bogydog wrote:Yikes okay well yes I timed myself, no I'm not a URM, GPA 4.0, and before you ask, I majored in Spanish at a small liberal arts school in WI.
Yes I'm taking it in February, and I haven't studied other than what I posted. Honestly I'm not sure how much good studying would even do because looking back on all the questions I missed, other than maybe 2 questions it was mostly just stupid mistakes like skipping over the word "not" in questions and stuff like that...
I never really looked into schools besides Madison, it just seems like a good school which I assumed would also be the best financial option for me as a WI resident. I thought that public schools don't give out very much merit-based financial aid, but maybe that's mainly for undergrad? Anyway while yeah there's a slight chance I could go to Harvard or something, it just seems a little too pretentious for me. Yeah getting a 160k/year job at a big firm sounds a little exciting, but don't think I want my life to revolve around my job.
Anyway let's say I wait until June to test. What do I do all year in the meantime? Actually I would LOVE to do some kind of volunteering/teaching ESL or something like that, but I would have to start looking into it right away. It would also be nice to be 21 when I start law school...
But from a purely financial perspective, I'm not too sure it makes sense. I'll round tuition to 15k/year. Let's say I wait until June to take the test and get an extra 5k/year from a higher score. So for 3 years of law school, I pay 30k total. Let's say I can also earn 15k working from August-May since I would't be in school this coming school year. So in the 4 year span, I'm -15k.
Now let's say I take the test in February and forfeit that extra 5k/year I could *possibly* have gotten taking it later. So I'm down 45k for tuition. Let's say I get a 50k/year paying job right away, so for the 4 year span, I'm +5k. Does that make sense?
Keep throwing advice and opinions at me if you have any!! I don't really have anyone to go to so I'm glad I stumbled onto this forum.
If you're a Wisconsin native, it will be possible for you to get back to the WI market even if you go to a different (theoretically better) school. Also taking a year off isn't so bad, i'm doing it myself. With your GPA, opportunities are yours to lose. There are so many different teaching fellowships out there that would probably reinforce the soft factor of your application next year.
Your math could make sense if everything goes according to plan
. It likely won't. The market's terrible, your interests might change, your career goals might change, and after three years of law school you might want to settle down somewhere other than WI. Re-taking the LSAT, going to a better school (with potentially more money) will maximize your options even if things change or if things stay the same.
Trust me, taking a year off was probably the best decision I ever made. I got an interesting/engaging job that pays around 45k, re-took LSAT and improved by 6 points, GPA is higher because the last semester of Senior grades were factored in, and it's giving me the chance to explore other career paths. I'm currently in the final stages of TFA (Teach for America) admissions.....debating whether to stay at my current company and move up, or go to law school.
Trying to decide whether or not you wanna go to law school as a college senior is difficult to do objectively. Because you're just terrified of "what the heck am i gonna do?" Trust me. There are things to do out there, and it'll be a good learning experience. This is all in addition to the strategic benefit of improving your LSAT and soft factors (work experience etc..). If you have a 4.0 it's probably because you smart/work hard. I'm really skeptical that you're gonna end up just bumming around in your parent's house for a full year. Strategically (as far as admission chances), and just for your own professional/personal development, taking a year off is the best choice here.
That said, there's nothing wrong with taking the LSAT multiple times, so try taking it in February and see how you do. If you do well enough, then consider just going to Madison. If not, then you'll know that taking a year off is the better choice.
EDIT:: Also, taking a year off to work will give you time to make valuable professional connections. Connections that you wouldn't have as a K-JD, and that you're gonna need if you go to a school like Madison