inflamed: tell me more!

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gardenlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 3103
   Posted 11/17/2008 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I want all the dirt -- from prepping for the LSAT to passing the Bar exam!

spankysancho @ gmail.com
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore


catpower
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 11/17/2008 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Study, study, study, sleep, study. When studying for the bar, I was very careful to avoid foods that I find irritating to avoid a flare. I made it through in one piece. Good luck!

gardenlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 3103
   Posted 11/18/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
How long did it take you? How did you manage your stress? What was the classroom experience like? .... you know....everything! Nothing beats hearing about something from someone who's been there.
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 11/18/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Garden - I can give you some input too if you would like! I used books to study for the LSAT -no course. I took lots of practice tests. I did ok (151 or 153 can't remember) but good enough to get into school. I would say that if I could do it again I would ask for accomodations. It is a timed test and I lost time leaving to use the bathroom. I would have done better with stop the clock testing I am sure. I didn't find law school that bad but my husband and I had both worked in law enforcement on opposite shifts and were used to not seeing each other much.

You will be put on the spot. Professors will call on you out of no where and ask you tons of questions about a case. You just need to roll with it. If you are afraid of public speaking this might be hard. If you are afraid of being wrong in public this could be very hard. I had no problem just telling them what I knew and if I got chewed out for not being prepared enough I didn't really care. I told all my profs about the crohns and got an aisle seat. I never had a problem leaving class. Except, I had one prof that asked that students not leave during her class unless it is an emergency. I told her about the crohns and she said it was fine to leave. But that really put me on the spot because every time I left my classmates knew I "HAD" to go. But whatever-

I worked part time during school and I think it really put things in perspective. Law school isn't all that important. I of course want to do the best I can but I am not cut throat like some people are. There are a lot of people I don't like in law school but I do enjoy the classes, my professors, and a lot of the work.

This has been my hardest semester because I am taking classes, doing a clinical program, working, and job hunting all at once. That is stressful. The MPRE's were pretty easy. That is the professional responsibility exam. But again, I should have filed for accomodations because there was assigned seating and I was assigned a seat in the back on an inside seat. I told them I needed to use the bathroom frequently and they said that was fine but wouldn't change my seat since I hadn't done the formal accomodation process. The process is a pain in the butt, literally, so I didn't want to bother. I now know I will be filing for accomodations for the bar.

When calculating the cost of law school include the cost of the extortion from the bar review people. It is about a $2500 course and you are basically told that you can't pass the bar without it. I am taking the course but think it is ridiculous that after law school you have to take another course to be licensed.

Research where you go to school carefully to make sure it is a good fit. My school caters to the non-traditional student - people who aren't right out of undergrad. But they set up the class schedule to make it very difficult for students to work. The ABA only allows you to work 20 hours/per week if you are a full time student. In order to enforce it they set up the classes all spread out so its tough to get hours in.

The job search process is super annoying because it starts the summer before your 1L year. I applied for clerkship positions with judges and didn't get any but I am pretty happy with that. I think I am ready to just get started working. Going on interviews during the semester is very stressful but if you put it off you miss a lot of opportunities.

I worked for the same firm as a paralegal full time every summer during law school. I think I may have been better off applying for a summer associate position. They often lead to a full time job and you get paid a lot more during the summer. But the process is long and competitive and I just took the easy route and stayed at one firm. But I may have a job there in the long run so then it would be worth it. Being employed definitly took a lot of stress out of the equation for me.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


inflamed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 11/18/2008 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I wasn't DXed until my first semester of law school (the weekend before my first exam). This is the worst and most stressful time to be sick. Based on that, I can't speak to CD w/ respect to the LSAT. Like Fitzy I did the books and took several practice tests on the computer. I did well enough to get into good schools and get scholarships to mid-level schools.

I went with the scholarship to a mid-level school, but would recommend going to the best ranked school you get into. It really helps with jobs later and things are easier there b/c the competition is to get in. At mid-level schools everyone competes for rank (because fancy jobs will take highly ranked, but not all people from these schools). Also, more prestigious schools have more money. This helps if you want to do public service work (which I am doing now). These jobs don't pay enough to support yourself and pay off the huge student loans. Big schools have programs where they pay your loans for you if you are in public service and meet income requirements. My colleagues who have this benefit are in better shape than I am by far (thankfully my husband pays the mortgage).

