Retake? Don’t Retake? That is the Question

June 28, 2010 at 2:02 am (LSAT Prep)

I’m torn.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic about my 155 which quite frankly was a total shock.  But now that I have calmed down, I realize that I did even better than I ever thought possible.  I don’t want to seem greedy, but am I capable of even more?  For the last 48 hours all I can think about is whether or not I should retake.  A lot of people on message boards and in cyberspace tell me I should retake.  But those who know me IRL are telling me to be proud of the score I got and start putting my efforts into drafting my personal statement, requesting letters of recommendation, etc. I am within the range I need to be in to be a competitive candidate for the schools I want to go to with my current scor.  

All of my life, when dealing with difficult decisions I like to weigh out the pros and cons (maybe this is a Libra thing), so here it goes:


Possibility of scoring higher which could mean the ability to apply to more schools and possibly making my reach schools my target schools.  This could also mean anchoring scholarships at my current target schools.

  • Continuing to practice my analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills which will come in handy for law school.  I really do believe that prepping for the LSAT has actually made me smarter and think in a different way than ever before.
  • Deep down – (and this is a secret, so sssssssh) I kind of miss prepping for the LSAT.  I love the challenge, I like to test my limits and improve my new skills. 
  • I know I didn’t spend enough time learning the skills of the LSAT prior to jumping into practice tests.  I know there is still untapped potential in there somewhere.  Heck, I only finished the Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible 3 weeks before the lsat.  Had I spent more time actually practicing those skills, I would have likely done even better.
  • Now that I have a LSAC fee waiver, I would not have to pay the test fee.
  • My guess is it really won’t take “that” much more additional prep to improve my score at least a few points.
  • I may always wonder if I could have done better.


  • Fear of not scoring as high, or even worse, scoring lower.  
  • NO way can I continue my summer school schedule with 3 intense 6 week classes and prep for the LSAT.  The only way I would not go insane is if I decide to drop 1, maybe even 2 of my 3 summer classes I’m enrolled in which will begin the week of July 5th (so I’ll need to decide fast).
  • All of the law school applications for the schools I intend to apply mandate that I list all future LSAT registrations.  An admissions counselor at one of my target schools told me that when the school sees that I will be taking the LSAT in the future, this keeps my file from being “complete” until after that LSAT score is in.  So, while I may be applying super early to help strengthen my chances, my file won’t be considered complete until early November when the score is released.
  • I really do not want to sit for that damn test again.

Permalink 8 Comments

Results are In! I’m a Happy Girl!

June 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm (LSAT Prep)

Yesterday around 2:30 there were reports of June 2010 LSAT takers receiving their scores.  My feelings toward receiving my score went from “oh please just give me the darn score” to “oh wait, no, I’m not ready, not yet!”  I checked my account and my pop-up link buttons turned from green to grey and then the “email score date” changed from June 28, 2010 to June 25, 2010.  But like it or not – it came. And I’m one happy girl!  I received my score around 5:00. 

My best ever timed practice test was 153.  My score on test day . . . . .155!!!  A 155 marks the 64th percentile.  I have no idea how I pulled it off (but hey I’m not asking questions!)  In fact I was so surprised,I thought maybe LSAC had made a mistake, so I rushed to check my account online and it was consistent.  I’m very thrilled and this should get me into the schools I want to go to.  I think 155 is pretty good considering I started at 143 and was very limited for study time with work and school.  I told myself if I got a 155 I wouldn’t retake, and as such, it is unlikely I will retake the exam. 

I also got up the nerve to tell two attorneys at my firm what I was up to.  They seem genuinely excited for me which is a huge relief. One even offered to write a letter of recommendation for me attesting to my stellar legal skills and experience and dedication to the firm over the last five years. 

In a big way, this is very emotional for me.  I have had so many naysayers in my life tell me that law school (or just college for that matter) is for smart rich kids and I certainly do not fall into that category.  I’ve been told to brace myself because I’m chasing a dream that will not come true.  (In my head I’m flipping off all those people right now).  In a way, I’ve always felt like the underdog, and this is definitely a victory for me.  Basically, this short clip of the movie “Rudy” pretty much sums it up.

