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foppishbum
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Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:06 pm

Next Saturday is gonna be a BIG day. It still seems like four months of preparation wasn't enough for me  cry  . As if that's not bad enough, I was assigned to Hastings College of Law in San Francisco to take the test (driving from Davis to San Francisco takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes without traffic) and the latest check-in time is 8:30AM. Since my GPA is not as high, I need to do extremely well in this test in order to get in my 1st choice law school. Talk about pressure! Next Saturday determines my near future  faint  . Say...do you guys know anyone attending Chicago-Kent College of Law? That's actually my first choice...but I don't know if I'm good enough  banghead  . Bah, stress, stress, and more stress. . .  Sad


peace..
wes
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sw733
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:10 pm

Sorry buddy, but you sound like one of those Pre-Law people who thinks the LSAT and your choice in law school determines everything in your life. Aim for a mid-tier school...firms look at your Bar score and your rank...and unless you're going to attend Harvard or Stanford or Virginia, it doesn't matter much...go someplace where 1) you won't have a lot of debt, 2) you will have FUN, and 3) you will rank well at.

As far as the LSAT...it's really not that hard of a test. I wasn't pre-law, I never took a law class, I never took an LSAT prep, or looked at an LSAT book, and I was an aero engineering major...yet I scored a 155. Don't stress yourself...the idea that the LSAT is the hardest test you will ever take is a flat out lie.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:24 pm

Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
and I was an aero engineering major...

I was an A&P mechanic at the time I took the test. I did have some extra cash lying around so I took a test prep class....what it did was prove to me the clock speed of my brain. I predicted my score on the test within one point.

People do obsess about it. It's what you don't know right now that will make all the difference in your life. I'm solo, no place in the world of law firms for a 48 year old rookie lawyer so I made my own way. I kill what I eat.

Feel free to drop me a line sometime and I'll tell you everything I know about the entire process.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Slovacek747
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:50 pm

I just got out of my Princeton Review class for the LSAT. I go twice a week. I agree with what people are saying and I am in the same boat you are man. My GPA isnt all that high because I focus on other things...like too much Anet so when I take it in December it will be a big day for me.

The test is hard and here is why...Time!.. Material speaking, if you have a half a brain and all day you can do well, but its not any walk in the park with the time limit... and if you HAVE to do well because your GPA isnt the best it can be very stressful. I'm looking at smaller, less well known schools where I actually have a chance.. Good luck on your test this weekend.

Slovacek747
 
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foppishbum
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:00 pm

Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
you sound like one of those Pre-Law people who thinks the LSAT and your choice in law school determines everything in your life.

Maybe not the choice of law school but LSAT. It's pretty much 50% of the index score and frankly my GPA is horrendous hence the importance of LSAT score  cry  . But yea, I would totally go to any law school if they accept me. Sigh. . .


peace,
wes
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texan
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:22 pm

Dude, relax about the LSAT some. If you are decent at working under a time constraint, you will do fine. I read in some book that the LSAT does a great job of predicting how you will do in taking the LSAT, but not how you will do in law school. I took it a couple years removed from school, didn't take a prep course, and ended up at one of my top choices. Try to go in relaxed. Expect to get some rejection letters, but don't let it bring you down. Apply to many different places, and pick one or two schools that you will be very likely to get into (unlike, say, Michigan and Texas, my first two choices  Wink). Law school will be a lot of what you make of it. I am extremely happy where I have ended up. I love the area, my professors are amazing, and I have met some of the coolest and nicest people in the world.

Good luck!

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
sw733
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:54 pm

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 4):
It's pretty much 50% of the index score and frankly my GPA is horrendous hence the importance of LSAT score

All right, but, don't let this test determine your life. If you go into this saying "my whole life depends on this test", you will not do well...you will have put too much pressure on yourself. Go into it saying "it's important, but if I don't do law school, life goes on". That's what my buddy did and ended up with a Ivy League worthy score (but chose a Big 10 school instead for a free ride).
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:25 pm

The best thing you can do is try to relax and work steadily. Even though you've practiced taking tests, make sure that on exam day you don't get bogged down and panic when 1 or 2 questions seem too difficult.

One little piece of advice--if you simply don't know an answer, and have to guess, mark it down on the sheet right away before going to the next question. Don't leave it blank and tell yourself that you will go back at the end. I had a friend that did that, forgot to leave a blank space, and then promptly filled in his answer for the wrong question 17 straight times and didn't realize it till he got to the last question. He didn't have time to go back and erase and re-fill in the answers. It wasn't good! So before you move on, just fill in your best guess (I usually pick "C").

