Every Saturday, from 9-12, we provide proctoring for a previously administered LSAT. LSAT performance benefits from proctored taking of previously administered LSATs for several reasons:
On test-day, nothing should be distracting or require adjustment to a new environment, as nothing should create unnecessary stress or throw you off of your game. We make sure that on test-day, the only thing that you are paying attention to is the problems in front of you. And yes, that means that we make you fill in bubbles during the proctored exam, because you will be filling in bubbles on test-day. So bring a pencil. (We keep plenty, just in case).
There is only one place to go: lsac.org
LSAC (Law School Admission Council) is the maker of the LSAT. In order to register for the LSAT and apply to law school, you must go through them. They are also where you go to buy previously administered tests. Not every prep-book for sale (or commercial class for that matter) uses real LSAT materials, so we recommend that you go straight to the source and get the real deal.
The LSAT is administered four times a year, while law schools take applications once a year. Some law schools use what is called “rolling-admissions” policies, which give an edge to those that submit their applications earlier than later. There is also a psychological basis for why earlier applications may be privileged in general. The first applications not only signal preparedness on the part of the applicant but also take advantage of the fact that their application can be afforded more attention. At the same time, scholarships are being awarded throughout the admissions cycle, and presuming only that the funds to be awarded are limited, it is reasonable to think that both class-seats and the funds available for scholarships dissipate as the cycle progresses. And so we recommend timely applications.
For a timely application, you want to have the following things in order by early fall of the year prior to your intended year of matriculation: letters of recommendation (the number depends on the school, but is usually at least two); LSAT score; university transcripts (including any graduate study); and funds for application fees. Then you go through LSAC, who assemble all these things for you in a streamlined way. It’s relatively paperless, if not painless.
There are many variables to consider when choosing a law school. For example, percent of graduates with a job upon graduation, range of employment opportunities, summer internship opportunities, local and national competitiveness, bar passage rates, size of the alumni network, attrition rates, grading curves, diversity, location, the quality of life over three years, and of course, cost of attendance. Many of these things go overlooked when people define their goals. While we are available to consult with clients in understanding the differences between law schools, a great place to start on your own is LSAC’s website, which has a well-organized database for searching for law schools — and, predicting your chances for admission to any school of your choice.
For example, if you are interested in law schools in Texas, simply go here and click on the link (first in the list) related to ABA-approved law schools.
After a brief disclaimer page, you get to a convenient map of the United States. You then just click on Texas. This pulls up a list of all the law schools in Texas. And just above and to the left there is a button that reads “Apply UGPA/LSAT Filter”, in case you wanted to punch in your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score (real or hypothetical) to see estimated chances of admission to any of the schools in the list.
If you want more details about any school in particular, you can simply click the name of the school and go to a nice overview page. Near the bottom of this page you sometimes find a useful breakdown showing GPA and LSAT scores of applicants and the number of students admitted within categories. For example, both the SMU and UT-Austin overview pages include, at the bottom, such a breakdown. These breakdowns also show application and admission totals. The admission total relates to what is called the “yield rate” of a law school.
The yield rate is the proportion of those granted admission that choose to matriculate. This number is important because it puts into perspective the number of offers of admission that schools usually grant, which is sometimes helpful in estimating chances of admission. The following link shows that even for the most popular law schools (as determined by yield rate), the number of offers greatly exceeds the number of seats: Click here.
For example, SMU made a total of 711 offers of admission. Their last enrollment, however, was 212 people (link). This gives SMU about a 30% yield rate. That is, they award over three times the number of seats than they have to fill. All to say, class size is not the only number relevant to evaluating chances of admission.
That last statement was intended as an extreme understatement. For those wanting to get specific advice on navigating their opportunities, we are here to help. We have extensive knowledge of the lay of the land when it comes to law school admissions and we do not hesitate to crunch some numbers for your benefit.
From UC Berkeley News Center:
Intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley.
The results suggest that training people in reasoning skills – the main focus of LSAT prep courses – can reinforce the brain’s circuits involved in thinking and reasoning and could even up people’s IQ scores.
“The fact that performance on the LSAT can be improved with practice is not new. People know that they can do better on the LSAT, which is why preparation courses exist,” said Allyson Mackey, a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute who led the study. “What we were interested in is whether and how the brain changes as a result of LSAT preparation, which we think is, fundamentally, reasoning training. We wanted to show that the ability to reason is malleable in adults."
The difference in mean LSAT scores between those who did and those who did not take a standard, commercial class-based course is about ... 1 point on the 120-180 LSAT score scale. This is one reason why standard class-based companies do not allow each other to make claims about how they improve scores. Another may be that any such gains are artificial because they make sure that the first test that they have a student sit for gives a low result. (By the way, we only use real LSAT questions so that you know what to actually expect on test-day, and we can ensure the integrity of our performance assessments, on which we rely in making informed decisions about how to structure lesson plans). The best evidence that such class-based programs do not work, however, comes from the fact that the companies know that it makes sense to sue each other in the first place.