Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Top Searches 2

April 24, 2010

I’ve got quite a bit of down time for a while, as far as law school is concerned, so I thought I’d do another Top Searches post. It’s clear that most people coming to my blog are looking for information, so I’m happy to help where I can. My first Top Searches post is here, which dealt especially with missing LORs and LSAT questions.

The term “waitlist letter” or variations thereof is turning out to be the number one search topic for visitors to my blog. The waitlist letter I got from the University of Colorado is here. Feel free to leave a comment when you visit–as far as I can tell, mine is the only waitlist letter out there. As of today, I haven’t heard from them again with either an acceptance or a rejection. (I’m not planning to attend this school anyway.) CU hasn’t asked me for a letter or essay or any other work for consideration for their school, as I know some schools do.

I wish I could help visitors out with specific details of how schools’ waitlists work, but I honestly don’t know if that stuff is available on the Internet.

The term “acceptance letter” or variations thereof is my second-most popular search term. You can find the acceptance letter I got from the University of Denver here. This is the school I am attending, and I’m very excited to be joining the DU family. I’ve visited this school twice and feel very much at home there.

entry level lawyer salary
Good for you for researching this topic, as there are undoubtedly a lot of misconceptions about what attorneys make, especially newly minted ones. I posted my findings here.

personal statement for stay at home mum/mom
It’s a little intimidating to be writing a personal statement after years of staying home with the kids, but it can be done. I’m no expert, but I wrote my tips here. Let’s just hope you’ve been doing some volunteer work or something in the meantime.

do law students like sarah palin?
YES! At least, this one does. I get that most law students are liberals and therefore think they are superior to someone as successful and popular as Sarah Palin. But personally, I think she’s incredibly intelligent and talented, and I love her.

catchy thesis sentence for law school personal statement
You’re going to have to come up with your own. Because, you know, it’s personal. A catchy opening line is probably what you want, as your thesis sentence should state your purpose.

getting those last few questions right lsat
May I direct you to my side bar, where I have a few very helpful LSAT blogs listed?

i got my acceptance letter to law school
Me too!!!

hourumd.com
Another popular search. You can go to hourumd.com to find out your chances of getting into your law schools of choice.

this law has begun
Begun to …. what?

taking the lsat over age 30
The good news is, you can take the LSAT at any age! I don’t think it matters how old you are, and I don’t believe that younger test takers have an advantage. Prepare, prepare, prepare — take LOTS of practice tests. Lots of them.

how to enter law school as a mature student
The same way as any other student. You join LSAC, sign up for the LSAT (prepare, prepare, prepare!), get your letters of recommendation, write a personal statement, and apply. If you haven’t been to school in a while, you’re going to have to depend on letters of recommendation from a professional colleague or boss. For me, that was the hardest part. When it comes to the personal essay, however, I believe mature students have a strong edge over younger ones. Something about a rich life experience makes you a much more interesting person.

is 3 years a long time to be with someone
Um, no. The shortest relationship I have at the moment is 6-1/2 years, and that’s my son. However, if you’re dating someone and it’s been three years, then yes, that is a long time to be dating. Everything’s subjective, though, and I am NOT a relationship advisor.

why am i slow at analytical reasoning?
Because it’s hard. The good news is, it improves with practice. Look, I took probably about 15 practice tests total, and that still wasn’t enough. The LSAT blogs listed in my right sidebar also have a lot of good tips. A class may help you also, though I personally didn’t find it necessary. I found that once I was able to recognize the type of game it is and how to diagram it, it went a lot faster and easier.

TIP: The third game of the analytical reasoning section is almost always the hardest one. Do that game last.

157 lsat
Join the 157 club. I took the test again and got a 160. It’s worth considering.

set yourself apart from other law students
I struggled a LOT with this. I finally resorted to taking a perceived “flaw” of mine and leveraged it as a strength. Think about areas of personal struggle in your life (your “I could write a book about this” moments) and see if there’s anything there that built character or led you to the path you’re on today.

glad that something is over
Hahaha! Hello to the LSAT.

husband of a law student
Oooh, I feel bad for you. The next few years are going to be trying. If I can offer you one piece of advice, it’s this: give her the space she needs so she can focus on her work and succeed. If she’s constantly distracted by everyone else’s problems, it’s going to result in resentment on both sides at the end of the three years. At the same time, be there for her; be supportive; let her vent or cry when she needs to. Life will come back into balance again, but for now let her take center stage.

