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Topics - nascjacket

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Law School Admissions / Emory's new numbers
« on: August 22, 2005, 05:29:45 PM »
class size: 235

GPA 25/50/75:  3.32/3.5/3.6

LSAT 25/50/75: 162/164/165

49% male, 51% female

From the 2006-2007 application/viewbook

Law School Admissions / Just looked over my LSAT writing sample
« on: July 26, 2005, 06:44:51 PM »
hahahaha, its totally unreadable, the worst handwriting of all time. 

Law School Admissions / The applicant decrease effect
« on: July 25, 2005, 09:00:56 PM »
First of all, note that this post is divided into two sections, theory and my actual prediction

1) Although I doubt it will be this high, lets say that applicants decrese by 10% next cycle.

2) lets also assume that Law schools will enroll the same number or students (the possible incorrectness of this will be addressed in the predictions section)

3) lets also assume that the 10% decrease is independent of quality of applicant (again, the possible incorrectness of this assumption will be dealt with in the predictions section)

Here is what theoretically happens:

1)YHS have to take 10% of their class from what would have otherwise gone to CCN and other assorted t14s. ie since the top .5% of applicants or whatever is also 10% less they have to fill these seats with students that they otherwise would not have taken. Its unlikely that the difference will be noticeable numberswise, but it will be a real difference bodywise.

2) CCN then not only has to make up for the 10% they lost to HYS, but they also have to deal with the fact that their normal acceptance pool is 10% smaller also. So they then have to take not only another 10% from MVP, but another 10% on top of that. This comes out to 19% of their class being less qualified than they would have been otherwise.

3) MVP has to make up for CCN taking 19% of their traditional class and also make up for their traditional applicant pool being 10% smaller. This comes out to roughly 28% of their class being comprised of applicants that wouldn't have normally gotten in.

This continues until you get to the very bottom schools that don't even have anybody to offer a seat to.

Obviously the difference probably won't be 10%, and obviously battles of common admits won't swing as decisively as I theoretically stated. However I hope that illustrates how even a small difference in overall applicants can become huge as you move down from the top.

In reality, I think that schools will actually just admit fewer students overall (although probably not enough to compensate for the total decrease of applicants). Also, I think that the difference will laregely be in the mediocre applicants. The top applicants were usually set on law school anyway. The mid applicants are probably the ones that were deciding employment vs. law school and better employment means less law school. Therefore I think the effect won't become even noticeable until you get past CCN and won't become significant until you get out of the t14.

On top of that, I don't think oct will be down 10% like June was.

Basically I'm saying if you are applying to the 17-50 schools you may be in luck, but the t14 won't really be much of a difference unless you are perfectly on the borderline.

Also I think that adcoms will take a wait and see attitude, therefore making the waitlists more of a factor this year than in recent history.


Law School Admissions / DO NOT LIE ON YOUR APP
« on: July 22, 2005, 01:21:13 PM »
reading that URM thread scared the *&^% out of me.  People, you are applying to be lawyers.  You can't just willy nilly decide you are black. 

You apply to the bar, look white but claim black: red flag

the Bar's character and fitness people dig up your SAT, ITBS, driver's license, kindergarten registration, etc.  If you're not black on all those too then you better just happen to have 150K to pay off your law school loans, because you won't ever be practicing law.  EVER.

DO NOT @#!* WITH THE CFE.  You will be found out. 

Law School Admissions / List your favorite musical acts
« on: July 21, 2005, 12:30:28 PM »
I think that judging people's tastes based on generes is kind of lame.  It seems like you can either make the catergories so broad that two groups that are nothing alike can both fall into the same genere or you can make them so narrow that its basically pointless because only one or two groups fall into each catergory.

On top of that, while Uncle Tupelo and Ryan Adams both fall into the genere of alt-country [troll/]RA fans are generally lame, while UT fans are off the hook [/troll]. 

A brief listing of my fav musical acts:

Rolling Stones

Led Zep


Black Crowes

Uncle Tupelo


Allman Brothers Band

Umphrey's McGee


My Morning Jacket

Mahavishnu Orchestra


Eagles (pre-Hotel California)

Of Montreal



Johnny Cash

Willie Nelson

Danny Gatton

Elvis Costello

Pearl Jam

Dinosaur Jr.

The Black Keys

Derek and the Dominoes

The Mars Volta

The Old 97s

The White Stripes

Yo La Tengo

The Funky Meters


James Brown

Eumir Deodato

Monte Montgomery

Derek Trucks Band

many others

Law School Admissions / Poll: Why UMich?
« on: July 18, 2005, 11:07:08 AM »
After talking to a couple of current UMich recent admits they told me that Sarah Z. (head adcom from what I gather) tends to favor the "why mich" optional essay over the rest of the options (unless you are an URM, in which case they favor the diversity essay). 

