LSAT Help With Grades?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
DerKatze

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:39 pm

LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby DerKatze » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:49 am

I'll be a sophomore next year (currently a freshman) at a top 25 university. I major in philosophy. I know I want to law school. From what I can understand, the reputable advice is that I should study and get the best grades possible, and not worry about the LSAT for at least 1.5 more years. Seeing as the LSAT is more of a skills based test, one particularly relevant to my major, would it be helpful at all to study for the LSAT over the summer? I don't mean the 8 hours of daily prep people do right before the test--just an hour a day at most--and it won't get in the way of my grades or experiences I find fun. If studying for the LSAT entails improving logical thinking and reading comprehension, then it seems like doing those things would also make it easier for me to do well on tests, essays, etc., improving my expected GPA. Is this a bad idea?

User avatar
totesTheGoat

Moderator
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby totesTheGoat » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:41 am

Here's my honest advice. Make your BA degree more marketable and go work a real job for 2 years before going to law school. You'll be a better lawyer if you do that. Do what it takes to get a decent job out of undergrad, whether that means double majoring, minoring in computer science, or whatever else will get you some decent chances at an internship the next 2 summers. Then, spend 2 or 3 years working at your decent job, all the while saving up a bit of cash for law school and studying for the LSAT. Then, once the financial numbers make sense for you to go to law school, you'll be approaching it from a position of strength, not from desperation.

So many people follow the path you're currently on and get absolutely hosed. Either they can't get their LSAT score up quickly enough or they just can't take working for $10/hr at the local coffee shop anymore, and they make law school decisions out of desperation. Put yourself in a position where you can make a smart decision about when to go to law school. Also, put yourself in a position to stick out among your peers. You don't want to be 1 of 50 K-JDs at OCI with a humanities undergrad, practically no work experience, and the same 5 law school activities. Those aren't the students who have their pick of jobs. Graduating law school at 27 instead of 25 isn't the end of the world, trust me.

DerKatze

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby DerKatze » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:48 am

I don't think you understood my question, because your answer was completely irrelevant to it. Working for 2 years after law school will do nothing to change the fact that grades matter in law school admissions. My question was essentially about getting better grades. I wasn't asking if I should study now to get a high LSAT score, I was asking whether the skills developed by studying for the LSAT are transferable enough to classes to make it worth doing.

As for marketable degrees, the issue is moot for several other reasons. One of which is I do currently have work experience--I'm an Enrolled Agent for a couple different small businesses, and I've been doing that since last summer. I plan to continue that while I'm still in college.

User avatar
totesTheGoat

Moderator
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:26 am

I don't think you understood my question, because your answer was completely irrelevant to it. Working for 2 years after law school will do nothing to change the fact that grades matter in law school admissions. My question was essentially about getting better grades.


*sigh* Okay, go study for the LSAT as a friggin' freshman in college. That's definitely not a waste of time and effort and certainly doesn't show that you're laser locked in on a very expensive and very risky path forward. :roll:

Dude, the LSAT is a flippin' entrance exam. Did you study for the ACT for 4 years in order to do better in Algebra class in high school??

DerKatze

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby DerKatze » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:23 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:Did you study for the ACT for 4 years in order to do better in Algebra class in high school??


Point taken. I didn't study at all for the SAT and I scored 99th percentile, but that's because it is content based, not skill based. If the skills required for the LSAT are logical thinking and reading, doing both of those better is certainly worth improving. But I take it you're implying there are better ways to improve these skills, i.e. spending more time doing the work for my classes, rather than trying to do the work beforehand.

Your other advice is great advice for the average student, I'm just not an average student.

BeeTeeZ

New
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:26 am

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby BeeTeeZ » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:03 pm

DerKatze wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:Did you study for the ACT for 4 years in order to do better in Algebra class in high school??


Point taken. I didn't study at all for the SAT and I scored 99th percentile, but that's because it is content based, not skill based. If the skills required for the LSAT are logical thinking and reading, doing both of those better is certainly worth improving. But I take it you're implying there are better ways to improve these skills, i.e. spending more time doing the work for my classes, rather than trying to do the work beforehand.

Your other advice is great advice for the average student, I'm just not an average student.


Undergraduate classes are also content based, regardless of major. Studying for and mastering the LSAT will provide no value to you in terms of undergraduate performance.