waiting law school drives me crazy
I hear you. It’s the worst part, hands down.

lsat cold score 150
The median score is 151, so you have a little work to do, depending on what law school you want to attend. If you want a Tier 1 school, you’re looking at a minimum of 160. If you’re looking at a Top 14 school, you’re looking at a minimum of 170. The good news is, with a bit of work, you can get there. My first cold score was 152 and I ended up with a 160 (I took the test twice). However, if you’re looking at a Tier 3 school, you’re in good shape.

lsac missing letter of recommendation
Oh, the story of my life. Chances are, the blame for this lies squarely on the recommender. Check with him/her first.

lonely thirty something loss
Not sure where this was going, but if you’re lonely, it’s time to volunteer. That’s the best way, bar none, to meet quality people. 

30 something law student
Oooh, someone was looking for me! Awesome! ;-) 

cu vs du law
CU is a Tier 1 school (ranked 38 in USNWR 2010, 4-way tie), while DU is a Tier 2 school (ranked 80, 6-way tie). They are the only two law schools in Colorado, which is obviously why I chose them. With my LSAT of 160 and GPA of 3.59, I was waitlisted at CU and accepted at DU with a scholarship. CU’s bar passage rate is quite a bit higher than DU’s, though it appears that in the last year CU slipped slightly while DU improved. I have never visited CU, so I don’t know about the environment of the campus. DU’s campus, however, is very warm and inviting. I immediately felt at home there. One person I talked to said that CU felt disconnected. DU’s staff is very friendly and helpful, and I think it also attracts students who are not out to cut throats in order to get ahead. I chose DU mainly because of my commute, but after visiting the campus twice, I am VERY happy with the school and I feel confident that I’ll get an excellent law education there. 

i wish i never went to law school
You were probably in it for the wrong reasons to begin with. Law school is something that I find a lot of negative feedback about on the Internet. I even had a total stranger tweet me on Twitter that I will regret going (thanks for the unsolicited advice, twerp). I think a lot of people go to law school without analyzing whether it’s a good fit for them, or without researching what a career in law is really like. It’s no surprise then, that both law school and a law career can be really disappointing.

what motivates you to go to law school
This is my favorite search term of all. It asks the question that every prospective or even current law student should be asking of themselves. Because without motivation, it can be really difficult to soldier on through something that challenging. In fact, the person from the previous search term should have asked themselves this question before wasting their time and money on law school. If you can’t answer this question, then law school is not for you.

My motivations are spelled out here and here and here:

  • I wanted a job that will stimulate me intellectually.
  • I wanted a job that will at least make as much as my husband does so that if anything happens I can support myself and kids.
  • I wanted a job that will bring me into contact with community leaders.
  • I wanted a job that will make a difference in people’s lives.
  • I may add more as time goes on.

    should i retake the lsat 163
    It depends on what law schools you want to apply to. If you’re after a Tier 2 or lower school, you’re sitting pretty. If you’re after a Tier 1 school, however, you’ll need to do a little better. A 163 can get you into CU, which is ranked 38th, but you’ll need to consider a couple of other things: a) Do you want to be one of the top incoming students, or in the middle-to-bottom? I should be in the top 50% of students going into DU, and I’m much more comfortable with that than I would be being in the bottom 25% of students going into CU. b) Do you need a scholarship? Even though I probably would have gotten into DU with my 157 LSAT score, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the scholarship I needed/wanted. My 160 score gave me that edge, and I got a scholarship that I’m very happy with. So if you feel that you can get a better score, a little extra time and another LSAT fee is worth the thousands of dollars you could get in scholarships or to that next level of school.

    du law school 158 lsat
    You shouldn’t have a problem getting in. 158 is just under their 2009 median score of 159. If you’re after a scholarship, though, I recommend shooting for a 160 if you can. Look at Law School Numbers to see how you stack up compared to other admitted students who are getting scholarships.

    lsac lor posting times
    If it takes more than a couple of weeks, check with your recommender that a) he sent the letter and b) he signed it.

    from lawyer to technical writer
    Hehe, I am going from technical writer to lawyer. I found technical writing to be an incredibly unfulfilling career, but then I’m not interested in computer technology. I will say, though, that (not having been a lawyer) I can see how the two are related and can help each other out. Technical writing certainly is a rigid and methodical way of writing. If you’re a good writer and interested in technology, it could be a great fit.

    reading comprehension is strongest on lsat
    Hate to break it to you, but that’s true for just about everyone.

    where did sarah palin go to law school
    Um, she did not go to law school, which is entirely to her credit. She majored in Journalism.