This worries me.  Michigan is a fine Law School and I am sure I could be very happy there.  AA seems to be a beautiful college town and the atmostphere at UMich seems to be stimulating and not overly competitive.  Having said all that, I can't really say that I wouldn't also say that about any of the schools in front of UMich ratings wise and, if I am being honest in my preferrence rankings, UMich is actually below their USNWR ranking. 

So it seems that I am at a dilemma (or trilemma or quadlemma, etc).  I want to give myself the best chance possible at getting into UMich but at the same time I don't want to be dishonest about it either.  First of all, I think it would be fairly transparent if I was being dishonest about it (I'm really not that good of a liar) and perhaps more importantly I just don't want to be dishonest about it.

So it seems that my options are the following:

1) Just write an essay explaining why I believe I'd be happy at UMich.  Its not that I don't like UMich, I certainly do.  I'm not such a prestige whore that I would apply to a highly ranked school even if my best guess indicates that I would hate it there.  So I could certainly write an essay explaining what it is I like about UMich and why I would be happy going there.  Having said that, IMHO the theme of these "why mich" or "why penn" essays is really more of "why mich instead of (insert random 4-14 school here)?"  For that I really have no answer because, truth be told, I'd go to most of the rest of the t14 before Mich.  I think in many ways the adcoms would see this essay as fluff because of that.  They know UMich is a great school and effectively that's all I'd be telling them.

2) Lie.  I think most people lie in this essay.  From what I gather most people lie in the "why penn essay".  The adcoms probably know this and probably expect this.  These essays are probably nothing more than yield protect tools to keep people from just "spamming" them with apps because its so easy to apply these days.  I think I made the argument for not wanting to lie already above.

3) write a different essay.  From what I've heard the UMich essay is greatly preferred. Preferred to the point of an average Umich essay plus a really good other optional essay is preferrable to two really good optional essays.  Reading all of the info that UMich sends me on a daily basis, it seems like they are almost trying to push you in this direction.  The other essays they offer would essentially be elaborations on themes already in my PS.  However, I would probably be able to write a marginally better optional essay if it was something I felt totally comfortable with.

Law School Admissions / What "optional essay" really means
« on: July 08, 2005, 10:24:38 AM »
Write the *&^% unless you are above our 75s.

Law School Admissions / All Hail Pontifical Catholic
« on: July 07, 2005, 10:52:05 PM »
Apparently for my numbers its more selective than Duke.

I'm not a super prestige whore (I would go to Duke before Stanford or Boalt, for example).  But all of the schools I REALLY want to attend are in the t14.  There are a few other schools I would be happy at, like UNC and UGA, but I'd rather not waste application money there unless I have to.

So with my numbers can I get away with exclusively applying to t14 schools + vandy?

Or do I even need to apply to vandy?

Can I wait until January at UNC and UGA and only apply there if I didn't get into any of my EA schools yet (be it through ding or deferral)?

Studying for the LSAT / The NASCJacket Method of LSAT self study
« on: July 04, 2005, 11:36:24 AM »
I believe that the best way to study for the LSAT is a combo of studying smart and hard.  A lot of people do the studying hard part but don't have any method to it and thus end up wasting a lot of their time.  Just taking a test and then doing nothing with that helps, but not as much as it should.  You really need to breakdown what is going on and systematically address your weakpoints and turn your strong points into guranteed points test day.  I didn't always have this method and arrived at it after being frustrated with my initial progress during self-study.  If I was to do it all over again I'm pretty confident I would be in much better shape, but I'm very happy with my 171 and I've already taken every commercially available preptest, so I'm not retaking.

Here goes:

Take a strictly timed diagnostic. 

breakdown your misses.

If you have a high number of RC + LR misses I would try to find one of those explained answers books.  STudy why you missed them very thoroughly.  Take another Diagnostic.  If you again have a high number of LR + RC misses, then take a course.  I think its fairly difficult to learn LR and RC on your own, because many times the problem is that you aren't approaching the problems in the correct way and you need another trained professional's point of view.  Also, I think it really helps to have another person to talk to about the problems, discussing them can make explanations that once seemed Greek sound perfectly obvious.  However, if you missed these mostly due to time considerations (ie had to guess at the last 5-10) this doesn't apply QUITE as much.  Speed can be learned with self study.  Accuracy on LR + RC normally has to be taught.  I will send a shoutout for Powerscore and TEstmasters here.  I advise against Kaplan and Princeton Review.  Do all the homework they assign you.  This is VERY important.  The big advantage to taking a class is that they will explain all the homework if you ask (often even if you don't).  It will be a great help if you ahve already attempted the HW before class.  If you go the course route, disregard the rest of this.   

If you mainly missed LG and were okay on RC and LR and/or missed most of your problems due to time constraints, then get every commercially available test, the Logic Games Bible, the Logic Reasoning Bible (if you had time or **slight** accuracy problems with LR) and LSAT 180.

