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Author Topic: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?  (Read 8888 times)

queencruella

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2006, 11:21:13 PM »
I have to agree with rev here. I also think that when you get older, you put the LSAT more into perspective. For me, going to law school means I will get a new career I'll probably like more than the one I'm currently trained to do. I didn't feel like my life would be over if I didn't do well enough to get into a T14, because I knew that even if I went to a tier 3 I could still be a lawyer. The LSAT is definitely not the most important test I have ever taken in my life, nor is it a defining moment in how my life will be from now on. I could have studied for 4 hours a day for several months for the LSAT, but I had other things I wanted and needed to do instead. I do not regret my decision for one second.

AtlantaSteve

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2006, 10:15:09 AM »
you pompous a-hole.  what the @#!* do you know about me? 

biggest test of my life?  no, sorry, that was my wife's cancer test, thanks.
busting my ass?  you mean working since age 13 to buy myself clothes and school supplies because my mother died and my dad turned into a drunk?  or do you mean working full-time and going to school full-time for both my undergrad and grad school, and paying every single cent of it myself? 

cry you a river about life getting in the way?  you mean my wife and father's major surgeries?  you mean when i had to take care of both of them at the same time?  or do you mean me taking two teenagers into my home because it was unsafe for them to live with their meth addict mother?

i guess it's my poor planning when people die, or need counseling for attempted suicide, or that i keep my word when i tell a kid i'll be in court with them because their parents dont give a sh*t. 

i guess i'm just lazy, and sit around all day eating cheetos and playing xbox when i should be studying for the almighty lsat.  i guess i place too much weight on the concepts of committment, duty, and personal sacrifice.

i guess i just dont understand that it's all about me.

I am not your counselor, therapist, or priest... I'm just a guy chatting about law school on a law school message board.  If you get that freaked out, you probably shouldn't be reading law school message boards.  At any rate, you last sentence here is dead wrong... you would be helped in life by repeating the mantra, "It's NOT all about me!  It's NOT all about me!" over and over again.  I wasn't targeting you or anything, I've never even chatted with you anonymously prior to right this second.


the lsat doesnt measure work ethic, the ability to overcome adversity, or desire.  it doesnt measure integrity, experience, motivation, or a host of other non-tangible attributes that allow someone to surpass the one-size-fits-all expectations that have been decreed because of their results on a standardized test.

Actually, it very much DOES measure these things... in a way that is cruel yet painfully fair.  If your life circumstaces ARE such that you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and can't keep it from affecting your test performance, the odds are higher that this will also be the case once in law school as well.  Law school will be far more grueling than ANY test prep regimen for the LSAT, and is similiar in that with most schools your grade in a class will be determined by one huge test given at the end.  If life prevents you from performing at your best on those tests, do you bemoan the unfairness of how law school grades "don't measure your potential as a lawyer"?  This work ethic, desire, and ability to overcome abversity that you speak of... exactly when DOES it start to kick in?  You might want to turn it on prior to the LSAT, because they ARE factors that people will consider reflected in your score.

I don't expect to win any friends on this thread, because the LSAT certainly isn't a popular thing.  I didn't much care for the experience either.  However, I UNDERSTAND what it's for, and think it does a pretty good job of measuring what is intented.  Law schools don't need an IQ test or some other measure of intrinsic "potential", they need something that shows how well your analytical thinking and reading comprehension hold up under a stressful experience (a la 1L).  There are, on average, 10 applicants for every 1 seat at a typical school.  The most competitive and lucrative jobs go to the top 10% of that graduating class.  At some point you have to simply do what's needed to position yourself where you want to be, or else reset your expectations in line with what IS practical in your individual circumstance.  It may not seem fair that someone goes to a T3 school instead of a T2 school on account of unique circumstances... but would it be fair for that person to snatch a T2-person's 1-in-10 seat, when that person DID pull the numbers?  Of course not... how would that T3 person also feel if a T4 person snatched THEIR seat on account of an even worse life story?

cyberrev

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2006, 10:29:36 AM »
your message quoted verbatim some things i had previously posted in a disparaging manner.  i felt you made assumptions with knowing me.

i took that as an unprovoked attack.  if that was wrong, i apologize.


i have never asked for any special consideration or accomodation for my life circumstances..  as a matter of fact, none of those things were mentioned in a ps or addendum.

as far as 'turning it on' it is always on.  i just dont consider the lsat the be all and end all of everything. 

there is a lot more to one's 'potential' than mere numbers.

i am going to law school, and am more than satisifed where i have been accepted.  i am not measured by the reputation of the school i attend.







Deus Ex Machina

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2006, 12:01:49 PM »
I'm curious if anyone is in the same boat as I am regarding the LSAT. I essentially aced the reading comp and did well with problems but was hosed on games (every answer I finished was right but I never got past finishing 3 of the games.) I guess I'm curious/skeptical about how this factors into my suitability for law school. Who would you rather have as your lawyer someone who is brilliant at suduko or someone who thoroughly understands what they read? Would you rather have someone fast or deliberate? Ideally both, but if given a choice between the two, I think most would choose the latter. I'm not bitter; my 163/3.94 will get me into a decent school where my work ethic and life experiences will help me compete with any silver spoon numbers god. That being said, the LSAT only tests your ability to work under pressure for 5 hours, I wonder how accurate it is in assessing your ability to work under pressure for 16 hours a day for the first year of 1L? Bottom line is, it doesn't. I'm not saying there are not 22-24 year old wunderkind 170+ scorers out there who can't handle the crucible of 1L but if I had to bet on a horse, I'd pick the guy who worked through adversity nine out of ten times and I'd make money. The LSAT is a good predictor of test taking ability and since 1L grades are based on that skill (since you get generally one test to determine your grade per class) it probably is a good indicator of 1st year performance. However, the skills used to excel in 1L will not be the thoroughgoing and mature characteristics that you will need to excel in the practice of law.
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AtlantaSteve

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2006, 07:00:28 PM »
Thus Iím totally confused.

