Interested in law school? Here's a primer on how to play the law school game.
Thousands take the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, each year. Even during COVID-19, the number of test-takers remains high. From July of 2020 to June of 2021, for example, 170,338 people registered for the exam, and 94,255 were first-time test takers.
Although the number of applicants and test-takers changes annually, law school admission remains absurdly competitive and is predicated on a winner-take-all system. Therefore, securing a top LSAT score is crucial because law school rankings are, frankly, snobby.
Ben Taylor of Forbes discusses this in "Why Law School Rankings Matter More Than Any Other Education Rankings." In his article, the author observes why attending a "Top 14" law school acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Simply put, he states the best applicants score the best LSAT scores, which allow them to attend the best law schools. These schools then provide the best opportunities (financial, professional, and otherwise), leading employers to attend job fairs and offer better salaries than peer firms to hire talent. But, unfortunately, this insular approach perpetuates a system where the new employees hire from their old schools again.
In life and in the law school game, success begets success. Whether it's right or wrong is immaterial for applicants. The fact is, winning starts with the LSAT and doesn't end there. But, of course, this doesn't mean success is relegated to only the best test-takers. Thousands of others thrive, and thinking success is confined in this manner is naive.
Instead, the observations that Ben Taylor elaborates on are common outcomes. If I understand it fully, his point is that school rankings matter tremendously, especially if you want select outcomes. Further, it behooves applicants to do well in law school, and not just on an entrance test because, on Day 1 of law school, your LSAT score is nullified.
But, the good news is the LSAT is a beatable test.
Although the very idea sounds questionable since it is a standardized exam, the truth is performance is correlated to exposure to LSAT questions. Effective study material makes all the difference, and nowadays, computer programs can help tremendously. Take me, for example -- I improved my score from 153 (55%) to 167 (93%). So don't stress too much. Beating the LSAT can be done, and it happens all the time.
In my next post, I'll share how you can do it too!!