Ep. 130: Slightly Bloviated

Nathan and Ben have started their spring courses to prep law-school hopefuls for the June LSAT. Ben shares the pearls of wisdom he offers his students on their first evening of class. The guys talk about their common sense approach to getting ready for a prep class, and dish the dirt on students who think they’re doing the work to get ready for the test but who seem to lack the patience to actually study. But then: listener mail.

12:38 – HC writes a comment on the Thinking LSAT website to thank the guys for their sage advice. After scoring an initial diagnostic in the 150s, HC signed up for the June 2017 test. But just days before putting pencil to bubble sheet, disaster struck. HC had to go under the knife for an emergency appendectomy. Holy shit, right? And still, she sat for the exam a few days later. Double holy shit. AND she scored a 164. Triple holy shit. But was HC panicked about taking the test so close to her life-saving operation? Nope. Why? Because even though she wanted to get her best score the first time, she knew that taking the test multiple times was a smart idea— thanks to the podcast. So when she took the test a second time and scored her goal of 174, she put herself in a position to receive over one million dollars in scholarship offers. Pretty badass. Congrats, HC! So remember, dear listeners. One timed section a day. Deep review. Retake the LSAT as necessary. It worked for HC, and it can work for you, too.

21:25 – Email 1—Aaron, a former student of Ben’s, writes in to share a test day experience. While waiting in line, a chatty person in front of him turns around and says how they hope to crack a 148 on the test, immediately mitigating Aaron’s own nervousness. Aaron’s advice to fellow test takers? Take a look around the room and spot the person who’s more nervous than you are, and relax knowing you’ve done your best to prep for this thing.

26:00 – Email 2—Letters of recommendation from the military are pretty great and Alyssa knows it because the guys have talked about it before. She’s got a number of commanders and chiefs and so on that would be willing to pen an enthusiastic endorsement of her. So she’s wondering: can they all write a group letter and sign it collectively? Would that be better than just having a single author? The guys talk about how letters of rec work when it comes to the LSAC. Tune in to hear the answer to Alyssa’s question.

35:07 – Email 3—Our old friend of the podcast, Splitty, has been hearing his name over the airwaves. And he’s writing in to set the record straight. Another frequent listener and correspondent, Ravinder, called Splitty out on the validity of Splitty’s scientific papers. But Splitty bites back with a full-fledged defense of his work. Plus, he gives us an update on his law-school applications for the 2018-2019 school year.

39:40 – Email 4—Dorothy recently misidentified a weaken question as a strengthen question, and while she knows she’s wrong, she doesn’t know why. To her, any way she cuts it, it seems like a strengthen question. So she’s like, what gives? The guys discuss common ways in which students mistakenly identify question types and give some advice on how to avoid doing so. The pro tip? All y’all need to act like a lawyers and scrutinize every word.

50:37 – Email 5—Evan sheds some light on the mystery that is the undisclosed February LSAT. He lives in South Korea and took the LSAT two times. In both cases, he discovered that the tests he took were recycled from February exams. He also shares an incredible 500-word email from a law school that basically says nothing at all. Plus, Ben and Nathan give Evan some advice on how to choose between the elite law schools he’s considering.

1:09:12 – Email 6—Salieri has done a lot…a lot of thinking about the LSAT. Weighing how long he should spend reading materials vs. taking tests, wondering what prep materials will be the best bang for his time…it goes on and on. He really wants to improve on RC, and so he’s hoping the guys can give him some serious advice on how to make that happen. The guys give Salieri the best advice they can give: practice RC questions. Over and over and over again. Practice and review and get serious about understanding where you’ve made mistakes. No amount of strategizing will help you better than that approach.


  1. Hello Nathan and Ben,

    Please, feel free to use my name and put this on your podcast. I graduated with a GPA of 3.62 in 2017 and my best LSAT score on record is 162. I took your advice and I applied broadly to many Law schools, 12 in total. I heard back from all of them and I narrowed my list to three law schools: St. Johns in New York with a full scholarship, Fordham in New York with a half scholarship, and the University of Michigan with no scholarship. So, my question is, should I go to law school for free in a low-rank school or should I take a six-figure debt and go to the top-rank school? or maybe, I should go for the middle and have the best (or worst) of both scenarios?

    I can see the good and bad in either choice. I would love to go to law school for free but having difficulties at finding a decent paying job that might arise by graduating from a lower rank school is something I strongly want to avoid. On the other hand, going to a top rank school will certainly decrease the likelihood of unemployment but owing a mortgage equivalent loan to our lovely federal government is scary. Also, there is the question whether I want to be the big fish in the small pound or the small fish in the big pound. Do you know how I will look more attractive to employers? Being a top student at St. John’s or being a bottom student at Michigan? In the long run, which one is the best economical choice?

    I would love to hear your responses and opinions. Thank you so much for your show guys, you all had helped me tremendously.



    1. It’s on YOU to rebut the “don’t pay for law school” presumption.

      Yes, in theory, higher ranked law schools offer better job prospects. But it depends what type of job you actually want to get. Also, as you note, it’s dramatically harder to compete academically when you’re the small fish in a big pond.

      Odds are, it’s not worth the risk and you should take the best full ride you are offered. That’s why our presumption is “don’t pay for law school” until YOU can build a case that makes it clearly worth it, for you.


  2. This might be a stupid question but is there an email address that we should use to submit question or should we just dump them in the comments


    1. help@thinkinglsat.com (reaches both me and Ben)

      Or, comments are fine too!

      Or find us on Twitter: @nfox, @strategyprep, @thinkinglsat

      Or join the Thinking LSAT Podcast group on Facebook and ask over there

      We aim to please is what I’m saying 😉


  3. Hey guy,

    A question for your next podcast:

    What have you guys learned from your time tutoring the LSAT that you wished you would have known or adopted during your own time studying?


  4. Aye guys its been a minute since I reached out but wanted to update yall on the status so far as far as my prep is concerned. I got the hang of the test and have been successfully scoring in the high 140s to the realm of low 150s. Am going to do the July LSAT because I think I’m ready. Am going to start doing my personal statement so that I can have that ready to submit this fall for my registration period at the schools am applying to. My topic is going to be how when I was young my mother was a single mother and raised me and my siblings. I also want to talk about how I turned to the streets to raise me and how I had the gang mentality. I never got arrested for anything but just being around that made me realize that police are prejudiced against me and my friends even though we didn’t do anything. I mean we once we’re stopped on the road for looking like “gang banger” and the polices ended up frisking us for the false assumption of thinking we had drugs or a weapon. They found a small quantity of drugs on my friend and said he had a warrant so they locked him up. I want to make a change to this system because its corrupt. I think am going to apply to the schools Thomas Cooley (because they don’t require a personal statement and have admission standards like mines), Barry Law (because I met a Barry Law rep and student and they said that he thinks I would be a good candidate), and my reach schools is Florida University and Florida STates. I don’t think I will get in those schools but am willing to apply because it would be foolish not to because of previous discussions on this cast. Anyways, when I’m done with my personal statement maybe I will share it with yall but maybe not. Nate seems too critical in his assessments and don’t want to be “ripped”. Sincerly Dion – ya boy.

    Oh I wanted to tell everyone to not be scared of admissions peoples at the law schools you are applying to. They may seem scary but they put they pants on like us and they are really nice. They make me feel motivated to apply and cant wait to start law school next year!


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