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Messages - oscarsonthepond

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In almost everything Southwestern has sent me, they spend the majority of their time talking about entertainment law.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is there ANYONE who's had luck with Kaplan?
« on: February 24, 2006, 12:37:42 AM »
warning #1) I now work for Kaplan (I'm in training)
warning #2) I didn't bother to read the whole thread

I just wanted to mention that it seems like a lot of the things people talk trash on Kaplan about are things of the past (ie "they don't use real questions" or "the course is too short").  The curriculum has changed quite a bit in the past few years (they update it every year, and 2006 was a substantial update), and currently they not only use real LSAT questions, but if you take the course and do all the homework/workbooks you will see every single LSAT question that you can possibly get from LSAC (ie every Q from preptests 1-50 or whatever it is).  I also think that Kaplan's current curriculum is truly excellent.  They are by far the biggest test prep company out there, and thus pump a ton of money into their curriculum.  I've seen much of Testmaster's stuff, and I can honestly say that I am not nearly as impressed by it as I am by Kaplan's....think about it...Testmasters is pretty much Robin Singh and a few others creating this supposedly incredible method...Kaplan is this huge corporation w/ lots and lots of money and about 30 people overhauling the course every year who are all complete LSAT nerds (my trainer is one of them).

Anyways...for what it's worth I think Kaplan is great...they have by far the best "higher score gaurantee" in the business....I would say the key is that you really have to buy into the methods and go all out...if you just use their methods half way, and don't practice them a ton then you'll get the right answers using them but probably go fairly slow and won't do very well (as opposed to if you practice a ton then you'll have them down and move quickly, stil getting the answers).  Also...Kaplan does have some really cool stuff like the fact that you can go down to the center and take any LSAT (1-50) anytime you can then enter your answers into a computer, get your score instantly, and get detailed explanations for every single question on every addition, they also have by far the best online tools and their course is very integrated w/ the online stuff.

Kaplan's weakpoint compared to others is almost certainly its teachers.  Testmasters requires a 172 and pays $50/hr....Kaplan requires a 163 and pays $20-30/hr.  Its sort of a no brainer which one will attract better teachers.  However, that pretty much speaks to the minimum qualities required in a teacher....that doesn't mean that all Kaplan teachers are 163'ers.  In fact, most if not everyone at the center I work at scored 17X on the real test, and after teaching the courses and becoming very familiar with the test and whatnot they are high 17Xers.  There are undoubtedly dud teachers, but they'll usually get weeded out fairly quickly.  I would talk to people who've gone there and find out who the good teachers are...I think most centers have at least 2 or 3 teachers, so find out who the best one is, go all out practicing the methods and you will definitely see a large increase in your score.

As a side note...when I took the test I prepped using Nova's along w/ lots of full length practice tests and if you're on a tight budget it's definitely a good option, however to compare what you learn in that book with what you get from Kaplan's course is in my mind ridiculous...they are not in the same realm at all.

If anybody has specific Kaplan Q's, PM me.

Law School Admissions / Re: Anyone have time to critique a letter of CI?
« on: February 08, 2006, 10:07:40 AM »
send it here too

Financial Aid / Financial Aid Questions
« on: February 07, 2006, 08:13:07 AM »
Any knowledge regarding the following questions would be very helpful:

1) I'm married w/ a child.  My wife is a stay-at-home mom.  I am going into law school straight out of undergrad (read: no savings).  Has anybody else been in this (or a similar) situation before?  Do you think my family and I can squeeze by on the budget the law school gives me, or will we have to find other sources of income?  If the latter is the case, will it all be private loans...and could I even get additional "student" loans, or would they be higher-rate private loans?

2) My EFC is 0...what kind of need-based aid can I get?  In CA as an undergrad last year I received ~13k in grants from the state...will I see anything like that in law school?

3) When do schools usually give you a full financial aid proposal?  Will I not see that until I accept?  Is there any chance I'll hear about need-based aid before the decision deadline?

4) Since my EFC is 0, does this mean that every school will find some way for me to pay for their budgeted amount in some way other than private loans?  I know this is the case for undergrad.  For law school the budget is usually ~45k.  18.5k in federal loans still leaves 25k+ to pay will this be made up in their financial aid package?  Do they sometimes offer loans from the school?  Will it all be scholarships/grants?

Any help is greatly appreciated...thanks.

Law School Admissions / James E. Rogers....
« on: February 06, 2006, 03:30:49 PM »
Here's an e-mail they sent me today....kinda funny I thought.


Law Admissions

Now, I know GPA adendums rarely help. But I think in my case, if I explain the situation it will significantly help.

IMO you're wrong on both accounts.

Law School Admissions / Re: Should I call??
« on: February 01, 2006, 04:35:48 PM »
I would definitely call...there's a difference between calling cause you're annoying and impatient and calling because it's been months and you don't even know if they got your stuff.

but a lot of it is probably the advice i got here to come down much harder on the dept than i was doing. thanks to everyone!!!  ;D

You're welcome...I felt like a jerk for calling you a battered wife, but I knew it might help stir you up and would pay off in the end.....although now that I think about it my apps are all late in the cycle too and I'm guessing that some of my reach schools are schools you'll get into....hmmm...that's no good  ???

I would still apply in case you come to your senses before you make your decision.

LA = lots and lots and lots of traffic (I live here too)
Yale = by far the best law school in the country

why didn't you apply at Harvard/Yale?

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