About Nathan Fox

_WBP0904-2I took the LSAT in February of 2007, and scored 179. In 2008, I enrolled at UC Hastings Law. It was the best school within biking distance from my home in San Francisco’s Mission District. I was 32-years-old at the time, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I already had a master’s degree in journalism, an MBA, and felt unfulfilled from a succession of different jobs.

After graduating from Hastings I happily decided not to take the bar exam. Because the same year I started law school, I discovered my true passion and obvious calling in life. I’m not a lawyer. I’m a teacher.

I taught for over two years with one of the big prep companies before starting Fox LSAT. I wanted to simplify the curriculum and focus more on the things that really translate into higher scores: fundamentals, confidence, and a happy, focused mindset on test day. I teach you how to have fun with the test, leading to dramatically increased scores. Additionally, my methods not only prepare for the LSAT, but for the critical thinking required in law school.

I’m also the author of several books including Cheating the LSAT, Breaking the LSAT, Exposing the LSAT, Introducing the LSAT, andThe Fox LSAT Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia.

If law school will help you find your calling, then I’ll do my damnedest to help you get in. My goal isn’t just to squeak you into a mediocre law school. My goal is to get you a scholarship, and help you get into a truly great school. Don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’m here to help.


  1. Nathan:
    Hello! I have been listening to thinking LSAT for a little over a month now and love it! I am a prior school teacher and have been working in the legal field since 2010. I will turn 32 in September and am wanting to start law school in the fall of 2016. I have been utilizing LSAC prep books and am leaning towards powerscore( if I can afford it) for additional prep. I am not a good test taker, and am fearful that I won’t do well and should get the idea of law school out of my head all together. I obtained my Bachelors and Masters Degree from Bowling Green State University, in Ohio and serve in the Army National Guard. Hopefully you can give me some advice.
    I look forward to hearing from you!

    J. Sommers


    1. Hey Jacquelyn, thanks for writing!

      If you like my style, I have to recommend my own online LSAT course. It’s a comprehensive prep program, with all materials included, and you can email me for help along the way.

      All your other stuff sounds great! Law school committees particularly like military service. If you have questions, please email me any time at nathan@foxlsat.com.




  2. Hey guys love the pod cast you guys do, I always listen to it when I go for a run. I was just wondering what you have heard traditionally about the September/ October LSAT’s. What I mean is, is it relatively easier than than the December and other LSAT’s etc.


    1. Hi Jag, thanks for listening, and for writing!

      There’s no consistent difference in difficulty between the different test administrations, as far as I know.




  3. Hi Nathan

    Just had a quick question regarding transcripts. I got my bachelor’s at UCLA and then took some time off before I joined the military. In between that time, I enrolled at a junior college to take a class and then dropped in 1 week later. Got a full refund and it was removed from my transcripts. I never took a class again at the junior college and when I look at my transcripts online, it is completely blank. Do I still need to submit these transcripts? Do I need to list this institution at all? Love the podcast and all the work you guys do.



    1. When in doubt, yes, you should submit ALL transcripts. In this particular instance, you might be able to call LSAC and see if they have an answer for you.

      Thanks for listening!


  4. Nathan,

    Without sounding extremely jaded or out of touch with reality, I’d like to explain my situation and get your respected opinion. I work full time in a fairly busy and aggressive line of work. I went to undergraduate at a top 5 public school and I would really like to attend law school and become an attorney. I have median level grades (for most top 14 programs) but I know that to secure a seat at the school I’d like to attend, I NEED to hit the 170 mark. Unfortunately, when I took my first full length practice test I scored a whopping 146. I plan on taking the test in February and I just wanted to know if hitting that 170 mark is possible at my level given the time (about 4 months) that I have to study. I also wanted to know if it IS indeed in the realm of possibility, what type of studying should I be doing to get into that scoring range? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Hey Paul, thanks for writing! Short answer: YES, it’s absolutely in the realm of possibility. There are no guarantees, but I’ve seen it happen many times. Start now, and do a little bit every day. One 35-minute section followed by deep review would be a great start.

