CM Funk wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:47 pm
Hey, everybody. Long-time listener, first-time caller. . .er, poster.
A little bit about me. . .AD USAF MSgt, hit 20 years TIS back in May, current career field not connected in any way, shape, or form to the legal profession. Was planning on staying in for a couple more years, but I'm getting more curious about things and want to see when I need to start doing what I need to do.
A couple of questions:
1) I got my Bachelor's back in 2013 using just Tuition Assistance. Haven't touched any GI Bill funds because I was planning on using it when I got out for this endeavor. I got my degree from an online school because it was the easiest way to go about it. Is that going to count against me in any way?
2) Is there a good timeline for following for when you're getting ready to get out and start going to school? Like when do you start prepping for the LSAT, when do you take the LSAT, that sort of thing.
I'm sure I'll have plenty of other questions, but that's what I can think of for now.
Thanks in advance to anyone that can provide any insight!
Cosign the online school thing. I will receive my degree from an online program at a regionally accredited school in February and I'm headed to T-14 next year. In a vacuum, yeah, it certainly helps to have name brand on your degree as the school can put it in their class profile brochures, but the thing that really matters are your grades from that degree. I have a ~4.0 from 76 hours of my degree program online and a mid 170s LSAT. Because of foolish schooling I did 15 years ago that only got my GPA up to a 3.1. Still, that proved sufficient in the end.
As far as timelines are concerned I decided that if I was going to be a lawyer then I wasn't going to set myself up for failure by going to a school with poor employment outcomes. I saw a friend do it, he graduated last year, and he's struggling/bitter/negative. I didn't want to end up like that. Also I have a wife so if she was going to follow me somewhere it needed to be worthwhile.
With that said, I started studying for the LSAT in September, fully two years before I was set to apply for law school. I didn't go crazy. Took an intro diag (low 150s) bought the intro 7Sage and really studied hard for about 1 or 2 hours every day. I viewed it like PT. It may suck getting started but once you're on a roll it suddenly feels weird to miss a day. I definitely feel like the discipline I learned to stay on task in the military helped me study. I was in the low 160s after about 6 weeks (mainly raising my LG score ten points and LR a few here or there). Once I started learning what the test was REALLY asking in LR and RC I got the next five points or so. I plateaued pretty hard for about a month around 167-168 and was pretty frustrated. I simply went back and questioned everything I THOUGHT I knew and found some holes. I probably could've saved time with a reputable tutor at that point but I was enjoying doing it myself so I did. I ended up upgrading 7Sage and spent a LOT of time on each question I missed until I found the "a-ha" moment as to both why my answer was wrong and why the correct answer was right. I also invested in a few books about my mental state. I highly recommend "Mindset" by Carol Dweck. I had tentatively signed up to take the Feb LSAT, five months after I started studying, but was going to withdraw if I didn't get to my goal score. Once I was breaking 170 I figured there was no point in rescheduling. My timing worked out pretty well and I was in my range on actual test day. I DID do every question from every book from test 42-81 before test day, almost all under timed conditions. I felt super prepared and knocked it out in one go.
I also hired a very reputable admissions consultant 9 months in advance of my cycle. I did it mainly for peace of mind - I didn't want to look back on my app cycle and ask "well, could I have done that better?" My consultant was an absolute godsend. I had to write multiple addenda for C&F from incidents over a decade old. Furthermore, my PS would've been far worse without her help. Also, she talked me in to writing a DS based on something I wrote about in some of our correspondence. I am a white male and I would've never considered writing a DS without her prodding. I almost didn't do it even after the fact. But now, as I look back on my apps, I'm glad I did. She got me thinking along the lines of instead of trying to categorize myself as a minority of some specific type to focus on how my experiences contribute to the incoming class. As military folks we are already "of type". However, we're not all the same. For one, you and I are both enlisted and much older than most vets who apply. I had a few other identifiable things in my career that helped me stand out as well. I highlighted them. My materials were absolutely on point by the day apps opened.
A final note: If you are planning on using your GI Bill you should leverage it in your apps. Certainly don't boast or be an idiot, but you earned that benefit. And if you're planning on using it don't leave any ambiguity. View it from their perspective, as an unambiguous GI Bill applicant at a public school you are guaranteed tuition payments that, in this world where the full freight buyers are paying for the full ride goers, hold extant value in this process. It's win/win for you and the school. Don't shy away from communicating that clearly. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.
Any other questions we're here and will be.