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

    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.

    Passing the LSAT exams is the first step to a higher level of education. Much the same way as high school students take their PSAT exam before being able to enter college, LSAT is enabling individuals to start pursuing law. Of course, there is a significant difference of difficulty when taking both exams, but the preparation is not so different. LSAT and PSAT exam study guides and books are ever present for those who have decided to further their education.

    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. Consider scholarships in India which is a very good alternative.

    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.

  • John Nunno 6:44 pm on May 11, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , Resources   

    Online Resources for AU Alumni 

    Here’s a scenario: You just graduated from AU and are trying to land your first full-time job. You want to search for potential employers and you want to improve your interviewing skills. What do you do?

    Here’s another one: You graduated from AU 5 years ago, and you’re ready for a new job. You live in New York City, but you’re looking to relocate to San Francisco. How do you start the process?

    If you find yourself in one of these, or a similar scenario, then check out the Career Center’s online resources. AU alumni have access to all of the Career Center’s resources including Going Global, InterviewStream, and Vault Career Insider. Here’s how these resources can support your post-college career:

    • Going Global can help you identify opportunities in the US and internationally. Its US city guides(47 including Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Seattle) have city-specific job resources including online job sites, staffing agencies, and city career fairs. You can plan financially by using the cost of living information, and you can find professional networking groups. Going Global’s country guides (41 including Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, and the UK) have everything the US city guides have and more including information on work permits and visas, resume/CV guidelines, interviewing tips, and cultural advice.
    • You can use InterviewStream to practice interviewing before a job interview. It’s a helpful resource if you’re looking to improve your skills or looking for an interviewing refresher.
    • Vault Career Insider can help you research companies and industries. It’s helpful if you are exploring new career paths or researching potential employers within your field. You can also access Vault’s blog for news and insights on career topics.

    Learn more about these resources and access them here. If you’d like more information on AU’s career services for alumni click here. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about Going Global, InterviewStream, and Vault! I can be reached via email at JNunno@american.edu.

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 2:24 pm on August 10, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Resources   

    Downtown Networking Events on Wednesday 

    The National Press Club Young Members Committee is hosting a Speed Networking event for grad students (and undergraduates over 21 years of age) with representatives from media companies and PR firms across the region (Discovery, Bloomberg, etc.) on Wednesday night, Aug. 11, that begins promptly at 6:30 PM.  If you’d like to attend, RSVP ASAP to Tim Young at timyoungjd@gmail.com.

    Also Wednesday night, an opportunity for those under and over 21 to explore the resources that public access television provides, and how it can enhance their media production experience, expand their film-making network, and contribute to a collaborative and creative film community. Arlington Independent Media, a leader in the field, will be represented, along with other stations from DC and Maryland. Gibson Guitar Gallery, 709 G Street, 6-9 PM. For more info and to register, see the DCFilm.org event listing.

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 9:54 pm on August 9, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Resources   

    Fall Internship Countdown! 

    The fall semester is fast approaching, and internships are on the mind of many a returning student. Currently, there are more than 1500 internships posted on AU CareerWeb, and more coming in daily!

    For further inspiration and background information on great places for internships (OneDayOneInternship.com), or jobs, for that matter (OneDayOneJob.com), I still recommend these pages by job-hunting-survivor-and-entrepreneur Willie Franzen. For my SOC advisees, here’s a page with just the communication-related companies he’s listed. Scroll down the list; you’ll be amazed how many are DC-area companies! (Or pick another tag and you’ll get a list of all the intern-hiring companies he’s profiled from Washington, DC.)

    For a different, and totally local, source of internship info, there’s also DC Intern Net, where you can sign up for regular email updates of great gigs.  But these go to students nationwide. At the end of the day, don’t forget all the employers who are seeking AU students specifically through AU CareerWeb, where you can also set up an email alert system, as described in a previous post. Just remember, if you want or need to do an internship for credit, the deadline to get offered the position, accept it and hand it all the paperwork to register is September 13th!

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 6:37 pm on July 6, 2010 Permalink
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    Celebrating (and Learning) Social Media 

    We just missed Mashable.com‘s self-declared Social Media Day, June 30th, but here’s to keeping the celebration going!

