A new member with a lot of questions.

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Bmarce
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A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby Bmarce » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:49 pm

Hello All,

Recently I finally decided that I would pursue law school when I am done with my undergraduate education. I have been doing an enormous amount of research on the topic lately and I am getting quite overwhelmed. Choosing and paying for a Lsat prep course, my course load, job and family issues are taking their toll on me, but I am trying to make it through. I have some questions; I hope you guys can help.

1. Between Kaplan and the Princeton Review, which company would best prepare me for the LSAT? I need to make the right choice; the price of one of these classes is equal to a semester of tuition.

1a. I cannot start a classroom prep course until August, I know that two months of prep will not prepare me for the October LSAT. I was thinking of paying for an online course to tide me over until I can start a classroom course. Would it be worth taking an online course (blueprint perhaps?) so I can study up until my class starts? Taking an online course in addition to a classroom course wouldn't be cheap, but if it will help me, I will make the sacrifice.

2. When the LSAC calculates my GPA how will they deal with W's on my transcript? Apparently they will not count so long as they are not "punitive". I assume the ones on my transcript are not punitive because they have no affect on my GPA.

3. How does LSAC deal with repeated classes? Their website says "All grades and credits earned for repeated courses will be included in the GPA calculation if the course units and grades appear on the transcript. A line drawn through course information or a grade does not eliminate the course from GPA calculation if the course units appear on the transcript." The issue is that my school does not include both grades, the first class grade is replaced by an "R" and only the repeated class grade is shown.

4. Should I wait until my fall grades are in to apply? I have been on a massive upswing for the last two and a half years. I graduate in fall. I know my GPA would be highest after the fall semester. Would it be worth waiting until December to apply to law school? Two of my friends who have both gotten into law schools recommended that I apply in October as soon as I received my LSAT score.


Appreciate your help

javancho
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby javancho » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:46 pm

My advice to you would be to:

1. Not worry about anything else at this point except the LSAT. Company or not? Whatever works for you. Also, don't rush taking the LSAT, take it only when you are "ready." The LSAT is the singe most important factor.

2. Don't "commit" to go law school without having an LSAT score because if you commit and you score poorly, then you are likely to make a poor decision. First LSAT, then law school, not the other way around.

3. People disagree over this, but IMHO law school is a worthy "financial investment" (in most cases) if one attends at least a Tier 1 school with some scholarship included, or T14 at sticker.

4. Apply as early as possible (around October), but don't rush anything. If necessary, wait year or longer. Law school will always be there.

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Patriot1208
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:56 pm

ALL THE HELP YOU WILL NEED (LinkRemoved)

Sandro
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby Sandro » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:00 pm

The answer to all your questions is yes.

bdubs
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby bdubs » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:20 pm

1) take a diagnostic before deciding you need a prep class
2) Just submit your transcript to LSAC if you're sure to apply, they will figure it out.
3) Just submit your transcript to LSAC if you're sure to apply, they will figure it out.
4) When do your fall grades come out? The answer is almost certainly no, but I would submit for most schools in November so that you reduce your chance of being dinged before your new grades come in.

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ahduth
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby ahduth » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Forget the LSAT prep courses, spend the money on something worthwhile. Tickets to clubs, booze, gambling, whatever floats your boat.

As far as number 4, wait to apply, get some work experience or something, make sure you want to go. Too much money to spend, committing to a career when you've never even worked before.

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Grizz
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby Grizz » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:05 pm

Image

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northwood
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby northwood » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:06 pm

keep your undergrad GPA up as much as possible. Start studying for the LSAT now ( or after finals) take an online course now over the summer and start figuring out who will write your reference letters. Try to take the test in October if you feel ready for it. Once you get your numbers ( which make up most of the game) you will see where you are competitive at the schools. Then if you are happy with that- work on your applicaitons. If not, then you willl have to take the test again.

make sure this is what you want to do. If you have other careers that you want to explore- explore them before you go to law school. It wont go away soon- but once you start- you will close off a lot of other career options.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:28 pm

There is a wealth of information on TLS that can be accessed through the search feature. Make use of it! Browse the forums (all of them) and read some of the threads to get a feel for the general advice that remains true.

