Law School Discussion

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11
Law School Applications / Let's make a general Applications FAQ
« on: August 23, 2006, 04:11:51 PM »
I think it might be a good idea. Once it is finished it could be stickied. Please post if you have any corrections or additions. Here's what I have so far, obviously this is quite incomplete:

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Where can I find a list of everything I need to do?
Go to the 'What Do You Need To Go Complete?' thread: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,67296.0.html

With my GPA of X, what LSAT should I plan to get to get into school Y?
You'd be stupid to go for anything other the best score you can get.  Worry about school Y when you get your LSAT.

Okay, I took the LSAT. Where can I plug in my LSAT and GPA score to find out my chances of getting in?
Here: http://officialguide.lsac.org/UGPASearch/Search3.aspx?SidString=

When does School X start accepting apps?
Check the list: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,69208.0.html. If your school isn't there, check their site and reply to the thread with the info you find.

What's Early Action and Early Decision? Which one is binding and which one is non binding?
Generally, Early Action refers to a program in which you apply early  (by October or November) and receive a decision early (by December). You are not bound to attend if you are accepted and you are not required to make a decision earlier than a normal applicant. You may apply to multiple Early Action programs.

Early Decision usually refers to a program in which you apply early (about the same timetable as Early Action) but are contractually bound to attend the school if you are accepted. If you are accepted, you are expected to withdraw all other applications. You are only allowed to apply Early Decision to one school.

Some schools do not use the traditional early decision/action terminology. Texas, for example, has a Early Decision program that is not binding and resembles the Early Action program described above. Make sure you read all the fine print for any Early Action/Early Decision programs you apply to.

How much money do I need for all this?
If you haven't registered or taken the LSAT yet, you will need $116 to register, plus money for any needed preparation materials.

Registration for the LSDAS costs $109 (one time fee). You will need $12 for each LSDAS report you need (one for each school you apply to) in addition to each school's application fee. Most schools charge about $50-$80. Some schools offer application discounts if you submit electronically.

Dean's Certificate? WTF?
This link tells you all you need to know: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,46044.0.html

What books can I read to find more information on applying to law school
The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, Anna Ivey: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0156029790/
How To Get Into The Top Law Schools, Richard Montauk: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0735203768/


Fee Waivers

How do I get a fee waiver?
To receive merit based fee waivers, you should sign up for the Candidate Referral Service on the LSAC website. If you have registered for the LSAT or LSDAS you may have already registered for CRS. To check, go to www.lsac.org --> Online Services --> Profile --> Authorization.

To receive a need based fee waiver, fill out the application on the LSAC website. Go to Online Services --> Fee Waiver.

Ahh, I haven't gotten any fee waivers yet and I'm signed up for CRS. Am I screwed?
No, many high scoring LSD posters here have not yet received fee waivers. As of August 23rd, only about a dozen or so schools have sent out merit fee waivers. Many more schools will begin to send out fee waivers later in the application cycle.

For more information about fee waivers and which schools have sent them, go here: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,68633.0.html

LSDAS

What's LSDAS?
The Law School Data Assembly Service. This service analyzes your transcripts and sends reports to each law school you apply to which include your transcript report, your LSAT score, and your letters of recommendation. If you are applying to ABA approved law schools, you need to register for this?

How do I get LSAC to analyze my transcript?
You will need to request a transcript sent from all colleges and universities you have attended. You can not send them your own transcript. Go to Online Services --> My Docs --> Forms and scroll down to Transcript Request Form. Click on your college name and print out the form. Have your school send that form along with your transcript to LSAC.

How do they calculate my LSDAS GPA?
LSAC converts your grades to a standard 4.0 system. Some class grades are excluded from conversion. Your LSDAS GPA may be different than the GPA on your transcript. For more information on how they process transcripts, see page 27 of http://www.lsac.org/pdfs/2006-2007/informationbk2006.pdf

What's their GPA rounding policy?
They round up if the thousandths digit of the GPA is 7 or higher. Therefore a 3.576 GPA gets rounded down to 3.57 while a 3.577 gets rounded up to 3.58. See this thread for more details: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,68604.0.html

Recommendations

What's the LSAC Letter of Recommendation service (LOR)?
It is a service that allows recommenders to send one LOR to LSAC and have that letter copied and sent to all schools you are applying to.

Do I have to use this?
Most schools have a separate LOR form attached to their application that they allow you to use instead of the LOR service.

Do any schools not allow the LOR service?
As far as I can tell, all schools allow LORs to be submitted through LSAC. A few schools (most notably Stanford and Columbia) prefer their own form used instead of the LOR service. Check their websites for details.

Online Applications

How do I get the online applications to work in Firefox?
The Omniform Internet Filler plugin that you are asked to install automatically list Program Files\Internet Explorer\plugins as its destination folder.  During setup you have to change this to point to Firefox.  In the window that that gives you three options for installing the plug-in (Netscape, IE, Standalone) click the "Location" button next to the Internet Explorer option and do the following in the window that opens:

1. Click on Program Files
2. Scroll down and click on Mozilla Firefox
3. Scroll down and click on Plugins.
4. Click OK.
5. Make sure install for use with Microsoft Explore is selected and continue with installation

After installation, restart the browser and it should work perfectly.
 

Why is IE giving me a hard time when I try to download this Active X control to use the applications?
You need to add LSAC to your Trusted Sites zone. Go to Tools --> Internet Options --> Security tab. Hit Trusted Sites and click on the Sites button. Add "*.lsac.org" (without the quotes) to the Trusted Sites zone.

How do I save my applications?
Hit the submit button on the toolbar near the top. Although it says submit, it will simply save your application (your application won't yet be submitted to schools).

How does the Common Information Form work?
Open up the Common Information Form, fill it out with your information. When you start a new application, the information from the Common Info form will transfer onto the new application.

If you edit your Common Information form after you begin an application, the changes will not transfer to each individual application. You will need to make the changes on each application.

Do make sure to thoroughly check the responses to each question filled in by the Common information form - sometimes it does not transfer information properly.

If I want to add an addendum explaining my low LSAT score, do I have to mail that in?
No, you can attach it electronically. There is a field on each school's online application page that allows you to attach files to your application. You can use this to attach your addendum as well as your personal statement, resume, etc. You can upload files of the following types: DOC, RTF, TXT, HTML, WP, WPD, WPT and PDF

Can I submit my ED contract/Dean's certification/instate tuition form online?
No. Those and any other forms from the 'Supplementary Forms' link must be printed out and mailed to the schools.


Resume

Can I attach a resume instead of answering these questions about work and ECs in these tiny spaces on the application?
Many schools request that you answer those questions on the application, even if you are also submitting a resume. It's probably a good idea to answer them unless you're told something to the effect of 'you may attach a resume in lieu of answering these questions'.

One page or two?
The debate rages on: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,69361.0.html

----

Thanks to contributors bass, East of Ann Arbor, and BrerAnansi.

12
Law School Applications / LSN fix for blank profiles(kinda)
« on: August 22, 2006, 12:03:40 PM »
I haven't seen this posted yet, so I apologize if it has. If your profile is blank where it lists all the schools you're applying to, edit your profile and change back to 2005-06 application cycle. You'll get an error message, but if you view your profile again your schools will be listed again. I didn't figure this out until I had created a brand new profile :(

13
Law School Applications / Rant about applications here.
« on: August 08, 2006, 04:44:13 PM »
The online applications are basically copies of the paper applications with the ability to type in stuff right there. So instead of the ease that computer applications usually bring, these applications are basically one step above typewriter + paper app.

I attend a University of <insert state here>, <insert location here> and all 35ish characters aren't fitting in the spots given by the schools. My school isn't the flagship campus so I can't leave out the location, nor is it popular enough to just use an abbreviation (such as UCLA). Grr.

The applications that ask for high schools suck too, my HS name has 50 characters :(

Several applications ask for detailed discriptions of job duties, extra curricular activities and expect you to fit it in a very small space. They do not allow you use a resume in lieu of completing that section.

NYU asks for a current address (I'll be in my college dorm for the majority of the application cycle) and does not ask for an end date for that address.

The common data form is a pain in the ass. I put in my parents names and they end up in the wrong places on the application (mother in father's space and vise versa). It ends up abbreviating my major, which seems inappropriate (and fortunately, most applications have the 17 spaces for Political Science).

The application winners appear to be Maryland and Georgetown- neither presented me with any problems. Michigan was a great app until it decided to assume that we all attend colleges with names under 25 letters.

