Taking the LSAT freshman year?

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gopz

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Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby gopz » Wed May 03, 2017 6:33 pm

Hi,

I just finished my freshman year of college at university of toronto. I have literally nothing to do this summer except for taking 2 summer courses and I'd really like to take the LSAT September of this year. I'm not going to say I'm 100% sure I want to be a lawyer, because that would be naive and obviously I may may change my mind after a few years. I know it's early, and I understand that there are no advantages at all to taking the test this early. There will also be major issues if I do poorly on the test (Will run out of PTs, score expires in 5 years, etc.). However, I'm bored, lonely and don't want to spend my summer playing video games. If I bomb the test, I'll accept responsibility for it.

So, given that I do take the test in September, and score well on said test, is there any disadvantage to having a strong LSAT score that is 3-4 years old when I apply to law school? Will I receive lots of criticism for taking the LSAT this early? I am planning to apply as a kjd or after a year of WE.

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Platopus

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Platopus » Wed May 03, 2017 6:45 pm

Get a summer job, travel, read some books, work out, learn a skill, but don't study for the LSAT. Taking in September is too soon. The score is only good for 5 years, so taking this year doesn't give you much flexibility post UG graduation.

acr440

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby acr440 » Wed May 03, 2017 7:08 pm

Its soooo early. Go get an internship to expose yourself to some sort legal practice, make money, or volunteer.

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maybeman

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby maybeman » Wed May 03, 2017 7:10 pm

Your reasoning skills will improve over the course of your undergraduate career. This is just a bad idea
Last edited by maybeman on Wed May 03, 2017 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alexandros

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Alexandros » Wed May 03, 2017 7:10 pm

Don't do it.

CottonHarvest

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby CottonHarvest » Wed May 03, 2017 7:12 pm

maybeman wrote:You're reasoning skills will improve over the course of your undergraduate career. This is just a bad idea

This. I went through the trainer a year ago and then put off studying until now. After another year of undergrad, I scored 5 points higher on two PTs after just going through the trainer again.

lakers180

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby lakers180 » Wed May 03, 2017 7:15 pm

your brain is not fully developed yet, give it a couple more years or else you won't be hitting your potential

Npret

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Npret » Wed May 03, 2017 8:14 pm

Also you score is only good for 5 years.

Monday

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Monday » Wed May 03, 2017 8:33 pm

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Last edited by Monday on Thu May 11, 2017 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby BigZuck » Wed May 03, 2017 10:07 pm

I'm a little troubled that you don't want to just sit around all day and play video games, and that you think that "only" taking two summer school classes isn't enough school stuff. Summer isn't for school stuff, you silly goose! It's summer. That's the fun, non-school time of life.

Definitely focus on the video games for now. You'll be a better, happier person for it. Don't apply to law school until you're at least 3 years out of college.

B90

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby B90 » Thu May 04, 2017 11:42 am

To answer your question, YES there are reprocussions to having an LSAT score that is four years old. You will likely need to retake.
However, it is debateble whether that is a "disadvantage."
I applied in the 2012-13 cycle. In 2013, many law schools had a stated preference for LSAT scoes that are no more than 3 years old. I had an actual published book that listed all the requirements and preferences for all 200 accredited law schools at the time. Unfortunately for you, I just looked at my bookshelf and it appears I got rid of that book; otherwise I would list for you which of the t14 had such a preference. This information is also 5 years old, so it may have changed.
The idea is still the same, though. A LS may question your score if it is old and you are a splitter or your lsat is significantly higher than the info in the rest of your app suggests.
IMHO, if you have a 4.0/180 no school is going to question that or care how old your lsat score is.
Basically, work on your GPA because you still can. Once you receive a degree, that GPA is set in stone. You can always improve your lsat score, assuming it is less than 180. :wink:

In my opinion, you should ALWAYS plan to take your first lsat at a time when you can retake at least once without it negatively affecting your cycle. This is why the June lsat is the most popular; you can retake in October and even December, if necessary.
The second most popular is October because you can retake in December.

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MediocreAtBest

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby MediocreAtBest » Thu May 04, 2017 11:57 am

There's just no reason for you to take the LSAT this early. Boredom isn't good enough. Do yourself a favor and don't even think about this anymore, you would only regret it.

