Monday, May 1, 2017

LSAT Angst and the Logical Process

Some people study for the LSAT.

Some even take courses to prepare for it.

And many worry about it.

I know this because as a lawyer I accidentally see advertisements and posts etc. along these lines. 

And I occasionally see ones where some poor soul is concerned because he or she is taking it for the third time and is now convinced, not without good reason, that the dream of being a lawyer is about to fade away.

Well. . . dear reader, if you can't get a good score on your LSAT simply by showing up, you probably have less business in law school than a trained bear.

I wasn't aware, when I took the LSAT back in 1986, that people freaked out about it.  I took that and the Graduate Record Exam, the GRE, at the same time and I didn't study for either.  Somebody counseled me to get a book to study for the LSAT, which I did, but it was so boring I didn't put much effort into it and rapidly gave it up.  I really wasn't aware of the freak out nature of the test until I was waiting in line to take it and there were some nervous folks waiting in line who had taken it before and scored low.  I scored high on the LSAT and the GRE without studying for either.  And that is how it should be.

According to the LSAT folks:
The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.
If you can't do that stuff on your own, you may need to study, but not for the test.  In other words, studying for the test may camouflage your inabilities in these regards.

Now, let's be honest.  Law school, any law school, is easy. Everyone thinks its super hard simply because of the myth surrounding it.  But if you have the ability to read and a mind that naturally uses logic, rather than emotion, to analyze, it's a breeze.  It was so much easier than my geology undergrad it isn't even funny.  It's probably a lot harder than majoring in some major designed only to get you into law school, but that's hardly a fair comparison.

But practicing law is hard.  Really hard.  And it never gets easy.  You may get better at it, but as you do the complexity of the problems you face will grow along with it.  

And hence the point.  If you can't do well on the LSAT, maybe you should really consider doing something else.

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