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Seeking Advice on Handling Parental Pressures

Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
in General 200 karma

If anyone has the time & ability to give me some insight/perspective/advice, I would truly so appreciate it!!!

Here is my situation: I graduated in May, planned to take one gap year, took the LSAT in September, and am now recognizing that I need far more time to study for the LSAT if I want to have a legitimate shot at my goal schools. I would like to attend a T14, so I am determined to score in the 170s. I was BRing around this score (but..my score would fluctuate quite a bit). Thus, I was not too surprised when I scored a 163 on the September test.

Basically, I am certain that if I took more time, I could score much higher, which would give me a good shot at the schools I am hoping to get into. So (partly since I am 21 and am personally in no urgent rush to start law school as soon as possible) I want to just take the time to study more for the LSAT and wait another year to apply to schools. However, my parents are very against this, and they think that November should be my last shot, and whatever score I get..that's the score I get. They honestly do not have many reasons for this, aside from just wanting me to get started with law school and not take any more time than necessary. I do not think they fully grasp the significance of everything from the LSAT score to the ranking of the law school one attends, but they are also not particularly amenable to me trying to explain it to them (they are both attorneys themselves, but honestly I do not think their experience was the same as it is today).

Has anyone has walked a road similar to this one before? Or anyone have any insight on how I should go about this? I am keenly aware that this is a highly personal situation that is very specific to my life, but I also believe that many law school applicants have had to have gone through this before, and I would really love to hear some perspectives on the matter. Do you have any advice on how I should go about this with my parents? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!!

Comments

  • wrasschaertwrasschaert Member
    edited September 2018 310 karma

    Wow, I'm actually in a very similar situation to you. 21 as well, I PT in the mid 170's, but sadly got a 163 on the September LSAT (that was a rough morning). My goal is T14, Chicago. My parents are also pushing me to apply this year, really no matter what. So for them, November is my last chance.

    The way they look at it is that, starting a year in advance puts you a year ahead of the 'competition.' I find myself agreeing with them. But, I do feel that difficulty between my personal goals of T14 and applying this year.

    I don't know if I have much advice, but your parents most likely have reasons like you do. Maybe an in between path of taking the November test and seeing if you can get into T14 with that score. If not, then try again next cycle. Happy to talk about this though, very similar situation we're in.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Would it help to print out reports showing employment stats of various schools, along with info on your odds at the better schools with your current LSAT? That maybe if you frame it in a way of speaking about how you want to have a better shot at good employment after school, they might be more understanding.

    Are they helping you pay for school? If they’re not, then I say... you’re a grown up and can do whatever you want haha. If you live with them, move out. And apply when you’re ready. But, I’m a rebel that way. :)

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Member
    edited September 2018 1804 karma

    Basically, I am certain that if I took more time, I could score much higher, which would give me a good shot at the schools I am hoping to get into... However, my parents are very against this, and they think that November should be my last shot, and whatever score I get..that's the score I get... I do not think they fully grasp the significance of everything from the LSAT score to the ranking of the law school one attends, but they are also not particularly amenable to me trying to explain it to them...

    Tell them to beat it (your actual words would be far more diplomatic and reasonable than what I said, of course -- you would want to reason with them).

    I took a gap year after I graduated from college and took the LSAT. I received a low-160. My parents (who are not attorneys, for the record) kept telling me to apply with that score, arguing I could transfer (!), being an attorney is better than not being one, etc. I studied more, retook the LSAT two years later, and got a 170. Was admitted to a T6 with that score. Would that have been possible with my original score? Maybe, but far, far less likely than not.

    They honestly do not have many reasons for this, aside from just wanting me to get started with law school and not take any more time than necessary.

    What is "necessary"? If your aspiration is to get into a law school (which I am inclined to think is what your parents have on their minds), than that word would be appropriate. In your situation, on the other hand, probably a different story.

    (they are both attorneys themselves, but honestly I do not think their experience was the same as it is today)

    Testify!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @wrasschaert Wow yeah we really are in the same boat!! That is crazy! Thank you for sharing that insight. I really appreciate it. I of course would want to compromise with my parents if possible, but given my circumstances right now, I'm not sure if I will be able to because they would really push me to just go to the highest-ranked school I'd get into this cycle, which would not end well for me. But your advice is certainly helpful, so thanks so much!! And I wish you the best with the November test & Chicago!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @"Leah M B" Thank you so much for that! Yes, I think that is an excellent idea to show them tangible, printed-out reasons for precisely why I am taking this stance. And it is kind of still undecided how much they will help with paying for law school, if at all. But I completely agree with you! And yes, I did move back in after I graduated in May, so I agree that I may have to move back out to make this happen. Thank you!!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @FixedDice Haha yes!!
    And that is so helpful to hear your experience! That really solidifies for me what I am thinking I should do right now. I am so happy for you that you were able to take that time and get into such an amazing school!
    Also, you are so right, this extended year would be entirely necessary for me to get into the range of schools I am aiming to get into. I appreciate your insight!

