I've Been Admitted to Law School. The Question is...Can I Survive?

Narkoleptomania

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Are They Worth It?

LSAT Prep Classes that is. An 0L-to-be friend of mine consulted me (yeah ME) for advice on the LSAT, basically he wanted to know if it would be a good idea to shell out between $1000-$1500 on a Prep Class.

I'm stumped.

I didn't take a Prep class and I did pretty well, I know people who took Prep classes and did better than I did and I also know a people who took Prep classes and did worse than I did. I ended up treading the middle ground and telling him to take a few tests and see how he does and then decide whether or not he thinks he may be able to swing it on his own or if he'll need Kaplan, Princeton, Powerscore or one of the myriad of LSAT Prep courses out there to help him out. As I type this I know I gave him pretty bad advice the only "redeeming" factor is that I did offer him a disclaimer and assure him that what I have to say on the matter should by no means be taken as gospel (a cop-out if ever there was one).

I ended up studying for the LSAT on my own for two reasons, one, I was broke at the time and shelling out $1300 for some Prep courses seemed just ridiculous - rent and food come first you know and two, after I totally bombed the first practice test I did and resolved to sign up for a course courtesy of Visa or American Express I found out that all the registration dates had passed and I'd missed at least two to three weeks of classes.

After being convinced that I was bound to get a 150, I pulled myself together hit Barnes and Noble and bought some practice tests, ordered some of the most recent ones from the LSAC, bought the Powerscore Logic Games Bible on Ebay (the games were kicking my ass) and spent the last few weeks before the LSAT taking practice tests when I had the time. That worked, I took the LSAT once and was happy enough with my score to not want to do it over again.

On the other hand, I have no idea if I'd have done even better had I gone to any of the classes but I sure as hell know that the classes can't be the be-all and end-all of LSAT Prep since people who take the classes often do poorly.

Hmm, I'd thought that after putting this down on paper...err...blog, I'd have come up with some better advice for him. Oh well. The one thing I can resolutely advise him against is using any of the Barrons' books, I'm not a big fan of Kaplan's books either but really Barrons just plain sucks. I do think practice is the key, whether you do it in a class or on your own, if you don't do as many of those practice tests as you possibly can (set a high bar though, don't do 3 and think that's all you can do), if you do fine in the practice tests odds are pending some catastrophe exam day you'll do fine in the LSAT.