if I read it in 3:00 (+/- :30), and can easily answer the main point question.

After reading through hundreds of passages, you develop an intuitive sense of where the questions are likely to come from. Pay attention to developing that sense, and learn to anticipate what will be asked of you (but DON'T read the questions before reading the passage).

Underline key words and phrases: "First, Second, Third"; "Furthermore"; "On the other hand"; "for example"; "namely"; "for one thing"; "In addition"; "Nevertheless"; "For these reasons"; "proponents believe"; "critics believe"; "But"; "However"; "According to"; "In contrast"; "...claims"; "...goes so far as to claim"; "others argue"; etc. This is far from a comprehensive list. As you work through more RC passages, you begin to develop a sense for where the testmakers are likely to draw questions from. The goal is to anticipate where questions are likely to be drawn from, and remember where that important information is located so that if you see it later then you will know exactly where to refer to.

More LSAT Reading Comprehension Strategies:
      Push through the passage. Don't allow yourself to get caught reading and re-reading.
      Keep a clear head and positive attitude to your approach. Getting frustrated/getting bored/zoning out is what the test makers WANT you to do. The material is intentionally dry and technical so that many readers lose focus. Don't allow yourself to fall into that trap.
      Don't be so afraid to skip a difficult question. Keep moving forward. Narrow the answer choices down to 2, circle one, move on. Come back later. Perhaps the fresh perspective will quickly lead you to the correct answer. If not, a 50/50 shot at a tough problem is ok, especially if it gives you sufficient time to attack 2 or 3 easier problems that you may not have gotten to if you remained stuck.



Logical Reasoning:

LR Timing - approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds per question... +bubbling time. I generally tried to move through the first 10-12 questions in around 1 minute per question. These questions are often the easiest, and if you can complete them under time then you will set yourself up with additional time to complete the more difficult questions in the later half of the section. If you are having timing issues, skip the lengthy parallel reasoning questions that always seem to appear toward the end, especially if these questions tend to slow you down.

LR Order - Front to back. Questions start off easy, so you get a chance to warm up before you run into the difficult questions that always seem to appear after question 12 (or so). I never felt that there was any benefit to be gained from jumping around the section. If anything, skipping around this section will hurt your bubbling accuracy. Just understand that the difficult questions appear in the second half of the section, and move through the first half with appropriate speed.

LR Bubbling - bubble prior to turning the page, OR bubble if you run across a particularly difficult/frustrating problem and you need a few seconds to gather yourself prior to moving to the next question.

General LR Strategies - For me, this section was the most intuitive. Read CAREFULLY and DELIBERATELY. Misreading even one word in a stimulus or question stem could lead you to incorrectly answering the question. Unlike the RC section, it important that you thoroughly understand the entire stimulus. Even the smallest turn of phrase could through you off if you don't read it properly. In my experience, many errors are made simply out of carelessness when reading.



LSAT Logic Games:
LG Timing - 8 minutes and 45 seconds per game, including bubbling time. Slightly more for difficult games & slightly less for easier games. Game 1 is generally not going to be particularly difficult. ATTACK IT... finish in 7 minutes. You don't want to get in the mindset of "oh, I've got 8 minutes and 45 seconds per game, so I can take my time on this basic linear game and triple-check my answers even though in 99% sure I'm correct." Learn to recognize and CRUSH easy games in under 8 minutes if possible. If you can do this, then you will be able to use that extra time when you come across a more challenging LG.

LG Order - As soon as you open the section, make a note at the top of each game regarding the number of questions per game. As previously mentioned, Game 1 is easy, CRUSH IT. Move on.  Your decision regarding the order of the remaining three games should take the following variables into consideration:
-# of questions: much like RC, it takes a considerable amount of effort to properly set a game up, regardless of the number of questions. You should prefer games with more questions over games with fewer.
-Personal preference: if you are particularly good at grouping games, attack those first. (Basic Linear games are generally the easiest and should be given preference by most test takers.)
-Familiarity: If a particular game simply looks unfamiliar, save it for later. This would probably include any odd games such as mapping, circular linear, etc. While there is probably greater than a 95% chance that you won't see these games types on your LSAT, if you do... save them for last.

