Help UNT Students Prepare for the LSAT
Why Help UNT Pre-Law Students
You may be thinking, "Why should I help a bunch of budding lawyers?" Maybe some lawyer jokes are flitting through your mind. It's okay. Lawyers are used to it.
But let me tell you something about these young scholars. These students want to make the world a better place. I'm not just saying that. I mean it. These are not students who want to work for the big New York law firm or run the show at a DC lobbying machine. These are students who want to work in family law and criminal law. Who want to process immigrations. Who want to work in human rights law. These are the young aspiring lawyers who want to do the sort of bread and butter legal practice that keeps the rest of us safe. And they need your help.
They need your help because a lot of them are first generation college students. Or the children of immigrants. Or veterans. Or the children of single-parent households. Or themselves single-parents. They are struggling with the sort of burdens that would make must of us throw up our hands in surrender, but they are planning the next phase in their seige on life. And they serve our help.
Why Help with the LSAT
The LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) is a critical component--arguably the most important component--in a prospective law student's application. Why? First, it is the "great equalizer." A 3.4 GPA in philosophy from a student at Abilene Christian and a student at Harvard simply don't mean the same thing. Even two 3.4 GPA students in philosophy from UNT will have taken different classes from different professors. But all students take roughly the same LSAT.
In addition, law schools know that LSAT scores are correlated with how students perform on the bar exam. They want to admit students who will ultimately be able to pass the bar and practice.
Finally, law schools are judged, in part, on the LSAT profile of their incoming class. If they let in students with low LSAT scores, they are criticized for accepting weak students and their reputation suffers. It is guilt by association.
Accordingly, it is critical that students do well on the LSAT. Unfortunately, UNT students historically do not do well on this test. The national average score on this normally distributed test is a 150. UNT's average is a 145. I personally do not believe that this means that UNT students are below the national average in ability. I believe this reflects a lack of comfort with taking standardized tests and a lack of preparation for this particular test.
Let me explain: the LSAT is a test of logic and reasoning. However, it is a test that can be learned. Data reported by U.S. News and World Report indicate that students who take commercial test prep programs perform statistically signficantly better than those who self-study (who, in turn, perform better than those who do not study at all). And because the test is normed, if many students in the nation are taking prep tests, the average scores are rising pushing up the normed scores and leaving those who do not have the resources to prepare in the dust.
So why don't UNT students take commercial test prep courses? First, they are expensive. In-person courses, which our students tend to prefer, cost on average $1400. In addition, they are courses that students would have to take on top of their regular coursework and jobs.
UCRS 3000 (4980 for Fall 2017 - a placeholder number while the course is approved through the curriculum process) will allow students to start with a face-to-face course as part of their regular course load; they will continue to have access to the curriculum for an additional year, however, so they can work on their own or in small groups. We will also continue, after the regular semester, with bi-weekly practice LSATs to give students the level of comfort with the test-taking experience that will allow them to fulfill their true potential.
While we are partnering with 7Sage to provide students with 18 months of curriculum for the cost of the 12-month program (just $550), I would love to help offset the cost of this program for students. Any money raised by the first of the year will be divided among all the students enrolled in the course as a scholarship to offset the cost of materials.
If you would like to help our students pay for the LSAT, it's easy. You don't have to contribute a lot. Any amount is welcome. Just click here, and enter the appeal code NT17LSAT where prompted.