Ep. 123: Our Most Loved and Most Hated Show

Ben calls in from home, Nathan is soaking up the rays in LA, and the guys dive in to a bunch of listener mail. But first: if you’ve been seeing more of Thinking LSAT around the internet, don’t be alarmed. Be filled with joy! Thanks to you, dear listeners, we’re now at 100+ subscribers on our new YouTube channel. Head over to youtube.com/thinkinglsat if you want a new way to enjoy the show. Plus keep an eye out for Thinking LSAT on more podcast platforms in the near future.

4:40 – Email 1—Thinking LSAT listener Money was hanging out on Reddit and found some interesting discussion around law school admissions. Money read that students who score a 174 on the LSAT were near guaranteed a spot at HYSCC (Harvard, Yale, Stanford…Columbia? Chicago?). Those schools need to accept students with those scores, claimed the Reddit community, in order to maintain their 75th percentile score of 174. Money wants to know that if they have a lower GPA, say around a 3.0, but they do nab a 174, do they stand a chance of getting in to the top schools? The guys are skeptical, and wonder whether Money is statsturbating, but give Money the best advice they can: it doesn’t hurt to apply and see what happens. Plus, Nathan has a mini therapy session with Ben about his life decisions and the adults that influenced or didn’t influence him.

14:06 – Email 2—Major congratulations to Zach who writes in to let us know that his LSAT score jumped from 166 to 175. BAM! That is a game changing jump, Zach. He sends a heartfelt thanks to the show. Much appreciated, Zach, and happy to help!

16:13 – Email 3—Sarah has also used the podcast to increase her score. She’s up from the low 150s to a 160 on her most recent test (congrats!). But she’s determined to do even better and wants to take the February exam. Sarah wants to know if the guys are really—like for real, for real—against taking the February test and applying for the fall. Well, Sarah, they are for real. Nathan and Ben both argue that taking the February test is great, but that you really need to wait until the following cycle to apply. “But my friend did it!” says Sarah. “But she’s probably getting ripped the fuck off,” the guys retort.

26:32 – Email 4—Good ol’ Splitty writes in with something that sounds like QUITE a tall tale. In college, Splitty was a finance major. They acted as treasurer for FOUR student groups. They played in three music groups with multiple performances per week. They started a company and raised VC funding. They consulted for the god damn government. Then they won a variety of awards and served in a sprinkling of leadership positions for fuck’s sake. Splitty’s done so much, their CV looks like a fucking Pollock painting. It’s pretty…impressive? But with all this shit going on, it’s no surprise that Splitty wound up with a 2.76 GPA. And considering Splitty scored in the high 160s cold on an LSAT diagnostic and looks to be headed for a recorded score in the mid 170s, they’re a bit chagrinned to be hindered by their undergrad GPA. So they want to know—will their fanciful past make for a powerful addendum? Nathan and Ben opine.

51:28 – Email 5—Law School Skeptic writes in to share a pro tip with the Thinking LSAT community. They took a recent LSAT with the intention of canceling their score before leaving the test center. That’s right. They walked in and before opening the test book, they knew they planned to cancel their score using the optional “please cancel this shit” bubble at the end of their test. Well, their proctor got wind of this and told Law School Skeptic they should just cancel online rather than on the test. You know. Just in case. So Law School Skeptic erased their bubble, but it didn’t matter. When LSAC scanned the sheet, it read that bubble as being filled in. Perhaps Law School Skeptic lacked conviction when they were erasing, but they want you to know that this bubble business is dangerous. Don’t accidentally get your score cancelled. Watch how you fill out those bubbles! The guys also have a pro tip for you, dear readers: don’t cancel your score. You probably did better than you think, and you can take the test again!

57:37 – Email 6—The guys do a cool dive into conditional statements as they appear in logical reasoning questions to help Mohammed. Hailing from Pakistan, Mohammed is struggling with the LSAT, but is determined to improve even though English is not his first language. Nathan and Ben get back to basics with definitions of “sufficient” and “necessary,” and give some guidance to Mohammed as he continues his studies.


  1. Do you recommend that people who get a 135 or lower on a diagnostic to abandon law school as a goal? It sounds like that’s what you really think…

    Do you have live course students who start with such scores? What advice do you give them?


    1. Thank you very much for this question. I wish more people asked it.

      I wouldn’t tell *every* student who starts with a 135 or lower to give up the dream, but I would certainly tell them that they are fighting an uphill battle. Many students who start at 135 will struggle mightily to reach 150, and when they reach 150 they will, on average, proceed to 1) pay full price for law school, 2) have a hard time competing for grades, 3) struggle mightily on their bar exam, 4) have a harder than average time finding employment.

      If there were 100 people in the room, each scoring 135 on a diagnostic, I would tell them that maybe 25 of them will end up practicing law for a living (and that’s being optimistic). The other 75 (probably more) will wash out in law school, or on the bar, or in trying to find a job.

      That said, some 135 scorers *will* end up practicing law successfully, so I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush. Ultimately it’s a very personal decision. I just want students to go into the process with their eyes open, understanding that $150,000 is a scary amount of money to spend on a piece of paper that quite likely will not give them the career they are dreaming of.

      Thanks again for your question. I’m glad you’re thinking about this issue. It’s your entire financial future at stake.


  2. This is my best episode ever. I laughed out loud the entire time.


    1. Several listeners have said the same thing. I can’t remember what we said that was so funny. Glad it was, though!


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