Challenge Yourself: Are You Ready For Law School?

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One of the biggest questions that I help clients answer on a regular basis is one of the most basic: are they ready for law school? If you’re thinking about law school, here are three challenges to give yourself to help make this incredibly important decision.

1: Talk to 3 Lawyers

Law school isn’t an end goal in and of itself. Law school is the major step in the process of becoming a lawyer. So, first and foremost, take the initiative to step up and talk to at least three lawyers. Possible targets include corporate counsel at your workplace, friends of friends, family friends, or someone who hangs out at your local coffee shop.

There are two big reasons you should challenge yourself to do this. First, because actually talking to the individuals who have been to law school and who have lived a life and career as a lawyer will help you make good decisions about your future, and will help you determine whether it’s really the future you see for yourself. You can’t rely on TV shows and disgruntled bloggers when making such an important decision.

Second, if you are not willing to take the initiative to actually contact three lawyers, then it might be telling about how committed you really are to going to law school. You may want to re-think your decision. Applying to law school, attending law school, and practicing law all require taking initiative, even when you are not entirely comfortable doing so. Getting your first job during law school – and out of law school – will require networking. There’s no time like the present to get started. It takes practice!

2: Make Investment Decisions

Law school is an investment, plain and simple. It’s not cheap, quick, or easy. Law school can, however, be worth the investment, if you’re willing to do your best to make it work. You need to take a very close look at the financial and time investments that you are willing and able to make. Be realistic, especially if you’ve already been out of school for several years. Where will you be in three or four years? Wanting to buy a house, get married, have a family? Will your student loan debt allow for that? Will your starting salary as a lawyer? Don’t just assume everything will work out – but if you decide it’s the right path for you, commit to making the best decisions regarding getting into a law school that will allow you to reach your goals.

3: Be Willing To Study

Law school means long hours of studying. You, however, have a golden opportunity to make sure that you’re ready for this kind of studying. The first test? The LSAT. You need to be willing to make your LSAT prep efforts your major hobby. You need to be able to invest at least 3 months of 20+ hours per week purely in LSAT preparation. If you cannot do that, then you need to be able to invest 6 months of 10+ hours a week in prep. If you’re not naturally brilliant at standardized tests, you may need even more time to reach the score that best displays your aptitude and will open the doors to the law schools you most hope to attend.

LSAT prep is also your preparation for studying in law school, and then studying for the bar examination. The 3 month / 6 month preparation time for the LSAT will give you a taste of the dedication necessary. This could mean that you start studying for the LSAT and then decide that law school isn’t for you – and that’s OK. Better to figure it out before you invest a lot of time, money, and emotional energy in law school applications and law school itself.

Be 80% Sure

Life happens, and being 100% sure is not always possible. However, before you start putting time and money into law school applications, you should be at least 80% sure that law school is the next step you want to take in your life. You want to be able to give your best effort to your application process, and being sure is the prerequisite to putting in that effort.

11 thoughts on “Challenge Yourself: Are You Ready For Law School?

  1. Great tips and I want to work with this attorney. I have left several messages and I am not receiving a response. Does she only work with a certain LSAT level clientele? Thats not fair. People of lower LSATs need your help as well.

  2. Do you only work with certain LSAT scores? You know, so that the lower LSAT scorers do not hurt your success rate? Afterall the low LSATs are much more difficult to get in. Get low LSATers in and and that is true law school admission help. Once I told you my LSAT score you have not responded to me. That makes me wonder…

    • Hi Ashli,
      I don’t see that I received any messages from you in my email. However, the answer is that I only take clients whom I feel I can help. I take it very seriously that working with me is an investment people are making in their future, and I want to take clients whom I feel have potential to succeed. So, yes, it’s true that if I feel someone’s LSAT score and other qualifications make it very unlikely they will get into law school (or a reputable law school), then I do not take them on.

  3. Hi Ann,

    I finally finished my undergrad in August 2014 with a GPA in the range of 2.5-3.0. My LSAT scores are horrible at 142 & 140. I have not applied to any schools yet, but plan on doing so for the upcoming term. I want to get your insight on the likelihood of me being admitted or not. I do have a strong work history, as well as volunteer experience. I have been a legal assistant/paralegal since I was 18 and am now 25, and have spent my spare time volunteering to assist those in need. What are your thoughts?

    • Hi Vang,
      I think you’re going to have a hard time getting into law school. Please do your research about any law school that admits you with these numbers to be sure it’s a wise investment.

  4. I have been a policeman for 18 years and have often thought of attending law school to enhance my skills in my profession, and one day to work as an attorney after retirement. Between court time during the day and the police job at night i have had no time to give this serious consideration until now.
    I am no longer a policeman due to a job related injury. I I m very seriously considering law school so much so that I ve thought about contacting an attorney that i haven’t seen in a while for advice, and someone at the law school near me. There would have been no considering and i would have already taken the LSAT s , however there are BIG issues for me. 1.I am a horrible test taker; i know my LSAT ‘s will be a setback and the bar, who knows. 2. Concentration . If its criminal law I can see myself glued to the class assignments and readings, if not i lose concentration easily, and almost like i can’t even help it (ADD) for all i know Maybe aderal can be a miracle to help me with the LSAT and boring studies such as contract law, real estate law etc.
    Thanks, your advice would be appreciated

    • Hi Ron, Please forgive the delay in responding to blog posts.
      I think that until you start studying for the LSAT (and perhaps a medical practitioner needs to talk with you about the ADD options/strategies), you won’t know whether you’ll be in consideration at the local law school.

  5. Blessing Adeyeye on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Is it possible to transfer from Touro Law with a 3.9 to Brooklyn Law, NYU, Columbia? Will top law firms still consider my first year grades although they were taken at Touro? Can I graduate with honors at any of these Law schools I transfer to? Thank you for your advice.

    • Blessing Adeyeye, It’s possible to transfer, yes, and the fact that your 1L year was at Touro will absolutely be considered. About the policies re: graduating with honors, you’ll need to check with individual schools.

  6. William on said:

    Hi Ann,

    First of all, I just want to start by saying thanks for taking time out of your day to answer questions. I’ve been through several of your other blog posts and it’s obvious you put in a lot of time and thought responding to people.

    I just received my results for the October LSAT and scored a 159. My UGPA is 4.0; however, it is from an online university and I realize this won’t carry as much weight as if it had come from a traditional “brick and mortar” institution.

    I am looking at University of Denver, University of Colorado, Arizona State, University of Arizona, and the University of North Carolina. After researching these schools, my LSAT falls in the 25/75 range and my UGPA puts me well above, but again, it is from an online school.

    I have some soft factors to add to my application as well. By the time I apply, I will have retired from the military after 20 years of service (which is the reason I completed my undergrad online). I also have a master’s degree in public administration (also online) with a 4.0 GPA.

    How much do you think an online degree will negatively affect me? When doing future research, should I modify my search criteria? For example, when comparing my GPA to their median GPA, should I use a 3.5 or 3.0 instead?

    • Thanks for the kind words, William. I do my best!
      I think if you provide your reasons for doing your degree online, it will make sense to the schools and perhaps add maturity and pragmatism and other attributes to your application. Don’t alter your schools list too terribly much….

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