Ep. 115: Negotiating Law School Scholarships

The guys are back from Thanksgiving (though we recorded just before) with a bunch of LSAT and lawyerly news. Ben and Nathan give thanks to an anonymous tip-jar jangler before jumping into some law-school current events. And of course, address a number of your LSAT questions.

2:46 – It turns out that Thomas Jefferson School of Law—our oft-spoken-of favorite law school with regards to transparency—is. on. probation…! ‘Why?’ you may ask, dear reader. Because their bar passage rates are positively shit. With just 31% of graduates passing the bar, the ABA has put them on notice. The guys discuss why TJSL may be having this problem, and give you an idea of what your chances of passing the bar might be if you attend this reprimanded institution.

8:03 – A recent article on Vice recounted the tale of a student who tackled the LSAT with zero prep and scored a 158. Pretty good, right? That’s what the test taker thought, before deciding that because they didn’t exhibit prodigious performance, they weren’t cut out to be a lawyer(?) Nathan and Ben dig in to the many flaws in said student’s line of thinking. Plus, the president of LSAC was interviewed for the article. Tune in to hear the guys discuss.

19:10 – Hey, Thinking LSAT listeners, we’re not just barreling toward the December LSAT. We’re also jumping into the holiday season! And if you or a loved one has (or is thinking about getting) an Apple Watch, nothing would look more sexy on your wrist than a custom Apple Watch watchband from Southern Straps! Co-founded by a longtime Thinking LSAT listener and former student of Nathan’s, Southern Straps is offering y’all 30% off a watchband with a special promo code. Take a listen to hear how you can save on a stylish wrist adornment this holiday.

22:12 – Email 1—Anonymous is a bit bummed after seeing a precipitous drop in his LSAT score. After scoring a 155 diagnostic, anon took a course to improve their score, only to land a 145 on the actual exam. Without any $$$ to pay for additional LSAT help, they’re wondering: what to do? Nathan and Ben weigh in with some helpful tips on how to push anon’s first score of 155 closer to their goal score of 160. The starting pro tip? Forget all the “strategies” promoted by your first prep course—it didn’t do you any favors.

27:52 – Email 2—MacKenzie writes in wondering about next steps after taking the LSAT. After the applications are in, after offers have been made. Then what? MacKenzie knows from listening to the show: it’s time to negotiate. But how? Do you leverage your safety schools against your reach schools? When do you approach the subject? How do you ask for more money? The guys go deep on scholarship negotiation. They offer their thoughts on when to start negotiating, how best to ask for more money, and when (or if) you should consider the deal closed.

48:49 – Email 3—With eight failed classes, Anonymous was academically disqualified. But that was 20 years ago. Hey, it was the 90’s. Present day is looking much brighter. Anon nearly nabbed a 4.0 GPA when they recently earned a degree in legal studies from a community college. However, their past poor performance has rendered their LSAC GPA a 3.11. Anon is wondering—what now? Depending on the outcome of the December LSAT, should they simply apply to schools that will accept them based on this low LSAC GPA? The guys weigh in and let Anon know that there’s hope. Schools care much more about who you are today than who you were 20 years ago. But you’re gonna have to pen an addendum, and kick ass on the LSAT.

54:56 – Email 4—Jeremy writes in with an amusing anecdote regarding a lawyer, a return policy, and a stone cold haberdasher. Sound exciting? It is. Tune in to hear the whole story.

57:17 – Email 5—Would you consider going to Canada for a cheaper legal education if you knew more about the law-school application process there? That’s what Ontario based paralegal Kiah is wondering. She’s gearing up to take the LSAT in December, but feel a bit in the dark about applying to schools in her native Canada because the Canadian system is not reviewed very much (at all) on Thinking LSAT. Kiah asks if the guys will consider having an expert on the Canadian system on the show to inform listeners. Ben and Nathan debate the probability of Americans getting law degrees in Canada and vice versa.

6 Comments


  1. I appreciate the enlightening commentary on scholarhsip negotiations. I’m considering hiring Ann Levine to help in the process (I found her through you guys), but if I don’t, your discussion provides a good bedrock to work from. Thanks so much!

    Reply

    1. No problem! Glad it was helpful. Hiring Ann can be pricey, but her advice can also save you money by getting you better offers from better schools. Good luck!

      Reply

  2. I thought you guys were going to break down Sep 2017 test? Is that still going to happen?

    Reply

  3. Hi! I just took the December lsat. This was my second take. The first time I made the mistake of taking a watch with me and lost a lot of time checking it in between questions. Practicing for my second take, I never used a watch. I marched in the classroom today, sat down in the first row, and one thing I noticed was the proctor taking the wall-clock off the wall and placing the big ticking machine on the blackboard! Then he asked the whole class if they can see it. “No? Where do you want me to move it? Right? Left?” He ended up placing it right in front of my eyes. I wanted to say something, but decided to suck it up and don’t let it bother me. I think the test went ok.

    Reply

    1. It’s funny to hear how different everyone’s experiences can be. A clock-centering proctor! Glad you were able to suck it up.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *