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20 Point Increase. Target LS Admitted. Enjoy the struggle.

Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
in General 205 karma

Dear 7Sage Family,

Let me introduce myself. I am as average as average can get. I do not think I am special, and everything I have achieved academically has been 90% hard work and 10% (maybe) talent. Please do not think that I have self-esteem problems; I can assure you I do not. I am in my 30's, grown and confident enough to know where I stand, my strengths and weaknesses. So, I started like most, I guess, overthinking and fearful of how much the LSAT was kicking my ass. Here is my two-year story in a nutshell – that is studying for the LSAT and the LS application process. I started with an in-person class program (Pre-pandemic, remember those beautiful days?) that I thought would help me, "Testmasters," well, it did not. It was a HUGE waste of time and money, at least it was for me. I did that program for 3 months and then 3 other months of self-studying. Then, I signed up to 7Sage Ultimate+, and it was great from the get-go. My score improved shortly after, and it continued to do so as I studied and practice, practice, practice with PTs and problem sets (I love that feature from 7Sage, I highly recommended).

My first PT was 140. Yeah, not great. I continued studying, and in 2 months, my score went up 10 points. Then, I got stuck in the mid 150s. I was ready to give up until I started to focus on my test-taking strategy and my timing for each section. Long story short, I took the November LSAT Flex last year, and I was able to get a 160. Not super high, like some others' scores here, and I did not get accepted into Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or UC Berkley, but I did get accepted into my Target school and was given one of their best scholarships. I’m honored to be starting there this Fall. Needless to say, I am delighted with my results. So, not all stories have to be 170+ scores and acceptances into the LSs I just mentioned. I guarantee you that for everyone here that get a 170+ and acceptances to those schools (<<<), dozens like me get good solid scores and still get into their target LSs. Do not feel pressured by other's success stories of 170+ scores and T14 acceptances that your read here; instead, focus on your work and goals. Btw, I have nothing against those who get a 170+ score or are accepted to those schools. Good for them, congratulations, and I wish them the absolute best.

Lastly, here is my experience during the LS application process. I applied to 11 schools, I was accepted in 7, waitlisted in 3, and denied in 1. I was lucky to have plenty to choose from, and all the financial aid packages offered to me were very generous.

  • What did I learn from the process?
  1. Be thorough with your application (intelligent and concise).
  2. Include all necessary addendums like GPA, LSAT score, Legal explanation (if you have something "questionable" on your background), Termination addendum, etc. I am just mentioning a few; make sure to contact ALL the laws schools you will apply to and ask them directly. Believe it or not, they all have different criteria. DO BE AFRAID TO ASK. Also, make them CONCISE and to the point.
  3. If you can, definitely get help writing and proofreading your Personal Statement and Diversity Statement (if you have one). These are absolutely crucial and, in my case, they were significant in my application.
  4. LSs host many events (last year they were held via ZOOM, things were easy). Make sure to go to them and watch out for little nuggets of info you can include in your PS or DS. In these recruiting events, LSs speak about who they are as a school and the kind of people they are looking for. They also explain their programs, and you can ask them questions and hear their answers, which could be information that you won't find on their websites or materials.
  5. Check the LS’s website for general info about them. Once you have done so, you will have a better idea of who they are as a LS and you will have much better, and key, questions about their programs, concentrations, clinics, etc. Do your research homework, ask good questions, and you will leave a positive impression.
  6. Last but not least, if you participate in any of their events (virtual or in person) be professional. What does that mean? Show up as if you are showing up for an employment interview. 1. Dress up (No excuses). 2. BE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL (hello, "good morning/afternoon", "thank you so much for doing this", Thank them for answering your questions and all the info they are providing - even if you already know it). 3. If you get accepted to a LS, send them a concise and grateful “thank you email”. Every single school replied back to me very pleased with “my thank” you email, and I left an impression. Every time I talk to them – via email or in person, they knew my name. It was very helpful when I had questions or requests for them.

I hope any of this info helps you and feel free to ask any questions, I’d be happy to answer them, if I can (of course).

I have plenty of study materials and LS analytics, so if you’d like some of it please let me know and I’d be happy to send it your way. Just contact me via private message.

Finally, if you feel like you are struggling to improve your score or through the whole LS journey, please let me tell you (and I know many reading this will agree) you are not alone. I was in the same boat, and many people that have passed through 7Sage have been in your shoes. Just keep on going one step at a time. Perseverance is key. Anyway, good luck 7Sagers, and I wish you the absolute best in this arduous but meaningful journey.

Comments

  • tonyahardzinskitonyahardzinski Core Member
    307 karma

    Congrats!!! I started off with a 136 diagnostic and am just now PTing 159! Major progress is possible 🤗best of luck in LS!

  • Granger DangerGranger Danger Alum Member
    717 karma

    Awesome story! Thank you very much for sharing. It's personally refreshing for me to read stories about people like yourself who don't subscribe to the 170+ or bust attitude. I started in a similar score range as yourself and I am in the upper 160s. I congratulate all the 170+ scorers wholeheartedly, but I particularly love to celebrate the people who did not break into that score range. It's fantastic that you were accepted to your target school with one of that institution's best scholarships. I don't know you but I'm proud for you!

