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Thinking LSAT

Author: Nathan Fox and Ben Olson

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Ben Olson (ben@lsatdemon.com) and Nathan Fox (nathan@lsatdemon.com) started the Thinking LSAT Podcast to become better LSAT teachers, meet LSAT luminaries, and have some fun. Please 1) subscribe, 2) rate and review us, and 3) send us questions. Don't pay for law school.
290 Episodes
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It’s not always fun to say “we told you so.” But guess what. We told you so. This week, LSAC announced that the LSAT Flex is here to stay. And with a few small changes, the online test will be known simply as “LSAT” after August of this year. The guys cover this major announcement from LSAC and share some other news, like the release of the testing schedule thru June 2022. Nathan and Ben also hear from a student who’s considering a retake at 174, they advise a listener who fears they’re too old to go to law school, and they hear from a student who’s got a handful of full-ride offers. Plus, the guys consider an excuse of the week about tough vocab on the LSAT, and they rip thru a listener’s personal statement.
Over the past few weeks, lawyers, judges, and politically interested folks around the world were audience to the latest Trump impeachment trial. And while there’s been a lot of commentary about the cases made by both the prosecution and the defense, the Thinking LSAT crew has some opinions of their own—mainly about the wildly poor writing exhibited in Trump’s impeachment defense brief. In this episode, the guys laugh their way through portions of the legal brief in a case study of what not to do if you ever become a lawyer. The guys also field a question about how much one can expect to improve on the LSAT after studying for a few months, they hear an LSAT Demon success story, they consider some advice for improving reading comprehension, and they burn through another LR question from prep test 65. Plus, a motivational note about plateauing performance from producer Adam. Read more on our website!
Friend of the show and law school expert, Ann Levine, joins Nathan and Ben to answer some of your burning late-in-the-cycle admissions questions. The squad tackles questions about negotiating scholarships, picking a school with an international program, what’s appropriate for a diversity statement vs. a personal statement, and whether it’s too late to apply to a T14 school. Plus, Ben and Nathan talk about the dirtiest word on the LSAT, they cover another “excuse of the week,” and they answer another LR question from prep test 65. Read more on our website!
In the wake of the January LSAT-Flex, there are winners and…not so winners. Nathan and Ben field some questions from folks who got shook by the January test. From nightmare ProctorU experiences to “harder-than-usual” sections, folks are wondering if they need to re-take. The guys also help someone who’s caught in a morass of LSAC GPA finagling, they offer some negotiation advice to a student who’s been accepted to their no. 1 school, and they help an ultra-marathoner decide how to work his accomplishment into a personal statement. Plus, Ben and Nathan take a look at another Excuse of the Week, and introduce another segment: Sh*t that Kids Say Wrong.
Whether you’re prepping for the LSAT, or sitting for the LSAT, or getting ready to apply for law school, there are countless obstacles that can stand in your way. And as many obstacles there are—there are that many excuses for why things didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. On the flip side, if you’re prepared and cool as a cucumber, you can still perform under pressure and not pay for law school. Today the guys hear from a high-scorer who had an unfortunate Proctor U mishap, they weigh some advice about being a big fish in a small pond (will it be a pearl or a turd?!), they take a look at a claim that COVID may be causing some law schools to lose their accreditation, and they read “the excuse of the week” from their LSAT Demon classes. Plus, Nathan gives a brain teaser to Ben and the guys tackle another LR question from Prep Test 65.
Ep. 280: Waitlist Mania

Ep. 280: Waitlist Mania

2021-01-1801:34:28

We’re well into the law school admissions cycle and letters are beginning to come back to 1L hopefuls. Included in letters that make and dash dreams are the occasional, inevitable “you’ve been waitlisted” letter. The guys hear from a listener who’s been waitlisted and answer a few questions about how to let school’s know they’re still your top choice. Plus they offer some help to someone whose practice scores are always higher than their official test scores, they hear from a junior in college who’s racing toward law school, and they answer another LR question from Prep Test 65. Read more on our website!
Application season can be stressful, you’re gathering up your documents, your letters of rec, your personal essay, your transcripts. It can be a mess, especially if you’re waiting for your autumn LSAT scores to roll in. And it can get even messier if LSAC locks your account down because you applied for an LSAC fee waiver. In this episode, the guys hear a tale of woe from the 2020 application cycle, they field some questions about whether someone else can submit your application for you in 2021, and they offer advice for someone is looking for a job ahead of attending law school in 2022. Plus, the guys consider some advice about LG setups, they get the insider scoop from a current 1L, and they slice and dice an LR question from prep test 65. Read more on our website!
The guys pick up where they left off last episode and kick things off with an LSAT LR question from practice test 65. They discuss the importance of reading comprehension skills even while unpacking an LR argument. And they show how you can use your own real-world knowledge to help ground you while you’re reading, even if the argument differs wildly from what you know to be true in real life. Plus, the guys critique a law school personal statement from Vancouver, British Columbia. Read more on our website!
Some. Most. Sufficient Assumption. Inference. The LSAT is full of jargon. Some of it useful, and some of it…not so much. What makes matters worse is that many LSAT prep companies confuse students’ understanding by building unnecessary complexities into the study process. In this episode, the guys hear from a listener who just can’t quite understand “existential quantifiers,” hard as he may try. The thing is: the guys have no idea what “existential quantifiers” even means—especially not in the context of the LSAT. Nathan and Ben do their best to bring clarity to this confused 1L hopeful. Plus Nathan advocates for doing more inquiring and less note taking, the guys hear about a life-changing 20-point improvement, and they offer up a PSA about talking and LSAT-ing. Read more on our website!
Ep. 277: LSAT Prep Pearls

