Law school costs tens of thousands of dollars per year. However, the cost is an investment for your future. Similarly, an LSAT prep course is an investment for your future. A high LSAT score GREATLY increases your chances of getting accepted into the top-ranked law schools. The higher your LSAT score is, the higher your chances are of being accepted into a highly ranked school. Most top-ranked law schools have a high bar pass rate (meaning the number of students that pass the bar exam is higher than the state’s average). I would argue that a high bar pass rate is one of the most important qualities of a law school. The last thing you want to do is to spend $150,000 and three stressful years in law school and not pass the bar exam.
Also, many law schools offer scholarships to students with high LSAT scores. Some schools have a minimum required GPA and LSAT score to apply for certain scholarships. So the higher your LSAT score is, the higher your chances are of receiving a scholarship and the lower your law school debt will be. When you think about it like this, the LSAT is a very important factor in your law school career.
Don’t be intimidated. If you’ve taken the LSAT and scored poorly, you can still improve and get accepted to several law schools. Trust me, I’ve experienced an 18 point score increase. You’ve just got to buckle down if you’re serious about your career as a lawyer.
It is true that many people can study on their own and score well. That route takes a lot of discipline. If you can voluntarily dedicate 4 to 6 hours each day to rigorous LSAT work, self-studying may work for you. I know a few high LSAT scorers (160 & above) who purchased several LSAT prep books, headed to the library and went to work every day.
I had to be honest with myself. I’m not the most disciplined student. I asked a few of my colleagues which prep courses they recommend and I ultimately chose Testmasters. Most courses run from $800 to $2,000. I took Testmasters for $1,500 and I highly recommend it. However, you can visit the following websites to see which package fits your personal and financial needs: Kaplan, Blueprint, Princeton Review. Also, if you are a first-generation college student like myself, you can take advantage of pre-law outreach programs. Most include a free LSAT prep course along with other helpful tips for the law school application process.
If you can afford it, you can also get a private tutor. My Testmasters instructor also offered private lessons. If I wasn’t struggling to afford the test prep, I would have taken full advantage of the private lessons as well.
Do a self-assessment to find what works best for you and stick to it. I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions or any information you’d like to add, please feel free to leave a comment!
Kayla J. Phillips