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Author Topic: Needs a little help...  (Read 1127 times)

shadowcreeper

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Needs a little help...
« on: March 18, 2004, 11:36:40 AM »
Hi,

I am new to the boards but I am very impressed with the amount of information that is listed here. I have a hundred questions, and for once I feel like I am not alone in being confused about law school.

I have read the previous post about the difference between traditional and non-traditional students. I am not sure whether or not I would fall into the traditional or nontraditional category. I know that when I told people I wanted to go to law school, no one could understand where that had come from. I am a 22 year old white woman.

I decided on the spur of the moment to take the LSAT. I never thought I would score anywhere near average without really trying, but I received a 150 on the test. This made me realize that if I had put some effort into the test and retook it, I would probably do well enough to get into a law school. I have signed up for a Princeton Review class and I figured that this would be a step in the right direction. They say that people who take their class go up an average of 7 points, so I figure that if that was true for me I would score a 157.

I graduated from my undergraduate in May with a 3.6. I was a double major in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and in Art with a concentration in graphic design. I worked 2 to 3 jobs through my entire 4-year stint as an undergrad. I was the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and I was also the advertising manager for our school paper

After graduating I got a job as a marketing manager, but I was still not happy, so I started a masters program in Public and Corporate Communication. I should finish this up next May. I have hopes of going to law school that September. My current GPA for my masterís work is a 4.0. 

I am not sure that I am a traditional law school applicant because of the interests that I had and the path that I took in school. I would think that my perspective would be different than that of a prelaw or political science major. Also I think that having my masterís degree will make a difference. I am curious about this because I think it is important to stress how I would be different than other applicants, and if this does not make me different, I would have to think of something else that would make me stand out of the crowd.

Thanks in advance for the help because I do not have an advisor to go to with questions.

~K
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself absurd.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself be heard.
Nobody's gonna stand in my way.
Give it up son, I'm doin this my way.. Seether

http://lawschoolhopeful.blogspot.com/

xrayspec

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Re: Needs a little help...
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2004, 12:21:01 PM »
No. You are entirely traditional. Which isn't BAD, it's just a fact. Most law students were not in a "pre-law" oriented major. (I was an art / graphic design major myself) When people say non-traditional they usually mean someone with some atypical experiences outside of academia. Your experiences are similar to a lot of students of your age.

If you want to stand out --- job #1 is put up an improved LSAT score.


shadowcreeper

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Re: Needs a little help...
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2004, 12:33:29 PM »
I am trying to improve the LSAT score. I start the Princeton Review in a week or two and then I will take the June LSAT.

The one person that I talked to about law school with when I was in my undergrad told me that nontraditional students are people who are not of political science/crim justice/history or english majors. I am guessing this is where I got confused as to what is traditional and what is not traditional.

Thanks for the info. :)
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself absurd.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself be heard.
Nobody's gonna stand in my way.
Give it up son, I'm doin this my way.. Seether

http://lawschoolhopeful.blogspot.com/

dsds3581

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Re: Needs a little help...
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2004, 01:53:49 PM »
No, non-trads are like people who have a family, have been out of school for quite a long time and things like that. I am kind of like you in that I'm only taking a couple years off and working before going to law school. Taking a couple years off and working and/or doing another degree isn't anything out of the ordinary, especially these days. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out how you're 22 yrs old, already done with college, had time to work (and leave) a job and then get into a Masters program you'll be done with next year (did you graduate early, or do you just have a late birthday, like May/June/July? Did you apply for a Masters program while in college?). I'm wondering because most people I know who graduated in May, including myself, are 23 right now. Honestly, I wasn't sure whether or not people like us were considered non-traditional at first, either, because I've only recently started to realize that OLDER people/people with families attend law school more frequently than I assumed (I kind of thought law school was going to be a bunch of 20-somethings, but that's not necessarily so).

