I would like to welcome everyone to my blog on "everything law school".

Please take full advantage of the resources available to you here and feel free to comment or email me about anything you would like to add or see done to the page.

Any additional resources that could be added to this page will only create opportunities of knowledge for those seeking it.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

The First Semester of Law School

Hello Friends it's been too long. I have been in law school attending my first year. A busy, exciting, confusing, frightening, but certainly educational experience. First I would like to talk to you about the first semester. Last summer I was given a schedule of classes with a list of pre-selected classes. For most schools the first year curriculum will be a pre-set amount of classes. You will have no say in this scheduling. The classes I had were Torts, Property I, Civil Procedure, Legal Writing.
One thing that I can recommend is certainly getting familiarized with these subjects. I don't mean to say that one should exchange the classroom experience and pre-learn the material. A simple commercial outline, or Example and Explanation Series (Aspen Publishers) on the topic will be an excellent starting point. By familiarizing yourself with the material before hand, you will be surprised how it facilitates your learning experience.
Secondly the first semester is not to be taken lightly. Everyone is in the same haze as you and people are afraid to open up. Everyone has some preconceived idea of what law school is like and for some reason it seems that the idea focuses around the "dog-eat-dog" world of law school. No one trusts anyone, nobody shares anything. This will change. I promise...
Keep in mind that the curriculum is demanding. Unless you have an extremely expansive photographic memory, you will need to outline your material so that you can streamline what you have learned in class and from your book and entering it into a recognizable format, that will help you memorize and understand concepts for the final exam. The biggest mistake I noticed is that people leave this process for the end of the semester. I too fell prey to this problem on one of my classes. It doesn't work very well because during finals time, you don't want to be writing anything, you simply should be reading what you have learned...DIRECTLY FROM YOUR OUTLINE. Therefore the best advice is start outlining weekly......ok fine bi-weekly. This routine forces two things: 1) you look at the notes for the past two weeks, and streamline them into a short understandable version (omit all class doodles)and 2) you are forced to place that section of streamlined notes into a section of your outline, which will ultimately make you understand how the piece of notes fits in the general picture of the course map. This will certainly help understand the course much more clearly.
A short word on commercial materials. Some people won't go near them, some swear by them. My thought is that as long as you have taken notes during your classes and made good outlines, you can use additional materials to supplement or understand that material better. I felt that a combination of outlines and a commercial study-aid is best. The idea however, is to study smart not burn yourself out by reading the commercial study-guide on top of your daily reading. The nature of the study-aid is supplementary, that is it should supplement your knowledge (or help explain it), however it shouldn't teach it. (unless you are totally lost).
Finals will come around very soon. You will be surprised how fast time goes by. Before you know it the library will get busier and busier, people more and more stressed, and the general decorum becomes one of tense feeling. I created a mix of studying in the library and studying in my apartment, however some people only did one. Obviously do what makes you comfortable. But beware that distractions might be larger at your library, then at your apartment. Your friends are at the library, they are studying the same stuff and the need for commiseration is strong. At the apartment the remote control and fridge beckons. Thou shalt fight the urge.
Lastly, day of final examination. I have never really had a great sleeping schedule. It has changed tremendously during my law school year. I was forced to sleep at say 11-12 every night and wake at 7:30 every day. This becomes routine and it helps during exams. Best advice is obviously a good night sleep. Don't read your outline till 3 AM. The retention rate at that point is minimal. You ain't gonna learn anything that way. I frankly wouldn't recommend even reading the outline the morning of the exam, but some people swore by that practice, so I will leave it out there. Lastly, get yourself a good breakfast (or whatever meal you are at), because 4 or 5 or 6 hours of testing will drain the crap out of you. Take a bottle of water or two. Pace yourself. Many students bring earplugs for the exam. This is particularly helpful if your school allows you to type your exams on your laptops. Can you imagine 80 students punching away at their keyboards simultaneously? It sounds like a textile factory. Not pleasant. Finally, relax, take some deep breath and take the exam.
Note: After the exam, there will inevitably be a group gathered outside the class (library, cafe, whatever) talking about the exam. This is not a great practice. You are therefore presented with two options. Go home and relax and not worry about who did what on what question, OR, stay and drive yourself nuts for the next three or four weeks while you wait for your grades. In making your choice keep in mind that if this was your first exam, you don't want to be worrying about what you did on question 45 on the civil procedure multiple choice. You need your focus going forward. Choose wisely...

