What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
honestabe84
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:15 pm

OmbreGracieuse wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:
pearl_earrings wrote:+2
TLS has made many people look at the admissions process as a self-fulfilling prophecy. As if not getting into HYS makes you inferior to those that did.


Agreed. I want to do embassy work, so I can't necessarily go to a 100+ ranked school for example, but it would be no GREAT loss if I weren't top 5. I mean, I would love to, but I think finances and happiness are more important.

I think the people at Harvard try to make others feel inferior to themselves
.


There was a post I read last week or so ago from an applicant that visited Harvard and sat in on a class. He/she really did not have anything good to say about the student body. Apparently many of the students he/she met were a bunch of pretentious/snobby 20 somethings that think they walk on water. This is obviously not to say that there aren't people at Harvard who are down to earth and genially great people.

KG_CalGuy
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:18 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby KG_CalGuy » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:33 pm

Totally random, but I wish somebody would've told me to apply to Chicago. I have no idea why I didn't (even after I got the fee waiver)

OmbreGracieuse
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby OmbreGracieuse » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:39 pm

I am so glad that people are responding to this thread! I feel like all of this is so valuable because all the advice here isn't just academic, it is also philosophic. I hope it can give people a sense of guidance they might not otherwise get.

At the very least, I feel like it is all useful. :D

User avatar
pleasetryagain
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:04 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby pleasetryagain » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:49 pm

that no matter how well you do you will always feel like it's not good enough but you will have to learn to live with it.

and that goes for life in general, not just law school admissions.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:57 pm

Here's a good piece of advice that someone (current Hastings 3L I think) DID tell me just before I left for school.


"Don't worry about law school. You will be fine. Work hard. Have fun."

User avatar
flyingpanda
Posts: 824
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:32 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby flyingpanda » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:30 am

karmakmsa wrote:
neimanmarxist wrote:I've heard this advice but chose not to take it, and wish I had:

If you have a bad feeling about your performance on the LSAT, don't wait around to find out your score. You're letting your curiosity get the better of you. Jitters are fine, but if you feel like something was seriously off, cancel and re-take. It's better to apply with just a September (or December) LSAT and a cancellation than with a low score and a high score.

Related to this was the earlier advice to take the June LSAT if you possibly can. I wish I had.


I think it's a bit more complicated than giving in to your feelings of doubt. I too felt I bombed my LSAT and made the fatefully decision to not cancel my score after weeks of agonizing. It wasn't that horrible -- 6-8 points below my practice tests averages but 4 points above my first LSAT, and I was grateful for that much. I was sure I had scored lower than my previous score.

So the moral of the story is, you never can tell.


+1. I felt terrible after my LSAT, I was 100% sure that I had scored in the low 160s. In fact, I ran out of time and literally guessed on the last 4-5 questions of logic games. I actually did get these last few questions wrong, but my performance in LR and RC made up for it and I'm very satisfied with both my score and the way my cycle played out. My advice would actually be not to cancel unless you are ill, ran out of time on significant portions of the test, or some traumatic event happened before the test (family member death).

User avatar
PDaddy
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:47 am

snowpeach06 wrote:What I have learned:


- Don't listen to the people who say you are a failure at life if you don't get into HYS. Sure, it's fantastic if you get in. And sure you will have some more opportunities (esp. if you want a big firm or to go into politics) but, there is life beyond big law. Save yourself the stress. Be confident. Be proud of where you go. Hey - apparently 40% of people get in nowhere. So, you are a step ahead of the game. And that is just for potential lawyers. Think about how you are also smarter than a whole smattering of other professions.

Anyway, that's all I got for now. Good luck future law school applicants!


In past years, actually, about 43,000 out of 98,000 who apply get in, so that's actually about 57% missing the mark. And about 145,000 sit for the LSAT in a given year (48,000 of who don't apply in the years they take the test), so that's another 50,000 people you've beaten. By virtue of getting onto a law school (ANY ABA accredited law school), you've beaten 2/3 of the people who sat in the room with you taking the LSAT.

miamiman
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:55 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby miamiman » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:53 am

Not to be a debbie downer, but do any of you actually feel accomplished for being the 1 in 3 people (or so) to have received admission to a ABA law school?

I mean...I took the LSAT in the 'hood in Miami and I looked around my room; I dare say I wouldn't have trusted the overwhelming majority of the people there to have licked an envelope shut. And I'm not being racist in saying that. I literally saw someone rotating their exam 180 degrees during the LG section.

Also, I've got a lot of friends applying to med school; applying to med school really puts getting into law school, really any law school even the vaunted t10, into perspective.

So...yea, I mean, let's all collectively pat our backs for getting in but let's not get carried away here.

