Traveling Before Law School?

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Traveling Before Law School?

Postby ChicagoKid27 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:56 pm

Ok, so I'm currently a junior in undergrad and have ambitions to go to law school. I'm extremely committed to the idea of attending law school so much so that I have great steps to improve my chances of being accepted into the top schools in the country. My GPA is okay (3.65), the only thing I can do to increase it is to study harder than I already am, which is what I am doing. Then there's the LSAT. I have heard from different sources that if you wish to develop greater analytical reasoning skills, which is what the LSAT measures, you should try studying a foreign language. So for the past 4 months I have been teaching myself Russian. In the process I have developed an interest in Russian culture and history. I came to the conclusion that I would like to one day visit Russian. I am currently making plans to stay in Russian for up to 10 months after I graduate from university. I would like to find a job teaching English to native Russian speakers. Russian is very lax in terms of teaching employment so I don't even need a certificate or anything to teach. My question is, how does this look to law schools? On one hand I think it shows interests and curiosity in other cultures which is something law schools may appreciate. On the other hand I could be spending that time working instead of traveling. Thoughts?

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Re: Traveling Before Law School?

Postby haley12 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:39 pm

I'm no pro or anything but I think travel sounds great and it's an impressive language to know. May not give you a huge boost but definitely won't hurt. On the other hand, teaching yourself Russian is definitely not the best way to improve your LSAT score. The best way to improve your score is-- studying for the LSAT. So absolutely chase Russian as a passion of yours, but if you're looking to improve your score, just study.

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Re: Traveling Before Law School?

Postby echonov » Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:38 pm

Last edited by echonov on Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Traveling Before Law School?

Postby Monday » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:08 pm

Last edited by Monday on Wed May 10, 2017 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Traveling Before Law School?

Postby Babe-Loblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:25 pm

I can tell you from personal experience that an extended period of traveling between graduation and law school gave me something I wouldn't trade for the world - certainty.

Yes, it looks great to adcomms (interviewers will never fail to remark on it.) Yes, studying for the LSAT is the only way to get better at the LSAT.

That being said, my score jumped 6 points from the test I took before I went abroad to the test I took after. That wasn't necessarily because traveling stretches the creative, problem-solving parts of your brain (though it does.) It was because when you remove yourself from the external context of your *entire* life and place yourself somewhere completely different, you get a pretty good look at who you really are. And when you come home and you ask yourself "is this really right for me?" you have a solid fucking answer because you know the person you're talking about a lot better. I came back way more determined about my career path, in touch with my goals and motivations for achieving them, and I think it really showed up in my test scores and the overall quality of my application. I wasn't even on the fence about it before - I wanted to go to law school just as badly before I left, but I came back knowing exactly *why* I wanted it.

It sounds a little woo-woo, and no, there's not a hard metric I can give you regarding self-knowledge or what it does to your chances for law school, but I'm willing to bet most people who have packed up and gone to another country alone can attest to something similar. It's not just good for you as a future lawyer, it's good for you as a future human. Go for it or you'll probably regret it when you're dying.

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Re: Traveling Before Law School?

Postby floatie » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:39 am

You should definitely travel and study a foreign language if that's what you want to do. Having done this myself, I can really speak to how beneficial it has been for me. Don't do it to study for the LSAT, though. The LSAT is a test for which studying and a ton of practice is both necessary and sufficient to do well for a vast majority of the test takers.

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Re: Traveling Before Law School?

Postby EnderWiggin » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:24 am

Absolutely travel/live or work abroad while you can! It's much harder to swing once law school and your career get started.

Plus, by the time you get there your home state may be a satellite territory of Moscow.

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Re: Traveling Before Law School?

Postby goldenflash19 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:19 pm

My biggest regret with law school is that I didn't take more time off to travel before attending. Go for it.

Also, as noted above, this would definitely count as work experience, too. It's a win-win.

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