Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
cm4998

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Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby cm4998 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:40 pm

Hey Everyone. I just had a question for some of you who have taken a year off to study for your LSAT or are studying while in college. I'm currently a senior in undergrad and I've been studying seriously for about 3 months now. I took a summer LSAT classroom course which wasn't helpful. My diagnostic was a 141. However, I am now on 7sage and have seen great improvement.

(BTW, if you're not happy with your studying or you need lots of improvement, GET ON 7SAGE RIGHT NOW. That s**t is MAGIC! I swear. I've been studying with 7sage for two weeks, and I've improved a significant amount. I'm not kidding and it's so ridiculously effective, it's scary. I've gotten 90 percent of all drill problems correct and I'm working through LR problems of all difficulties in under a minute. It literally just clicked for me. I'm just itching to take another PT. Thanks to everyone who recommended it!)

I have 3 semesters left and I'll be graduating in Dec. of 2017, so I'll be applying to attend law school next september so I can enroll at 23 years old. My undergrad work is piling up now, and I've struggled to make time for LSAT study which I plan on taking in June and also Sept./Dec. 2017 as a back up. My aim is 20 hours minimum a week, but I'm beginning to avg. 15, sometimes less, which is causing me to fall off schedule from my LSAT study guide. I've been thinking of maybe taking a year off after undergrad which would push back law school until 24 or even 25. However, my dream and goal is to be an AUSA and work for the U.S Attorney's Office, preferably in SDNY or EDNY in NYC. This is the career I've wanted since highschool and the reason why I'm trying so hard to get into a T10 (preferably, NYU since I'm from the area, so I don't have travel).

I'm very impatient, ambitious and goal oriented, and although being patient for the 170+ is the ideal way, I would feel very frustrated and anxious to push back on law school. I would probably take internships in government or my state legislator, but at the end of the day, I want to be a federal prosecutor. In terms of scheduling, I try to wake up at 5:30AM everyday to study for 2 hrs first thing in the morning. I then try to squeeze in another 2 hrs throughout the day. I have an internship Tues./Thurs/Fri. from 9AM to 1-2PM, and take classes Mon-Thurs. usually starting at 5:30PM until about 8:30-9PM. Sometimes I'm so exhausted from the long days that I'm drained and have a hard time studying later in the day. My GF also wants to spend time, so I have to make room for that as well. I try to elminate as many commitments as possible to make room for LSAT prep which is number one priority. My GPA is really good, so I'm not too concerned at the moment, but I have to maintain it.

For those of you who have taken a year off to study, what kinds of internships, jobs or activities did you engage while studying? Would you recommend this course of action?

For those of you who studied or are currently studying while in undergrad with lots of commitments, how did you guys manage your time and organize your study schedules despite these other commitments? Do you have a significant other? (I love my gf but she can be very distracting sometimes). Thanks for your help!

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earldasquirel

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby earldasquirel » Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:03 pm

For what its worth, Im in my gap year now, taking the LSAT for a 3rd time this december. I have been scoring higher than I have ever been, and feel much more relaxed without having to focus on school work simultaneously. I've been working two jobs part-time, one law related and one not, but I have recently taken a break from my non related law job to study for the lsat. I have also had time to really work on my app and essays.

Everybody's different, but in my experience, taking a gap year has been very beneficial to me

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RZ5646

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby RZ5646 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:13 pm

Taking a gap year is a good idea regardless. I got into my dream school my senior year of college, and I'm still taking time off first just because the work experience and chilling / personal development time is so valuable. Law school will always be there; there's no rush.

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:55 am

Hey dude,

I think you're on the right track with waking up early and squeezing in time when you can. Nice job on being committed!

Also, 7Sage is absolutely the right way to go, especially if you are on a tight schedule. I work a pretty demanding full-time job and throughout the day I love being able to watch a lesson and have problem sets available. Perfect for squeezing in a half hour during lunch.

Anyways, I wake up early as well and get an hour or two in before work. Then I study another two or three hours when I get home. I think ~25 hours is a good place to aim, but don't sacrifice your grades or other immediate commitments for LSAT prep. Better to get a quality 15-20 hours in and not sacrifice grades.

I basically just try to have set times every day to study. You need to be disciplined but after a few weeks of studying at the same time every evening I just got into the habit. I also find that writing out weekly and daily goals helps a lot! The LSAT doesn't often give us a lot of incremental satisfaction. Although you may be getting better all the time, sometimes it just doesn't feel like it. So I find checking things off of my list helps to keep me feeling motivated. Also, smaller goals seem so much more doable when you break the, down by day/week.

I think taking a gap year and getting some good work experience is the way to go as others have said. That is definitely what I elected to do and I will feel a lot more confident having some substantial real world experience on my resume now. (Before I had a lot of internships)

I do have a long-term girlfriend. We live together so at times it can actually be a bit distracting. However, she is really supportive and understands how important this is and supports me in every way she can. If your gf ever annoys you, just try explaining how important the LSAT is and if she is a good gf she will understand.

