Law School Discussion

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Messages - MeganEW

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31
Yeah, not relevant.  I know it can be awkward to ask busy, powerful people to write letters for you, but if the politician in the photo thinks highly of you, s/he will send a proper letter with the appropriate LSAC cover.

You may also find this useful:
http://www.law.nyu.edu/admissions/jdadmissions/applicants/admissions_questions/recommendation_letters/index.htm

32
However, I don't think it even matters anymore because the majority of schools do not average your LSAT score. They just take the top score.
This is true and a big part of why I'm not waiting a year for that low score to drop off my report. 
However, any score from the last 5 academic testing years (so that includes sept/oct 2005 this year) will be on the report.  LSAC averages all the information, and the score band illustration is shown for the average.  On first glance, then, my score seems to be 7 points lower (and 25 percentile points lower) than my far more recent high score. 
Perhaps I'm unique.  I knew I bombed it the first time (and I did, scoring 11 points below my practice at that time).  And the second time, I walked out feeling like I had done roughly the same as I had on my practice tests (provided the games section I thought was experimental was...which I'm pretty confident about because they were game styles I had never seen before).  I scored a point higher than my average practice test score.
I was surprised by a couple paper grades in college (some I *knew* would be A's ended up B's and vice versa), but tests are objectively graded.  I couldn't always tell the A- from the B+, but I knew when I did well and when I didn't.

Like I said, most people I know always think they did worse when they did fine.  You're all probably freaking out over nothing.  It is a fair test, imo.  Think objectively about it today and truly consider the marginal benefits and costs before making a decision.  If you were unprepared, though, or left far more blank than you ever did in practice, I'd say cancel.

At the end of the day, you know yourself, you know whether or not you're overreacting, and you know your choices.  Don't make any rash decisions.  Just relax and enjoy the rest of your weekend post-LSAT.
Cheers!

33

On a side note, my ego always causes me to think I ace every test.  The LSAT was a different beast all together
Interesting. :)  Guess you made a brave choice (by not canceling) that paid off!

34
I took my test in June and remember feeling the same way on my drive home.  It gets better as the days go by.  I thought about canceling my score for 2 or  days before I felt confident I had done well.  Take a deep breath, and get some sleep.  I believe work and sleep was all I did for a week.
Hmm... I think this varies person to person.

I took the LSAT my senior year of college on a whim.  I took 2 practice tests as prep.  That's it.  I didn't even take them under test conditions.  I was just doing it for the helluvit.  I took the test, knew I bombed it (I didn't even do one entire game... I typically didn't miss more than 1 question in the LG section), but I was too curious to cancel.  Plus, I thought I had ruled out law school by that time.  I'd say not canceling was one of the dumbest things I ever did.

4 years later I take the LSAT again.  This time I've prepped on my own using TestMaster books, have taken half a dozen practice tests under test conditions and spent months doing drills in my free time.  The test day was stressful, yes, but I felt good after.  I completed the sections and knew I hadn't had to guess too often.  My score was a full 15 points higher than the first time I took it.

Because I don't want to waste another year, that first LSAT score, now 5 years old, is just barely hanging onto my LSAC report. 

Most people I know freak out about having "flunked" a test when they really just got a B+ or something.  I have never been like that.  I've always had a good sense of how I did.  If you know you're the former, don't cancel.  But if you're like me, and you know you performed well below your potential, I'd say cancel.  That d*mn score lives too long.

35
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT is only about a day away...
« on: October 08, 2010, 08:52:55 AM »
The section you "bomb" may be the experimental.  Finish the test then decide.  If there is a chance that the section was the experimental (1st of 2 games for example), think before you cancel
Ha - I was about to post this exact thought earlier.  I agree.  I "bombed" the experimental LG section (typically my strongest) on mine.  The real LG section came after the break and looked a lot more like what I was used to seeing, so I figured the first was the experimental.  I received as much confirmation I could with my score; I would have done much worse if the 2nd LG section was the experimental section.

36
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Before you go to law school...
« on: October 06, 2010, 08:51:03 PM »
Med schools are also willing to experiment with their admissions to determined what works and evolve.  I read an interesting NY Times article recently about med school without a science background.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/nyregion/30medschools.html?pagewanted=all

It seems as if the law evolves slowly, so do the schools.  Med schools must adapt quickly to the times.  I find the comparision difficult to make.
One of my sorority sisters is a graduate of that program!  She's doing well, but many I've spoken with regarding this are skeptical.  I'm curious to see what longer-term findings are.  Of course, this program is likely different than what it would be if rolled to all medical schools because it has to be incredibly selective; a study of these top liberal arts students who have become doctors might not indicate the success of the larger body of liberal arts students who would be admitted if all medical schools implemented this type of admission.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Before you go to law school...
« on: October 06, 2010, 07:02:45 PM »
Medicine is a broad filed to and they managed to figure it out.

Well, part of the way medicine provides better training is by requiring specific undergraduate studies.  Med school isn't a two-year program, but a six-year program.  You can't even start the "official" medical school unless you spent your college years studying relevant subject matters.

I am not sure exactly what the law school analog would be, but my point here is that nobody enters med school without a solid foundation in biology and chemistry.  Most 1Ls have no relevant knowledge at all when they show up.