      For a much longer answer, tune in to Episode 46. I just put it on our agenda for the top of that show. Thanks again for getting in touch.


  5. Hello Nathan!

    I live in LA, and I plan to take the September LSAT in 2016. There are several LSAT prep courses around my area, but I don’t know which one is better. I heard about blueprint, testmaster, and manhattan. Most of people I heard go to blueprint. I know mostly it depends on the teacher. Do you have any recommendation? Also, when is the best time to enroll in those courses? Is it better to take the class that right before the test or take the classes first then study by myself for couple months before the test?

    Thank you!


    1. Hey Chloe, thanks for writing. The prep companies you mention are all fundamentally sound, and yes, it will depend greatly on your teacher. What part of LA are you in? I’m available for private tutoring in mid-Wilshire and Los Feliz.

      I recommend taking a class or working with a tutor sooner rather than later. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have and the better equipped you’ll be for self study.

      Hope that helps! Thanks for listening…



  6. Hi Nathan,

    I just started listening and love the podcast. I am going to apologize in advance if youguys have ccovered what I’m going to ask in podcasts, as I have yet to make my way through all of them.

    I am currently double majoring in electrical and computer engineering, and want to go into patent law. I have a few questions I was hoping you might be able to give me your thoughts on.

    1. GPA: I am not going to pretend to be a shining student, my GPA will probably be a low 3 range when I graduate (3.1-3.3). Some people have told me this will hurt me a lot, others have told me because I will have STEM degrees that the lower GPA won’t impact me as much. Any thoughts? Do I realistically have a shot at getting into a top school with a good LSAT score?

    2) Job Market: I’ve heard time and time again the job market for law degrees right now is awful. This is something I would really like to do, something I have been thinking about for 4 years now. I finally this year made the decision to go for it. I think you guys put out a podcast on what you should want out of a law degree… but I am not sure if I’ve gotten to it yet I’m only 4-5 podcasts in. I’m curious if you have as negative an outlook on the job market as others I’ve talked to.

    Sorry again if you covered these questions. Love the podcast!



  7. Hi Nathan,

    I’ve been listening to your podcast for the past few months. It helps me get through the stresses caused by my 120-minute round trip commute to and from work every M-F. Thanks for keeping me entertained!

    I am studying for the June 2016 LSAT and I intend on applying to school in the fall. I have a question regarding law school visits.

    1) I visited a T14 law school today to take a tour, sit in on a full-class, and meet with an admissions counselor.

    Later during my visit, I met with the admissions counselor (who turned out to be the Assistant Director of Admissions) to answer a few of my questions. Upon introducing ourselves, he asked me, 1) how my visit was; 2) what class I took; 3) who was the professor; and 4) what was discussed in that class.

    Unfortunately, I blanked out in this moment and I wasn’t able to remember the full-name of my professor or explain clearly what was discussed in class. I feel like I gave the initial impression that I wasn’t paying attention or that I wasn’t prepared…

    After my ‘moment’, I had some of my questions answered and also had the counselor share with me his personal experience of law school and being a lawyer. He did most of the talking but I think we were able to end on a positive note. The discussion lasted about an hour.

    Is my ‘moment’ something that may hurt my admission prospects in any way? Am I over thinking things? Obviously, the most important thing is how well I construct my application.

    2) Would it be a good idea to visit the law school again in the future? Perhaps after I apply? Or visit the admissions office when I have genuine and thoughtful questions (I’m just a 10 minute drive away).

    3) Is it a good idea to introduce yourself to the Dean if one has the chance? If so, what sort of questions would you ask?

    4) What do you think about starting law school in the summer vs. starting law school in the fall?

    5) Would you recommend going to public events (such as lectures), held by the law school, to get more first-hand information?

    6) How do admissions/scholarship prospects look for the year of 2016? Would you say that it will be better or worse than 2014/15?