14
Recommendations / Should I ask this person for a LOR?
« on: July 27, 2006, 05:59:44 PM »
Right now I have two academic LORs lined up. Both professors will have good things to say about me (had the highest class average in a course with each of them) but nothing extraordinary.

Last spring, I was an intern at the Public Defender's office and I've been wondering whether I should ask one of the attorneys that supervised me to write a LOR. I'm applying straight out of undergrad and don't have much in the way of work experience, so I'm seeing such a LOR as potentially a way to improve a weak part of my application.

This letter would be very positive, however, I did basically typical intern stuff during my internship there. This letter wouldn't be able to talk much about my writing abilities, for example. I'm also a bit concerned because the attorney in question probably hasn't written many (if any) law school LORs- it's only a been a few years since she finished law school herself.

Any input on whether I should request a third LOR from this person?

15
Law School Applications / Help me figure this out
« on: July 11, 2006, 11:53:45 PM »
I'm currently spending my summer at home, a few states away from where I got to school, and won't be able to ask my reccomenders to write letters until I go back in late August, so I'm trying to figure out how soon they'll need to have the letters done if I want to apply early action in a few places.

To use conservative estimates, it should take two weeks after my letters are sent in for LSAC to process those letters. At that time I'll have a complete LSDAS file. I can then send it on to the schools I apply to, and it will take about two weeks for the schools to get my completed LSDAS file. If I need a completed file by 11/15, my letters should be sent by 10/15- four weeks before. This sound like a reasonable estimate?

Thanks for any advice.

16
Studying for the LSAT / The Cold Hard Facts of the June 2006 LSAT
« on: July 06, 2006, 06:57:18 PM »
I'd like to leave something more for future test takers- basically a summary of the things we know and the things we don't know about the LSAT and our LSAT experience. There's a lot of speculation and misinformation that goes around, and hopefully this can cut down on that a bit. The knowledgable test takers are less likely to be posting here come September, so that's why I'd like to compile this information now.

If you have something to add, please do so. If you think there is something here that isn't supported by the facts, speak up. I've placed a question mark by information that I'm not 100% sure on, so please confirm/deny that information.

General info

There were 100 questions on the four scored sections of the June 2006 LSAT. No questions were thrown out.

The second section was the experimental section for all test takers.

Each test taker had one of the following test forms(?):
LR(26), EXP, LG, RC, LR(25)
LG, EXP, LR(26), RC, LR(25)
LR(26), EXP, LG, LR(25), RC
LG, EXP, LR(26), LR(25), RC

LR(26) is the 26 question LR section, LR(25) is the 25 question LR section.

There were 22 questions on the LG section and 27 questions on the RC question.

Test takers recieved one of two writing prompts- one in which you were asked to choose between two options for a theater that wanted to put on a play and another one in which you were asked to evaluate an argument that claims to show that the central banker's focus on curbing inflation is misguided.

Score release date

The scores for the June 2006 LSAT were released on Thursday, June 29th starting at approximately 4pm. Not everyone recieved their score at that time, many LSD posters did not report getting their score until 5 or 6PM.

Prior to the release of the scores, the score release date was listed as 6/29 in some areas of the LSAC website and 7/3 on other areas of the LSAC website. About two days(?) before the test, the 6/29 references were replaced with 7/3.

(Pure speculation: LSAC has a real release date and a public release date. The public release date is a few days later in order to avoid complaints if the scores are delayed by a day or two for whatever reason)

The score emails had the subject line of "Your June 2006 LSAT Score" and were from LSAC SCORE, lsacscore@lsac.org

The text read:
Quote from: LSAC
Please do not reply to this email.  E-mail sent to this address cannot be answered.
Please contact us with your comments, questions, or concerns at LSACinfo@LSAC.org.
Please provide your LSAC account number in all correspondence.

Dear NAME,

LSAC account number:    L ########

Your June 12, 2006 LSAT score is ###.  The percentile rank is ##.

A copy of your LSAT Score Report will be available in the LSAT section of the MY
DOCS folder in your Online Services account at www.lsac.org.  Other test related
documents (in accordance with LSAC disclosure policies) may also be available in the
folder.

Law School Admission Council

The day prior to the release, a schedule maintaince notice was posted on the LSAC website. The online services were down between 9AM and 12PM EST on Thursday the 29th.

LSD poster chrisls1bird reports reciving his score email approximately five minutes after his score was posted on the LSAC website.

