Wednesday, October 5, 2011

LSAT Attack

So, for any of you who have been on J.J. LSAT Watch, you've been disappointed this week. Not to worry, I'm here a few days late to catch you up on all the news.

Last week was crunch time before taking the real LSAT on Saturday. So I decided to take a break from blogging about the LSAT and just practice it. And, Practice Week was a bit of a roller coaster, but overall I got better and better as the week progressed.

It didn't help that I had a nasty sore throat and runny nose at the beginning of the week. One test, I was forced to leave blank 16 out of 23 logic games questions. Not good.

But I still managed to score a 156 that day. And, twice I got 162, my personal best. And one of those times, I got 24 out of 26 right on the reading comprehension section! So that was awesome.

Here's charting the practice week's results:

So, Saturday was the big day. I didn't get quite as much sleep as I wanted the day before, but I still felt pretty well. I rode my bike to campus instead of driving or being driven, to get my blood pumping. There I was at the Wilkinson Center, surrounded by other twentysomethings, mostly men, all carrying Ziplock bags with lunch. We filed in and checked in at about 8:20. The test didn't get started until about 8:50.

I've heard some people talk about how intimidating the BYU Testing Center is. They feel pressure from the huge, silent room full of test-takers arranged in rows and columns. Well, I've never felt that at the testing center, but I did feel that at the beginning of the LSAT. And for some reason, the proctor reading the instructions - even though I already knew the instructions and didn't need to be scared by them - added to the atmosphere.

I usually have plenty of leftover time in the logical reasoning and reading comprehension sections, and therefore have the luxury of checking my answers. But I didn't get as much time to do that on the first section. Then, on the analytical reasoning/logic games question, there were a couple I had to guess before running out of time and a few more that I was rushed through.

But, every section after that I felt pretty good about. I think my Practice Week really paid off. I felt about the same as I did while I was taking the practice tests that got me a 162. So, I'm feeling like I got a 162 or above. Of course, people feel great about the LSAT and end up bombing it, and others feel horrible and end up doing amazing. I'll find out my score on October 26 (but I hope earlier).

In the meantime, I can focus on other aspects of applying to law school. The letters of recommendation and evaluations are coming in, and I need to start writing my personal statements and putting the finishing touches on the forms.

Oh, and, here's maybe the part you're the most curious about: with this rough idea of what my LSAT score will be, I've narrowed down my list of schools I'm interested in applying to.

So, if I get around a 162, here's where I'll apply:

Notre Dame
These two are the schools I'm "reaching" for. If I get a 162, I could maybe get into these schools, maybe not.
(For any of you who are thinking, "Why would a Mormon want to go to Notre Dame?" read this: "Two faiths - LDS Church News")

UC Davis
I hadn't thought a lot about this school, but after looking at both law school rankings and the probability of getting into a law school with my GPA and my LSAT score guess, this one seems be where those two lines intersect. (And, it's close to Sacramento, so I can stay close to Jimmer, haha.)

North Carolina
A really good state school, and we've heard a lot of great things about the state of North Carolina. And, except for BYU and Utah, it's the cheapest.

I hadn't really thought of Washington either, until I made this list and realized that Gonzaga and Willamette were the only Pacific Northwest schools on the list, and that I could definitely get into those two schools with even a lower LSAT score. So I thought I should balance that out by finding the highest ranked Pacific Northwest school and including it. (I wanted to include the Pacific Northwest since I'm from Oregon.)

 Arizona State
This is mostly Erin's idea, but I could probably enjoy Arizona if we lived there. See, it's all about compromise! Haha. Erin got the idea from her cousin Cara, whose husband is trying to get into Arizona State. It would be great to live nearby them and go through the law school adventure together. And, I wouldn't mind going to a school named after Sandra Day O'Connor.

To be honest, I feel like I'd rather move out of the state of Utah. Not because I can't stand it here, just because I think I'd be more excited to move somewhere new and have an adventure. (That was part of what made our two months in New York City so amazing. Not just that it was New York, but because it was new for us.) But, you can't argue against the cheap tuition.

Similar to the reasoning behind choosing BYU, although at least moving out of Provo would be something new. It would be more exciting to live outside of Utah, but the in-state tuition is tempting. And, my friend Bert is going to law school there, and it would be fun to hang out with him and his family.

Basically, this is a back-up Texas school in case University of Texas doesn't work out. (Erin's family lives in Houston, in case you didn't know.)

Good schools, but not ranked nearly as high as the rest. Even if I don't get the LSAT score I'm expecting, I have a good chance of getting into either one of these. These are sort of my back-up schools.

I also have other schools to try in case my score is higher or lower than I'm expecting.

Harvard: If I get 170 or higher (And, 'cause, hey, why not?)
Stanford: If I get 168 or higher
Michigan: If I get 168 or higher
Georgetown: If I get 168 or higher
Duke: If I get 166 or higher

What do you guys think?


  1. Congrats on taking the LSAT! It sounds like you were right where I was before going in the for the test. Hopefully you do as you hoped.

    I also applied to UT, UNC, Washington, and ASU. Got rejected from UT and Washington and waitlisted at UNC and ASU.

    So this is where I put a plug in for George Mason because it's a great school in the DC area which is awesome.

    Good luck making a choice! It's a fun process (or dreadful as my wife prefers to say). :-)

  2. My analysis is based on the coolness of the states and not the schools at all. I would say Baylor or Texas because who wouldn't live in a state when there is no snow and all everyone talks about is beer and football and UC Davis because I love california. GOOD LUCK!!


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