Everyone's advice on here about it not being the end of the world--it's true. Even if you don't get your first choice law school (I was very very lucky) you will find a school that is perfect for you! So go into the test with a "I'm gonna kick some ass" attitude and don't worry about the future.  Smile GOOD LUCK!!

Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
firms look at your Bar score and your rank

Actually firms don't look at your bar score, since you're hired long before taking the bar. They don't look at LSAT scores either--most often, it's class rank, law school GPA, resume/work experience, and cover letters.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:27 pm

Quoting Foppishbum (Thread starter):
I was assigned to Hastings College of Law in San Francisco to take the test (driving from Davis to San Francisco takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes without traffic) and the latest check-in time is 8:30AM.

Get a hotel Firday night... that's pretty much a no brainer if this really is so important to your life choices...

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 4):

Maybe not the choice of law school but LSAT. It's pretty much 50% of the index score

More like 80% at a lot of schools... seems crazy that this 4 hour test counts so much more than your 4 years of college... But if your grades aren't that great, this is your chance to make up for that...

Quoting Texan (Reply 5):
If you are decent at working under a time constraint, you will do fine

That's the key. Take a stopwatch and keep checking how you are on time. Most people do poorly for the questions they left blank, not the ones they marked wrong. If there are 25 questions in 35 minutes, you HAVE to mark 5 answers every 7 minutes. Once you get behind, you'll never catch up...

Quoting Texan (Reply 5):
I took it a couple years removed from school, didn't take a prep course, and ended up at one of my top choices.

Same here, two years after I finished undergrad, no prep except the practice test in the application booklet, and scored 170... Got in to my only choice...

The key is time management and being rested/relaxed. I'd seriously consider the hotel... Good luck...
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
 
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foppishbum
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:09 am

Quoting Texan (Reply 5):
Dude, relax about the LSAT some.

Maybe it's time for some meditation...hahah. I heard that's useful but never tried it out. I think reading the prep books like Kaplan or Princeton Review makes me worry 'bout the test. But other than that, I'm alright...I think. I'm pretty sure on the test date I'll be fine...just that I get nervous easy beforehand    .

Quoting SW733 (Reply 6):
If you go into this saying "my whole life depends on this test", you will not do well...you will have put too much pressure on yourself.

Seems like I need some attitude adjustment...haha. Thanks for the advice. I'll adopt the "I'm gonna kick some ass" attitude suggested by Husky   .

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 7):
So before you move on, just fill in your best guess (I usually pick "C").

That's funny!!   I usually pick C too! Hahaha. Except, most of the time I already eliminated C because they're obviously wrong. So then I don't know what else to pick    .

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 7):
So go into the test with a "I'm gonna kick some ass" attitude and don't worry about the future.  GOOD LUCK!!

Thanks!   Now I need to practice saying it....I'm gonna kick some ass. I'm gonna kick some ass.

Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 8):
Get a hotel Firday night... that's pretty much a no brainer if this really is so important to your life choices...

Easier said than done, man. I checked the hotels a month ago and they were all booked. The only options I had was one night $200 bucks or one night $1400 bucks. Don't have the money to afford that thus I contacted my aunt living in San Jose and asked if I could stay the night. That'll cut the drive time down by half. So now I have to leave at 7am instead of 6am.  Smile

Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 8):
More like 80% at a lot of schools...

Geez...that helps a lot with the stress    . But thanks anyway, more reasons to study a whole lot more   . Sigh. . .


peace,
wes

[Edited 2007-09-24 20:19:43]
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N1120A
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:20 am

Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
firms look at your Bar score and your rank..

Firms absolutely do not look at the Bar Score. It is the ultimate pass/fail exam.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 1):
yet I scored a 155.

I scored 156 on the first diagnostic at TestMasters, which was an old LSAT under similar test conditions. By the time I was done with the prep course, I had scored a 171.

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 7):
most often, it's class rank, law school GPA, resume/work experience, and cover letters.

People who say that school attended isn't looked at are lying to themselves. The difference between even the top, middle and bottom of the top tier is even noticable. Class rank does matter the most (and since GPA determines rank, they go hand in hand), but someone in the bottom quartile at Harvard, Berkeley or NYU is going to get the same job as someone in the top 5 at Pepperdine.

Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 8):

Get a hotel Firday night... that's pretty much a no brainer if this really is so important to your life choices...

Without a doubt follow this advice.

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 9):
I think reading the prep books like Kaplan or Princeton Review makes me worry 'bout the test.

I wholeheartedly recommend TestMasters (Score Perfect in Texas) as the test prep company of choice. The way they teach that test is so easy and intuitive.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Pope
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:25 am

Before you take the LSAT, you might want to take a look at today's WSJ that has an article on the large (and growing) number of underemployed attorneys who are struggling to find jobs that pay them enough to cover their law school debt.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
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foppishbum
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:36 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
I wholeheartedly recommend TestMasters (Score Perfect in Texas) as the test prep company of choice.

