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tjnal

Taking a year off after graduating to study for LSAT

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Will this look bad on my application? Is this a smart choice to make?

 

 

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Average age for law school is something like 25. Admissions don't care what you do between the time your graduate and the time you apply. Unless you decide to do something like head up a new Rural-provincial branch of a modern Hitler Youth then you should be okay. But for the love of God, don't only study the LSAT. You'll go bonkers. Volunteer, or work, or something.

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It probably won't matter much for your application.

 

I assume that you don't mean you'll be studying LSAT full time for a year? Not that it would impact your application, but that prob wouldn't be super efficient use of time...

Edited by conge

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...I have said this before, but I'm always shocked by how much time people are spending preparing for the LSAT. I studied for a few weeks before writing, and it was a far cry from full time as I was in school and working as well.

 

I appreciate some people need to do it this way because they are overcoming a low diagnostic. But I think the vast majority of students are not planning out these time-intensive, gruelling schedules. I sometimes wonder if this site and other sites skew the perception of how much study is really required. There's got to be an element of one-man-upmanship involved. (Kind of like during exams when everyone is talking about how many hours and outlines and whatever they're putting in to impress everyone else, and a lot of them are just full of it.)

 

Anyway, OP, just posting this to offer a different perspective. Taking a year off to study for the LSAT sounds extreme to me.

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Law schools won't care if you take a year off for any reason at all. But to join the chorus above, while law schools won't care, I at least will think you are fucking nuts.

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Law schools won't care if you take a year off for any reason at all. But to join the chorus above, while law schools won't care, I at least will think you are fucking nuts.

 

I think it more appropriate to suggest someone is e.g. "fucking stupid" (as I did in another thread, albeit receiving a moderator warning) instead of "fucking nuts".

 

And not only because this is mental health week; LSUC even has an event tomorrow.

 

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/mha-2016REG/

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Law schools won't care if you take a year off for any reason at all. But to join the chorus above, while law schools won't care, I at least will think you are fucking nuts.

 

Legit lol'd at this. 

 

@OP: taking a year off is OK. In many respects, it is actually suggested. 

 

Where I think you may be going off-track is the fact that LSAT study seems to be the sole reason for the hiatus. To me this is unhealthy. Do prepare for the LSAT, but try doing something else as well--working, writing, learning or teaching yourself about a topic that may or may not have legal implications. I would say traveling, but I realize this is not within the financial reach of everyone.

 

Don't be afraid of curiosity.

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@epeeist - Not to make light of mental health issues, but I'd actually stick with "nuts" rather than stupid. There's something pathological about studying an entire year for one test. I'm not saying it should lead to a diagnosis, or that it's equivalent to true mental illness, but it's probably somewhere marginal on a spectrum.

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Agree. Totally unnecessary and a waste of time. Arrange your schedule so that you can study for a few months for 10-20 hours a week or so.

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Taking a gap year between your undergraduate studies and law school is a great idea, but for the love of God do something else other than studying for the LSAT the entire time. Work, travel, or relax and spend a few months of the year studying for the test (perhaps even fewer months if you plan to study full-time). Your mental, and perhaps physical, health will thank you later on. 
 

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If you are planning to take an entire year off to write the LSAT a couple of times, I would find somewhere to work or volunteer in a law-related field at the same time. I was not fortunate enough to take a year off of work due to financial reasons, but if you are in a position where you can, that's great! But you will need to be very careful that you don't overdo it on the studying. Your health is important, so make sure you don't allocate 8 hours every day by studying like a mad man. Spend a few hours each day and don't forget to take a day off here and there. With a year of studying time, you can focus each month on mastering one single section and then do several practice tests for that section at the end of the month.  My experience was stressful because I worked like a dog in a law firm from 8-5 and then spent 4 hours after work in an LSAT prep course 3x per week. My advice to you, OP, is to take it slow and pace yourself.

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I think it is actually a fairly smart idea given you are working at the same time and got a low diagnostic. If your diagnostic was 155+, it may not be a smart idea. Heck, I kind of wish I did this instead of the two month LSAT dash.

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I did this for fiancial reasons to save up a bit of money before going back to school but I didn't spend the full year studying. I worked part time while studying for the LSAT and wrote it in October 2015 and again in December 2015. Now I'm working full time, as everyone said above don't spend the entire time studying but i found it helps a lot to just focus on the LSAT. Also, I have a bit of savings before I start law school which helps because law school is expensive.

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You should at least take a diagnostic and see where you are at. A year is more than just excessive. 

 

I think if someone actively needs to study for a year then that candidate is not qualified for law school regardless. 

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Your basing somebody's success in law school based on how long they take to prepare for the LSAT. Not their mark on it but how long they study for. that's the most foolish thing I heard say somebody studies a year and gets 170 I'm sure the must really not be qualified for law school lollolol

Edited by westerner18

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You should at least take a diagnostic and see where you are at. A year is more than just excessive.

 

I think if someone actively needs to study for a year then that candidate is not qualified for law school regardless.

I don't think this is true as a rule. This assumes that there is a sizeable 'natural talent' component to the LSAT and as someone who didn't even do that great on the LSAT, I think that's bullocks. People go through school receiving different exposure to LSAT-like material. I know a guy who did majors in comp sci and philosopy - as you probably guessed, he didn't need much time to study for the LSAT because that's a lethal concoction of logic and reading comprehension.

 

All that said, it may not be strategically prudent to go to law school if you need a year to study. That's a lot of catch up time to build those skills. What's the opportunity cost for you?

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