How to start to prepare for HYS?

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HYShopefuls
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How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:08 am

Hello,

I'm a rising sophomore who has been interested in admission to HYSCCN.
There's a specific law field I've been interested in, although I don't think I'll limit myself solely on that.
You may think it's too early to think about all these, but I actually had to be a rising senior as I'm 21.
I just moved around different countries and academic curricula for my secondary school years, so I graduated 2 years late than a typical American students. But as my social life revolves around my age group, it became almost impossible not to think about what juniors/seniors are typically concerned about.

Sorry for digression. What I really wonder is what types of preparations I should start specifically for HYS.
I know LSAT and GPA are the most important.
I'm attending a well-regarded university (top 20) and got 3.83 last year, which I'm confident I can raise in the next 2.5 years. (My goal is 3.90+.)
I don't know how I'll do on LSAT, and I frankly don't know when I should start to study for LSAT. Any advice?
A good thing is that I got an A from logic course without any struggle (about 1/6 of the lecture got an A), and I hope this will help studying LSAT a little bit.

The problem is what to do with EC. I'm planning to apply for volunteering / internships for summers, and I'm working as a student manager at my part-time job. I frankly want to quit the job to have more time for studying, but I don't have any other activities that can show my leadership. If I stick to my job for four years (and possibly get a promotion to the highest position, which isn't impossible), would it become a soft boost? Would I lose a lot if I give it up and just study for the next 2.5 years? Also, I was planning to be an active competitor in one of the martial arts I've practiced, but this would consume a lot of time. So, I'm really not planning to be in any other club activities or volunteering during the academic semesters (or even quit the job I had). Would this be an unwise thing to do? My understanding is that ECs matter much less in law school admission, but I don't know how much less. Also, would these itty bitty ECs I mentioned (part time job that's unrelated to the profession, sports) even matter in the law school admission? What types of preparations I should start at this point?

Thank you.

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Clemenceau
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby Clemenceau » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:26 am

What degree are you getting? Why are you so sure you want to be a lawyer?

HYShopefuls
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:07 am

Clemenceau wrote:What degree are you getting? Why are you so sure you want to be a lawyer?


Philosophy and maybe mathematics. I thought I'd want to major in English and philosophy, but it turned out that I don't like the English program at my school. Also, while I'm pretty sure that I want to work in the law field, I thought it would be better to study something that will prepare me in case I don't get into top law schools and need to get a job right out of college. (I don't want to be on debt for law school if I'm not gonna get the top-notch employment possibility) Anyways, I've wanted to work in the criminal court for a while for several reasons since 18, and it still hasn't changed. I think it would be nice to prepare for myself for the law school admission even if I decide not to go to law school in the near future. It might be too early to think about how to prepare for the law schools in specific, but if you guys think that there's anything I can do as a sophomore, I'd love to get an advice.

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landshoes
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby landshoes » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:24 pm

Improve your writing. The application process requires that you do a lot of clear, concise, polite writing on relatively short notice. That's where I would start if I were you. Your writing is understandable and clear, but you have some grammar and usage mistakes that could be easily corrected with some tutoring.

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RunnerRunner
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby RunnerRunner » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:05 pm

landshoes wrote:Improve your writing. The application process requires that you do a lot of clear, concise, polite writing on relatively short notice. That's where I would start if I were you. Your writing is understandable and clear, but you have some grammar and usage mistakes that could be easily corrected with some tutoring.


In fairness to OP this is an internet forum, nobody really watches their grammar/usage very closely (though I agree: strong writing is imperative, so improving writing is always good advice!).

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landshoes
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby landshoes » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:20 pm

To be clear, I'm not saying OP is a terrible writer, just there are some small missteps that could easily be corrected. OP seems bright enough that it would be a relatively quick fix. The alternative would be something like paying an English major to review all of your admissions materials to make sure that they read like you are a completely fluent native speaker and writer. However, writing is such a key part of the legal profession. I personally feel like my writing is not quite up to par with what I've seen from practicing attorneys in the kinds of jobs that I want to have, so this is not snobbery speaking.

It's also worth noting that at Yale, at least one professor takes the writing component of the LSAT seriously. (At Yale, professors rate applications and largely determine admissions for most students.) You might look at the Yale admissions blog for more specific advice about that process.

However, OP, if you feel like your writing here isn't a reflection of your skills, then by all means, don't take my advice! I don't know you or your situation nearly as well as you do.

