Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

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dadownclub8
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Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby dadownclub8 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:50 pm

Hi. I apologize if this is somewhere that I haven't found but I want to apply this fall (next cycle) but am working full time. I get some study time in (2 hours on weekdays, 5 hours a day on the weekends) but I feel it's not enough. I'm slowly improving but feel that I'm hindered by working full time. My question is this. Assuming, I'm able to financially would it be severely detrimental to my law school app if I decided to quit my job, have some gap time (3 months or so), and just studied full on out for the LSAT? I want to devote more time to it and do well but am wondering if the gap in my resume would be too much of a negative when applying to school. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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banjo
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby banjo » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:31 am

It seems like you're able to find enough time to prep at your current job. That said, if you were planning to change jobs anyway and have a few weeks in between, use that time to study. It's nice to look at games when you're not exhausted from working.

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SFrost
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby SFrost » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:33 am

A few points on the LSAT could be worth $100,000 at your top choice.

If you need to quit to reach you goal, then do it. It's big money.

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LET'S GET IT
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby LET'S GET IT » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:40 pm

SFrost wrote:A few points on the LSAT could be worth $100,000 at your top choice.

If you need to quit to reach you goal, then do it. It's big money.


This. Whatever negative adcomms see it as that you have a 3 month gap (IMO, they won't care at all), will be 10X outdone by the positive aspect of getting even 2 or 3 points higher on the LSAT. If it is financially feasible and you feel it will help you with your LSAT score, do it.

notalobbyist
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby notalobbyist » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:40 pm

You'll be fine if you can afford it.

03152016
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby 03152016 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:25 am

20 hours/week is a good amount of study time, but there's no question that it's harder to prep when you're working full-time. If it's financially feasible to take off work, then yes, it would be helpful.

Anecdotally though, I haven't seen any difference between students who work part-time and students who just study. There's a huge gap between people who work part-time and full-time, though, especially professionals.

dabigchina
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby dabigchina » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:36 am

I honestly don't think you absolutely need to quit to study full time. But if you are determined this is something you need to do to maximize your score then go for it, there are plenty of KJDs who have no work experience and if you can really get a 5-7 point improvement adcoms won't care about a 3-6 month gap on your resume.

bobloblaw0227
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby bobloblaw0227 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:41 am

What are you doing for work? I took the LSAT twice while working insane hours as a paralegal at a BigLaw firm. Both times I took the test either right after or in the middle of a trial and my score suffered. My guess is I could've scored a few points more had I not been working.

That said, I gained amazing trial experience and the whole process made me want to be a lawyer. It really depends on what you're doing. I lost a few points on my LSAT, but I would do it all over again the same way. I probably got dinged from some schools I could've gotten into and didn't get as much money as possible, but it's hard to quantify connections and valuable experiences. If you love your job, don't quit.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:42 am

bobloblaw0227 wrote:What are you doing for work? I took the LSAT twice while working insane hours as a paralegal at a BigLaw firm. Both times I took the test either right after or in the middle of a trial and my score suffered. My guess is I could've scored a few points more had I not been working.

That said, I gained amazing trial experience and the whole process made me want to be a lawyer. It really depends on what you're doing. I lost a few points on my LSAT, but I would do it all over again the same way. I probably got dinged from some schools I could've gotten into and didn't get as much money as possible, but it's hard to quantify connections and valuable experiences. If you love your job, don't quit.

Aren't you applying this cycle? Just retake the test.

OP a lot of people prep while working full time and do just fine. It might take a little longer but there's no need to quit and give up all that income just so you can have a few free weeks to study, after which you'll need to find a new job. Ideally you'd cut down your hours and/or change jobs and have a short time in between to do nothing but study. Otherwise, just keep chugging along and you can get there. You definitely don't need three months of doing nothing else to get the score you want.

theycallmefoes
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby theycallmefoes » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:03 pm

How are you doing on your PTs? What is your target score? Are you planning on taking the October or December LSAT administration? What are your target schools (i.e., T14, T20, etc.)? What is your job? (I ask this because if the work experience is relevant to law school in some way, then it is more beneficial to your app. If it's bagging groceries - not that there's anything wrong with that - then it's not going something in which law schools would be particularly interested anyway. Either way, quitting your job won't hurt your app - but keeping it may be beneficial, depending on the job.)

For what it's worth, I took the LSAT 3 times and maxed out my score at 168 (though I was solidly PTing in the 172-175 range before my 3rd attempt - the test anxiety got to me). I got into Northwestern and Vanderbilt as a K-JD without any real work experience (aside from some part-time private tutoring, which doesn't count for much), but I also had pretty good softs and a good interview (at NU; no interview at Vandy). I also got full rides at a T20, 2 tier 1s (including 1 very good regional school), and a tier 2, as well as 75%+ scholarships at several T20s-T30s. The point is, it really depends on what your goals are. If you're aiming for a near full-ride and possibly a full ride at a T20 and can swing a score in the upper 160s while working, then there's no reason to quit your job. If you're aiming higher with $$$ and think the extra study time can get you there, then it's something worth considering.

bobloblaw0227
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby bobloblaw0227 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:07 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
bobloblaw0227 wrote:What are you doing for work? I took the LSAT twice while working insane hours as a paralegal at a BigLaw firm. Both times I took the test either right after or in the middle of a trial and my score suffered. My guess is I could've scored a few points more had I not been working.