Sorry, someone had to say it

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby snowpeach06 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:31 am

miamiman wrote:Not to be a debbie downer, but do any of you actually feel accomplished for being the 1 in 3 people (or so) to have received admission to a ABA law school?

I mean...I took the LSAT in the 'hood in Miami and I looked around my room; I dare say I wouldn't have trusted the overwhelming majority of the people there to have licked an envelope shut. And I'm not being racist in saying that. I literally saw someone rotating their exam 180 degrees during the LG section.

Also, I've got a lot of friends applying to med school; applying to med school really puts getting into law school, really any law school even the vaunted t10, into perspective.

So...yea, I mean, let's all collectively pat our backs for getting in but let's not get carried away here.

Sorry, someone had to say it

I personally don't feel like I did anything special, because half my friends applied to med schools and clinical psyc programs and are brilliant (way, way smarter than me) and didn't get in. But the whole point of my post was to make people feel better (since this website can be depressing as hell) so way to miss the mark on that one buddy. Think positive!

miamiman
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:55 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby miamiman » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:10 am

snowpeach06 wrote:
miamiman wrote:Not to be a debbie downer, but do any of you actually feel accomplished for being the 1 in 3 people (or so) to have received admission to a ABA law school?

I mean...I took the LSAT in the 'hood in Miami and I looked around my room; I dare say I wouldn't have trusted the overwhelming majority of the people there to have licked an envelope shut. And I'm not being racist in saying that. I literally saw someone rotating their exam 180 degrees during the LG section.

Also, I've got a lot of friends applying to med school; applying to med school really puts getting into law school, really any law school even the vaunted t10, into perspective.

So...yea, I mean, let's all collectively pat our backs for getting in but let's not get carried away here.

Sorry, someone had to say it

I personally don't feel like I did anything special, because half my friends applied to med schools and clinical psyc programs and are brilliant (way, way smarter than me) and didn't get in. But the whole point of my post was to make people feel better (since this website can be depressing as hell) so way to miss the mark on that one buddy. Think positive!



Um....haven't missed the mark. Only pointing out that highfiving ourselves for getting into "top" law schools is ridiculous

honestabe84
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:37 pm

miamiman wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:
miamiman wrote:Not to be a debbie downer, but do any of you actually feel accomplished for being the 1 in 3 people (or so) to have received admission to a ABA law school?

I mean...I took the LSAT in the 'hood in Miami and I looked around my room; I dare say I wouldn't have trusted the overwhelming majority of the people there to have licked an envelope shut. And I'm not being racist in saying that. I literally saw someone rotating their exam 180 degrees during the LG section.

Also, I've got a lot of friends applying to med school; applying to med school really puts getting into law school, really any law school even the vaunted t10, into perspective.

So...yea, I mean, let's all collectively pat our backs for getting in but let's not get carried away here.

Sorry, someone had to say it

I personally don't feel like I did anything special, because half my friends applied to med schools and clinical psyc programs and are brilliant (way, way smarter than me) and didn't get in. But the whole point of my post was to make people feel better (since this website can be depressing as hell) so way to miss the mark on that one buddy. Think positive!



Um....haven't missed the mark. Only pointing out that highfiving ourselves for getting into "top" law schools is ridiculous


I would never suggest gloating about getting into a top school, but it is certainly a huge accomplishment. For a lot of people (including myself) they worked their ass off getting a high GPA, a high LSAT, and getting everything together for the application process. And the first two were not a walk in the park that just anyone can do.

Also, those people that you took the LSAT with......why do you think that they're are all HYS bound?

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:46 pm

honestabe84 wrote:There was a post I read last week or so ago from an applicant that visited Harvard and sat in on a class. He/she really did not have anything good to say about the student body. Apparently many of the students he/she met were a bunch of pretentious/snobby 20 somethings that think they walk on water. This is obviously not to say that there aren't people at Harvard who are down to earth and genially great people.

I visited HLS last year (not that I had a chance of getting in, I just figured since I was in town for BC already, why not) and I got the same overall impression while I was there.

User avatar
Knock
Posts: 5152
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby Knock » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:53 pm

There is some good info in this thread, so I need to tag it. Thanks everyone who shared.

User avatar
gymboree
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:48 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby gymboree » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:16 pm

lawduder wrote:
MrKappus wrote:I guess that's a good point. My comment was fixated on my experience (low 160s), but at the tippity top schools (and scores), 4 pts might be a bigger deal.

162-->166 is still definitely worth waiting a year for


Having had almost that exact experience, I have to say a big YES to waiting a year for a decent point jump. Last year I was rejected at UNC. This year? Accepted and attending Berkeley.

