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Topics - denk

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Lewis & Clark Visit
« on: June 16, 2006, 05:37:44 PM »
Hi everyone - here's a little write-up of my "visit" to Lewis & Clark.  I put the word visit in quotes, because it wasn't a typical law school visitor session.

I've been living in Portland - for 5 years now, and I've wanted to go to Lewis and Clark for a while.  I'm at the beginning of the law school application process (just took the June LSAT), and so I haven't actually scheduled a formal visit to the school.  So you'll see that I can only report on a few aspects of the environment from an outsider's perspective.  But I have been to the law school three times, which I'll get to.

To help put my comments in perspective, here are some other schools I've visited, attended, or worked at:  Purdue U, U of Cincinnati, and Columbia.  Of these three, Columbia's buildings and furnishings was by far the nicest. 

I ended up spending time at L&C Law because I used to date a girl who was at another local college to become a chiropractor. She would drive the 15 minutes from her house in SouthEast Portland to the L&C campus just to study in their law library.  I went with her twice, and so I've actually spent several hours there.  The facility is drop-dead gorgeous and well designed.  You feel like you're in a very nice place.  The atmosphere is ultra-quiet and studious.  There's a photo of it on the L&C website ... you can see all those desk lamps lined up in a long row.  Nice furniture, plenty of electrical outlets to plug a laptop into.  When you're in the buildings, you can tell a talented architect was at work; very high ceilings, lots of feeling of space, and excellent use of the surrounding environment.

If you've seen any of their materials, you'll know that L&C is basically in the middle of an old-growth forest.  The buildings were completely designed to maximize this; for example, the law library's wall facing the forest is basically one entire, huge, windowed wall.  Maybe 20 or 30 feet high.  You feel like you are in the forest.  And, something I noticed was that when outside the buildings, the effect of the walls of semi-tinted windows causes the forest to be reflected in them - the buildings fit well into the natural environment.

Lewis and Clark's facility has the same level of care and attention paid to them as at Columbia.  Personally, I find this important.  When I went to Univ of Cincinnati (studying Computer Science), the facilities were fairly standard state-school / high school ugly.  Designed with their ability to be easily cleaned in mind.  :P   I prefer to be in an environment that feels adult.

The third time I went to the law school campus was 3 weeks ago.  I took my Black Lab, and we walked around the area.  The law school has its own mini-campus seperated from the rest of L&C.  It's about a 5 minute walk to the main campus, which is big - has the feeling of a large private school.

Some students were hanging around.  A few were playing softball in between a couple of buildings.  Others were sort of lounging around or walking somewhere.  Everyone seemed pretty friendly - if I'd wanted to ask a question, I felt like they easily would have taken the time to help.  I saw one girl walk into a building along with her German Sheppard.  The students also seemed to not be too homogenous.  I saw a couple of freaky (in a good way) looking characters, a few conservative ones... an ok mix.

Walking around with my dog, I got more of a feel for the place.  Lots of nice paths with dense foliage along the way.  Very SW Portland ... more on that later.  Lots of designed-in benches and congregating areas.  No one freaked out because I had a dog with me.  I also parked in a restricted parking space for the 20 minutes or so.  And my car wasn't ticketed or towed!  (This ain't NYC...)

On the downside...

First, I have to explain a little about Portland.  Portland's a very dense, easy to navigate city.  "Everything is 10 minutes away from everything else."  That's pretty much true.  There are four sections of the city, each with their own feel and subculture: SE, NE, NW and SW.

NE, SE and NW all have one thing in common; they're very neuveau-urban:  Huge bicycle culture, bike lanes everywhere, everything laid out on a nice grid, etc.  Things are close together and livable - every neighborhood has a grocery store, hardware store you can walk to, etc.  And these are also the neighborhoods that I've personally lived in - SE and NE.  Now, there's a big divide between the East and the West side, but that's not too important right now.

And what about SW Portland?  Well, that's where L&C is.  It's also a beautiful part of town, but it's very hilly, and much more car-based part of town.  More inhabited by families than singles and fun neighborhoods with bars.  This is all very relative, of course - it's 8 minutes from L&C to downtown, which is a piece of cake compared to most cities.  It's far from being isolated.  And I have yet to hang out with L&C students to see what they do - do they hang out around the school?  There's not really much to walk to.  It's not like Columbia, U.C. or Purdue in that respect.  As far as I can tell, you can't just all agree to meet up across the street for a beer.  (Without getting in a car.)

You can see that I'm fairly anti-automobile.  With a car, this is all no big deal.  There MAY BE good bike routes to the school from downtown - I haven't looked into it yet.  And, Portland is huge for having many many local nice bars and cafes - people here are very into going out for happy hour, hearing live music, etc.  So it's likely that L&C students might meet up at other places...  Just not near the school.  To see what I mean about the local housing, look at the places for rent on this page from L&C:

These pictures give you a very good feel for the neighborhood that L&C is in.  But if you're willing to live 10 minutes away by car, then way cooler neighborhoods are everywhere, like this one: (my neighborhood)

So - I hope that helps.  If anyone has any questions about Portland, I'm happy to answer them.  One last thing I can tell you about L&C is that, from talking to people over my time here, L&C Law is the first choice for everyone.  Definitely, in the state of Oregon, L&C has an awesome reputation.

Also, if there's a lot of interest, I could swing by and take some pictures.  I want to try biking it some time soon...