I'm taking the TestMasters course in Davis. Today is the last day of the class. Though I find them very helpful, I only improved single digit  banghead  . That just shows my incompetence for LSAT  cry  .

Quoting Pope (Reply 11):
Before you take the LSAT, you might want to take a look at today's WSJ that has an article on the large (and growing) number of underemployed attorneys who are struggling to find jobs that pay them enough to cover their law school debt.

I understand that a person needs money to survive but, to be honest, my decision for law school isn't for the glorious life many imagine an attorney has. And frankly, my parents have agreed to help me out for my law school education so that'll reduce the burden a whole lot. I was originally a Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major (thus the bad GPA caused by organic chemistry classes) but it wasn't until the end of my junior year that I realised I have more interest in law than in medicine. I might sound like a nerd but reading the supreme court cases and decisions is a fun activity  tongue  . So I guess my decision for law school is cus of my interest and many other reasons. Anyway, thanks for the advice, now the pressure is on!  tongue  Good LSAT, decent school, good law GPA, then get a decent job...hah. Seriously! Reality is so cruel!!


peace,
wes
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N1120A
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:52 am

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 12):
That just shows my incompetence for LSAT

Don't be so hard on yourself. The reason I did so well on the exam is because I didn't take it all that seriously. If you relax a bit, you will do so much better than you think.

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 12):
I understand that a person needs money to survive but, to be honest, my decision for law school isn't for the glorious life many imagine an attorney has.

Good. That is why I am a lawyer, why Halls120 is a lawyer and why lots of other people who truly love what they do are. The ones who go because they think they will print money and for no other reasons are the ones who burn out and leave the profession.

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 12):
I was originally a Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major (thus the bad GPA caused by organic chemistry classes)

Law School admissions offices understand the difficulty of hard science majors and do take that into account.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:40 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 11):
Before you take the LSAT, you might want to take a look at today's WSJ that has an article on the large (and growing) number of underemployed attorneys who are struggling to find jobs that pay them enough to cover their law school debt.

Having a JD opens a lot of doors for you--I know a lot of non-practicing attorneys that work in all kinds of fields, like politics, lobbying, finance, etc. There are many, many things that you can do with a law degree--it's not all about arguing before a judge. I'm not a litigator, never have been, never will be, but I love what I do.
 
Pope
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:05 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 14):
Having a JD opens a lot of doors for you--I know a lot of non-practicing attorneys that work in all kinds of fields, like politics, lobbying, finance, etc. There are many, many things that you can do with a law degree--it's not all about arguing before a judge. I'm not a litigator, never have been, never will be, but I love what I do.

No argument from me. I was just highlighting a recent article that might be relevant to the analysis of someone deciding to go to law school.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
sw733
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:19 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 7):
Actually firms don't look at your bar score, since you're hired long before taking the bar. They don't look at LSAT scores either--most often, it's class rank, law school GPA, resume/work experience, and cover letters.



Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
Firms absolutely do not look at the Bar Score. It is the ultimate pass/fail exam.

This is why I am not a law school student.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
I scored 156 on the first diagnostic at TestMasters, which was an old LSAT under similar test conditions. By the time I was done with the prep course, I had scored a 171.

Good job, want a damn cookie?  duck 
 
Dougloid
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:45 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 14):
Having a JD opens a lot of doors for you--I know a lot of non-practicing attorneys that work in all kinds of fields, like politics, lobbying, finance, etc. There are many, many things that you can do with a law degree--it's not all about arguing before a judge. I'm not a litigator, never have been, never will be, but I love what I do.

Let me preface this by saying that a lot of people who describe themselves as litigators really aren't-they're compulsive filers of burdensome and onerous motions and discovery but their real bottom line is brokering settlements. Hell, if they had to go to court and argue something they'd lose their lunch.

I never took any of the course work because I figured like a lot of people "Me?! Not on your life." Then I was out of a job (long story) signed up for court appointments, and got my first case to deal with, a crazy lady forger with a brain toasted by meth. So you live and you learn and you apply yourself. After that I had a job as an assistant county attorney and I'd do 2 or 3 magistrate court trials every Wednesday. Speeding tickets, short bass tickets (yes Virginia, there is such a thing) and the like.

Five years later I caught a case where one of the local silk stocking law firms was trying to litigate a little guy to death. I singlehandedly fought them to a standstill. That told me I could do just about anything I put my mind to. The next year I tried a sex abuse case. Oh, I lost, the guy went to prison and all, but that scrubbed out the last vestige of stage fright I still had.

