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LSAT and admission issues thread for non-traditional OWLS

penniwinpenniwin Free Trial Member
in General 6 karma
Hello all, long time lurker here. I am a non-traditional student finishing up my applications for Fall 2017.

I thought a thread dealing with problems faced by OWLS (older, wiser law students/applicants) might be useful.

Here are some questions I have. Some are specific to OWLS; others might apply to everyone.

1) I did OK on my first LSAT but thought I could do much better because I was PTing much higher. With more practice I took the LSAT again in December but got sick with a virus on test day. Even though I was sick I went through with the test. Score went DOWN five whole points. Ugh, I guess I should have cancelled. I would like to take again (maybe I will, in June) but due to family situation and finances I absolutely have to go ahead and apply now for 2017 admission or I probably can't go to law school. So I am faced with a decision. Some of my schools say that even though they take the highest LSAT, in the case of multiple LSAT scores one should write an addendum if a score change is "significant." I think a 5 point drop is significant; but what does everyone else say? How would you deal with this?

2) How are you OWLS handling the employment section on applications? I've worked in many jobs going back several decades. Applications say to list all employment but do they really mean jobs like 2 weeks in a mini-golf back in the summer of 1986, which is now out of business and the owner is probably dead? Is there a limit to how many jobs can be listed in this section? (I haven't started entering mine yet, so any advice is appreciated.)

3) What about the Activities section on the same page with Employment... it says to rank your activities in order of what they mean to you. But seriously at this point in my life was my membership in the state champion Women's College Glee Club in 1988 more or less important than my volunteer work at a local church nine years ago? It's like comparing ancient apples and oranges, plus these things are on my resume anyway.

4) Resume -- how many pages? One admission dean I spoke with said that for someone my age he wants to see me take as many pages as I need and list pretty much everything (I ended up with three pages) but what do you all think?

Please fellow OWLS, throw out more questions and answers. Let's help each other. Thanks in advance, and to any admissions pros who reply too!


  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    You might find this thread useful.
  • penniwinpenniwin Free Trial Member
    edited January 2017 6 karma
    Thanks, yes good thread... have seen it. Looking for more specifics about the LSAT and application process and how it affects us old-timers. It's definitely different for someone with a few decades to document in his or her app.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27719 karma
    If @david.busis is around, he'd know this better than anybody. Here's my attempt at it though:
    @penniwin said:
    got sick with a virus on test day.
    Yeah, this happened to lots of us on the September test as well;)

    Puns aside (or is that irony?), I'm not sure if an addendum is appropriate here or not. I definitely understand the temptation, but giving them something to read that they could potentially consider extraneous is not good and 5 points really isn't an enormous swing. If you do write it, I'd say keep it short and sweet--somewhere in the neighborhood of two lines.

    For employment on the application, I think the more the better, although certain trends can potentially look bad, like if you never stay anywhere longer than six months or something. With activities, I think the same; the more the better. Showing you've been actively engaged with the world throughout your life is great. If you don't care more about certain things than others, give any leadership roles a bump. Also, you could go with what you think has the potential to maybe sound a little more impressive: Championship outranks church volunteer work.

    For the resume, I wanted to present my experience in a way that I thought would best depict me as an academic and as a professional. That high school job I only worked for a few months, for example, doesn't really contribute to that and so I didn't include it. After graduation, that place that closed down within months after I started--not so important. The job I worked through college and my five year job as a GM, however, are parts of my work experience that yield important information about my professional history, so of course they are included. It doesn't have to be fully complete, it just needs to cover anything that is significant. That's how I approached mine anyway. I could very well be wrong.
  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    edited January 2017 893 karma
    Interesting thoughts.
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