Yes, the PowerScore bibles really are that good. I highly recommend that you get them.
As for a course, it depends on your personal situation. Do you need the structure of a class, or are you disciplined enough to do it on your own? Do you have the time/money for a class? It's entirely possible to improve your score significantly without a class.
I would suggest starting with some LIGHT study. Don't burn yourself out 10 months out. Start buckling down in about 5-6 months.
I'm looking at NYU's application, which says: Optional: New York University School of Law seeks to enroll a student body from a broad spectrum of society, including members of groups underrepresented in the profession. Please indicate here any such groups in which you would include yourself: You are encouraged to attach a brief statement describing aspects of this identity that are relevant to your application.
For me, the answer is honestly no. I don't think that lower-middle class white women from Ivy League schools are particularly underrepresented in law. But is it going to look bad if I don't come up with some sort of answer to this? I feel like anything I come up with would be a stretch and come off sounding insincere.
Anyone know of people accepted who did not fill it out?
If you really find tax interesting, why not write about your interest in that and your related experiences, avoiding both the whole "i want to be a tax lawyer when I grow up" and the "I was a poor kid who worked hard" angles? It could be different, something they don't see in every other application.
Not to mention the fact that this "I was not trying to defraud anyone or steal anything. I simply could not afford to pay $35.00 for the stuff I needed to do well on the test. Everyone I know was doing it." is a pretty stupid quote from someone who managed to get into UCLA law school. Suspiciously stupid.