LSAT Diary: LSAT Studying With A Child (Part 2)

LSAT Blog LSAT Diary LSAT Studying With A Child (Part 2)
This is part 2 of Amy's LSAT Diary. She's studying for the LSAT while taking care of a child with a developmental disability.

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Thanks to Amy for sharing her story, and please leave her some encouragement and advice!


Getting up early is not really an option for me. I try to get up early anyway to do yoga, but when I get up in the morning, Audric is right on my heels. So, the best time for me to study is when he goes to bed at night. And, I have to be next to him until he falls asleep, so it’s either on the couch (when he falls asleep later) or in bed (where I’m in danger of falling asleep). For the last week, I’ve been staying up as late as 2:30 to get through the day’s problems in the study guide. My brain, surprisingly, is functioning. It’s the dog that poses a problem for me. When Audric goes to sleep, she gets a second wind and wants to play. So, to solve that issue, I’ll go on the porch until I can’t take any more mosquito bites. They seem immune to OFF spray.

I study in quiet rooms and noisy rooms. I’m not always sitting when I study, either. Audric has this thing where he likes to put me in a room (bedroom, bathroom) and close the door. I study while he’s doing this. I will carry my papers with me. He will come and put me in a different room. This can go on for a while, though I’ve never actually timed it. I changed my hours at my school. At the end of last year, Audric had issues with daycare. When I put him on the bus, they complained that he was too disruptive, so I went part time. So, I take him to school and pick him up. I get off at 1:30 and go straight to McDonald’s. I get to McD’s about 1:40 and sit there until 3. Then, I drive to his school and work on a problem from 3:15 until he comes to the car (10 minutes).

I know my time is interrupted a lot, but in some ways, I think it helps me to think, remember, focus, and work through the distractions. When it is quiet, I just appreciate it all the more and I naturally feel the pressure of time because my time has always been limited. When I have quiet time, I feel the most pressure. Audric is never gone that long or often. He does spend time with his dad for weekends at a time, so I’ll be studying all of this weekend and I’m rather excited about it. I am always aware of my alone time and try to be as efficient as possible. I do turn my phone off and only look at the Logic Games videos when I’m checking the answers (except once when I checked my bank account). Although, I was distracted Sunday when I saw that Dirty Dancing was coming on in the middle of my allocated study time. I was good though. I made myself a deal, that if I get the score I want, I would buy myself the movie on iTunes. I’ve always had a crush on Patrick Swayze.

As soon as I downloaded the study guide, I went to the library and found the preptests 19-38. I checked it out and immediately started making multiple copies of day 1. I started a day early of studying, trying to buy me some time if I fell asleep too early one night or was totally out of it one day, I wouldn’t be so far behind. I also found preptest 54-56 in a used book store for a $1.00 each. This was a while ago that I found these. I’ve been studying off and on for my LSAT ever since I bombed the first try about 12 years ago. So, the ambition of studying full time and taking it in October doesn’t feel as crazy as it sounds. I do know that if I don’t feel comfortable or ready, I will wait until I feel ready.

I have a hard time with timed schedules. So, I can’t plan to give myself 8:00AM until 11:45 AM –study, then 11:45 until 12:30- lunch. I do that at work, but not for my personal time. I don’t have that kind of minute to minute discipline, but I’m really efficient and picky about my time. I multi-task. I walk the dog twice a day. When I do, I make this is my mental break from studying. During this time, I mentally pump myself up. I visualize my score. I visualize myself opening up my acceptance letter to my dream law school. I visualize what I am doing with my degree. I know exactly what I want to study. I want to concentrate in special education and disability law.

I’m not in a relationship, so this is perfect timing to be focused on the LSAT and not be distracted. Being a parent of a child living with a developmental disability is mentally and physically challenging (and exhausting). It is naturally isolating, too. Sometimes, Audric doesn’t cooperate, so we stay home. Other times, the other child doesn’t want to play. It’s tough to coordinate. Suffice it to say, we don’t go out often. I don’t have many friends, so I’m not neglecting anyone.

Another motivator for me was to work on my personal statement. I finally got a draft I feel good about and when I need a mental break from studying, I read my personal statement to get me motivated again. It really helps, plus I can revise as necessary. I think my biggest challenge will be coming up with logic reasoning and reading comprehension sections.

I took a skillful teacher training course last summer. One of the things I learned was that you shouldn’t say, “Good luck” to someone. Instead, you should say something like, “You will succeed because you put effort into it.” Basically, “luck” is out of your control and students don’t try and/or keep trying because they expect it is something they have or don’t have.

But, what you want, i.e. success, is actually, within your control and when students realize that they have control over their success, they will put forth the effort and not give up. It’s all part of the process, just thinking about how far I’ve come to where I am and the place I want to be and the LSAT is just a step in the process. Depending on perspective, it can be a major step in that process. I try not to get my hopes trampled on because of my low GPA. I’d like to think I’ve redeemed myself with my second bachelor’s, e.g. higher GPA (grading scale was pass/fail), but it’s harder to say than do. I do know that when I’m in the zone like I am now, I know I will be in law school next fall, so for me, I’d like to think of the LSAT as being a small step in the process. Now, I must get my study materials ready for day 5.

P.S. Steve, I love your blog, videos, and study plan. I’d be totally lost without you!

Photo by bobaubuchon


  1. Hey your commitment is impressive.. And the fact that you can study for the LSAT, multi-task, while caring for your child, only proves that you will be an awesome lawyer. I'm a firm believer that you will be able to handle more than the average professional and will be incredibly sucessful in all that you do! Good job! From another mother studying for the LSAT


  2. Thanks so much, Shannon! That means a lot...A LOT!

  3. "You will succeed because you put effort into it" ... Luck is for the schmucks that don't prepare. People that succeed do so by preparation and careful planning. Piss on "luck," you will do great because you'll be ready.

  4. From one mother to another, You are inspiring me to too to keep pressing on.