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How Law School is like the LSAT (and also Completely Different)


If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.

Law school is just like the LSAT. And it’s also completely different.

A woman Lilian reached out to me and said: I came across your page and I'm so glad I did. I'm currently preparing to take the LSAT in September. I will hopefully attend law school next fall. I was wondering if you had any tips on LSAT preparation. When I wrote my response to Lilian, it actually got me thinking about how preparing for the LSAT was actually kind of similar to the way that I prepared for my law school finals.

So, here is a condensed version of my response to Lilian. First tip number one, take a well-known prep course.

It's, of course, a lot of money, but it's money well spent because the LSAT is a test unlike any other test you'll ever take. It involves reading comprehension, logic games, and it's very unusual. But what you find is that as you become more familiar with the LSAT, you learn the strategies that help, you learn how to take logic games, you learn how to comprehend the reading sections that are provided. It just takes time and it takes a lot of practice. Believe it or not, law school is actually very similar. Law school exams are unlike anything in undergrad. A law school essay is nothing like a college exam or college essay. But the more you familiarize yourself with law school essays, the better you can become at them. Just like there are strategies for the LSAT, there are strategies that you can learn to take an issue-spotting exam and ace it every time. It just takes time and it takes practice.

And that brings me to the second point I told Lilian. Take lots of practice exams.

Before I took the LSAT, I took every single publicly available LSAT that I could get my hands on. The summer before my LSAT, I studied every day, probably from nine to five on weekdays and probably from nine to six on weekends. I considered it my job to take as many practice tests as possible. Because as I said before, I could see that taking the LSAT was a skill. And like any skill, you get better at it the more you practiced. And it's the same with law school.

Get your hands on as many practice exams as you can. It's okay if you're taking exams from professors that are not at your school. It's okay if they're 10 years old. In law school, the law that's taught in your first year doesn't really change that much. And as a result, you can take tests from 20 years ago. You can take tests from other schools and other professors. Get your hands on as many as you can and take as many practice tests as you can as early as you can. If you do that, you will get better at law school exams, and you are much more likely to get A's when it comes to the actual test in your class. And that brought me to the third thing I told Lilian. Take practice exams under non-ideal circumstances.

On test day you're going to be stressed, you're going to be tired, you're going to be distracted. When Lilian takes the LSAT, it's not gonna be on her schedule, it's going to be on their schedule. It's far too easy to take practice exams on your schedule, after you've had coffee, after you've had a good night's sleep, when there's no pressure.

Once you've established a baseline competence, take practice tests with the music on, with other distractions, immediately upon waking up, or at three o'clock in the morning. And always take practice exams under real time pressure, because I guarantee when you walk in to your first law school final exam, you're going to be freaked out. It's a natural reaction. But if you can practice under non-ideal circumstances, then you're going to be way ahead of all of those other people who are taking the same exam and are even more freaked out than you are. When I responded to Lilian, I realized that taking the LSAT and taking a law school final exam and the way that you prepare for them are actually pretty similar. Unfortunately, there is little to no carry over between the strategies that go into the LSAT and the strategies that go into a law school final exam. Issue spotting exams are just two different. But the underlying methodology is the same. So when you get to law school, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Use your good habits that you learned when you practiced the LSAT and bring that into law school, and you'll be way ahead of everybody else.

If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.

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