Need advice - Should I quit my job to prep for the LSAT?

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bchi1
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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:50 pm

Need advice - Should I quit my job to prep for the LSAT?

Postby bchi1 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:10 pm

I've been working as a paralegal at V10 firm for about a year now, and the experience has been great. I've gotten invaluable exposure to the work (including trial experience) and made solid connections along the way -- the job has confirmed my desire to be a lawyer. That said, it's also demanding beyond anything I imagined when I started, and I consistently put in 60-70 hour weeks, which leads me to my dilemma: I need to re-take the LSAT (doing so in September) and I've been self-studying for months, but I know that my job is holding back my development. I often get back so late that I simply don't have the energy to put in any quality, productive study hours, and so my prep has been very inconsistent.

Is it foolish to step away from this job sometime this summer to focus on the test and make sure I'm maximizing my potential? (assuming I have the financial capacity to do so). Would the gap in my resume outweigh the benefits of a significantly improved score? I'm not in a position in which I can simply ask to work fewer hours. Obviously, I know that this is only relevant if I actually improve my score, and I know that I will if I put in the necessary amount of time. I'd appreciate any thoughts/advice.

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Platopus
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Re: Need advice - Should I quit my job to prep for the LSAT?

Postby Platopus » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:45 pm

This is a tough one. It sounds like you really are limited in the amount of time you have available to study. What was your first score? That makes a big difference.

I doubt a small gap in your resume will really hinder your chances. If you can pull a 175+ on test day, then I pretty sure any admissions officer would be able to deduce why you took off the time. However, there is a pretty big down side to quitting your job, burning through savings and demoralizing yourself if you fail to achieve the score you want.

bchi1
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:50 pm

Re: Need advice - Should I quit my job to prep for the LSAT?

Postby bchi1 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:18 pm

Platopus wrote:This is a tough one. It sounds like you really are limited in the amount of time you have available to study. What was your first score? That makes a big difference.

I doubt a small gap in your resume will really hinder your chances. If you can pull a 175+ on test day, then I pretty sure any admissions officer would be able to deduce why you took off the time. However, there is a pretty big down side to quitting your job, burning through savings and demoralizing yourself if you fail to achieve the score you want.


Thanks for the reply. And yes, my first score (155) is the reason I'm in this position to begin with. I'll spare you the excuses I have for that performance (it was significantly below where I was PTing) but it's not like I can just apply without retaking. The LR is what brings down my score, which is why I'm confident that with the correct approach I can bring that up (I also prepared in completely the wrong way the first time), but it just requires more time than I'm currently able to commit to it.

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Platopus
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Re: Need advice - Should I quit my job to prep for the LSAT?

Postby Platopus » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:26 pm

bchi1 wrote:
Platopus wrote:This is a tough one. It sounds like you really are limited in the amount of time you have available to study. What was your first score? That makes a big difference.

I doubt a small gap in your resume will really hinder your chances. If you can pull a 175+ on test day, then I pretty sure any admissions officer would be able to deduce why you took off the time. However, there is a pretty big down side to quitting your job, burning through savings and demoralizing yourself if you fail to achieve the score you want.


Thanks for the reply. And yes, my first score (155) is the reason I'm in this position to begin with. I'll spare you the excuses I have for that performance (it was significantly below where I was PTing) but it's not like I can just apply without retaking. The LR is what brings down my score, which is why I'm confident that with the correct approach I can bring that up (I also prepared in completely the wrong way the first time), but it just requires more time than I'm currently able to commit to it.


How far below your PT average was your 155? If were talking 10-12 points, preparing more may not be the answer, you may need to figure the psychological component of the test and control anxiety, stress, etc. If it was a 6-7 point drop, that's admittedly a little more than most people experience, but probably signifies that a better understanding of the material may help. What is your goal score, and what schools are you looking at?

Since you recognize that you were preparing incorrectly the first time around, I probably would hold off on quitting your job. Take sometime to prepare the right way, even if you are only able to put in a few hours a week. See where that gets you and reassess. You might be surprised at the progress you can make. Focus on learning concepts and don't push yourself too fast. I know from personal experience that there can be a real desire to skip the basics because you think they are too easy or not worth your time. Take this time to master the basics, even at a slower pace. September is pretty far off, so it's okay to be making slower progress at this point. At the very least, I would consider working full time until June or July. A small gap on your resume is unlikely to be a big deal, but 5-6 months would probably raise some eyebrows, and maybe even cast some doubt on the value of your score, even if you do rock it. I know the LSAT can seem like it demands 3+ hours a day to master, but I work full-time and make the best with what I can do. To help combat the lack of energy, you just need to get yourself in a habit. Even if you get home at 9:30 every night, get in the habit of relaxing for 30 minutes, and then drilling for an hour. Do something as simple as that can help.




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