    1. Hi Naoki, thanks for the questions. I’ve put them on the agenda for Episode 57. Stay tuned, and thanks for listening!


  8. Hi! I found your podcast while rushing to find something to help me prep when I don’t have my nose in my prep book (Kaplan). I’m registered for the June 6th LSAT, and I only started prepping around the first of this month. My self diagnostic LSAT score was a 148. I graduate this December and I’m planning to start law school this fall. Here’s the catch – I’m 15 years old (Not a joke). With no job, no school, and the ability to fully focus on preparing, is it reasonable for me to hope to make my score viable to compete at the ivy league level by the test date? Should I just wait to take the LSAT until the fall?


    1. Hey Seth, thanks for writing. Your age makes you an unusual candidate for law school (what’s the rush?) but I don’t think it has much bearing (positive or negative) on your LSAT potential. The typical student needs more than one month to fully prepare, but some students take to it more easily than others. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones, and reach your full potential by June. Since you’re already registered, I would suggest prepping as if you’re going to take it, then withdrawing a day or two before the test if you’re not happy with your timed practice tests.

      Ditch the Kaplan book and get something better! You need the “Ten Actual Official LSATs Volume V” for sure. Also, are you interested in speaking with me and Ben on the podcast? We’d love to chat. Email me directly, nathan@foxlsat.com, if this is something you’d be interested in.


  9. Hello,

    I just took the June 2016 LSAT and am thinking about retaking it in September but would love some advice.

    I got a 170 – which I am thrilled about – however, I truly feel as though I can do better. This being the first time I took the LSAT, I was extremely nervous and freaked out on the Logic Games (my first section). I ended up getting 2 questions wrong on the first game (arguably the easiest), when I was not getting any wrong on the practice tests. In the reading comprehension section I got all of the questions wrong on just one passage – knowing the issue was I didnt read closely enough but didnt have time to correct this. My reading comp and LR sections were pretty typical of my practice scoring but I know I should not have gotten those 2 LG questions wrong, which would make my score a 172, which in my mind is a bit more competitive. I feel as though not only should I be able to get a 172 with just maintaining practice until Sept but I will be able to increase my score a few more points with the added months of study.

    My practice average was a 168 – however, this includes two 156 scores I got when I first started studying. My average for the last 10 tests I took was a 173, which I know is not much above a 170. My issue was the reading comprehension section and I feel as though I can vastly improve my score in this section before October with some work. I was thinking about studying casually (not as crazy as I was before) and seeing if my score improves to an average of about 175 or so before the next test and retaking it if it is around that. I already registered for the test, nervous that all the NYC locations would fill up immediately after the test release.

    My GPA is a 3.83 and I have some pretty good work experience (internship with federal judge, DA, and 2 year work experience with plaintiff firm specializing in asbestos litigation). My dream schools are Stanford and Chicago. I feel as though my score is not good enough for these top schools and even for the other top 10 schools I’m still not a shoe-in given how competitive it is.

    What are your thoughts on retaking the LSAT in September in my particular situation?



    1. I’m pretty sure I’d retake in this situation. The 156s at the beginning of your prep are irrelevant. Your last 10 PTS averaged 173, and maybe you can raise that to a 175 before the September test. If so, then it moves from being a marginal retake to an obvious retake. Keep it up, you’re doing great!


  10. Mr. Fox,

    First off let me say I’ve just read through the comments and just added most of your books on my amazon account. Now to my problem.

    Just like everyone else I feel like I’m in an strange situation. I took some community college classes after graduating high school (about 45 credits worth). With no real plans at that time I was not as studious as I should have been. One huge mistake I made was the fact that I took like 6 online classes over 2-3 semesters and failed them all. I didn’t understand how to take online classes and wasn’t smart enough to withdraw from the classes. Obviously this murdered my GPA.

    Fast forward about 10 years and I’ve joined the military active duty so I’m working full time and I’ve also been going to school full time working on my legal studies degree (all done online which I’ve conquered). All of my grades are A’s and B’s now and I’m rapidly approaching my graduation as early as next spring. I work in the JAG corp as a paralegal and am hoping to have some strong LOR from a Staff Judge Advocate (the highest ranking attorney on the base who advises the posts Commander) and the top attorney who defends soldiers on post (she is a major).