Court's like a stage, and it teaches you to be a performer. It's a sovereign remedy for wallflowers, it gives courage to the shy and winsome, and it takes the diffident and makes them into lions. I'm among the lions these days.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:56 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
Let me preface this by saying that a lot of people who describe themselves as litigators really aren't-they're compulsive filers of burdensome and onerous motions and discovery but their real bottom line is brokering settlements. Hell, if they had to go to court and argue something they'd lose their lunch.



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
Court's like a stage, and it teaches you to be a performer. It's a sovereign remedy for wallflowers, it gives courage to the shy and winsome, and it takes the diffident and makes them into lions. I'm among the lions these days.

LOL, awesome, glad to hear that your experiences brought out the best in you! From my perspective, I would tend to agree with you about your opinion of many litigators, especially corporate litigators. I'm on the transactional side and have no desire to deal with litigation of any kind at any time (other than to be good at my job and help my clients avoid it  Smile) but that's just my preference. A lot of my friends from law school and in my office are litigators, and I think the transactional people are happier in general LOL  Wink
 
N1120A
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:57 am

Quoting SW733 (Reply 16):

This is why I am not a law school student.

Because the bar is a pass/fail exam? Why not? It takes 4 months after you take the bar in California to receive your score, and another couple to get admitted, if everything falls into place. Law firms need people working before that.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 16):

Good job, want a damn cookie?

Nah, I prefer Carrot Cake
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
N1120A
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:01 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 18):
I would tend to agree with you about your opinion of many litigators, especially corporate litigators.

That is because they have ceased to be real trial lawyers and have become the part of the innocuous litigator army

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 18):
A lot of my friends from law school and in my office are litigators, and I think the transactional people are happier in general

I disagree. My office is full of people who love the whole process of litigation, including getting to an arbitration or a trial, and everyone here is happy with what they do.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:09 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
That is because they have ceased to be real trial lawyers and have become the part of the innocuous litigator army

No doubt--the litigators in my office rarely see the inside of a courtroom--it takes years and years for stuff to get to trial, if it gets that far.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
I disagree. My office is full of people who love the whole process of litigation, including getting to an arbitration or a trial, and everyone here is happy with what they do.

I was kinda speaking tongue-in-cheek  Wink I just prefer transactional because at least in the securities world things happen faster, all sides are (usually) friendly and working towards a common goal, there is instant gratification when the deal closes, and everyone walks away happy. I don't really have the stomach for litigation myself, but others love it. Better them than me!  Smile
 
sw733
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:23 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 19):
Because the bar is a pass/fail exam? Why not?

Because I don't know anything about the bar.

And because lawyers annoy the hell out of me  Wink  duck 
 
N1120A
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:25 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 21):
it takes years and years for stuff to get to trial, if it gets that far.

Yeah, those kinds of cases are grinders. Here in California state civil court, which is where all of our cases are, they are actually very good at getting things to trial within 13 months, unless it reaches a negotiated or mediated agreement beforehand.

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 21):

I was kinda speaking tongue-in-cheek Wink I just prefer transactional because at least in the securities world things happen faster, all sides are (usually) friendly and working towards a common goal, there is instant gratification when the deal closes, and everyone walks away happy. I don't really have the stomach for litigation myself, but others love it.

I have a good friend from law school who is doing anti-trust and securities litigation in New York and absolutely loves it (I would love her paycheck, but I like what I do a lot better).  Silly
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
huskyaviation
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Yeah, those kinds of cases are grinders. Here in California state civil court, which is where all of our cases are, they are actually very good at getting things to trial within 13 months, unless it reaches a negotiated or mediated agreement beforehand.

13 months isn't too bad...one of the big federal litigation cases going on in our office has been going on for almost 7 years. Something like 13 million documents have changed hands during discovery.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
I have a good friend from law school who is doing anti-trust and securities litigation in New York and absolutely loves it (I would love her paycheck, but I like what I do a lot better).

The anti-trusters, tax, and bankruptcy folks are usually an odd lot of people. The partner in our office that handles all of our security interest opinions firmwide is one of the smartest, and most eccentric, people I've ever met. He's heavily into the metaphysical aspects of law, which is just fine by me except when he delays signing off on an opinion that he himself drafted for some random reason.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:03 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
Five years later I caught a case where one of the local silk stocking law firms was trying to litigate a little guy to death. I singlehandedly fought them to a standstill.

I've done that litigating against some big companies or insurance companies. Some of them paper you to death, and then trial day comes, they pay up. They're just trying to get you to surrender...

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
Court's like a stage, and it teaches you to be a performer.

Yeah it is, I get in a zone when I'm arguing in court. Mind going fast, trying to keep up with the other guy, listen to the judge, I love it...

