Anybody who goes to law school has to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). It is comprised of five sections in which the test taker has 35 minutes to complete. The subject matter that is tested is: reading comprehension, logical reasoning, analytical reasoning/arguments, and an essay. The fifth section is for experimental purposes; it will be an extra section of anything but essay, and the test taker is not told which section is experimental. So basically you are just trying to do good on everything. The highest score is 180 (everything correct) and 120 (nothing correct) Wrong answers are not counted, only right ones. You get one 15 minute break.
While this doesn't seem like a big deal to someone who has no idea about it, let me tell you, IT IS!. I studied for MONTHS each time I took the test! Not days, not weeks, but months. I took the test three times and still didn't get the score I wanted. I'll let you guys know about my last LSAT experience since I studied/stressed the most for it.
I was working a full time job during the day and a part time job on the weekends, not to mention driving to a town an hour away for a prep class three days a week. The class started at 6:00 p.m. and ended at 9:00 p.m., which meant that I got home after 10:00 p.m. (sometimes later depending on traffic) and had to take a bath, eat, study, study, study, and get to bed for a few hours because I had work bright and early the next day. I was exhausted! I had no days off of work so all of my spare time that was used to grocery shop, cook, do laundry, clean, watch T.V,., and nap was taken over by obsessive studying. Ugh, awful but worth it. :)
The day of the last test that I took, I got a hotel room and went straight there when I got off of work on Friday night. I got checked in, got some delicious food from a restaurant across the street, took a ride to see where the testing facility would be, and went back to my room and prepared for bed and the next day. I woke up feeling calm and decided to look at a few practice questions. I tucked my St. Thomas Moore (patron saint of lawyers) metal in my shirt and I was off.
I got to the university where the test was being administered, parked, and walked confidentlyish to the rooms where it was going to be. They checked my two forms of identification, took my admission ticket, I signed my name stating I was who I said I was and I was in. Someone else inside the room took my gallon zip-lock bag and checked the contents. I only mention all of this so everyone knows how brutal it is. You are only allowed to have approved items (pencils, highlighter, tissues, ID, keys, snack and drink, and that's it) in a gallon zip-lock bag. If you had anything other than the approved items, you were thrown out with no refund of your $175 and it was reported to the Law School Admission Council. Someone got thrown out before the test even started. I got so scared. I looked straight down at my desk with my hands flat on the desk. I felt like a prisoner... The other times I took the test, the proctors weren't so bad but these were,,, HARDCORE.
I took the test, it was 5 hours long. I felt better about this test than I had about any other test. I had an amazing LSAT instructor. He was smart in a way that was so... phenomenal and I could have listened to him talk about LSAT stuff all day... anyway, I digress.
I took the LSAT in December and I had to wait a month for my score. I had also already applied to law school sometime around Thanksgiving. That process was stressful as well. I wrote a personal statement, a diversity statement, a character and fitness statement, and filled out the application. You also have to provide documentation for anything ever that you were legally involved in. Sooooo, any tickets, arrests, court cases, etc., you have to provide copies from the court and explain to the law schools what happened. After I went over and over all of these statements for weeks, I turned all of it in online and then it was just constant waiting and wondering, "did I get in?"
Finally, on February 6, I was going back to work from lunch break and I got a call from someone from my school. I had not received my acceptance letter at this point. The girl on the phone told me she was from the school and my heart started pounding. She said she was calling to invite me to an admitted students reception at Pre-Law Day which I wrote about in a previous blog. I asked her why she was inviting me to this and she said "You don't know?". I asked "Know what?" and then she told me the thing I had been waiting to hear... "You got in!". I literally screamed in her ear! Thank God she was so cool about it and celebrated with me on the phone.
When I caught my breath, I called my mom and dad and text my best friend. No one knows yet at work, so I was trying not to have a stupid grin on my face. It was a Friday, so that meant major celebrations! My dad took me to the casino that night and the whole weekend he celebrated with me. We went to festivals, and various things that our town has in the evenings during the cooler months. It was so much fun and I was on top of the world. I enjoyed every minute of it. For that one weekend I was carefree because all of my hard work had paid off. Then the real stress began... I'll write about all the prep work for law school in future blogs.
Anyway, I wanted to shed some light on the process since some of my family and friends think I am in school now, think that I was the same process as getting into undergrad, think that it was was "easy". It was hard because I had a difficult time with the LSAT and so many things were going on between work and studying. Also, not many people know that two of my family members, a dear friend, and one of my sweet dogs passed away in the midst of all of this. All of their deaths were unexpected and were so heartbreaking. The process was a real test of my endurance and most of all, my faith. I got through it though and it was totally worth it! I'm starting school in August, 3 short months! EEEEEK! :)