Start application before LSAT score?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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BallHog
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Start application before LSAT score?

Postby BallHog » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:36 am

Hey guys,

I have a 3.71 UG GPA in mechanical engineering and will be taking the LSAT in October. Ideally, I want to be done with my "priority" applications (schools I am highly interested in such as UNC, Duke, WF because I live in NC) by the end of October and all applications by Christmas. Would it be a good idea to start on my applications as soon as they open before I get my LSAT score?

Thanks!

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jhw219
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby jhw219 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:47 am

Absolutely. Applications take longer than you think. I would start especially early on getting your rec letters because it takes time for them to write them and then LSAC has to process them. Also, then you only have to worry about your LSAT when it comes time to take it and you can send off your apps right when you get your score and applying early is key.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:51 am

jhw219 wrote:Absolutely. Applications take longer than you think. I would start especially early on getting your rec letters because it takes time for them to write them and then LSAC has to process them. Also, then you only have to worry about your LSAT when it comes time to take it and you can send off your apps right when you get your score and applying early is key.

+1

Some people end up waiting months for their LORs, and you want your PS to be perfect, so get started with both as soon as possible.

Actually completing the form doesn't take long, though, once you have all the other bits.

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luxxe
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby luxxe » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:52 am

jhw219 wrote:Absolutely. Applications take longer than you think. I would start especially early on getting your rec letters because it takes time for them to write them and then LSAC has to process them. Also, then you only have to worry about your LSAT when it comes time to take it and you can send off your apps right when you get your score and applying early is key.


I agree about getting your rec letters + transcripts processed ASAP and starting on your personal statement/resume/additional essays, but your LSAT score is going to be a lot more important than your essays & time before the LSAT should be spent studying, not filling in personal information into LSAC.

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BallHog
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby BallHog » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:57 am

Awesome. I guess a more direct question would be: are LSAT prep tests a (very) good indicator on how you will score on the LSAT itself? That way I know which schools to target.

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luxxe
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby luxxe » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:59 am

BallHog wrote:Awesome. I guess a more direct question would be: are LSAT prep tests a (very) good indicator on how you will score on the LSAT itself? That way I know which schools to target.


It is an indication, sure, but there are so many variables on test day that you really can't rely on them for an accurate prediction. 169 v. 164 gets you into entirely different schools, for example, and a small variation like that can easily result from your ability to handle test day stress, etc.

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BallHog
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby BallHog » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:00 am

luxxe wrote:
BallHog wrote:Awesome. I guess a more direct question would be: are LSAT prep tests a (very) good indicator on how you will score on the LSAT itself? That way I know which schools to target.


It is an indication, sure, but there are so many variables on test day that you really can't rely on them for an accurate prediction. 169 v. 164 gets you into entirely different schools, for example, and a small variation like that can easily result from your ability to handle test day stress, etc.

True. Thanks for the advice. I am typically good with exam stress. Ace most my finals etc.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:20 am

Make sure you line up 2 LORs and at least brainstorm your personal statement throughout the summer, but I think it would be a huge mistake to start filling out applications in mid September while the LSAT is just a week or so away. Take the LSAT, go out and have a drink that night, and get back to work the following Monday on your personal statement. Send it to some trusted professors to proofread it and then you can start looking at the applications and do some of the optional essays.

That's what I did at least and it worked out really well for me. The applications take no time at all to do after the first one on LSAC and I didn't find that the optional essays (generally like 1.5 pages) were too time consuming either, though you should certainly take them seriously for your reach schools.

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BallHog
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby BallHog » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:28 am

bobbyh1919 wrote:Make sure you line up 2 LORs and at least brainstorm your personal statement throughout the summer, but I think it would be a huge mistake to start filling out applications in mid September while the LSAT is just a week or so away. Take the LSAT, go out and have a drink that night, and get back to work the following Monday on your personal statement. Send it to some trusted professors to proofread it and then you can start looking at the applications and do some of the optional essays.

That's what I did at least and it worked out really well for me. The applications take no time at all to do after the first one on LSAC and I didn't find that the optional essays (generally like 1.5 pages) were too time consuming either, though you should certainly take them seriously for your reach schools.

Thank you! I have one LOR lined up from an internship last year and am currently working on the second this summer while I work.

bp shinners
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:49 am

BallHog wrote:Thank you! I have one LOR lined up from an internship last year and am currently working on the second this summer while I work.


It sounds like you're getting your LORs from work/internship supervisors, which is fine for a third letter. However, your main letters should really come from professors/be academic letters, as that's what the law schools want to know about.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:06 pm

bp shinners wrote:
BallHog wrote:Thank you! I have one LOR lined up from an internship last year and am currently working on the second this summer while I work.


It sounds like you're getting your LORs from work/internship supervisors, which is fine for a third letter. However, your main letters should really come from professors/be academic letters, as that's what the law schools want to know about.


Absolutely. Ideally you'll have 2 LORs from professors you've worked closely with or have had multiple times. A letter from an internship is okay, but it will be viewed third in order of importance by most schools (unless there are some other circumstances that make that specific letter unusually important).

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BallHog
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby BallHog » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:49 pm

I understand. Sounds good! Time to build some relationships! :?

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echamberlin8
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby echamberlin8 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:42 pm

The professor recommendation thing is kind-of annoying if you've been out of school for three or more years (as I have). I graduated in '09...do I still need two professor recommendations and one work one, or can I do two work ones and one professor one? Obviously by this point, I have a much closer relationship with my job colleagues/supervisors, and they know a much more contemporary version of me than the one three or four years ago in college.

bp shinners
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:54 pm

echamberlin8 wrote:The professor recommendation thing is kind-of annoying if you've been out of school for three or more years (as I have). I graduated in '09...do I still need two professor recommendations and one work one, or can I do two work ones and one professor one? Obviously by this point, I have a much closer relationship with my job colleagues/supervisors, and they know a much more contemporary version of me than the one three or four years ago in college.


Until you get to the 5-year mark, I would still go 2 academic-1 professional, if at all possible. Sure, they know contemporary you better, but they don't know student you at all. That's the person the schools want to hear about.

That being said, if you really can't make it happen, it's not a huge deal. Get the best letters you can and you'll be fine.

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echamberlin8
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Re: Start application before LSAT score?

Postby echamberlin8 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:10 am

bp shinners wrote:
echamberlin8 wrote:The professor recommendation thing is kind-of annoying if you've been out of school for three or more years (as I have). I graduated in '09...do I still need two professor recommendations and one work one, or can I do two work ones and one professor one? Obviously by this point, I have a much closer relationship with my job colleagues/supervisors, and they know a much more contemporary version of me than the one three or four years ago in college.


Until you get to the 5-year mark, I would still go 2 academic-1 professional, if at all possible. Sure, they know contemporary you better, but they don't know student you at all. That's the person the schools want to hear about.

That being said, if you really can't make it happen, it's not a huge deal. Get the best letters you can and you'll be fine.


Thanks for the answer, bp. I luckily have a professor in my extended family who I had some courses with. She is a very nice woman, and I think would write me a solid LOR.




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