maarmie's musings

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Law school update

With a little less than five weeks until the LSAT, I have plenty of studying to do. I got a lot done last week, but my steam petered out this week. Instead of studying, I spent my time adding a couch to my office and rearranging the rest of the furniture there to make room for it; reading other books (excuse: These will be due soon, so I better get them out of the way); hanging out with Michael; and sleeping. The Princeton Review advanced logic skills guide is kicking my ass, and I'm worried that I won't do well on the actual test. On the upside, my book of 10 previous REAL LSAT tests arrived as well as an addition one: the actual June 2006 LSAT just administered - along with the correct answers. I haven't looked it over yet, though, because I wanted to learn more before I tackle the real thing. I also don't want to get thoroughly discouraged until the week directly before the exam. That way, I can spend my last week crying and wishing for death, wetting my bed and drinking lots of alcohol to get my mind off my impending doom.

On the upside, here is a list of things I HAVE accomplished:

Transcripts: FSU and St. Petersburg College - check

Recommendation letters: Three of my four recommenders have copies of my resume and a three-page essay on what makes a good law school recommendation letter. The fourth recommender will hopefully receive the packet this weekend. All have or will be given a directive to have the letter completed and mailed by mid to late October.

Criminal/driving record check: I paid $10 to get a copy of my traffic infractions e-mailed to me and checked the public records in Leon and Pinellas counties to see how many traffic tickets I've had. I checked to see how much the tickets were so I can classify them as "major" or "minor." Only "major" ones have to be disclosed, but every school has a different definition for "major." I also looked into getting my criminal record sealed or expunged. I won't go into the fight I had with my dad when he INSISTED on taking care of this by TELLING me he would have his lawyer buddy look into it and then come back with a bunch of noninformation that didn't help me at all. All I'll say is that - after I found out how worthless my father's help would be - I made two phone calls and found out everything I needed to know. A few days ago, I mailed my check for $1.50 to the Pinellas County clerk of the court to get an official copy of the disposition mailed to me and ordered an application from the FDLE to get my record sealed. Since a ruling was made on the case (adjudication withheld), I can't get my record expunged until it has been sealed for at least 10 years. ARGH! I'm hoping that an admittance of all my misdeeds on my applications won't hurt me too badly. After all, I'm sure most people have SOME kind of blemish on their records.

Picking out law schools: UM, Ann Arbor, is still my top pick, but I've also been researching other schools. UT, Austin, is my second pick. I've also been looking at American University and schools in Wisconsin, Chicago and Boston. It all depends on my LSAT.

Personal statement: I also need to come up with a personal statement. Tricky. Some schools require it to be two pages long, some require up to four pages - double spaced. It can be about anything, but it needs to be original. I've read that it shouldn't be some dried-up old "why I want to go to law school" screed. But the ones I've read on line (examples of GOOD ones, supposedly) are all about why the people wanted to go to law school. DOUBLE ARGH!

I'll keep pecking away at it.

So that's my update for now. I'm going out of town next weekend to visit an old friend who lives in Denmark now. He'll be in town for a business conference, and I'll be spending next Thursday night with him. Then, I'll spend the rest of the weekend and possibly Monday with my brother. My parents will be out of town. Darn. I won't be seeing them.

5 comments:

Annie said...

You're preparing yourself quite well. I know you didn't ask for any advice but here's just a little.

When I was applying for grad school I spent a month doing one problem a night from the MAT (the test I had to take to get in). That was all it took to get my mind in the pattern for those kinds of questions. I did well and I didn't stress myself out either.

About your references, be sure to ask them if they will write a strong, positive reference. I've learned that if you get a yes to that question then you're sure to get that from them.

And about the essay, you could talk about the importance of the law to a civilized and just society (or you could write about your interest in serving the underserved or something related to the particular type of law that interests you).

maarmie said...

Thanks much for the advice. I will be ok, I guess. So far, I have begun my personal statement with a story about me standing in front of a group of college students about to tell the story of my experiences with domestic violence. I plan on doing a "what led me in front of those students is the same thing leading me toward law school kind of thing." So I think we are thinking along the same wavelength.

Thank you for your comments.

maarmie said...

Thanks much for the advice. I will be ok, I guess. So far, I have begun my personal statement with a story about me standing in front of a group of college students about to tell the story of my experiences with domestic violence. I plan on doing a "what led me in front of those students is the same thing leading me toward law school kind of thing." So I think we are thinking along the same wavelength.

Thank you for your comments.

Sandra White said...

phentermine - health insurance - debt consolidation - home equity loans Nice comment.. I ll come back for sure :]

Squidley said...

"After all, I'm sure most people have SOME kind of blemish on their records."

Um, no. At least nothing that we want to get sealed and expunged.

They'll take it into consideration, but it shouldn't be a deal-breaker.