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Author Topic: Is LSAT prep course worth it?  (Read 2648 times)

lawyurd

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Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« on: April 03, 2013, 01:23:12 PM »
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

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 10:05:58 AM »
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.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

lawyurd

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 01:52:09 PM »
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

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 03:45:17 PM »
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.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

SaraJean

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 08:07:10 PM »
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.

CA Law Dean

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 03:44:29 PM »
SJ, I agree that just throwing money at a problem will not necessarily get a better result. From your student viewpoint, I also understand and appreciate the perception that it is never good to spend money unless there is an urgent or immediate need. What I suggest is that the profile presented . . . non-traditional working student with family, 2.29 UGPA, and 145 pre-test . . . sets off potential academic red flags across the board. A comprehensive LSAT prep course, regardless of price, is one early indicator of law school readiness. Before he spends tens of thousands of dollars (and hundreds of hours) on law school . . . the financial commitment to a prep-course, study time, practice exams, and then performance in a group timed exam environment . . . these are each equally as important as the numerical test score in helping a non-traditional student determine whether they are ready, willing, and able to take on the rigors of law school. In other words, it is more complicated than just getting the minimum test score necessary to get admitted to law school . . . it is about testing your readiness and commitment to a really long, demanding educational learning process.
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

FZacharyJ

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 03:06:50 PM »
Look what it comes down to is the type of person that you are when it comes to studying. If you need someone on top of you, then maybe the course is worth it, but if you're an independent person who can sit down and get work done, then the courses are a complete waste of money in my opinion. There are so many alternatives to dishing out over $1000 for a course. Self studying is one option which will cost you for the books and such. Another option that i am more fond of is using your ipad or iphone to study. There is an app called LSATMax that is in essence the same exact course you would take in a class but the difference is its only like $300 and you have access to it forever. They have video lectures and homework and actual questions from previous lsats which is great. So if you're looking to save some money and do well maybe the self study route is for you. I met a campus rep from LSATMax at my school and I got his email if you want to ask him about any promotions that they have for students/veterans. I'm pretty sure they have a free trial also. Anyway hope this helps out! the guys email was "farbod@lsatmax.com"

LSAT Blog

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 08:09:13 AM »
Look what it comes down to is the type of person that you are when it comes to studying. If you need someone on top of you, then maybe the course is worth it, but if you're an independent person who can sit down and get work done, then the courses are a complete waste of money in my opinion. There are so many alternatives to dishing out over $1000 for a course. Self studying is one option which will cost you for the books and such. Another option that i am more fond of is using your ipad or iphone to study.

Since the LSAT is a paper and pencil exam, it's extremely important to complete full-length (5-section) timed exams using physical copies (or at least, print-outs) of the exams, rather than completing them online.

An online video course can be a good alternative to more expensive in-person prep courses, but just be sure to complete the exams on paper.

FZacharyJ

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Re: Is LSAT prep course worth it?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 02:22:48 PM »
I couldn't agree more. Thats why the app is so great. When you purchase it, they send you a welcome packet and everything on the app is available to print. They also have all of their lessons and homeworks in organized binders. Its really beneficial considering the fact that all of their practice exams are the actual previous LSATs.