UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: The LSAT: Long, stupid and annoying, I say
Published: Friday, October 31, 2003
Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 22:05
This article is dedicated with love to Yale University.I am applying to law school. On my list of fun things to do, this ranks right up there between cleaning out my toilet and throwing myself off a tall building. (My list of fun things to do, by the way, is copyrighted, and can be bought for only $14.95; Ebert and Roeper give it two thumbs up.)
Anyway, applying to law school is a big pain in the patootie. First, you have to take the LSAT. I was going to write a funny acronym for LSAT, but everyone knows that they stand for Long Stupid Annoying Test that doesn't prove you know anything, but yet is the only thing that law schools care about. For those of you who are not taking the LSAT, but want to know what they're like, consider this scenario: Imagine you're on a beautiful beach, looking out at the ocean, enjoying the beautiful sunrise. No wait, that's not like the LSAT at all. OK, imagine, you're taking the SAT again, except this time you're older and wiser. You've been through some college, you've gotten some knowledge and now you think you're ready to tackle anything.
Except you're not, because the LSAT is actually nothing like the SAT. While the SAT is hard, the LSAT is incredibly hard. Have you ever noticed the strange cultural phenomena that no matter how much smarter you get, the tests just get that much harder? One day, when we're all old and think we're finally wizened, the college boards will put out Aptitude Tests asking questions like "what's the square root of 53,234,645?" and "what's the antonym of hubruvirate?"
So, the LSAT consists of questions like: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H like ice cream. D likes ice cream more than E, who likes it less than C, but almost as much as F, but only on Thursdays in June, and only when it's raining. How many scoops of ice cream will G eat?
Meanwhile, you, the test taker, are sitting there, stressed out, in a tiny room with twenty other stressed out test takers, and there is no ice cream to be found. Instead, there is an outrageously stupid proctor. A man who, (I swear I am not making this up), if you are a lefty, and everyone is sitting at a large table, so it doesn't matter which hand you write with, comes over to you, noticing you are left-handed, and asks if you wish to be moved. Additionally, there is a girl to your left, who (again, I swear this is the truth), after forty-five minutes of answering her questions in her test booklet, and not in the bubbles that the proctor conveniently hand-motioned that we fill, realizes her mistake, and in a flush of emotion stands up, rips her test to shreds, and flees the room.
Then, when you are finally done and the proctor - who during the eight hours of the test has not only managed to get married, but has already conceived his first child - commands you to close your books, and you are excited. You are thrilled. The whole ordeal is finally over. It's time to relax.
Of course, you are wrong. This is where the hard part starts. Let me explain. Applying to law school isn't like applying to college. Applying to college makes sense. You choose the college you want to apply to, and you send in your application to that very college (e.g. I want to go to Yale, I send my application to Yale, I get rejected from Yale). That makes sense. That is sane. But, apparently law schools are not.
This means, in layman's terms, that if I want to apply to, for instance, Yale Law School, I don't send my application to Yale. No, that would be too easy. Instead, I send it to a little something I like to call the LSDAS (which is an acronym for a little-known children's song by the Beatles: Let's Start Dancing and Singing). LSDAS then sends it to Yale, who then rejects me. Pretty soon, LSDAS won't even transfer applications to the law schools; they'll just reject every application they get. That will be the day. But until then, I'll have to wait to get my rejections from the law schools themselves. I still have my fingers crossed.