« on: August 26, 2010, 03:39:40 PM »
Thank you both for your input. It has definitely lifted by spirits as I sit here and suffocate in my LSAT books haha. Best of luck!
I can be easy to get depressed by these things - but here is what I would consider the closest thing to a proxy for a litmus test for "will I enjoy being a lawyer:" The LSAT itself.
While the practice of law varies drastically, there is one central element that (as far as I know) is consistent, and that is the idea of "thinking like a lawyer." This buzzphrase can be hard to define, but for my purpose at the moment it means something along the line of "dispassionate analysis."
If you watch a news story about the "Ground Zero Mosque," or whatever controversial issue of the day, and you start wondering about the arguments and reasons for and against such a mosque, and you ENJOY that little conversation you are having in your head, regardless of whether you think the mosque is a good idea, then you are halfway to being a lawyer already. If, on the other hand, you immediately develop a strong opinion on the mosque, and find yourself unwilling or uninterested in hearing contrary arguments and get upset or angry when those arguments are presented - well, then the law may not be for you.
Lawyers enjoy the argument for its own sake. To outsiders, this looks like "arguing for the sake of arguing," as they say in disparaging tones, but that isn't it. Lawyers enjoy the intellectual satisfaction from an indepth analysis of the logical structures, including the various resulting questions and challenges. When most people voice an opinion they do not hold, they say they are "being the Devil's advocate." For lawyers, this is nonsense. We voice and examine every legitimate opinion, regardless of whether we share that opinion. We we do this, we are not being argumentative or contrarian, as outsiders may think, but merely inquisitive. In some ways, the practice of law is a never-ending philosophy class.
If you don't enjoy this type of thinking and intellectual exchange, or just can't do it at all, then you will probably be miserable as an attorney. That's my litmus test.
The LSAT, in its own way, is trying to test this way of thinking. Not because table seating charts are particularly controversial or interesting, but because the various LSAT questions require the ability to ignore the facts and look at the underlying logical relationships. The subjects may be silly and boring, but the underlying mental exercise in the LSAT is in many ways similar to what I do on the job every day.
So here is my proxy litmus test: If you are unable to do reasonably well on the LSAT, or if you find LSAT practice questions just a miserable horrible thing (because of the questions themselves, not because of the time not spent doing something more fun), then, frankly, I think you should reconsider whether law school is for you. Not because you won't be a good lawyer, but because - IMO - you won't enjoy being a lawyer.
(Another random story: one of my law school classmates is - or was, last time I checked - an honest to goodness SVU prosecutor, Law & Order style. All she does all day is prosecute the worst sex offenders. Child molesters, serial rapists, torturers - all the cases with the most horrific facts. The stuff of nightmares (and TV shows). I would slit my wrists after a week on that job. She loves it. Everybody is different.)
That was a very good example using the current mosque debate going on, and I definitely happen to be one of those people who tries to understand both sides of the argument. Im registered for the October 9th LSAT and I'm currently taking the Kaplan prep course right now. I think in my own free study time it was best to use these PowerScore bibles instead. Any advice on study tips, and how many hours would you recommend outside the six hours of class time per week I should be putting in leading up to the exam? I sincerely appreciate your time and input.