LSAT undergrad

danicloud
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LSAT undergrad

Postby danicloud » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:25 am

hi everyone so i know i asked a few questions about law schools in the last days but i am still curious about this path what can i do to get in the best law school i can.
From i understood the LSAT plays a major role, if not the most important role, in the application. I know I still have maybe 3 years before I need to start seriously preparing for the lsat but I was wondering if there is anything I can I do from now to improve the skills needed to score high on the test.
I mean if you look back at your undergrad do you ever wonder if doing something different you could have improved to score higher.
Is it beneficial to take a few questions a week, reading some specific works, taking some specific classes or really anything; or should I just concentrate on the getting the best grades I can and eventually start studying for the lsat a few months before the test.

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incompetentia
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby incompetentia » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:02 am

The best you're going to get out of any type of preparation is really only deep background if that. You could try reading things like The Economist if you want to get into the mindset of the RC passages, but the targeted study is really not useful until 7-8 months before the test (if even that much).

GPA is important too.

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glewz
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby glewz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:26 am

danicloud wrote:hi everyone so i know i asked a few questions about law schools in the last days but i am still curious about this path what can i do to get in the best law school i can.
From i understood the LSAT plays a major role, if not the most important role, in the application. I know I still have maybe 3 years before I need to start seriously preparing for the lsat but I was wondering if there is anything I can I do from now to improve the skills needed to score high on the test.
I mean if you look back at your undergrad do you ever wonder if doing something different you could have improved to score higher.
Is it beneficial to take a few questions a week, reading some specific works, taking some specific classes or really anything; or should I just concentrate on the getting the best grades I can and eventually start studying for the lsat a few months before the test.

Beyond even the LSAT, technical majors are pretty much the only way you could sit for the patent bar exam. So if that interests you, obtaining a high GPA in electrical engineering/other sciences is your top priority.

That said, (assuming you have the appropriate LSAT score) if we're strictly talking law school admissions, a 3.9 in basket weaving would make you much more competitive for HYS than say a 3.6 in engineering.

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jln04a
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby jln04a » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:27 am

Generally speaking, don't worry about pre-law majors.

Pick something you enjoy. I was an English major and I think it helped me since there was a focus on reading comprehension and logical analysis. (But it may not be like that at every school...)

bhan87
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby bhan87 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:33 am

danicloud wrote:hi everyone so i know i asked a few questions about law schools in the last days but i am still curious about this path what can i do to get in the best law school i can.
From i understood the LSAT plays a major role, if not the most important role, in the application. I know I still have maybe 3 years before I need to start seriously preparing for the lsat but I was wondering if there is anything I can I do from now to improve the skills needed to score high on the test.
I mean if you look back at your undergrad do you ever wonder if doing something different you could have improved to score higher.
Is it beneficial to take a few questions a week, reading some specific works, taking some specific classes or really anything; or should I just concentrate on the getting the best grades I can and eventually start studying for the lsat a few months before the test.


Do this. There will be plenty of time later to study for the LSAT (try to allot 3-5 months of free time for the LSAT. The summer before senior year is a pretty good bet). Your GPA can get tainted really quickly by just a handful of B's. If you're aiming for a 3.8+, it would take 4 A's to make up for every B you get.

In the meantime, getting in the habit of reading general material is a good way to get in the groove of reading academic writing. You can get some recommendations on reading material here:

http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/rcrl.cfm

Reading an article or two everyday will get you pretty acquainted to the type of writing you'll encounter on the RC section.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:35 am

glewz wrote:
danicloud wrote:hi everyone so i know i asked a few questions about law schools in the last days but i am still curious about this path what can i do to get in the best law school i can.
From i understood the LSAT plays a major role, if not the most important role, in the application. I know I still have maybe 3 years before I need to start seriously preparing for the lsat but I was wondering if there is anything I can I do from now to improve the skills needed to score high on the test.
I mean if you look back at your undergrad do you ever wonder if doing something different you could have improved to score higher.
Is it beneficial to take a few questions a week, reading some specific works, taking some specific classes or really anything; or should I just concentrate on the getting the best grades I can and eventually start studying for the lsat a few months before the test.