    Here is my issue. Even though I’ve been solid with life decisions (military, decent GPA for working full time 3.24gpa, working in legal field now) to prep for law school those failed grades are hanging around my neck like an albatross. In search of a remedy I searched the CC’s website and found that they have an amnesty program where if you complete so many classes with a certain gpa they will wash those classes off of your GPA at that school, however the classes themselves will still be on the transcript albeit with a notation and no influence on the gpa. I looked up LSAC’s website and they will take any grades listed on transcript even if it has been “forgiven” for lack of a better word. That’s at least how I understood it. So the school will forgive those grades and my transcript will reflect a higher gpa but the LSAC will see the F’s on my transcript and according to the wording on their website they will count those grades even though the school doesn’t.

    What can I do? Without the CC online classes (I didn’t even attempt) my gpa is probably hovering around a 3.0 (with the chance to bump a little more before graduating) but those classes just destroy my gpa and any attempt to get into a good school. Do I have any options? If I focus on my LSAT studies and get a 160+ on the LSAT are any good law schools going to care since I’ll have like a 2.4 gpa? Is there any way to get those classes to not count? Help please.


    1. Thanks Alexander. Step one is a deep breath. That might also be steps 2-10 if you’re still feeling stressed after step one. The past can’t be changed, and there’s no point in worrying about things you can’t change.

      Even if the glitchy online grades can’t be expunged from your record (and that’s really a question for Ann Levine, not me or Ben), I do think they can be explained. You’ll write an addendum that accompanies your applications, and you’ll ask them to ignore the online grades since you really didn’t take those classes. It’s imperfect, but it’s the best you can do. Again, this is something that Ann Levine would help you craft. Maybe start with her book, The Law School Admission Game.

      Finally, yes, a great LSAT score can cover up for a world of sins on your transcripts. When I started at UC Hastings in 2011, my 2.54 undergrad GPA was by far the lowest out of the 500+ students who started that year. But my 179 LSAT was also the highest out of the 500+, so I had no problem getting in. Take a look at the LSAC’s “LSAT GPA Calculator” and play with different LSAT/GPA combos to see what your chances are at different schools.

      Thanks for listening, and for commenting!


  11. I am scheduled to take the September LSAT but may need to retake in December. Is it a good idea to apply with my September score and then try and update my application with the December score? Is this even possible? I think this may have been covered on an episode but I couldn’t remember which it was. I am on my second round of listening to the podcast all the way through. Thanks for the help!



    1. Hi Casey-

      The general rule is simply “don’t apply until you have your final LSAT score.” We talk about this a bit more on episode 67, so stay tuned!



  12. I’ve listened to nearly all of your podcasts! I am about to start law school at UVA in August, and I am having second thoughts. I currently work “in my passion” in a conservation non-profit that protects my hometown river. I am the volunteer coordinator and I pursued law school because I was kinda bored and unsatisfied and the earning and promotion potential are dreadful. I make $35,000 before taxes and it just doesn’t seem feasible. I am 29 and have a masters. My work knows that I’m leaving and doesn’t want me to so I can fall back and stay in my job if I want. My current job is super easy, I get to go canoeing, I’ll have 6 weeks vacation plus holidays starting next year.

    I’m scared of the law profession. Frankly, podcasts like yours affirm my fear because it seems like the job just sucks! But I need more money and more intellectual challenge. I have a couple choices I’m mulling over:
    1. Suck it up and go to law school and just don’t be afraid to work hard.
    2. Stay on my current career path, look for more pay and responsibility, and enjoy the chill.

    What are your thoughts?


    1. From one Ben to another, go with option 2. Hands down. Then watch Shark Tank to get ideas on how to start a business that interests you to pay for your life. Law school is neither the only nor the best way to pay for life. It’s just one way for some people who happen to love researching what old people said a long time ago. In short, it’s a select group.

      Good luck!


      1. Oops, I just realized that this is Nathan’s about page. Well, I’m guessing that he’d probably agree.


      2. 100% agree with Ben here. If you’re having doubts, then law school isn’t for you. There’s a huge wide world out there, with many different ways to make a living. Add a part-time job, start a small business, take a class at a community college for fun–most importantly, fill your days doing what you love. All sorts of good things will follow.