First, go through the basic chapters of the LGB.  Get all the basic diagramming techniques down firm.  Go through the LRB basics chapters (not quite as sure here because I never used the LRB, I was always very good at LR).  Take a practice test.  If you showed significant improvement accuracy wise on LG, then move on in the LGB.

Now we are at your baseline for LSAT competency.  This is the point where you have hopefully begun to address all of your weaknesses and now only need to hone your skills to perfection through intensive practice.

At this point the only material you have exhausted are the exercise in the first few chapters of the LRB and LGB and three tests.  Also, I think you should work your way up, from the oldest tests, to the newest ones.  The last test you take should be the last released LSAT prior to the one you are going ot take. 

Now it's time to set up a regular schedule.  If you haven't already done so buy a noiseless timer at this point.  You will need one for the real LSAT, so you might as well buy one now and get the most use out of it as possible.

First thing I would recommend is figuring out when you are scheduled to take the test and see if its possible that you would have that time slot free every week unitl you take the test.  ie if you take it on a sturday at 2, then try to be free every saturday from 2-5:30.  If this is possible, take a full length practice test, plus get a few test and divide them up, so you can pull one section out and have a full 4 sections + experimental. 

Then, schedule yourself to take between 1-3 regular 4 section tests throughout the week, depending on your schedule and how long you have before the LSAT.  If you have a busy schedule you HAVE to start this process 4-6 months in advance AT LEAST. 

After you take a test, go do something for an hour at least, don't even score yourself if you can help it.  Run, play a video game, cook dinner, watch a few episodes of seinfeld.  Anything to "unfry" your brain.  During this time, try to get a feel about how you feel about your unknown score on teh test.  You are trying to gain the ability to guage your score based on feel.  This can be very important when it comes to deciding whether to cancel or not.  Then score your test.  After you're done scoring your test, keep a record of each question type you missed.  For instance if it was a RC weaken question, make a note of that.  If it was a LG "possible order" in a linear game, make anote of that.  With LGs its mostly important to make a note of which game types you are getting most of your misses in.

Also, an important thing to do here is during your midweek tests (not the ones that are at the same time as your real LSAT will be) write down the time after every game, as you finish it. 

Evaluate yourself at the end of every week.  See what question types you are missing, what game types you are struggling on, what game types are eating up your time and chart your general overall progress.  Take this info and create a study guide for the LGB and LRB.  Whichever types you are having trouble with, schedule some time to go over the corresponding sections on the LRB and LGB. 

A point of note here about LG.  Some people will see that they aren't struggling with easy linear games and won't work on them.  THis isn't a good idea.  You should work on regular linear games until you are almost always finishing them in less than 5 minutes.  Linear games are the ONLY type of game that has been on every single released LSAT. You are GURANTEED to have AT LEAST one.  PWN them.  If you can knock out a linear game in 5 minutes you are at a huge advantage for the rest of the games section.  Personally, I ALWAYS had trouble with grouping games.  The fact that I was able to do the first two games of my real LSAT (both were linear) in under 10 minutes was HUGE. 

Once you start to average in the 170s, then you pick up LSAT 180.  By this time you will have pretty much exhausted the LGB and LRB.  But you should continue to come back to them from time to time. 

You are now in the stage of making yourself consistent and striving for perfection.  If you had to take the LSAT today you could be pretty confident about it.  This is the final stage and this stage is about Pwning the LSAT, in such a manner that a 168 is an ABSOLUTE WORST CASE scenario and 180 is a possibility.  I had a worst case scenario on the June LR, the most i had ever missed on a LR section was 3 and that had only happened twice over 40 tests.  In June I missed 3 on both sections.  I still made a 171.  At this point its all about pushing the bar up so high that even if you have an off day you will still have a GREAT score. 

Continue your weekly full length practice LSATs.  In addition to that start doing the LSAT 180 stuff.  These question represent the hardest questions you will find on any LSAT.  If you can master them, you can master anything.

Do this until the week before the test.

Week of the test.

Two days before the test take the last commercially available LSAT and add one section from another test, if you have any left.  Take the extra section second.  Get somebody to be your proctor.  Be confident and go through it.  If you make a great score, focus on this and go into the LSAT with confidence.  If you scored on the lower end of your prcatice range, realize that this is still probably a great score and represents a worst case scenario. 

Day before the test, play golf, run, swim, go look at hot chicks somewhere.  Anything to get your mind off of the LSAT.  Eat a full, blanced meal.  Nothing too acidy, nothing that has any possibility of giving you gas or diarrhea.  Go to bed very early, take a tylenol PM if you have to.

Morning of the test.  Wake up early, eat a good, full breakfast.  Watch the news.  Take a run.  Take a shower.  Drink something with caffeine in it.  Realize you are about to PWN the LSAT. 

When you walk into the room, look around and realize you are going to outscore every person in the room with you. 

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