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Messages - dsds3581

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Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Help & Advise please
« on: February 25, 2004, 01:57:51 PM »
I've heard similar things as to what that attorney told you, both from students and attorneys. But as Nathanielmark stated, there are still attorneys who didn't attend 1st or 2nd-tier schools who are doing fine! Even the attorneys who have expressed their frustration that firms seem to favor those students who either attend high-ranking schools or who rank high in their class and have advised me to go to the best school I can are doing well.

I do think it's a bit risky, though, to go to a lower-tier school, especially in this job economy because students from higher-tier schools probably have more of an advantage now than ever.

However, I think it also depends on where you live. For instance, I live in an area where there aren't really that many high-ranking law schools and where not a lot of people go away to high-ranking law schools and come back to work...which means the firms around here will be hiring the graduates from these area schools, mainly.

I'd advise you to go to the best school you can get into, afford and attend (in that is it in a convenient locale) and to make the best grades you can.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: some advice please....
« on: February 24, 2004, 05:30:46 PM »
Hmmm...well, I feel that, with your stats, you should still be able to get into a first-tier school...I'm just not sure about the ones you applied to (GW and Emory). The only school of these schools I know anything about is Emory, and that's only because I went there undergrad...Emory's admissions are getting tougher. From what I remember being told by an Emory admissions office (Janet Balej, I believe, is her name), they don't really care for LSAT scores under 160 (though, with a 159 and a 3.87 GPA, I still wouldn't count you out). Still, Emory is definitely raising their standards a lot in terms of who they accept and numbers...and had you applied a few years ago, I would have felt better about your chances there...all I can offer is that I wouldn't be surprised either way (if you get in or if you get rejected).

Looking at USNews, you're in the range for the other schools you applied to (GPA above the 75th, even)...even Cardozo (and getting rejected there doesn't make your chances at Emory look too good) it really sucks that they waitlisted you. But, hopefully, you can get into Temple, American and/or Brooklyn. The fact that you haven't heard yet might be good, if these schools have already rejected people (but, then, I think Emory sends out acceptances before rejections).

Good luck!

Law School Admissions / Re: Index Number Site
« on: February 24, 2004, 02:10:11 PM »
I am in TN...I just tried it again for the third time, and it's not working think I was right--the server just keeps going down on the site.

It's definitely a cool little spreadsheet, though. I saved it on my lap top when I got it to come up, keep trying it every now and again and download it to your computer when you finally get it to work.

Law School Admissions / Re: VERY USEFUL!!!
« on: February 24, 2004, 11:08:08 AM »
Works for me now, too...didn't work the first time I tried it, so I suspect server problems. You do need to have Excel, though.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: 3.78/178
« on: February 22, 2004, 08:35:53 PM »
I mainly agree with Lamie, though I wouldn't go so far as to say "all" who apply to the top 5 schools have near-perfect scores/GPA (SO many people throw in apps to these schools just for the hell of it, some with lower numbers apply because they really do want to attend, and then just about everyone with top numbers applies).

You know that with HYS, there's never going to be someone who can predict your chances...though I'd say you have the best shot at Harvard since they accept more people/have a bigger class than Yale and Stanford. Stanford seems to really just be rejecting all kinds of outstanding students this year, from looking at (if you're just going to go on numbers, which as Lamie said, is not a wise thing to do with the top 5 schools). Some students have gotten into both Harvard and Yale and rejected at Stanford. And, though your LSAT score is bomb for just about any school, your GPA is closer to the 25th percentile for Yale (though I don't know what school you got that GPA from). It's not a bad GPA at all (Harvard's 25th is about the same as Yale's, and Stanford's is lower than both of theirs...all of their 25th's are lower than your GPA, from looking at USNews), but with the fact that Yale has the lowest acceptance rate and a small class size...again, I'd say out of HYS, you have the most realistic shot at Harvard.

With NYU and Columbia, I'd be surprised if you didn't get in--I think you will, unless something is really wrong with something else in your application. I'm kind of surprised you haven't heard from any of these schools yet...when did you apply?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT as an indicator
« on: February 20, 2004, 01:32:45 PM »
Lovin1L, that's not what I got from Kslaw's post, personally. I don't think most people see the LSAT as an "end all/be all" to performance in law school and being an attorney, but I do think a lot of people disregard or lessen the signifance/purpose of the LSAT and resent the exam--I saw this as being more like what Kslaw is saying, pointing out the role of the LSAT, and I basically agree.