    How? Easy. Boost your social media savvy this summer. Maybe you’re on the cutting edge, and only need to keep on plugging. Or maybe you’ve got your Facebook friends, or follow folks on Twitter, and that’s it. That’s a fine start, but likely not enough to get you a job requiring social media skills (or a boost toward other jobs, since so many employers are eager to get new-media-mavens on staff)!

    The time is now. Here are some tips:

    Browse Mashable.com‘s endless list of How-To Posts, which includes advice on using various social media for the job hunt AND for growing a business or advancing a cause. Then stay on top of other areas of Mashable for the latest word on contact-keeping technology.

    For the bare basics about popular platforms and tools, check out this great “In Plain English” animated series, including explanations of social networking, social media, RSS feeds, Twitter searches, Wikis and more (including explanations of Zombies, Presidential Elections, and other random topics, on top of the social media primers).

    To get an overview on tools to use, check out Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk (or, for fun, check out Gary’s appearance on MTV’s Hired!)

    For great tips on using video online, check out Get Seen by Steve Garfield, and follow him at SteveGarfield.com

    Now start browsing, and building on what you already know!

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 2:12 pm on June 10, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Resources   

    "Email Alert" Analysis: Focus on $-Raising 

    Idealist.org recently posted a short piece in which a blogger lauds the job-hunting benefits of search agents like Idealist’s own email alerts (or the ones discussed in our previous post). Beyond just identifying jobs, the savvy job-hunter profiled in the post watched for patterns and followed suit in developing her approach… She discovered that entry-level fundraising jobs were still popping up in great number, while other jobs were slow to appear. (Ding, ding, ding…do-gooders, start learning how to raise cha-ching!)

  • Jessica Beasley 3:59 pm on May 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Resources,   

    Practice Like You Play: Interview Preparation 

    For many graduating students, suntans and lazy afternoons have been replaced with job applications and balancing busy interview schedules. In this tough job market – interview preparation is everything. Being comfortable and prepared in your interview can really set you apart from other candidates; and we all know: practice makes perfect! As you prepare for your next interview, take advantage of the many resources the Career Resource Library has to offer:

    (More …)

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 9:30 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Resources, Skills-Building, ,   

    Boost Your Marketability Here and Now! 

    It’s time for “March Madness,” and by that I mean career-planning madness. The Job and Internship Fair is coming; summer is just months away. For seniors and others hoping to boost their marketability for jobs, internships, and other opportunities, there are any number of ways to build your technical skill set using handy campus resources. (More …)

  • Geoff Silverstein 4:38 pm on February 19, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Resources,   

    Networking the Wylde Way 

    Students and Alumni from the School of International Service came out on February 4 for a networking workshop before a reception to learn the basics of successful networking and relationship-building from Jim Wylde, an SIS MA alum from ’87.

    Jim is a leadership coach specializing in global management development, networking and career/life planning. His background includes 16 years with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as well as faculty and staff positions at American University, Georgetown University, and George Mason University, and is also a certified/licensed trainer in the methodology of Contacts Count and facilitates workshops to help others develop networking know-how for business and career success.

    Sound wylde? Well, students in attendance agreed- and everyone was glad they came:


    If you aren’t in SIS or you couldn’t make it to the workshop, have no fear! The AU Career Center still has your back. There’s a slew of upcoming workshops on our events calendar for networking and more.

  • Anna Litman 10:02 pm on December 7, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , Exploration, Resources   

    The Resource You'll be Glad You Found 

    While advising students, I have noticed that many students have misconceptions or little information about careers they would like to pursue.  No surprise here.  Many people have found themselves in an occupation/career by  chance or  chain of events,  lucky or unlucky as the case may be. However, wouldn’t  it be helpful to know more about specific job responsibilities, working environment, average salary levels and benefits, education requirements and etc.  associated with various occupations?

    You can find this information easily by exploring  the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) published annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.  When on the OOH homepage,  just type in the name of the occupation in the search box located in the left side of the page, and click “go”. If you cannot find any information, click on the A-Z index and search for the occupation alphabetically.

    I’ve received positive feedback from the students who have used the OOH as the starting point for their career research. The emphasis  is on “positive” and ” starting point.”  I recommend that you also employ other  career research strategies to build upon the information you’ve obtained through the OOH.  Read books on specific careers/fields – check our career library.  Do  informational interviews — stay tuned to our blog where we will tackle the subject in more detail. Plan to have internships –meet with your respective career advisor.  And happy career exploration to you!

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