Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

JustSomebody
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Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby JustSomebody » Wed May 04, 2011 10:05 pm

Here's the thing. I'm graduating on the 15th of May and planning on applying for admission to LS in Fall '12. I don't yet have a job lined up for the summer. Initially I was worried about this, but now I'm wondering if it's actually better to not have a job and to just spend all my time prepping for the LSAT.

The LSAT is basically going to affect my entire future, because it affects which school I get into and therefore affects my ability to get a good (hopefully high-paying) job in the future.

However I am worried that not having anything to do after graduation is going to affect my chances of getting into law school. I know jobs don't make that much of a difference on your applications but will not having ANYTHING hurt me? Yet (I keep wavering on this) I'm going to start working on my apps and such around September, so I will only have had a job for a few months at the most anyway.

I'm living at home this summer.... With not having to pay for my own food and housing expenses, it is possible for me to get by without a job for the summer, I think.

So what is the best thing to do here?

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Moral_Midgetry
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby Moral_Midgetry » Wed May 04, 2011 10:11 pm

Depends on you. Over the time I was prepping I had a job and was unemployed. It was definitely easier to not work and study but when you're working you have to remain focused and make sure you use your time wisely. After a long day it was easy to just take a night off or go to the pool on a Saturday when you probably should be studying. I'd suggest not working, personally, because the LSAT is so important. The $10, $15, or whatever you could be making an hour now could come back to you 10x with a higher LSAT score.

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krasivaya
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby krasivaya » Wed May 04, 2011 10:12 pm

Ehh I can't say much about the admissions side of things, but remember that it can be really, really hard to focus without SOMETHING going on in your life.

Semesters where I didn't have jobs my grades took a blow because I procrastinated like crazy thinking "I have allll day every day."

Semesters where I had to plan my study schedule around my work schedule, 4.0 all the way.

Just keep that in mind.

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haus
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby haus » Wed May 04, 2011 10:18 pm

As always, it depends.

Sometimes having an external force such as a job or a regular volunteer position can add structure to your day/week making it easier to schedule and value the time that you have left. If you are confident that you can treat your 'off time' well and stay productive and on task without letting days slip by in a vacation mindset, but instead put in consistent structured study with your time, then feel free take the time off.

Although I suspect that many will not/cannot stay focused on just LSAT studies enough of the time that even part-time employment cannot be considered, but to each their own.

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suspicious android
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby suspicious android » Wed May 04, 2011 10:28 pm

Trick question--It's always better not to have a job.

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haus
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby haus » Wed May 04, 2011 11:17 pm

suspicious android wrote:Trick question--It's always better not to have a job.


If this were the case then you would think there would be less complaining about the unemployment rate.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Wed May 04, 2011 11:19 pm

I was fortunate enough to not have a job while I was studying thanks to the savings I had accumulated, but I probably would have been better off with a 20 hour a week, mindless one to keep me fresh.

bp shinners
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby bp shinners » Thu May 05, 2011 8:14 pm

I've had a ton of people with jobs take my classes, and a ton of people who didn't have jobs take my classes. They both complained that they didn't have nearly enough time to get through all the homework.

However, the people who did have jobs actually meant it.

I usually find that the people who have jobs are more motivated and put in more effort. This may be because people who are willing to put in more effort into LSAT studying, however, are also the people who always want to be working. So that's not a good reason to get a job.

I'd say that having a job or not isn't going to affect your drive as much as your personality does, so skip the job and just study. You'll have more free time and feel less stressed.

poi
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby poi » Fri May 06, 2011 7:50 pm

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Last edited by poi on Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby whymeohgodno » Fri May 06, 2011 8:10 pm

Treating the LSAT as a full time job is what I did.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby yngblkgifted » Fri May 06, 2011 8:27 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:Treating the LSAT as a full time job is what I did.

But c'mon, how many people study 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? I would kill myself. It's more like, treat the LSAT like a part-time job and find something (e.i. a job) structured to do with the rest of your time. If you don't have that something else, that's when the procrastination can easily become debilitating.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby whymeohgodno » Fri May 06, 2011 8:30 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:
whymeohgodno wrote:Treating the LSAT as a full time job is what I did.

But c'mon, how many people study 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? I would kill myself. It's more like, treat the LSAT like a part-time job and find something (e.i. a job) structured to do with the rest of your time. If you don't have that something else, that's when the procrastination can easily become debilitating.


