There’s nothing like cheating on the LSAT to start off your legal career. Sure, even if you manage to get into and graduate from law school, you’re going to have serious problems when it comes to the MPRE. Or the Character and Fitness interview. Or the “following the law” part of being a lawyer. But you know what they say: if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.
So it is for one would-be law student. The kid tried to give his career a jump start by hiring someone else to take the LSAT is his place. And, even more stupidly, he posted his request for an “LSAT Stand-In” on Craigslist.
Of course, now that we’ve contacted him about the “questionable ethics” of his Craigslist post, he claims that it was all a joke. We’ve heard that before.
Let’s take a look at the ad, and you can decide for yourself what to make of it.
Predictably, within minutes of our contacting him, the alleged “jokester” took the ad down. But we have a screenshot, ’cause that’s how we roll:
Well, it is “funny,” that’s for sure. And the poster doesn’t exactly claim that it was intended to be a joke so much as he claims that he always intended to sit for the LSAT himself. Here’s his statement to Above the Law:
Ms. Mystal [sic, Goddamn it!],
I am very aware of how questionable the ethics of my add are. Hence, I plan as I always have, to go in there for better or worse and take the LSAT myself. I’ve scored above 170 3 times during proctored practice exams at Kaplan. My nerves just fry when I get into a real testing situation, which is why I thought of the add in the first place. Besides, I wouldn’t have a way to pay for it anyway:) The fact that 1 test can determine your entire future in your field is a feeling that all but the best practitioners of the LSAT would agree is daunting to say the least.
Perhaps you were hoping to get a reactive response or have me deny it or disagree as to its ethical questionability. Perhaps that would have been better for you article, however, I wouldn’t have gone through with it anyway and I’m completely in agreement with you. If you include this quote in your article, please have the decency not to include my e-mail [address] in it. That too would be of questionable ethics. Best of luck with your story, and please wish me well on the last.
Good luck on the “last.”
As you can see, it’s not the most full-throated “I was joking” defense I’ve ever heard. Instead, it’s more of a “I panicked but wouldn’t have actually done this because I’m broke” argument. It’s an explanation more than a defense, and the fact that he so quickly took the post down leads me to believe that he’s thinking it was a mistake more than a good joke.
But people do make mistakes from time to time. The LSAT can be really stressful, I suppose… though I will say that if you get freaked out by a reading comprehension test and some logic games, then what in the hell do you think is going to happen to you when you sit for a two-day bar exam? Or when you have to defend a client in court, or negotiate a billion-dollar merger?
Mistake, joke, or some combination of both, I’m not wild about where this kid’s mind went: “I’m stressed so I want to hire somebody to cheat for me… HAHAHAHA! HAHA! No, I’m totally kidding and very stable!” Lawyers can find themselves in all kinds of stressful and difficult situations; you’d hope that their impulse (acted on or not) isn’t to cheat.
LSAT (North Jersey) [Craigslist]