Next posts will be on second semester; extra curricular activities; subject specific experiences etc. Keep reading folks....

Monday, November 10, 2008



Over the weekend I tried to gather some feedback from this blog's Facebook members regarding some books for use as study aids while studying for the LSAT. I actually got quite a lot of feedback and decided to put together two separate articles: one which is being posted today (this one) and one to come at a later time about law school aids, such as hornbooks, outlines, websites etc.

My personal experience with LSAT study material comes from numerous aid sources. In this article there will be a link to purchase directly from Amazon.com for every book I discuss.

First things first, let me recap the sections on the LSAT (yes, I know everyone knows ... but just in case).

Logical Reasoning - will be referred to as LR from now on.
Analytical Reasoning (games) - will be referred as games from now on.
Reading Comprehension - will be referred to as RC from now on.
Written Sample - Will be referred to as WS from now on

There are at least two LR sections, at least one RC section and at least one Games section (not including the Experimental which could be any of the three above), and there is ONLY ONE WRITTEN SAMPLE ALWAYS AT THE END.

OK... lets get to it:

The PowerScore Logical Reasoning Bible - This book is a MUST HAVE whether you know logic or don't know, whether you have used other aids or not before. It's an organized book about formal logic, which is THE MEAT AND BONES OF THIS ENTIRE EXAM. It will teach and explain topics like: Identifying Question Types, Making Inferences, Time and Section Management, Assumption Identification, Causality, Conditional reasoning, and FORMAL LOGIC. This is one of the best guides available in my opinion. All questions are 100% real questions from the LSAT rather then simulations. 

The PowerScore Games Bible - This guide by PowerScore is also a very valuable tool to have. The guide is for the Games section of the exam. Game types are explained in detail (LINEAR, PATTERN, GROUPING, HYBRIDS etc) and their respective setup guides are taught. The guide works with real (not simulated games) from previous exams.

The PowerScore Ultimate Setups Guide - This goes hand in hand with the Games Bible. It is the setups for every game from 1995 till 2002. Same techniques as in the Games Bible are applied here. Excellent source for the solidification of the games section.

ExamKrackers Reading Comprehension - This is in my opinion the better guide to Reading Comprehension. While nobody is going to teach you how to read, the ExamKrackers guide teaches you the types of Passages used (thesis, controversial, comparative,historical)and the types of question each one has and how to recognize, attack and succeed with them. Alternatively one could choose the PowerScore Reading Comprehension Bible which approaches the section of RC with almost the same steps of identification and attack, but doesn't get down to the details of types of questions and typical tricks and tips, which is something I have found important when attacking the RC section.

A NOTE ABOUT TESTMASTERS: The TestMasters material compares best to the PowerScore system of attack and I will evaluate it at the same level as the PowerScore study aids.

A NOTE ABOUT KAPLAN : While I purchased both the Kaplan 2009 Ultimate Lsat Premium and The LSAT 180, I felt that both use a technique I call the Reverse Answer Strategy which is not very detailed or explanatory. I feel they derive their explanations after viewing the answers as opposed to trying out a method of their own. The Premium Kaplan book uses a mix of simulated and real questions which are not the best ways of studying for the exam. The 180 sums up the "hardest" LSAT questions ever which (while real) still represent to little to be used on their own. I WILL CATEGORIZE THE KAPLAN GUIDES AS EXTRA, ADDITIONAL BUT NOT CRUCIAL STUDY MATERIAL WHICH COULD BE PURCHASED IF YOUR BUDGET ALLOWS.

OTHER BRANDS SUCH AS PRINCETON REVIEW, BARRON'S, MCGRAW HILL etc will not be reviewed as I have recieved too little or none information and student reviews on them.

The most important thing is to be comfortable with whatever guide you're using. I recommendthe PowerScore package because they are the most comprehensive. It's also highly reccomended that one purchase at least 10 real LSAT's from LSAC by clicking here.