Thanks for all of your encouragement and I am so delighted to be moving on in the admissions process and closer to achieving and accomplishing my dreams.  2 years ago, I never would have thought any of this would be possible.

Permalink 17 Comments

June 2010 LSAT Score Release Date – T Minus 1 Day!?

June 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm (LSAT Prep)

It is possible that my score will be released tomorrow.  Typing that made my heart flutter.  I also have a 3-hour chemistry final tomorrow morning. It will KILL me to not be able to check my blackberry for 3 hours while taking the exam and I will be very distracted by the thought of the possibility of that fateful email being just two inches away from being read (since my bberry will be tucked away in my purse).  If the score is released on Friday that is no good either.  My firm has brought in a team of Microsoft Word 2007 experts since we are making the transition next week.  Being stuck in a large conference room with most of my immediate supervising attorneys (who do not even know I took the lsat) will be problematic.  My blackberry is a personal phone, not work, so I can’t  have it with me and doubt I can hack into the computer experts laptops to pick up our wifi connection without anyone knowing.  Ugh.  Really, I can think of a hundred inconvenient ways/times to get my score.  This makes me wonder if I really do not want it at all. Time will tell.

Permalink 1 Comment

Paralegal Blawgs

June 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm (Legal Professional Tips)

I have a teeny-tiny links page on my blog on the right hand side (its very hard to see).  I’d like to make it larger, nevertheless, I thought the best way to alert my readers to a few paralegal-related blawgs would be to put it in a post.

I recently came across Paralegals on Trial with a tag line “Get your laugh on while getting it done.” The paralegal profession is so stressful and so demanding.  This site offers great tips and resources and the blog’s author is hysterically funny. A particularly helpful post is Trial Prep Made Easy and is a must read.

Another paralegal blawg is Paralegal Hell.  I think the name explains it all.  Great comical commentary that all paralegals and legal professionals can totally identify with.  You must check out the “Fun with Boss” category posts.

Happy reading!

Permalink Leave a Comment

LSAT Dreams

June 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm (LSAT Prep)

Prior to the lsat, I had a reoccurring dream that I was sitting in the test center scribbling away in my booklet on test day and my teeth kept falling out.  It was really disturbing.  Post lsat, I have been dreaming of the day I receive my score.  In one such dream, I receive the fateful lsac email containing my score, only I can’t see the score on my blackberry, all I see is a bunch of numbers and symbols but can’t make sense of any of it.  In another reoccurring dream, I am looking at my LSAC account online and first see the section-by-section breakdown of my score results, I see the numbers 9, 9, 12, and 13.  I’m really bad at math.  It takes me a little time to add this up in my head.  Yet in my dream, I automatically knew this meant my raw score would be 43.  How is it possible that what would take me a good minute or two awake, took me no time at all and made perfect mathematical sense in my sleep?  I hope this wasn’t a premonition, which has happened to me before.  Often, when I dream of something that later happens, I recall the dream and realize that there is no way I would have arrived at a given conclusion in my conscious state of mind.  In looking at some of the more recent preptests, if my raw score was 43, I’d be sitting at a 141 – several points lower than my initial diagnostic.  This is frightening. 

I should only have about another week to go.  I hope it passes quickly and I hope I have good news.   The earliest I will know my score would be this Thursday, June 24th, and the latest would be Monday, June 28th.  I have never been a patient person, and this time in my life is no different.

