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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.
301 Episodes
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Many students feel the need to apply to law school as soon as possible without reaching their potential on the LSAT. But good things come to those who wait. Nathan and Ben chat with former Demon student Jon-Yin Chong, who started his LSAT journey in 2019 and, after over a year of prep and five attempts at the official test, scored a life-changing score of 178. By postponing his law school applications, he also availed himself of several opportunities that led to his current position at Harvard Law School’s Federal Tax Clinic, which he discusses on today’s episode. Plus, Ben and Nathan consider whether all the questions on LSAT Reading Comprehension are “Must Be Trues,” answer lots of questions from the listener mailbag, and meet Ben’s biggest fan—Copper, the Golden Retriever. Read more on our website!
In this week's episode, Ben and Nathan dig through the listener mailbag, uncovering an Excuse of the Week, stress over multiple LSAC snafus, and an update from a former listener who took some—but not all—of their advice when applying to law school. They answer questions about reading comprehension, personal statements, and when to start prepping for the LSAT. They also tackle a Paradox question from PrepTest 73. Read more on our website!
If you’re gonna go into a courtroom—as a defendant—you’re gonna want the most ruthless and savvy law warrior on your side. But how far would you want them to go in advocating for you? Nathan and Ben debate a hypothetical legal entanglement amidst answering listener questions. They also read listener mail about negotiating a full ride to Berkeley, choosing which law school you should pay for (hint: none of them), how to prep in a retake situation, whether to ask for accommodations (probably), and much more. The guys also try to get to the bottom of LSAC’s recent bombshell announcement that the dates of the LSAT testing year have changed, leaving a bunch of test-takers in a lurch. Read more on our website!
In an action-packed show, the guys hit all the bases: pearls vs. turds, excuse of the week, the latest news from the law-school universe, law school admissions success stories, advice for 1L hopefuls. The works. Nathan and Ben take a look at how Khan Academy teaches LG compared to building worlds. They talk about Georgetown slipping from the top 14. They try to decipher LSAC’s new policy on how many times you can take the LSAT. They offer some advice to someone who’s hoping to attend Harvard with a 3.2 GPA, and they consider whether it’s too late to consider applying in the 2021-2022 cycle. Plus the dive deep into the murky bowels of Florida Coastal School of Law, which is facing closure after the government declared it would stop loaning money to students planning to attend. Read more on our website!
It’s getting later in the law school admissions cycle, and more and more offers are rolling in. Now students are faced with some tough decisions. But instead of playing the game the Thinking LSAT way, students are panicking. They’re worried about getting to school right away instead of starting their career in law the right way—(near) debt free, and with the best opportunities ahead of them. Instead, folks tend to get tunnel vision and reduce their range of possibilities. Nathan and Ben serve up some tough love to a bunch of students trying to decide where to attend in the fall. Plus, the guys hear an excuse of the week and pick apart another LR question from prep test 65. Read more on our website!
The Thinking LSAT mailbag is filled to the brim, so the guys sit down for a bonus episode of answering questions from our dear listeners. They weigh some LSAT wisdom from a particularly misguided guidance counselor, they hear an excuse of the week from a surprisingly self-aware student, they help a “non-traditional” candidate with an addendum (and chronic sleep apnea), and they hear some success stories about students heading to law school for free. Plus, they offer some advice to a college sophomore who wants to know how to start prepping for the LSAT early—because they’re positively, definitely, for sure, dead set on a career in the law. Read more on our website!
Since the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal, college admissions professionals have been under a new level of scrutiny. On today’s show, Ben and Nathan talk to Harvard Law grad and college admissions consultant, Sydney Montgomery, about ethics and law school admissions. They also talk to Sydney about how equity-seeking groups can find community and support as they are preparing for law school and when they get to campus. Plus, the guys answer another LR question from prep test 65, they answer a question about scholarships for older candidates, check-in on changes to the U.S. News rankings, and hear a story of an LSAC fee waiver denial that got reversed. Read more on our website!
Many lawyers-to-be have their eyes on the good stuff. They want to do the world-saving, altruistic work that will make communities stronger and peoples’ lives better. And immigration law is a popular focus for these folks who want to help asylees and other groups. But what is immigration law really like? Nathan and Ben sit down with immigration attorney, Nicole Black, to talk about the realities of immigration law. They discuss what cases generally look like, what happens when cases get lost, and what the day-to-day practice is like for an immigration attorney. Plus, the guys chomp thru another LR question from PT 65, they weigh some advice from Reddit and answer a bunch of listener mail. Read more on our website!
In what may be some kind of record, the guys dig thru their overflowing mailbag and answer a bunch of listener emails, plus they find time to hear an Excuse of the Week, play a round of Pearls vs. Turds, and answer an LR question from prep test 65. It is an action-packed episode where the guys answer questions about career changes from being a calligrapher to becoming a lawyer, from opting out of law school to become a social worker, whether law schools offer accommodations for students with learning differences, and what to do about being waitlisted in an ultra-competitive cycle, and a bunch more. Read more on our website!
Ben and Nathan are joined by Henry Carras, a 3L at GW who is preparing to go into the JAG (Judge Advocate General’s) Corps. Harry discusses the ins and outs of what it means to be a Judge Advocate in different branches of the military, what responsibilities JAG Corps officers have outside of lawyer-ing, and what it takes to be accepted into the JAG Corps. The guys also hear from a student who’s wondering if creating a good network in law school is better than being a big fish with a scholarship, they skewer a money-grab email from Georgetown, take a look at an excuse of the week, and get into another LR question from prep test 65. Read more on our website!
When it comes to all the LSAT advice that’s floating out there in the world, it’s hard to find much information that’s helpful. It’s hard to find those pearls of wisdom that will have a meaningful impact on your LSAT score. And over the years, the guys have reviewed many a turd-o-wisdom from the field. But in this episode, the guys take a look at some advice that they agree every person studying for the LSAT should keep in mind. Nathan and Ben also hear from folks who aren’t feeling so surefooted on their paths to law school—if they’re struggling with RC, does that mean they’re going to suck at law school? If they’re scoring higher today than a few weeks ago, are they just on a lucky streak? If they can’t apply this cycle, is it worth applying to law school at all? Nathan and Ben try to bring some peace of mind to these folks, plus they tackle another LR question from prep test 65. Read more on our website!
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!
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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
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