LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) > Studying for the LSAT

Is LSAT prep course worth it?

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lawyurd:
I'm debating taking an LSAT prep course.  In my current situation I can only do a part-time evening program that may or may not be offered at Florida Coastal this fall.  If not offered then my only choices are online law school, not a fan of it personally but I will do what I must to get a JD.  I have a family to support which is why I can't quit my day job.  So, is an $800 or more prep course really worth the investment?  I want to take the LSAT regardless and do my best but Florida Coastal is the nearest law school to me that might offer a program to fit my schedule.  Any suggestions on prep courses?  I was looking at Princeton Review and Blueprint so far.

CA Law Dean:
In a simple answer . . . YES. First and foremost, if your dream is to be a lawyer, dream to be as great a lawyer as possible, and start right now. Great lawyering skills develop from personal standards, not institutional goals. It is as true at a T1 school as it is at an unranked part-time program. Second, you never know where the future takes you. You might be starting down the street at the local law school, but what if you end up number one in your class and get the opportunity to transfer? That LSAT score comes back into play. Why limit your opportunities. Third, as a law school dean who does regular one-on-one academic counseling, I always look back at undergraduate GPA and LSAT as factors in recommending appropriate academic support programs. Both are faulty indicators for many reasons (but that is another discussion), but they are possible red flags for standardized testing skills . . . and the bar exam is the ultimate standardized timed test. Finally, law school is a huge investment, in time and money. If you are questioning an $800 "buy-in", perhaps you are not financially ready to undertake the cost of law school. I say that not in any demeaning way. However, the academic stress of law school can be unbearable if you are also stressing out about the cost as well. Good luck and start preparing.

lawyurd:
Wow, thanks for the great advice.  I've been looking at prep courses and may have found one that I like that will combine well with some self study.  I took a diagnostic test in a less than ideal setting (nosiy office) and scored a 145.  My undergrad GPA will forever haunt me, 2.29, but I have a 3.3 in my MBA studies.  I won't be stressed about law school finances until after my first year since that would be paid for by the GI Bill.

CA Law Dean:
A few additional thoughts. Obviously you will highlight the MBA as a balance to the poor undergraduate GPA, but be sure to clearly address the circumstances of the low GPA in your personal statement and how you have overcome that through experience, life issues, maturity, graduate school, etc. Don't rest too heavily on the laurels of the MBA GPA, because ALL graduate GPAs are high (always between 3.0 and 4.0) and therefore are discounted as a measure of academic ability. A good LSAT will go a long way to support your argument that the MBA, not the UGPA is a more accurate reflection of your current ability to intensely study, prepare for a challenging timed exam, and perform well.

SaraJean:
I'm in my second year at a T2 law school, and I have a different perspective to offer:  If you don't need to spend $800 on a prep course, save your money.  To find out if you need to spend the money, get yourself some good self-study materials (I used PowerScore) and see if you can get the results you want.  If the self-study materials don't get you the results you want, *then* spend the money on the prep course.

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