  13. Hi. I started reviewing LSAT review books and Loving it. Found my way to your podcast. It’s great, very inspiring. I’m retired from a 25 year Law enforcement career and always thought of law school. Waited to send my kids through college. Can now almost afford to go back myself. I’m over 50. Thoughts??


    1. Hey Lynn, that’s awesome! It’s always inspiring to hear about people over 50 reinventing themselves. People are living longer and longer these days, and it’s possible for someone decide to go to law school at 55, enter legal practice at 60, and have a 25+ year legal career.

      My biggest piece of advice would be don’t pay for school. You’ll have less time than the 20-somethings to pay back $150,000 in law school loans, and you shouldn’t squander your retirement on a dicey investment. So take your time and get the best LSAT score you can, apply broadly, negotiate firmly, and get yourself a full ride somewhere. Then you’ll be free to build whatever type of legal practice you like, without the loans weighing you down.

      Thanks for listening!


  14. Hey Nathan,

    Disclaimer: I just discovered your page and started listening to your podcast (I work a 9-5 and just got approval for headphones so I’ll fly through it).
    I am a soon-to-be Pre law senior who has consistently put off LSAT prep. I know that I needed to take the June LSAT to be able to apply on time for law school without taking a gap year. I have two main questions. One is pretty simple; one is a little longer.

    1. Is a gap year negative in any way?

    2. I want to order a couple of your books but I know that I need to take a prep class or two as well. Of course, you want me to order your books, but I’m worried that if the way you approach certain sections and questions differs from the instructor that I take, it can confuse me. Especially for a section such as logic games, I feel like I need some structure to help me tackle them because trying some practice logic games sections with no preparation didn’t go too well for me. So, what should I do? Do you think that differing approaches to the logic games (or other) sections can have a negative outcome.

    Thanks for all of your hard work to make people like me feel better about this daunting task ahead.



    1. Hey Tyler, thanks for listening, and for writing!

      1) No, I have never heard of a gap year being a problem. In fact, there are some programs that actually REQUIRE people to take a year or two off, such as one Harvard program that we recently discussed on the show with Ann Levine. There is no rational reason why a gap year would be a problem, and I have never heard of an applicant being denied because of a gap year.

      2) My methods are an amalgam of all the best techniques I have ever seen employed by any student in my 10+ years of teaching LSAT. So, if my methods ever conflict with whatever class you take, it’s probably because mine are better. So I don’t think you need to worry about this.

      Thanks again for writing! We’re here to help, however we can.


  15. Hi Ben and Nathan,

    First off, I wanted to thank you for all the podcasts you have produced. I have found the podcasts very interesting to listen to and helpful in starting to think about the LSATs.

    I took my first practice test this morning, with out having done any work on the LSATs or answered any questions from an LSAT before. I received a score of 143, which I found rather discouraging. I graduated college with 3.59 and have aspirations to attend a top 25 law school (dream school Boston College). Do you think with a starting score of 143 I will be able to raise my score to above a 160 by the September test date? I am enrolled in the Princeton Review LSAT course, which the first practice test I took was a part of.



    1. It’s not easy but also not impossible. You’ll know more after your second diagnostic. If it jumps up quickly, maybe your 143 was just a “getting oriented” score. Either way, you might need more time. It’s hard to say until you do more work and get more PT scores.


  16. Hi Ben and Nathan,

    Thank you very much for your time and effort on your podcasts.

    I’m an engineer in the aerospace industry and have a BS in Civil Engineering (3.6), an MS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (3.9) and an MSE in Systems Engineering (3.9). I’m 31 and have been thinking quite a bit about moving to law (IP), but am not sure how competitive my past work experience and educational background will help me with an IP focused school. Various websites show that high undergraduate GPAs are the most common for law school admissions, but I there isn’t much data on the type of degrees these students have.

    Does a 3.6 in engineering put me at a disadvantage over a 4.0 in a “less challenging” major?

    Also, what impact would my two masters degrees have on my selection?

