Wonder what’s going to be on the test that decides your law school future? Here’s a quick review:
- 5 multiple choice sections: 35 minutes each
- - 2 Logical Reasoning Sections: 24-26 questions
- - 1 Reading Comprehension Section: 26-28 questions
- - 1 Logic Games Section: 23-24 questions
- - 1 Experimental Section: 23-28 questions (This un-scored section helps test developers decide what to include on future LSATs.)
- 1 essay section: 30 minutes
- - The essay isn’t scored, but law schools will receive it for review
Keep in mind that the LSAT is designed to keep the average person from completing it comfortably. Pacing yourself is one of the most crucial tools in maximizing your score, which will range from 120 (uh-oh) to 180 (everybody’s dream).
Letters of Recommendation
Your LSAT score isn’t the only thing that can help you get into law school. Often dismissed by applicants as mere procedure, great letters of recommendation can be a heavyweight in the admissions process.
We all know that asking for recommendation letters can be a daunting process. Choosing who to ask, gathering items to help that person, and actually asking him or her can be a challenge.
But you’re applying to law school, and challenge must be your middle name. So accept the responsibility, apply yourself, and take advantage of the opportunity to network.
To keep afloat in the applicant pool, keep these suggestions in mind to obtain excellent referrals:
- Pick the Right People. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many applicants choose their references by title or prestige. Having a mildly positive letter from someone who barely knows you can actually do more harm than good. Instead, look to people you worked with regularly. Professors (or supervising employers, if you’ve been out of school for a while) generally write the most genuine letters.
- Ask for a “great” referral. This may seem like semantics, but if you ask for a recommendation, you’re going to get a recommendation. Ask for a great recommendation, and the person who writes about you will be more likely to put some thought into the task.
- Give your writers plenty of time. Asking for a letter of recommendation on the eve of a deadline not only risks missing that deadline, but it could compromise the quality of your letter, because the recommender is pressed for time. Be sure to give your writers at least 3 to 4 weeks notice, when possible, and inform them of upcoming deadlines.
- Prompt your writers by providing items that will help them write about you. A recommender with a resume in hand will write a more persuasive letter than one who isn’t “in the know.” When a recommender accepts your request, be prepared to provide some or all of the following tools:
- - A cover letter listing all deadlines, requirements and relevant instructions
- - Forms that must accompany the letter
- - A copy of your résumé and/or description of your experience with the recommender to refresh his or her memory
- - Copies of your transcripts
- - A statement of your legal education and career goals
- - Pre-addressed, stamped envelopes for each letter, including an extra for yourself (if your referral is willing to let you review the letter that was sent)
- - Your contact information should your recommender have questions
Also, don’t forget that as the applying law student, there are things LSAC will need from you to complete your recommendation file. To learn more, visit the Law School Admissions Council’s Web site, www.lsac.org, or call (215) 968-1001.