Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

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canesdiver7
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Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby canesdiver7 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:48 pm

Hey everybody,

I'm an undergrad at University of Florida. I took the LSAT in October and got a 159, but I want to go to USC or UCLA. Because this was lower than most of my practice scores I decided to retake in December (my highest practice score was 163). I had to cancel my score due to extenuating circumstances. Now I am faced with the option of cramming studying for the Feb LSATs during finals and the first weeks of Spring semester or taking a year off. My main intention with the year off would be to study for the LSAT without an impending time deadline and being able to perfect my applications. I would work part time while doing so and hopefully get a few more resume boosters. Thankfully, I have parents that would be willing to help support me during this year (meaning I wouldn't have to pay bills, etc.). I do not feel confident with my current score, and I'm worried the pressure of the February test may not provide the best testing climate for me to maximize my potential score.

Any thoughts?

canesdiver7
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby canesdiver7 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:50 pm

I'm also certain that I won't get in a cycle of taking year after year off. I would definitely be in law school after that one year.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:54 pm

Good idea. What is your GPA ?

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99.9luft
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby 99.9luft » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:54 pm

Forget Feb, study for June, if the PT average doesn't rise to upper 160s, but preferably lower 170s, take October.

Definitely take a year off and do smth interesting with it.

canesdiver7
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby canesdiver7 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:03 pm

Thanks for the advice. GPA now is a 3.5. Not fantastic I know, should be getting 3 A's of this semester.

illiniguy1551
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby illiniguy1551 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:04 pm

Take a year off just for the sake of quality work experience, better LSAT, and hopefully a further decline in applicants. I went on a two month trek through the Middle East and now I'm working in a state general assembly for a year, no regrets (yet).

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cahwc12
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:15 pm

canesdiver7 wrote:I'm also certain that I won't get in a cycle of taking year after year off. I would definitely be in law school after that one year.


In this cycle, I don't think a february score would prevent you from UCLA or USC (although it doesn't seem like you feel you would be ready by then). One problem though is that USC will offer you zero aid unless you're black or mexican, and UCLA probably won't offer you enough aid to make it worth attending unless you get 170+. LA is also very, very expensive to live in. Rent for an average apartment in gainesville might run $600/mo, but in westwood it'll close in on $1500/mo, so there's that consideration as well.

What really bothers me though is that you seem committed to going to law school despite these things. Why specifically LA? Why would you go no matter what if the score isn't there? Clearly taking time off for the LSAT will reward you with a much better score, but are you sure your reasons for law school are right in the first place? If so, why is there a hard deadline for attendance?

canesdiver7
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby canesdiver7 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:22 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
canesdiver7 wrote:I'm also certain that I won't get in a cycle of taking year after year off. I would definitely be in law school after that one year.


In this cycle, I don't think a february score would prevent you from UCLA or USC (although it doesn't seem like you feel you would be ready by then). One problem though is that USC will offer you zero aid unless you're black or mexican, and UCLA probably won't offer you enough aid to make it worth attending unless you get 170+. LA is also very, very expensive to live in. Rent for an average apartment in gainesville might run $600/mo, but in westwood it'll close in on $1500/mo, so there's that consideration as well.

What really bothers me though is that you seem committed to going to law school despite these things. Why specifically LA? Why would you go no matter what if the score isn't there? Clearly taking time off for the LSAT will reward you with a much better score, but are you sure your reasons for law school are right in the first place? If so, why is there a hard deadline for attendance?


All valid points, I didn't explain fully. Youre right, the main reason I would not be taking the February LSAT is that I don't think I would get my best possible score. I am very thankful to be coming out of undergrad with absolutely no loans or debt. Going to UCLA or USC would be worth incurring the debt to me. My dream has always been and always will be to go to law school for entertainment law. And it has always been my intention to live in LA. I don't want to compromise on those things. I am certain that is the path I want to take. The fact of the matter is that is where I need to be to pursue the career I want. There are, of course, other entertainment law options in southern california that I could probably get into right now. However, USC and UCLA would be more valuable in terms of connections, prestige and job opportunities. After my year off, I may still not get into those schools and may end up at Loyola or Southwestern. However, my intention with the year off would be to give those two schools my best effort to get into.

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wert3813
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby wert3813 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:17 am

.
Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dowu
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby dowu » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:30 am

wert3813 wrote:
canesdiver7 wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:
canesdiver7 wrote:I'm also certain that I won't get in a cycle of taking year after year off. I would definitely be in law school after that one year.


