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Messages - Miami88
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« on: July 26, 2015, 03:03:57 PM »
I mean - if you just started studying, I wouldn't freak out too much. Give it your all and see what comes - that is literally all that you can do.
If towards the end, you see no improvement, you need to be real with yourself. As other posters have said, if you are having problems grasping basic LSAT fundamentals, you are facing more issues that a low LSAT score. Law school is not THAT intellectually difficult, but it does push you in specific ways. For all the problems that the LSAT has, it is actually good at measuring basic things that, without, you are unlikely to succeed. And I don't just mean in law school, I mean as a lawyer. If you are having issues connecting logical dots in logic games, just wait until you are given 100+ pages of bare-fact depositions and and a seemingly endless legal vacuum that is West Law.
But again, I would stick with it. It may just be a bad start or a high plateau that you need to reach.
« on: June 21, 2015, 07:13:54 PM »
1) Learn about the exam and strategies on how to tackle it.
2) Practice applying the strategies untimed on individual questions. You should have strong reasons not only why a given answer is correct, but also why the other ones are 100% incorrect. You should jot down at least short hand reasons either way. This process is going to take a long time to internalize (hence why it is untimed).
3) Once you have untimed under control, practice taking full sections (not full exams). Again, don't worry about timing - but do start noting how long it is taking you.
4) Once you have an idea where your timing is, keep practicing on more exams, adding more sections, reviewing your sections after the fact. The more you do this - and the stronger you focus on your strategies - your time will naturally fall down to where it should be. That said, you should start figuring out ways to maximize points. In other words, if you realize you take too long/keep missing Fallacy questions, skip those and keep them for the end - that way, you can spend your time on questions you can knock out quickly and accurately.
5) Once you are doing 3 sections in a row, getting consistent times/scores, move on to full exams. By this point, your timing and scores should be leveled out. The point now is to solidify your game and boost your confidence.
« on: June 20, 2015, 09:27:40 AM »
Looking at it from an unbiased perspective - my guess is Clinton v. Bush.
Rubio is a strong contender, but is still too green. Obama was green, but had the charisma and smarts to win debates. Clinton would likely annihilate Rubio in debates. Rand Paul is an interesting candidate, but unlikely to garner enough support from the conservative base. Opposite is true for Sanders... interesting candidate, but unlikely to garner enough support from the liberal base.
« on: June 19, 2015, 07:46:32 PM »
The main issue with Kaplan is that they do not use real, licensed LSAT questions. As a result, some other questions are just off. It's been awhile, so I suppose this could have changed, but that was the biggest legitimate complaint back in the day. The difference is real.
I did Kaplan's self-study books in 2012 - it was 100% real LSAT questions. I don't know anything about the actual Kaplan courses though.
Princeton Review's self-study books were 100% fake questions.
I also did the Powerscore books. Of the three, I liked Kaplan the best. Princeton Review was a complete waste of time and Powerscore broke things up just way too much into subcategories - it became more so about learning about powerscore's method than it was about learning how to take the test.
« on: June 18, 2015, 01:52:04 PM »
start asap. the amount of time you need is obviously completely personal to you, however, i think 3-6 months is a good rough guesstamate. Past 6 months and you are likely wasting time - less than 3 months an you will not have had enough time to engrain certain things.
« on: June 05, 2015, 02:53:05 PM »
If you want to live in Oregon, go to Lewis & Clark. Period.
Very roughly speaking, where you go to law school will dictate where you can find a job. This is, of course, reductive - but is generally a decent way of looking at things.
Yale/Harvard and a few other T14: Global pull
T14: National Pull (although some have much better pull in certain regions than others - i.e. GTown has its best pull in the east coast, while Columbia is going to have strong pull even on the West Coast).
T100: Regional-State-County Pull
Rest: County-City Specific Pull
For example, Harvard can get a job literally anywhere. Northwestern can help you get your foot in the door anywhere in the US, although it will have its strongest pull in the mid-west. Vanderbilt can help you get a job in the south, although the best pull in TN. UF in Florida, although the best pull in north florida. UMiami in south florida, although the best pull in Miami. FIU in Miami-Dade. etc. It will be extremely difficult for an FIU alum to find work in New York. But an FIU (ranked 102) alum will have a far easier time finding work in Miami than a USC (ranked 20) alum.
