Q&A with Law School Expert Ann Levine

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I hope you June LSAT takers survived yesterday’s ordeal and that you’re coming up for air.

In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be doing something new and different – Q&A with Ann Levine. Post a question here and I will answer it in a 60-second YouTube video almost immediately!

Anything is fair game – anything from my books, from this blog, from something you are reading somewhere else about law school, getting into law school, a career in law, etc. Just ask me and I’ll give you my take in 60 seconds or less. All you have to do is post the question in response to this blog post. And there are only a few limitations – it can’t be something specific to your situation. I won’t answer “Do I have a chance of getting into law school X” or something that would not apply to a larger audience.

Pass the word around  – I will answer up to ten questions this way in the next week and I will pick from the best of them!

21 thoughts on “Q&A with Law School Expert Ann Levine

  1. Dru H. on said:

    Ann,

    My first LSAT score last December was much lower than what I was expecting, so I took June’s exam. If after receiving my June LSAT score in a few weeks I am still apprehensive of the likelihood my target schools will accept me, what are your thoughts on taking the LSAT a third time?

    Thanks, Ann

  2. Eduardo on said:

    I am a non-traditional URM, 39 years old applicant , English is not my first language. I came to the United States from South America when I was 27 years old. I have a law degree from my country, but it is considered as an undergraduate degree in the USA. I did all the transcripts process, and per LSAC I hold a Bachelor of Laws.
    Due to political and violence issues I left my country. I was an illegal alien for several years until I obtained legal status. I did all kind of jobs such as construction, meat packer, production, etc. I went to a community college to take ESL courses, I also completed some other courses including English Composition I and II.
    I have four years of experience working in a small law firm as a paralegal and interpreter, and also I hold a Realtor License.
    I took the LSAT twice, I cancelled it the first time and scored 142 the second time.
    I have applied to eight Law Schools considering my numbers: Creighton University, Washburn, Southern Texas, Barry, Faulkner, North Dakota, Valparaiso and St Thomas (Miami). I have received denied letters from the first three Law Schools. It is mid June, and the other five schools are still reviewing my applications since March. Do I still have chances to be admitted at this point in the process? Based on your experience. What do you think they are waiting for to make a final decision? Am I the kind of applicant that you would work with in case I have to re-apply next year?
    Thank you very much.

  3. Dry H. on said:

    Ann,

    Thanks for the advice. Fortunately, none of the excitement you mentioned in your video happened to me on exam day! I had been consistently studying and taking many timed practice exams for the past several months. I consistently scored within 4 points of my target score, which is a 160, during the past few weeks on my practice tests. On that note, I am keeping my LSAT score and praying for the best. I honestly feel I did the best I know how this time around.

    Your video was great and quite helpful in answering my question. Thanks for putting such a personal touch on giving us your advice.

    Dru H.

  4. Dru H. on said:

    Ann,

    Thanks for the great advice. The video response is great and adds such a personal touch to keeping us informed of the right steps to take.

    On that note, I am keeping my score. Before June’s exam, I had been studying diligently and putting in a lot of time on practice tests and understanding why I miss certain questions. I had been keeping within four points of my target score, which is 160, on timed exams, showing improvement in my weaker areas since December’s exam. I truly and confidently believe I have done the best I know how.

    Thanks again, Ann.

  5. Ann,

    How do I know if I’m “diverse enough” to write a diversity statement? A lot of instructions say the diversity statement isn’t limited to race or economic status, but I’m not sure if I’m stretching the limit of diversity (one of my parents emigrated to the US from another country).

    Thanks,
    Jen

    • Jen, here is my test: If the story is more about your father than about you, it’s probably not the right story. If the essay is about the impact on YOU and YOUR identity, then it can be good.

  6. Ann,

    I tried to take a realistic view of my #’s 2.98 LSAC GPA, 163 LSAT. Most of the part time law programs, I am interested in Denver University, Seattle Univerity , Lewis and Clark, to which I believe I have a good chance of being admitted.

    However, for the last 2+ years I have been working in Government Procurement and have earned a Level II Contracting Warrant (licensure in the field). I have very much enjoyed my work and would like to continue in this speciality including working while in Law School. I am particularly interested in focusing on Government procurement law. However, the George Washington is the only law school I have identifed government procurement law academic focus area, and I am unlikely to be admitted with my current GPA and LSAT.

    Is it worth while to study and retake the LSAT in October (I took it without preparation the first time) to have a shot at this school? (Their PT 25%-75% LSAT is 160-167 and GPA is 3.18-3.84.)

    Are you (or anyone else who is reading this) aware of any other law programs with a focus/course work in government procurement law?

    Thanks!