So maybe we should make law school a six-year graduate program instead of three, or have specific undergraduate admission requirements - with an LSAT that tested substantive knowledge rather than general smarts.
I don't know, though. 
I met my husband right after undergrad.  I had gone to a top NE private university with a heavy focus on liberal arts, and he had gone to a tiny elite engineering school in the midwest.  He would explain scientific topics to me, and I would feel like I had learned nothing in the past four years.  After a couple months in the workplace, though, I discovered that my liberal arts background taught me how to think, to problem solve, to be flexible, to communicate effectively.  Because of this, I've found success in every job.  You learn the skills you need on the job.  My current employer (a Fortune 500 retailer) stresses that 70% of your development is gained from experience.  The education is important to give you that foundation and context.
The foundation for medicine is and should be different than the foundation for law, and not just in content.  While doctors and lawyers are both professionals, medicine is more of trade while law is an art.  Doctors need to learn all the problems and solutions.  Lawyers need to learn how to create solutions. 
So, I don't think pre-reqs prior to law school is necessarily ideal.  I do think there should be fewer spots/schools for JD candidates each year, though, to have greater standardization in the field, and I also see the benefit of a clinical year or two in law school.

As a side note, there is talk in the world of BigLaw about setting up a match process much like medicine has.  I'm not sure how far the firms have gotten in this type of talk or even how many are considering it, though.

38
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Before you go to law school...
« on: October 06, 2010, 07:36:54 AM »
I don't think that is true I imagine many people find WORK as doctors. However, many J.D. could also find WORK in Timbuktu places instead of bi**h ing and moaning. I am sure many physicians fight for spots in areas they want to work, New York, San Francisco, etc. However, the competition for those jobs is fierce and they get stuck in places like Weed, California.

But here's the difference:  The young MD with a small family practice in Weed, CA, is making $200k a year with excellent job security.  The young JD in a small general practice firm in Weed, CA, is making between $30k and $60k in any given year, with no job security whatsoever.

Hmm...  I'm not helping make the case for law school here, am I.
Exactly... One little caveat, this is for US MD students.  The match rate for DO students is a little lower, and the match rate for Caribbean medical schools is even lower.

To continue the hijack....
To even apply to medical school, you have to have certain undergraduate courses.  If you didn't take these as an undergrad, you have to complete them another way, typically by getting a master's.  You also have to take the MCAT, which requires you to study for content.
There are a purposely limited number of slots for MD students in the US.  Only roughly a third of those who apply to US MD programs get in.  Keep in mind, these are people who suffered through organic chemistry, the MCAT, etc.  However, this is smart, because after medical school, the vast majority of students match or are able to scramble into residency spots.
At this point, new doctors are jealous of their BigLaw professional brethren because they (the dr.s) are working 80 hours/week and making between $35k-$60k/year depending on specialty and COL city for the next 3-7 years of residency and fellowship.  Those who have the shorter residencies are going into the lower paid specialties (internal medicine, pediatrics) and will likely make $100k - $200k for most of their career.  Surgical residencies are typically 5 years.  General surgeons typically make around $300k and orthopedic surgeons typically make more than that.  We'll see what happens, though, with the new healthcare bill, and how that affects salaries.
Also, I'm under the impression, though, that scholarships are far more common in law than medicine.  I don't know anyone at my husband's private (~$40k/year) medical school who received more than a couple thousand in aid / year.

In short, doctors do have high salaries at this point in time, but it's not exactly the fast track to easy street.  If you want that, go into investment banking / private equity. ;)  (okay, I wink, but seriously... 6-figure bonuses straight out of undergrad?  crazy!)

39
Personal Statement / Re: Diversity Statement --Gay and URM--
« on: October 05, 2010, 07:16:11 PM »
Great statement!  I think it really speaks to your struggles with the different parts of your identity.  I'm not sure how you would word it, but you might consider directly stating your sexual identity.  It is pretty heavily implied, and I understand if you don't think it fits, but, just a thought.

Also, I noticed a little typo in the paragraph below.  I imagine that should read "wasn't" instead of was.

Which brings us back to me sitting in that car, analyzing the harsh voice on the radio, that seemed to speak directly to me, my motherís tacit approval the crap icing on the crap cake. I had known for so long that I was different than everyone else. I was interested in chasing boys, playing with dolls, and planning the perfect wedding. If given the choice, I would have much preferred to run and jump in the mud with the boys and chase the girls on the playground, trying to nail the prettiest one with a kiss. However, if that voice on the radio was right, what did it mean about me? If thereís no such thing as a gay black person, then who, or what, am I?


40
Personal Statement / Re: Diversity Statement --Gay and URM--
« on: October 05, 2010, 06:00:12 PM »
I think your sexual orientation will only help you in this process. 
Also, coincidentally, a friend of mine posted this on facebook today.  These are particularly gay-friendly schools:
http://gawker.com/5655407/the-top-10-colleges-for-gay-students

While they're referring to undergrad, many on the list also have top law schools (Penn, NYU, Michigan, Berkeley from the top 14 plus IU from the top 25).

Good luck on your apps! :)

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