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    Entry-level lawyer salaries

    April 7, 2010

    I just stumbled across a fascinating message board regarding entry-level lawyer salaries. It began in 2004 and then jumped to 2010, where six more pages of discussion were added. Many tangents were introduced, including law vs. med/engineering school, what it’s like to work for BigLaw, and the likelihood of making partner. Everything is anecdotal, but it appears most of the posters are lawyers. Just fascinating stuff.

    College Confidential: Some Lawyer Salary Info

    According to SimplyHired.com

    The average salary for entry level attorney jobs is $53,000. Average entry level attorney salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.

    Not quite the six figures you’d envisioned?

    The United States Department of Justice helpfully publishes its salary scale online: Salaries, Promotions, and Benefits.

    I suppose if you need to know more, you know how use Google. :-)

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    hourumd.com

    February 6, 2010

    I found another helpful website, called the Law School Probability Calculator. Check out hourumd.com. Enter your LSAT score and your LSDAS GPA, and it calculates what your chances are for getting into the law schools. It pulls data from Law School Numbers, which I linked to a couple of posts ago. It’s pretty cool.

    I found out I have 0% chance of getting into one of the top 10 schools. :-)

    I have about a 45% chance of getting into CU.

    I have a 100% chance of getting into DU. It also looks like I stand a good chance of getting a good scholarship there.

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    Wait mode, continued ad nauseum

    February 4, 2010

    So here’s the latest. LSAC finally sent the final report to DU yesterday, so all requirements are in for both schools. (Seriously, could it have taken any longer?!) I got an email today from CU saying that my application is complete, thank you for applying, and you will hear back from us no later than late May. Late May! Gee, no rush or anything. But no, that’s fine. Frankly, I’m happy to be in wait mode for now and concentrate on other things for a while. That, and FAFSA. The fun never ends.

    I’ll try to keep putting content on this blog regularly, but with not much going on law-school-wise, I’m not sure how that’ll pan out exactly. Maybe I’ll put some other fun stuff on here in the meantime. Who knows.

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    Top Searches

    February 3, 2010

    I enjoy seeing what search terms bring people to my blog. And then I realize people are looking for answers. So here are some answers for all you searchers out there. (Answers are based on my experience only; I am NOT an expert of ANY kind on the LSAT, LSAC, or law school in general!)

    lsat

    Yes. Yes, it is.

    september 2009 lsat

    Yeah. That one sucked.

     december 2009 lsat

    That one sucked less hard.

    law school admission lor missing

    So, I’m not the only one with this problem, huh? First step: Check with your recommender and make sure they actually sent the letter. Second step: Wait forever for it to come back because the recommender forgot to sign the letter.

    inspiration for lsat

    Ummm, sorry, can’t help you there. I found the lsat to be very uninspiring. The best inspiration is good preparation. There is no substitute for practice tests. Lots and lots of practice tests. And click on the LSAT Blogs in my sidebar; they have lots of great advice.

    analytical reasoning questions and answers

    You came to the right place. Click the appropriate link under “Pages” in my sidebar.

    lor still not posted to lsac

    I’m sensing a theme here. This is because your recommender did not sign his letter, or missed some other requirement. In my case, it added a month of time.

    really nervous about the lsat

    Join the club! Get a good night’s sleep, eat a large, healthy breakfast, be as prepared as possible in every way, and then tell yourself it’s not THAT big a deal. (It is, but it helps to lie to yourself sometimes.)

    law sample logic reasoning questions

    Again, look under “Pages” for the link.

    30 something law student

    You too?! You’d better leave a comment. I’m lonely here.

    goal statement of a law student

    To get a job as a lawyer.

    157 lsat score

    You too, huh? It’s none too shabby, but not exactly the 174 you were going for, right? The good news is, taking the LSAT a second time raised my score three points. Try it. The only thing better than taking the LSAT is taking it TWICE.

    secret to top lsat score

    Looking for a way to work the system? Good luck with that. I have four words for you: DOZENS OF PRACTICE TESTS. Romantic, isn’t it? It also helps to be really smart.