In other words, if you know you want to work in Oregon, your best bet at finding work is to either go to a school in Oregon or go to a T14 law school. This does not mean that you will not be able to find work in Oregon if you go to UW, just that you will be fighting an up-hill battle - especially if you don't have any other connections to Oregon.
Now, if you really don't care where you work, I would strongly consider UW. You will likely have a stronger shot and getting a stronger job in Wisconsin if you go to UW than if you went to LC and tried to get a job in Portland.
Finally, the cost difference is nominal. Really, in the grand scheme of things, $9k - even after interest - is a drop in the bucket.
« on: June 05, 2015, 12:34:39 PM »
To synthesize what others said:
Have a clear understanding of why you are in law school. If the only reason you are in law school is to get into a big law firm (or another high-GPA required job), then dropping out now might make sense. In almost any other scenario, dropping out now likely makes less sense.
But if the thought of dropping out is a real one - regardless of your reasons - I would make an appointment with your Dean of Student Affairs asap. Bring a very concise, clear list of concerns along with a clear understanding of why you are in law school at all.
Finally, note that a law degree is far more than a piece of paper. If you treat law school correctly, a law degree can help you reach your fullest potential as a social individual as well as a professional and an intellectual. This is why JDs are highly regarded even outside of the legal profession. Of course, this shouldn't be the only reason you are in law school - there are far less expensive and less emotionally draining paths you can take for that. But this is something to think about at least.
« on: May 28, 2015, 06:19:51 PM »
1) I agree with Maintain - connections (and your persona) are going to be more important than anything else. Further, music and other arts degrees are not highly represented in the legal profession. This doesn't mean that people can't get work, it just means that, compared to other degrees like political science, those who have a BM or a BFA are not as likely to go into law. That said, from my network, the people that do
go into law with those degrees do rather well. Several use their arts degree as a vehicle to get into the entertainment industry (look up entertainment lawyers working in LA) or use law school as a vehicle to transition into a different industry (look up those degrees in mega big law firms in NY). I know of an attorney who has a BM and a JD, and President Obama recently nominated her to be a federal judge. Most of my friends from music school that decided to go into law have attended a top 30 school. I view it as a double edged sword. On the one hand, you will be viewed as a bit of an outcast because you have different background. On the other hand, you will be able to bring a unique perspective to collective, creative problem solving. In other words, the degree itself is not inherently bad. Whether it is positive or negative is going to really depend on you and the narrative you present to future employers/law schools. Heck, if Reagan (an actor-turned-politician) can become President - you can get into law school.
2) A lot of people (most people) don't end up practicing law. I agree with Maintain - in most situations, you should only go to law school if you actually want to practice law. Of course, there are exceptions. If your family has enough money to pay for it all and going to law school (and working) is more so something to keep you occupied as opposed to a necessity, and you have a deep desire to go to law school... well then, by all means. That said, tons of politicians have law degrees. The training you'll receive will be useful, but by no means necessary. If you are asking whether a law degree will hinder your chances at politics - I would say it would likely not. I mean, it will likely take to time to pay it off - and if you start a family and have kids to attend to, it might hold you back from fully pursing your interests.
4) Maintain answered it.
5) You shouldn't. You'll have interests between now and law school (music), but other than that, you should enter law school with an open mind. That said, if you do have a demonstrated expertise going into law school, you will have a leg up to your peers. Employers do like it if you can say: this is what I have done with my life, this is what I loved about it, this is why I am going to law school, and therefore I obviously want to do transactional work. On the other hand, if you don't have a demonstrated interest and you randomly say the only thing you want to do in life is working on M&A deals (i.e. you are not being sincere), employers will see through you. It would be far better in that situation just to say something like: you really enjoyed your contracts class, property class, and drafting contracts in legal writing, and think you would enjoy working in that, but that you are eager to see what other practice areas are like.
6) I'd say GPA and LSAT amount to about 2/3 or 3/4 of your chances in law school admissions. If you are an underrepresented minority, you will likely get a solid boost there. So your "soft factors" will likely only tip you (or not) over the edge. Generally, the more unique your background, the better (i.e. the more diversity of experience you bring). So an arts background (assuming you tie it into your narrative appropriately) would likely help you out a bit. But again, this is not going to overcome a lousy GPA or LSAT. This is why people say to do an undergrad degree that you enjoy as opposed to one that you merely think will "help you" get into law school. If you actually enjoy what it is you are studying, you are likely to do better in school. The better you do, the better you chances are at getting into a better law school.
