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  • Rachel Lindsey 4:22 pm on April 21, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , preparation, , , ,   

    More Than the Registration Fee: Reasons to Invest in LSAT Prep 

    There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about the best strategy for taking the LSAT – how long to study, how many times to take the test, and even about how “good” a predictor it is of anything at all. The one thing everyone seems to agree on? The LSAT is not just a test; it’s an investment. And it’s an investment that can significantly impact how much you palsy for law school down the line. One major theme that emerged for hopeful law students who attended The True Cost of Law School: Budgeting Beyond Tuition on April 6: Invest in a quality LSAT prep program.

    You’ve probably heard that law school admission is based on two things: LSAT and GPA. Of the two, many admissions officers will say the LSAT score is their priority in assessing how aid will be distributed. This is also true for merit-based aid. As the number of law school applicants has dropped, schools have begun to compete more actively for the best-qualified applicants – often using merit-based financial aid as incentive to attract those applicants. In this competitive environment, the higher your LSAT score, the better your odds not just for admissions, but also for scholarships. According to Benjamin Leff, professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, a three-point bump on the LSATS can mean the difference in thousands – or tens of thousands – of dollars in financial aid.

    Another reason to commit your time and your money to preparing for the LSAT? It’s an opportunity to spend small (relatively – compared to law school tuition down the line) early in the process and figure out if law school is right for you. Though it’s often debated, research suggests that the LSAT is a key predictor of bar performance. Law schools often claim that your score is the most consistent predictor of how well you will do the first year in law school and on the bar exam. If studying and then sitting for a test like the LSAT isn’t something you’re willing to do, consider how you’ll handle the three or four months of studying you’ll eventually need to commit for preparing to pass the bar and become a practicing attorney.

    For the budget-conscious law school hopeful, investing $1500 or more in an LSAT prep program might seem like a lot to ask. Be creative, and use all of your resources. Above the Law suggests online options like podcasts and videos, which may cost nothing. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) makes available (for free) Official Prep Materials, including sample questions with explanations, old tests, and videos. There are even free apps you can download to practice exam questions, connect with instructors in a community forum, and more. However, even if your hope is to get your LSAT prep for free, Above the Law still recommends that you invest in real LSAT materials to use for practice. At a minimum, take your LSAT prep seriously. Don’t try to take the test cold, or with only minimal preparation. Look for high quality test prep materials with strong reviews from actual test takers at every price point.

    If you decide to enroll in a commercial preparation course, do your homework – before and during the class. Talk to others who have taken the same course at the same location, ideally with the same instructor. Be skeptical of any course that makes outrageous claims about raising your score. Commit to the program – showing up for the classes is not the same as participating and will not be enough to improve your score. You’ll need to devote significant time outside the classroom to master the material. And lastly, ask about discounts or scholarships. Though not widely advertised, some of the larger prep companies provide discounts to students with demonstrated financial need.

    Most importantly, remember that becoming a lawyer is embarking on a career, not just finding a job. Taking the LSAT is one of the earliest steps in beginning your legal career on solid ground. Take it seriously, and invest your resources accordingly.

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  • emily 7:14 pm on November 25, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , preparation,   

    Creating the Best Writing Sample 

    Food, family, and a study break-Thanksgiving is not too soon to think about job application writing samples. This may sound daunting, but hear me out.

    The best advice when it comes to writing samples is to get some ready now. Having a variety of samples makes it easier to quickly apply for a job or internship opportunity when it comes. The exact requirements and nature of the writing sample will depend on the field, job details, and the preference of the employer. A research position or a well-cited paper or lab report, a communications position could want a catchy blog piece, and a policy organization could want a concise article.

    To be ready for the writing sample request, take a moment to look at what you have written or are writing now. You do not have to re-create the wheel with each application. Students and recent graduates can use academic papers or other work from college. However, it is less encouraged for alumni further out from their degree to do the same.

    Most of the time the sample will be no longer than two pages, five max. Chances are the best writing you have done for class has been significantly longer than 2 pages. So, how to cut down your favorite work without losing what made it so good?

    First, identify the meat of the paper. Where did you defend your thesis or conclusion the strongest? Where did you really flex your analytical skills? The goal of a writing sample is to measure your ability to write professionally, clearly, and succinctly. Just sending the first two pages of a much longer paper may leave out too much and seem incomplete.

    Second, be ready to edit. Even if you do not yet know the specific organization or job that you will apply for, do some preliminary research. Look at the writing style of some different organizations that you are interested in to edit the sample accordingly. When you do apply, use the style and tone of that particular employer and have the sample address a topic, theme, or issue that you could be required to work on in the position.

    The key is having something ready in your back pocket, or saved on your computer, that you are proud to share with a potential employer. Thanksgiving break is a good time to pick out blogs, academic papers, news articles, or other projects from this or previous semesters. That way when finals hit and you are applying for jobs or internships you do not have to create an entirely new piece. Preparation and a little research now could save you some precious hours of sleep come December.

    For more on writing samples check out the Career Center website.

     
  • Taylor Roosevelt 6:40 pm on September 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , preparation   

    GoingGlobal: A New Career Resource 

    Going Global image

    Click here to login to AUCareerWeb and access Going Global

    Need help identifying work options, both at home and abroad?
    Think Going Global: Your comprehensive ‘one stop’ career resource

    The American University Career Center is proud to announce access to Going Global, the leading provider of career and employment resources for evaluating, selecting and transitioning into a successful career in a foreign country. Boasting more than one million individual users, Going Global is used around the world by university career centers, educational and institutional organizations, libraries, corporate HR departments, and government agencies. (More …)

     
  • John Charles 12:40 pm on November 8, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , ATF, , CIA, clearances, FBI, , , preparation, , tips,   

    Intelligence and Law Enforcement Careers Panel Highlights 

    The opening event of the Career Center’s Federal Careers included a panel of speakers from ATF, FBI, CIA and ClearedCommunity.com, who shared tips about success in the law enforcement and intelligence fields.

    Here is some of the advice:

    “Get experience doing interviews. I am shocked at how many candidates are unable to explain why they want to work for my agency.”

    “Show your relevant academic work–thesis, research papers–to potential employers. It will demonstrate your writing ability and intellectual strength.”

    “When you change jobs, don’t just go for a higher salary…look at the whole picture. Getting paid more money is not worth it if the work is not interesting.”

     
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