Ben Olson and Nathan Fox started the Thinking LSAT Podcast to become better LSAT teachers and have some fun. Please 1) subscribe, 2) rate and review, and 3) send us questions: [email protected] Don't pay for law school! Learn more at lsatdemon.com
Set Smaller Goals (ep. 394)
1 dzień temu
1:09:27Fixating on a goal score can be counterproductive. The only way to improve on the LSAT is to focus on understanding one question at a time. Today, Ben and Nathan offer listeners advice on topics ranging from finding study motivation to overcoming a low UGPA using the LSAT as your not-so-secret weapon. Plus, a couple of pre-law lovebirds wrote into the show this week, and the guys try their hand at relationship advice. They’d rather you go for the happy relationship than end up star-crossed attorneys in debt. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 394 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 0:00 - When Should You Quit? - An anonymous student is looking for guidance after they believe some barriers kept them from achieving a higher LSAT score. The guys weigh in with their thoughts on whether this student should work to raise their LSAT score or cut their losses and choose a different career path. Bottom line: Don’t take the official test again until you’re ready. 6:52 - Set Smaller Goals - Listener Christopher tells Ben and Nathan that he signs up for official LSAT test dates to stay motivated. The guys offer advice on how to study effectively and how to know when you’re ready to sign up for the official test. Don’t squander your limited attempts at the official LSAT—take it only when you’re happy with your practice test score range. 19:43 - Focus on Your Successes, Not Your Failures - Listener Jason asks Ben and Nathan how to explain that his grades dropped during the year that Covid forced classes online. The guys’ advice: Focus on positive facts about your stats—get the highest LSAT score you can, and don’t blame your undergrad institution for your lower grades. 28:37 - LSAT Scores Stay on Record for Five Years - Listener William is committed to going to law school only if it’s free. But he won’t be applying for four more years. Is it too early to start prepping for the LSAT? Ben and Nathan let William know that he’s doing everything the right way, but he should read the fine print on LSAC’s website or talk directly to a representative at LSAC to get the answer to this question. 32:02 - Lovebirds in Law School - An anonymous couple applying to law school together ask Ben and Nathan if they should take full-ride offers at a lower-ranked school or pay for the prestige that comes with attending a higher-ranked school. They share their dreams of being a law-school power couple, and the guys caution them about the road they’re about to embark on. 43:01 - Law School or Love? - An anonymous listener shares a Reddit post asking whether to write an addendum for low stats on law school applications. Anonymous says he’s limited to school in Los Angeles because he wants to be with the woman of his dreams. He’s worried that a subpar LSAT and UGPA will keep him from his betrothed. Ben and Nathan suggest that the woman of your dreams is more important than going to a bad law school with low stats. They advise Anonymous to give up the law dream for now and go get the girl. 50:47 - Speed Reading Isn’t Reading - Demon teacher Kevin shares a motivational quote that he found relevant to studying for the LSAT. Ben and Nathan agree. You can’t “speed read” and actually comprehend everything you’re reading. 52:26 - Do Soft Factors Help? - Listener John writes in to ask if his “soft” factors will help him overcome a low UGPA on his law school applications. The guys tell John that the best way to overcome a low UGPA is to get the highest LSAT score you can get. A T-14 school might not be attainable with his UGPA, but a high LSAT will give him the best shot. 59:13 - Demon Student Admissions Update - An anonymous former Demon student shares their stats and their current law school admissions results —including scholarship offers that came in even higher than expected. Ben and Nathan congratulate Anonymous and remind listeners that hard work pays off.
Law School Pricing Is Unfair (Ep. 393)
1:25:02The law school tuition system is broken and unlikely to change. Ben and Nathan discuss the why and the who behind the inequitable pricing and double down on their advice to listeners: Don’t pay for law school. Also on the pod, the guys assess LSAT Demon’s compatibility with specific testing accommodations, evaluate the likelihood of a 30-point score increase, weigh in on the idea of postponing graduation to boost your UGPA, and encourage listeners to look to the future rather than focusing on past failures. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 393 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 4.14.2023 — April LSAT begins 4.25.2023 — June LSAT registration deadline 5.3.2023 — April LSAT scores released 6.9.2023 — June LSAT begins 6.28.2023 — June LSAT scores released 1:04 - Focus on What You Can Change 5:51 - Mistakes as Motivation 10:43 - One Step at a Time 17:06 - Accommodations and the Demon 22:03 - Read Every Answer Choice 28:42 - Play How You Practice 34:38 - The System Is Broken 1:02:51 - Will the Ranking Shakeup Affect LSAT Weight? 1:15:13 - Is Increasing From the 140s to 170s Possible? 1:22:13 - ChatGPT’s LSAT Score Read more on our website!