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @"Granger Danger", thank you so much. I completely agree with you. I posted my story because it is important for others to see that you can still make it even if you don't brake the 170 barrier. There is still hope for many out there. I beg people to not give up, and keep on going.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @"tonyahardzinski"thank you so much. :smile: Keep up the good work and I hope you do much better than I ever did. Wish you the best.

  • giulia.pinesgiulia.pines Member
    466 karma

    @Jeff---- Thank you so much for giving generously of YOUR time by sharing all this info and advice. I really appreciate it.

  • MistaTee001MistaTee001 Member
    105 karma

    Congratulations Jeff!

  • whatlikeitshardwhatlikeitshard Core Member
    219 karma

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing!! It's so good to hear of these stories where you didn't score 170+ but got into your target school and accepted into 6 others. Love to hear these happy endings!

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @"MistaTee001" Thank you so much.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @giulia.pines it is my pleasure. No problem.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @whatlikeitshard Thank you so much, I just hope it helps you and other to stay motivated and pushing hard.

  • Austin.hutchinson1Austin.hutchinson1 Core Member
    104 karma

    Thank you this is crucial info!!

  • laura_lololaura_lolo Live Member
    161 karma

    Jeff congratulations! That's amazing. I'm so happy for you. All the best to you on your journey of becoming a lawyer! And thank you for sharing your story, much appreciated:)

  • SvenssonSvensson Alum Member
    62 karma

    Congrats! How did your test taking strategy change between mind 150's to 160? Did you employ skipping more often?

  • foreverconfusedforeverconfused Alum Member
    123 karma

    This is just what I needed to read today! Huge congrats to you, and I wish you nothing but the best in your law school journey

  • lobell79lobell79 Alum Member
    146 karma

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! So proud of your achievement and your humility!

    While I applaud those reaching for and achieving scores that make them eligible for T14's, stories like yours are endearing, motivational and so hopeful. My original attraction to JY's program was directly because of his dedication to make LS study more accessible to those of us who do not have the advantage of birth, social status or income.

    I"ve given up so many times, and I want you to know that reading this truly helps me move past the anxiety, fear and negative self talk.

  • galacticgalactic Yearly Member
    690 karma

    Thanks for the advice! I think the fact that you took the time to go out of your way to help the community proves that you are not average at all, btw.

  • 108 karma

    congrats man. Reading this gave me big hopes.

  • SupernoviceSupernovice Alum Member
    323 karma

    I haven't been on this site for YEARS, but am still a member of the community and randomly check JY's weekly forum updates and browse when I see something interesting. I haven't posted in ages, but this post spoke to me, as I was in a very (eerily, almost) similar situation.

    I just finished up my Spring semester as a 2.5L, awaiting grades which (hopefully) will place me in a comfortable position to graduate next May. I was initially a Spring start, had to do Summer school, then Fall, so that's from where the 2.5L comes.

    This post by OP so badly needed to be written. I am retired military, mid-40's, and hadn't been in a proper classroom in 22.5 years when I decided to try to go to law school. Obviously the LSAT was going to be a big hurdle. I am a mediocre student, but an extremely hard worker. Like OP, I don't have natural test-taking talent, I just work harder than most people I know and I absolutely refuse to quit at anything. When I retired, I moved back to my home city, bought a home, and was convinced I was going to stay here. There is a small law school in the city, not a great one, but it will get me to the bar exam. For you older girls and guys out there, if you have an awesome résumé, you own a home or have significant anchors to a particular location, you can get caught up in the competition/challenge/achievement mentality of that 170 LSAT. It is fantastic if you can do it! It will pay big dividends in scholarships, even if you don't go to a T14. If you have a robust background, your law degree should be something that opens different doors for you or is just icing on the cake. Not everyone with a law degree practices law--the degree is still an incredible achievement.

    Now, I shall sing praises to 7Sage. When I retired, I sat on my arse for about a month (original plan was to take a year off to find my bearings, but I was goin nuts not having a way forward), then decided I'd go to LS. Took my first PT and got a 139. I thought, surely that was a fluke, so I did another, got another 139. I decided, I'd pull the trigger and register for the summer LSAT, just as an accountability measure for myself to keep me focused and working. As the year went by, I was using all the "free" sites and advice, then I started another commercial product I will not name because that's not cool, and my score remained flat other than +/- 1-5 pts. here and there. So, it's 3 months before my test date and I find this place. Got the Ultimate plan, loved it from the beginning, regretted I didn't start with it, who knows what would have happened. I took my first LSAT, scored a 159 (+20 from my original in 3 months), applied for 1 school, was accepted, and off I went. The score was high enough to put me in some really good scholarship shape, but alas the school already offers 50% reduction for prior military service members, so that was gracious enough. Other classmates with similar scores got almost that much in scholarship money.

