« on: March 18, 2004, 11:53:49 AM »
No, non-trads are like people who have a family, have been out of school for quite a long time and things like that. I am kind of like you in that I'm only taking a couple years off and working before going to law school. Taking a couple years off and working and/or doing another degree isn't anything out of the ordinary, especially these days. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out how you're 22 yrs old, already done with college, had time to work (and leave) a job and then get into a Masters program you'll be done with next year (did you graduate early, or do you just have a late birthday, like May/June/July? Did you apply for a Masters program while in college?). I'm wondering because most people I know who graduated in May, including myself, are 23 right now. Honestly, I wasn't sure whether or not people like us were considered non-traditional at first, either, because I've only recently started to realize that OLDER people/people with families attend law school more frequently than I assumed (I kind of thought law school was going to be a bunch of 20-somethings, but that's not necessarily so).
Now, there are other ways to stand out. You don't have to go out of your way to do so. Whoever you are should be enough--you just have to highlight the best and most unique things about you than indicate you can succeed in law school--and this is something a lot of people don't understand (most people seem to think they have to be a minority to stand out). If you want to know what kinds of things/qualities law schools are looking for in their applicants and what can make you stand out, check out Richard Montauk's "How To Get into the Top Law Schools." It's an excellent book with information on everything you'll need to know since I can tell you need a lot of guidance. I know it sucks to be around people who don't know what they're talking about, so that's why I've spent years reading what I can about law school.
Okay, now to talk about the LSAT (and this is just my opinion here...)...like a lot of people who just don't know/haven't been advised well, your approach seems kind of backwards to me. First thing, you shouldn't take the LSAT to see how you'll do because that does more damage than you know. Most schools average LSAT scores; they don't take the highest one. You should ONLY take it when you are ready! But what's done is done.
Next...a lot of people you'll find on law school message boards are, what I like to refer to as, "elitist" when it comes to law school. Admittedly, I advocate this approach for myself...but not necessarily for everyone because some people truly don't care about going to the "best" or top-ranked law schools or just can't do that. But...I STILL think that no one should look at law school as one entity...there are a bunch of law schools out there and they're not all equal/the same, and that's the approach I always advise people to take...meaning...don't say, "I want to go to law school," then take the LSAT, get a score and then prep to get a better score or--also like a lot of people do when they don't realize any better--take the LSAT and THEN say, "What schools can I get into?" which kind of sounds like what you'll be doing after you're done with Princeton Review.
I say think about WHAT law schools you'd be interested in attending right after you make the decision to go to law school, be them top 20 or third tier or a mixture, then look up what LSAT scores they accept people with...THEN go to a place like PR and work towards getting into those score ranges. Don't work towards getting to avg PR score improvement; try to get the best score you can. Like Xray said, it'll be essential, especially depending on what schools you'll be interested in.
Xray is also right in that most people don't do a "pre-law" major...at most schools, there's not even any such thing. A lot of people equate Political Science with pre-law, but so many people study other things--I studied Psychology/Neuroscience with minors in English and Philosophy. In general, law schools don't pay too much attention to your major, unless you've studied something traditionally seen as really challenging or something they view as really bs (which Communications IS, by some schools, as you will see if you do check out Montauk's book). Everything else in between, they don't care too much. It doesn't matter in being seen traditional/non-traditional.
Feel free to send me a private message if you want to talk more or have any questions.