There is no subsitute for real exams and one should not!

Practice on real exams and never simulated ones. THEY'RE NOT INDICATIVE OF WHERE YOU STAND.

Furthermore while timers are not allowed any longer in the LSAT, purchase or get used to an analog wrist watch for that is all you will have to measure your time. (more on that on the time management article). 

I hope this article is helpful in putting together a introductory package of study aids for the LSAT taker. Best of luck to all.

This brands names in this article are property of their respective owners and subject to copyright. I do not support or dismiss any of the guides.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How I got into Yale Law...

Ok... A couple of things: The title misled you. Yes I know, it's horrible and you might be disappointed. However I didn't really lie, you just assumed that by "got in" I meant accepted. What i meant was a little more literal than that. I got into the building of Yale Law through the main visitor entrance....thats how. 

Moving on...

With this particular post I'm going to go off tangent just a bit but still remain devoted to the law school environment or context.

I took off for a couple of days and went to New Haven in CT. This little town is where the famous "Ivy League" Yale University is located. The town is only about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Queens, NY where I reside. The decision to go was mostly out of a need for reassurance. While it is understood that Yale University is a hard school to get into "its only the number 1 school in the country", the motivational and inspirational aspect of the town, atmosphere, environment, and a level of seriousness beyond belief are plenty of reasons to visit this wonderful town.

The ride is comfortable and with minimal traffic. (I'm from NYC so lack of traffic is like divine intervention to me). After arriving there an immediate air of seriousness sets in. Even the parking garage attendant seemed to be well educated. So after I parked the car I whipped out the map and figured out a point of attack. The town could possibly be explored in 3-4 hours and in this time one could manage to see quite a lot. 

The town is grid-lined (much like Manhattan) and divided in little square blocks. For a map click here. The city is lined with greenery and trees and the autumn colors set in beautifully. The park "the center greene" is the center of the town. The streets of the city are quiet, even on a saturday, and the town has a very serious aura.

The school itself is composed of numerous little buildings scattered about the town. Plenty of old architecture, with over-stressed arches and columns are the main attributes of buildings. The school was founded in 1701 which makes it a pretty old school (300+ years old). There seems to be churches in every corner street. All christian sects are represented widely, the Catholics, Methodist, Protestants, Reformist, Orthodox, Greek, Evangelical, etc. The Jewish community is also well represented with a few congregations. Though I only found one of them, The Reform Chavurah At Yale - 80 Wall St., later I found a website linking existing synagogues in New Haven Ct. 

To get to a more direct and related point, the reason for my visit was to get inspired. And I did. The town is a college town with triple seriousness level. It releases a level of energy that penetrates any troubled mind and clears the though process. As I have stated in previous posts, I am not in law school yet. Factors of what kind of environment one goes to school, are important in deciding ones future. Personally, the town of New Haven and the Yale University, gave me clarity and motivation to the education aspect as well the "college town" aspect. Some people, especially those from large cities (NYC, CHICAGO, LOS ANGELES) have opportunities to go to city schools where the previous life one held is undisturbed. 

While it may work for some people to not change their daily routines but rather just fit Law School in there, I think it is crucial that one derive a state of peacefulness and remove all other unimportant matters from the equation while leaving Law School as a undisturbed experience. 
Yale university provides that structure simply on the seclusion and peaceful basis. (mind you the top notch education). 

I am not saying that people should be inclined to go to schools away from their homes. I just hope that what I described as the experience of my New Haven Visit, might clear the doubts of the large city resident contemplating the "going away school". The environment is different. You're surrounded by the students. Everything is at your fingertips. You control your destiny. 


Here are some pictures of New Haven from my trip. Also I have included a bunch of links to the town. I would recommend anyone from NY, NJ, PA, CT who is contemplating a legal education away from home, to visit New Haven Ct. The experience there will serve as a major eye opener for what it means to be on your own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


So you realized from previous posts that your GPA (grade point average) in college is going to play a role in your pursuance of law school.  With that out of the way lets get to know the crucial part of the admissions process that determines whether the fact that your friends and mother tell you "Law school is your calling..." will really come true.

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is known as many things amongst which terms like "The Gatekeeper", "The Factor", but also known as "The worst test you'll ever take", "I hate this thing" etc. 

