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Mysonx3's Law School Thread - mysonx3 - 12-31-2019

Seeing as I'm basically done with my undergrad degree (my classes end Jan. 25th, but I've already done all the work save for a couple of discussion forums and a low-stakes exam), I figured now was as good a time as any to start this thread. I had initially planned on waiting a few months, until I'm done with the LSAT and about ready to send in applications, before starting it. However, I decided I might as well start the thread now to capture some of my LSAT prep in case that helps any future DegreeForum readers (or family members of readers) who are on the pre-law track.

First some background info about my application profile:

DEGREE(S):
I will be graduating from TESU in March. My bachelor's is a dual area of study in History and Psychology. I will also receive an ASNSM in Mathematics.

GRADES:
In order to have a GPA included in your application for law schools, the Law School Admissions Council requires you to earn at least 60 graded semester credits before your bachelor's degree is conferred. Thank you to forum user jsd for pointing this out to me, or my application would not be as strong*. I got graded credits from the following sources:

Local Community College: 35 quarter credits (translates to 23.45 semester credits)
Arizona State University (via Earned Admission): 15 semester credits
Brigham Young University (via Independent Study): 8 semester credits
Thomas Edison State University (combo of online and guided study): 15 semester credits

I'm too superstitious to post my GPA until it's done & sealed, but I will come back and update it once my final classes have been graded.

*Note: I'm not saying this because not having a reportable GPA will necessarily sabotage your application - even the tippy-top schools accept a decent chunk of applicants without a GPA if they score high enough on the LSAT. Rather, if I didn't have a GPA I would've been missing out on an opportunity to strengthen my application.

LSAT:
With my classes mostly wrapped up, I've shifted my focus to studying for the LSAT. I intend to take it on March 30th, and will be studying intensely between now and then.

So far, I have taken two practice tests, on which I scored 169 and 168, respectively. Those are good scores, but I'm really trying to push into the mid-high 170s. It's been a couple of months since I've taken a full practice test, and I intend to take another this week. I've made some improvements since my last PT (see below), so I'm excited to see where I stand. I plan to take one full test per week each of the next few weeks, before ramping it up to 2 per week, and finally 3 per week the last couple of weeks before the test.

The LSAT consists of four sections (plus an unscored experimental section, but you don't get to know which one that was during the test): two logical reasoning (LR) sections, a reading comprehension (RC) section, and an analytical reasoning (also known as logic games, or "LG") section. My initial practice tests (which were consistent with my hypothesis) indicate that I am very good at logical reasoning, pretty good at reading comprehension, and thoroughly mediocre at logic games, so I'm focusing the vast majority of my efforts on those. Over the last week, I've taken a handful of timed logic games sections, and will be ramping that up for the next few weeks. The early results have been great: whereas on my two practice tests I got 18/23 and 15/23 on the logic games (with the former being a lucky fluke), I've gotten two or fewer wrong on each of the sections I've done in the last week. I've still got things to improve on, but I'm really happy (and surprised) with the progress I've made so far.

-----

Anyway, I'd be happy to answer any questions from anyone who might be curious about the process. And if anyone has any advice for me, I'm all ears!


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - natshar - 12-31-2019

Why did you only earn 15 credits at TESU? Isn't 16 required for the wavier or did you take 16 and the post is wrong?

What (if any) specific law schools do you have in mind?


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - mysonx3 - 12-31-2019

(12-31-2019, 01:38 PM)natshar Wrote: Why did you only earn 15 credits at TESU? Isn't 16 required for the wavier or did you take 16 and the post is wrong?

I earned 16 credits at TESU, but only 15 of them were graded (I'm on a catalog with TES-100, which is one ungraded credit, rather than SOS-110, which is three graded credits). So just barely scraping by without needing to pay the waiver.

(12-31-2019, 01:38 PM)natshar Wrote: What (if any) specific law schools do you have in mind?

That'll really depend on my LSAT score. Particularly because I will have a "weird" application in some ways (only 61 graded credits, transcripts from four schools, only 16 credits from the school I graduated from), and also for purposes of merit aid, I'm probably going to take the same approach to law school applications that people generally take with undergrad applications - some reaches, some target schools, and some safety schools. Law school admissions is notoriously predictable based on GPA/LSAT, so once I have both numbers in hand I'm going to have to spend a good amount of time looking at what schools I'm likely to get into and whether each is worth an application. I know that Washington University (in St. Louis) has a reputation for accepting just about anybody with a sufficiently high LSAT score (often with significant financial aid) without much regard for anything else in the application, so if I score at or above their median I'll likely apply there.

I plan on applying to a lot of schools, both because of the unusual nature of my undergrad, and to give myself maximum chances at a sizable scholarship.


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - jsd - 12-31-2019

This is awesome! I'm excited to follow along with your updates.


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - mysonx3 - 01-02-2020

Update:

Just took another full-length LSAT practice test with regular timed conditions, and scored a 177! I did a blind review, where I went back (before seeing my score or any of the answers) and checked my work to see if there's anything I would change if given more time, and that score was a perfect 180!

Needless to say, I am very happy about that.


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - mysonx3 - 01-13-2020

Another update:

On Wednesday I took my fourth full-length practice test, and ended with a 179. I was tantalizingly close to 180, however - I initially chose the right answer for one question (and was very confident with it), but when I went back to check my answers in the leftover time I made a reading mistake that caused me to think my initial answer couldn't be correct, so I chose another answer that didn't feel right. Had I not made that mistake (or, had I simply chosen to review a different question in my remaining time), I would've gotten my first perfect PT. Oh well, better now than test day.

The other "significant" happenings that warranted this update:
- Today I officially registered for the LSAT. I will be testing on March 30th. Wish me luck!
- I also ordered my transcripts today, so I should have an official LSAC GPA in about six weeks.

I won't be updating too frequently since I'm still ~8 months out from sending in applications, but I thought the combo of the PT and the official test registration warranted a post.


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - Marcus Aurelius - 01-13-2020

Keep us updated on your progress. This is very interesting!


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - mysonx3 - 01-27-2020

Update:

- On the 17th, I took another practice test. I didn't fare quite as well on this one: I scored a 174. I got a perfect score on Logic Games (the section that has given me the most trouble), but put up some of my worst scores to date on both Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. I'm taking this as an indication that I've sufficiently addressed my Logic Games weakness and need to take a more holistic approach going forward to shore up the other two sections. After this test I hit a busy patch so haven't taken another prep test (or really done much prep at all) since then. I will aim to take another practice test tomorrow and I will report how I do!
- In the meantime, I completed my degree through TESU!
- Yesterday, I received the grade back from my Capstone paper/presentation, and I am thrilled to report that I will be graduating with a 4.0 GPA. It will still be a couple weeks before my transcripts are sent to and evaluated by the Law School Admissions Council to confirm that this is the GPA that will show on my applications, but I've read their rules thoroughly and I have no reason to doubt that it will.
- I almost hate to show this, because it might come across boastful, but here are my odds of admission at each school based on my GPA plus my most recent LSAT practice test (which was a step backward for me, so hopefully I'll outscore it on the real test day). I'm sharing this so that the DegreeForum community can get a feel for whether I end up underperforming my numbers because of my non-traditional undergrad degree.

https://mylsn.info/k66mkk/


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - jsd - 01-27-2020

Boast away! You earn that right Smile


RE: Mysonx3's Law School Thread - mysonx3 - 01-27-2020

(01-27-2020, 02:28 PM)jsd Wrote: Boast away! You earn that right Smile

Thank you!

And thank you for a post you made on someone else's thread back in 2018 that tipped me off that I'd need 60 graded credits to show a GPA on my application!