Ok I admit I didn't study nearly that much.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby yngblkgifted » Fri May 06, 2011 8:32 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:
whymeohgodno wrote:Treating the LSAT as a full time job is what I did.

But c'mon, how many people study 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? I would kill myself. It's more like, treat the LSAT like a part-time job and find something (e.i. a job) structured to do with the rest of your time. If you don't have that something else, that's when the procrastination can easily become debilitating.


Ok I admit I didn't study nearly that much.


None of us did. :wink:

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Marionberry
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby Marionberry » Fri May 06, 2011 8:48 pm

I thought having a job helped, though my job was one where I would study at work. Maybe find a job or a volunteer gig that would occupy your time, but still leave you with enough time to study and enjoy your year off?

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northwood
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby northwood » Fri May 06, 2011 9:38 pm

I worked while I studied. It helped me alot because I had a set schedule allready, and it was easy to fit in 3 hours a night. It also helped because if I wasnt willing to work 9-6, eat and study, then I miight not have the drive to do well in law school- so byt doing this it helped me make sure that I was willing to put in the work to achieve my goal. ( many people want to be a lawery- but may not be willing to put in the work/ effort- if I wasnt willing to put the effort into getting prepared for an admissions test- then it would be foolish of me to think that I would be willing to put the work in at school, and be willing to sacrifice part of my social life to reach that goal) If you are going to work while studying- then you need to give yourself more calendar days to get ready. You also need to schedule more days off to rest your mind- and be allright with taking some time off if work gets hectic one day.

Now if you dont have a job- then make sure that the LSAT is a priority. You can still have fun and go out- but just block out some time each day for LSAT work ( like you would do when you go to the gym). Either or works fine- as long as you are willing to put forth the effort. One added bonus of having a job is that I can let the informatoin soak at work- and go over concepts in my head to solidify the information better.

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AverageTutoring
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby AverageTutoring » Fri May 06, 2011 10:51 pm

bp shinners wrote:I've had a ton of people with jobs take my classes, and a ton of people who didn't have jobs take my classes. They both complained that they didn't have nearly enough time to get through all the homework.

However, the people who did have jobs actually meant it.

I usually find that the people who have jobs are more motivated and put in more effort. This may be because people who are willing to put in more effort into LSAT studying, however, are also the people who always want to be working. So that's not a good reason to get a job.

I'd say that having a job or not isn't going to affect your drive as much as your personality does, so skip the job and just study. You'll have more free time and feel less stressed.


Hate to do this shinners, but -1 :shock:

For the love of god, please have something else in your life other then the LSAT! Whether or not that's a full time/part-time job or something else that takes up the equivalent amount of hours, you need something to distract you from studying. It's a good thing!

As far as for the purpose of applying to law school however, it doesn't matter.

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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby bp shinners » Sun May 08, 2011 5:08 am

AverageTutoring wrote:I'd say that having a job or not isn't going to affect your drive as much as your personality does, so skip the job and just study. You'll have more free time and feel less stressed.


Hate to do this shinners, but -1 :shock:

For the love of god, please have something else in your life other then the LSAT! Whether or not that's a full time/part-time job or something else that takes up the equivalent amount of hours, you need something to distract you from studying. It's a good thing!

As far as for the purpose of applying to law school however, it doesn't matter.[/quote]

I think that the 'just' in my post gave the idea that I think you should just study and do nothing else. I meant that you should just study and not also work a job.

Definitely have something else going on in your life. I don't recommend that being a full time job, though, as everyone I know who has worked FT while studying looks like Bush after 6 years in the presidency. Sign up for some intramurals at your local park or something; skip a job if at all possible.

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northwood
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby northwood » Sun May 08, 2011 12:13 pm

I thought about this some more. If you need to work, then you need to work. While it would be great to be able to dedicate a ton of waking hours to prep for the LSAT ( as it is very crucial) its also crucial to keep your job, pay rent, and make sure you have a plan B ready ( if you are in a career allready- not a summer joke job in case you dont do well on the test or change your mind about law school later). I think the best thing about a job is that it gives you a set routine and schedule- where you can simply put an activity on hold and replace it with lsat prep. If you dont have to have a job, then you need to still establish and maintain some sort of routine. YOu also need something to take your mind off the test, or there is a chance you will become so involved with lsat prep that you lose focus and perspective on things. Yes, this test is crucial, but its not life or death. YOu need to realize that over half of all test takers dont score in the 150s, and less than 20% score into the 160s- even on a practice exam ( taken in as close to actual test taking conditions).