Beyond even the LSAT, technical majors are pretty much the only way you could sit for the patent bar exam. So if that interests you, obtaining a high GPA in electrical engineering/other sciences is your top priority.

That said, (assuming you have the appropriate LSAT score) if we're strictly talking law school admissions, a 3.9 in basket weaving would make you much more competitive for HYS than say a 3.6 in engineering.


I know for a fact that basketweaving is not a qualifying major at any accredited undergraduate institution in the United States. Now, if you were talking about Underwater Basketweaving, that, sir, is a different story altogether. My A- in Basketweaving during Tsunami Conditions is the only thing that kept me out of YLS.

OP- If you can try to take at least one formal logic class, that will probably be helpful.

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glewz
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby glewz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:30 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
glewz wrote:
danicloud wrote:hi everyone so i know i asked a few questions about law schools in the last days but i am still curious about this path what can i do to get in the best law school i can.
From i understood the LSAT plays a major role, if not the most important role, in the application. I know I still have maybe 3 years before I need to start seriously preparing for the lsat but I was wondering if there is anything I can I do from now to improve the skills needed to score high on the test.
I mean if you look back at your undergrad do you ever wonder if doing something different you could have improved to score higher.
Is it beneficial to take a few questions a week, reading some specific works, taking some specific classes or really anything; or should I just concentrate on the getting the best grades I can and eventually start studying for the lsat a few months before the test.

Beyond even the LSAT, technical majors are pretty much the only way you could sit for the patent bar exam. So if that interests you, obtaining a high GPA in electrical engineering/other sciences is your top priority.

That said, (assuming you have the appropriate LSAT score) if we're strictly talking law school admissions, a 3.9 in basket weaving would make you much more competitive for HYS than say a 3.6 in engineering.


I know for a fact that basketweaving is not a qualifying major at any accredited undergraduate institution in the United States. Now, if you were talking about Underwater Basketweaving, that, sir, is a different story altogether. My A- in Basketweaving during Tsunami Conditions is the only thing that kept me out of YLS.

OP- If you can try to take at least one formal logic class, that will probably be helpful.

Pardon my error - didn't mean to diminish the clear merits of your talent/major. Slightly different, but what apparently got me the red flag for my Yale app was a streak of A+s in automat management.

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Sloth Hero
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby Sloth Hero » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:42 am

Here's some classes I'd recommend. Remember, it is way more important to have time to study for the lsat. So you'd be better off with an easy 4.0 in poli-sci or international relations and have extra time to study the LSAT, than you would be if you were killing yourself trying to maintain a 4.0 in analytic philosophy or whatever.

I'd recommend taking these classes just to see if you are interested in any of this material, it all utilizes a similar framework that required for the LSAT. But remember, if these classes are hard for you, I'd pick whatever it is you are sure you can get an 'A' in, and devote your saved free time to LSAT prep.

Classes I'd recommend

1) Symbolic (formal) logic. It will probably cover predicate logic which won't help too much, except it will give you some familiarity with quantified claims. But the LSAT has a lower burden of proof when you use quantified logics, so this will have to be understood.

2) Informal logic. At my school it was called 'Reasoning and Critical Thinking'. Pretty easy class, and it focuses around pointing out flaws in arguments, and understanding argument structure. Again, this class will have a stricter "burden of proof", but it should give you a strong intuition for LSAT prep.

3) Intro to econ classes. These focus pretty hard on correlation vs causation, and is heavily analytic in its approach. Also, you won't be as intimidated by the Econ themed passages, and there are a lot of them.

4) Game Theory: This class should make it apparent whether you are an analytical thinker, or whether you like analytic approaches.

5) Any philosophy course. These courses will teach you how to quickly absorb and attack 'non-traditional' viewpoints. Also probably will help dispel some of your ill-conceived notions. Pretty effective for LSAT prep.

6) Programming/Computation/Calc/Analytic Geometry. Again, more analytic/conceptual classes.

Classes that will help the least are going to be classes that revolve around memorization instead of emphasizing conceptual applications. Like hospitality management courses, biology, etc. They will probably help you with RC, but so will everything else. Just I'd say, and sorry if I offend anyone, don't take dumb courses in hospitality, crim, 'pre-law', tourism, etc. because this material reads like a brochure.