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Here in California state civil court, which is where all of our cases are, they are actually very good at getting things to trial within 13 months, unless it reaches a negotiated or mediated agreement beforehand

Here in Florida they try for 18 months... some take longer. When you notice a case for trial they order mediation, so we settle a lot at that point. I've had juries (and judges) do some really off the wall stuff, so settlement in a civil case is usually a good idea.

I do mostly civil with some criminal thrown in. Quite a bit of transactions, but also a lot of lawsuits. Mostly business litigation. People get sued for the damnedest things. I've had to appeal a few, but only to our mid level court, but I'm in the book three times. I'm undefeated on appeal, but I've got one coming up that's going to be tough. That's fun too, when the three judges start hammering you on oral argument. Your time runs out before you know it....
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
 
nosedive
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:00 pm

Quoting Pope (Reply 15):
No argument from me. I was just highlighting a recent article that might be relevant to the analysis of someone deciding to go to law school.

While demographics can tell you many things, if you do everything by economic forecast, you'd have your dreams dashed every couple of years. The nice thing about demographic studies is that people get older and retire sometime.

I'll be taking the LSAT next year. Study abroad put be a bit behind.
 
Pope
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:38 pm

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 26):
While demographics can tell you many things, if you do everything by economic forecast, you'd have your dreams dashed every couple of years.

I don't disagree, however, it would be foolish to rush into something without understanding the precise risk / reward matrix that one can expect. Certainly outliers exist, but it seems clear that in many cases, racking up a huge amount of law school debt is not economically beneficial UNLESS one performs at the top of the game while in law school. I think the same could be said for an MBA degree.

I'm not trying to persuade or dissuade anyone from doing anything. I'm just passing along another data point of information for them to factor into their decision, lest three years from now we get yet another person whinning about how unfair life is because they racked up $100,000+ of student debt and can't find a job paying over $30/hour without benefits.

Everyone has a choice but if you choose wrong, it's your responsibility alone.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
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foppishbum
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:26 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 27):
Everyone has a choice but if you choose wrong, it's your responsibility alone.

I personally don't believe there is such a thing as "wrong choice". To be honest, even if the choice seems wrong, a person definitely learn from the "mistake". And what you learn from a "mistake" is the most important thing. Big grin

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 26):
I'll be taking the LSAT next year. Study abroad put be a bit behind.

Good luck with it! I realised LSAT takes time to "study". It takes a long time to form the logical mind necessary for the test (that's just my personal opinion though). Some people in my prep class spend 8 hours per day studying for it. But I have school, work, and other obligations so I didn't spend that much time. We'll see how I do on Oct. 22!  scared 


I'm leaning towards health law concentration (or certificate) though I'm not sure what my future will be with that degree. BUT, I need to get in a law school FIRST, then think about my concentration...hahah  Smile .


peace,
wes
Taiwanese-American :D
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:31 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 24):

13 months isn't too bad...one of the big federal litigation cases going on in our office has been going on for almost 7 years. Something like 13 million documents have changed hands during discovery.

Yeah, that is the army of litigators thing again. I can't imagine doing that kind of work.

Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 25):
When you notice a case for trial they order mediation, so we settle a lot at that point.

Yeah, take everything to mediation first as well. Usually, that happens around the 8-9 month mark.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:36 am

Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 25):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
Court's like a stage, and it teaches you to be a performer.

Yeah it is, I get in a zone when I'm arguing in court. Mind going fast, trying to keep up with the other guy, listen to the judge, I love it...

It's true....By the time you set up for jury selection the hard work is already done and your job is to get people to tell their story.

I think what I like about trials is it's totally in the moment.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:32 am

Ahhh the LSAT. I have a lot of friends taking it this Saturday...

Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 8):
Same here, two years after I finished undergrad, no prep except the practice test in the application booklet, and scored 170... Got in to my only choice...

Out of curiousity, what was that?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
By the time I was done with the prep course, I had scored a 171.

Nice...Where did you go to law school? With a 171, you can pretty much get in to any law school you want right?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 13):
The ones who go because they think they will print money and for no other reasons are the ones who burn out and leave the profession.

Well they do pretty much print money until they leave the profession...First year salary in NY law firms is what these days, ~$140,000 a year plus ~$20,000 bonus? That's not too shabby for someone who is just out of law school! It's more than most people make at the end of their careers....

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 14):
Having a JD opens a lot of doors for you--I know a lot of non-practicing attorneys that work in all kinds of fields, like politics, lobbying, finance, etc. There are many, many things that you can do with a law degree--it's not all about arguing before a judge. I'm not a litigator, never have been, never will be, but I love what I do.

 checkmark  Like a lot of people, I plan to go to law school but don't have any desire to practice for more than a year or two...You can do anything with a JD...