    I have not taken the LSAT, but plan to do so in December.




    1. The fact that it’s a challenging major will help you, so don’t stress too much. Your masters degrees are “soft” factors, but they should help, especially if they tie into the type of IP law that you want to pursue. That said, don’t stress too much about the numbers. 3.6 is not awesome, but it’s not bad either. Everything depends on your LSAT now. 🙂


      1. As Ben says, the LSAT is everything from here.

        It’s easy to say “oh my major was hard, otherwise I would have gotten a 4.0.” Anyone can make this case, whether or not it’s true. But not everyone can back it up with a 170-something.

        When you do, they will dig a little deeper into your candidacy and see for themselves that you had a more difficult major than most of the other applicants.

        The easiest way to get yourself into this conversation is a really big LSAT score.


        1. Thank you very much for the response, Ben and Nathan!

          I suppose that you’re right that it’s simply easy to say it was a challenging major as a cop-out. Truthfully, I was simply not super motivated the first couple of years of undergrad and had a handful of unnecessary B’s that brought it down. Annoying, but it is what it is. I think I was hoping that law schools put some weight into the type of major, GPA, and LSAT when comparing candidates instead of a simple GPA/LSAT calculation.

          My next question sort of pits you guys against each other. I’m looking into the various online prep courses, but there doesn’t seem to be any substantive comparison that discusses the differences in regards to the most popular courses. Since you both have one, could you spend an episode and discuss your courses and compare them to some of the “name brand” options to help people decide who is right for them?


  17. Hey Nathan,

    Just started listening to the podcast recently and I really appreciate how insightful you and Ben are. I’m entering into my Junior year of college and took my first diagnostic this past January. I scored a 146, which I found very disappointing. I plan on studying for the LSAT during these next 10 months and then take the real thing in June. Is this a smart strategy? Is 10 months too long? How much will I actually be able to raise it by?

    Much love,


    1. Hey Phil, thanks for reaching out!

      Ten months is longer than most people reasonably NEED to study. If you have time now, and start studying a little bit every day (one hour per day, like we advocate on the show?) I think you could certainly be ready to take a first attempt this December.

      Most people can improve by 10 points or more from their starting score. 15 point increases are common. 20 point increases are a bit rarer, but they’re certainly possible.

      146 isn’t a bad starting score! That’s right about the average starting score of my typical class in San Francisco.

      Thanks for listening, and please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help!


  18. Hi Nathan and Ben,

    I am a 31 year old guy that is committed to attending law school. I graduated college back in 2009 and had a rough go towards the end. During my last two years of college I was forced to move back home to attend a local university while I took steroids and chemotherapy to get my disease (Multiple Sclerosis) under control. This cratered my GPA–I went from a 3.8, on track to graduate with Honors from my program, to a 2.93, juggling two jobs (50+ a week), attending school (full-time), and regular doctors visits for both of my treatments. Fast forward eight years: I have my disease under control, I have a stable job, and I am ready to get on with the next stage of my life and pursue a dream I’ve always held–to attend law school and then work for the government–boring, but its always been my dream.

    I took my first practice test this weekend and scored in the upper 150’s. I have to preface this with that I have not allotted much time to study–from first crack to test, I have spent less than 20 hours studying. I hope after more time that I can crack the upper 160’s. My goal school is George Mason University here in the D.C. area.

    Now to my main question: Will an honest and truthful personal statement help counter my poor GPA? Do you both feel that my drop in GPA is explainable to admissions? I did not drop due to partying or goofing off–real life jumped up and bit me in the ass. I have a good job now, good references, and my life is stable. I am just afraid that one look at my GPA will automatically disqualify me from pursing my dream.

    Thank you to any help or sage advice you can throw my way. I do greatly appreciate what you both do.



    1. I’ve added this to our show agenda. Short answer: A 2.93 almost certainly “disqualifies” you from the very top schools. But a high LSAT combined with a personal statement or addendum should keep you in contention at plenty of solid schools. More on the show!


