LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

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LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby SirCadogan » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:09 am

Hi everyone! I'm a newcomer to TLS (have been a bit of a lurker for a few months though).

Anyway, my question to all of you good folk is this: I plan on volunteering with the Peace Corps post-graduation--am currently entering my senior year in undergrad. It's been a dream of mine for ages & I'm in the application process right now. Ideally, I would like to study for the LSAT next summer after I graduate, before I leave the country..I find I do best on tests when I have a prolonged period of time to work full-time on them. I have done some research on the forums and it seems that the LSAC keeps your score for 5 years, but many schools ideally would want it within 3. I'm not sure if this 3 years is 3 years before application date, or 3 years before matriculation date--any clarifications would be great!

This is the tentative timeline that I have planned out..please let me know if you see any flaws/would make any changes to this. Much thanks!

May 2013: Graduate :D
May-October 2013: Study hard!
October 2013: LSAT
November-December 2013 (ideally): Leave for the PC
+ 2 years, 3 months..
February-March 2016: Return from PC
March-October 2016: Work on personal statements, application, re-acclimatize to the US
October 2016: Apply for law school
Fall 2017: Matriculate

As you can see, this leaves a bit of wiggle room for my PC leaving date (I can leave as late as March 2014 and be back by June 2016, in time to work on applications). And it would be exactly 3 years from the October 2013 LSAT to the October 2016 application (I will get it in that early considering the amount of time I'll have to prepare). It would be 4 years from LSAT to matriculation, though. Is this acceptable & if not, which law schools do you guys know of that are the exceptions?

Thank you!

PS: Any (potential) Peace Corps Volunteers or RPCVs here?

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby ilovelawtays » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:17 am

I have no real advice, other than saying that your adventure sounds awesome!

I am good friends with a couple that were PCVs together, and the impression I got is that you have a lot of downtime once you get to your site and get settled. I guess the perk is that if you take in October before leaving and aren't satisfied with your score, you can always take it again when you get back. The wife of that couple took Joy of Cooking with her on her trip; you could take some prep books, right? :wink:

Anyways, good luck! Have fun!

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby SirCadogan » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:33 pm

Ah, thanks! I'm going to see how well I do on my diagnostic & how far that is from a competitive score for me--if it's too far off I think I'll wait on it and take the prep books to go, if not I'll study like an animal and try to get it done October. If it's too low, I'll retake..

Also, I'll probably be applying to some cool summer opportunities/maybe some legal internships (? do these even exist..would like to be 1000000% sure about this before I enter the scary world of law) next summer, so if those pan out I'll wait too.

But if not, the below is the plan and nobody has come up with any objections so far. Thanks for the wishes; fingers crossed I get nominated to serve!

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby 2014 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:44 pm

That might even be an excessive amount of time designated for studying and is certainly more time than you need to do your PS while getting acclimated. However, if you are wondering whether that is enough time to do everything the answer is certainly yes.

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby caminante » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:01 pm

Sounds like a very well thought out plan. You are in good shape!

Good luck, and have fun!

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby SirCadogan » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:55 am

2014: Thank you! I know the Peace Corps has been shaky on estimated start dates vs. when volunteers will actually leave, so I wanted some flexibility in terms of when I'd be able to leave/come back (I could leave anytime from Nov 2013 to March/April 2014) and still have more than enough time to study/acclimate & work on PS. I'd definitely work on solidifying plans once I get a solid departure date.

caminante: Thank you! I just wanted to make sure over here; you guys have been really helpful.

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby vman21 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:30 am

hey, I did peace corps and am applying to LS this cycle. I will just give you my timeline as a for instance:

Graduated 2009 with the intention of going straight into PC. Peace Corps offered me Ukraine. I said no, I wanted either Africa/South America, so they told me to wait 6-9 months for that. So got a job in the meanwhile with Americorps for one year. 2010 I leave for Peace Corps. Plenty of downtime in Peace Corps, but depending where you are it can be easy/hard to study. Luckily for me, easy to study -- quiet village with desk, plenty of light, etc, and I printed all the tests/materials before hand.

LSAT: june 2012, apply Fall 2012, extend Peace Corps until mid 2013, law school fall 2013.

if you have other questions about PC or whatever, PM me. your timeline looks fine, you are giving yourself a lot of 'blank space' though, you need to fill it up with something (extensions, other work exp) so that you don't have too much 'down time' on your resume when applying.

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby SirCadogan » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:55 pm

Hey, thanks for the info! I'll PM you about more Peace Corps stuff but I'll try to keep this thread relevant to the majority of TLS..

In terms of 'blank space,' I'd definitely try to get a job/internship/etc if I get sent out late. Does it look bad to have a 'blank' summer just for studying for the LSATs? In addition, I was hoping to have a few months from when I return to just focus on applications..say a few months before I turn in my apps. Is that too much? If so, I was thinking of maybe applying during Peace Corps the way you are so I could come back and go directly to law school (dependent on internet connection, etc..)

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby tch562 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:27 am


I'm currently a PCV (extending my service til June 2013) and applying for fall 2013 admissions. I've had more than enough time to study and took the LSAT on my visit home this past June. I would suggest, however, that if you have the opportunity and feel comfortable to take it before you leave for service. You really don't want that kind of thing just hovering over your service. I took it in June because 1. I was given unusually short notice about my departure date 2. I planned on visiting home in June anyway. I'll let you know how things turn out for me (if that will help), and you're more than welcome to ask about PC stuff. Best of luck!

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby ant5do » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:11 am

Currently a PCV. You're absolutely right that the PC is awful about start dates and departure dates. Have you already cleared medical? If not, keep in mind that medical can screw a lot of things up with timing.

I'm a bit different than some of these other folks. I am planning on taking the test overseas. After you get out of your initial training, you will probably have a good bit of downtime at site. I'm not sure that it would be ideal to study for the exam out of country (disgusting water, language difficulties, and spotty electricity are all very real possibilities), and by all means try your hardest to take the test before you leave - as someone else mentioned it's not optimal to have the test hovering over your service, but understand that taking a retake or studying for the test while at site is something that is possible.

Feel free to ask me about service or anything, etc.

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Re: LSAT before Peace Corps timeline help?

Postby ood » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:23 am


I'm about to wrap up my undergraduate studies. I'll have a year long intermission between UG and LS. It has always been a dream of mine to volunteer with the PC. What would you suggest I do before I apply to PC to guarantee approval? If I get in I have no problem extending my time before LS for another year.

What I'm doing so far
-applying for naturalization (us citizenship)
-BA in Sociology(may 2013)
-job @ a tech company (analyst)
-proficient in English, native Spanish speaker, some French.
-edit: studying for LSAT feb '13

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