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
I have a good friend from law school who is doing anti-trust and securities litigation in New York and absolutely loves it (I would love her paycheck, but I like what I do a lot better).

Yeah, but I'm sure you also have more normal hours and can have a life...She is probably working late every night plus weekends, no? It's all a compromise....
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:00 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
First year salary in NY law firms is what these days, ~$140,000 a year plus ~$20,000 bonus?

Something like that

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):

Well they do pretty much print money until they leave the profession...

It all depends on what the person wants. I know a lot of solo practitioners who make a lot more money than big firm partners and first year associates that make more than other solos with years of experience.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
Where did you go to law school?

Tulane

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
With a 171, you can pretty much get in to any law school you want right?

Something like that.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
I plan to go to law school but don't have any desire to practice for more than a year or two...

Then don't go to law school

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):

Yeah, but I'm sure you also have more normal hours and can have a life...She is probably working late every night plus weekends, no? It's all a compromise....

She works very late, but she does seem to have a bit of a life too. Still, not my thing.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:22 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Something like that

That just seems like an insane salary for a 25-year old...

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
It all depends on what the person wants. I know a lot of solo practitioners who make a lot more money than big firm partners and first year associates that make more than other solos with years of experience.

So what kind of law are you practicing exactly? How are your hours?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Tulane

Did you like it? Was it your first choice? The whole law school process looks daunting...

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Then don't go to law school

Why? I know plenty of people who practiced for a year or two before going into other fields...For pretty much all of them, having a JD and having practiced for a bit helped their careers tremendously. Whether you want to become a lobbyist, work in DC in a variety of fields, go into finance, etc etc...
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
Continental
Posts: 5222
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:24 am

Apparently the Kaplan books help. My brother practiced with the Kaplan books starting last fall, took the test in February and got a 177. He studied Saturday and Sunday for about 5-6 hours each day.
 
huskyaviation
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:38 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:40 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
First year salary in NY law firms is what these days, ~$140,000 a year plus ~$20,000 bonus?

A lot of firms went up to $160,000 for 1st year associates in DC and NY.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
Like a lot of people, I plan to go to law school but don't have any desire to practice for more than a year or two...You can do anything with a JD...

My partner is a lobbyist, but not a lawyer. His boss is a woman who has a JD and practiced in Alaska, of all places, for a year or two, and then got into politics. A JD is very helpful for senior lobbying positions in DC, it's almost a prerequisite now unless you have some other connection to the industry/association you're lobbying for.


Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):
The whole law school process looks daunting...

It's different for everyone, I liked law school, the people, etc., but didn't particularly like the process and the sacrifices I had to make. It would have been easier if I had been single.
 
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foppishbum
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:54 pm

A JD seems to open a lot of roads. My cousin got a JD at University at Buffalo and he's doing VERY well now. He did get through a tough time at the firm though. Seems like firms in Los Angeles are pretty demanding. I really hope I'll do well this Saturday. If I get in Chicago-Kent, I'm gonna try to get in the JD/MPH program. My parents, who are both in business, really hope I'd get a JD/MBA. But I don't know, it just seems like I'm not too good with the whole economic aspects of things.

But right now, LSAT is killing me. I'm still not getting the desired score and frankly, nobody would want to be in my shoe right now  cry  . I guess I'm burning the midnight oil today...trying to get through as many practice problems that I can lay my hands on. Sigh...


peace,
wes
Taiwanese-American :D
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:40 pm

Quoting SW733 (Reply 22):
And because lawyers annoy the hell out of me

Until you need us  Wink

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):

That just seems like an insane salary for a 25-year old...

Think about it this way. That 25 year old will have spent at least 7 years getting higher education, $200,000 if they are lucky, taken on a very broad field of study with the number of actual classes taken out pacing any other doctorate and will be bringing in $400 per hour or more for their employer. Further, they will work so much that the hourly rate ends up being not much more than what a construction worker makes.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):

So what kind of law are you practicing exactly?

Employment

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):
How are your hours?

Roughly 10-630

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):
Was it your first choice?

Second and I loved it.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):
The whole law school process looks daunting...

It is what you make of it.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):

Why? I know plenty of people who practiced for a year or two before going into other fields...For pretty much all of them, having a JD and having practiced for a bit helped their careers tremendously. Whether you want to become a lobbyist, work in DC in a variety of fields, go into finance, etc etc...

If you are going to do that, consider a JD/MBA

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 36):
If I get in Chicago-Kent, I'm gonna try to get in the JD/MPH program.

Tulane has one of those as well, and the school of public health there is at the forefront these days.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
MaidensGator
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:02 pm

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:44 pm

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
Quoting MaidensGator (Reply 8):
Same here, two years after I finished undergrad, no prep except the practice test in the application booklet, and scored 170... Got in to my only choice...