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Slowing Down Is Not Enough (Ep. 392)
1:07:05LSAT Demon acolytes know that we slow down to speed up on the LSAT. But this mantra is not an invitation to focus on speed. Slowing down is not an end in itself, nor is it sufficient for LSAT mastery. On this week’s episode, Ben and Nathan remind listeners why we slow down: to better engage with the passage so we can make predictions and dismiss wrong answers quickly. Later, the guys tell a listener to stop planning applications while still in school. They shoot down a strategy to combat LR “brain fog.” And they assess claims of a prestigious university’s discrimination against applicants with mental health issues. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 392 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 0:00 - Upcoming events - Nathan and Ben promote two upcoming events: their free class for parents of LSAT students and an LSAT Demon meetup at the New York LSAC Law School Forum. 6:06 - Slowing Down - Since he began slowing down on his practice tests, listener David has increased his accuracy—but not his scores. Ben and Nathan assure David that speed will come naturally as he learns to make good predictions and dismiss wrong answers quickly. 14:47 - Stop Making Plans - Nathan and Ben advise an anonymous undergraduate student not to let thoughts of law school be a distraction. Anonymous should focus on their grades and plan their applications later. 27:41 - Practice-Test Anxiety - Madison scores lower on full practice tests than on individual timed sections. Is test anxiety to blame? The guys suspect that Madison might be falling into a common trap: worrying about the whole test when she should be focusing on one question at a time. 33:46 - Pearls vs. Turds - An anonymous student proposes a dubious strategy for dealing with “brain fog” at the end of Logical Reasoning sections: do the first half of the section, then jump to the end and work backwards. 41:14 - Mental Health Discrimination - Nathan and Ben review an essay by a former Cornell faculty member who claims that the school discriminates against applicants with mental health issues. The guys suspect that some law school admissions officers may be similarly biased. 50:07 - Withdrawing Applications - The guys advise listener Brayden on how to withdraw applications. 53:10 - Should I Take the April LSAT? - Perry isn’t sure that he’ll be fully prepared for the April test. Should he still take it to max out his attempts before the fall? Ben and Nathan see both sides of the argument, but they think that Perry might want to keep a final attempt available for next year. 56:58 - Scores Decreasing - Nathan and Ben assure an anonymous student that score fluctuations are just part of the process. Anonymous should stop worrying about their scores and focus on understanding the questions they get wrong. The guys also tell Anonymous that reading more slowly in RC isn’t enough: they’ve got to find a way to care about the passage.
Regional School with National Reach? (Ep. 391)
49:02Ben and Nathan assess whether attending a regional school may prevent you from finding work in a more competitive market. The guys double down on their advice to apply broadly even if you’re set on attending law school in a particular location. They also consider whether earlier PrepTests are easier than more recent ones, investigate an elite law school’s URM bump, and shake their heads at the ABA’s continued attempts to eliminate the standardized testing requirement. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 391 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 2:59 - Pearls vs. Turds - Listener Owen shares some LSAT tips from lsat-center.com. Ben and Nathan detect some turds and implore listeners to reject LSAT gimmicks. 21:19 - Regional Law Schools - An anonymous listener was offered a full-tuition scholarship plus a stipend to attend the University of Iowa. But Anonymous worries that attending a regional school will prevent them from finding work in a competitive market, like Washington, D.C. Nathan and Ben recommend connecting with Iowa alumni who’ve followed similar paths. 28:34 - Apply Broadly - Listener Heidi wants to attend law school in a particular region. Should she still apply broadly, even to schools she wouldn’t attend? Ben and Nathan say yes. By applying broadly, Heidi can better judge her value to law schools and keep her options open. 31:25 - Are Early PrepTests Easier? - Listener Jack was shocked to score 177 on PrepTest A (an official LSAT from 1996) after weeks of scoring in the 160s. How much should Jack read into this score jump? Are earlier PrepTests easier? Nathan and Ben tell Jack not to overthink a single data point and to keep learning from his mistakes. 36:08 - URM Bump - The guys resolve a question about the URM bump in the LSAT Demon scholarship estimator. 42:07 - ABA Tries to Eliminate LSAT Rule - The ABA will try yet again to eliminate the standardized testing requirement for law school admissions. Ben and Nathan remind listeners that law schools will continue to use the LSAT even if they aren’t required to do so.
