If you’re a longtime listener, then you know that transferring can be a way to leverage a strong 1L performance into a more prestigious school. That’s just what GW transfer student and current 2L, Kelly Buckley did. After her 1L year at Catholic University, Kelly made the rounds, collected recommendations from current instructors, assessed her options, and transferred to GW. Kelly talks about her 1L experience and offers advice to law-school hopefuls, and shares the details of what it was like to transfer from a school outside the top 100 law schools to a school ranked 23rd in the country. Plus, Nathan and Ben answer questions about LG strategy, LR strategy, whether or not to write a GPA addendum, and whether a part-time program will set you up for a successful career in the law.
As always, if you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. You can connect with other folks studying for the LSAT, and get more useful resources from Nathan and Ben.
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2:50 – Interview With 2L Transfer, Kelly Buckley
Kelly Buckley recently transferred from Catholic University (ranked outside of the US News top 100) to GW (ranked 23) for her 2L year. She joins the guys to talk about the transfer process and share her thoughts about her 1L year. Kelly describes the importance of staying positive and staying focused during your 1L year, making sure you develop relationships with professors and using Quimbee to stay sharp. She also describes how challenging it can be to transfer, noting that your professors and your school may not be very keen to support you in your journey away from their institution.
32:44 – Pearls vs. Turds
Sarah writes in with a possible pearl of wisdom for sorting games in LG sections. When Sarah sees a sorting game, she sharpens her pencil and dives in with this method: she draws a line…halfway, or roughly halfway between the items that need sorting. So if there are six slots, she’ll draw a line between items three and four. If there are seven slots, she’ll draw a dividing line to split the items 4-3. Sarah says that this helps her visualize where all of the slots are, and it makes it easier for her to apply rules. The guys agree that this is not a pearl and deem it a tie. Drawing arbitrary lines without basis in a rule can hinder rather than help you solve a game.
38:26 – LR Strategy Question
Sarah wants to improve her LR scores and asks the guys to weigh in on her current strategy. Sarah burns through questions that she gets right away. When she encounters a question that she’s not 100% confident in answering, she writes down the question number and decides to revisit it later. After she gets through the rest of the section, she returns to those questions she wrote down, hoping that a second look with fresh eyes will reveal the answer she was grasping for earlier. Nathan and Ben agree this isn’t the best approach to the test. Deferring questions only adds pressure to race through the remainder of the section so you can return to answer them. Instead, the guys recommend digging in and answering the questions in order. If there’s one that stumps you, or you narrow it down to two and feel you need to guess, answer it, let it go, and move on.
48:30 – Part-Time or Not Part-Time?
Ashley’s 34 and works as a legal administrator in the Chicago area. Now she’s got the law school bug and is thinking about applying soon. She wants to know if she’s crazy to consider law school at 34 and whether a part-time program will get her the job she wants. Ben and Nathan weigh in, and the bottom line? There’s no issue with part-time programs. In some cases, part-time programs have excellent reputations depending on the school. And you’re not crazy for wanting to go to law school at 34. The pro tips are:
59:10 – GPA Addendum
Joe Turk has an LSAC GPA of 3.84 (way to go, Joe!). But even though his cumulative GPA is pretty great, the truth is, Joe’s GPA saw a big drop in his final semester. He wants to know if he should write an addendum to explain the change in GPA when he’s applying to law schools. Nathan and Ben agree—absolutely not. An addendum is meant to draw attention to something – like improving grades when a GPA is low. Joe, you’re a shoo-in for a top 14 school based on raw numbers alone. No need to draw attention to a bad semester.
1:04:53 – Update From Gap-Year-Curious Beth
Beth took the LSAT for the first time and turned out a 155—ten points less than her practice score average. That’s a bummer, but not uncommon. The guys stress that Beth needs to nab the LSAT score she’s capable of to match her high GPA if she wants to find a home at a top school—then she can relax and start thinking about everything else.