That said, I gained amazing trial experience and the whole process made me want to be a lawyer. It really depends on what you're doing. I lost a few points on my LSAT, but I would do it all over again the same way. I probably got dinged from some schools I could've gotten into and didn't get as much money as possible, but it's hard to quantify connections and valuable experiences. If you love your job, don't quit.

Aren't you applying this cycle? Just retake the test.

OP a lot of people prep while working full time and do just fine. It might take a little longer but there's no need to quit and give up all that income just so you can have a few free weeks to study, after which you'll need to find a new job. Ideally you'd cut down your hours and/or change jobs and have a short time in between to do nothing but study. Otherwise, just keep chugging along and you can get there. You definitely don't need three months of doing nothing else to get the score you want.


Can't retake test, will be in trial all of May and then spending some time in Europe before starting school. You can't tell me not going to Europe to take the June test is a good move.

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mountaintime
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby mountaintime » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:09 pm

Yes, a couple LSAT points can be worth a lot of money, but I think you should just man up and keep working. If you quit your job, what happens if you don't get the score you want/need? I prepped for the LSAT while working a fulltime office job, and I don't feel like it held me back at all. Yeah, it's hard to study for a few hours after a full day of work, but it's good practice for the workload you're going to face in LS.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:09 pm

bobloblaw0227 wrote:Can't retake test, will be in trial all of May and then spending some time in Europe before starting school. You can't tell me not going to Europe to take the June test is a good move.

Maybe not, but I can laugh at you for being so cavalier about such a critical life decision. It's as if 2014 is the last year anyone will be allowed to go to law school.

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mountaintime
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby mountaintime » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:15 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
bobloblaw0227 wrote:Can't retake test, will be in trial all of May and then spending some time in Europe before starting school. You can't tell me not going to Europe to take the June test is a good move.

Maybe not, but I can laugh at you for being so cavalier about such a critical life decision. It's as if 2014 is the last year anyone will be allowed to go to law school.


this. every year this place gets new people who claim to be completely incapable of retaking or waiting for a second cycle. those people are always wrong. they're just impatient.

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banjo
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby banjo » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:14 pm

bobloblaw0227 wrote:Can't retake test, will be in trial all of May and then spending some time in Europe before starting school. You can't tell me not going to Europe to take the June test is a good move.


Retake and reapply next year. Your LSAT score is way more important to your career than your paralegal job.

bobloblaw0227
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby bobloblaw0227 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:57 pm

banjo wrote:
bobloblaw0227 wrote:Can't retake test, will be in trial all of May and then spending some time in Europe before starting school. You can't tell me not going to Europe to take the June test is a good move.


Retake and reapply next year. Your LSAT score is way more important to your career than your paralegal job.


Couldn't disagree more, but maybe we should check back in in 4 years and see who has a job. Btw, I'm not asking for advice, OP is.

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Robbin Blue
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby Robbin Blue » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:01 pm

bobloblaw0227 wrote:
banjo wrote:
bobloblaw0227 wrote:Can't retake test, will be in trial all of May and then spending some time in Europe before starting school. You can't tell me not going to Europe to take the June test is a good move.


Retake and reapply next year. Your LSAT score is way more important to your career than your paralegal job.


Couldn't disagree more, but maybe we should check back in in 4 years and see who has a job. Btw, I'm not asking for advice, OP is.


lolk.

dabigchina
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby dabigchina » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:30 am

bobloblaw0227 wrote:
banjo wrote:
bobloblaw0227 wrote:Can't retake test, will be in trial all of May and then spending some time in Europe before starting school. You can't tell me not going to Europe to take the June test is a good move.


Retake and reapply next year. Your LSAT score is way more important to your career than your paralegal job.


Couldn't disagree more, but maybe we should check back in in 4 years and see who has a job. Btw, I'm not asking for advice, OP is.


I might be feeding an obvious troll, but whatever. With a 3.5 you probably need 170+ to get in anywhere decent. Your paralegal experience won't help you get a job that pays well enough to pay off your debts if you are below median outside the T14 (which is where you will end up with lackluster scores and GPA)

dadownclub8
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Re: Need Advice-Quit Job to study LSAT full time?

Postby dadownclub8 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:53 pm

Hi everyone. Thank you for the replies. Was not notified that I had responses so didn't see this until now.

Unfortunately, I am not able to simply just cut down my hours for a while and then bump up to full time once everything is done. My employer will not allow me to do so. So either I need to quit to get the extra time or go to another job (part time preferably) to get the extra study time.

To add more context, the 20 hours I do right now are not firm. More often than not it's a bit less depending on needing to stay extra at work, etc. So to be more reasonable and fair 15-20 is more realistic on a weekly basis. I do work full time at a firm in the city but I have about 3 hours roundtrip in commute time. I am looking to score between 172-174 if possible but for sure I am intent on applying this upcoming cycle and early at that so this June or September LSATs are ideal. My goal is to get as much money as possible. Don't get me wrong, I value the experience that I am getting and there are many benefits to working where I am at, but I just started this job not too long ago but I have my concerns that I'll leave some points on the board if I don't focus fully on my LSAT. Of course in a perfect scenario I would keep chugging away and while there is no guarantee I'll score where I want to, but I want to do everything I can to put myself in a situation to get as much scholly money as possible. My goal is T20. I think if anything USC is at the top of my list and would want to maximize the money I get from them.

Hope that helps clarify things. Thank you in advance. I appreciate it greatly.




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