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RunnerRunner
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby RunnerRunner » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:40 pm

landshoes wrote:To be clear, I'm not saying OP is a terrible writer, just there are some small missteps that could easily be corrected. OP seems bright enough that it would be a relatively quick fix. The alternative would be something like paying an English major to review all of your admissions materials to make sure that they read like you are a completely fluent native speaker and writer. However, writing is such a key part of the legal profession. I personally feel like my writing is not quite up to par with what I've seen from practicing attorneys in the kinds of jobs that I want to have, so this is not snobbery speaking.

It's also worth noting that at Yale, at least one professor takes the writing component of the LSAT seriously. (At Yale, professors rate applications and largely determine admissions for most students.) You might look at the Yale admissions blog for more specific advice about that process.

However, OP, if you feel like your writing here isn't a reflection of your skills, then by all means, don't take my advice! I don't know you or your situation nearly as well as you do.


All fair points, and I am always in favor of advice that saves money on admissions materials! :mrgreen:

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jbagelboy
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:51 pm

No one cares about the kind of "ECs" you're talking about. At all. To be clear: it will make absolutely zero difference. Don't expend any extra energy or effort on any of that for law school purposes (volunteer to help your community, sure, or lead a student org if its fun, whatevs). If you do something actually inspired or impressive outside of school/work, maybe it'll get a second look, but you can't contrive that.

hlsperson1111
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby hlsperson1111 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:02 pm

Extracurriculars really don't matter for H. They matter for Y/S, but stuff like "really good at martial arts" or "being promoted to the highest student manager position" doesn't really impress them. I'd focus, in roughly this order, on (a) keeping your grades high; (b) crushing the LSAT [this is more important for law school than high grades, but you can get a high LSAT score whenever you want and your grades will stick with you whether or not you go to law school]; and (c) doing stuff you really enjoy and that is at least mildly enriching.
Last edited by hlsperson1111 on Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RZ5646
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby RZ5646 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:04 pm

jbagelboy wrote:No one cares about the kind of "ECs" you're talking about. At all. To be clear: it will make absolutely zero difference. Don't expend any extra energy or effort on any of that for law school purposes (volunteer to help your community, sure, or lead a student org if its fun, whatevs). If you do something actually inspired or impressive outside of school/work, maybe it'll get a second look, but you can't contrive that.


Everything I've read backs this up. The softs that will impress HYS are not things you can just tactically add to your resume, even if you're planning a couple of years ahead, and an extra point on the LSAT will matter more than a laundry list of stereotypical "involved" college kid activities. Focus on your numbers OP.
Last edited by RZ5646 on Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:06 pm

You need to improve your English. Are you at a liberal arts college or at a national university ? You need to get involved in a program or major that requires analytical thought as expressed in writing. Some colleges & universities have majors which are focused on analytical thought & writing. Amherst, for example, has a multi-disciplinary program that focuses on analytical thought & writing.
Extra-curricular activities are not important for law school admissions. One's LSAT score accounts for 70% & one GPA accounts for about 30%. One's law school personal statement & teacher recommendations are considered next. If extracurricular activities were considered, it would not typically be among the top 4 factors.

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victory
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby victory » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:You need to improve your English.

This was my first reaction as well.

Your post reads as if English is your second language, and that's alright if it is, but you'll need to make sure your application materials don't come off that way.

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alexjinye
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby alexjinye » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:11 pm

Improve your English for the LSAT and application by reading a lot of books and write a lot. Then for the LSAT, read manhattan LR and bible lg, do drill by type and eventually do a whole bunch of timed PT.
LSAT is the key here, your gpa is good and you can use whatever the way to make sure your gpa goes up. I used to worry a lot about hitting the 3.95 mark when I got 3.4 in my first semester in college, but I eventually made it lol.

Softs for ys, like everyone said here, it is not something you can always rack up on purpose, so just follow your passion, do something fun and get something out of it.

HYShopefuls
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:17 pm

landshoes wrote:Improve your writing. The application process requires that you do a lot of clear, concise, polite writing on relatively short notice. That's where I would start if I were you. Your writing is understandable and clear, but you have some grammar and usage mistakes that could be easily corrected with some tutoring.


Thanks. I'm very comfortable with English, but it's not my first language. Professors and writing tutors said that I don't have a problem clarity and concision, but I occasionally do have some grammar errors, although not significant. But yeah, I didn't proofread what I posted, and that's when I catch most of my small mistakes.
Last edited by HYShopefuls on Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HYShopefuls
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:19 pm

jbagelboy wrote:No one cares about the kind of "ECs" you're talking about. At all. To be clear: it will make absolutely zero difference. Don't expend any extra energy or effort on any of that for law school purposes (volunteer to help your community, sure, or lead a student org if its fun, whatevs). If you do something actually inspired or impressive outside of school/work, maybe it'll get a second look, but you can't contrive that.