The first year of law school is the hardest. Everyone is competing for the best grades on the curve. These get you onto law review/moot court. Either of these makes your path to a big paying firm job, clerkship or other hard to get jobs much easier. Usually you get on based on your first semester grades or a summer tryout. I didn't go for it because I was so sick my first year. Wish I did because you can coast once you have the credential. I have many friends who made law review on first semester grades who were lazy from then on but have 6-figure salaries now. Those types of jobs aren't my thing (long hours and lots of stress, only pay off is money), but it's nice to know you can get one easily if you need to. These are the ones Fitzy was mentioning getting through summer programs your first year, you get hired then and are usually guaranteed a job when you graduate unless the economy tanks or you really screw up.

If you're into public service work like I am/was take this type of job your first summer or second. It shows you are committed to it and aren't just interviewing for it when you graduate because you couldn't find anything else. I did unpaid death penalty work my two summers. I loved it and got to work on a Supreme Court case. Clerks from big schools got stipends from their schools for the work, but I did it free. The experience landed me the job I have now and I LOVE it.

As for classes, you have no choice what you take the first year. Talk to people ahead of you who had the professor you had and find out what their exams are like and practice those exams if they are available. For some buying study aids will get you through easily. Some profs are so in their own world you have to have VERY specific notes on their opinions to pass their exams. Figure out which is which and figure out how to please them. Some profs will cold call on you. It's stressful when you are new to it, but I actually learned to enjoy it. I was also the odd duck who loved most of my classes. After the first year I only took the ones I was interested or were taught my professors I liked or heard good things about.

Most of the stress I could deal with. I learned not to procrastinate. If I read most (never all) of what I needed before class I didn't have that panic to rush through things and wasn't nervous to be called on. I commuted in by train, so I could always at least skim what I needed each day on the way in. Also, some profs take volunteers. I usually only got through 1/2 of my reading, so I'd volunteer at the beginning to avoid being stumped later. I did procrastinate on legal writing, it's hard no to. Just schedule NOTHING the weekend before they are due and you'll get through the papers.

Like I said up top, I was DXed right before my first exam. During the study week before exams I got an obstruction that I thought was an appendicitis. I was in the hospital until the day before the exam. The school was very accommodating. They offered to delay the exams until after the holidays. I turned them down because I just wanted to get them over with. Other than that first exam I was fine. That first one was the worst grade I got in all of law school and it happens to be in my field of specialty. :) The only other time CD really got to me was that spring when we had oral arguments and papers due just before exams. I had been sick the whole year, but things escalated before my argument. I argued and was hospitalized the next day for a week. My profs were all great. Friends gave me their notes (even at competitive schools people will give good notes to a sick person b/c we're not seen as competition). Profs also offered extra help. This may have given me extra insights into the exams too.

Back on the job thing. Don't work your first year if you can afford it. When you take jobs take the job that will give you the best usable experience (where you can try a case yourself or write your own briefs or work with clients). Interning with judges is great work. You do a lot of legal research and writing that translates to all jobs and you get a judge for references.

You do need to pay for the bar review course. Law school basically has nothing to do with the bar exam. The bar wants general law. For example the crim law that is on it is a joke that has no real application, it's not the law anywhere. Also, there will be subjects you never took. Here the exam is two days. I did not ask for an accommodation, but was in remission then. I was surprisingly calm for the bar. I took the review course and was passing the practice tests ok. Basically you get each topic down to a single page outline that you have memorized, if you can remember the key words from that you can write a passing essay. The multiple choice are trickier, but they teach you the techniques around that too.

This is a novel and I'm rambling. I'll send you an email, so you can ask any specific questions you want.

hj
Hoping to stay in remission after the birth of a healthy baby girl. On Pentasa during my pregnancy, but Ive gone rogue and med-free to nurse.


gardenlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 3103
   Posted 11/18/2008 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Fitzy -- bring on the info! That's awesome! Extortion doesn't end at the book store, does it? :) The more I know going into this the better.

I'm looking at Seattle U, because like yours, it caters to non-traditional students. People who haven't gone straight from a Bachelor's to grad school, people commuting from all over hell's half acre, that kind of thing. There's an actual requirement that students have a lap top, and a lot of the courses are conducted/supplemented over the internet, through conference calls, stuff like that. I knew someone at my last job that was getting a teaching degree from Seattle U, and it worked really well with everything else she did. They also have some really killer financial aid programs.

Should I call the LSAC about accomodation for testing and stuff? Also -- do you know how long test scores are good for? I'd like to be able to take the LSAT in Feb (it's offered in Tacoma which is WAY easier to get to than Seattle), but I don't want to throw down the cash, or go through the waiver process, if the scores expire and I'll only end up doing it again (if I can get it right the first time, once will be *plenty* on the LSAT!).
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore

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