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APPALACHIAN LEGAL PREPARATION SCHOLARS (ALPS). WORKSHOP #2: APPLYING SPONSORED BY THE HONORS COLLEGE AT APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY. ABOUT ALPS.

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APPALACHIAN LEGAL PREPARATION SCHOLARS (ALPS)

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Appalachian legal preparation scholars alps

APPALACHIAN LEGAL PREPARATION SCHOLARS (ALPS)

WORKSHOP #2: APPLYING

SPONSORED BY THE HONORS COLLEGE AT APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY


About alps

ABOUT ALPS

  • The Appalachian Legal Preparation Scholars (ALPS) program works with students who are considering a legal education to evaluate the process and the legal profession in an objective and informed manner.

  • ALPS accomplishes this in part through its monthly Workshop Series, designed to educate students on admission to law school and prospects within the legal field.


Other resources on campus

Other resources on campus

  • Government and Justice Studies

    • Provides individual advising for majors

    • Pre-Professional Legal Studies concentration

  • Sociology

    • Offers a concentration in Legal Studies

  • Career Development Center (JET Hall)

    • Internship resources

    • Career counseling (is law school right for you?)

  • Practice LSATs/Commercial Programs


Workshop 2

Workshop #2

  • What we will cover in tonight’s workshop:

    • Preparing for the LSAT: An Overview

    • The Application Process

    • What Lawyers Do: An Introduction

    • Investing in Education: What Are Loans?

    • Joint Degrees

    • Questions


Our friend the lsat

OUR FRIEND THE LSAT

  • The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the entrance exam used in applying for law school

    • Similar in purpose to the SAT/ACT, but completely different in scope

  • The LSAT consists of five, 35-minute multiple choice sections:

    • Logic Reasoning (2)

    • Logic Games

    • Reading Comprehension

    • Experimental


Our friend the lsat1

OUR FRIEND THE LSAT

  • Four of the five sections count toward the score, scaled from 120 to 180

  • There is also a 35-minute writing sample section (not scored) at the end

  • Learn more at www.lsac.org


Our friend the lsat2

OUR FRIEND THE LSAT

  • Offered four times a year – June, September/October, December, February (test takes an entire morning or afternoon)

    • Highly recommended to take the June LSAT

    • Can retake in September/October or December if not satisfied with score

    • Can take LSAT a maximum of three times over two years without permission from LSAC

  • Try to take the LSAT only once or twice if at all possible

    • Law schools will take the higher score if there are only one or two scores (usually)

      • Some still average; check the school’s policies


Study for the lsat

STUDY FOR THE LSAT

  • Test preparation is essential

    • Plan to give yourself anywhere from 2-6 months to prepare for the LSAT

  • How you prepare is really up to your learning style

    • If you are independently driven, motivated, and organized, you may be able to study on your own with prep books and practice tests

    • If you need outside structure, then a prep course may be of more use (but it is expensive)

    • There are also plenty of web resources (TLS LSAT Preparation Section, etc.) available

    • Practice tests (when timed) are very important

      • Some are available here on campus through commercial groups


Study for the lsat1

STUDY FOR THE LSAT

  • Free Prep Materials

    • Check the LSAC website for some free starting materials

    • TLS forums are a good place to get guides

      • Many of the contributors scored 170+ on the exam

  • Areas of Emphasis

    • Take a lot of practice tests at a suitable pace

      • Don’t go too fast – risk burning out

      • Don’t go too slow – risk losing patterns/information


Long term study

LONG-TERM STUDY

  • Building reading comprehension

    • Vocabulary building – word-a-day options from dictionary.com, Webster’s, etc.

    • Read complex materials like The Economist, Wall Street Journal, etc.