  7. Ann,

    I have for themost part taken a realistic view of my #’s 2.98 LSAC GPA @ a state school and 163 LSAT. Most of the part time law programs, I am interested in Denver University, Seattle Univerity , Lewis and Clark, I belive I have a good chance of being admitted.

    However, for the last 2+ years I have been working in Government Procurement and have earned a Level II Contracting Warrant (licensure in the field). I have very much enjoyed my work and would like to continue in this speciality. I am particularly interested in focusing on Government procurement law. However, the George Washington is the only law school I have identifed government procurement law academic focus area, and I am unlikely to be admitted with my current #.

    Is it worth while to study and retake the LSAT in October (I took it without preparation the first time) to have a shot at this school? (Their PT 25% to 75% LSAT is 160-167 and GPA is 3.18 to 3.84.)

    Are you (or anyone else who is reading this) aware of any other law programs with a focus/course work in government procurement law?

    Thanks!

    • Dru, did you really take the LSAT without prep and get a 163? You have huge potential to improve if that’s the case!
      You learn this kind of thing (govt procurement) on the job… you don’t need a class on it…

  8. Ann-

    First off, thank you for creating this site and for your outstanding advice! I also purchased your book and it was tremendously helpful.

    I have a seat deposit down at a good law school for Fall 2012, but I am still on the waitlist at several others that are of strong interest. It is possible that I would receive a truly “last second” waitlist offer from one of these other schools. My first student loan disbursement will occur fairly soon; is it still possible to accept a waitlist offer from another school if you have already received your fall student loan disbursement? I am worried that I could get a call from one of the other schools right after the loan money is disbursed to me. Also, the law school where I am currently scheduled to start begins orientation and classes earlier than most schools. This school’s fall classes start before some other law schools even begin their orientation. Can I still accept a waitlist offer from another law school if I have already started the first week of credit classes at the original law school, or is it just too late at that point? All incoming 1L’s at my seat deposit school also have “classes” scheduled during the orientation period, but I am not certain whether those are actual credit classes or just introductory warm-ups that would not have any bearing on my question (are you familiar with “classes” during orientation?) I called the LSAC and they did not know the answer to my questions. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    thanks!!! 🙂

    • Mike, thanks, and so happy the books was helpful.
      Yes, you can transfer after receiving a disbursement. Call the law school’s financial aid office and ask how the details work…..
      This, unfortunately, is WHY your law school has early orientation – to make it harder for you to jump ship. You may lose a certain portion of tuition but it won’t be too late if you really want to move.
      Call your law school and ask what happens during orientation.

  9. Ann,

    Just finished reading your law school admissions book last week. It was great! Thanks so much for posting all this helpful information online. Can you give us a general sense of when it is appropriate to write an addendum regarding a history of low standardized test scores? I took the test twice and got a 156 and 161. I graduated from a top 20 undergrad program with a 3.84, yet got under an 1100 on my SATs.

    I’ve read so many differing opinions on the “I’m a bad test taker” addendum. What is your best piece of advice? Thanks so much.

    • Zach,
      So glad you loved the book – I always love those 5-star reviews if you are so inclined!
      Your 161 doesn’t qualify as a “low” test score. You have to make sure it’s not simply a case of “I wish I’d done better.” If so, then that’s not a very persuasive addendum. It sounds like your LSAT scores exceeded your SAT scores so I’m not sure what argument that would make for you. You did well on the LSAT, you have a good GPA at a good school – apply to reach schools with a strong application and do an LSAT addendum that explains how you raised your score by 5 points through hard work, etc.

  10. Hi Ann,

    Thanks for all your great advice! Would being a varsity athlete in college be an appropriate subject to write about for a diversity statement? I want to take advantage of the opportunity to write more about myself, but I also don’t want to stretch things. I’m trying to decide if I’m better off just submitting my personal statement (which mentions it in passing). I’d greatly appreciate your take on this! Thanks.

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Warren, I can’t provide advice on personal statement topics without knowing a lot more about you; the blog format doesn’t allow for that. If you played sports throughout college, the law schools want to know that. It should be on your resume, and might be appropriate in a personal statement as well.

  11. Linda Johnson on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I am a non traditional prospective law student with a full time job – age 40
    I have been in the healthcare sector for over 10 years and will like to pursue a JD and specialize in “Law and Health Science”. The problem is that the only Law school in my area that offers part time and evening law school does not offer this specialty in their curriculum. I will like to remain in the healthcare sector after I graduate as a counsel due to my experience, so what advise can you give me?

    Thanks

    Linda

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Linda,
      You do not need a specialty to do the kind of law you are interested in. You simply need experience and connections in that field.

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