A quick read of the stimulus and rules for most games will give you a fairly good idea of how easily you will be able to set the game up. If there is an element in the game that you've run into before which has given you difficulty, save it for the end.=

LG Bubbling - bubble after each game

HYSHopeful's Last Minute LSAT tips - It's been a while since I've posted here since I've been busy with work, LSAT tutoring, and applying to law schools. With the October LSAT rapidly approaching, I thought I'd take some time to compile a comprehensive summary of my approach to the LSAT. I know that this comes a bit late... but hopefully someone benefits from it...

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bump for June test

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« on: February 02, 2009, 02:04:02 PM »
Too late now, but I think everyone should start prep with a timed diagnostic first.

I do think it is important to take a timed diagnostic early in your prep work... though probably not first.

I think it is a good idea to work through at least a couple of untimed exams to get a general idea of the material, then take a timed preptest to get an idea of what it is like to take the exam under the strict time conditions under which it will be administered. While your score isn't likely to mean much, the experience will give you a  better idea of what the real exam will require of you.

When I first began prepping, I was doing so well on untimed exams that I thought I had a great handle on the material. It wasn't until I took my first timed PT that realized how much work had to be done. My timed score scared me into working my ass off in the coming months. I'm not sure that I would have worked as hard for as long if I hadn't taken a timed PT early on.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« on: January 31, 2009, 09:46:05 PM »
I started taking practice tests to prepare for the June LSAT, but I find myself getting contradicting advice: Some people say take them untimed, others say timed.

In general the consensus seems to be "take the first few untimed, and the last few before the test timed" am I correct in making that observation?

I've only taken 3 so far, 2 untimed and both untimed ones I got a 179 and a 180. How should I proceed? Should I switch them up, timed one week, untimed the next week and so on?

Please I need advice on this one!

If you are scoring near perfect on untimed exams, It sounds like you have a very solid general grasp of the material. I think your best bet it to focus on timed exams at this point. When I was taking untimed exams, I was scoring near 180 as well... but when I added the element of time, my scores dropped precipitously. Take a couple of timed exams, and consider which sections give you the most difficulty under timed conditions. For me, it was LG that suffered the most when the element of time came into play. Work through these sections of older preptests, in isolation, under both timed and untimed conditions. Meticulously reviewing errors and considering where your mistakes are being made. I'm not sure what your timed scores are right now, but with work, you should be able to close the gap significantly.

38
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
« on: January 30, 2009, 06:22:20 PM »
I am not sure I would buy the assumption that going to a Tier 4 law school leads to a salary of $30K with only cost of living increases for the rest of your life because it is far from necessarily true.

My assumption was that the Cooley grad made $47,750 (the Cooley avg.) upon graduation. $30,000 is the salary I assumed the same individual could earn today, without going to law school. Yes, it may not be entirely accurate to assume a 5% annual growth rate, but I assumed the same growth rate for the UChicago grad. In addition, I started the UChicago grad at $145,000, when we know the market rate is more like $165,000.  It isn't uncommon for a BigLaw associate to be making $280,000 in year 8 - my model has the UChicago grad earning right around $200,000 in year 8. If anything, I'm erring on the side of the Cooley grad.

HYS, your NPV make huge assumptions with the discount rate and starting salaries.    

Indeed, which is why i prefaced the whole thing by saying that I'd done "quick, rudimentary" analysis, and explicitly listed the assumptions made. Obviously, the discount rate is the variable that would have the most drastic effect on the data. I used the average rate of unsubsidized student loans (which is right around 7%) as a proxy for the cost of capital. You could probably make a case for for moving the discount rate 100 basis points in either direction.  Still, I used the same discount rate for each scenario, so you can still get an idea of the magnitude of disparity. If you move the discount rate to 6%, the Cooley grad's NPV goes up, but the dollar disparity between the two scenarios grows as the UC grad's NPV increases exponentially. If you move the discount rate to 8%, the dollar amount disparity between the two decreases, but the Cooley grad's NPV ends up being closer to $0.

My starting salary estimate for UChicago grad was left intentionally low at $145,000. The Cooley grad salary estimate was the stated average starting salary of the 82% of the class of 2007 that had jobs within 9 months of graduation. Sure, a Cooley grad might make a bit more or a bit less, but it is entirely reasonable to use the average as a best estimate.

As for the Salaries that I assumed these individuals could earn today instead of going to law school... Average starting salaries for B.S. degrees generally range between $30,000 (liberal arts majors, etc.) and $50,000 (engineering, finance, consulting). Again, in an effort to err to the benefit of the Cooley grad, I assumed that they would have a much lower opportunity cost than a UChicago grad.