From Rejection to Full Ride (Ep. 390)
1:13:37Nathan and Ben read the story of an applicant who improved his LSAT and received a full-ride scholarship offer from a school that had rejected him last year. The evidence mounts: every LSAT point is worth at least $10,000. Also on the show, the guys examine a Logical Reasoning question written by ChatGPT, explain how Loan Repayment Assistance Programs work, and encounter one of the turdiest Pearls vs. Turds submissions of all time. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 390 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 0:00 - Parents’ Night - On March 9 at 7pm ET, Nathan will host a free class for parents so they can better understand the law school admissions process. Parents can register at lsatdemon.com/classes using their kids’ accounts or by creating their own Demon Free accounts. 3:44 - ChatGPT - What happens when you ask ChatGPT to write an LSAT question? Ben and Nathan review a Logical Reasoning question from the chatbot that misses the mark. Then they read a personal statement penned by ChatGPT. It’s not pretty. 14:59 - Scores Going Down - Demon student Kaitlyn feels that the more she studies, the worse she gets at the LSAT. The guys suspect that Kaitlyn is reading too much into a small sample size and encourage her to focus on one question at a time. 21:50 - Pearls vs. Turds - Nathan and Ben encounter an especially bad piece of LSAT advice. They implore listeners to cut the gimmicks and practice like they’ll play on the official test. 28:36 - Live Class Schedule - Demon student Colt asks how best to schedule his time with Demon Live classes. Ben and Nathan recommend picking one class every day or two and leaving plenty of time for self study. 33:46 - LRAPs - Nathan and Ben break down law schools’ Loan Repayment Assistance Programs. The guys tell listeners to do their research and to be extremely careful with such programs, which may simply kick debt further into the future. 50:09 - From Rejection to Full Ride - An anonymous listener shares a story of an applicant who improved their LSAT score and received a full-ride scholarship from a school that had previously rejected them. Ben and Nathan see this as further proof that every LSAT point is worth $10,000, sometimes more. 1:01:41 - Getting Off Waitlists - Listener Brad wonders if a better score on the April LSAT could help him get off the waitlists at several T14 schools. The guys tell Brad to withdraw his applications and reapply next cycle with a better LSAT score. If he follows that plan, Brad should have scholarship offers in hand by the end of 2023. 1:08:44 - An UGPA Miracle - Listener Kash convinced their old school to convert their Fs to Ws, saving their 3.9 GPA from dropping to a 3.3.
LSAT Survives ABA Vote (Ep. 389)
1:36:52Reports of the LSAT’s impending demise have been greatly exaggerated. The ABA voted last week to uphold the required use of a standardized test, like the LSAT, in law school admissions. On this week’s podcast, Ben and Nathan react to news about the vote and remind listeners that law schools will continue to find the LSAT useful regardless of whether the ABA ever removes the testing requirement. Later, the guys hear from LSAT Demon students who crushed the January test, and they review a listener’s personal statement. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 389 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 1:21 - LSAT Survives ABA Vote - Nathan and Ben react to the big news: the ABA’s House of Delegates has voted to keep the standardized test requirement for law school admissions. The guys talk about why the LSAT was created in the first place and why law schools find it so useful. 9:22 - January LSAT Scores - Ben and Nathan celebrate Demon students’ successes on the January LSAT. 26:32 - Smartphone Liberation - Ben shares a New York Times article titled, “The Teenager Leading the Smartphone Liberation Movement.” The guys offer tips to minimize your smartphone’s negative impact on your focus without entirely ditching your device. 32:31 - Don’t Overcommit - Listener Cora struggles to find time for LSAT prep amidst her classwork and extracurriculars. Ben and Nathan advise Cora to drop the LSAT for now to focus on—and enjoy—school. 45:35 - Rolling Admissions - Nathan and Ben explain to listener Diana why law schools’ rolling admissions favor those who apply at the beginning of the cycle. The guys revisit the GLAD method for law school applications. 52:09 - Tracking Costs - Listener Eddie shares his spreadsheet for tracking law school applications and projected costs. Ben and Nathan discuss why Eddie should consider ignoring living expenses in his cost projections. 58:40 - Advice for a Splitter - An anonymous listener worries that their low GPA may preclude acceptance into a high-ranked law school. Should Anonymous apply only to low-ranked schools and plan to transfer out? Nathan and Ben tell Anonymous to apply broadly and not to count on a transfer. 1:05:10 - Personal Statement Review - Listener Nathaniel tried to follow Ben and Nathan’s advice in writing his personal statement, but the final product is a little dry. Ben and Nathan temporarily break their moratorium on personal statement reviews and give Nathaniel some feedback. 1:27:34 - Soft Factors - The guys suggest some useful takeaways from Dean Z’s video about soft factors on law school applications.