Out of curiousity, what was that?

I went to the University of Florida College of Law. It was my only choice because when I went to law school, I had a wife, kids, dog, house, etc., and UF was less than an hour's drive from my house. I knew some people in law school that commuted up to 150 miles each way. They would get a hotel if they had something too early or late.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
With a 171, you can pretty much get in to any law school you want right?

Something like that.

I'm sure you were recruited by dozens of top name schools. I know after I got my LSAT score, the mailbox was full of offers for months. I didn't reply to any because as I said, I really needed to get into UF.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
I plan to go to law school but don't have any desire to practice for more than a year or two...

Then don't go to law school

 checkmark 

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Something like that

That just seems like an insane salary for a 25-year old...

Check the cost of living in LA, NYC, or DC. Where I live the pay is not that great, but my cost of living is probably 1/3 that of a big city...

Quoting N1120A (Reply 37):
Quoting SW733 (Reply 22):
And because lawyers annoy the hell out of me

Until you need us Wink

Then they want us in a hurry....

Quoting N1120A (Reply 37):
That 25 year old will have spent at least 7 years getting higher education, $200,000 if they are lucky,

I won't say how little I paid, you wouldn't believe it... but Florida has (or at least had at the time) the lowest in state tuition in the country. Coupled with a scholarship that turned into a fellowship, I got my JD for less than I paid for my car... and my car's not that nice... But I did know plenty of people who had student loans of 75K to 100K or more...

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 36):
I guess I'm burning the midnight oil today...trying to get through as many practice problems that I can lay my hands on. Sigh...

Take a day off and relax. Stressing over it will only make your score lower. The practice problems help, but you can only do so many and still show improvement. Being relaxed and well rested will help more than you think. It may not be fair, but some people thrive on tests, and some are intimidated. Just stay cool and do your best.
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
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RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:14 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
Well they do pretty much print money until they leave the profession...First year salary in NY law firms is what these days, ~$140,000 a year plus ~$20,000 bonus? That's not too shabby for someone who is just out of law school! It's more than most people make at the end of their careers....

I think the key thing to remember is that a very small portion of the 40,000+ annual graduates from US law schools end up at top tier NY law firms.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:23 am

Quoting Pope (Reply 39):

I think the key thing to remember is that a very small portion of the 40,000+ annual graduates from US law schools end up at top tier NY law firms.

Not only the New York firms pay as that much. As a general rule, New York, Los Angeles, D.C., Houston, San Francisco and Boston pay at the top.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
planespotting
Posts: 3026
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:54 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:16 am

Good luck on the LSAT -

I took it twice when I was in graduate school, and canceled my score the second time. That turned out to be a good move, because after I graduated with my MA I got a great corporate job that offers some good experience, along with working with many attorneys who can give me a good recommendation in a few years when I return to the fold.

And Chicago Kent is a great school - it's top tier, but not way up on the rankings. They're mid level, but well respected. I'll probably apply there if I'm still living here in a few years when I re-up and take the LSAT again and apply. Chicago offers a great law school environment, but there is a lot of competition for regional jobs (U of Chicago, Northwestern, DePaul, John Marshall College of Law, Northern Illinois, Valparaiso, Marquette, and a couple hundred miles away you have more top tier schools like Notre Dame, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Indiana University...).
Do you like movies about gladiators?
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:42 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 31):
Well they do pretty much print money until they leave the profession...First year salary in NY law firms is what these days, ~$140,000 a year plus ~$20,000 bonus? That's not too shabby for someone who is just out of law school! It's more than most people make at the end of their careers....

Reminds me of a time back in the day when I went to the local Ford plant on Vineyard Road and applied for a job. Just out of high school and they were paying people $12 and hour to bolt together Pintos when the prevailing wage was about $2.50 an hour. The guy looks at me and says "Lissen, kid, and lissen good. Do you think Mr. Ford is your friend and a great guy because he is going to pay you all this money? No, son. He's going to take it out of your ass. He's going to make money off your skinny white butt."

Needless to say I did not get hired but that may have been for other reasons like not having a family connection-those jobs were handed down father to son. But I did know guys who worked in the transmission pits, leaking gear oil all over them. It was not a party and Ford got its moneys worth and made money on the product as well,

The point is, if someone is willing to pay you that kind of money, you're going to have to work for it, because some client has to pay it. It is a zero sum game.. Very few last. If you get say, 160k total, then on thirds you're having to bill 480K just to tread water.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
huskyaviation
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:38 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:02 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 42):
The point is, if someone is willing to pay you that kind of money, you're going to have to work for it, because some client has to pay it.