  • LSAT_WreckerLSAT_Wrecker Member
    edited September 2018 4850 karma

    Speaking as a parent of four (oldest in a master’s program and the next oldest currently a high school senior / applying to undergrad), I think it might help assuage your parent’s concerns if you gave them a concrete plan, i.e. I’m taking this specific time period to study using X materials in order to score Y when I take Z date test so that I can get into “Insert Gold Star” school. This will allow me to do 123 work when I graduate. Additionally, I will be doing volunteer work A and intern work B, etc. That might sell better than “I want to take another year to study.”

    If that doesn’t work (or if you already went this route), I agree with Leah in that you need to do a little cord cutting. This is your life and you only get to do law school once. Make sure its the one you want to go to. This is your decision, not your parents.

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    Law school is a beast and your summer jobs will keep you extremely busy in between semesters. Next comes the bar exam... Why rush into that and put yourself at a significant disadvantage compared to your peers who you are competing with for grades and an eventual job? I'm not suggesting that being a 21 year old in law school would prevent you from being extremely successful, but if you aren't eager to start it may be an obstacle you will have to overcome on top of learning a new way of thinking, reading, researching, and writing. The decision has immediate financial implications as well. You could be foregoing hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential scholarship money by applying with your score on record, or applying late in the cycle with your "last shot" score.

    Maybe if you explained the strategy behind the admissions game and the benefits of applying at the beginning of a cycle with a top 2%-3% score it might help them support your decision. November isn't too late, but putting that kind of pressure on yourself may be counterproductive.

    Good luck with your decision. Keep working hard and be strategic in your decision making.

  • eRetakereRetaker Free Trial Member
    2038 karma

    Delay a year and study more for the best possible score. Your parents sound like the type that would shame you for not getting into top schools so, either way, whether you apply early with a bad score or delay with a better score, they'll be less than happy. Might as well take the option that is better for your future and delay.

    Anecdotal: my friend who was a summa cum laude at my undergrad was pressured by her dad to apply to med school immediately. She had to severely rush her application and ended up getting into a distant state school. Her dad then shamed her for not getting into better schools so she ended up making her dad unhappy anyway. The point is...just make the best decision for your future. Show them LSN results with different LSAT scores or show them how law schools explicitly say they want work experience, etc. Whatever it takes to get them to understand your decision a bit better.

  • LCMama2017LCMama2017 Alum Member
    2134 karma

    @LSAT_Wrecker said:
    Speaking as a parent of four (oldest in a master’s program and the next oldest currently a high school senior / applying to undergrad), I think it might help assuage your parent’s concerns if you gave them a concrete plan, i.e. I’m taking this specific time period to study using X materials in order to score Y when I take Z date test so that I can get into “Insert Gold Star” school. This will allow me to do 123 work when I graduate. Additionally, I will be doing volunteer work A and intern work B, etc. That might sell better than “I want to take another year to study.”

    If that doesn’t work (or if you already went this route), I agree with Leah in that you need to do a little cord cutting. This is your life and you only get to do law school once. Make sure its the one you want to go to. This is your decision, not your parents.

    This!! Totally second this advice!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @LSAT_Wrecker That is incredibly helpful advice. Thank you so much. I think you are completely right regarding providing them with a concrete plan, and I will definitely do that. Thank you!!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @drbrown2 Yes, very true. That reason, in addition to the reason of improving my LSAT score and getting into a better school, is definitely one of my top reasons for wanting to postpone. I agree that being one year older and having acquired that additional life experience and wisdom will be very beneficial for my law school career. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter! I appreciate it a lot.

  • Pride Only HurtsPride Only Hurts Alum Member
    2186 karma

    It helps to put it into monetary terms too. The scholarship potential is the biggest upside for most people. Just explain to them that getting about 10 more questions correct on the test can translate into tens of thousands of scholarship offers. For me I'm letting folks know I want to get into the best Law schools in the country but more importantly, I want to graduate law school with little to no debt.

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @eRetaker Thank you for sharing that! Yes, I believe that you are right -- my parents would not be thrilled with the results if I tried to apply with a lower score this cycle, so either way their reactions would not be ideal. And that is a helpful example. Yes, I would say I am in a similar position as that friend (since I have a 3.9 from a top public university) and rushing into my applications would be unwise. I really just need to take this time to get the score I need, and at this point I really am planning to wait another year and just figure out the best way to go about it with my parents:) So thank you for your insight! All of you have been so kind and helpful; I appreciate it SO much!!