I think the LSAT measures a bit more than simply your performance on it, though I'm sure it doesn't tell the complete--or even half--the story of performance in law school. I do, at least, see a relationship between the skills needed on the LSAT and the skills needed in being an attorney...and, from the help I've received in studying for the LSAT from current law students, some skills needed in law school. One law student helped me a little with the LR section by showing me something a professor taught at her law school, which she feels, had she known when she was taking the LSAT, could have helped her on the LR section. No, I'm not yet in law school, so I couldn't entirely know--fair enough. But, like you said, we're just discussing opinions. We're not claiming to know anything.

And, not to be mean, but it's a little funny that you're in law school and telling someone that they don't know what they are talking about simply because they aren't in law school, yet are making leaps about what someone is saying--the kind of interpretive leaps that, it seems, someone who is in law school would know a little bit better than to make. Kslaw wasn't just talking about the LSAT and law school--but that the test-taking doesn't just end with the LSAT and that, later on, more will be at stake based on tests (such as whether or not you'll even be able to practice law). Bottom line, one of these days, there's going to be a test you're going to HAVE to do well on.

And I dislike standardized tests, too, and see the biases--I feel that my SAT scores had little to do with how I did in college--but the one thing I do like about the LSAT is that I see it as being one of the few standardized tests that has more than a little relevance to the program you're trying to get into (but doesn't necessarily say that you'll do well or you won't, but logical/critical/analytical skills are there). It's an opinion--I might, in fact, find differently when I enter law school.

In terms of the biases of the LSAT mentioned by know, I think just about every part of the admissions process is biased. People focus on the biases of the LSAT the most, though. But even Fungoking mentioned how the GPA is biased, without outright stating so, by showing how it can be affected by other things...such as did you have to work through college. And I, personally, have more of a problem with GPA than the LSAT, in terms of biases. Some law schools reward students who went to top undergraduate schools and punish students who went to lower-ranked schools in the index number, when it could easily be that the student from the lower-ranked undergraduate with a 4.0 truly is just as good as the student from the higher-ranked one with a 3.75 but just simply couldn't afford to go to that higher-ranked school or got a scholarship to the lower-ranked one. I feel like the legal profession is a one in which the doors to it are more open to students who have "more" than the ones with "less" because students with "more" CAN take prep courses, CAN go to the top undergraduate schools, CAN afford law school...and where you go to undergrad can affect to ease of your major and GPA (a lot of people feel that lower-ranked schools are easier, but what about "grade inflation" at those top undergraduateschools that are overly-represented in the number of students they send to top law schools??), taking a prep course can affect your LSAT score...I mean, people advise "take a prep course" as if everyone can do it--they can't. I can go on and on, but the point is that there are biases everywhere in the admissions process!

Finally--I actually don't see anything wrong with taking a prep course, if you can. The LSAT is not a test of innate ability. This is a test that most people basically learn, as long as the ability to learn it is there. Some people DO go in without studying and do well--not many, though. Everyone else studies prep material. If you're going to sit there and study "Cracking the LSAT" and "10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests" is that THAT much different than taking a prep course? In prep courses, they familiarize you with the test by giving you strategies and practice questions. With "Cracking the LSAT" and "10 Actual..." you're doing the same thing. All you're doing is sharpening and/or learning some skills (and, to me, not really even "learning" but mainly "sharpening" because everything I've learned about the LSAT so far were things I knew already, on some level, but just needed them pointed out)...skills that even the people who naturally do well had to learn SOMEWHERE. There's nothing wrong with learning how to do this test and learning skills that help make a successful lawyer and a successful law student.

The distinguishing factor is that there are some people who just aren't going to be able to learn these! I saw it when I took Kaplan--there were people in that class who, no matter what they were taught or how many practice problems we did, were just not "getting it." I think the only way you shouldn't have a shot at law school, if it's something you want to do, is if you just can't learn the skills needed. There's nothing wrong with "job training." But there are people--you'll try to teach them how to dance, and they'll just never get it. It's not for them! The example about the engineers Kslaw gives--same thing.

