LSAT Diary: Reasons I'm Going to Law School

This LSAT Diary is from Paula, who shares her reasons for wanting to go to law school.

If you want to be in LSAT Diaries, please email me at LSATUnplugged@gmail.com. (You can be in LSAT Diaries whether you've taken the exam already or not.)

Leave Paula some encouragement, and share your reasons for wanting to go to law school below in the comments!

Paula's LSAT Diary:

Going to law school is something that has been on my mind for the last 25 years or so. At one point, I actually applied and was accepted, but other life circumstances (having a child) intervened, and it became a dream deferred. I was raised in Louisiana, and then moved to Texas when I was pursuing a graduate degree in piano performance.

Twenty-two years later, I moved to New York City in order to become a public school teacher of special needs children. Along the way, I also picked up a fair amount of business knowledge as I ran my own lessons business, and got an MBA with the idea of making a career shift. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd love to bring all of my abilities as an educator and financial planner together in order to advocate for families of special needs children, and then help them manage the funds they are awarded to provide the most solid, stable future for their children.

I took the LSAT in February, and the score was marginal. Maybe I can get in, but maybe not. More importantly, I've got to get a better score in order to make this whole process cost-effective. I study for the LSAT during my lunch period as well as after I finish teaching and doing lesson prep for the next day.

I'll continue to teach full time in a public secondary school in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) while going to law school at night, so I'm looking at 4 years of tuition. Yeesh. Nonetheless, it is now or never. There is some reason -- some special calling -- to law. Otherwise I wouldn't still, all these many years later, lie awake at night thinking, "Gee I wish I would have gone to law school!"

Photo by bobaubuchon



9 comments:

  1. I have a similar story...only I'm working in the field and have been for a couple years. I absolutely love it and it has only strengthened my resolve to attend. Better late than never.

    Best of luck to you on the LSAT :-)

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  2. Best of luck to you Paula! Here's to your getting the LSAT score that gets you into your first choice law school.

    Steve is a phenomenal tutor and the value of his study guide far exceeds the price.

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  3. It's very gratifying to go to law school as an older, non-traditional student. There is a sense that this is what your whole life has been leading up to, and you are finally blooming. And it's a good feeling. But law school is not easy, especially if you're working full time. You really need to commit to having no life other than work and school. The commitment that it takes to succeed will cost you some of your looser relationships before you finish. But you may also lose some of your loser relationships, and that's not a bad thing.

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    1. Well-put comment, Duncanjp ~

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  4. Best of luck, Paula!! What you're doing is amazing and never give up on your goal. :)

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  5. My advice to anyone in this poor economy is to avoid law school and to pick a profession where the jobs are always in demand. I was going into law as well, but then I realized the job stats were low. I'm now in the medical field and I'm glad that I went this way. Law school is such an expensive and uncertain gamble. I would only suggest going law school if you have a full scholarship or if someone else is footing your bill. Having a $150,000+ in loans is a terrible way to live with such low employment prospects.

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  6. Good luck on your LSAT, Paula! I hope you get into your top school, and they literally throw all of the money you need at you. (Well, not literally, but you get the idea.) :)

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  7. My advice? I'll borrow the words from Nike: Just Do It! But do it soon. With every year you wait, the ghost of regret will loom larger. I can tell you've weighed the costs...financial and emotional. Balancing law school with work won't be easy. And face it, we non-traditional students may not have quite the late-night stamina we used to. But you've got drive and passion. That's more important. No, you'll never sit on the Supreme Court, nor will you become managing partner of a prestigious law firm. But you'll fulfill your dreams; you'll help people you care about by possessing the skills and access available only to a lawyer. If you need help with the LSAT, follow one of Steve's plans. They work. Do a retake if you think it wise. Just, please, pursue that law degree. You're an inspiration to us all.

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  8. You shouldn't give up if it is what you truly know that it is what you want to do. In your statement "I study during lunch breaks and after the school day", there seems to be reason to question whether you have had enough time to study. When I say this I don't mean that you can't study in this mannoer or that you can never find enough time in this manner, but it may mean that you might require a longer duration of study due to the short increments in which you do study. At the age of 25, I am finishing my undergrad and preparing for law. Initially, I studied for 8 hours a day for 2 1/2 months and decided to push back my lsat registration. As a philosophy major, I have discovered that there seems to be something magical about passage of time whereby your logic skills improve (the lsat is not about how much time you have studied solely but the quality of your logic skills you have developed). By having daily exposure to philosophy in many forms I can sense the reinforcement of my logic skills. Therefore, I think that you should

    1) consider schools with night divisions to address your concern about cost-effectiveness. Be confident that you have an edge. Many night division like Georgetown are eager to enroll people with life and work experience.
    2) Make it a goal to take the lsat within a year versus six months. Like I said before it isn't a factor of how many problems you do at which rate, development of a skill takes time. And I bet if you add up the small increments of time you have studied it wouldn't be substantial enough.
    3) Put 15 minutes aside from the lsat every day to read something philosophical, legal, or logical (the steep in logic will reinforce your lsat studies and vice versa), debate with somebody using what you've learned, or watch reocrdings of courtroom proceedings.

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