Start with One Question (Ep. 388)
58:00New LSAT students often feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to begin studying. On this week’s pod, Ben and Nathan demystify the process: start with one LSAT question. Later, the guys emphasize the importance of getting straight A’s in undergrad. They question whether it’s worth paying for the prestige of a top-ranked law school. And they discuss whether any LSAT questions have multiple good answer choices. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 388 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 0:48 - Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT - LSAT Demon and the Council on Legal Educational Opportunities are partnering to facilitate the Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT program at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law on Saturday, February 25. 2:03 - Start with One Question - Listener Sierra isn’t sure where to begin her LSAT study. Nathan and Ben tell her not to overthink things: Start with one LSAT question. Then do another one. 11:41 - Undergraduate GPA - Listeners Evan and Landry ask how LSAC will calculate their undergraduate GPAs. Ben and Nathan turn to LSAC’s grade conversion table and highlight the huge difference between an A and an A-. Later, the guys examine the average median GPA for all ranked law schools. 27:52 - Pearls vs. Turds - Nathan and Ben critique “context reinstatement” as an LSAT study strategy. They warn listeners not to exert too much mental effort for minimal return. 36:54 - Money vs. Prestige - An anonymous listener used to think that cost would be the determining factor when deciding where to attend law school. But now that they’ve been admitted to Harvard, Anonymous may pick the prestige of an elite school over a full-ride scholarship elsewhere. Ben and Nathan weigh in. 39:43 - Online vs. Books - Listener Courtney asks if she should donate her copies of Nathan’s old books and switch to LSAT Demon. Nathan and Ben say yes. LSAT Demon includes all the explanations from Nathan’s books and many, many more. 42:16 - Multiple Good Answers? - Listener Alex wonders if you can ever make a case for more than one answer choice on the LSAT. Ben and Nathan concede that some Logical Reasoning questions feature multiple answer choices that may strengthen or weaken the argument—but only one answer is unequivocally correct. 48:09 - Philadelphia Law Schools - Two listeners ask Nathan and Ben to compare Philadelphia law schools. Is it worth it to pay for a prestigious school like Penn rather than accept a scholarship to attend a lower-ranked school like Drexel? The guys discuss the academic competition and job prospects at these institutions.
Will AI Replace Lawyers? (Ep. 387)
1:12:46Is ChatGPT coming for lawyers’ jobs? On this week’s episode, Nathan and Ben speculate on how AI chatbots will affect the legal industry. They imagine profound changes to the ways that lawyers work, and they advise future law students to familiarize themselves with this new and vital tool. Later, the guys warn undergrads against studying for the LSAT while in school, discuss the pitfalls of highlighting in Reading Comprehension, and hawk Demon swag. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 386 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 0:38 - ChatGPT - Listener Amy wonders how chatbots like ChatGPT will affect the legal profession. Ben and Nathan believe that AI may take over many rote tasks, like document review, but that it will never completely replace human lawyers. 19:38 - Getting to 175 - Demon student Daniel scored 170 on the June LSAT after taking only two practice tests. Now he has his sights set on a 175 or higher. Nathan and Ben think Daniel can reach his goal if he’s willing to put in the work and take the test multiple times. 23:57 - Studying While in Undergrad - The guys warn listeners Cassidy and Jack not to let the LSAT distract them from getting straight A’s. 27:54 - Highlighting on RC - Listener Caleb shares his thoughts on the highlighter tool for Reading Comprehension passages. Ben and Nathan maintain that the highlighter is a distraction for most students. 39:46 - Comparing Full Rides - Nathan and Ben evaluate listener Nick’s full-ride scholarship offers from Drexel and the University of Missouri. Should better job prospects at one school outweigh a lower cost of living at the other? The guys advise Nick not to let a relatively small amount of money sway his decision. 45:35 - Regional Law Schools - Demon student Conor asks about the value of attending a prestigious out-of-state school as opposed to a lower-ranked regional school. Ben and Nathan think that it depends on what those schools will cost. They double down on their advice to apply broadly. 50:26 - Fulbright Disclosure? - Demon student and law school applicant A just found out that they’re a semi-finalist for a Fulbright award. Should they disclose this to law schools? Nathan and Ben debate the pros and cons of sharing this conflict before it’s a sure thing. 56:49 - Tax Law - Listener “Tax Guy” wants to add a JD to his CPA designation. Ben and Nathan discuss the lucrative field of tax law. 1:00:39 - Study Schedule - Demon student Nate asks how to split his time between drilling, timed sections, and practice tests. The guys recommend their One-Hour LSAT study schedule. 1:05:40 - Merch - Nathan and Ben poke around the new UC Law San Francisco merch store and invite listeners to pick up LSAT Demon swag.
