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Heed Caution When Scouring Law School Discussion Boards

Like most Blueprint LSAT Prep instructors, I did not originally sign up for the LSAT just for kicks or because I have a deep love of standardized testing. When I enrolled in my own Blueprint LSAT Prep class, I intended to apply to law school that fall.

In a turn of events that my students find appalling, I ended up getting a 178 LSAT score after taking a Blueprint LSAT Prep course — but decided not to apply to law school after all. But I’m not writing this post to brag about my LSAT score (or not primarily for that reason, anyway). Instead, having once been in your shoes, I want to discuss an ailment that afflicts some people who are applying to law school.

Let’s call it “forum frenzy.”

Perhaps you’ll recognize the symptoms. For me, they manifested in the form of frantically checking the Top Law Schools forums every day, comparing my LSAT practice test scores to everyone else there, and jealously reading the “Harvard-admitted students” threads while convincing myself that I was way smarter than all of those guys. I also trolled Law School Predictor far more often than necessary, entering every possible LSAT score and GPA combination that I might have. I was a bundle of anxiety, changing my mind every day about my chances of being admitted to whatever law school was my focus at that moment. And all of this was before I even had my real LSAT score!

I still visit those forums occasionally, but now I read them to laugh at the bad advice being posted. Here’s the thing: If you, too, are afflicted with “forum frenzy,” keep in mind that almost everyone else on those websites is just as clueless as you are. Despite the confident tone of their posts, they’re really just repeating something that their cousin’s girlfriend’s pre-law advisor once said. And if their “advice” is actually pretty worthless, and you find (as I did) that reading those websites increases your law school application anxiety…is it really worth visiting them?

Of course, there are some ways in which these websites can be helpful. For instance, Blueprint LSAT Prep’s very own Matt Shinners holds “office hours” every week on his own TLS thread, where he answers any LSAT- or law school-related question under the sun. Matt has a 180 LSAT score, went to Harvard Law, and has worked for Blueprint LSAT Prep for about a million years, so he knows what he’s talking about. Posting on his thread is a great option for anyone with questions, especially those who are self-studying and can’t just ask their own instructors.

Pre-law forums can be a great resource if the advice is coming from a reliable source (like Matt). But if you see a post from someone named futureYLSgrad13* claiming to know everything about someone’s odds of being admitted or the absolute best way to study for the LSAT Logic Games section, take that recommendation with a very large grain of salt.

*Not a real username, I hope