First let me get this out of the way. The exam is not easy. It is long (4+HOURS), and it requires a lot of concentration and thought. This is not like your Psych 101 exam where you drank and partied the night before and came in the next day half-dead into the class and miraculously passed the exam with a C-. This will not be the case for you LSAT examination. It will take practice and long hours of studying and understanding to get the score you need on this exam.

The LSAT is given four times a year, usually in February, June, September and December. It consists of 5 timed sections of 35 minutes each. Of the 5 sections one is experimental. What that means is that the LSAC (the makers of the exam) get you to do some free labor for them by testing out questions that they might put on future exams. Of course they don't tell you which section is experimental so you have to focus and do each section given as if it were being counted. The test also has a Writing Sample portion which is NOT scored.

Here are the components: (these are the ones that they will score)

1.Two logical reasoning sections each with 24-26 questions.
2.One analytical reasoning [AKA logic games] section with 22-24 questions.
3.One reading comprehension section with 26-28 questions.

4.One unscored EXPERIMENTAL SECTION [could be games, logical reasoning, or reading comprehension]
5.One unscored Writing Sample which is timed.

The writing sample is usually a scenario which you are required to elaborate upon. The test makers want you to stay focused on the topic and either argue FOR or AGAINST the situation. The essay is then scanned and sent to law schools that you apply to. It could be used as a sample of your writing but being that you will be sending schools personal statements, addenda, and other written materials they will have plenty of your writing so the Writing Sample is not the most crucial thing on this exam. Not to mention that the Writing Sample is given as the last part of the exam and after 4 mind-crushing hours of testing your writing skills are probably affected for the worse.

Ok so we know now the components of the test. 

The test is scored on a scale and the resulting scores range from 120 being the lowest to 180 being the highest possible. Most students (about 55%) score between 145-158, and the rest of the percentage is divided and scores range below 145 or above 160. 

No matter what recruiters of schools, law students, websites tell you about the weight of the LSAT in the admission process, I will say this much: the test score is PROBABLY THE MOST important number entered into that admission "equation" along with the GPA, personal statement, letters of recommendation etc.

The next post will break down the components of the exam and discuss them in detail. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So... you decided?

You really want to be a lawyer. You chose yourself a law related major in college and took all the classes that had anything to do with law or had the term "legal" or "law" mentioned in them. You spoke to your friends about your decision. They agreed! You have great people skills, communication skills, are loud and people listen to you. THEREFORE YOU SHOULD BE A LAWYER. IT'S YOUR CALLING.


You can forget all of that. While those dreams may suffice to get you some socialization in the first year of college, thats about as far as they will go. First and foremost, utilize the resources at hand. Get started by letting your academic college advisor that you plan on attaining a legal education. While that might not do much, other then the occasional "Good for you!", it may just open a small door to a bigger room. Most of the time schools have a pre-law club, or program or what have you. Do not get fooled! While often times these programs are a golden choice, one must be careful because they may just fill your day with pre-set schedules, and material that you often might not need. 

Keep in mind that law schools often look for people who are somewhat from a broad field of study. Therefore if you are thinking of going to law school, you might want to rethink that major in Bio-Molecular-Reactor-Building.  The pre-law programs often will have courses in English, Writing, Communications, Philosophy, Statistics, Accounting, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Political and Government Studies. These courses of course could be chosen independently without needing to comfort to some "pre-law" defined schedules. This is where the idea of consulting the pre-law advisor and a general academic advisor comes in handy.

After speaking to advisors and devising a 4 year plan for success, start focusing on school work. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my college career was to have partied way TOO MUCH. Yes there is such thing! And the consequences are often fatal. No one is telling you to live in the library, but you should at least know where the library is. 

The first two years of college are the most important. Most schools have some sort of general requirements that want you to fulfill. These requirements are your general formation. They serve a very crucial purpose for those aspiring to be legal minds. They develop that broad field of study mentioned above that law schools look for. So indeed, pay attention in your Accounting 101 class, and your Philosophy 100 class because courses like those will come in handy.