Ep. 277: LSAT Prep Pearls

2020-12-2102:01:03

Sometimes the best advice comes from where you least expect it. The guys take a look at an email from a UPenn computer science program and find a gold mine of advice. They read through the email and discuss each of its 13 pieces of advice. The guys also hear from an LSAT Demon confrontation at…Target, and they offer some advice to someone who’s wondering how they should switch up study habits in the home stretch toward the January LSAT. Plus, the guys consider the link between the LSAT and nutrition, they hear from a happy Demon subscriber who’s headed to Georgetown Law fuh FREE, and they chop up a listener’s personal statement.
Black Americans are woefully underrepresented in the field of law, making up around 5% of all attorneys compared to 13% of the U.S. population. Enter NBLSA, the National Black Law Students Association—an organization working to improve the relationship between Black law students, Black attorneys, and the American legal structure. Nathan and Ben are joined by NBLSA National Director and Chair, Rachel Barnes to discuss how NBLSA is articulating and promoting the educational, professional, political, and social needs and goals of Black law students. The guys also hear from two students who are trying to push their scores higher than their current on-record, they advise someone who’s bummed about an early decision decision, and they tackle another LR question from PT 65. Plus, get the latest updates about the LSAT Demon. Read more on our website!
It’s the time of year when students are visiting college campuses, sending in their admissions packets, and talking to law school admissions staffers. But in the world of the pandemic, fewer on-campus visits are taking place. Now, these Q and A sessions are taking the place where everything else in the world is taking place. On Zoom. The guys discuss a current law school trend—admissions officers offering one-on-one Zoom pre-application discussions for curious students. They also take a look at some personal statement advice from Nebraska Law, Ben tackles a brain teaser, Nathan touts the benefits of video games, and the guys slice and dice an LR question from prep test 65. Plus, you’ll hear from a student who’s not paying for law school in 2021. Read more on our website!
Ep. 274: Jobs Without JDs