Here are some Very Useful Links, both from this site and from other websites, compiled into one easy post. Of those links, I recommend starting by reading this one: bk1’s Guide to Law School: A Compendium of 0L Follies

Now to address your questions....
Bmarce wrote:1. Between Kaplan and the Princeton Review, which company would best prepare me for the LSAT? I need to make the right choice; the price of one of these classes is equal to a semester of tuition.
1a. I cannot start a classroom prep course until August, I know that two months of prep will not prepare me for the October LSAT. I was thinking of paying for an online course to tide me over until I can start a classroom course. Would it be worth taking an online course (blueprint perhaps?) so I can study up until my class starts? Taking an online course in addition to a classroom course wouldn't be cheap, but if it will help me, I will make the sacrifice.

First off, LOOK AT THE LSAT FORUMS. There's about 329483294832 questions just like this. With that said, I'd recommend neither Kaplan nor Princeton Review, but instead Testmasters/Blueprint. Those tend to have a better rep, as you'll see if you do some research into them on this site.

Secondly, don't bother with an online course if you're already going to enroll in an in-person course later. In fact, you don't have to take a class at all. I took Testmasters my first time w/the LSAT and I'm studying on my own now. The study skills/guide/plan I've gotten from TLS have served me MUCH BETTER than Testmasters, because a class can only motivate you so much. LSAT success is all about how much work YOU put into it.

For that, I recommend going to http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/. There, you will find tips as well as comprehensive week-by-week or day-by-day study plans. Take a look and see how you can plan out your study schedule with this blog's help. For self-study, I HIGHLY recommend investing in the Powerscore Bibles for all the sections, as well as investing in ALL of the past tests--or at least 20-most recent.

Bmarce wrote:3. How does LSAC deal with repeated classes? Their website says "All grades and credits earned for repeated courses will be included in the GPA calculation if the course units and grades appear on the transcript. A line drawn through course information or a grade does not eliminate the course from GPA calculation if the course units appear on the transcript." The issue is that my school does not include both grades, the first class grade is replaced by an "R" and only the repeated class grade is shown.

LSAC counts these. So if you took Intro to Calculus and got an F, then retook and got an A, both grades are calculated in your LSAC GPA. You can calculate your LSAC GPA here: LSAC GPA Calculator.

Bmarce wrote:4. Should I wait until my fall grades are in to apply? I have been on a massive upswing for the last two and a half years. I graduate in fall. I know my GPA would be highest after the fall semester. Would it be worth waiting until December to apply to law school? Two of my friends who have both gotten into law schools recommended that I apply in October as soon as I received my LSAT score.

From what I can tell, it's better to get your applications out AS SOON AS YOU CAN, since most schools have rolling admissions, which means it's sort of first-come first-serve. The earlier you apply, the more spots there are for admits. I would recommend applying as soon as you can, unless your GPA is somehow going to jump VERY drastically from one quarter (I highly doubt this). After your fall grades come in, if your GPA goes up, you can always send the updated GPA to the schools you applied to, either to get off WLs or get some more money.

Last note--if you've done that much research, the answers to these questions should have popped up by now. Spend some more time reading this forum, read the stickied articles in each of the forums. Hope this comment helped, but it's only a small small small small fraction of the information available on this forum.

Bmarce
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby Bmarce » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:00 pm

northwood wrote:keep your undergrad GPA up as much as possible. Start studying for the LSAT now ( or after finals) take an online course now over the summer and start figuring out who will write your reference letters. Try to take the test in October if you feel ready for it. Once you get your numbers ( which make up most of the game) you will see where you are competitive at the schools. Then if you are happy with that- work on your applicaitons. If not, then you willl have to take the test again.

make sure this is what you want to do. If you have other careers that you want to explore- explore them before you go to law school. It wont go away soon- but once you start- you will close off a lot of other career options.


Thanks for the response. Should LOR's be only from my professor's? What about people I have worked or volunteered for?

crumpetsandtea wrote:There is a wealth of information on TLS that can be accessed through the search feature. Make use of it! Browse the forums (all of them) and read some of the threads to get a feel for the general advice that remains true.