The second half of your college career consists of your major and minor [if any] and electives. You take classes pertaining to what you want to deepen your study in. This is why taking your first two years seriously also is important - it develops your enjoyment to particular field of study through exposure to multitudes, and in turn helps you make a decision for a major. These two last years could be considered less worrisome but that would be a mistake. You need be on guard throughout your collegiate career, for this is an important skill in law school. 

My friends in law school when I was a freshman in college always gave the same advice:  "Cut the partying down, man, because this education is no joke". Of course I didn't listen. As a matter of fact I wanted to disprove them by showing that one can party hardcore and still do well in school and go to a decent law school. Well that didn't quite happen. [I'm going to leave my personal story for another post.]

So I would like to pass on that advice "CUT DOWN ON THE PARTYING, BECAUSE LEGAL EDUCATION IS NO JOKE". 

In future posts I will discuss steps that have been proven efficient for law school admission during your senior year in college. 

Monday, October 27, 2008


A little bit of background...

First and foremost allow me to say that I AM NOT IN LAW SCHOOL (not yet at least) and any advice deduced or deliberately given herein is strictly based on a personal experience. While I don't want to sound like a misleading infomercial - YOUR RESULTS MAY VARY - however parts of what I have experienced and currently experiencing are [at least i believe they are] universally applicable.

With that out of the way...
I started thinking about a legal education very early in my life, however thinking and doing are completely separate things. Only this summer was I ready to set up a mode of attack for gaining entry into the legal education world. While it is not an easy task, it is feasible in all accounts. A crucial thing to keep in mind is determination and motivation. 

For me the determination came after the motivation. While I have numerous friends who are in law schools all around the country, I am still baffled sometimes by their strong will and perseverance to continue. Law school is no college education, and not to be taken lightly. Toward the end of this summer I had a inspirational conversation with a very good friend of mine regarding law school. While he had been studying for the LSAT for quite sometime, I had been enjoying all aspects of life. His conversation focused on the aspect of motivation. He said that the exam played a major role in the admission process and that it was the "gatekeeper" of law school admission. While at first surprised and skeptical I researched the topic on my own and found his statements to be true. He also said that in order to succeed in this exam, the work must parallel the commitment.

The motivational factor for was the fact of seeing someone to be so determined to achieve a goal. So a month later I decided that it was time. Time to achieve my dream and succeed. I purchased materials (which will be discussed in a later article) and began slowly studying for the exam.

The equation one must keep in mind is Motivation + Determination = Success. The examination requires massive concentration and critical and analytical thought. One must be determined to succeed, motivated to further his/her dream and absolutely ready to give up some parts of their social life.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


It has been stated that blogging is about a particular calling, which should be some topic which is something that one is particularly passionate about. Fortunately, while I am particularly passionate about many things, I have tried blogging about many topics that I am involved in. However, on many occasions, the passion for those topics (DJ-ing, digital printing, t-shirt making, etc), only recently have I discovered what it truly means to be passionate about a topic.
The idea to pursue a legal education was something that lurked in my mind since the times of childhood. I always had a interest in legal aspects of issues, argumentation, logical following etc. Unfortunately interest doesn't necessarily parallels intelligence or a "gifted" perspective to a particular topic. I discovered this recently when I decided to seriously pursue my legal education.

First I found out what the requirements, and the pre-requisites are, and then I was presented with the infamous L.S.A.T obstacle.
This test is used by virtually by all law schools across the country as a hefty predictor of the performance in the first year of law school. Apart from that, it plays a major defining role in the admission process. The score is weighed into heavy account when law schools choose from a pool of applicants for admission.
The exam itself was a massive motivator for this blog. I decided that by writing out the obstacles I have faced and the particular events leading and following this exam would somewhat [even if in small part] help those who aspire a law school education.

This is strictly an introduction of what is to come. In future articles I will describe in detail the advice I have gathered from the law school exam known as the L.S.A.T as well as techniques, strategies and lessons for helping aspiring legal minds.

Thank you for reading this introduction. I certainly hope to hear from anyone with anything to add. The GOAL FOR THIS BLOG WILL BE TO BRING TOGETHER A FREE SUBSTANTIAL PREPARATION for an environment demanding analytical, logical and critical thinking and writing skills, which is what law school education is.