7) Straight economics - no. But depending on the school you go to, you might talk about law and economics quite a bit. Usually, the more theory based the law school (which tend to be the higher ranked schools), the more you'll talk about this. The more practice based the law school (which tend to be the lower ranked schools), the less you will talk about this. But even then, law and economics is just a theoretical explanation for making policy decisions or anticipating a holding's practical implications on society. In other words, it is not the primary focus (or even secondary focus) of law school.
The LSAT tests two primary skills: reading comprehension and logical/critical thinking. The LSAT tests these skills in three forms: logic games, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning. Logic games present a factual scenario and ask you intricate questions about logical conclusions. Reading is a relatively non-factor in these sections. By contrast, reading comprehension sections present a few paragraphs worth of jargon filled, detailed, complicated text and ask you rather basic questions like what the main point is. Logic plays a real but minor role, it is highly subservient to being able to comprehend what the heck you just read. Finally, logical reasoning is somewhere in-between. It presents you with a paragraph of rather complex text and asks you intricate questions about logical implications that are based on your ability to discern nuances in the text. It tests logical reasoning and reading comprehension about equally. Note reading comprehension and logical/critical thinking is the basis for law school, but not the only thing. Doing well in law school tests your dedication to work hard and your ability to manage your time independently. Things that are sort of but not really tested on the LSAT.
9) I don't see why taking either the ACT or SAT at least four years before you take the LSAT would be of any help on the LSAT. As you saw in question 8, the LSAT is nothing like any standardized test you will have taken up to that point. There is no math, no verbal, nothing really substantive. It just measures your ability to read and reason. In other words, it is a performance as opposed to a knowledge based exam. You don't "study" for the LSAT, you practice. So taking the ACT over the SAT (both knowledge based exams) is a non-issue. Honestly, I wouldn't think about the LSAT or law school much between now and your junior/senior year of college. Right now, just focus on getting into a school and a major that you will enjoy. In undergrad, focus on getting the best grades you possibly can get while doing extracurricular that you genuinely enjoy. Expand your mind, become a cool individual, learn to love life, etc. That is what undergrad is for.
« on: May 27, 2015, 11:16:00 PM »
I did a BM (bachelor of music) and a MM (master of music) prior to law school. I ended up getting accepted into several of the T14 law schools, including University of Michigan (where I am now), with significant scholarships. In other words, study what you love. Undergrad is merely a time to expand your mind and learn how to become a competent, insightful adult. With exception of professional degrees (i.e. accounting, engineering, etc.), the name on your degree will mean relatively little in the long run.
Also note that studying and loving some theories and tid bits of con law in high schools is likely not what law school of the legal profession is exactly like. That's not to say you won't like law school - it's just not a sufficient reason to change life plans.
« on: May 11, 2015, 09:57:26 PM »
I'll second what Citylaw said.
First, I'm of the view that it is not in anyone's interest to take the LSAT before they are 100% ready. No one can to tell you when you are ready - only you can. And it is clear that you feel like you are not going to be able to showcase the best of your abilities for xyz reason. That is fine - really. Just don't waste your time, money, and psychological fortitude by throwing yourself under the bus before you can bring it. My suggestion is that if you are honestly serious about law school, invest 100% of your energy the 3-6 months before a LSAT exam in preping for it. It's not necessarily about getting X score - it's about getting the best score that you can possibly get.
Second, and as an extension from my above comment, don't fret about a particular score. Yes, you want to sort of keep track of your progress to improve and, yes, you want to aim for that 180. But one thing is having positive mental ambition; it is an entirely separate thing to cripple your progress by obsessing over numbers. Dream big, play (err... prep) hard, and let one come come.
Third, mid 150s is where it's at for most schools. Keep it up and you will have very strong options. My baseline score before I started peeping was around the high 140s and my real LSAT ended up being in the high 160s. A 20 point increase is not impossible - it's just difficult. Again, don't go crazy about trying to get xyz number - your goal is to gain the skills necessary to showcase your fullest potential on the LSAT. That might be a 160 for you or a 170 or a 155. You will know when you are fully prepared.
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