ABA to Require Schools to Report Highest LSAT Scores from Multiple Tests, Rather Than Average Scores

At its June 8-11 meeting in Cleveland, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar voted to change its data collection procedures to require law schools in computing the 75th percentile, median, and 25th percentile LSAT scores of their entering classes to report the highest score of matriculants who took the test more than once. The ABA's prior rules had required schools to report the average LSAT score of students who took multiple tests.  The rule change follows similar action taken by the Law School Admission Council.  Although the change will encourage students to take the LSAT more than once, current LSAC rules limits applicants to three tests in any two-year period.


Can anyone comment on a school they've visited or attend?  It's important for me to find a school I feel good at culturally, and it's a little hard to get the relevant info from US News and World Report.

About me; I'm very liberal, a critical thinker.  A semi-pro musician.  Into community activism and local politics.  I usually live and work in the "edgy" or artistic part of the town I'm in.  The more freaks the better.  :-)  I'm not going to law school for the money - I'm happy, monetarily, with what I earn with my B.S.

It's important for me to go to a school where there are both White and Black people, and they actually (gasp) socialize, study together, etc. - does that exist?

I'll probably have a GPA of 3.0 or so, and an LSAT of 168-ish.

Thanks for any feedback!

Studying for the LSAT / Portland, Oregon meetup
« on: June 14, 2006, 01:06:37 AM »
Looking for other LSD'ers who want to get a beer and talk about the June test, Lewis and Clark...

Ok, I thought it'd be interesting for us to get a feel for how people did - whether people actually completed the test, or not.  And if not, how many questions they were forced to just guess for.  And this is especially because our scores are really about how well we do compared to each other.

Personally, I messed up one LG, had to start over, and on another, I skipped two.  And on the super-hard LR section, I think I might have had 1-2 that I skipped and just guessed.  I forget.

So I have 6-7 questions that I simply filled in "D" for.

By the way, one caveat I see is that people here on this site most likely score better than the average test taker.  Therefore, the poll results will most likely not be "average".

Studying for the LSAT / For everyone who just wants to cry ...
« on: June 13, 2006, 12:15:23 AM »
I do.

I haven't gone out drinking. (yet.)  Maybe I ought to.

Studying for the LSAT / I found an error in Preptest #37
« on: June 12, 2006, 01:50:46 AM »
I'm convinced I've found an error in this test: June 2002.  I know I'm being vague, but I wanted to see if anyone's heard of this before.

Studying for the LSAT / What's up with THESE crazy-ass LG questions?
« on: June 11, 2006, 12:37:24 AM »
Somewhere in test numbers 33 and 34 and 35, the test makers developed a penchant for putting in one question per game such as:

"Suppose that the condition requiring that X has more options than W is replaced by a new condition requiring..."

These kill me!  I've got my main set-up, and I've already put in all my deductions, and then deductions based on deductions, etc.  I can't go back and change one!  Are they nuts?

What I'd like to know:

1)  Anyone else hate these too?  How do you cope?

2)  Does this question type appear on the much more recent tests?

3)  Do I need to somehow differentiate the "given" info from my deductions in my charts?  (Maybe colored pencils - crazy!)

Studying for the LSAT / Is this Radio Shack timer allowed?
« on: June 08, 2006, 08:43:44 PM »
I bought this and disabled the speaker.  But now I'm not sure if it meets the LSAC criteria.  It looks a lot more simple than the "advanced" power score timer, which is not allowed.  This Radio Shack model has three functions: clock, timer 1 and timer 2.  LSAC's policy says that a timer cannot be programmable or have "key buttons".  As an IT Consultant, I have no idea what a "key button" is. 

So how about it - has anyone actually used this timer, or one nearly identical on a test?

Studying for the LSAT / Position: The LSAT *is* a very good test.
« on: June 07, 2006, 12:32:10 PM »
A very short argument on why the LSAT is a "good" test, by yours truly

Like everyone else, I've been thinking about the LSAT while studying for it. I'm taking the test on Monday.  I've felt very mixed about it, but now have decided that - more than not - it's a decent test.  Here's why.

First, note some important attributes:

  • High pressure due to the time limits.
  • High pressure due to a mix of predictability and unpredictability. (Will there be a LG that kills you?)
  • Large community of study books, classes, groups, forums, etc.
  • A large part of the test is learnable in a short period of time - LG and LR.
  • The test seems to require some core traits that can only be learned over a long period of time - knowledge of boolean logic, common fallacies, vocabulary, reading skills, etc.
  • Scoring that's NOT based on how well you do.  Rather, how well you do compared to the other test takers.
  • High pressure based on the knowledge of the scoring scale.

Now, in response to realizing all of this, most of us (myself included) have had the impression that the test isn't very valid - after all, if everyone's out there studying for it, then I've got to study for it like crazy too.  Maybe it's just testing how crazy we all are.  Or, if everyone can go take classes and get great scores, then's what's the point?

But I've changed my mind.  I think the test makes sense.  Why? Look at that list I compiled.  To me, it looks an awful lot like it could also be describing law school. 

Yes, the LSAT is learnable.  But if you can get off your ass and learn that kind of stuff on your own - then good for you!  You'll do great in law school!  Especially on the LR and LG sections:  If you're able to learn how to solve these kinds of problems, then you should be able to learn how to solve legal problems for your classes.  Another way of phrasing my thesis is that the LSAT is testing your learnability to become a lawyer.  I believe that studying and taking the LSAT is akin to an independent study course in legal reasoning.


1. I've never been to law school - I've only seen it on TV.

2. I'm scoring well on the preptests (90th percentile or better), and so I may be disposed to finding that the test is a reasonable one.

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