First thing to understand is that the LSAT (or any standardized test) doesn’t measure your intelligence in any way – it simply measures your ability to take the LSAT. Which means that best strategy is practice, practice, practice to build up speed and accuracy on the type of questions that routinely show up on the LSAT.
I def recommend a test-prep class for many reasons including it being a tiny investment in the grand scheme of three years law school tuition anyway. At the very least, make sure you order a ton of old tests and work through all of them.
This is probably the best advice I have seen regarding the LSAT. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let this test and its outcome affect your self-esteem. It says absolutely nothing about you or your skills as a potential lawyer. And yes, practice with old exams . . . a lot.
Man, I could write pages on this. First, take the LSAT seriously. I wasn’t too serious about going to law school and, consequently, did not take the LSAT very seriously. I wanted to go to the good state schools in California or Arizona, which required anything from a 160 to a 165. I took a few practice tests and did 160, 162, 163. I concluded that I didn’t need to take a prep course and would just wing it.
On the day of, I totally choked on the test and scored a 156. Unfortunately, this excluded me from the top 50 schools, which really limits your potential after law school. Law is a VERY elitist profession and unless you are from the top 15 or 20 schools, you will have a tough road if you want a judicial clerkship, job in a major firm, or teaching position.
As such I HIGHLY recommend that you take a prep course. Those generally add 5-8 points to your score, as I understand it. That probably would have given me anywhere from a 161 to a 170, which would have changed my future drastically. Take the course![/quote]
While what you say is somewhat true, it’s not true for everybody. Yes, not getting into a top 50 school will probably affect your chances at going BIGLAW, but not everyone desires to practice that type of law anyhow. Furthermore, many big firms hire from the top 10-15% of regional schools, even those not ranked in the top 50 (more on that later, however.)
I know plenty of people who are working for the state or small firms and they love what they do. Sure, they’re not making as much money as the BIGLAW guys and gals, but, for the most part, their quality of life is much higher than people I know who work the 70-80 hour a week law jobs (not to mention better benefits, vacation, etc.) Getting into law for the money is the worst thing a person thinking about going to law school can do, anyhow.
To that end (and this is more directed to the OP), make sure you are going to law school because you really want to practice law. Statistically speaking, most law schools inflate their graduates’ employment and income statistics. Law school is VERY, VERY expensive, probably even more than med school - relatively speaking - considering the true pay of an average lawyer is probably around $40,000-50,000 (while med school may be more expensive dollar-wise, the average doctor gets paid much more, allowing them to pay off their loans faster.) Unless you either A) have saved up enough money to pay for law school already, B) have a fortunate family situation (money wise), or C) are one of the lucky few who actually will make the top 10-15% of your class, just know you will likely be in debt after law school for quite some time.
And lastly, regarding that top 10-15% of the class . . . EVERYONE goes to law school thinking they will make the top of the class. But just like the associate dean told the class when I first started law school (paraphrasing), “We can’t predict a lot about how you all will do this early in the year, but one thing is for certain . . . 90% of you will not make the top 10% of the class.”