“style”

Studying is going well, so I’ve started thinking ahead to school and the immediate (post-LSAT) parts of getting there. Mostly I’ve been thinking about campus visits, real ones, not the fake “show up on campus, wander around alone, be intimidated, and run away” ones I’ve done already. And not only am I intimidated by the need to speak well and behave normally to  impress the people I’d actually be engaging with, I need to appear to be the put-together non-traditional adult student I’m trying tell them I am.

This is where my “wardrobe” comes in. “Wardrobe.” I don’t really have one. I have a collection of pants, shirts, and skirts, most of which are around a decade old and are starting to show their age. Not just in worn spots, holes, fading, stretching, and outdated style, but because they’re from high school and actually have the year printed on them (and that year is 2004 or earlier, though I do have a few from the ten or so years after that that I go from siblings who were still in high school). Oh yes, I graduated high school eleven (11!) years ago and still wear many of the same shirts I wore during the Bush administration.

Honestly, most of the clothes I wear today are mass-printed high school quiz bowl and marching band t-shirts paired with jeans that are at least five years old. To be even more honest, since I’m a SAHM now most days I wear yoga pants, gym shorts, or pj bottoms with a worn out old t-shirt or sweatshirt, depending on the weather.  My kids know we or I am leaving the house because I’ve put on jeans. As in, I change into real pants and my two -year-old immediately exclaims, “Mama go work!? We go car ride!?” (I freelance edit and study at the library, so we tell them I’m going to work when I leave the house for whatever reason.)

I have a few things I bought when I had a full-time job, but even then I couldn’t afford much because I knew was going to grad school right after that job ended so I needed to save my money. So I do have a few “dressier” things, but “dressy” feels like a stretch, inasmuch as the only thing that earns them that description is the fact that they’re not jeans or t-shirts. So they’re not necessarily very nice. Though I can’t really commit to that analysis since I’m not totally clear on what constitutes “nice.”

The point of this all is that I need new clothes, but I don’t know what to get or how to get it. I also have almost no money to spend on clothes. I love style blogs, but when they say things like, “This top was on super clearance! Only $50!” I just cannot begin to relate. I don’t have $50 for a top. I can’t really afford to spend over $30 on jeans, and even if I could, spending that much money on that kind of thing makes my stomach turn.  Unless I’m absolutely in love with it, I can’t even handle full-price Target. (I fell in love with this. It just makes me happy, so I went for it. But normally, NO.) It’s just too much to spend on me looking and feeling better about myself when I have two kids, student debt, and a single-income household.

So I’m thinking of adding a feature to this site where I attempt to dress for the role I’m trying to get to intellectually. I’m not sure how to do it, but I know it needs to be done. I can’t walk onto a campus and say “let me in and give me lots of money!” when I look sloppy, lazy, and apathetic.  Torn and worn-out jeans and an old t-shirt does not have the appearance of a good investment. I already need a high LSAT to compensate for my low GPA. I don’t know if I could get an LSAT high enough to compensate for low GPA and the appearance of lazy, slopping, apathetic thirty-plus year old. I care and I want to look like I care. But I have approximately $0 to spend.

Wish me luck and help me out? I need advice.

Law student blogs I try to follow

I’ll try to keep this post updated with the law/student blogs I follow.  Let me know if I should add something!

Tales from 3L Hell

A Little Bit of Lacquer (medicine, but close enough)

LawToya Talks

Franish (another medicine, but also close enough)

Kristin Does Law School

Lawyer in the Making

The Second Sunflower

The Pleated Poppy (mostly for the style, but her general attitude helps keep my sometimes-negative one in check)

Aspiringlawstudent3

Lakakarachi

Professionally Petite (out of law school and practicing, mostly about professional style/fashion)

Easy Petite Looks (anther med student, but good)

What I’ve learned so far

I tend to be careful and thorough. I’m nervous by nature, so before I launch into anything I try to make sure I know exactly, or as close to exactly as possible, what I’m getting into. To that end, I’ve read a lot about law school and spoken personally with several people who are in the profession. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned.

  1. Applications are down and this could be a good thing for me. The fewer applicants there are, the fewer people I’m competing with, both for admission and scholarships. Since law schools are getting fewer applicants but still need to pay for things, they’re admitting candidates today that they may not necessarily have admitted a few years ago when they could afford to be pickier. This is both a good thing (I could get in and get money!) and a bad thing (I may get in and be set up for failure or be surrounded by people who arguably should not be there).
  2. 1L is hard. Very, very hard. All of law school will be hard, but 1L will by a long shot be one of the most difficult things I’ll do, at least for my career. It’s so infamous there is a small library of books about it, a few of which I’ve read (just in case).
  3. Law can be snobby and elitist. The ranking of the law school you attend matters, more so depending on your career goals. If you just want to be a lawyer and practice, it’s not quite as important as if you want to be a federal judicial clerk, judge, law professor, or other impressive thing.

I know I’ve come across more in the reading and talking I’ve done in the last few months, but I can’t think of it now. Hopefully I’ll remember this post and update it as I learn more or find links to the things I already know just to prove that I actually know them and am not just making them up or assuming them.

168

I’m getting closer!

I figure I need to get to at least a 175 to make things happen, so I’m definitely on my way. And while I am feeling pretty great about myself for getting to this point, I have to temper the excitement because this is still an untimed score. I can’t really say that it reflects what my actual performance would be if I were to take the test today. In fact, I can say with certainty that there’s no way I’d come close to finishing any of the sections in 35 minutes today.

The current plan is to take as many practice tests as it takes to get to a consistent untimed 175ish, and then start speeding it up. I hope to start the speeding up process by September or so, so that I can take at least a half dozen timed full tests before the real thing.

Necessary Assumption

I finally get it.

In the beginning it was the games that were getting me. I’d miss every question and not know why. I’m getting better at those now (I got every question right on the first two on preptest 9), so they’re not what’s slowing me down as much anymore. They still need some work, but other things as keeping me from my goals.

Now it’s the logical reasoning. I’m doing well enough on each section, but not as well as I need for my goals.  I know enough to know what I don’t know and go back to the book to review, but with some of this stuff it’s just going to take a lot of repetition before I really get it. Lots and lots of repetition. So I keep doing the tests. Everything I’ve read has said to do as many preptests as possible. I have done four and a half and own thirteen. By November I plan to have done at least ten more than that.

With the necessary assumption, I think I’m finally getting it, and that’s going to help me quite a bit. I’d put something here about it, how to do them, but I don’t think I understand it well enough to attempt in any way to teach it yet. I will say that this was very helpful. Even though it says basically the same thing as my book, for some reason seeing it spelled out in this way and this context got it to gel for me.

 

163

I finished another preptest (Preptest C in the first book I bought) and my new score is 163. That’s the 88th percentile, so I suppose that’s okay.

This isn’t the big jump I’d hoped for, but I really shouldn’t have expected much. I made the 156 – 161 leap after a couple months of studying and actually learning how to do the “games.” I had no such thing this time. This time around I was just practicing, getting as many repetitions in as possible