Keep in mind that I did throw this analysis together in 15 minutes on my lunch break, but I don't think I made any assumptions that are completely irrational and where I do err, I attempted to do so in favor of Cooley. The point was not to execute an impeccably accurate analysis, but to consider roughly (give or take a couple hundred grand, perhaps) the difference in the average expected NPVs of an education at UChicago vs. Cooley & roughly (within a few years, perhaps) the difference in the amount of time each graduate must work in order for an investment in law school to have a postitive NPV.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
« on: January 30, 2009, 02:29:43 PM »
If you score at or below the 30th percentile on the LSAT (146 and below), then I think you should seriously consider another career path while you are studying to retake the exam. There is a statistically significant positive correlation between success on the LSAT and success in law school. The exam is designed to test certain basic skills that are critical to this success: reading and verbal reasoning, critical and analytical thinking, time management, etc. If your LSAT score is in the bottom third, then you either lack these skills or you weren't adequately prepared. Either way, law school may not be for you. You'd be well advised to carefully consider your options.

Law school is an expensive prospect... even Cooley will run you $35,000 a year after tuition, fees, room & board. Factor in the opportunity cost of the salary that you could earn by getting a job today, the time value of money, interest on any loans you will have to take out, and it may not be a good financial decision in real terms.

I ran a quick, rudimentary NPV calculation on attending Cooley:

Assuming Cooley costs $35,000 per year, tuition does not increase during the 3 years you are there, and you pay cash.
Assuming you could get a job now earning $30,000 per year, with a 5% annual raise.
Assuming you get hired immediately after law school at $47,750 (the average in 2007 for Cooley grads), with a 5% annual raise.
&
Assuming a 7% discount rate

In this case, your investment in law school does not have a positive net present value until year 25, after working for 22 years. If you work for 30 years, then the net present value of investing in law school is $51,788.91.

YEAR   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33
Career year            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30
COOLEY                                                                                                   
School Cost   -$35,000.00   -$35,000.00   -$35,000.00                                                                                          
Salary sacrificed g=5%   -$30,000.00   -$31,500.00   -$33,075.00   -$34,728.75   -$36,465.19   -$38,288.45   -$40,202.87   -$42,213.01   -$44,323.66   -$46,539.85   -$48,866.84   -$51,310.18   -$53,875.69   -$56,569.47   -$59,397.95   -$62,367.85   -$65,486.24   -$68,760.55   -$72,198.58   -$75,808.51   -$79,598.93   -$83,578.88   -$87,757.82   -$92,145.71   -$96,753.00   -$101,590.65   -$106,670.18   -$112,003.69   -$117,603.87   -$123,484.07   -$129,658.27   -$136,141.18   -$142,948.24
Lawyer Salary g=5%            $47,550.00   $49,927.50   $52,423.88   $55,045.07   $57,797.32   $60,687.19   $63,721.55   $66,907.63   $70,253.01   $73,765.66   $77,453.94   $81,326.64   $85,392.97   $89,662.62   $94,145.75   $98,853.03   $103,795.69   $108,985.47   $114,434.74   $120,156.48   $126,164.31   $132,472.52   $139,096.15   $146,050.95   $153,353.50   $161,021.18   $169,072.24   $177,525.85   $186,402.14   $195,722.25
Net gain/loss   -$65,000.00   -$66,500.00   -$68,075.00   $12,821.25   $13,462.31   $14,135.43   $14,842.20   $15,584.31   $16,363.52   $17,181.70   $18,040.79   $18,942.83   $19,889.97   $20,884.47   $21,928.69   $23,025.12   $24,176.38   $25,385.20   $26,654.46   $27,987.18   $29,386.54   $30,855.87   $32,398.66   $34,018.59   $35,719.52   $37,505.50   $39,380.77   $41,349.81   $43,417.30   $45,588.17   $47,867.58   $50,260.96   $52,774.00
                                                                                                   
NPV T0   -$60,747.66   -$118,831.34   -$174,400.82   -$164,619.55   -$155,021.10   -$145,602.07   -$136,359.10   -$127,288.89   -$118,388.21   -$109,653.91   -$101,082.86   -$92,672.02   -$84,418.39   -$76,319.03   -$68,371.07   -$60,571.66   -$52,918.04   -$45,407.47   -$38,037.29   -$30,804.88   -$23,707.64   -$16,743.07   -$9,908.67   -$3,202.02   $3,379.27   $9,837.55   $16,175.11   $22,394.22   $28,497.08   $34,485.86   $40,362.71   $46,129.71   $51,788.91