    • Take classes that involve a lot of detailed, complex reading

    • Focus is on speed – you will only have 35 minutes for this section

      • Time yourself early, time yourself often

      • Test takers most often do poorly on this section because they run out of time


Long term study1

LONG-TERM STUDY

  • Preparing for Logic Games/Logic Reasoning

    • Logic Games is often considered to be the most learnable part of the test

    • Taking classes on logic, philosophy could be very useful, especially if you do not have a background with these fields

    • Practice and repetition are good ways to prepare for the logic element of the LSAT


Lsac resources

LSAC RESOURCES

  • Law School Locator

  • Law School Guides

  • The Application Process

  • Advice


Registering for the lsat

REGISTERING FOR the LSAT

  • Go to the LSAC website at www.lsac.org

  • Follow the instructions under “The LSAT” -> “LSAT Dates and Deadlines”

  • Registering for the LSAT and CAS costs $263 total

    • $139 (LSAT) + $124 (CAS)

    • $16 to submit your application to each school

    • Other costs may apply (check website)

    • Can apply for a fee waiver


When should i apply

WHEN SHOULD I APPLY?

  • Applications are generally available starting sometime between September 1 and October 1

  • Law schools will often allow you to apply if you are retaking the LSAT – you can tell them to hold your application until the new score is reviewed

  • ED/EA – some law schools will have Early Decision (binding?) and Early Action programs for early appliers

    • This includes a large or full scholarship at some schools (ex: Northwestern and Boston University)

    • The down side: if “binding”, a student often commits to attending regardless of scholarships

  • Schools will often send out fee waivers – if applying early, request one from the school if your numbers are competitive


What lawyers do

What Lawyers Do

  • The Juris Doctorate (J.D.) is the primary method to be eligible for a state’s bar exam

    • Passage of a state bar exam is required to practice law in that state

    • Bar applicants must also pass an ethics exam (called the MPRE) in the vast majority of states

    • Applicants will also be subject to a character and fitness review prior to licensing

    • Check with the individual state on its requirements

    • Some states permit bar applicants to “read” the law through an apprenticeship or other method – this is rare


What lawyers do1

WHAT LAWYERS DO

  • Types of lawyer settings:

    • “BigLaw”

    • “Midlaw”

    • Small firms

    • Government (Public Defender, Prosecutor, etc.)

    • Nonprofit

    • Solo Firm

    • Non-practicing (Academic, Librarian, Consultant)


What lawyers do2

What Lawyers Do

  • The market has dramatically changed for some parts of the profession

    • Public interest jobs are very competitive due in part to BigLaw layoffs and reduced hiring

    • In 2010, only 68.4% of JD graduates found employment as a practicing attorney (requiring bar passage). 71% were full-time and permanent. Employment overall was 87.6%. (ABA Journal)

  • Government organizations are in the middle of a hiring freeze

  • This is why it is more important than ever to be competitive and recognize the risks of the profession that you are entering


Investing in education

Investing in Education

  • Most students will have to take out educational loans to finance their education

  • The average law student graduates with $93,000 in debt upon graduation (US News)

  • This is intended to provide a factual overview of what law school loans generally look like. Nothing here should be taken as any form of financial advice.


Types of loans

Types of Loans

  • Federal Loans

    • Under the Direct Stafford Loan program, graduate students can take out up to $20,500 per year in student loans

      • Historically, these loans were subsidized (interest paid while in school) up to $8,500 per year, with the remaining unsubsidized

      • Recent legislation could eliminate that distinction (all unsubsidized)

  • Grad PLUSLoans

  • Private Loans


Types of loans1

TYPES OF LOANS

  • Grad PLUS Loans

    • Taken out when the $20,500 per year limit has been reached

    • May be subject to a credit check

    • Carries a higher interest rate

  • Private Loans

    • Not financed by the government

      Source: U.S. Federal Student Aid website, studentaid.ed.gov


Repayment options

REPAYMENT OPTIONS

  • Standard 10-year option

  • Extended 30-year option

  • Graduated repayment option

  • Income-Based Repayment

  • Other options (ICR)

  • Factors (deferment, forbearance, etc.)

  • DO YOUR FINANCIAL HOMEWORK


Joint degree programs

Joint Degree Programs

  • Most law schools offer some sort of joint degree program.

    • The most popular one is typically JD/MBA

    • Others may include JD/MA, JD/LLM, JD/MPA, JD/MPH, JD/MPP, JD/MEd, JD/PhD, JD/MD

      • Many schools let their students customize their degree programs

    • Benefits: Less time to complete both degrees; flexibility

    • Drawbacks: Employer’s bias (potentially); cost


Career paths

Career Paths

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT WHEN CONSIDERING LAW SCHOOL


Questions

Questions?


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