That's what I was wondering. Thanks for the advice!

HYShopefuls
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:27 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:Extracurriculars really don't matter for H. They matter for Y/S, but stuff like "really good at martial arts" or "being promoted to the highest student manager position" doesn't really impress them. I'd focus, in roughly this order, on (a) keeping your grades high; (b) crushing the LSAT [this is more important for law school than high grades, but you can get a high LSAT score whenever you want and your grades will stick with you whether or not you go to law school]; and (c) doing stuff you really enjoy and that is at least mildly enriching.


Thanks for the clarification. My impression was that these ECs wouldn't matter at all for law school, and I'm glad to hear. I think I'm gonna quit my job first and keep the martial arts practice, since I really enjoy practicing it. What year do people start to prep for LSAT?

HYShopefuls
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:36 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:You need to improve your English. Are you at a liberal arts college or at a national university ? You need to get involved in a program or major that requires analytical thought as expressed in writing. Some colleges & universities have majors which are focused on analytical thought & writing. Amherst, for example, has a multi-disciplinary program that focuses on analytical thought & writing.
Extra-curricular activities are not important for law school admissions. One's LSAT score accounts for 70% & one GPA accounts for about 30%. One's law school personal statement & teacher recommendations are considered next. If extracurricular activities were considered, it would not typically be among the top 4 factors.


victory wrote:This was my first reaction as well.


I go to a national university. In my defense, yes, English isn't my first language, but I usually catch most of the awkward phrases and small grammar mistakes when I proofread. (I know this from what writing tutors told me.) Of course, I didn't proofread when I posted the thread. But yes, there certainly is a room to improve. I just wanted to say what you see isn't the writing I'd hand in for papers and personal statements. Thanks for the advice!

alexjinye wrote:when I got 3.4 in my first semester in college, but I eventually made it lol.


3.4 to 3.95? Now that's really impressive!

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:43 pm

My best guess was Georgetown. Regardless, you are being defensive toward those trying to help you. I hope that you get accepted to Harvard.

HYShopefuls
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:50 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:My best guess was Georgetown. Regardless, you are being defensive toward those trying to help you. I hope that you get accepted to Harvard.



I wasn't being defensive. I appreciate most of what people said, and I understand where people are coming from when they said I should improve my writing skill. As I said "In my defense", I just added explanation on my side. I also noted that I do have a room to improve.

And thanks. I hope that I get accepted to Harvard, too. (I know you meant it to be sarcastic, but I still appreciate it.)
Last edited by HYShopefuls on Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:56 pm

We want to help. I spent a lot of time abroad as has most of my family. I think that there may be a slight misinterpretation of our responses. For that, I apologize.

HYShopefuls
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby HYShopefuls » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:00 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:We want to help. I spent a lot of time abroad as has most of my family. I think that there may be a slight misinterpretation of our responses. For that, I apologize.


I know you wanted to help, and I do really appreciate it. These responses actually helped me a lot, including yours. I just wanted to say my writings aren't as bad as the first thread (or at least that's what my professors and tutors told me), but I didn't intend to be defensive. I do know that I still need to improve my writings. I apologize for being unclear on that. Thanks again.

Gucci Mane
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby Gucci Mane » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:30 pm

Harvard does care about work experience (at a job, not volunteering and internships), though it will not help you much at other schools.

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pancakes3
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby pancakes3 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:59 pm

The OP Improving his writing won't be as useful as improving his reading - both speed and comprehension. The LSAT is a blazingly fast test.

Instinctive
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby Instinctive » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:50 pm

I believe OP asked when to study for LSAT:

My advice is, if you can be ready, to take it at some point in Junior year of college so that if you don't score where you want, you can take another shot at it without any time crunch on a second round of preparation.

I took the February test my junior year with June as a backup in case I didn't like my score. I'm sure others have different opinions, but the most important part is that whenever you decide to take it, you need to commit. I took 3 hours a day, with one day a week off (and more days off as the test got closer and my PT scores were peaking) for roughly 40 days, without fail.

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KMart
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Re: How to start to prepare for HYS?

Postby KMart » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:31 pm

Instinctive wrote:My advice is, if you can be ready, to take it at some point in Junior year of college so that if you don't score where you want, you can take another shot at it without any time crunch on a second round of preparation.

I took the February test my junior year with June as a backup in case I didn't like my score.

Came here to say this. My exact path. I liked the Feb option because it gave me leeway in retaking if need be. June even grants some time to retake while still applying early. Applying early isn't a huge benefit, but you might as well do all you can to help your application.

Take it when you're ready, most importantly. If you're not ready in Feb of Junior year, don't take it then.




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