Vacations and Value

I recently got back from a terrific vacation.  It was the first multi-week vacation I’ve had in years.  Between my law practice, UCI teaching, and running ScoreItUp LSAT Prep, vacation time tends to come in smaller chunks.  It also was a reminder that paying a little extra money can sometimes be an excellent investment.  For this particular vacation, we used a personal tour guide.  My typical vacations involve snow-capped mountains or beautiful beaches with great waves, and have no need or reason for a tour guide.  However, this vacation was different – it was more like an educational experience than a true vacation.  The countries we visited were rich in ancient and complex history, and having an expert to navigate us through much of that was a huge help.

Fortunately, our tour guide was outstanding.  Although it cost some extra money, it improved the quality of this particular trip dramatically.  The key was that we found a tour guide who was experienced, very well educated, and had a tremendous ability to help explain, teach and simplify complex information.

In many ways, our tour guide reminded me of the value of using an expert LSAT instructor when preparing for the complex LSAT exam.  I am often concerned when I hear students say that they cannot afford a LSAT Prep course, even though I fully understand and empathize with them.  However, when one considers the overall cost of law school and the tremendous importance of the LSAT,  it seems to me that it makes a lot of sense to prepare seriously for the exam.  Using an expert LSAT instructor who can navigate students through the exam’s complexity provides many of the same advantages to that of a tour guide’s ability to help navigate travelers through the history of a foreign country.  And, of course, when talking about tour guides or LSAT Prep instructors, the individual guide/instructor is what will truly matter…not the company that hires him or her.

There is an additional reason to give serious thought to taking a course from an expert LSAT instructor.  It may make excellent economic sense. Depending upon one’s LSAT score, a student may become eligible for a very substantial scholarship.  As one recent example, a ScoreItUp student from last year is being offered a tuition reimbursement scholarship at a top-20 law school that is likely to be worth approximately $100,000…primarily because of his excellent LSAT score (99th percentile) after taking ScoreItUp’s course.

While that result obviously is not typical or the norm, there may be good economic reasons to take a LSAT Prep course, especially if one gets a lot of value for one’s money (pay close attention to the price, number of live lecture hours, proctored exams, and the actual instructor teaching the LSAT Prep course).  Aside from any potential scholarship money, I believe most students feel extremely dissatisfied with themselves when they know they did not prepare for the LSAT as diligently and thoroughly as they should have.  No one – and I mean no one – can guarantee how a student will do on the LSAT exam.  But investing the time, effort, and money to prepare thoroughly for the exam will allow students to feel that they did everything within their power to maximize their law school opportunities and potential for scholarship money…regardless of their ultimate LSAT score.

So, whether you are planning a vacation or a LSAT Prep course, don’t waste your money – but at the same time, remember that there are some expenses that are very worth paying for!