Ep. 113: Personal Statement Problems

The Dodgers lost the Series. It’s cold in DC. And the guys are revved up for an entire show of answering emails. Tune in to hear your LSAT questions answered. Plus, Ben’s “LSAT” vanity plates have arrived and he’s getting interested looks all over town.

02:24 – Email 1—Lemule is discouraged. After many weeks of study, his practice-test LSAT scores are barely improving, and worse, they’re low. He’s wondering: are there free or low-cost resources that will help improve his score? Why, yes, Lemule. In fact, there are! Nathan has an online class that’s completely free. And so does Ben. According to L, one of his biggest concerns is that he’s not finishing on time. But here’s a pro tip, dear readers: the secret is to focus on accuracy, not completion.

12:31 – Email 2—Remember back a few dozen episodes (episode 80) when we got a somewhat confusing email about someone who had switched to protective hairstyling and was nervous that moderators would not recognize them from their photograph on test day? It’s ok. We barely remember, too. But Lady Day has been listening to the archives, and as a Muslim woman she had a similar concern. In her photograph, she’s wearing a scarf. To avoid confusion in the event she came across a particularly dense moderator on test day, she wore a scarf to the test and had zero problems. And for all of you out there still wondering about protective hairstyles, Lady Day says only a true idiot would mistake you from your picture if you switched up your hairstyle before test day.

16:12 – Email 3—Ryan went to college with dreams of becoming a lawyer. But halfway through, he opted to pursue a medical degree. After a year or two he decided to go back to studying history, but the semesters of difficult and stomach-churning biology classes left his GPA in tatters. Ryan’s grades sans science classes look pretty great. How does he explain his lowly LSAC GPA to potential schools? The guys jump in and discuss Ryan’s best options for telling his story, and make some recommendations on how he might frame his diversity statement given his half-Asian heritage. One juicy takeaway? Talk about what you DO want to do with your life, not what you don’t.

26:53 – Email 4—Karen initially took the LSAT and scored a 159 a couple years ago. But after taking a gap year (nice job stepping away, K!) and coming back, she’s been scoring in the mid 170s on her practice tests. Wow. Awesome news, Karen. She took the September LSAT, and while we don’t know her final score, a 170-something along with her 3.8 GPA will make her a formidable applicant. Still, Karen wants to know if she needs to write an addendum explaining the disparity in her official scores. Tune in to hear what the guys have to say. Plus, Ben shares an anecdote that he initially forgets, and then slowly remembers.

37:28 – Nathan quickly mentions that the deadline for late registration for the December LSAT was extended into early November. The guys muse on why LSAC made this last-minute decision.

41:53 – Email 5—Anonymous wants to know if they should be concerned with the essay/writing sample portion of the LSAT test. Ben and Nathan give a resounding “no” – you should not be concerned about it, Anon. Basically wing that shit and you’ll almost certainly be fine. Anonymous goes on to ask what they should do if they don’t have many (or any) good letters of rec. The guys make some suggestions.

52:31 – Email 6—Another anon writes in with an interesting tip, dear readers. When registering for the December LSAT, they decided to hold off on payment until friyay, so they could use their payday monies toward their future edification. Unfortunately, when anon came back to their online cart, they were sad to find that their desired testing center was no longer listed as an option. So what did they do, dear reader? Picked up the phone and called LSAC. And all was resolved. Ben and Nathan spend some time lambasting LSAC’s horrible website and general public outreach, but agree that calling the lawyer’s fortress inevitably yields good things.

56:53 – Email 7—Rose is not happy about prepping for the LSAT. And despite loving Thinking LSAT, she can’t seem to find an ounce of adoration for the test. In fact, she’d rather stab her own eyes than try to enjoy the goddamn thing. Well, Rose. We’re sorry to hear that, but you’ll probably find that you’ll perform better at something you enjoy doing than not. In this special segment, Rose asks the guys to review her personal statement on the show, and Nathan and Ben oblige.

What are you doing with your life, if you’re not doing Ben’s free LSAT lesson and Nathan’s free online LSAT course? And if you have already done our free stuff, would you consider upgrading to Ben’s 100-Hour Online LSAT Course and Nathan’s Fox LSAT On Demand?

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4 Comments


  1. What up guys? Thank you for the shout out on the previous podcast. Maybe if you put my information on blast like that people can learn like I learned. It’s nice to hear that people are scoring in 140s to start and then get 170 +! This motivates me and I’m working super hard right now. On that grind.

    So, one thing; you said don’t pay for law school but I feel like you guys were kinda saying don’t go to law school? Am I reading in between your lines incorrectly? Is it possible to get a full ride on a 2.6 and let’s say a 150 or higher? Also I feel like I take your advice and continue to take practice tests, review before grading and then grade but scores are floating around 140. Done two tests with this advice. Y’all think it’s good to continue to review them questions I got wrong? Like print out test copies and review those answers? When I go back to look at my first couple tests I end up remembering the answer so not sure how beneficial that is? What do y’all think?

    Anyways, I get paid tomorrow. Gonna shoot y’all some coins for the advice. Stay up.

    Ps. Check this shit out …

    https://abovethelaw.com/2017/11/aba-finally-puts-law-school-poster-child-for-piss-poor-bar-pass-and-employment-rates-on-probation/

    https://abovethelaw.com/2017/11/cooley-law-school-asks-court-to-prevent-aba-from-releasing-letter-about-its-noncompliance-with-accreditation-standard/

    I’m like “yoooooo” on this second article cause this was one of the schools I was thinking of applying to…

    Reply

    1. Our rebuttable presumption is Don’t Pay for Law School. So if you can’t get a scholarship, either don’t go, or rebut the presumption with a sensible plan for 1) what type of job you are reasonably going to get at school X, 2) how much money that type of job will pay, and 3) how long it will take to pay back your loans.

      If you can’t get school paid for, or come up with a sensible career/repayment plan, then don’t go.

      Thanks for the links! We actually talked about both articles on episode 115, which we recorded yesterday and will be out on Tuesday November 28.

      Reply

      1. Good look on the explanationNate. But, what do you think. About my questions? These ones:

        Also I feel like I take your advice and continue to take practice tests, review before grading and then grade but scores are floating around 140. Done two tests with this advice. Y’all think it’s good to continue to review them questions I got wrong? Like print out test copies and review those answers? When I go back to look at my first couple tests I end up remembering the answer so not sure how beneficial that is? What do y’all think?

        Reply

        1. No, I don’t think you should “continue to review” the questions you’ve gotten wrong. Instead, you simply need to understand the mistakes you made more deeply in the first place. Why was the wrong answer wrong? Why was the right answer right? Once you clearly understand the mistakes you made on that question, you can move forward to new questions. There’s no point reviewing a question where you remember exactly the answer… that’s a waste of time.

          Reply

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