In this cycle, I don't think a february score would prevent you from UCLA or USC (although it doesn't seem like you feel you would be ready by then). One problem though is that USC will offer you zero aid unless you're black or mexican, and UCLA probably won't offer you enough aid to make it worth attending unless you get 170+. LA is also very, very expensive to live in. Rent for an average apartment in gainesville might run $600/mo, but in westwood it'll close in on $1500/mo, so there's that consideration as well.

What really bothers me though is that you seem committed to going to law school despite these things. Why specifically LA? Why would you go no matter what if the score isn't there? Clearly taking time off for the LSAT will reward you with a much better score, but are you sure your reasons for law school are right in the first place? If so, why is there a hard deadline for attendance?


All valid points, I didn't explain fully. Youre right, the main reason I would not be taking the February LSAT is that I don't think I would get my best possible score. I am very thankful to be coming out of undergrad with absolutely no loans or debt. Going to UCLA or USC would be worth incurring the debt to me. My dream has always been and always will be to go to law school for entertainment law. And it has always been my intention to live in LA. I don't want to compromise on those things. I am certain that is the path I want to take. The fact of the matter is that is where I need to be to pursue the career I want. There are, of course, other entertainment law options in southern california that I could probably get into right now. However, USC and UCLA would be more valuable in terms of connections, prestige and job opportunities. After my year off, I may still not get into those schools and may end up at Loyola or Southwestern. However, my intention with the year off would be to give those two schools my best effort to get into.



Who's gonna break the bad news?

I will. OP, it's a pipe dream, unless you know someone in the biz. For most people, entertainment law is as big of a flame as is wanting to be an international lawlyer. Get into the best school that you can with the smallest amount of debt possible.
Good luck!

Swimp
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby Swimp » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:37 am

OP, if I were you I'd take a year off (at least), but not to focus on the LSAT. A year is too much time to spend. I don't know how you'd make the prep materials last that long. Full time work experience will make your application more attractive and it's definitely possible to study for the LSAT after work.

I took the test in 2009 and didn't live up to my expectations, so I got a job and worked for a while. I retook this past October and got into NYU. I think everybody should have the experience of living out in the real world in their 20s before heading back to school. I'm really glad I did it.

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IAFG
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby IAFG » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:11 am

What would you do with your life if you got a letter from your future self that said, "I 100% guarantee you that under no circumstances does going to law school lead to becoming an entertainment lawyer."

What would you do then?

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hume85
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby hume85 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:14 am

IAFG wrote:What would you do with your life if you got a letter from your future self that said, "I 100% guarantee you that under no circumstances does going to law school lead to becoming an entertainment lawyer."

What would you do then?


This. There are very few if any entertainment law jobs for entry level attorneys.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:09 am

I disagree with these guys. If your dream is to be an entertainment lawyer, give it your best shot and live with no regrets. However, position yourself as best as possible by studying non-stop for the LSAT, so you can get a lot of scholly money to reduce the risk. I am going to law school as an avenue to get into politics and for no other reason. Also, it is impossible to study for the LSAT and work full time; DON'T DO IT. After you graduate, study for the LSAT full time and take it in June or October. Don't be fooled by all of the 170+ LSAT's you see floating around here. Scoring real high on this test is going to be one of the most difficult things you ever do.

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Chardee_MacDennis
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby Chardee_MacDennis » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:15 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:I disagree with these guys. If your dream is to be an entertainment lawyer, give it your best shot and live with no regrets. However, position yourself as best as possible by studying non-stop for the LSAT, so you can get a lot of scholly money to reduce the risk. I am going to law school as an avenue to get into politics and for no other reason. Also, it is impossible to study for the LSAT and work full time; DON'T DO IT. After you graduate, study for the LSAT full time and take it in June or October. Don't be fooled by all of the 170+ LSAT's you see floating around here. Scoring real high on this test is going to be one of the most difficult things you ever do.


The bolded is categorcially untrue. Plenty of people on this site have done it successfully. It just requires a disciplined approach. Set a schedule and stick to it.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:20 am

Chardee_MacDennis wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I disagree with these guys. If your dream is to be an entertainment lawyer, give it your best shot and live with no regrets. However, position yourself as best as possible by studying non-stop for the LSAT, so you can get a lot of scholly money to reduce the risk. I am going to law school as an avenue to get into politics and for no other reason. Also, it is impossible to study for the LSAT and work full time; DON'T DO IT. After you graduate, study for the LSAT full time and take it in June or October. Don't be fooled by all of the 170+ LSAT's you see floating around here. Scoring real high on this test is going to be one of the most difficult things you ever do.