Permalink 4 Comments

LSAC Fee Waivers – If At First You Do Not Succeed . . . Try, Try, Try Again

June 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm (Applying to Law School)

Some of you who have followed my blog since its conception will know that last January I decided to dramatically reduce my hours (and salary) in order to finish my final year of undergrad.  This decision was very difficult for me because as an adult, I have felt a great sense of security in earning a paycheck that would comfortably (but never excessively) cover my expenses.  Growing up, I was very poor, the electric would be cut off, the water turned off, and groceries were scarce.  It left me feeling very insecure about money and so to risk putting myself in a similar situation to complete my undergraduate degree was really scary for me.  If I wanted to remain majoring in Poli Sci (which I love very much) I knew I would need to take my remaining required classes during the day since that is the only time such last few required classes are offered.  I begged my employer for a little bit of flexibility while still maintaining a 40-hour a week schedule.  They explained, and I understood, that my position requires me to work M-F/8-5.  But lucky for me, they created a position for me that is part-time and I also found a work-study position within the Poli Sci Department for me to help make up the hours lost.  Anyway, long story short, my income is now half what it was last year when I filed my taxes.  The unfortunate thing about financial aid is that it tends to go off last year’s income taxes which do not always exhibit a clear picture of one’s current income – this is what I had tried explaining to LSAC when I first applied for a fee waiver.  Not surprisingly, despite offering explanation of my current economic situation in contrast to last year’s income tax return, my request for a fee waiver was denied. 

So I launched my argument.  I had my firm’s bookkeeper print out a detailed list of my current income, last several pay check stubs, and my year-to-date income.  I appealed LSAC’s fee waiver denial the day after I took the lsat, so June 8th.  I didn’t think it would take too long to get a response since my original request had been denied in 48 hours.  But as time ticked on, I was getting nervous – LSAC places a hold on your account when your account is under review (even for fee waivers).  This meant that if my account was still under review by the time lsat scores are released, I would be in the dark until they determine whether my appeal should be granted or denied. 

Nevertheless, I am ecstatic to report that my fee waiver request appeal was approved.  I am so glad I took the extra time to further explain my situation.  I think a lot of people after initially being denied just give up, but I just want to say that at least for me, it paid off to be persistent.  So now, if I have to retake the lsat in October (I certainly hope I will not) the fee will be waived, and I now qualify to register for the credential assembly service at no charge, plus four report fees will be waived when I apply to schools this fall.  I have also heard unofficially that a lot of schools will waive their own application fees if you are an applicant who has received a fee waiver through LSAC.  Very nice indeed.

Permalink 4 Comments

Playing the LSAT Waiting Game

June 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm (LSAT Prep)

Not quite a week ago, I calmly entered my test center with my plastic zip-loc baggy in tow and ego in-check.  I am still so surprised at how calm I really was.  I slept great the night before, felt good about what I was about to undertake, and did the best I could to breathe easy.   One thing that really helped me to remain calm was that I kept telling myself “this test administration simply determines whether I have to try again in October.”  As opposed to “OMG THIS IS GOING TO RUIN MY LIFE!”  (See the difference?)

Some things that I think helped my day go smoothly:

I already visited the test center a week prior and boy was I glad.  Turns out my test center location has TWO buildings with the same name.  I had originally visited the wrong building and  custodian pointed me in the right direction.  I was also able to see my test room, this helped me to visualize all week-long my surroundings.

The day of I left literally two hours early.  I packed my lunch so that I could arrive ridiculously early and sit under a shade tree and breathe in the fresh air to help myself relax.  I never felt rushed and my heart rate never went up due to last minute panic.

I packed my zip-loc baggy the night before with my awesome tri-conderoga pencils made by Dixon.  These pencils are AMAZING.  They have a tri-shape which is very comfortable, but most exceptional is the soft rubbery grip.  The eraser is nice and they sharpen well. I also double-checked that I had packed my driver’s license (and verified the information matched my lsac ticket which I also made sure was packed). 

Another thing about the plastic zip-loc baggy, as I walked from the parking lot to the middle of campus to my test center, I found it extremely comforting to look around at the 100’s of test takers toting their plastic zip-loc baggies.  It was really neat to see others who were obviously there for the same purpose as I and I knew I was not alone.

I ate a nice, filling lunch a half hour before entering my test center.  I chose a chicken breast with wild rice and chili which gave me lots of protein and good carbs to keep me going.  I also packed a banana for snack time and during the break I walked laps around the test room to get my blood going.