    I understand the need to be competitive when you're fresh out of undergrad, I mean, it's everything, but you will find a lot of people in LS seeking second (third/fourth) careers. You think if you have run a successful business with 20-30 employees for 10 years, that is not gonna speak volumes about you as a person? Those employees depended on you for their livelihood and you created that position and were responsible for them and their families! Or you did 10-20 years in the military leading men and women in combat, that you won't get into a great school, for your purposes, with less than a 170? If I pass the bar, with my background, no one will care about to which school I went. No one will care about my GPA.

    Finally, as I realize, that many of you are still young and will be coming straight from undergrad, you don't carry the credentials most the older people have, so you are quite dependent on your LSAT score and GPA's to make you stand out. I will just say this, and this may seem an alien concept: I really enjoyed studying for the LSAT after I found this course. It became fun. There's a cool community. I met friends here I still chat/text with to this day. The staff is responsive. As soon as I got my 159, I was disappointed and wanted to take the test again; I had scored mid-160's on many PT's just before... Then I started thinking--for what? Why? I'm in a school located in my city. I'm gonna pass the same bar as everyone else. I've no desire to move to Boston or New Haven. Pretentiousness has never been my style. I'm perfectly happy right here for now. After school, we'll see. But, have fun with the studies. Put the work in. Don't get discouraged. Do the 7Sage program AS IT IS PRESCRIBED. Don't just try and fail, look up the answer and say this sucks and I am no good. Do it the hard way, the way they tell you to do it, and you will see gains. I found it fascinating when I was doing all this, and people in the forum would start complaining about their scores not improving. My first question, "Did you follow the instructions exactly? Did you go back and re-work the problem, try to see why you got it wrong? Did you re-do the ones you got right, because you could have guessed correctly and that does not help you one bit, did you do that?" Inevitably, the answer was "no, I just looked at the videos or just looked at the explanation." That's not the way this thing works. Don't be lazy. It wastes more time trying to claw your way out of that disaster than to just do it correctly in the first place.

    Good luck everyone!

  • thetrinabaileythetrinabailey Core Member
    138 karma

    This.

  • ykovidaykovida Member
    22 karma

    This is a great post! Do you mind me asking what law school you will be attending?

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @"Austin.hutchinson1" @laura_lolo @foreverconfused @"galactic law" @praiseolaolorun @thetrinabailey ...... Thank you all for your nice words and good wishes. They mean so much.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @Svensson Thank you, and my change of strategy was based on timing and really mastering the sections I was "good" at and becoming as close to "perfect" as possible. My strongest section was LG, the following was LR, and the lastly RC. I created an Excel Sheet to keep track of all the LG I did, and how I had done them. If you'd like I can send you an example of the document I kept record in. Then for LR, I improved as much as possible on the type of questions I was best at. Now, this was given the fact that kept track of all the record data from all my PTs and Problem Sets. I am a man of statistics and I utilized it to my benefit. Lastly for RC, I practiced, practiced, and practiced some more. I made some improvements, but that was my most challenging section. So, I tried my hardest and I made peace with reality. So, given that RC was my most challenging section I busted my ass studying the other sections, techniques, and strategies for all sections.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @lobell79 All I can tell you is keep up and do not back down. I was often miserable, but the thought of giving up and quitting something that I was working and fighting for for so long. The thought of not making, not even to the door of a LS, killed me. So, for me, quitting was, and still is, worse than keep on grinding and struggling through the process for getting my best score on the LSAT.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @"galactic law" Thank you so much man, and for me sharing my story is absolutely nothing. I am not special than anyone. I know that if I can do something, then anyone can. All I can do is work hard and try to do it as efficiently as possible. Thank you so much for your words, but I have to tell you I am just like anyone in this planet. I wish success in you endeavors, but specially peace and happiness.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @praiseolaolorun Keep up, keep on, and DO NOT GIVE UP.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @ykovida I am glad you liked the post. Awesome. I honestly do not mind, but I do not want to post it because that is not the point of my post. I am not looking to brag or cloud so I will have to very kindly and respectfully refuse to discouse, but I'll tell you this. It is one of the most historically important LS in the state of California. ;)

  • turvsbroturvsbro Member
    90 karma

    Great story with a great climb! Good luck to you in law school! I know how difficult a 20 point climb is and that is no small feat. My diagnostic was a 158 and my most recent PT was a 178, so for anyone out there, I will highly second the suggestion that a 20 point climb is possible!

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @turvsbro thank you for your words and good wishes. Sending you the best vibes. Wish you success on everything.

  • Frenchy555Frenchy555 Live Member
    393 karma

    @Jeff---- Is that your 75 Firebird?

  • 219 karma

    20 point climb is very doable - Started at 141, testing at 161 and still climbing. LOVED this post, thanks @Jeff, for perspective.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @Frenchy unfortunately not. :( But, it is my friend's.

  • Jeff----Jeff---- Alum Member
    205 karma

    @TakingOnTheBeast Glad you liked it. Well done and keep it up. Wish you all the best.

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