Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice  (Read 3024 times)

cheesefist

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« on: August 14, 2009, 07:30:43 PM »
So...  You all seem like pretty helpful people, so I am just going to lay it out.

I am a 30-something firefighter/paramedic who is finishing his final year of his sociology BA.  I will take LSAT this coming summer and apply in the fall of '10 for class starting in '11.  Because of mistakes made the first time in and out of college (read: alcohol) I will ultimately only have about a 3.3 UGPA.  I do have a 4.0 for the last year (30 credits) and expect to maintain that in my final four classes.  The last two years (44 credits) averages out to something like a 3.85. 

Anyway, the point of this message is what kind of LSAT score do you wise posters suggest I aim for?  I got a 162 on a practice test that I took cold, with no prep at all, so I think I might be able to hit 170 with some practice and help.  Is that going to be enough to get into one of the top 15 to 75 schools?  Sometimes it sounds like even 170 might not be enough!   :-\

Sincerely, and with 'bated breath,

CheeseFist

ps. How do you recommend doing test prep?  Classes?  Online? Just buy a book? 

pps.  I know if I write a good essay it will help, and I am already working on that, in my head at least.   :P
Anonymous and sarcastic response to an essay on why you should not go to Law School:

"Children, do not be astronauts since most don't go to space.
Do not strive to excel since that path has been well trodden."

cheesefist

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2009, 09:59:50 PM »
Update: using LSAC rules my recalculation of GPA gives me a 3.12, and that might get up to 3.15 if I do good the rest of the year.  Sigh, I wish I hadn't dropped out with all those WFs a decade ago.  I guess I'll have to addendum.

CheeseFist
Anonymous and sarcastic response to an essay on why you should not go to Law School:

"Children, do not be astronauts since most don't go to space.
Do not strive to excel since that path has been well trodden."

big - fat - box

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 800
    • View Profile
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2009, 02:19:39 PM »
As long as you have at least a 3.0 gpa, you can get into a top 20 school with a very high LSAT score.

There is a big, big difference between a school ranked 10-15 over one ranked 35 or 65 in terms of job prospects. Worry about the LSAT now and where to apply later, after you get a real LSAT score.

For LSAT advice, I suggest heading over the to LSAT board and get advice from high scorers there.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/board,6.0.html

If you can afford a good class, like Testmasters180 or Powerscore my personal advice would be to take one.

cheesefist

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2009, 03:18:29 PM »
Thanks Box.  Good point that a real score is what I need.  And what you said about the job prospects is true.  Thanks for the encouragement as well.

I was thinking, however, of just studying at home with books like powersore Bibles and SuperPrep, prep tests, and a few actual tests.

Thanks for the link too, I will be a surfing.


CheeseFist
Anonymous and sarcastic response to an essay on why you should not go to Law School:

"Children, do not be astronauts since most don't go to space.
Do not strive to excel since that path has been well trodden."

Izzytovar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 03:27:58 PM »
With your age, from when you had poor UGPA and now, and your work experience, work on a good addendum and you should be good.  Especially if you have a good-great LSAT score.  Best of luck.  Waiting on my LSAT npw as my UGPA from 11 years ago worked out to only be a 2.74.  Fortunately I am also URM and have decent LOR.
Aequitas Veritas

LoveLaughter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2009, 07:41:35 PM »
What LSAC rules are you guys talking about? Also, what is the "addendum" that you ar ereferrign to? I am new to this stuff and trying to get acclamated rather quickly.

Miche

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
    • Sharp & Useless
    • Email
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2009, 01:23:56 AM »
Cheesefist, did you take your initial test under timed conditions? With your starting point, it's definitely possible to be in the 170+. Since you have almost 9 months to prepare, start with self-study and then see if you want/need a commercial program after you've evaluated your progress.

Note that even with a self-study program, you should still have a structured plan for studying, learning, reviewing your work, taking timed tests at regular intervals, etc. The difference between self-study and commercial programs isn't the difference between more or less work/structure...it's just the difference between paying someone for their insights or "paying yourself" by scouring the web, books, etc. for the same insights. In both programs, there should be a lot of work!

I self-studied and saw a very big increase. Nothing wrong with commercial programs; I just find that I usually learn better if I do the legwork myself.

And yes, being a nontrad can be a nice assist in terms of personal statement, even if it sometimes comes along with a few addenda explanations.

Good luck!
Lawyers: performing acts on desks that no decent person would ever do.
-Miche, co-creator of Sharp & Useless

EarlCat

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2533
  • i'm in ur LSAT blowin' ur curve
    • AOL Instant Messenger - EarlCat78
    • View Profile
    • EarlDoesLSAT.com
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2009, 02:18:00 PM »
Since you have almost 9 months to prepare, start with self-study and then see if you want/need a commercial program after you've evaluated your progress.

I disagree.  Start with the class or tutor, get the foundation down and then practice what you've learned.  Otherwise you risk forming bad habits and using your class to do nothing but undo what you've done.

Miche

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
    • Sharp & Useless
    • Email
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 07:42:39 PM »
Earlcat --

Sure, learning bad habits is one possible disadvantage to self-study. But using a class has the possible disadvantage of wasting OP's time and confusing him with "formulas" for logical approaches that are already intuitive to him. Further, some people really do learn better on their own.

I specifically pointed the OP towards self-study because he's a non-trad -- still finishing up college, and juggling a demanding job -- and he had a good starting score. Those are qualities which lend themselves to self-study. An expensive, scheduled prep course may not be right for him. Tutoring, of course, is a balance of the two.

Self-studiers usually swear by self-study. People who use organized programs usually swear by programs. People who have used tutors really like tutors. Nothing wrong with any of the approaches -- there've been high scores using every method. I don't think it's possible to rule any one method out, definitively.

As I mentioned, I did the self-study route. In fact, I was in approximately the same starting position as the OP, and I had excellent final results (175+).
Lawyers: performing acts on desks that no decent person would ever do.
-Miche, co-creator of Sharp & Useless

EarlCat

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2533
  • i'm in ur LSAT blowin' ur curve
    • AOL Instant Messenger - EarlCat78
    • View Profile
    • EarlDoesLSAT.com
Re: New Non-Trad Looking for LSAT Score Advice
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 08:18:43 PM »
Earlcat --

Sure, learning bad habits is one possible disadvantage to self-study. But using a class has the possible disadvantage of wasting OP's time and confusing him with "formulas" for logical approaches that are already intuitive to him. Further, some people really do learn better on their own.

I specifically pointed the OP towards self-study because he's a non-trad -- still finishing up college, and juggling a demanding job -- and he had a good starting score. Those are qualities which lend themselves to self-study. An expensive, scheduled prep course may not be right for him. Tutoring, of course, is a balance of the two.

Self-studiers usually swear by self-study. People who use organized programs usually swear by programs. People who have used tutors really like tutors. Nothing wrong with any of the approaches -- there've been high scores using every method. I don't think it's possible to rule any one method out, definitively.

As I mentioned, I did the self-study route. In fact, I was in approximately the same starting position as the OP, and I had excellent final results (175+).

Other than finishing up undergrad, I was in the same shoes as OP as well, and self studied to a 173 (which was the top of my range for practice tests).  Even with that "success" I found that the material covered by a GOOD class would have helped me even more.  When I trained to teach, it was like the fog lifted.  Sure, some logic stuff was intuitive, but those horrible formulas allowed me to do the same thing with much more accuracy and much less brain power.  Call me a reformed self-studier.

Some people teach themselves to be good musicians too, but most really skilled musicians took lessons.  Those that start lessons before developing bad habits have fewer problems down the road.  I think LSAT is somewhat analogous.