Some observations of others who did not prepare:

First of all, why would anyone sit for the lsat without having seen the test?  When the proctor would say we could turn to section whatever, read the instructions, and begin, most of us would immediately begin struggling (there is no point in reading the instructions assuming you have already seen them in the last gazillion practice tests you took to prepare for the real thing).  But nevertheless, a lot of test takers sat and read the instructions.  Three test takers walked out in the middle of a section, and when we returned after break, a good 1/4 of the test takers were gone. 

Right before the proctors were about to begin, (and after we had all been checked in and assigned our seats) a group of ladies said they must use the restroom.  This is against test center rules.  Once you are in the test center, you may not leave until the section has begun.  Surprisingly, the proctor actually allowed the group of girls to go (before the test was handed out) which meant the other 100 or so of us had to wait for them!  This was ridiculous – clearly those ladies did not read the rules and were not prepared.

Another test taker did not bring a writing instrument – she thought they were provided to us.  A second test taker brought one pencil and no sharpener. 

Overall I felt it all went well but I do not want to make any predictions.  I left the test center feeling confident that I had done my best.  I even finished the entire logic games section which I have heard from other test takers were especially difficult.

The official score release date is Monday, June 28th, but Steve at the LSAT Blog has listed the past lsat score release dates and it appears the scores are always released a few days prior to the official date.  It is likely the sore will be released as early as Thursday, June 24, 2010.  You can bet I will begin checking my email frantically and refreshing my lsac account page constantly beginning next week (for the fun of it, of course!) 

I have not yet removed my sticky-notes from my bathroom mirror which contained tidbits from the Powerscore LSAT bibles and I haven’t burned my lsat prep books yet.  I’m not sure why the hesitation, I hope I’m not subconsciously telling myself this isn’t over yet!  But deep down I know I’m a competitive person.  I’m mostly competitive with myself, and if I think I can improve my score by retaking in October, its very likely I will do it all over again.

Permalink 1 Comment

The LSAT: Not Even Celebrities are Immune!

June 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm (LSAT Prep)

In a desperate attempt to distract myself from thinking about the long countdown left until I learn the fate of my lawyerly future (ie. lsat score release day) I began to think about the many things the LSAT sounds like (ie a disease: “The LSAT” ala Legally Blonde; or potentially a spanish term for sitting “el sat” ala my ditzy bff) I began to wonder if even the über privileged have to deal with this stressful, complicated, ridiculous, standardized test.  After all, what’s so “standard” about privileged celebrities?

Selena Gomez (who by the way is only 16!) was spotted with an LSAT prep book in an airport.

Chris O’Donnel just completed his 1L at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

Playboy Playmate Victoria Zdrok attended Villanova Law School.  Villanova’s lsat range is 160-163.

Alec Baldwin recently spoke to Harvard Law School students about the perceptions of gender bias on family law matters (afterall, he IS quite the expert in this issue!) and there has been some speculation that once is his 30-Rock contract is up he would likely return to school to earn a graduate degree.

 . . . .and of course, we can’t forget Elle Woods who landed a 179!

Permalink Leave a Comment

LSAT = T Minus 3 Days!

June 5, 2010 at 2:01 am (LSAT Prep)

I’ve been busy studying and trying to get every last bit of information and get my strategy down to a science before Monday.  I have my “clear plastic baggy” packed and ready to go; admission ticket printed; breakfast and lunch planned; and proper lsat attire laid out. 

I have many things I want to talk about after Monday, including my thoughts in hindsight, what I expect in the future, and more tips for those working in the legal profession, working and non-traditional students, etc.  So please stay tuned and be patient while I spend these next 3 days with my nose to the grindstone. 

I also want to thank all of my readers who give me such great encouragement.  Even if you do not comment, seeing the number of views my blog has received is encouraging and inspirational!  I do hope to be able to post more frequently once things settle down.  I welcome any suggestions for topics to blog about (feel free to comment to this post) and I look forward to blogging about the application process this fall including law school visits, writing my personal statement, and requesting letters of recommendation.   

Best of luck to all of you who will be nervously taking the LSAT on Monday.  If you are like me, you hope your hard work will pay off.  LET’S ROCK THE LSAT!

Permalink 4 Comments