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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.
278 Episodes
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Ep. 274: Jobs Without JDs

Ep. 274: Jobs Without JDs

2020-11-3001:13:25

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!
The leaves are changing and the weather is getting colder, but the LSAT remains the same. It’s the time of year where law schools wheel out their college admissions staffers to try to sell you big on their schools. In the past, LSAC would hold forums where you could meet and greet admissions folks from around the country. Now they’re creating virtual events. The guys discuss LSAC’s new digital forum, they discuss the value of studying with “old” LSAT practice tests vs. new ones, they weigh some advice from a listener, and they critique a personal statement. Read more on our website!
Nathan and Ben are joined by LSAT Demon tutor, Jackson, to discuss a brand-new feature of the platform—a scholarship estimator. The estimator takes your GPA and your LSAT score and lets you know what kind of scholarship you could expect from any accredited law school. Jackson talks about how he helped develop the feature and the guys put the beta feature to the test. Plus, Ben and Nathan assess some advice from the Dean of Admissions at the University of Michigan, they help a listener with an addendum, they tear apart a personal statement, and more. Read more on our website!
Even though the registration deadline for the October LSAT-Flex is long past, students who took the test over the summer are just now getting their LSAT scores back. And waiting weeks on end for a score isn’t the only miserable thing about taking the LSAT during a pandemic. Nathan and Ben hear from a bunch of folks who have received or had trouble getting their scores back from LSAC. Some want advice. And some just want to gripe. The guys also offer up some thoughts about strengthening your reading comprehension skills, and they hear a big list of mostly terrible advice. Read more on our website!
The summer’s coming to an end and future 1Ls are applying to law school or getting ready to take the LSAT. And since folks are about to dive headfirst into the fall LSATs? The guys get a bunch of pretty technical questions about the test. They discuss the mechanics of strengthen and weaken questions, they talk about how to handle questions that use “unless,” and they straight up answer a must be true question from practice test 65. Plus, they consider when a person should become a lawyer and they read a rather hilarious email from UC Hastings. Read more on our website!
It’s been almost six months since the first LSAT-Flex, and just because there’ve been several administrations, it doesn’t mean all of the issues have been ironed out. Between LSAT Writing and LSAT-Flex, students aren’t having the best experiences as they prepare for law school. Nathan and Ben discuss the problems they’ve heard from their students as a way to hopefully let you know what you’re in for. Plus, the guys weigh some advice about practicing under tighter time constraints, they hear about financial aid for part-time programs, and they take a look at a listener’s personal statement. Read more on our website!
If you’re a longtime listener, then you know that transferring can be a way to leverage a strong 1L performance into a more prestigious school. That’s just what GW transfer student and current 2L, Kelly Buckley did. After her 1L year at Catholic University, Kelly made the rounds, collected recommendations from current instructors, assessed her options, and transferred to GW. Kelly talks about her 1L experience and offers advice to law-school hopefuls, and shares the details of what it was like to transfer from a school outside the top 100 law schools to a school ranked 23rd in the country. Plus, Nathan and Ben answer questions about LG strategy, LR strategy, whether or not to write a GPA addendum, and whether a part-time program will set you up for a successful career in the law. Read more on our website!
LSAC finally announced that the October LSAT will indeed be an LSAT-Flex, which should come as no surprise to Thinking LSAT listeners. But as more LSAT-Flex tests are scheduled, the rumor mill is going into overdrive. The guys talk about the latest news from LSAC and address rumors about the LSAT-Flex (is every LSAT-Flex different to mitigate cheating?!). Plus, the guys hear some success stories from LSAT Demon users, they offer some mind-expanding advice about logic games, and they review a listener’s personal statement. Read more on our website!
August is here! And with each month that passes, LSAC announces new updates about the LSAT-Flex. The guys jump into the latest news from LSAC and talk about the upcoming August and October LSAT-Flex administrations. Nathan and Ben also hear from a listener who’s bummed about the LSAT-Flex being undisclosed, they hear gripes from a listener who is enrolled in private tutoring (from another prep company) but isn’t seeing results, and the guys tackle another LR question from prep test 65. Plus, the guys dig into an ABA 509 report to see if there really is a 100-year-old law student at Penn State. Read more on our website!
Ben sits down with a former student, circuit-court clerk, and recent Georgetown Law School grad, Michael Bongiorno for a wide-ranging interview. Michael shares what his law school experience was like and talks about studying for the Bar in the midst of a pandemic. The two go in-depth about the importance of picking the right law school, finding the right teachers, and performing well in your 1L year. They also discuss how to think about transferring, competing with your fellow students, and how to succeed even if your grades suffer in your 1L year. Read more on our website!
Aaron Taylor, the Executive Director of the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence, joins Nathan and Ben to discuss the current state of law schools—from the U.S. News Rankings and prepping students for the financial realities of law school, to administering the Bar exam during a pandemic. But before the guys dive in, they talk about some of the biggest news of the year: LSAC lost a bunch of July LSAT-Flex scores. Read more on our website!
Ep. 256: The LSAT Paradox

Ep. 256: The LSAT Paradox

2020-07-2701:47:16

Speed. Accuracy. Success. Happiness. How do you strike a balance? If you speed through the LSAT, your accuracy may suffer. If you slow down to improve accuracy but never get better at the test, your score will stagnate. If you rush headfirst into law school, you may end up with a mountain of debt in a career that doesn’t meet expectations. In this episode, Nathan and Ben discuss how to use the time to set yourself up for success on the LSAT and beyond. They answer listener questions about aiming for accuracy, how slow is too slow when approaching LR arguments, and whether or not to take a gap year. They also hear from a budding app developer who made an app for checking law-school-app status, and they critique a listener’s personal statement. Read more on our website!
In this episode, Nathan and Ben sit down with attorney and public policy expert Kyle McEntee to discuss his non-profit, Law School Transparency. The mission of Law School Transparency is to make the process of becoming a lawyer more transparent, affordable, and fair. The guys talk to Kyle about how the law school game has changed over the past decade and explore his data-centric approach to choosing a law school (and a career path once you’re there). Read more on our website!
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Comments (5)

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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