When to Apply to Law School (Ep. 386)
1:17:06Nearly 35,000 people have already applied to law school this cycle, according to data from LSAC. And many top law schools have already begun handing out scholarships. On today’s pod, Ben and Nathan examine the current application data and advise would-be late applicants to wait until next year. Later, the guys discuss how to use scholarship offers in negotiations with other law schools. They consider the impact of affirmative-action legislation on the “URM bump.” And they read admissions updates from LSAT Demon students. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 386 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 0:27 - New Test Dates for 2023–2024 - Ben and Nathan examine the new test dates for the upcoming LSAT cycle. 6:08 - Your Most Valuable Asset - Ben shares some wisdom from Sam Harris: your most valuable asset isn’t your time, it’s your attention. 16:07 - Application Data - The guys analyze LSAC’s current application volume statistics. 25:54 - Scholarship Negotiations - An anonymous listener asks how to leverage a scholarship offer from Michigan in their negotiations with other schools. 33:32 - Denied the Bar Because of Debt? - Listener Carol shares a Forbes article about someone who was denied admission to her state bar—despite passing the bar exam—in part because of her massive student debt. 40:46 - URM Bump - Listener Hodari wonders whether Proposition 209, which prohibits affirmative action in California public schools, means that underrepresented minorities receive less of a “bump” when applying to California law schools. Nathan and Ben review data on LSD.law that suggest otherwise. 50:12 - Improving LSAT Demon - A student suggests a way to improve written explanations in the Demon. 54:12 - Preparing for Law School - Listener Sam asks how to prepare during the summer before law school. The guys recommend The Law School Toolbox as well as a few books. 1:03:28 - Waiting to Apply - Listener Aloe isn’t sure whether retaking the LSAT and waiting to apply next cycle will improve their admissions chances. Ben and Nathan see nothing but upside in that plan. 1:05:27 - Admissions Updates - Several LSAT Demon students share their admissions and scholarship success stories. 1:07:37 - Not Going to Law School - Demon student Krista has decided not to attend law school. Instead, she’s embraced her current career and found peace in her life as it is. Krista thanks the Demon team for helping her reach her decision.
The LSAT Is Your Wrecking Ball (Ep. 385)
1:21:35A wall stands between you and law school. Would you rather swing at it with a hammer or a wrecking ball? On this week’s podcast, Ben and Nathan remind listeners that the LSAT is by far your most powerful tool for breaking into law school. The guys also debate the existence of “trap” answer choices on the LSAT, consider a New York Times article’s tips for improving concentration, and critique Dean Faigman’s long-winded announcement that UC Law San Francisco will no longer provide data for the US News rankings. LSAT Demon LSAT Demon iOS App LSAT Demon Daily Watch Episode 385 on YouTube Thinking LSAT YouTube LSAT Demon YouTube 0:45 - “Trap” Answers - Listener Sean self-diagnoses a hyperawareness of “trap” answer choices and a tendency to overthink Logical Reasoning questions. Nathan and Ben dispel the notion of trap answers and urge Sean to attack the test with confidence. 9:58 - The LSAT Is a Wrecking Ball - Listener Laura wonders whether her years of work experience will make her a more compelling law school candidate. Ben and Nathan remind Laura and other listeners that soft factors are like tiny hammers compared to the wrecking ball that is the LSAT. 20:00 - LSAT Writing - Nathan and Ben speculate on the purpose of the LSAT Writing section and advise listeners on how to prepare. 26:33 - Mid-Cycle Update - With multiple T14 acceptances and a full-ride offer in hand, an anonymous listener reaps the rewards of applying early and broadly. 29:20 - Undergraduate Major Versus GPA - Listener Noah asks whether his difficult major will make him more competitive for admission to elite law schools. Ben and Nathan think it might, but they maintain that GPA is more important. 33:50 - LSAT Demon Fee-Waiver Discount - The guys share information about LSAT Demon’s fee-waiver discount. Recipients of LSAC’s fee waiver can get four months of Demon Basic for $30—or 20% off any plan indefinitely. Find out more at lsatdemon.com/plans. 35:27 - Focus Like It’s 1990 - Nathan and Ben discuss a recent New York Times article on how to improve your focus by taking intentional tech breaks. Should you dedicate time to reading physical books every day? Ben is sympathetic to the suggestion. Nathan thinks electronic screens are fine as long as you’re reading something you enjoy. 49:12 - UC Law San Francisco - The guys critique a screed from Dean Faigman of UC Law SF about why the T51 school will no longer participate in the US News rankings survey.