User avatar
Holly Golightly
Posts: 4618
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:30 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby Holly Golightly » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:18 pm

gymboree wrote:
lawduder wrote:
MrKappus wrote:I guess that's a good point. My comment was fixated on my experience (low 160s), but at the tippity top schools (and scores), 4 pts might be a bigger deal.

162-->166 is still definitely worth waiting a year for


Having had almost that exact experience, I have to say a big YES to waiting a year for a decent point jump. Last year I was rejected at UNC. This year? Accepted and attending Berkeley.


That's awesome, congrats.

User avatar
momo_08
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby momo_08 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:48 pm

I wish someone had told me that TLS had existed from before because prior to visiting this site I knew that the school you go to can affect the kind of employment you get but i didn't know exactly to what extent!

i also wish that someone had told me that i need to take the LSAT more seriously first time around and actually pay attention during those testmasters lessons and do the homework so that i'll actually learn and improve my score more than five points from taking the first diagnostic

i wish someone had told me that i need to apply EARLY because it affects so many factors

And lastly i wish someone had told me to be more selective about the schools i applied to (i know most people say you should "blanket" but i wasted a lot of money that way in schools i never had an interest in attending in the first place)

Hey-O
Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:50 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby Hey-O » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:53 pm

KG_CalGuy wrote:Totally random, but I wish somebody would've told me to apply to Chicago. I have no idea why I didn't (even after I got the fee waiver)


Me too! I just thought it sounded cold. I wish I hadn't based most of my applications on the weather. Just get a damn heater.

Hey-O
Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:50 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby Hey-O » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:56 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:There was a post I read last week or so ago from an applicant that visited Harvard and sat in on a class. He/she really did not have anything good to say about the student body. Apparently many of the students he/she met were a bunch of pretentious/snobby 20 somethings that think they walk on water. This is obviously not to say that there aren't people at Harvard who are down to earth and genially great people.

I visited HLS last year (not that I had a chance of getting in, I just figured since I was in town for BC already, why not) and I got the same overall impression while I was there.


I have only known one person who went to Harvard and he was a pompous prick. He was always correcting other people's grammar, even people who were not native English speakers.

honestabe84
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:02 pm

Hey-O wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:There was a post I read last week or so ago from an applicant that visited Harvard and sat in on a class. He/she really did not have anything good to say about the student body. Apparently many of the students he/she met were a bunch of pretentious/snobby 20 somethings that think they walk on water. This is obviously not to say that there aren't people at Harvard who are down to earth and genially great people.

I visited HLS last year (not that I had a chance of getting in, I just figured since I was in town for BC already, why not) and I got the same overall impression while I was there.


I have only known one person who went to Harvard and he was a pompous prick. He was always correcting other people's grammar, even people who were not native English speakers.


He probably thought it made him seem smart.

User avatar
Holly Golightly
Posts: 4618
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:30 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby Holly Golightly » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:06 pm

honestabe84 wrote:
Hey-O wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:There was a post I read last week or so ago from an applicant that visited Harvard and sat in on a class. He/she really did not have anything good to say about the student body. Apparently many of the students he/she met were a bunch of pretentious/snobby 20 somethings that think they walk on water. This is obviously not to say that there aren't people at Harvard who are down to earth and genially great people.

I visited HLS last year (not that I had a chance of getting in, I just figured since I was in town for BC already, why not) and I got the same overall impression while I was there.


I have only known one person who went to Harvard and he was a pompous prick. He was always correcting other people's grammar, even people who were not native English speakers.


He probably [strike]thought it made him seem smart.[/strike] looked like a total douchebag.

MD/JD2B
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:06 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby MD/JD2B » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:12 pm

Two people at an ASD told me this when I asked what someone would have told THEM re law school: LEARN HOW TO TYPE ACCURATELY AND AS FAST AS YOU CAN!! If your encyclopedic knowledge of the topic or key points don't make it to the examination paper, your profs won't know what a wunderkind you are! Be succinct and remember your exams are not a submission for the Faulkner writing award.

pltf wil wincaus def dlnt res temto fel trheo dogs

User avatar
quickquestionthanks
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:30 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:21 pm

Hey-O wrote:I have only known one person who went to Harvard and he was a pompous prick. He was always correcting other people's grammar, even people who were not native English speakers.


How else are they gonna learn?

User avatar
gymboree
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:48 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby gymboree » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:40 pm

I originally wrote this as a response to a PM asking me how I got in to Boalt with my numbers (also in the dead nostalgia thread). It might be helpful to others so I'll post it here.