Heh, it's more likely that you are 'proffering' a bit of fun than expressing genuine confusion (or at least I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt)... but I'll still bite.

At no point did I "infer that it [the LSAT] is a qualified measurement regardless of prep".  Your contrived, in-a-vacuum illustrations fail to hold up precisely BECAUSE of the impossibility in separating prep as a factor of performance in a well-known standardized test.  You speak of "natural ability"... as if analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and ability to cope with stress, time, and fatigue constraints are intrinsic properties of a person (like height, skin color, or whether they hate the taste of mayonnaise).  However, they are very much malleable... just as an athlete's "genetic potential" is relevant only the context of the training done to reach that potential.

It may be true that a "prepped" 165 needs to work a little harder in law school than a "natural" 165.  However, I believe it's more likely that the "prepped" student WOULD work a little harder.  I just don't buy this attitude from some people that, "I didn't do as well as I could on the LSAT because [I didn't have time] / [life got in the way] / [I wasn't sure what my goals were] / etc... but once I start law school, I'll be focused like a laser beam when it matters!".  Yeah, maybe you will, but you can't really expect admissions committees to work "on spec" like that.  They need to see BEFORE admitting you how well you can peform "when it matters".

An aced final exam is an aced final exam... as long as the student doesn't cheat, no one cares how the final exam was aced.  Likewise, a 165 is a 165... and will beat the bejesus out of a 155 whining about how "natural" he or she is.

AtlantaSteve

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2006, 07:03:48 PM »
They need to see BEFORE admitting you how well you can peform "when it matters".

Am I childish for re-reading my post, and giggling for five minutes over this sentence?


WannabeLAW

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #46 on: March 14, 2006, 07:15:32 PM »
Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?

Time will tell~ Bob Marley

asdf1234

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2006, 07:16:27 PM »
just a thought on this "people with difficult childhood/lives shouldn't be judged by their LSAT scores" debate.  While some people are much more advantaged or disadvantaged than others...

How many hours of LSAT studying do you think 1000+ posts on LSD could equate to?

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beer gunner

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2006, 08:42:17 PM »
How many hours of LSAT studying do you think 1000+ posts on LSD could equate to?

jsia...

it may qualify you for a student loan, but that is it!

HAHAHA!!!
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Aerst2

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Re: Is LSAT really good at predicting law school success?
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2006, 10:23:18 PM »
Thus I’m totally confused.

Heh, it's more likely that you are 'proffering' a bit of fun than expressing genuine confusion (or at least I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt)... but I'll still bite.

At no point did I "infer that it [the LSAT] is a qualified measurement regardless of prep".  Your contrived, in-a-vacuum illustrations fail to hold up precisely BECAUSE of the impossibility in separating prep as a factor of performance in a well-known standardized test.  You speak of "natural ability"... as if analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and ability to cope with stress, time, and fatigue constraints are intrinsic properties of a person (like height, skin color, or whether they hate the taste of mayonnaise).  However, they are very much malleable... just as an athlete's "genetic potential" is relevant only the context of the training done to reach that potential.

It may be true that a "prepped" 165 needs to work a little harder in law school than a "natural" 165.  However, I believe it's more likely that the "prepped" student WOULD work a little harder.  I just don't buy this attitude from some people that, "I didn't do as well as I could on the LSAT because [I didn't have time] / [life got in the way] / [I wasn't sure what my goals were] / etc... but once I start law school, I'll be focused like a laser beam when it matters!".  Yeah, maybe you will, but you can't really expect admissions committees to work "on spec" like that.  They need to see BEFORE admitting you how well you can peform "when it matters".

An aced final exam is an aced final exam... as long as the student doesn't cheat, no one cares how the final exam was aced.  Likewise, a 165 is a 165... and will beat the bejesus out of a 155 whining about how "natural" he or she is.


Damn. I read this whole thread just to say this...and you beat me to it.

My opinion is that the LSAT does have some validity aside from the content that it tests. An individual dedicated to success in law and with the common sense required to be successful in a legal career would recognize the value of putting some time into prepping for the test.

It is, in my opinion, a very prep-able test. The logic games especially are just that: time-limited games with verifiable correct answers. The previous x years of tests are cheaply available straight from the source. Your task is to study to the point of being able to spit out the answers to these types of questions in the time allotted. Period.

There is no excuse for not prepping for this test. Your wife, father, brother and dog could all be dying of cancer just after your house burned down and Bush got re-elected, and it is still not a valid excuse. If you want to proceed to Law school all by yourself, you should be at a point in your life where you can handle these things, and be mature enough to recognize the need to delay the test or cancel your scores if you simply do not have the time to prepare. If you can't do that, you deserve a low score.

Even if you really wanted to stick with a low score, you should still be able to use your life skills and persuade admissions committees through addendums, etc. Gaming the system is just as valid as studying hard to get a high score.

IMO, the real cheaters are the ones who naturally score a 170+. They are short-circuiting the system :).
165 / 3.94