LSAT Diary: Studying, the Army, and Justin Bieber

LSAT Blog LSAT Studying Army Justin Bieber DiaryThis installment of LSAT Diaries comes from Laya, who's taking the June 2011 LSAT.

In this diary, she talks about studying for the LSAT while working in the military, and her habit of studying while listening to Twister Sister and Justin Bieber.

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Please leave Laya some encouragement and advice below in the comments!

Laya's LSAT Diary:

Hello from Kentucky, everyone. It’s the home of the Derby, Mammoth Caves, and some pretty awesome bourbon.

I’m 23 years old and starting a new job that may give me some actual insight into what a law career's like. I'm also trying to give this whole “living together and being married thing” a shot. We’ve been married since October 2010 but we’ve been geographically apart for about three years. He’s currently a 2nd lieutenant in the Army and works 12.5-14.5 hours a day. We’ve (or rather, I’ve) been living in constant fear of a potential deployment. He didn’t have any experience with the military prior to undergrad, but I grew up in a Marine-town. I am (unfortunately) very familiar with deployments and their effects.

We just PCS’ed (fancy military acronym for moved “permanently” to Kentucky) but his unit hasn’t deployed in a year and a half. He should’ve been given orders by now, but I grew up with military brats and military families. Deployments can suddenly appear. In order to keep myself busy and sane, I took a job as a legal assistant with JAG. It’s really interesting work for the most part, though with tax season, I’ve been relegated to military tax law, which has its downsides.

I’ve been looking at law school for about four or five years. I would’ve applied as soon as I finished my undergraduate degree, but I wanted real life experience first, and I also wanted to see if I was even remotely interested in law.

I’ve got some pretty lofty goals regarding law schools, and I’m definitely worried about that because my GPA isn’t the greatest. There’s a very good reason why it’s not, and I’ll be writing an addendum on it, but it’s still not as strong as I know it could have been. The LSAT is a whole different beast: I’m doing pretty strongly in the Reading Comprehension section (the benefit of being a theology major in undergrad), I’ve been doing fairly well at Logic Games and sometimes I do really well on the Logical Reasoning. Other times, I fail miserably at the Logical Reasoning.

I wish I could classify it into sections, but honestly, it seems like I get questions wrong at random. The Sufficient/Necessary Assumptions questions are pretty much the only things where I’m consistently bad, and I’m pretty much at my wits’ end. It’s not even the length of time that it takes to do the questions, because I haven’t been doing anything quickly! In fact, I’ve been going at a snail’s pace for about two months now.

Even though I’ve been going really slowly, I’ve done all right at studying for long periods of time, which surprises me. It helps that I’m pretty much alone all day, so really only a couple of things can distract me: my obese hamster, watching Glee (don’t judge), and my awesome study soundtrack. I know some people like listening to soothing music and/or indie music while they study. That, however, is not me: Twisted Sister, Kiss, and occasional random 80s one-hit wonders rule my playlist.

When I feel particularly ambitious, I put some terribly catchy Top 100 songs on it. It seems bizarre, but I swear the logic works. If you can listen to Justin Bieber and Twisted Sister for three hours straight and not lose focus, you can do pretty much anything. The day I did that, I ended up scoring the best I’ve ever done on an LSAT- only two wrong. Having said that, sometimes the power of the Biebs is too much for me, and I just have to dance. Anyone know the chances of a school band/orchestra rehearsing Twisted Sister and Justin Bieber while I take the LSAT?

Once the dance parties have finished though, I’m back to the books. I wish I could say that it was a different way of thinking to me, but it’s not. I’ve taken Logic classes for my undergraduate major. I’m actually a really logical person. This is going to sound strange, but I genuinely like studying for the LSAT.

I’m thinking about compiling a binder of every single problem I get wrong, and then organizing them by subject/subcategory, and then going over each problem until I know why I got it wrong, and what the right answer should be. After that, I may write out the explanations. I’m not taking the LSAT until October, but I still want to go over the Reading Comprehension and the Logic Games section, in addition to the LR scouring. Is that enough time? Thoughts? Even better ideas?

If anyone has any advice, feel free to comment, or if you just want to commiserate with me. I’ll try to keep everyone updated.

Photo by 22933113@N07


  1. i thought u were givin in june...well i just studied 2 weeks back n plannin to give in june lets see wat happens...

  2. I think compiling the folder is a great idea! I'm using the computer and OneNote to do the same! I'm taking the June LSAT with hopes I won't have to retake in October!