This week and next I’m stressing over, studying for, and taking midterms for six classes (while working more than part-time). Ugh. I guess I better get over the concept of being tested over everything I know and it making or breaking my course grade because law school grades are usually based 100% on the final exam. Mindlessly reviewing flashcards with terms and definitions, however, is something I hope to leave in my undergrad past. It seems a lot of my undergraduate courses have been all about remembering key concepts and then regurgitating the facts or definitions on exam day. I’m looking forward to law school so that I can learn and then apply my knowledge.
I’m also very distracted right now by the fact that I’m “in review” at all but 3 law schools I applied to. I keep trying to ban myself from logging in but can’t resist. I’ve also become obsessive over every detail of the status checker. For example, whether a dollar figure or just zeros are in the seat deposit column, etc. Actually . . .this just gave me an idea. Perhaps I should be taking print screens of every status checker each time I log in and then compare for any differences or clues. Yep, I’ve lost it.
Another distraction has been, “The Good Wife.” I did not tune in last season so I’ve slowly been working my way through Season 1 DVD’s and hope to eventually catch up in time to watch Season 2 from the CBS website and/or when it originally airs. I love how Alicia is emerging as a powerful, independent woman. She’s handing a lot of different issues that have been thrown at her and I think a lot of women can identify with this.
One thing I’m sick of right now is the snarky attack-ads for the midterm elections. My head is spinning with all of these evil candidates trying to sink our economy and overtake the world. This is why people dont’ vote. We are all confused. We are so scared of making the wrong choice we make none at all.
Ooooh, one thing I’m very excited for. I have decided to undertake another major research project similar to the one I did last semester on judicial selection. This one, for class credit, will be focused on women lawyers and why nearly 50% of law students are female yet far fewer than half of practicing attorneys are women. Should be interesting.
Anyway, back to midterm studying . . .
Its been 102 days since I took the LSAT and ya know what? Life is good and I survived it. To be honest, waiting in anticipation for my score was actually more difficult than the actual test. Sunday you will be glad its over. The worst thing you can do is sabotage your own success – so don’t be nervous. Tell yourself that this test only determines whether or not you have to take it again. (DO NOT tell yourself it determines the rest of your life).
Remember, you prepared hard, your ready, so show ‘em what ya got!
I will be the first person to admit that I’m attracted to hype. I was “that” girl in high school that had to rush out to get the new “it” item the most popular girl in school coveted. I read Car and Driver vehicle rankings, Cnet reports on techie toys, etc. Unfortunately U.S. News and World Report has got me by the tail, too. Law school forums like top-law-schools.com make considering a Tier 2-4 school taboo. Cruel bloggers (none of which are worth linking to) snort their nose up to anything below a top 20 law school. I started to think about what made these rankings so important? Similar to car reviews, I naively assumed that some honest soul had taken the time to rate the schools on important standards which really matter and would impact the quality of the education, integrity of the school, and potential for success. WRONG!
A good example of this can be seen in examining Tier 2 schools like Indiana University – Indianapolis, Lewis and Clark, and Chicago-Kent School of Law. According to this chart which shows the history of the rankings from 2002-2008, it wasn’t until 2003 that these schools were ranked at all (in other words they were Tier 3 or Tier 4 schools). What caused the jump? All of them (and others not mentioned) either built, remodeled, or added a new law building prior to jumping up in rankings. Hmmmmmm.
I didn’t see anywhere in the USN&WR methodology about new buildings. Perhaps new buildings attract applicants with higher gpa and lsat scores (a variable that is factored into the rankings). Perhaps its an extreme coincidence. USN&WR does factor in faculty resources and library facilities. Peer assessment is also a varaible, which seems arbitrary considering most alums are going to rate their own alma matter favorably. This isn’t to say that bad schools are being ranked higher than they should be or that good schools are suffering in the rankings. I merely just want to point out the fact that rankings should not be over emphasized. Trendy fashion, on the other hand . . .
UPDATE: This article published by the National Jurist does a great job of laying out the issues in the U.S. News & World Report Rankings, including the fact that there is a lot of “massaging of data” since no one verifies the data submitted is correct or meets specific guidelines.
Since my first law school acceptance (with a full tuition scholarship) I have been spending a lot of time investigating this particular school. The more I research, the more I love it. It’s quickly moving to the top of my list. I try to keep the fact that I could attend for free out of my mind. I want to decide that I love the school because I truly desire to attend – not because it’s the least expensive option.
The only downfall thus far that I have found is the fact its in a large city. I’m a small town girl and have never had to rely on public transportation. I get impatient on those rare occasions when I’m stuck in traffic (small town version of being stuck in traffic is getting behind a tractor or horse n’ buggy).
Most importantly, there are no squirrels in the city. On my current campus I keep a peanut butter jar filled with nuts to hand feed to the squirrels who greet me between classes. I will really miss that.
I’m also the proud “mother” of two Great-Danes. While small dogs can get along just fine with city living, these giant ponies can’t. The kids are huge and their happiness is important to me. This surely would mean that I would have to live far enough outside of the city to find suitable housing and then commute up to an hour into the city for school.
I won’t let these issues keep me from attending this school if it is truly where I want to go. But these are just some preliminary concerns.