Ep. 274: Jobs Without JDs

2020-11-3001:13:29

Many law school hopefuls are starry-eyed and idealistic, hoping to be a force for good in the world. But after three years of Torts and Wills and Trusts courses, they end up disillusioned and in debt. What if there were careers in the law where you could do some good but didn’t need to get a JD first? Today on the show the guys take a look at some alternative careers in law. Plus, Ben and Nathan assess an “ancient cramming technique,” they hear from a student who tracked their score from 160 to 174 with interesting results, and they offer advice to two listeners who are feeling downright stuck on their LSAT journey. Read more on our website!
As we get late into the 2021 law school admissions cycle, a new generation of 1L hopefuls are starting to study for the LSAT to apply for the 2022 school year. But for anyone getting ready to apply to law school, the process can be daunting. The guys break down what an ideal LSAT and law school application journey looks like—which starts as much as two years before starting school. Nathan and Ben also hear some solid advice from a pre-law advisor, they discuss why you don’t need to make the LSAT your life, they advise a listener on whether to write a “why you” letter to their law schools of choice, and they respond to some criticism about assertions they’ve made on previous episodes. Plus, they tackle an LR question from LSAT prep test 65. Read more on our website!
Diversity statements are an oft-overlooked part of some students’ application packages. But a short and to-the-point diversity statement can give law schools a much better picture of you as an applicant. In this episode, the guys review a lengthy diversity statement from a listener and offer some advice about how to make it a stronger piece of their application. Nathan and Ben also consider some advice about LG questions, they offer some “tips” on how to improve your LR and RC performance, they help a student narrow down where to apply to law school, and they advise a student with a disappointing first-time score. Plus, the guys introduce a new segment, Hills to Die On. Read more on our website!
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to college students, 1Ls and lawyers-to-be around the world. But where one door closes…another opens, dear listeners. Rachel Gezerseh (Panish, Shea and Boyle, LLP) is back on the pod to talk about how you can and should be networking for your legal career even though you can’t grab coffee or meet up with lawyers in person. Ben and Nathan also talk about the effectiveness of a JD MBA, they consider whether an MA certificate program will help your chances of getting into a good law school, they weigh some advice about personal statements from a pre-law advisor, and they offer advice to someone who just jumped from the 130s to the 150s. Plus, the guys answer LR question 11 from prep test 65. Read more on our website!
It’s that time of year again when 1L hopefuls are getting their sh*t together and applying to law school. But you might be wondering, “what do I even want to learn when I get in?” If that’s you, you’re not alone! After all, the law can be…mysterious…and it can be hard to know what career paths are open to you. Well, dear listeners, never fear! LSAC has an online quiz that can help you understand just what kind of lawyer you could be. Nathan and Ben take the quiz and let you know what they think of the results. Plus, the guys talk about what to do in the days leading up to taking the LSAT-Flex, they talk “technical cancellations,” they assess some Instagram LSAT wisdom, offer advice to a splitter, and answer an LR question from practice test 65. Read more on our website!
The world of LSAC Fee Waivers is opaque and confusing. You may not get a clear answer as to why you were granted or denied a fee waiver, leaving many people frustrated and in the dark—and still in need of any bit of financial relief they can get. The guys sit down with Kalyn McDaniel, an LSAT Demon tutor and 1L applicant who recently received a fee waiver after initially being denied. Kalyn discusses the fee-waiver appeal process and lets you know how you can set yourself up for success when asking LSAC for help. Plus, the guys consider the relationship between GPA and scholarships, they offer advice to someone who’s just starting their LSAT prep journey, they hear from someone who’s seen a bump in their score after studying with the Demon, and they critique a listener’s personal statement. Read more on our website!
This year has seen major changes to the LSAT—namely through the LSAT Flex. It’s a shorter test with just three sections that you can take from the comfort of your home (or hotel) and a completely separate writing section. So how are these changes affecting the 2020 law school admissions cycle? The guys sit down with law school admissions expert Ann Levine to talk about how this cycle may be the most competitive ever. Read more on our website!
When Santi Del Campo started studying for the LSAT from Spain, he was scoring in the 140s. But after studying with the Thinking LSAT team, he smashed out a 173 on the test. Now he’s helping other students with the LSAT in the LSAT Demon. The guys talk to Santi about his LSAT journey and what his classes are like in the Demon. Nathan and Ben also offer some advice to a student who’s taking the test as a non-native English speaker, they hear from a student who wants to know about scholarship opportunities for folks with low GPAs, and they dive into a listener’s personal statement. Read more on our website!
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Comments (6)

Katherine Hahn

This podcast is fantastic. It keeps me literally "thinking LSAT" on my commute, so when I have time to study in the evening my brain is primed and ready to learn. I have learned so much from Nathan and Ben and definitely recommend the Demon if you are studying for the LSAT.

Jan 27th
Reply

Miriam Carnick

Hi Ben & Nathan, new listener here and enjoying your podcast so far. The piece you read towards the end of this episode of a woman's personal statement relating to a hockey game immediately bored me - her statement :/ not your comments. That's fine though because I wanted to share an article so I just looked that up, you may have seen it already, but it applies to your segment on student's inability to read or write... And when the time comes for me to write my own personal statement I'll send it in and let you destroy mine as well. Side note, my younger sister attended a high school in South Carolina (class if '09-'10) in which the proctors for their senior final exams had to read questions out loud for some students who couldn't read. I suppose the students only had to choose an 'A, B, C, D' answer so they had that much figured out. Many students over the years held protests over this issue, rightfully so. At least they didn't have the added hardships of dealing with bitter cold weather and rodents, as described in the article attached. Thanks for tolerating my tangent, Miriam https://www.npr.org/2020/04/27/845595380/court-rules-detroit-students-have-constitutional-right-to-an-education

Aug 2nd
Reply

J Alex Garnet

Ask them what they want to with this degree...step back and really look in the mirror as to what their true passions are

Jun 1st
Reply

Charlotte Hobson

I am incredibly grateful to this podcast! It is a hilarious podcast with lots of tough love, good advice, and interesting content. I greatly appreciate the honesty of Ben and Nathan. Thanks y'all for all you do.

Aug 6th
Reply

abubakr algabri

this is very useful, and will benefit many people if they choose to listen.

Apr 10th
Reply

Messi Gonzàlez

i like

Jan 15th
Reply
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