Here are some Very Useful Links, both from this site and from other websites, compiled into one easy post. Of those links, I recommend starting by reading this one: bk1’s Guide to Law School: A Compendium of 0L Follies

Now to address your questions....
Bmarce wrote:1. Between Kaplan and the Princeton Review, which company would best prepare me for the LSAT? I need to make the right choice; the price of one of these classes is equal to a semester of tuition.
1a. I cannot start a classroom prep course until August, I know that two months of prep will not prepare me for the October LSAT. I was thinking of paying for an online course to tide me over until I can start a classroom course. Would it be worth taking an online course (blueprint perhaps?) so I can study up until my class starts? Taking an online course in addition to a classroom course wouldn't be cheap, but if it will help me, I will make the sacrifice.

First off, LOOK AT THE LSAT FORUMS. There's about 329483294832 questions just like this. With that said, I'd recommend neither Kaplan nor Princeton Review, but instead Testmasters/Blueprint. Those tend to have a better rep, as you'll see if you do some research into them on this site.

Secondly, don't bother with an online course if you're already going to enroll in an in-person course later. In fact, you don't have to take a class at all. I took Testmasters my first time w/the LSAT and I'm studying on my own now. The study skills/guide/plan I've gotten from TLS have served me MUCH BETTER than Testmasters, because a class can only motivate you so much. LSAT success is all about how much work YOU put into it.

For that, I recommend going to http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/. There, you will find tips as well as comprehensive week-by-week or day-by-day study plans. Take a look and see how you can plan out your study schedule with this blog's help. For self-study, I HIGHLY recommend investing in the Powerscore Bibles for all the sections, as well as investing in ALL of the past tests--or at least 20-most recent.

Bmarce wrote:3. How does LSAC deal with repeated classes? Their website says "All grades and credits earned for repeated courses will be included in the GPA calculation if the course units and grades appear on the transcript. A line drawn through course information or a grade does not eliminate the course from GPA calculation if the course units appear on the transcript." The issue is that my school does not include both grades, the first class grade is replaced by an "R" and only the repeated class grade is shown.

LSAC counts these. So if you took Intro to Calculus and got an F, then retook and got an A, both grades are calculated in your LSAC GPA. You can calculate your LSAC GPA here: LSAC GPA Calculator.

Bmarce wrote:4. Should I wait until my fall grades are in to apply? I have been on a massive upswing for the last two and a half years. I graduate in fall. I know my GPA would be highest after the fall semester. Would it be worth waiting until December to apply to law school? Two of my friends who have both gotten into law schools recommended that I apply in October as soon as I received my LSAT score.

From what I can tell, it's better to get your applications out AS SOON AS YOU CAN, since most schools have rolling admissions, which means it's sort of first-come first-serve. The earlier you apply, the more spots there are for admits. I would recommend applying as soon as you can, unless your GPA is somehow going to jump VERY drastically from one quarter (I highly doubt this). After your fall grades come in, if your GPA goes up, you can always send the updated GPA to the schools you applied to, either to get off WLs or get some more money.

Last note--if you've done that much research, the answers to these questions should have popped up by now. Spend some more time reading this forum, read the stickied articles in each of the forums. Hope this comment helped, but it's only a small small small small fraction of the information available on this forum.


Believe me I would rather take Blueprint or Testmasters, but they are not in my area. Its either Kaplan or PR for me. So I have choose the lesser of two evils.

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crumpetsandtea
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:15 pm

Bmarce wrote:Thanks for the response. Should LOR's be only from my professor's? What about people I have worked or volunteered for?

Believe me I would rather take Blueprint or Testmasters, but they are not in my area. Its either Kaplan or PR for me. So I have choose the lesser of two evils.

I know you didn't ask me the 1st q but from what I know, at least 2 should be academic LORs if you are applying right out of UG. The last one can be an employer/supervisor/etc.

As for the LSAT--depends on where you are PTing. Honestly if your cold diag is already in the 160s then Kaplan and PR will likely not be worth your money, or so I hear. I haven't taken either though. Also, depending on what kind of studier and how much time you have every day, it might be worth it to save that 1k+ and study on your own. Seriously, one of the biggest lessons I've learned from TLS is that the class I took in the LSAT was totally useless and a waste of money. I could have learned everything I did in the class on my own. I just defaulted to classes because I didn't know about TLS at the time and didn't know how else to prepare for it.

