This is part II of my "how to do law school tutorial". It is for those thinking about going to law school, have been to law school, and/or who know people in or who have been to law school.
Here we go:
In this stage of your decision-making process, you are gathering your information. You are learning about the LSAT, researching schools, joining discussion boards, and reading blogs about law school.
Let's go through these one-by-one:
a) You will learn that you will have to prepare for and take the LSAT, which is supposedly "the single strongest numerical predictor of law school success." Well, that's what the LSAT testing company wants you to think. But I, think that statement is arguable. I also think that doing well in law school doesn't necessarily mean you will be a good lawyer. Good test-takers are not necessarily moral, ethical, or personable people. They may not be able to relate to their clients, or make them feel comfortable, or have a good court-room persona, or be an engaging public speaker, or be able to negotiate with real human beings. But I digress, for now.
What the LSAT is for sure, however, is the single strongest numerical predictor of whether you'll be admitted a highly ranked school.
All that other stuff in your application? Doesn't matter. Your 2 years in the Peace Corps in Africa? Doesn't matter. Your degree in biochemistry from Princeton? Doesn't matter. That you're the first person in your family to go to college? Doesn't matter. You can throw all that stuff in the garbage can. You could write the first 2 pages of Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows on your why-I-want-to-go-to-law-school essay and as long as you have a decent LSAT you'll get in. So study up buck-a-roo!
b) You probably want to go to the highest-ranked school that you can get into. Well, you at least want to go to a "First-Tier" and definitely not a "Third-Tier," and let's just face it, only the loserest losers of mc-loserton go to "Fourth-Tier" schools. Again, the rankings are where the whole law-school-as-high-school thing beings to rear its zit-faced head. "My school is better than your school," and our faculty-student ration is lower than theirs, but our average LSAT is 159 and theirs is 161, and I can piss farther than him, and so on.
But really, you read the exact. same. cases. at Harvard Law that you do at any other law school. The only difference is that if you go to a "Top Ten" school most of your first-year professors are old white guys from Ivy League Law Schools. Oh wait, that's not a difference. That's a similarity between most law schools.
c) When I was contemplating law school, I used to look at the Princeton Review discussion board- thingy. I don't know if it still exists. If it does, you should seek it out as it is frequented by a mysteriously large amount of people with 170/3.9 people (that's people who scored 170 on the LSAT and who had 3.9 grade-point-averages at undergrads), who all went to Ivy League undergrads, are applying only to "Top Tens" and despite not yet attending law school, already knew everything about it. Well, they know everything about a school's rankings. And that's all that really matters, isn't it? And, whenever they post comments on this board, they also post their LSAT/GPA stats for everyone to see. Why? I guess some people just need validation over made-up stats on an anonymous message board.
These people will also then get into debates about things like affirmative action, women's rights, and gay marraige, where, on this anonymous discussion board, they will show their true colors by spouting all kinds of racist/sexist/homophobic opinions that they secretly hold and would never say in, say, a law school classroom or a court of law. And then, many of these people will eventually go to law school, sit for the bar exam, and take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the USA.
d) There are a lot of blogs written by people in law school. I didn't have time to write blogs when I was in law school. I was too busy diligently studying, having a panic attacks, and drinking. Seriously though, blogs are probably the single best predictor of what your life will be like in law school. Seek them out.
Until next time.