    30 something law school

    30-something law schools? Law schools that are 30-something? Not sure what’s going on here…

    10 point increase on lsat

    Good luck with that.

    six reviewers frank, george lsat

    Oh boy. I’m clearly out of my depth here. But thanks for visiting!

    lsat scores and missed 30

    Missed 30 questions? That’ll put you in the 150s range if I’m not mistaken.

    “if lena reviews seasonings”

    What the…? Oh, yes. It is part of a logic games sample I put on here. This just demonstrates how flippin’ NUTS the LSAT is.

    “law student” mature

    At my age, I hesitate to use the term “mature.” I am still in my early 30s–barely. But given the ample evidence that some people never really left high school, it doesn’t take much to be “mature.”

    158 lsat tier 2?/minimum lsat gpa tier 3 full scholarship

    The whole “tier 1,” “tier 2,” “tier 3,” etc. thing is something I really don’t understand. I mean, if your whole goal is to get into a certain “tier,” maybe you’re missing the point. I don’t even know which “tiers” DU and CU fall in. I chose these schools because of location. And I chose DU over CU even though it’s lower rated because of other practical considerations. So don’t come here looking for “tier” advice. No one will impress me with their “tier” status.

    is it easier to get into du law part time?

    No. At least, they said nothing at Discovery Day to indicate so. Admissions standards are the same for either program.

    missing one letter of recommendation

    Pervasive problem, this seems to be. Here’s a tip: I asked for four letters in case I had trouble collecting the two required letters. That way, I had a backup. Of the four, three sent letters. One didn’t sign his letter, so it was delayed a month. My backup plan came in handy.

    can i apply before my lor’s are in lsac

    Sure you can, but it will do you NO GOOD whatsoever. I know this because I did it. Basically, LSAC will send an “incomplete” report to the schools to which you are applying, and they’re not even going to bother to look at it until it is complete, even if they could, which they can’t. In fact, in the case of DU, I would have been better off waiting because my updated report hasn’t been sent even two weeks after my lors came in, whereas it would have been sent immediately upon a complete application.

    lowest lsat du will accept

    This graph may be helpful in determining your chances. Looks like it’s a 154; anything lower than that is waitlisted or rejected.

    law personal statement stay at home mom

    I feel your pain. This is tough, because even though we SAHMs feel like we’re doing the right thing by our kids, we also feel like we’ve sacrificed our careers or chances at a career by “doing nothing” (society’s perception of us) for years at a time. Personally, I felt that being involved in volunteer work during my SAHM years was my saving grace. I didn’t get paid for it, but I gained a lot of valuable experience. I would really push that point. I really emphasized my leadership qualities. Also, in my statement I took the angle of why waiting for law school is actually a benefit, instead of a liability. It’s all about spin.

    how quickly will lsac process lor

    IF your recommender actually signs his damn letter, my letters took about a week. If there is a problem with the letter, it will take longer. Much. Much. Longer.

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    Why Law School?

    January 26, 2010

    Well, it’s the only way to become a lawyer, duh.

    Even now that I’ve decided to go to law school, I’m curious why others choose to do so. I’m especially curious how someone straight out of high school or college knows that this is the right field for them. Not judging, just curious. Because being a lawyer was the LAST thing I ever wanted to be as a young woman.

    Some theories (tongue in cheek!):

    • You’ve been told your whole life you should be a lawyer because you love to argue and are especially stubborn.
    • You were talented on the Debate team.
    • You think you’re pretty smart but don’t want to be a doctor.
    • You want the status and money.
    • You want the intellectual challenge.
    • You want to help people/be an advocate.
    • You didn’t know what else to do.

    I suspect there are as many reasons as their are people in the profession.

    Honestly, my reasons to go to law school followed my decision to try for it. Initially I was like, “I could do this, so why not try?” I didn’t have to commit to it, I just had to see if I could get in.

    I knew I wanted to further my education. I didn’t want to take additional undergrad courses as prerequisites for a graduate degree. As an English major, that really limited me. I assessed my abilities and my interests. I narrowed it down to:

    • Ph.D. in English
    • MBA
    • Master’s in Public Policy/Political Science
    • Law

    The Ph.D. in English lost out because, after researching it, I knew in my heart I didn’t love literature enough to spend the rest of my life steeped in it. And I love literature. More importantly, I knew that with that degree I would have to go where the (few) jobs are, and I simply don’t want to leave Colorado.