Summertime

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Summertime » Thu May 04, 2017 12:17 pm

The score is good for five years and schools now tend to take the highest score if you later retake. Its a bit early but since its skill and not knowledge based you in theory could do fine now and use it before it expires. But your GPA matters too so don't plan to take or prep during real classes. Aim for an elective heavy semester. Enjoy your summer too. Don't burn out too early. Its a 7 yr ride.

gopz

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby gopz » Thu May 04, 2017 6:14 pm

I really appreciate the advice guys. However, I'm going against the smarter decision of taking it later. I will be taking it this September. Yeah, I know this is a rash and ill-advised decision, but i'll live with the consequences if I do poorly.

My main question, though, is whether or not a 3-4 year old LSAT will affect admissions when I apply to law school. I understand that technically they will accept the score so long as it has not passed the 5 year expiration date, but I'm concerned of a bias against an LSAT written 3-4 years ago. I've heard conflicting opinions on this on TLS and on a law school admissions subreddit. Some say that law schools will have a bias against an LSAT this old, even if the score is solid. Others say that it will not damage my application at all. Is it true that if I have a strong GPA (3.9+), and score above ~170, they won't take a second glance at my "old" LSAT score?

Again, thanks a lot for the advice :)

lakers180

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby lakers180 » Thu May 04, 2017 6:20 pm

gopz wrote:I really appreciate the advice guys. However, I'm going against the smarter decision of taking it later. I will be taking it this September. Yeah, I know this is a rash and ill-advised decision, but i'll live with the consequences if I do poorly.

My main question, though, is whether or not a 3-4 year old LSAT will affect admissions when I apply to law school. I understand that technically they will accept the score so long as it has not passed the 5 year expiration date, but I'm concerned of a bias against an LSAT written 3-4 years ago. I've heard conflicting opinions on this on TLS and on a law school admissions subreddit. Some say that law schools will have a bias against an LSAT this old, even if the score is solid. Others say that it will not damage my application at all. Is it true that if I have a strong GPA (3.9+), and score above ~170, they won't take a second glance at my "old" LSAT score?

Again, thanks a lot for the advice :)


why does it matter if you're taking it anyways

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Platopus

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Platopus » Thu May 04, 2017 6:26 pm

gopz wrote:I really appreciate the advice guys. However, I'm going against the smarter decision of taking it later. I will be taking it this September. Yeah, I know this is a rash and ill-advised decision, but i'll live with the consequences if I do poorly.

My main question, though, is whether or not a 3-4 year old LSAT will affect admissions when I apply to law school. I understand that technically they will accept the score so long as it has not passed the 5 year expiration date, but I'm concerned of a bias against an LSAT written 3-4 years ago. I've heard conflicting opinions on this on TLS and on a law school admissions subreddit. Some say that law schools will have a bias against an LSAT this old, even if the score is solid. Others say that it will not damage my application at all. Is it true that if I have a strong GPA (3.9+), and score above ~170, they won't take a second glance at my "old" LSAT score?

Again, thanks a lot for the advice :)


If you know it's smarter to not take the test then why are you doing it? I mean, feel free to completely waste your time and money. Some schools certainly do care about scores that are 3-4 years old, though. Especially if there is little change. I mean if you score a 165 and then 3 years of college later still scored a 165 haven't you effectively demonstrated you didn't improve your reasoning skills at all during college? Big red flag if I'm an admissions officer.

Monday

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Monday » Thu May 04, 2017 6:27 pm

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Last edited by Monday on Thu May 11, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alexandros

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Alexandros » Thu May 04, 2017 6:28 pm

gopz wrote:I really appreciate the advice guys. However, I'm going against the smarter decision of taking it later. I will be taking it this September. Yeah, I know this is a rash and ill-advised decision, but i'll live with the consequences if I do poorly.