If you have great softs I would absolutely emphasize those in your personal statement. With a lower GPA (and if you're a bit older, not right out of undergrad) you need to write an addendum about your GPA (I did). Actually, even if ug is only a few years in the past, you still need an addendum. Mine was short (1/2 page) but reminded them that my mediocre/bad grades were all several/many years ago and were in no way indicative of my intellectual capacity. In fact, if they looked at my Master's degree... you get the idea.

Next, I wrote an absolutely off the charts fantastic personal statement (if I do say so myself - but the admit seems to back that up). I worked on it for months; I had someone look at it from the University writing center, I had about 5 other people read it for edits/readability; then I had a writing Professor look at my final draft. I took a risk and wrote a very personal and creative essay which said nothing about law school but said a lot about my growth as a human being. I was incredibly honest. I didn't "tell" anything about myself, I "showed"... so none of the "I consider myself a hard-worker and I'm always dedicated to the task at hand" kind of crap. Instead, I wrote little vignettes of my life that highlighted characteristics I thought they'd want to know re:a law student and that were authentic big experiences in my life. It was almost the 4 pages they requested (3 1/2). Other schools received an edited version of this (2 pages)

In addition, I wrote a kick-butt essay about "Why School X" - for every school I applied to... it helped me realize which schools I really wanted to attend. To solve the problem of applying to too many schools/schools you don't care about: If I couldn't bring myself to write a "why school x" essay, then it was clear I didn't have enough interest. I researched and researched and researched their law school and told them exactly why I wanted to go there. I knew classes, clinics, professors, and groups in which I wanted to participate. I went through the same process with that essay as I did with my personal statement. It was tight, densely written, and 1 1/2 pages.

And I applied early. Do not underestimate how important this is. I think it's worth a point or two on the LSAT. I'll say it again even though everyone already knows it: Apply Early!!!

Study for the LSAT and rock it out... do not overestimate yourself before the test. Get your score consistent. Use conservative timing at the end - 32-33 minutes. Go over every single wrong answer, dissect it, find out why you were wrong. Take 20+ timed LSATs before the real thing.

Good luck in your cycle next year!

Best,
Gymboree
Last edited by gymboree on Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:43 pm

gymboree wrote:<intelligent and helpful things>

Best,
Gymboree



Great post!

honestabe84
Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: What is one thing you wish someone would have told you?

Postby honestabe84 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:01 am

gymboree wrote:I originally wrote this as a response to a PM asking me how I got in to Boalt with my numbers (also in the dead nostalgia thread). It might be helpful to others so I'll post it here.

If you have great softs I would absolutely emphasize those in your personal statement. With a lower GPA (and if you're a bit older, not right out of undergrad) you need to write an addendum about your GPA (I did). Actually, even if ug is only a few years in the past, you still need an addendum. Mine was short (1/2 page) but reminded them that my mediocre/bad grades were all several/many years ago and were in no way indicative of my intellectual capacity. In fact, if they looked at my Master's degree... you get the idea.

Next, I wrote an absolutely off the charts fantastic personal statement (if I do say so myself - but the admit seems to back that up). I worked on it for months; I had someone look at it from the University writing center, I had about 5 other people read it for edits/readability; then I had a writing Professor look at my final draft. I took a risk and wrote a very personal and creative essay which nothing about law school but said a lot about my growth as a human being. I was incredibly honest. I didn't "tell" anything about myself, I "showed"... so none of the "I consider myself a hard-worker and I'm always dedicated to the task at hand" kind of crap. Instead, I wrote little vignettes of my life that highlighted characteristics I thought they'd want to know re:a law student and that were authentic big experiences in my life. It was almost the 4 pages they requested (3 1/2). Other schools received an edited version of this (2 pages)

In addition, I wrote a kick-butt essay about "Why School X" - for every school I applied to... it helped me realize which schools I really wanted to attend. To solve the problem of applying to too many schools/schools you don't care about: If I couldn't bring myself to write a "why school x" essay, then it was clear I didn't have enough interest. I researched and researched and researched their law school and told them exactly why I wanted to go there. I knew classes, clinics, professors, and groups in which I wanted to participate. I went through the same process with that essay as I did with my personal statement. It was tight, densely written, and 1 1/2 pages.

And I applied early. Do not underestimate how important this is. I think it's worth a point or two on the LSAT. I'll say it again even though everyone already knows it: Apply Early!!!

Study for the LSAT and rock it out... do not overestimate yourself before the test. Get your score consistent. Use conservative timing at the end - 32-33 minutes. Go over every single wrong answer, dissect it, find out why you were wrong. Take 20+ timed LSATs before the real thing.

Good luck in your cycle next year!

Best,
Gymboree


Definitely a great post.

I do have one question that about it. You said that in your Why X essays you talked about the professors. Are these professors that you actually met during a visit?




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 8 guests