    The MBA lost out because there were quite a few prerequisites I would have to take, and I just didn’t want to spent extra time and money doing that. Also, after researching the requirements, I realized it probably didn’t fit my abilities and interests that well. I would have managed, but would I have been happy?

    The Public Policy/Political Science Master’s lost out because many schools also required prerequisites. Also, I was concerned that the field was a bit too narrow and could be an issue when job hunting. (Caveat: If Law doesn’t pan out, this is still very much a viable option.)

    After mulling it over for quite some time, I decided that Law fit the bill. As an English major and experienced technical writer/editor, I knew I had analytical and writing skills that would translate to Law. There are no prerequisites. A law degree would open up a lot of doors, not just in law firms but in other areas as well. And the chances of getting a good job in Colorado are pretty high.

    So that is the practical aspect of my decision.

    But as time went on, I realized this will meet some of my deeper desires for a fulfilling and meaningful job, as well. I have always wanted to do something that means something. That means:

    • I wanted a job that will stimulate me intellectually.
    • I wanted a job that will at least make as much as my husband does so that if anything happens I can support myself and kids.
    • I wanted a job that will bring me into contact with community leaders.
    • I wanted a job that will make a difference in people’s lives.

    Exactly where that is headed, I don’t know yet. I am deeply interested in politics and would love to work in the capacity of advisor/expert for a political agenda.* But even if I don’t get into politics, I would be happy helping people work through their legal problems. I want to be involved in my community, either way, so I’m counting on this to open doors where I can be an effective, positive force in the Denver Metro Area.

    That, in a nutshell, is “why Law.” What motivates you?

    ———————————————————————-

    *Full Disclosure: I am proud to be a Conservative and a Christian, though not necessarily a “Christian Conservative.” I’m an individual, not a voting bloc. Frankly, I think this country could use more conservative lawyers, and helping the conservative movement is a passion of mine. Expect this blog to reflect my beliefs and values. I enjoy blogging and I’m not looking for a fight, so feel free to be polite in comments.

    That being said, I always say, “If I refused to be friends with Democrats, I would have no friends.” I get along with pretty much everyone, and most of my best friends are Democrats. I don’t hate Democrats. I just disagree with their politics, but I find we have more in common than not: we’re moms who care about our families; we’re women who care about our communities, our health, and our relationships; we’re people who enjoy cutting loose on the weekends, feel stressed over all our commitments, wonder about the H1N1 vaccine, enjoy music, pets, entertainment, and board games, and all of us care about our country one way or the other.

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    “Discovery Day” Redux

    November 7, 2009

    Today was DU’s “Discovery Day,” which I attended right after dropping off my husband and 10-year-old daughter at the airport. (Personal Note:) They are going to visit my husband’s father in his homeland of South Africa. Their experience is much more exciting than mine, but I’m enjoying my “day off” (that is, kid-free) nonetheless, as my other two children are with my parents for the weekend.

    Going to Discovery Day was good for me. I’ve been suffering from Whatever Syndrome ever since I got my LSAT results, and it felt good to be in the academic environment again. It felt good to focus on school-related things and to be with other like-minded adults. I learned some useful information too: mainly that I need to get the lead out and start writing that personal statement and get those letters of recommendation. With applications, I learned Early is Better. I also learned that even more important than law school GPA is real-world experience, a.k.a. internships, externships, and DU’s student clinic. That’s good to know because I want to put my focus on the right things once I get to law school.

    DU has a part-time evening program, which is 4 years instead of the typical 3 years of full-time schooling. A lot of the folks at Discovery Day were interested in that program, which admits only 80 students a year. It’s a good alternative for adults who have to work jobs and fulfill family duties while they go to school. I really considered that for myself, but I was also surprised to learn that in the 2nd and 3rd years (2L and 3L for you non-law school readers) the course schedules are actually very flexible. A student panel talked with us and some of them take night classes in order to free up day hours, and some are even able to schedule most of their classes for just 2 or 3 days a week. According to them, it helps them balance the other parts of their lives.

    Talking afterward with a couple of other attendees, I think something a lot of us took comfort in was the fact that NO ONE on the panel knew what they wanted to specialize in when they started law school, and some of them not even until their 3rd year or beyond (an alum was present also). It’s a relief to know that I’m not the only one who has no clue where I’m going with this thing!

    There’s a ton more I took away from the experience, but the bottom line is, I’m glad I went because it really helped me to refocus on my goals.