My main question, though, is whether or not a 3-4 year old LSAT will affect admissions when I apply to law school. I understand that technically they will accept the score so long as it has not passed the 5 year expiration date, but I'm concerned of a bias against an LSAT written 3-4 years ago. I've heard conflicting opinions on this on TLS and on a law school admissions subreddit. Some say that law schools will have a bias against an LSAT this old, even if the score is solid. Others say that it will not damage my application at all. Is it true that if I have a strong GPA (3.9+), and score above ~170, they won't take a second glance at my "old" LSAT score?

Again, thanks a lot for the advice :)

Don't do this.

If you don't do well, you'll have wasted material and a take. If you do well, your LSAT will be hanging over your head for the rest of undergrad. It'll be a ticking time bomb. You probably won't have time to explore other career options or figure out whether or not law is right for you without having your score expire. You'll have to decide between letting your score expire or going to law school without adequate information. I took in September of Junior year, and it was a mistake.

HamlinMcgill

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby HamlinMcgill » Thu May 04, 2017 6:30 pm

I echo the advice from everyone else here that OP should not take the LSAT this early. There are plenty of other ways to have a productive summer.

But I applied with a score that was just under the wire for the 5-year expiration and outperformed my stats, so it didn't really seem to matter. I never addressed it in my application and was never given the impression that schools cared that my score was old. Granted, I took it after college and then worked for the 5 years — but still, I'm skeptical that schools have some informal policy to disfavor scores that are more than 3 years old.

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Platopus

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Platopus » Thu May 04, 2017 6:36 pm

HamlinMcgill wrote:I echo the advice from everyone else here that OP should not take the LSAT this early. There are plenty of other ways to have a productive summer.

But I applied with a score that was just under the wire for the 5-year expiration and outperformed my stats, so it didn't really seem to matter. I never addressed it in my application and was never given the impression that schools cared that my score was old. Granted, I took it after college and then worked for the 5 years — but still, I'm skeptical that schools have some informal policy to disfavor scores that are more than 3 years old.


Your case is a bit different, though. You took after college, and then pursued a career. You eventually found your way back to law. This shows some maturity. Taking the LSAT one's Sophomore summer implies that one never really seriously considered any other alternatives.

HamlinMcgill

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby HamlinMcgill » Thu May 04, 2017 7:09 pm

Platopus wrote:
HamlinMcgill wrote:I echo the advice from everyone else here that OP should not take the LSAT this early. There are plenty of other ways to have a productive summer.

But I applied with a score that was just under the wire for the 5-year expiration and outperformed my stats, so it didn't really seem to matter. I never addressed it in my application and was never given the impression that schools cared that my score was old. Granted, I took it after college and then worked for the 5 years — but still, I'm skeptical that schools have some informal policy to disfavor scores that are more than 3 years old.


Your case is a bit different, though. You took after college, and then pursued a career. You eventually found your way back to law. This shows some maturity. Taking the LSAT one's Sophomore summer implies that one never really seriously considered any other alternatives.


Oh I agree that my case is different and that OP should not take it now. I was really just responding to the claim that schools have a "stated preference for LSAT scores that are no more than 3 years old." I figure people who are not in OP's situation might read this thread too, and I'm skeptical that old scores are that big of a deal for most people.

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Platopus

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Re: Taking the LSAT freshman year?

Postby Platopus » Thu May 04, 2017 10:34 pm

HamlinMcgill wrote:
Platopus wrote:
HamlinMcgill wrote:I echo the advice from everyone else here that OP should not take the LSAT this early. There are plenty of other ways to have a productive summer.

But I applied with a score that was just under the wire for the 5-year expiration and outperformed my stats, so it didn't really seem to matter. I never addressed it in my application and was never given the impression that schools cared that my score was old. Granted, I took it after college and then worked for the 5 years — but still, I'm skeptical that schools have some informal policy to disfavor scores that are more than 3 years old.


Your case is a bit different, though. You took after college, and then pursued a career. You eventually found your way back to law. This shows some maturity. Taking the LSAT one's Sophomore summer implies that one never really seriously considered any other alternatives.


Oh I agree that my case is different and that OP should not take it now. I was really just responding to the claim that schools have a "stated preference for LSAT scores that are no more than 3 years old." I figure people who are not in OP's situation might read this thread too, and I'm skeptical that old scores are that big of a deal for most people.


No, I totally understand. Just making sure the distinction was clear for everyone else.



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