But most importantly, take what you are interested in, and what will get you the highest GPA. You would be better off with basketweaving if it will give you a guaranteed 4.0 and a lot more time to study exclusively for the LSAT.

Just reread my post. God I suck at writing. CBA to edit the flow though.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:06 am

Sloth Hero wrote:Here's some classes I'd recommend. Remember, it is way more important to have time to study for the lsat. So you'd be better off with an easy 4.0 in poli-sci or international relations and have extra time to study the LSAT, than you would be if you were killing yourself trying to maintain a 4.0 in analytic philosophy or whatever.

I'd recommend taking these classes just to see if you are interested in any of this material, it all utilizes a similar framework that required for the LSAT. But remember, if these classes are hard for you, I'd pick whatever it is you are sure you can get an 'A' in, and devote your saved free time to LSAT prep.

Classes I'd recommend

1) Symbolic (formal) logic. It will probably cover predicate logic which won't help too much, except it will give you some familiarity with quantified claims. But the LSAT has a lower burden of proof when you use quantified logics, so this will have to be understood.

2) Informal logic. At my school it was called 'Reasoning and Critical Thinking'. Pretty easy class, and it focuses around pointing out flaws in arguments, and understanding argument structure. Again, this class will have a stricter "burden of proof", but it should give you a strong intuition for LSAT prep.

3) Intro to econ classes. These focus pretty hard on correlation vs causation, and is heavily analytic in its approach. Also, you won't be as intimidated by the Econ themed passages, and there are a lot of them.

4) Game Theory: This class should make it apparent whether you are an analytical thinker, or whether you like analytic approaches.

5) Any philosophy course. These courses will teach you how to quickly absorb and attack 'non-traditional' viewpoints. Also probably will help dispel some of your ill-conceived notions. Pretty effective for LSAT prep.

6) Programming/Computation/Calc/Analytic Geometry. Again, more analytic/conceptual classes.

Classes that will help the least are going to be classes that revolve around memorization instead of emphasizing conceptual applications. Like hospitality management courses, biology, etc. They will probably help you with RC, but so will everything else. Just I'd say, and sorry if I offend anyone, don't take dumb courses in hospitality, crim, 'pre-law', tourism, etc. because this material reads like a brochure.

But most importantly, take what you are interested in, and what will get you the highest GPA. You would be better off with basketweaving if it will give you a guaranteed 4.0 and a lot more time to study exclusively for the LSAT.

Just reread my post. God I suck at writing. CBA to edit the flow though.


What the what? Tourism is an actual class taught at actual universities. And people are sinking 200k into debt for that kind of crap? The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire, but its fall has nothing on America's quick catapult into intellectual flatlining.

Game theory at my school was a guaranteed C+ even for upper, upper level econ majors. I know you talk about this in your post, but just for emphasis for the OP: don't take classes that are going to drag your GPA down just because you think it will help your LSAT prep. It might save you a week of studying or cause you to be less frustrated by some of the material at first glance, but it is possible to study and master LSAT logic without having a background in economic/logical thought. It's definitely not worth dragging your GPA down. What I would suggest is auditing these classes if that's possible. It's sort of the best of both worlds - learning the material but not worrying that your grade will suffer because of them.

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Sloth Hero
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby Sloth Hero » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:57 am

Yeah, probably attend these classes unregistered a few times to make sure you think you can do OK before signing up. Also depends on your school's drop/add policy.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:05 am

Sloth Hero wrote:Yeah, probably attend these classes unregistered a few times to make sure you think you can do OK before signing up. Also depends on your school's drop/add policy.


Is auditing not a thing anymore? Am I that old?

pontificator
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby pontificator » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:59 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
Sloth Hero wrote:Yeah, probably attend these classes unregistered a few times to make sure you think you can do OK before signing up. Also depends on your school's drop/add policy.


Is auditing not a thing anymore? Am I that old?


I don't know how old you are, but classes can still be audited at any legitimate school.
Auditing is a good idea in a lot of cases.

