i The Frugal Law Student | 2006 | December

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Deciding which school to go to

Written by Brett McKay

Picking which school you go to can help in saving money during law school. To help you with your decision, I suggest using a multi-attribute optimization chart. A multi-what? It’s easier then it sounds, but can be very helpful when deciding which school is best for your.

  1. Think of list of the important attributes you’re looking for in a law school. Don’t list too many or your score in the end will be diluted. But don’t be skimpy either. When I did this, I listed 10 attributes. They included: cost, location, cost of living, job opportunities for Mrs. FLS, facilities, and employment rate after graduation. If you’re in a relationship, you can also include your partner’s attributes.
  2. Next, rank each attribute from 1-10. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. Again, if you’re married, have your spouse rank as well, but do it separately. After you’re both done, average your scores together. (If you’re single, don’t worry about the averaging thing). You should have something that looks like this:

Preference Order of Attributes

 

 

 

  1. Next, create a chart with the schools you’re choosing at the top and the attributes on the side. Rank each school on that attribute, like this:

 

Big U

State

SmallU

PU

ASU

StateU

  1. Multiply your number from the first chart and multiply by school’s score from each given criteria. For example, take the score from your first chart for location (9 for Mrs. FLS and I) and multiply by each location score for each school. So, multiply 9 by 5 (Big U), 9×4 (State), 9×8 (Small U), and so on. Do this with each criterion. After that, total the numbers under each school. In the end, you should have something like this:

 

Big U

State

Small

PU

ASU

StateU

So, it looks like Small U is the best pick. There’s not much difference between PU and State U, so I would probably be happy with either school. Of course, there is a possibility that you come up with some false positives doing this. Even though you try not to be biased, there’s a tendency to give the school you really want to go to higher scores, even though it really doesn’t warrant that score. You also might be thinking this is a lot of work. It is little involved, but its fun.

I think it would be interesting to see this done with purely financial criteria. Such as scholarships offered, cost of living, transportation, books, ect.

Posts I Liked This Week

Written by The Frugal Law Student

Time once again for the weekly post round up.

Law school

Personal Finance

Sell your old law school books online

Written by Brett McKay


I went up to the school bookstore today to sell my books back. They offered me $12 for my $120 case book. I turned around and went home. See ya.

You can easily get 5 – 10 times more for you old law school books on Amazon, eBay, or half.com. It’s easy, too. Just open up an account with them, enter the ISBN of the book you want to sell, and presto. My only beef with selling books online is having to go to the post office. If your post office doesn’t have one of those self serving kiosks, you can spend up to an hour standing in line. (At lest that’s how it is here where I live.) However, I think it might be worth it if it means a few more bucks.

Save Money Preparing for the LSAT: Part III

Written by Brett McKay

This is Part III. (Read Part I, Part II.)

  1. Sign up for the test. I suggest you take the test in October. That way you have all summer to prepare for it. Additionally, if you don’t do as well as you like, you can retake it in December and still get your score back in time to apply to schools for the next year. Also, check and see if you’re eligible for a fee waiver.
  2. Make your study schedule. After taking the diagnostic test, you’ll know what sections you need to work on. Allocate more time for your weak areas. Set aside one day to take a full timed test. After the test, review the answers you got wrong. Focus on why that’s the wrong answer and why the right answer is right. To give you an idea of a possible schedule, here’s what mine often looked like:

Monday- Logic Games, Tuesday- Logical Reasoning, Wednesday- Reading Comprehension, Thursday- Logic Games, Friday- Logic Reasoning, Saturday- Full Test, Sunday- Nothing.

Check back tomorrow for Part IV.

Save Money Preparing for the LSAT: Part II

Written by Mrs. FLS

This is Part II on how to save money on the LSAT. (Read Part I.)

  1. Get old official LSAT’s. The best way to practice for the LSAT is use old tests. You can buy these used on eBay, half.com, or amazon.com. LSAC puts out books with 10 actual tests in them. I think right now they have three of these books that have tests from 1996-2003. For the more recent tests, you’ll have to buy them separately. They cost $8.00 on the LSAC page, but you can find them on eBay for less than $2.00. If you do some good bargain hunting, you can probably buy all the tests for under $50. (See sidebar for deals from Amazon.com)
  2. Get test prep books. Like I said earlier, the LSAT is learnable test. There are no tricks or shortcuts, but you can learn how to beat it with a good system. Don’t waste your time with Kaplan or Princeton Review. Like I said, their systems aren’t very good. The best prep books out there are the LSAT Bibles put out by Powerscore. The Logic Game Bible is amazing. They break down the games into types and tell you how to approach them systematically. The Logical Reasoning Bible is great, too. The break down the different types of logical reasoning questions and how to go about answering each kind. They also have great practice questions from real LSATs. However, these books are expensive when bought new. However, you can find them online for half the cost. (See Sidebar for deals from Amazon.com) If you can’t find them for cheaper, bite the bullet and buy them. They’ll be the best investment you can make in starting your legal career.

Save money preparing for the LSAT: Part I

Written by Mrs. FLS

This is part I of series on how to save money on the LSAT.

To begin with, I hated the LSAT. For six months of my life it consumed me. It was my introduction to how law school makes you doubt your capabilities and self worth. It also introduced me to how expensive law school is. The test itself costs over $100 and there are several prep programs out there that cost thousands of dollars. My goal today is to give some tips on how to prepare for this dreaded test without it letting it beat you or your pocket book.

  1. Take a free diagnostic test from LSAC. You need to know where you’re at, so you can plan your studying. If you have anything above a 155 you’re doing alright. You can get into several schools with that kind of score.
  2. If after you take the test and you did poorly (below a 155) , don’t get down! You can improve dramatically with some work. The LSAT is a VERY learnable test. I started out at a 148 and ended up scoring a 161 on the real deal. So, keep your chin up.
  3. If you took the test and did well (above a 160), congratulations. However, there’s still room for improvement. You studying will be more focused then the people who didn’t do so well.
  4. DON’T sign up for LSAT prep classes. Kaplan can set you back over $1,000. Same with Princeton Review. Additionally, their programs suck. I bought some of their books on strategy and none of it helped me. Several people in my law school section have said that they forked over a ton of money on these programs and ended up making the same score on the test as they did on the diagnostic test. Again, prep classes are a waste of time and money.
  5. If you want to save money, you’re going to have to DIY (Do It Yourself). This takes self discipline and self motivation. If you don’t have it, then maybe law school isn’t for you.

Check back tomorrow, for part II on how to save money on the LSAT.