I agree with that, working for a large, international firm means you have to work hard, it comes with the territory. Anyone that thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. I don't mind working a lot of hours. I make the most of the time I have at home.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 42):
Very few last.

This is not true at all. The majority of people I know do make it, and most large firms are doing a much better job now in helping attorneys achieve a proper life/work balance.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:59 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 43):
and most large firms are doing a much better job now in helping attorneys achieve a proper life/work balance.

See, I don't see that as the case. The people I talk to are still getting run through the works, especially at places like Skaddon, Schulte, etc.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 42):
If you get say, 160k total, then on thirds you're having to bill 480K just to tread water.

Those big firms are pretty much never on contingency. They are almost certainly billing hourly.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
huskyaviation
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:38 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:20 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 44):
See, I don't see that as the case. The people I talk to are still getting run through the works, especially at places like Skaddon, Schulte, etc.

Well, working at a very large firm, I can only speak from my own experience, but they are making a conscious effort to get away from the sweatshop mentality and it has made a big difference. Skadden has a reputation all its own, however.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:57 am

Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 45):
Well, working at a very large firm, I can only speak from my own experience, but they are making a conscious effort to get away from the sweatshop mentality and it has made a big difference. Skadden has a reputation all its own, however

I'm a freelancer and here where the cost of living is low the usual and customary rate is between $100 and $300 per hour and that includes the local silk stocking law firms. Of course you can buy a McMansion in the burbs for 250K. My cost of living for an equivalent place is still less than I was paying in Los Angeles in 1993, speaking strictly in dollars.

I do a lot of court appointed criminal defense work and because I can keep my overhead low (I work from home) and I do not have to share it with anyone I can do quite nicely on the state's $55 per hour. My private clients pay $100 per hour and that's for work done-I do not do contingency cases (smells like an interest in the litigation, now, don't it?) and my work is on a time and materials basis. In fact my biggest expense is malpractice which costs me $55 per month and the company usually kicks back 10 per cent every year. (Minn. Lawyers' Mutual).

What's your shop rate?
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
huskyaviation
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:38 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:48 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 46):
My private clients pay $100 per hour and that's for work done-I do not do contingency cases (smells like an interest in the litigation, now, don't it?) and my work is on a time and materials basis. In fact my biggest expense is malpractice which costs me $55 per month and the company usually kicks back 10 per cent every year. (Minn. Lawyers' Mutual).

Well, I'm more expensive than you LOL, but certainly not because of experience in the profession. I bill out in the $210-250/hr range, and it goes up from there obviously. I believe some senior equity partners bill in excess of $900/hr. and a certain few even more than that, but I am not privy to the actual rates when the bills go out and get negotiated, it varies for each client.
 
CaptOveur
Posts: 6064
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 3:13 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:29 pm

Quoting Foppishbum (Thread starter):
Since my GPA is not as high, I need to do extremely well in this test in order to get in my 1st choice law school.

So what is your backup plan? I know more than a few people who had 3.8 - 4.0 GPAs in fields like accounting, info systems, even engineering and did respectably on the LSAT and still didn't get into their top 3 choice law schools.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
IADCA
Posts: 1350
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

RE: Taking The LSAT. . .

Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:28 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 13):
Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 12):
That just shows my incompetence for LSAT

Don't be so hard on yourself. The reason I did so well on the exam is because I didn't take it all that seriously. If you relax a bit, you will do so much better than you think.

Quoting Foppishbum (Reply 12):
I understand that a person needs money to survive but, to be honest, my decision for law school isn't for the glorious life many imagine an attorney has.

Good. That is why I am a lawyer, why Halls120 is a lawyer and why lots of other people who truly love what they do are. The ones who go because they think they will print money and for no other reasons are the ones who burn out and leave the profession.

This advice is perfect. Remember also that a fair number of schools have programs under which they will forgive all or part of your loans if you work in public interest (broadly defined) for just a few years after graduation, so you can to a certain extent get rewarded for your altruism.

I took the LSAT twice. Once without studying, once with. The main difference is just getting faster at it, and that makes A LOT of difference. Remember that because there are only around 100 questions, each question is of quite significant value, and most schools have narrow score ranges from which most of their class comes, so studying (or luck) can boost you just enough to get in. Take a deep breath, and DON'T STUDY THE MORNING OF THE TEST. The roughest thing about it is that it's an endurance test, so don't do anything to wear yourself out beforehand (like driving an hour). Definitely stay in a hotel.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 33):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 32):
Something like that

That just seems like an insane salary for a 25-year old...

Keep in mind that most people graduating law school are more like 27, as only about a third of people go straight through. Work experience definitely has its benefits when you seek to get a job coming out, too. So for a good number of these people, the firms aren't paying for raw legal talent, but some combination of talent and industry experience.

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