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited October 2018 3652 karma

    First of all you did a great job on the LSAT from just studying for a few months.

    I agree that you should print out employment stats (Aba and NALP data) and print out the LSAC chances of acceptance at a top school with your current lsat score vs. your goal score. And LSN data on scholarships. Find articles on how much law schools value work experience and show your parents that you're applying for xyz jobs and signing up for xyz volunteer work.

    Unless your parents are both paying for your law school entirely and have secured a job for you after graduation, then I'm not sure why you would even discuss law school with them beyond a friendly life update conversation. Many older attorneys have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. The legal market isn't the same as it was decades ago. They might think i.e. I work at this law firm and most of the attorneys here went to third tier schools. They dont realize that their specific situation isn't representative of the entire legal market and they likely don't know the low $60k starting salary of a large portion of new attorneys from non-t14s.

    If you really can’t convince them otherwise, and if they're threatening to cut you off financially and you're literally facing homelessness if you don't apply this cycle, then just lie that you're applying this cycle but are studying to retake the lsat to increase your merit scholarship chances. I really doubt they're monitoring your computer and you really don't need to divulge every detail to your parents.

    My parents 100% doubted my ability to get a high lsat score and didn't see the point of me studying to retake and reapply. They did not share these doubts with me until after I got my retake score back and they were like wow congrats we were worried you were wasting your time. I was working full time though so I think that may be a part of why they didnt put much pressure on me since at the very least I'm taking this time to pay off my undergrad loans.

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @"Pride Only Hurts" Thank you for that! Yes, that is super true. I have not really explained that to them either. I will do that! Thanks so much. And wishing you the best with your applications and scholarship offers!

  • LawSkewlProbsLawSkewlProbs Alum Member
    103 karma

    Just tell them "Trust me, trust me, trust me..." and walk away. Tell them "I am not settling for this score. I can do so much better. Since when is it good to settle?" Good luck!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @"surfy surf" Thank you for sharing that! Those are very helpful tips, and I will be sure to print out some of those stats you mentioned. Also, yes, you honestly nailed it on the head with where they're coming from with their perspective on law school rankings. Thank you for your insight!!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @LawSkewlProbs Yes!! Great advice:) Thank you!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    Just wanted to follow up and thank you all for your super helpful input! I presented it to my parents, and it went really well - thanks to all of you. So I am now officially waiting another year to apply and postponing taking the LSAT again to the summer. And my parents are behind it. I feel so much relief and peace about this decision, and I know it is the correct thing for me to do at this point in my life. So thank you all so so much for everything!!! And I wish you all the best on each of your law school journeys:)

  • LSAT_WreckerLSAT_Wrecker Member
    4850 karma

    @Ellie0257 said:
    Just wanted to follow up and thank you all for your super helpful input! I presented it to my parents, and it went really well - thanks to all of you. So I am now officially waiting another year to apply and postponing taking the LSAT again to the summer. And my parents are behind it. I feel so much relief and peace about this decision, and I know it is the correct thing for me to do at this point in my life. So thank you all so so much for everything!!! And I wish you all the best on each of your law school journeys:)

    Congratulations. Now get to work studying!

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    Yes! I’m on it!

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9372 karma

    There are some great pieces of advice here and I'm glad you worked things out! Good luck!! :smiley:

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    Woohoo congrats! Now you can focusing on destroying this test and proving to your parents that you knew what you were talking about :wink:

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    I completely agree! Thank you!! @akistotle

    Thanks so much, @keets993 !! And yes, will do!!

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Member
    5249 karma

    Maybe send them some links to webinars or podcasts on youtube or the podcast websites, like ThinkingLSAT, 7Sage AMAs, and similar so they can listen to other accounts of the long journeys people have been on and the increased opportunities they received once they reached their goal scores on the live exam. Also, maybe go Law School Transparency and/or the ABA website and/or Spivey and send them links to articles on the cost of law school and future finances. Maybe also tell them you're only going to be in this age range once and you want to make sure you get a chance to travel or pursue some similar opportunities before settling into a binding career commitment. And maybe go to a forum, open house, fair, or law school visit and invite them to the family/friends portions of it if they have time, and/or send them a synopsis. Just saw there was some acceptance when you talked with them, which I'm glad for--it's important for friends and family to be informed of the great challenges of this exam. Maybe this will help someone else in a similar situation. Keep pursuing the LSAT dream and we're here for you. Here's to 1L enrollment in 2019 and/or 2020. :)

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    @lsatplaylist Those are all incredibly helpful ideas & very practical tips. Thanks so very much!!!

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Congrats, I'm so glad this worked out for you! <3

  • Ellie0257Ellie0257 Member
    200 karma

    Thank you so much!! I appreciate all your input!❤️ @"Leah M B"

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