Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
B90
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby B90 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:02 pm

As far as your advisor recommending volunteering, etc. that is assuming you already have a high GPA and LSAT. It is the icing on the cake, so to speak. Until you have those numbers, you should focus on getting them as high as possible.
I always recommend against studying for the LSAT while going to school full time. Focus on one thing at a time. Unless you have a 4.0, there is room to improve your GPA. You can't change that after the fact the way that you can retake the LSAT.
I would study for the LSAT during summer break. Until you start taking practice tests under timed conditions, you really don't have any idea how long or how much work it will take to get your desired score.
You have plenty of time to keep studying until you reach your goal LSAT score. Personally, I wouldn't even attempt taking the LSAT until you are CONSISTENTLY pting above the lowest score you would be happy with. LSAC does keep scores on file for five years, but many schools prefer scores that are within three years of applying.
Good luck!

cynthiad
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby cynthiad » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:10 pm

I really recommend that you work for a year or two before attending law school. It will give you some time to study for the LSAT without cutting into your undergrad studies, you will be able to save up a bit of money, and full-time work experience will help you a little for getting into law school and a lot when it comes time to get a job after law school. Also, if you can continue your extracurricular stuff and keep your GPA up, don't drop it; "softs" may not make much difference, but they do make a small difference when adcomms are deciding between two applicants with the same stats. Also, if you like doing your extracurriculars, that's another reason to keep them up; once you get on the law school train, you won't have a lot of time for stuff like that, so enjoy it while you can.

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h_jane_w
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby h_jane_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:16 pm

caruiz93 wrote:Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I'm planning to take the lsat for the first time early my junior year. Does it hurt to take it so early? Will law schools look negatively upon someone who took it many times until they got a good score?


Junior year is usually the hardest year academically. Just don't pick up an LSAT book Junior Year, concentrate of keeping your GPA high. Study during the summer and take it in October of your senior year (which is usually a joke). If it's not as high as you want, upon graduation work for one year. You can save some money, pay off any UG debt you may have AND (though people will say it does not make a difference) work experience will help your application because you come off as more of a grown up, as opposed to a K-JD. You can retake in February and June, then apply for the following cycle.

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cahwc12
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:53 pm

francesfarmer wrote:Get your GPA as high as possible. Your school counselors don't know what they are talking about.

When you do study for the LSAT, do it right! But don't worry about that now. Just focus on your GPA.


This is the best advice in here I think. I mean, just about all of it is great advice, but your GPA is on a time frame and once you finish school, that GPA is locked in. You can take and retake the LSAT (up to three times in two years), but once you get your GPA, that's it.

Do what you can and aim for straight A's. Plan to take at least a year off after school and do something (anything!) that you'd like. Teaching English in a foreign country or getting a fulbright are things to consider.

Once you've done that, and taken a nice break from school, bust your ass and get a top LSAT score, then send in your apps.

Most people get burnout after about four years, so just don't make these plans that you'll go straight from UG to law school and take the LSAT as soon as possible.


Also, I don't want to open a different can of worms, but you might look into majoring in something that could get you a job on its own, so that law school is an option and not the only option. A degree in history isn't going to do anything for you (although a degree in econ might). It shouldn't be too late for you to change majors or add a second major without taking on a heavier load. Many/most non-STEM majors can be doubled up while sticking within the standard 120 credit degree. (Just something extra to consider.)

Again, just to reiterate, get that GPA as high as possible, and worry about the other stuff later. It's fine to do some research now, but don't sacrifice any GPA-maximizing time on any of it. Admissions is totally a numbers game, and the more schools you get over median (or even 75th) GPA at, the better off you'll be for getting hefty merit aid or even full rides.

Good luck and study hard!

caruiz93
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby caruiz93 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:28 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
francesfarmer wrote:Again, just to reiterate, get that GPA as high as possible, and worry about the other stuff later. It's fine to do some research now, but don't sacrifice any GPA-maximizing time on any of it. Admissions is totally a numbers game, and the more schools you get over median (or even 75th) GPA at, the better off you'll be for getting hefty merit aid or even full rides.


I get where you are coming from, but history is what i really like. My other option if not law school is a graduate program in history and go the professor track. i Used to be a business major and i hated it. I was doing it solely to get a job and be more hireable but i was miserable with it and i was regretting not studying what i liked.