And this is speaking more to those people who score so low that they can't get into ANY law school with their score and nothing seems to help. For example, Lovin1L said his/her score "sucked," but it was obviously good enough to get into a law school, when combined with the GPA. Obviously, getting a 146 does show that someone has the ability if there are schools that accept people with that score (and quite a few do)! There are people who score 165, get into a school and have to ask someone who scored a 157 for help in class might not be that this person doesn't have what it takes to be an attorney--they might just be at the wrong school...or not studying enough...whatever! And that person with the 157 could have been a person who scored higher were it not for nerves or timing issues...again, whatever! There are so many things that come into play!

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Testmasters LSAT prep course
« on: February 18, 2004, 10:10:35 AM »
I knew quite a few people who took Testmasters while I was in college and have met others since college who took it, and the score increases have been phenomenal (I can't recall anyone increasing less than 10 points that I know). I took Kaplan, and the advantages weren't the same (though I did well with Kaplan...but still haven't reached my ultimate goal whereas everyone I know who took Testmasters surpassed their goal). I've been told that Testmasters has big classes compared to other courses, but you still get more class time and more practice material (although for a higher price). After taking Kaplan and hearing all these great things about Testmasters, I would love to get my hands on their prep materials (I can't take Testmasters because there isn't one in my area--Kaplan is all we have, unfortunately).

Law School Admissions / Re: Critique the LSAT/Law School books you have
« on: February 16, 2004, 12:45:42 PM »
I've never seen the film nor read the book...I've been advised several times not to because I've been told it gives an unrealistic view of what law school is now like. But I think that if you know that ahead of time and still want to watch it, then you might be okay.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Advise Needed
« on: February 04, 2004, 08:05:50 PM »
I wonder what you've tried thus far in terms of the LR section? Since not a lot of advice has been given concerning the LR section, I'll try to help because I know it's really frustrating.

This was my most problematic section, but I studied PR's "Cracking the LSAT" and Nova's "Master the LSAT" by Kolby. It took quite a while, but I slowly but surely got better and better at the LR section.

A lot of people don't like PR's book because a lot of them say it's too simplistic or common sense, but I found the simplistic nature of it to be what I liked. They put the techniques in a way that was easy to understand. Admittedly, it was stuff I did naturally know. But the fact that they put it all together in an easy-to-read manner is what helped make the difference and bring the tips more to my attention so that I could be more conscious of them while taking the test. Most people love Nova's book, though.

I just kept studying these two books the most, as well as working on real practice problems with my Kaplan workbooks, books from LSAC and the real LSAT problems in Nova's book without timing myself until I was really comfortable with approaching LR and then started timing myself more, saving the newer exams for last.

Whenever I timed myself while I was having trouble with this section, I could miss as much as 20-25 in both sections combined, even after I completed Kaplan. But when I didn't time myself, I could miss as little as 11 or 12 in both sections combined. I knew I needed to cut the latter in half or less under timed conditions to get the score I wanted, so I stopped timing myself until I got to that point. I also would stop studying for a few days and take my mind off it and usually would do better when I got back into it. I think studying too much can hurt after a while, so I sometimes felt the need to back off whenever I started doing worse (for example, by the end of Kaplan, I was down to missing 12 in all on the LR sections and then shot back up to missing 20 again within a month after the class...I feel I had been studying too much for too long).

You can send me a private message for tips if you need to.

« on: February 04, 2004, 07:46:45 PM »
I took Kaplan and had a good experience, and the people in my class who didn't--the reasons why, in my opinion, being their fault--easily got to retake the course, no problems. I'm not defending Kaplan here because I think the experience you have depends on the Kaplan near you. I know a lot of people have been unsatisfied with Kaplan, and so I can't speak for what happened there.

But some of the posts have pointed more to the low scores coming from something other than Kaplan. For example, the person who said they were getting a 167 by the end of the course and then took the test and got a low score. Okay, what does that have to do with Kaplan? That was YOU. That was maybe the nerves of it being the real thing the first time around. That was maybe conditions in the room. Who knows--you can't blame Kaplan. You could maybe have a case there if your Kaplan practice tests kept going down or if the practice tests they gave were fake and not real LSATs from the past. But the last Kaplan test was higher than with what PR gave you. So why blame Kaplan?

The original poster--never says what they were scoring on their practice tests from Kaplan. He/she doesn't give enough information.

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