Now, there are other ways to stand out. You don't have to go out of your way to do so. Whoever you are should be enough--you just have to highlight the best and most unique things about you than indicate you can succeed in law school--and this is something a lot of people don't understand (most people seem to think they have to be a minority to stand out). If you want to know what kinds of things/qualities law schools are looking for in their applicants and what can make you stand out, check out Richard Montauk's "How To Get into the Top Law Schools." It's an excellent book with information on everything you'll need to know since I can tell you need a lot of guidance. I know it sucks to be around people who don't know what they're talking about, so that's why I've spent years reading what I can about law school.

Okay, now to talk about the LSAT (and this is just my opinion here...)...like a lot of people who just don't know/haven't been advised well, your approach seems kind of backwards to me. First thing, you shouldn't take the LSAT to see how you'll do because that does more damage than you know. Most schools average LSAT scores; they don't take the highest one. You should ONLY take it when you are ready! But what's done is done.

Next...a lot of people you'll find on law school message boards are, what I like to refer to as, "elitist" when it comes to law school. Admittedly, I advocate this approach for myself...but not necessarily for everyone because some people truly don't care about going to the "best" or top-ranked law schools or just can't do that. But...I STILL think that no one should look at law school as one entity...there are a bunch of law schools out there and they're not all equal/the same, and that's the approach I always advise people to take...meaning...don't say, "I want to go to law school," then take the LSAT, get a score and then prep to get a better score or--also like a lot of people do when they don't realize any better--take the LSAT and THEN say, "What schools can I get into?" which kind of sounds like what you'll be doing after you're done with Princeton Review.

I say think about WHAT law schools you'd be interested in attending right after you make the decision to go to law school, be them top 20 or third tier or a mixture, then look up what LSAT scores they accept people with...THEN go to a place like PR and work towards getting into those score ranges. Don't work towards getting to avg PR score improvement; try to get the best score you can. Like Xray said, it'll be essential, especially depending on what schools you'll be interested in.

Xray is also right in that most people don't do a "pre-law" major...at most schools, there's not even any such thing. A lot of people equate Political Science with pre-law, but so many people study other things--I studied Psychology/Neuroscience with minors in English and Philosophy. In general, law schools don't pay too much attention to your major, unless you've studied something traditionally seen as really challenging or something they view as really bs (which Communications IS, by some schools, as you will see if you do check out Montauk's book). Everything else in between, they don't care too much. It doesn't matter in being seen traditional/non-traditional.

Feel free to send me a private message if you want to talk more or have any questions.

shadowcreeper

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Re: Needs a little help...
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2004, 02:42:13 PM »
Ds...

Thank you for setting some things straight for me. As I mentioned earlier, I never really had an advisor so things have been up in the air. I have tried to root through all of the information out there, to find the best ways to do things, but it is so hard not having someone to hash things out with. I appreciate your attempt to explain what traditional vs. nontraditional is.

Yes, I am 22 years old, was born August 18th. I managed to get through the double major in 4 years. I graduated in May, started my masters program in September. I am working full time and taking a full time load of night classes. I will graduate May 05 and want to start law school in September 05.

I might not have specified that I have done research into the schools that I would like to go to. I am looking to go to schools in NJ, NY, or PA. I have chosen about 7 schools that I would be interested in applying to. So I have an idea of the range of LSAT score I would need. I hope to get higher so that I could consider some other schools, but I figured that my score would give me an idea as to where I should apply.

I intend to get my all out of the Princeton Review. If they say people go up an average of 7 points I am definitely going to put in an effort to bring the score as high as I can. I would love to go up much more than 7 points (and hopefully I will) The prep course runs from the end of April to June 12th and I think the LSAT is June 14th. I think that this is the kind of course that I need. It is intensive study for about 2 months and then the test falls 2 days after my last class. With school at night and work during the day, I know this is the only way I can focus on doing the best I can.

I do agree that I might have done some things backwards, and in some areas I am already suffering from it. I know that many schools average the scores, but two of the schools that I am interested in take the highest score, so hopefully I will not be hurt to much by the fact that I took the test on a whim.

Thanks again for the information. You were most helpful

~Kim
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself absurd.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself be heard.
Nobody's gonna stand in my way.
Give it up son, I'm doin this my way.. Seether

http://lawschoolhopeful.blogspot.com/