Good luck!
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheProsecutor

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby TheProsecutor » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:55 pm

Doing good...but nothing will guarantee EDNY/SDNY. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Sen from NY, was rejected from both and she clerked and was well regarded at her firm. Just gotta be in a position to have a chance.

Also take a gap year.

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MindBodyAbs

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby MindBodyAbs » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:56 pm

i'm currently 2+ years out of undergrad, and have been working a field unrelated to law since graduation. i was much like you my senior year, anxious and ready to dive into the lsat / application process.

i can only speak to my own personal experience, but taking time off to work and study has turned out to be extraordinarily beneficial. the lsat requires a great deal of focus and much more time to master than i had originally expected.

a year will pass by so quickly. it's absolutely worth it to take this time off in order to give the lsat your best shot, especially if you want to attend one of the top law schools in the country.

best of luck with whatever path you take.

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galeatus

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby galeatus » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:21 am


cm4998

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby cm4998 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:14 am

Barack O'Drama wrote:Hey dude,

I think you're on the right track with waking up early and squeezing in time when you can. Nice job on being committed!

Also, 7Sage is absolutely the right way to go, especially if you are on a tight schedule. I work a pretty demanding full-time job and throughout the day I love being able to watch a lesson and have problem sets available. Perfect for squeezing in a half hour during lunch.

Anyways, I wake up early as well and get an hour or two in before work. Then I study another two or three hours when I get home. I think ~25 hours is a good place to aim, but don't sacrifice your grades or other immediate commitments for LSAT prep. Better to get a quality 15-20 hours in and not sacrifice grades.

I basically just try to have set times every day to study. You need to be disciplined but after a few weeks of studying at the same time every evening I just got into the habit. I also find that writing out weekly and daily goals helps a lot! The LSAT doesn't often give us a lot of incremental satisfaction. Although you may be getting better all the time, sometimes it just doesn't feel like it. So I find checking things off of my list helps to keep me feeling motivated. Also, smaller goals seem so much more doable when you break the, down by day/week.

I think taking a gap year and getting some good work experience is the way to go as others have said. That is definitely what I elected to do and I will feel a lot more confident having some substantial real world experience on my resume now. (Before I had a lot of internships)

I do have a long-term girlfriend. We live together so at times it can actually be a bit distracting. However, she is really supportive and understands how important this is and supports me in every way she can. If your gf ever annoys you, just try explaining how important the LSAT is and if she is a good gf she will understand.

Good luck!


Haven't gotten into the habit of it yet, but I'm getting there slowly. I feel a lot better with 7sage which, to me, was the most important aspect of this prep journey. Goal setting is also the way to go, something else I need to get into the habit of doing. How do you write out LSAT goals? Do you aim for specific score increases? or more certain amount of hours every week?

cm4998

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby cm4998 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:21 am

TheProsecutor wrote:Doing good...but nothing will guarantee EDNY/SDNY. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Sen from NY, was rejected from both and she clerked and was well regarded at her firm. Just gotta be in a position to have a chance.

Also take a gap year.


Yea I know! I was actually reading about her a few days ago, which is crazy because she's had just a great career, both in private and public. However, one thing to note is that she went to UCLA Law. It is a great school no doubt, but they emphasize a lot on private/corporate/entertainment law. Stanford is big with the government. I feel that gov work really emphasizes JD school. That's why I'm pushing NYU - very good public service reputation. Look at Giuliani!

cm4998

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby cm4998 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:25 am

MindBodyAbs wrote:i'm currently 2+ years out of undergrad, and have been working a field unrelated to law since graduation. i was much like you my senior year, anxious and ready to dive into the lsat / application process.

i can only speak to my own personal experience, but taking time off to work and study has turned out to be extraordinarily beneficial. the lsat requires a great deal of focus and much more time to master than i had originally expected.

a year will pass by so quickly. it's absolutely worth it to take this time off in order to give the lsat your best shot, especially if you want to attend one of the top law schools in the country.

best of luck with whatever path you take.


I totally agree, the LSAT does require lots of discipline and it is very difficult to master completely. I'll definitely see how the year goes, it I am able to squeeze in enough study time where I'm consistently scoring above or around the median for my first choice, I'll apply. If not, I'll reassess and take a year off. I'm sure working post-undergrad can be very rewarding considering you've spent the first 20+ years of your life in school lol

cm4998

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby cm4998 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:26 am

galeatus wrote:Check this TLS guide out: http://www.top-law-schools.com/lsat-pre ... chool.html


This awsome, I've never read this article. Thanks for this! This helps tremendously!

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tofuspeedstar

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Re: Take a year off after undergrad? Or Manage study time better?

Postby tofuspeedstar » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:35 am

I took three years off after undergrad and worked a pretty nice job. Law school will always be there. Focus on your undergrad now, keeping your gpa up to match the 170+ you're aiming for.



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