I definitely don't want to have to be studying for the LSAT during the school year, so this coming summer (summer before my junior year) I am planning on studying intensely so that i can take the LSAT once each semester and studying during the breaks (fall 2013, spring 2014, and fall 2014) so that i will be ready to apply to law schools early.

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suralin
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:52 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
francesfarmer wrote:Get your GPA as high as possible. Your school counselors don't know what they are talking about.

When you do study for the LSAT, do it right! But don't worry about that now. Just focus on your GPA.


This is the best advice in here I think. I mean, just about all of it is great advice, but your GPA is on a time frame and once you finish school, that GPA is locked in. You can take and retake the LSAT (up to three times in two years), but once you get your GPA, that's it.

Do what you can and aim for straight A's. Plan to take at least a year off after school and do something (anything!) that you'd like. Teaching English in a foreign country or getting a fulbright are things to consider.

Once you've done that, and taken a nice break from school, bust your ass and get a top LSAT score, then send in your apps.

Most people get burnout after about four years, so just don't make these plans that you'll go straight from UG to law school and take the LSAT as soon as possible.


Also, I don't want to open a different can of worms, but you might look into majoring in something that could get you a job on its own, so that law school is an option and not the only option. A degree in history isn't going to do anything for you (although a degree in econ might). It shouldn't be too late for you to change majors or add a second major without taking on a heavier load. Many/most non-STEM majors can be doubled up while sticking within the standard 120 credit degree. (Just something extra to consider.)

Again, just to reiterate, get that GPA as high as possible, and worry about the other stuff later. It's fine to do some research now, but don't sacrifice any GPA-maximizing time on any of it. Admissions is totally a numbers game, and the more schools you get over median (or even 75th) GPA at, the better off you'll be for getting hefty merit aid or even full rides.

Good luck and study hard!


+1. Really good advice.

soontobelawschooler
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby soontobelawschooler » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:12 pm

rad lulz wrote:You're a sophomore. Get a life.


this

cynthiad
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby cynthiad » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:16 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:It is much, much easier to obtain a high GPA than to score high on the LSAT. Focus all your energy on obtaining the highest GPA possible. Forget all that other stuff. High GPA + high LSAT= elite law school.


Really? A high GPA takes way more work than the LSAT, in my experience.

cynthiad
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby cynthiad » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:17 pm

caruiz93 wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:
francesfarmer wrote:Again, just to reiterate, get that GPA as high as possible, and worry about the other stuff later. It's fine to do some research now, but don't sacrifice any GPA-maximizing time on any of it. Admissions is totally a numbers game, and the more schools you get over median (or even 75th) GPA at, the better off you'll be for getting hefty merit aid or even full rides.


I get where you are coming from, but history is what i really like. My other option if not law school is a graduate program in history and go the professor track. i Used to be a business major and i hated it. I was doing it solely to get a job and be more hireable but i was miserable with it and i was regretting not studying what i liked.

I definitely don't want to have to be studying for the LSAT during the school year, so this coming summer (summer before my junior year) I am planning on studying intensely so that i can take the LSAT once each semester and studying during the breaks (fall 2013, spring 2014, and fall 2014) so that i will be ready to apply to law schools early.


Have you considered a History/Econ double major?

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Crowing
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby Crowing » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:18 pm

soontobelawschooler wrote:
rad lulz wrote:You're a sophomore. Get a life.


this


says the aspie necroing a week old thread to make a sheepish comment

totoro
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby totoro » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:20 pm

cynthiad wrote:Really? A high GPA takes way more work than the LSAT, in my experience.


Of course college work takes more time than studying for the LSAT, but I think in general it's way easier to control your GPA than to control your LSAT. Some people can be very smart but still not do well at the LSAT even after a lot of studying; the LSAT tests very specific skills, and you don't have control over that. However, if you choose a major you're good at and work hard, you have relatively good control over what GPA you end up with.

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suralin
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Re: Am I on the right track? What should i be doing?

Postby suralin » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:29 pm

totoro wrote:
cynthiad wrote:Really? A high GPA takes way more work than the LSAT, in my experience.


Of course college work takes more time than studying for the LSAT, but I think in general it's way easier to control your GPA than to control your LSAT. Some people can be very smart but still not do well at the LSAT even after a lot of studying; the LSAT tests very specific skills, and you don't have control over that. However, if you choose a major you're good at and work hard, you have relatively good control over what GPA you end up with.


True, but I would qualify that by pointing out that having a bad semester (or two for me :( ) early on can really make getting your GPA up a hellish task, so in that case a high LSAT would take much less work.




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