Bmarce
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby Bmarce » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:20 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
Bmarce wrote:Thanks for the response. Should LOR's be only from my professor's? What about people I have worked or volunteered for?

Believe me I would rather take Blueprint or Testmasters, but they are not in my area. Its either Kaplan or PR for me. So I have choose the lesser of two evils.

I know you didn't ask me the 1st q but from what I know, at least 2 should be academic LORs if you are applying right out of UG. The last one can be an employer/supervisor/etc.

As for the LSAT--depends on where you are PTing. Honestly if your cold diag is already in the 160s then Kaplan and PR will likely not be worth your money, or so I hear. I haven't taken either though. Also, depending on what kind of studier and how much time you have every day, it might be worth it to save that 1k+ and study on your own. Seriously, one of the biggest lessons I've learned from TLS is that the class I took in the LSAT was totally useless and a waste of money. I could have learned everything I did in the class on my own. I just defaulted to classes because I didn't know about TLS at the time and didn't know how else to prepare for it.


I would love nothing more than to save the money and not take a classroom course, I feel I need guidance though. I have yet to take a diagnostic, so I don't even know where I am. I am willing to put the time in to preparing, I have no doubts about that.

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crumpetsandtea
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:31 pm

Bmarce wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:
Bmarce wrote:Thanks for the response. Should LOR's be only from my professor's? What about people I have worked or volunteered for?

Believe me I would rather take Blueprint or Testmasters, but they are not in my area. Its either Kaplan or PR for me. So I have choose the lesser of two evils.

I know you didn't ask me the 1st q but from what I know, at least 2 should be academic LORs if you are applying right out of UG. The last one can be an employer/supervisor/etc.

As for the LSAT--depends on where you are PTing. Honestly if your cold diag is already in the 160s then Kaplan and PR will likely not be worth your money, or so I hear. I haven't taken either though. Also, depending on what kind of studier and how much time you have every day, it might be worth it to save that 1k+ and study on your own. Seriously, one of the biggest lessons I've learned from TLS is that the class I took in the LSAT was totally useless and a waste of money. I could have learned everything I did in the class on my own. I just defaulted to classes because I didn't know about TLS at the time and didn't know how else to prepare for it.


I would love nothing more than to save the money and not take a classroom course, I feel I need guidance though. I have yet to take a diagnostic, so I don't even know where I am. I am willing to put the time in to preparing, I have no doubts about that.

Ultimately, it's your decision since you know your own study style best. I would HIGHLY recommend getting your hands on a test before you even start planning out your study schedule and taking it just to see where you are starting from.

Also, think of it this way: you're planning on starting your study schedule now (I presume). If you really need the class for guidance, then what are you going to be doing these few months? If you think these few months are going to be useful, can't you just extend that schedule/plan into the months you would be taking a class, except SUPER HARDCORE? If you're going to be studying for 4-5 months already, why would you need a class for guidance? (:

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IzziesGal
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby IzziesGal » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:53 am

Take Robin Singh's Testmasters if they're still around. Princeton Review and Kaplan are awful, IMO. They aren't nearly as thorough as they should be.

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Fred_McGriff
Posts: 396
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Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby Fred_McGriff » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:00 pm

Avoid Law School like the plague.

bp shinners
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: A new member with a lot of questions.

Postby bp shinners » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:50 pm

Bmarce wrote:Believe me I would rather take Blueprint or Testmasters, but they are not in my area. Its either Kaplan or PR for me. So I have choose the lesser of two evils.


In my extremely biased opinion (but, as we know from LSAT classes, that's not a valid reason to discount it completely!), our video course is better than Kaplan or PR live courses. I would even say that, for many people, it's on par with a BP live course, as you'll get all of the materials and sit through all of our classes taught by Matt Riley and Trent Teti, who both rock.

If you want more info, send me a PM (as this is already enough of a sales pitch for the forum); I can probably get you access to a sample video and a discount on the course itself.




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