      1. Thank you for the quick reply. I left out another personal factor: from 2010-2014 I ran my parents business while my father battled cancer. Thankfully he survived. Would adding this help my personal statement and show character outside of trying to make an excuse for low gpa? Or should I omitt this since it has no barring on my grades?

        Sorry if this it TMI.


      2. Hi Nathan – I am in a similar position to James; early 30’s applicant with a 2.99-2.75 undergrad GPA. Extra information: also have a 2nd bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and I am a Army combat veteran. My dream school is University of Texas. Looking at their applicant profile grid, I had a glimmer of hope that if I could score high on the LSAT (165+) I may a chance of getting accepted. However, this thread seems to imply otherwise. I would appreciate any thoughts you could share.

        p.s. – Thank you for putting together the podcast with Ben, it is very helpful and informative.


        1. Thanks for listening! I can’t speculate, but the LSAT-GPA calculator doesn’t like your chances. It’s not a zero percent chance, but with a 2.75-2.99 and a 165 you seem to have something like a 10% chance. Maybe you’re that one in ten! You’ll never know until you get the best LSAT score you can, and apply.


          1. Thanks for the response. Back to studying…

  19. Hey Nathan and Ben,

    I recently received a 169 on the September LSAT and have a 3.6 undergrad GPA. I’m looking to make it into a T14 school, with preference for UVA or Duke.

    I’m trying to decide if I should retake in December given that it would delay my application by more than a month, and that has costs.

    My practice test average prior to the September attempt that was a 171. LSAC suggests that the LSAT scores are normally distributed and the ~2.5 point score band equals one standard deviation.

    Presuming that’s true, random chance alone would result in me scoring a 169 or lower ~27% of the time, a 171 or higher ~58% of the time, and exactly 170 ~15% of the time.

    I think this makes me a borderline case regarding a December retake, but… probably worth it. Slightly better than coin flip odds of the potential score gains outweighing the delay. Do you agree with that assessment?

    Thanks for the help,



    1. I think there’s a ton of upside to retaking, and very little downside. If you’re worried about timeline, you could always apply now and update them when December scores come out.


  20. Hey Nathan, I loved “Introducing the LSAT” and just ordered the “Logic Games Playbook” on Amazon, I will leave a good review for both (assuming you didn’t half-ass the latter). I am going to start listening to the podcast and was wondering if there is an episode in which you both discuss different school-tiers. I have dream schools in mind, as most do, but I’m curious as to whether my fall-back local school like Cooley in Grand Rapids, Mi, is even worth going to. I know that it is rated near 200 in the U.S., but what does that mean at the end of the day? No job? Poor education? A bigger and dryer foot in my ass? Can you help straighten this out?

    Thank you for you time. Thank you for your honest, hilarious, and straight forward approach to teaching this “B.S.” to us.



    1. P.S. I have taken “and if your Grandma had balls she would be your Grandpa” and loaded it into my “Smart-Ass Gun” where it is waiting for my next victim. I thank you in advance for their misfortune.


      1. Haha, I can’t take credit for that… I surely read it somewhere and ripped it off.


    2. Hi Mitch-

      As long as you don’t PAY for law school, going to a school like Cooley can’t hurt you too much. Get yourself a scholarship and you’re fine. We talk about this issue on nearly every episode of the show, so keep listening and you’ll get some insight. Basically, lower-ranked schools are just as good educationally but 1) their students have a harder time passing the bar exam because they are less talented on average to begin with, and 2) their networks are less powerful, especially for prestigious / big law jobs. Some firms just won’t hire from some schools. So it really depends on what your professional goals are.

      Keep listening, and make a wise decision about where you go / how much you pay!


  21. What should one do about academic letters of recommendation if they received their Degree online? The courses were five weeks long so it would be hard for a professor to actually write one an outstanding letter of recommendation.


    1. Sounds like you probably want to use professional letters of recommendation in this case. Academic letters aren’t required. Choose recommenders who know you well.


  22. Nathan,
    Thank for everything you do regarding our law school preparation. I have a couple of questions. I have a 3.59 GPA and am taking a relatively easy course load this fall. I should be able to raise my GPA north of 3.7. Is it worth waiting until December/January to send out law school applications, or am I sacrificing scholarship money if I wait until then? Thanks for your help.