Study hard, study smart, but remember to keep this all in perspective. There are other things out there, and other aspects of your life that you cannot neglect. The LSAT needs to be a part of your daily routine( and be placed on a higher level of priority list) for a bit, but you cant let it overwhelm your life.

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sundance95
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby sundance95 » Sun May 08, 2011 12:18 pm

I worked 50+ hours a week as a paralegal while taking an LSAT course and studying. I did well, partly because the time I had to study was time I needed to study, and therefore I actually did it. I found when I was unemployed I often would get less done than I could just because I could always do tasks 'later.' But I wouldn't say this makes being unemployed 'better' or 'worse,' it just has a different set of issues you need to deal with.

I'd definitely say that not having a job would have been easier.

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kwais
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby kwais » Sun May 08, 2011 12:21 pm

I get the debate and all, but do you know how over-privileged you all sound? Do you know why I had a job while I studied for the LSAT? To buy food and pay rent and such. Are you all a bunch of trust fund babies or just great savers? It the latter, then forgive my stereotyping.

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby paulinaporizkova » Sun May 08, 2011 12:22 pm

suspicious android wrote:Trick question--It's always better not to have a job.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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sundance95
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby sundance95 » Sun May 08, 2011 12:35 pm

kwais wrote:I get the debate and all, but do you know how over-privileged you all sound? Do you know why I had a job while I studied for the LSAT? To buy food and pay rent and such. Are you all a bunch of trust fund babies or just great savers? It the latter, then forgive my stereotyping.

Does it really matter?

Do you know how much of curmudgeon you sound like? Yeah, I worked to pay rent and buy food while studying too-but I'm not on my high horse acting like that makes me better than anyone else. If someone is fortunate enough to have options, why are you begrudging them that?

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kwais
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby kwais » Sun May 08, 2011 12:44 pm

sundance95 wrote:
kwais wrote:I get the debate and all, but do you know how over-privileged you all sound? Do you know why I had a job while I studied for the LSAT? To buy food and pay rent and such. Are you all a bunch of trust fund babies or just great savers? It the latter, then forgive my stereotyping.

Does it really matter?

Do you know how much of curmudgeon you sound like? Yeah, I worked to pay rent and buy food while studying too-but I'm not on my high horse acting like that makes me better than anyone else. If someone is fortunate enough to have options, why are you begrudging them that?


Personally, I think it is good for people to be called out once in a while. I was just reminding these folks that 99.9% of the world works to make ends meet, not to augment their motivation to study for a test. Perhaps my comment would remind them to regain that perspective and make their work-related decisions accordingly. Perhaps it won't. Either way, I can't thank you enough for putting me in my place.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby Eichörnchen » Sun May 08, 2011 12:53 pm

sundance95 wrote:
kwais wrote:I get the debate and all, but do you know how over-privileged you all sound? Do you know why I had a job while I studied for the LSAT? To buy food and pay rent and such. Are you all a bunch of trust fund babies or just great savers? It the latter, then forgive my stereotyping.

Does it really matter?

Do you know how much of curmudgeon you sound like? Yeah, I worked to pay rent and buy food while studying too-but I'm not on my high horse acting like that makes me better than anyone else. If someone is fortunate enough to have options, why are you begrudging them that?

^ That was a very nice reply I must say. And I am studying for June and wrapped up my jobs to study without working about 3 months ago. I pinched my pennies in undergrad (like crazy) because I knew this was coming. It also helps that I live in a cheap state (I could never have done that if I lived in DC, NYC, etc). If I switch to Oct, I am considering getting a part time job because that would eat into my savings for a long trip I have planned but I do wish I didn't have to. I've stayed on task with studying despite having "all day". Somehow all day never feels like enough actually :? I should mention that I have neither TV nor Wifi at my place, so that saves a lot of $$ and gets rid of distractions.

edit: Man I wish I were a trust fund baby :mrgreen:

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vanwinkle
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Re: Is it actually better to not have a job when LSAT studying?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun May 08, 2011 1:23 pm

kwais wrote:I get the debate and all, but do you know how over-privileged you all sound? Do you know why I had a job while I studied for the LSAT? To buy food and pay rent and such. Are you all a bunch of trust fund babies or just great savers? It the latter, then forgive my stereotyping.

This is what I was just thinking.

I worked full time while taking an LSAT prep course because I had to. I still made a 12-13 point jump in four months. The LSAT won't be your whole life, or what you're doing all day every day; you'll need to spend some study time on it daily, but you can have a job and still do this.




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