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I failed the bar exam! What now?

First, breathe. Relax. You are not alone. Every year, thousands of law-school graduates fail the bar exam. But we at Last Call have helped many retakers pass on their next attempt! The major bar-prep products overwhelm students with an enormous volume of information. We take a simpler approach based on the psychology of learning.

Why should I hire Last Call?

The quality of our teaching comes first. We take pride in using the best-teaching practices. Our pedagogy is based on research in the field of learning psychology. And ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: We have a long track record of success, proven by a host of testimonials from satisfied clients.

What is a good LSAT score?

A good LSAT score is any score that enables you to achieve your goal. Once you have a list of law schools, you can research their admissions standards by looking up each school’s 509 report ( These reports contain the median GPA and LSAT score for the students who recently enrolled at each law school. To be competitive for scholarships, students should aim to be near a school’s 75th percentile for GPA or LSAT score.

How long should I plan on studying for the LSAT?

The answer to this question depends on how much you need to improve your score to be competitive for admission and scholarships. Making a large score improvement can take a significant amount of time. But regardless of the required score improvement, students tend to underestimate the amount of time it will take to prepare for the LSAT. You should plan to study for a minimum of six months. And you should understand that some students will need to study for a year or more to make themselves competitive.

Can I become an attorney as a second career?

Yes! Practicing law is an intellectual career that rewards hard workers with practical knowledge. Attorneys can easily work well into their 50s and 60s, and many attorneys use their law degrees to advance the public interest. Regardless of your reasons for going back to school, it’s never to late to become an attorney!

Can I become an attorney with a low LSAT score?

Just to be clear, the answer is yes: You can become an attorney with a low LSAT score. For many years, however, I have argued that you should not go to law school with a low LSAT score, even if you are admitted. My reasons are twofold. First, 1L grades are significantly correlated with LSAT score; and second, bar-passage rate is significantly correlated with LSAT score. The LSAT may not be perfect, but it does test many of the skills necessary to succeed in law school and to become licensed.

How do I get scholarships to make law school affordable?

Competitiveness for law-school scholarships boils down to two main factors: undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. If you are still in college, work hard to maintain your GPA. This is crucial for admission to the most selective law schools. But even if you have already graduated, your competitiveness will also depend on your LSAT score. A savvy applicant will work to maximize his/her LSAT score before applying to law school. Then, by applying early in the cycle, the savvy applicant will maximize his/her scholarship opportunities.

Why do I have to take the LSAT to become an attorney?

.Most states require graduation from an ABA accredited law school before you can sit for the bar exam. This is the only way to become licensed to practice law in most states, and even in those states that allow alternative licensure (e.g., California), attending an ABA-accredited law school is still the most common path to licensure.

Although the ABA allows law schools to use the GRE for admission, the LSAT is still required for admission at most law schools. And even at those schools that accept GRE scores, the LSAT is still the primary exam for admission.

There are many critics of standardized testing in legal education. But for now, these exams are deeply entrenched, and your mastery of them will have a significant impact on your ability to become an attorney.

What is the best way to study for the bar exam?

In law school, there is a high volume of material to learn, and the legal issues are analyzed deeply. In contrast, the bar exam tests a large volume of law, but the bar exam skims the surface when it comes to legal analysis. So, you shouldn’t study for the bar exam the same way you studied for your law-school exams. Instead, you need to do three at least two things differently:

First, in addition to memorizing the rules, you should also develop reverse recall. This is the ability to recall the name of a doctrine when you read the words of a rule. Reverse recall will enable you to answer multiple-choice questions confidently, even when the correct answer is obscure.

Second, most of your studying should involve practice questions and reference to your outlines. Students often bifurcate the process. They read and memorize the outline first; and then they try to answer practice questions from memory. Stop doing that! Pull out your outline (yes, while you’re working on the question), and look up the relevant rules and doctrines. If you answer a question based on an incorrect rule, you are reinforcing a mistake! It’s far to consult the outline and practice applying the correct rule. Ultimately, that will help you remember the rule.

What if I have a prior criminal conviction? Can I still become an attorney?

This is a really tough question that varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In generally, bar associations will admit attorneys with minor criminal convictions (e.g., minor possessing alcohol in college), especially if the convictions are old. However, bar associations are far more concerned with crimes of dishonesty (e.g., theft), especially when a crime rises to the level of a felony. Convictions for serious crimes could result in a finding that an applicant does not have the character or fitness to be an attorney.

If you have prior criminal convictions, you should seek advice from a character-and-fitness attorney in your jurisdiction before you commit to becoming an attorney.

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