The bolded is categorcially untrue. Plenty of people on this site have done it successfully. It just requires a disciplined approach. Set a schedule and stick to it.

Why should someone work full time and study for the LSAT when they have the chance to do it with no other obligations? I just don't understand why ya'll give that advice all of the time. After he or she graduates, they can study for it 4 or 6 months, take the test and then start working for a year or 6 months. Why torture yourself if you don't have to?

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Chardee_MacDennis
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby Chardee_MacDennis » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:27 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:
Chardee_MacDennis wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I disagree with these guys. If your dream is to be an entertainment lawyer, give it your best shot and live with no regrets. However, position yourself as best as possible by studying non-stop for the LSAT, so you can get a lot of scholly money to reduce the risk. I am going to law school as an avenue to get into politics and for no other reason. Also, it is impossible to study for the LSAT and work full time; DON'T DO IT. After you graduate, study for the LSAT full time and take it in June or October. Don't be fooled by all of the 170+ LSAT's you see floating around here. Scoring real high on this test is going to be one of the most difficult things you ever do.


The bolded is categorcially untrue. Plenty of people on this site have done it successfully. It just requires a disciplined approach. Set a schedule and stick to it.

Why should someone work full time and study for the LSAT when they have the chance to do it with no other obligations? I just don't understand why ya'll give that advice all of the time. After he or she graduates, they can study for it 4 or 6 months, take the test and then start working for a year or 6 months. Why torture yourself if you don't have to?


What advice are you talking about?

You said that it's impossible to study while working, not that it would be better if he didn't. It's not impossible; it's not even tortuous. What do you think you'll be doing in LS? Really isn't as big of a deal as you're making it seem.

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hume85
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby hume85 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:30 am

Chardee_MacDennis wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:
Chardee_MacDennis wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I disagree with these guys. If your dream is to be an entertainment lawyer, give it your best shot and live with no regrets. However, position yourself as best as possible by studying non-stop for the LSAT, so you can get a lot of scholly money to reduce the risk. I am going to law school as an avenue to get into politics and for no other reason. Also, it is impossible to study for the LSAT and work full time; DON'T DO IT. After you graduate, study for the LSAT full time and take it in June or October. Don't be fooled by all of the 170+ LSAT's you see floating around here. Scoring real high on this test is going to be one of the most difficult things you ever do.


The bolded is categorcially untrue. Plenty of people on this site have done it successfully. It just requires a disciplined approach. Set a schedule and stick to it.

Why should someone work full time and study for the LSAT when they have the chance to do it with no other obligations? I just don't understand why ya'll give that advice all of the time. After he or she graduates, they can study for it 4 or 6 months, take the test and then start working for a year or 6 months. Why torture yourself if you don't have to?


What advice are you talking about?

You said that it's impossible to study while working, not that it would be better if he didn't. It's not impossible; it's not even tortuous. What do you think you'll be doing in LS? Really isn't as big of a deal as you're making it seem.


And taking 4 to 6 months off to study for the LSAT could make finding a professional job very difficult.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:36 am

Scoring in the 98 percentile or whatever OP desires is going to be very difficult. The advice TLS always gives is to get a full time job and study for the LSAT at the same time for a year or two. If OP really wants to be an attorney, then he is just putting his future at risk by not focusing completely on the LSAT. Here is the thing OP. If you try to balance LSAT prep with a full time job, you might end up like me and be out of school a lot longer than you planned. In my first job, I was working for 70 hours a week for 6 straight months and only had 2 weeks vacation. In my second job, I was jetting non stop across the country and the world doing consulting. I quit this second job to focus on the LSAT. You will never take a more important test in your life.

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nickb285
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby nickb285 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:47 am

Bizzy, I work full time (40-45 hours/week) and raised my score from an initial diagnostic of 160 to an actual score of 169 in a month and a half. Took a prep class two nights a week and studied an hour or two other nights. If quitting your job worked for you, great, but a lot of people can't/don't need to do that--especially if they're studying now for next cycle's tests.

OP, study your ass off for the LSAT, but that doesn't mean you need to treat LSAT study like a full time job. However, you should pay attention to what people are saying about entertainment law. Unless you have serious business connections (e.g. a parent or close relative who's high up in the industry) it's EXTREMELY unlikely that you will be able to get a job in entertainment law. It's just too small a niche. By all means shoot for it if you have a fallback plan, why the hell not, but if the only reason you're going to law school--if the only way you could be happy as a lawyer--is to practice entertainment law, then it would behoove you to rethink your plans.