Then, I ran the same calculation using University of Chicago's numbers:

Assuming UChicago costs $50,000 per year, tuition does not increase during the 3 years you are there, and you pay cash.
Assuming you could get a job now earning $50,000 per year, with a 5% annual raise.
Assuming you get hired immediately after law school at $145,000 , with a 5% annual raise.
&
Assuming a 7% discount rate

In this case, your investment in law school does not have a positive net present value until year 8, after working for 5 years. If you work for 30 years, then the net present value of investing in law school is $1,268,131.48

 
YEAR   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33
Career year            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30
UChicago                                                                                                   
School Cost   -$50,000.00   -$50,000.00   -$50,000.00                                                                                          
Salary sacrificed g=5%   -$50,000.00   -$52,500.00   -$55,125.00   -$57,881.25   -$60,775.31   -$63,814.08   -$67,004.78   -$70,355.02   -$73,872.77   -$77,566.41   -$81,444.73   -$85,516.97   -$89,792.82   -$94,282.46   -$98,996.58   -$103,946.41   -$109,143.73   -$114,600.92   -$120,330.96   -$126,347.51   -$132,664.89   -$139,298.13   -$146,263.04   -$153,576.19   -$161,255.00   -$169,317.75   -$177,783.63   -$186,672.82   -$196,006.46   -$205,806.78   -$216,097.12   -$226,901.97   -$238,247.07
Lawyer Salary g=5%            $145,000.00   $152,250.00   $159,862.50   $167,855.63   $176,248.41   $185,060.83   $194,313.87   $204,029.56   $214,231.04   $224,942.59   $236,189.72   $247,999.21   $260,399.17   $273,419.13   $287,090.08   $301,444.59   $316,516.82   $332,342.66   $348,959.79   $366,407.78   $384,728.17   $403,964.58   $424,162.80   $445,370.94   $467,639.49   $491,021.47   $515,572.54   $541,351.17   $568,418.73   $596,839.66
Net gain/loss   -$100,000.00   -$102,500.00   -$105,125.00   $87,118.75   $91,474.69   $96,048.42   $100,850.84   $105,893.39   $111,188.05   $116,747.46   $122,584.83   $128,714.07   $135,149.78   $141,907.26   $149,002.63   $156,452.76   $164,275.40   $172,489.17   $181,113.62   $190,169.31   $199,677.77   $209,661.66   $220,144.74   $231,151.98   $242,709.58   $254,845.06   $267,587.31   $280,966.68   $295,015.01   $309,765.76   $325,254.05   $341,516.75   $358,592.59
                                                                                                   
NPV T0   -$93,457.94   -$182,985.41   -$268,798.73   -$202,336.25   -$137,116.06   -$73,114.94   -$10,310.11   $51,320.81   $111,799.74   $171,148.23   $229,387.40   $286,537.99   $342,620.34   $397,654.42   $451,659.83   $504,655.79   $556,661.18   $607,694.50   $657,773.92   $706,917.28   $755,142.08   $802,465.48   $848,904.32   $894,475.15   $939,194.19   $983,077.36   $1,026,140.29   $1,068,398.30   $1,109,866.44   $1,150,559.47   $1,190,491.89   $1,229,677.91   $1,268,131.48


Obviously this data isn't even close to perfect, but I think it does give some idea of the disparity:

T4 = $51,788 NPV
T1 = $1,268,131 NPV

Perhaps the discount rate should be higher at Cooley, because of the increased risk associated with lower job placement rates, higher attrition rates, etc... which would create an even larger disparity...

Wow.. I must have been really bored over my lunch break to have actually done this... At any rate, my point was, from a purely financial perspective, it makes little sense to

40
Studying for the LSAT / Re: My LSAT strategy for June 09, critique
« on: January 23, 2009, 03:49:06 PM »
I have a few comments...

Superprep consists of only 3 preptests... If you are allowing an adequate amount of time each day for LSAT prep, I don't see how you could stretch that into 2 full weeks of prep.

In general, I think that you should try and go through another 30 or so PTs, the PS bibles, and use the remaining 20(ish) PTs to drill yourself on weaknesses. I don't know much about the PS coursebooks, so I can't comment on that.

I cannot stress enough how much it helped me to take 40+ timed practice exams. I was aiming for 175+, and couldn't have accomplished it without taking exam after exam and reviewing them well.

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