  23. Howdy ThinkingLSAT,

    I found ya’ll’s podcast the week before the June administration. At that time, I was looking for some quick prep for the test and interested in learning all that I could. Your infectious enthusiasm and high acumen hooked me immediately and with my obsessive-compulsive completionism, I have now listened to every episode and made not paying for law school my mission in life (at least for the next few months).

    Before I took the June LSAT I had already received “conditional admission” to UofH Law Center and Willamette. Given my family situation (four kids, wife, mess of dogs), UofH Law Center or Baylor Law School are really my best-if not only-options as I live near enough to those campuses to commute and could maybe even keep my job. Despite all that, I’m not opposed to moving but it would add a logistical wrinkle I’d have to overcome (sell the house, pack everything up, etc.).

    As for the LSAT scoring, I guess ya’ll would call the June Administration a “cold diagnostic” (because I did less than an hour of prep before I took the exam) and scored a 159 (77th percentile). Apart from feeling a bit plebeian, I am hopeful that with proper study and prep I could improve to the 170s for September. (Quick note: please don’t yell at me for taking the test without studying, before finding your podcast I thought it was just another test and I have a history of taking standardized tests without much study…I passed the Project Management Professional, CompTIA A/S/N/P+ exams, Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor exams, the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I and scored in the 95th/65th/95th on the sections of the GRE without any study [that 65th on Quant…I actually missed about 15 minutes of the exam in the bathroom being sick]). Since I’m taking the CFP exam in July, I decided to register for the LSAT again in September and am committed to studying and prepping properly. Also, I’m asking for time-and-a-half accommodations with my back issues with appropriate documentation. I think that it will help tremendously because I had to guess on four or five questions running out of time.

    LSAC calculates my UGPA as a 2.3 but over half of my undergraduate course work has been at a competency based university where there is no GPA…everything is essentially pass fail and on average I complete about 40 hours a semester. My questions are these: How would I go about explaining (and would an addendum that explains this hurt worse than help) my UGPA to law schools’ scholarship committees? Does your Personal Statement service include some help on addenda? Also, I have completed 3 masters and am in the middle of a third undergraduate degree which I’m also not sure how will be received in an addendum trying to explain the poor statistics LSAC is generating for my UGPA.

    And without asking for any statsturbation, I’m hoping for some insight from ya’ll’s network and knowledge about possible full-rides in the fly-over states (specifically Texas) as that is where I am. Besides the matrix on Thomas Jefferson and the contacts I’ve had with Willamette and UofH, I’m really just guessing based on what I read off of 509s. Depsite my trust in ya’ll’s expertise, I am a bit skeptical that getting law school for free isn’t quite as easy as ya’ll make it sound…especially with my UGPA issues.

    In all cases, thanks for the podcast and even offering this type of Q&A. If I hadn’t stumbled across ThinkingLSAT on Podcast Republic, I would probably still think it was just another test and get giving another dry run a try in July. I genuinely think that ya’ll have changed a life (and by extension the other 5 in my family) with what ya’ll have done.

    Until next, Gig’em and God Bless,

    BAH in Texas


  24. Quick update: LSAC has approved my much needed accommodations to ease my back and stress issues… I’ll be much more able to focus this second go ’round


  25. Throughout my undergrad years, I started taking (non-transferable) community college courses through my local CC for purely recreational purposes. My UG didn’t offer much in the way of law-related or criminal justice-related courses, so it wasn’t hard to take two or three per semester through the CC. Now that I’m looking at applying to law schools, I’ve just found out that these courses will count towards my LSAC GPA. This is good, it seems, because they bring up my 3.7 UG GPA to about a 3.9. However, I’m also worried it may look like an attempt to game the LSAC GPA system. Should I write an addendum explaining that or will it not be a significant issue? My LSAT is a 176 so I’m hoping to apply to schools that I assume will look pretty carefully at my full transcript. Thanks so much!


    1. No need for an addendum. It’ll just look like you were pursuing an interest in law-related stuff, and kicking ass there!


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