EDIT: Fail at distinguishing able/unable.
Last edited by nickb285 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hume85
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby hume85 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:49 am

nickb285 wrote:Bizzy, I work full time (40-45 hours/week) and raised my score from an initial diagnostic of 160 to an actual score of 169 in a month and a half. Took a prep class two nights a week and studied an hour or two other nights. If quitting your job worked for you, great, but a lot of people can't/don't need to do that--especially if they're studying now for next cycle's tests.

OP, study your ass off for the LSAT, but that doesn't mean you need to treat LSAT study like a full time job. However, you should pay attention to what people are saying about entertainment law. Unless you have serious business connections (e.g. a parent or close relative who's high up in the industry) it's EXTREMELY unlikely that you will be unable able to get a job in entertainment law. It's just too small a niche. By all means shoot for it if you have a fallback plan, why the hell not, but if the only reason you're going to law school--if the only way you could be happy as a lawyer--is to practice entertainment law, then it would behoove you to rethink your plans.


+1 to everything in this post.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 am

Not everyone can attend Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Chicago, Michigan, Penn, Virginia, Berkeley, Duke, Northwestern, Cornell or Georgetown. Your goal OP should be to end up at one of these schools no matter the costs and to attend at a discount. And a lot of that hinges on a stellar LSAT that most people will never get remotely close to getting.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:57 am

hume85 wrote:
nickb285 wrote:Bizzy, I work full time (40-45 hours/week) and raised my score from an initial diagnostic of 160 to an actual score of 169 in a month and a half. Took a prep class two nights a week and studied an hour or two other nights. If quitting your job worked for you, great, but a lot of people can't/don't need to do that--especially if they're studying now for next cycle's tests.

OP, study your ass off for the LSAT, but that doesn't mean you need to treat LSAT study like a full time job. However, you should pay attention to what people are saying about entertainment law. Unless you have serious business connections (e.g. a parent or close relative who's high up in the industry) it's EXTREMELY unlikely that you will be unable able to get a job in entertainment law. It's just too small a niche. By all means shoot for it if you have a fallback plan, why the hell not, but if the only reason you're going to law school--if the only way you could be happy as a lawyer--is to practice entertainment law, then it would behoove you to rethink your plans.


You are the perfect example of why he should not follow your advice. A 160 is already the 80 percentile. A nine point jump isn't nearly as difficult as doing 15 or 20 points. TLS is an unrepresentative self selected sample of people. Do you think the average Joe has a diagnostic of a 160? Of course they don't. Most people can't even score a 160 after studying.

+1 to everything in this post.

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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby Spritzpiggy » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:03 pm

Chardee_MacDennis wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I disagree with these guys. If your dream is to be an entertainment lawyer, give it your best shot and live with no regrets. However, position yourself as best as possible by studying non-stop for the LSAT, so you can get a lot of scholly money to reduce the risk. I am going to law school as an avenue to get into politics and for no other reason. Also, it is impossible to study for the LSAT and work full time; DON'T DO IT. After you graduate, study for the LSAT full time and take it in June or October. Don't be fooled by all of the 170+ LSAT's you see floating around here. Scoring real high on this test is going to be one of the most difficult things you ever do.


The bolded is categorcially untrue. Plenty of people on this site have done it successfully. It just requires a disciplined approach. Set a schedule and stick to it.


TAKE A YEAR OFF! It is the best decision I made. I took the LSAT the first time and scored low due to several circumstances. I took a year off, worked full-time while studying for the LSAT and raised my score to a 174. I have no regrets and am now being accepted to schools I never would have even dreamed of applying to with my original score. Plus, having real work experience has given me a new perspective on what I want from my career and what my expectations are. Its also made my law school application significantly stronger. Take the time to get into the school you want and you will have so many more opportunities later in life.

Swimp
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Re: Didn't get LSAT scores I wanted, taking a year off?

Postby Swimp » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:51 pm

Spritzpiggy wrote:Plus, having real work experience has given me a new perspective on what I want from my career and what my expectations are. Its also made my law school application significantly stronger. Take the time to get into the school you want and you will have so many more opportunities later in life.


This is the key, in my opinion. Existing out on your own in the real world will change your perspective in ways you can't anticipate, and it will make you a more attractive applicant and prospective legal employee.

Leaving that aside, bizzybone is obviously wrong that you can't work fulltime and study for the LSAT. People do it all the time (I, for instance, did it). If you can't work for 8 or 9 hours and then come home and squeeze in an hour or two of LSAT prep every day for a few months, you're going into the wrong profession.




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