Yulifus

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:05 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby Yulifus » Tue May 01, 2018 12:04 pm

I don't think that improving on LSAT will necessarily transfer to your grade upward mobility. LSAT is a standardized test that doesn't test on the actual knowledge. Concentrate on your school grades, major in something substantial, and, towards the end of your undergrad start worrying about the LSAT, if you choose to go to law school after graduation.

nixy

Bronze
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby nixy » Tue May 01, 2018 9:03 pm

DerKatze wrote:I was asking whether the skills developed by studying for the LSAT are transferable enough to classes to make it worth doing.

No. The skill that you gain from studying for the LSAT is skill at taking the LSAT.

Your other advice is great advice for the average student, I'm just not an average student.

Really???

captainplanet

Bronze
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby captainplanet » Fri May 04, 2018 3:40 pm

I don't think you need to study for the LSAT now, and doing a little studying now probably won't translate to a higher score when the test is so far away. That said, since you're a philosophy major, taking logic classes would probably be helpful. Also, when I was in college I did the logic games for fun. They're like math puzzles, so if you're a big nerd like me that might actually be a fun activity. And they say that the best thing for reading comprehension is just reading more, especially dry, fact-heavy publications like the Economist. I'd recommend finding an old LSAT test online and just seeing what the questions are like.

But having said all that, I'd still say that a better use of your time at this early stage is getting the best grades you can, getting to know your professors so you get amazing recommendation letters, joining a mock trial team (if you're interested in being a litigator), and learning more about being a lawyer by reaching out to practicing attorneys (alumni from your college may be willing to talk to you about their experiences, or some law professors if your college also has a law school), or finding a summer internship that may give you exposure to the law. These experiences will also make your application to law school stronger.

Do you know what kind of law you may be interested in practicing?

DerKatze

New
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby DerKatze » Sun May 06, 2018 8:19 pm

captainplanet wrote:I don't think you need to study for the LSAT now, and doing a little studying now probably won't translate to a higher score when the test is so far away. That said, since you're a philosophy major, taking logic classes would probably be helpful. Also, when I was in college I did the logic games for fun. They're like math puzzles, so if you're a big nerd like me that might actually be a fun activity. And they say that the best thing for reading comprehension is just reading more, especially dry, fact-heavy publications like the Economist. I'd recommend finding an old LSAT test online and just seeing what the questions are like.

But having said all that, I'd still say that a better use of your time at this early stage is getting the best grades you can, getting to know your professors so you get amazing recommendation letters,


Thanks for the advice!

captainplanet wrote: joining a mock trial team (if you're interested in being a litigator), and learning more about being a lawyer by reaching out to practicing attorneys (alumni from your college may be willing to talk to you about their experiences, or some law professors if your college also has a law school), or finding a summer internship that may give you exposure to the law. These experiences will also make your application to law school stronger.

Do you know what kind of law you may be interested in practicing?


I go to a T14 (for undergrad) and know a dozen law students. Have talked with two practicing lawyers too, but both of them went to T3 schools and worked for 1-5 person firms. I want to practice tax/corporate. I plan to double major in accounting, but I have to apply to the business school in a year. Tax is my backup if law school applications don't go well.

captainplanet

Bronze
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby captainplanet » Mon May 07, 2018 12:46 am

DerKatze wrote:
captainplanet wrote:Do you know what kind of law you may be interested in practicing?


I go to a T14 (for undergrad) and know a dozen law students. Have talked with two practicing lawyers too, but both of them went to T3 schools and worked for 1-5 person firms. I want to practice tax/corporate. I plan to double major in accounting, but I have to apply to the business school in a year. Tax is my backup if law school applications don't go well.


A double major in accounting is a great idea! It'll definitely give you options post graduation beyond going to law school. And, I think law firms like law students with accounting backgrounds, so it could help with landing a legal job too.

As for practicing law, corporate law like M&A is known to be one of the most intense practice areas hours-wise, while tax law is known to be one of the more chill practice areas, so something else to consider too. If you'll want to do tax law, you'll probably need a Tax LLM after law school (1 more year), but some law schools let you do the JD and Tax LLM in 3 years (I think), so something else to consider down the road. Good luck!

justanotherone6

New
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:57 pm

Re: LSAT Help With Grades?

Postby justanotherone6 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:37 pm

I am also a philosopher major. I'm a rising senior and have finished all of my required courses, and most of what you study for the LSAT is directly related to philosophy courses. I did not study for the LSAT as early as you, but I will say that taking classes like critical thinking, logic, and all of the reading for philosophy has helped me tremendously with ALL sections of the LSAT. Conversely, I think studying LSAT material this early would help you with those classes because it'll get you used to it all.

I say go for it.. it'll definitely help you in the future.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests