Monday, September 27, 2010

LSAT Burn

The following post is part of a series from one of our LSAT tutoring clients. You can read about their experiences by clicking on the "Zen Journal" label above.
I’ve got LSAT fever.

This past weekend I was in Oklahoma at my cousin’s wedding. While there, I visited with numerous family members who have, of course, asked me about what I’m up to now that I no longer teach “for America” in the Bronx, NY.

Invariably, after briefly describing my recent adventures in soccer coaching and sports journalism, our discussion turned to law school and what I’ve been doing to get ready.

“Studying hard for the LSAT,” came my sober reply. I always followed that with a simple description of the make-up of the test and the nature of my tutoring with Mr. Bennett.

“So if you pass the test – and I’m sure you will – what law school will you go to?”asked my grandma.

Good question Granny…

“Well,” I began, “my goal is to go to a Top 20 law school, the Top 10 would be nice. I guess my first three choices are Harvard, the University of Chicago, or Stanford.”

“Ooh, those are very good schools,” replied my Granny. “Do you think you can get in?”

Even better question, Granny

You see, I’ve come to realize the answer to that question comes down to the LSAT, and how well I do on it. My undergraduate GPA – 3.94 (with nothing below an A- in four years) – couldn’t realistically get any better. My resume is strong: Teach for America and a Master’s in Education to begin with, plus copious academic and extracurricular accomplishments from undergrad.

Based on those two alone, I make a reasonably strong candidate at any law school. In reality, though, it comes down to one day next month. That day – October 9th, 2010 – is precisely why I caught LSAT fever.

You see, although that one day has very little to do with anything I’ve done in all the days before it (other than the time and money I’m putting in to prepare for the test), it seemingly has very much to do with what comes after it. My LSAT score is the piece of my law school acceptance puzzle. I’ll no doubt get into law school, but only with the right test score can I get into school where I want to.

With 12 days until I step up to take my test, the pressure is on. I find myself taking at least a full test everyday and working on individual reading comp passages and logic games in between. I’m constantly thinking about what I need to do to best prepare myself: long relaxing jogs and walks with my dog; eating lots of fish and other brain food; going to bed early and waking up at 7:00 AM like I will on the day of the test.

For the next two weeks it seems like nothing else matters. Does it really make sense? Should I be focused to the point of obsession and near nervousness on a single test? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I know this: in the world of law school admissions, the LSAT matters. It’s not the whole pie, but it’s the piece I have yet to add. To go to the law school that I want to, I need LSAT success.

The heat is on.