Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Publishing Career, Part II

Where were we?  Oh right, law school.

I left Penguin and went straight to Princeton Review's LSAT tutorial (Well, maybe not straight.  I may have spent a month planted on my parents' couch doing nothing, but that's beside the point).

The first night at Princeton Review, they gave us a sample test to gauge our abilities and split us into three classes, ranging from from the Brilliant Prospects to the You-Need-all-the-Help-You-Can-Get class.  I fell into the middle with Might-Have-Possibilities-if-You-Don't-Screw-it-Up people.  Promising.

LSAT studying was as tedious as can be expected, but I met two people in my section: A fellow Cornellian who eventually tested out of our section (hello, Yale Law) and a really cool girl named Ingrid who stayed with me as we remained average.  She sought me out that first night because she had a goldfish named after me (My full name is a more unusual Spanish one, so that was quite a coincidence, to say the least).  I had to mention Ingrid because she was the only good thing that came out of that LSAT class.  We're still friends and I like to think I paid $1400 for her.

Anyway, I took the LSAT.  Is the test insanely difficult?  Well, yes and no.  It's pretty straightforward if you can learn how to take it properly.  It's better for the mathematically-bent minds, where there's one answer per question and that's that.  For me, there were usually two answers that worked for each question.  LSAT evaluators don't hold with that sort of thinking, unfortunately.  I overanalyze things, what can I say?  I was great at Reading Comp, but sucked at Logic Games.  I don't like puzzles; my mind just doesn't work that way.

[Sample logic game]

Mary goes to the other end of the city to meet her grandmother 2-3 times a week.
On her way the following stops are made according to her mode of transport.
The buses stop at L, M, N and O, in that order.
Express trains stop at N only
Early local trains stop at P, Q, N, and R only, in that order
Late local trains stop at P, Q, and R only, in that order
On her way back to her  house the routes are reversed
The buses stop at O, N, M, and L, in that order
Express trains stop at N only
Early local trains stop at R, N, Q, and P only, in that order
Late local trains stop at R, Q, and P only, in that order
The bus station is next to the train station near her house, at N, and near her grandmother’s house

I took the test and promptly panicked, cancelling that score before I could see it.  After six months of additional 6-hour-a-day studying, I re-took the test.  I scored pretty well, but nowhere near brilliant.  And brilliant is what I needed if I wanted to get into a top law school.

Maybe it was time to re-evaluate my goals.


  1. I love this series of posts! Thank you, thank you for reaffirming my decision not to go to law school. (I got my first job, in educational publishing, about the same time you started in reprints--we had a whole lot of that understaffed, overworked stuff goin' on too.)

    1. Always happy to help! Especially with so many people using law school as their (expensive) back up plan. I truly think it's best to wait a bit and see before making the leap. I still have a post or two about my publishing career before wrapping it up, and while it was tough to get back into the book publishing industry, I definitely have no regrets about law school. If nothing else, I'll be used to the rejections I'll get as a writer!

  2. This is really interesting -- and I couldn't even finish READING the puzzle problem, let alone answer it! I am not exaggerating; by the time I got to the end I had forgotten the beginning.

    At least you made a good friend and didn't waste the time and money applying and then going to law school!

    1. Doesn't that problem just make your head spin? I know some people that find it child's play; I'm just not one of them! And yes, it was way better to find out that maybe law wasn't for me before I plunked down $200K! My bank account thanks me.