Thursday, June 14, 2007

No Law School For You

Ok. So, I want to go to law school. I am reasonably bright and articulate, and like Al Sharpton I bathe every day. I took the LSAT this past Monday, and feel that I did pretty well. Things are looking up.

However, I have made the error of beginning to frequent a particular message board for current and prospective law students. I won't name the board, but I do get the impression they are all on LSD. Anyway, in the LSAT Prep forum, I see some of the most ridiculous questions posed.

Someone posted that he was unable to actually identify arguments in the logical reasoning sections. Let me fill you in here... every single stimulus in the logical reasoning section is an argument! All of them. That's the point. You are asked questions based on these arguments. But this kid (who I guarantee thinks he is entitled to a 170+ minimum) claims that he can't "see" an argument when you have three conditional statements followed by a fourth sentence starting with the word "therefore."

And this is just one sample. There are examples of children who think that they want to (and can) be lawyers, and think they can succeed in law school, who can not grasp even the most basic concepts of logic. One discussion revolved around creating a five digit code from all of the numbers {0, 1, 2, 3, 4} in which the second digit is exactly double that of the first. Guess what? That excludes zero (0) in the leading position, now doesn't it? Well, not if you are one of the many morons who can't grasp that. Clue: if you can't figure out why not, you do NOT belong in law school. Just don't try. You will make it that much worse for the rest of us.

The LSAT is supposedly a very good predictor of first year success in law school. So it kills me when these kids claim that they are spending between 20 and 30 hours a week preparing for it. If you invest hundreds if not thousands of hours of your life preparing to take a standardized test, and succeed in bringing up your mediocre score to something that accidentally gets you into a T1 or T2 school, how are you possibly going to succeed in law school? You can't invest all of those hundreds of prep hours into every one of your classes. All you did was increase your bubble sheet skills; you likely didn't learn any more logic, despite the fact that you think you have. Socra-kitten will have fun ripping you apart in the first week or so.

Why does everyone think that they can or should go to law school? There is already an abundance of bad lawyers; don't contribute to the problem. Don't obsess about the LSAT, don't send out 40 applications hoping for at least one or two wait-lists; just stop. No law school for you.


At 12:35 PM, June 18, 2007 , Blogger Nick Milne said...

Why does everyone think that they can or should go to law school?

I think neither that I can nor should go to law school.


At 10:33 AM, September 19, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be such a snob. Good for you if you didn't have to prepare for the 170+ that you received on your LSAT. But don't berate those who know how competitive the application process is and choose to do everything they can to squeeze every last point out of themselves. Why does it matter to you? Are they a threat?

I know a (barely)functioning alcholic and a genius with a 1,000 dollar a week coke habit who both scored in the 99th percentile on their LSAT's. Both Ivy leaguers that I know from undergard. Their scores don't mean that they have any more a right to go to law school than those struggling with mediocre scores and thye CERTAINLY do not mean that they will become great lawyers. There is so much more to it than the LSAT projection of how they will cope in their first year of law school.

Stop discouraging people. Yeah, there are plenty of hopefuls who should probably find other career paths to pursue. But there are also many great lawyers who rose from mediocre test scores. So get over yourself, get over your score. Let the first year of law school tell the story. After that, the score isn't indicative of anything anymore.

At 12:43 AM, October 28, 2007 , Blogger Vernunft said...

I think the thing was, and you probably didn't understand this because of your awful logic and reading comprehension skills (enjoying that 140 LSAT score?), people who are bad at the LSAT and spend hundreds of hours preparing are not going to raise their scores more than a few points. Maybe five, if they're lucky.

There are a great many lawyers who rose from mediocre test scores. You know what? I bet there for each one of those, there are fifteen awful lawyers who kept working at law school, getting C- after C-, and ended up making $25k being a public defender with $150k in debt from law school. Perhaps, if you're no good at logic and law, you should - and this is crazy! - not go to law school.

There is no indication in the post that this person got a great LSAT score. He's not being a pompous ass because of his score, and that you would attack him for that and not meet the substance of his argument (which is valid whether he got a 120 or a 180, or anything in between) demonstrates that you have tripped over the argumentum ad hominem. Stumbling over easy fallacies like those will probably serve you rather poorly in your legal career, if you're pursuing such. For all I can tell (especially from your comment), you seem better suited to keep my fries piping hot than to argue a case for me.

It's surpassing strange that you should put so much emphasis on the first year of law school. Because, of course, performance in that first year is simply a proxy for future performance in law, just like the LSAT. Many people who got in the top 10% of their class in the first year (and thus made law review) couldn't reason their way out of a paper bag. These people will probably fail clients horribly and will be lucky to get by without being the target of a malpractice suit. Whatever makes a good lawyer is, essentially, a mystery. You criticize one (fairly good) proxy while championing another. That you didn't even understand what you posted is indicative of your irrelevance.

If I ever have no money and need a free lawyer to defend me, I'll call you at the PD's office.


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