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clouds101
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby clouds101 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:55 am

If I could go back in time, I would just focus on my GPA. Nothing else. You only get one shot to make your GPA, whereas you have the option of taking the LSAT more than once.

danicloud
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby danicloud » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:35 pm

thanks for your responses. I do understand that i should make the GPA my priority and that is what i will do. But i am the kind of guy who spends his free time reading, doing some riddles etc. I was more interested to know if there is anything i can do in my free time. Like taking a practice test, reading some philosophy books, learn computer programming or reading various magazines like someone suggested on this post.

thank you

bhan87
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby bhan87 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:42 pm

danicloud wrote:thanks for your responses. I do understand that i should make the GPA my priority and that is what i will do. But i am the kind of guy who spends his free time reading, doing some riddles etc. I was more interested to know if there is anything i can do in my free time. Like taking a practice test, reading some philosophy books, learn computer programming or reading various magazines like someone suggested on this post.

thank you

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ShulmanSR
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby ShulmanSR » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:53 pm

danicloud wrote:hi everyone so i know i asked a few questions about law schools in the last days but i am still curious about this path what can i do to get in the best law school i can.
From i understood the LSAT plays a major role, if not the most important role, in the application. I know I still have maybe 3 years before I need to start seriously preparing for the lsat but I was wondering if there is anything I can I do from now to improve the skills needed to score high on the test.
I mean if you look back at your undergrad do you ever wonder if doing something different you could have improved to score higher.
Is it beneficial to take a few questions a week, reading some specific works, taking some specific classes or really anything; or should I just concentrate on the getting the best grades I can and eventually start studying for the lsat a few months before the test.


I am going to try not to repeat anything anyone has already said, but what I have found most useful is my science background. I was Political Science and Pre Med. Organic Chemistry in particular I think helped me with Logic Games.

Also, I think having a science background helps you not get intimidated by the LR and RC questions that have to do with science. I often enjoy these questions.

I would definitely take a Formal Logic class as well, besides that I don't think any particular type of course work is necessary.

Last, I would take the LSAT in June, so that you can take it again in October if you need to take it twice without applying too late. If I were you, I would start studying winter break of my Junior year.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:00 pm

Retake and ED to UVA

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mickeyD
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby mickeyD » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:02 pm

Didn't read all the responses, but honestly all you should focus on right now is getting the best grades possible in school. This is the part so many of us wish we could get back.

If I could give you any advice other than perhaps take a formal logic class, it's read. Read a lot of books, newspapers, everything. I think the benefit of reading boring material like the Economist is extremely overrated and impractical. Read often and read things that interest you. Everything on the LSAT can be learned with enough practice except being able to read fast. The reason people say "RC is the hardest to improve on" is because you can't make up for a lifetime of being a slow reader in 3 month prep window. You don't need to read the Economist to be able to digest tough material, you just need to be a good reader in general.

Aside from that, plan your prep window ahead. People say "3 months is plenty of time" but I disagree. To fully squeeze out the value of every Preptest, to read the Bibles more than once so you can go over the things you missed, to drill every logic game over and over so it's like second nature takes more than 3 months for the average person. Give yourself closer to six, starting before the June test, so you have an opportunity for October as well.

Some people will tell you that you're jumping the gun, which you are, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

hurldes
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby hurldes » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:20 pm

if you're getting a 4.0 and still want to prepare extra, read a lot of stuff all the time. Find academic articles at your school's library in lots of different subjects, read the Economist or Wall Street Journal, read harder novels (not Harry Potter), or dense nonfiction books. Reading comprehension takes a long time to improve, but Logic Games and Logical reasoning take only a couple months of effective and consistent study to master.

Don't worry about taking a practice test or doing a couple LSAT problems each day. You will learn the LR and LG sections in 6 months max. But everyone struggles to improve their reading comp. Develop that in the 2-3 years you have until the LSAT. Use the 4-6 months before the LSAT to develop LR and LG.

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gavinstevens
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Re: LSAT undergrad

Postby gavinstevens » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:25 pm

I remember having these thoughts as an underclassmen. There's a lot of good advice here.

Here's something I wish I had pre-lsat prep to warm up for the games section: http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/su ... -prep.html




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