The Scale

The following is an incomplete scale for the June 2006 LSAT. There were no raw scores that produced a 176 or 123.

The first number is the LSAT score, the second number is the lowest possible raw score needed to obtain that LSAT score.

180 - 99
175 - 95
170 - 90
165 - 84
160 - 76
155 - 67
150 - 58
145 - 49
140 - 40
135 - 32
130 - 25
125 - 19
120 - 0

You can compare this with previous scales here: http://powerscore.com/lsat/help/correct_targeted.htm

According to a LSD poll, and assuming no one voted after the test results were posted (last post in thread was June 15), 43.4% guessed the -10 for 170 scale correctly. Poll is here: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,65076.0.html

Post-mortem

Following the test, many LSD posters helped construct a post-mortem for the test, consisting of agreed upon answers to the questions. While many questions were quite controversial (I think we had some questions where people claimed their different answers were both 99% right), the majority was right on all RC questions and about 49 of 51 LR questions. The LG post mortem does not appear to contain any obvious errors, but it was incomplete.

Test rules

LSD posters reported a wide variation on the enforcement of LSAC rules. Some test centers did not strictly enforce (or enforce at all) rules regarding cell phones, food, drink, reading material in the testing room.

It appears that some (but not all) people were not allowed to use the Deluxe silent timers sold by Powerscore, but no problems were reported with other timers (? - post if you did have a problem).

17
Studying for the LSAT / The controversial questions thread.
« on: June 29, 2006, 04:50:42 PM »
#14, Section B (first LR section). This was the advanced weapons/dexterity question- the answer was B- advanced weapons.

#20, Section B (first LR section) This was the environmentalist question - the answer was B, appliances containing heavy metals should not be incinerated.

#16, Section D, second LR section- this was the beautiful art question. The answer was A- "The most beautiful artworks are the best artworks"

#19, Section B, first LR section- this was the free market question and the answer was D- "Any salary that a team owner is willing to pay for the services of a professional athlete is a fair salary"

#24, Section D (second LR section)- this was the Molly's garden PR reasoning question- the correct answer was A, "Most gardeners are people with a great deal of patience. Since Molly's classmates are gardeners, at least one of Molly's classmates must be a person with great patience."

#23, section D, second LR section. Answer was D- overlooks the possibility that self-disparagment and being dismissive of others can result from something other than comparing oneself to others.

Fruit, #7, Section B, first LR- answer E- "It is safe to eat any fruit that is uninfected"

#6, section D, second LR- half-horse question, answer was A "fails to show that the mytical creature mentions represents the horse in people's minds"

#10, Section B, first LR- prestige question, answer is E- "the motive for purusing wealth beyond what one's basic needs require is ever anything other than the desire for prestige or high status"



Any other questions that people would like me to look at? Appears that many haven't recieved their scores yet.

18
Studying for the LSAT / I just got my score (not joking)
« on: June 29, 2006, 04:05:05 PM »
I just recieved an email from LSAC at 3:57. Anyone else get an email yet?

19
Studying for the LSAT / Rate your test proctors
« on: June 13, 2006, 04:22:20 PM »
Just curious to see what people thought of their proctors, and how the rules were enforced at their testing centers.

I was pleased with my proctors- they got the test started around 12:50 or so (don't remember, I set my watch to 11:25 to use as a timer). The head proctor used a stopwatch, so I feel pretty sure we got a full 35 minutes for each section. They seemed pretty lax on the rules - food, water, reading material, cell phones were all okay in the room as long as they were off and under the table during the test (unfortunately I didn't bring any).

Upon request of some other test takers, they gave ten and five minute warnings, although I would have prefered they not give the ten minute warning. They also seemed lax in getting rid of beeping timers, which I found a bit annoying.

They also let us leave as soon as we completed our writing section, without having to wait the full thirty five minutes.

On the 120-180 scale, I'll give my proctors a 175.

Combined with a good testing center (a hotel conference room, with nice big tables), I think I had a pretty good testing experience, outside of the difficult questions themselves (death to maize).

20
Studying for the LSAT / Weekend reading material?
« on: June 09, 2006, 03:46:50 PM »
Tomorrow I'm going to head to the library to pick up something to read this weekend- I think I'm at the point where more studying isn't going to help much.

Any suggestions on something to read that isn't super dense but will help keep my mind sharp? Any fellow Monday test-takers have something they plan on reading?

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