uscprelaw

What to do While Waiting for your LSAT Score

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Congratulations on getting that pesky LSAT out of the way!  You are that much closer to completing your law school application.  In the mean time, here are a few things you can do while you wait for your LSAT score:

  1. Write your personal statement.  You finally have enough time to sit down and write your personal statement.  You may think this will be a breeze after the hours and hours your have invested into studying for the LSAT.  Don’t wait last minute to get your personal statement done.  You will want as many people as possible to read it!  Don’t forget to use the Pre-Law Advisement Office document review service.  Due to high demand, the review takes 7-10 business days to get a full response.  If you have no idea what to write about, go to one of the three Personal Statement workshops being held the next two week: RSVP here.
  2. Ask for your letters of recommendation.  It is common courtesy to give your recommender at least 2 weeks to complete a letter of recommendation.  It may even take your professor/employer longer.  Give your recommender ample time to write the best letter of recommendation possible.  Don’t forget to give them the documents prepared by the Pre-Law Advisement Office to aid them with a law school specific letter: (a) Letter to recommenders (b) Guidelines for law school recommendations.
  3. RELAX.  The most stressful part of preparing your application is behind you.  You have 3 weeks of ignorant bliss.  Don’t worry about your score.   Hang out with the friends and family you have been neglecting the past few months.  Focus on keeping your GPA at its highest and on the relief of no longer having the LSAT looming over you!

Hope this helps you on your journey to law school!  If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us at prelaw@usc.edu.  We are here for you every step of the way, and want you to succeed!

Fight On!

Pre-Law Advisement Team

Waitlisted… Now What?

In #INTHEKNOW, PreLaw Blog on April 6, 2016 at 10:32 am

First off, a waitlist is NOT a rejection. Many students get in off the waitlist and there has been a recent trend in higher numbers of students being waitlisted (and likewise being pulled from the waitlist). Things to keep in mind if you have been waitlisted:

  • Is this a school you really want to attend? If not, don’t waste your time and don’t waste the school’s time by remaining on the waitlist. If you have been waitlisted at your one of your top schools for which you would drop everything to attend, then it is worth staying on the waitlist to show your continued interest. However, if you have no intention on attending the school if you were accepted, then it is better to remove yourself from the waitlist since you will be taking another applicant’s spot on the list. Don’t just remain on the waitlist in the hopes of being accepted just to say that you were accepted at the school. Be considerate of other applicants and truly reflect on your interest in the school at this point.
  • What you can do to show continued interest. If you are waitlist at one of your top schools, make sure to follow the instructions the school provides you exactly. The school will likely require you to write a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI). If this is required of you, explain to the school about why you especially want to go to attend and what makes you want to receive a J.D. from that specific school! Now is the time to be as school-specific as possible, so that you can show the school that you don’t want to just go to law school generally, but that you want to go to their school. If you are having a hard time expressing why you want to attend that specific school, then you might not really want to attend that school in the end. It can be beneficial to send additional Letters of Recommendation, resume updates, or emails of continued interest, but make sure you are giving them something different and/or new than what they already have. Do not overload the admissions office with pesky daily emails and mailings, which might hurt, rather that advance your chances of being accepted off the waitlist.
  • Consider this a “second bite at the apple.” Admission offices do not want to waste time on an applicant that has not shown that they want to attend that school; they want to offer as few offers as possible in order to fill a seat. Do not worry about why you are on the list but what you can do to get accepted off of it.  The “second bite” is showing the admissions office that you actually want to be there – allow them to determine that there is a high likelihood that you would accept their offer. Therefore, as previously mentioned, if you would not accept an offer, do not waste the school’s time.
  • The nature of the school’s waitlist. Does the school have a preferred waitlist or not? Some schools rank their waitlist and may tell candidates where they stand. If this is the case, if is a fair question to ask how deep they went into their waitlist from the previous year. You have a right to know the likelihood of being accepted off the waitlist, but, that being said, every admission cycle is different. Most schools, however, do not rank their waitlist. Look at the school’s yield range, if it is lower they will likely pull from their waitlist.
  • Stay positive and be patient! Hearing back from a school when you are waitlisted can be a lengthy process and can be very stressful, but stay positive and remain patient during this process!

If you have any questions feel free to email us at prelaw@usc.edu

What to Consider When Choosing a LSAT Prep Course

In Uncategorized on March 9, 2016 at 10:21 am

Though some students choose to self-study for the LSAT, there are many benefits in taking a LSAT prep course.  But what is the difference between each course and the companies that offer them? Here are some of the major considerations you should think about when researching and deciding on the LSAT prep course:

  1. Real LSAT Questions. Make sure the company you choose offers real LSAT questions.  Some companies will “create” their own questions to teach you the concepts, but a good LSAT Prep Company will provide the equivalent of  10 real practice LSAT exams to use throughout your course. The test questions may be provided in the LSAT test format (categorized by Logical Reasoning, Logic Games, and Reading Comprehension) or divided into the question types (such as Sufficient/Necessary Conditions).  Check the Prep Company’s website to make sure the materials used in the courses have licensed LSAT questions.
  2. Timed Mock LSATs.  LSAT prep courses will provided a way for you to track your progress. The best way to do this, however, is through taking a fully-timed simulated LSAT test. Some courses will ask you to take the test as “homework” to discuss at the next class, but this decreases the accuracy of your progress if you do not take the LSAT under timed conditions.  Classes that have built-in multiple timed LSAT practice exams are the most accurate in tracking your improvement.
  3. Live Course or Online Course.  Though online courses are convenient and less expensive, they also tend to be less effective than live courses.  In a live course, you have the ability to raise your hand and get an immediate response to your questions.  The nature of online courses makes it more likely that you will need to email you instructor after a session to get to the bottom of your confusion. Further, there is less one-on-one time with the instructor. Check the Test Prep Company’s website to figure out what type of class offering they have.
  4. Instructor rating. Some test prep companies require only a 80th percentile score (160s) and others require 99th (170s).  Some instructors have not even taken the LSAT or attended law school!  Be aware of the different requirements and check the Test Prep Company’s website to ensure the Instructor has scored in the range you are hoping to achieve.
  5. Student support. It is extremely important to see what resources are available beside the in-class sessions.  Does the Instructor have office hours after class?  Is a phone number provided, or just an email?  Some prep companies will also give you free access to supplemental materials with extended explanations if you are struggling in a certain area.

Other considerations are: class size, repeat policy, and student reviews (or a successful track record).

If you are still unsure if a LSAT prep course is for you, please stop by the Advising Office and check out our library of LSAT Prep Books.  Our library has a plethora of materials to familiarize you with the LSAT and help you decide if a prep course is right for you.

Prep Companies USC students have used in the past:
Blueprint:  www.blueprintprep.com
Kaplan:  www.kaptest.com
Princeton Review:  www.princetonreview.com/law/testprep
TestMasters:  www.testmasters.net
Get Prepped:  www.getprepped.com
PowerScore:  www.powerscore.com
ScoreItUp:  www.scoreitup.comFoxLSAT: https://www.foxlsat.com/