Ep. 172: Creative Destruction

It’s the last Thinking LSAT of 2018! And the guys waste little time getting to your pressing questions. Today on the show you’ll hear about California bar passage rates (among other things) from the dean of UC Hastings, you’ll hear about how to showcase your doctoral work when applying to law schools (if your undergrad career kinda sucked), and you’ll learn how to write a letter of rec for yourself on behalf of someone else. Plus, Nathan and Ben shred a personal statement, and answer the next LR question from LSAT India. All that good stuff, but first the guys chat for a bit about what Ben’s been eating since his pantry is running low at the end of the year, and Ben gives an update on the LSAT Demon.

As always, if you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. They’re great ways to connect directly with Nathan and Ben, to get more resources for LSAT study, or to jump into conversation with your fellow test-preppers.  

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4:37 – Nathan received an email from his alma mater, UC Hastings, about the July bar-passage rates of Hastings grads. Yep. It’s ol’ Dean Faigman at it again. Prattling on and on about trajectories this, unconscionable cut rate that. I guess when you’re trying to spin bad news the best practice is to just keep jabbering on until no one knows what the hell you’re getting after anyway. The guys read through the email and have a fine time ripping it to shreds.

20:38 – Email 1—Speaking of loquaciousness, Mark writes in with a question about how law schools weigh your graduate work (like getting a doctorate) vs. your LSAC GPA. Mark’s defending his doctoral thesis and receiving his doctorate degree in the spring. Badass, Mark! And he’s working in a pretty fun field—video games. But Mark’s wondering if his undergrad GPA of 3.5 is gonna frag him good when he attempts to apply to law school next year. He wants to know how he can best showcase his more serious work as a doctoral candidate, rather than have admissions staffers focusing on his lackluster undergraduate career. Ben and Nathan agree that a great personal statement is his best bet, especially if Mark can tout his gamer bona fides. 

29:17 – It’s your weekly Pearls vs. Turds, dear listeners. And here’s where we’re at: Pearls – 0, Turds – 4, Tie – 1. This week’s “wisdom” is about what to do if you’re trying to determine whether a statement is a conclusion or a premise. Try putting the word “therefore” or “because” in front of it. You might have to do some mental gymnastics and rearrange the structure of the paragraph, but could this simple tactic help improve your accuracy on main point questions? Tune in to hear whether Nathan and Ben deem this a pearl, a turd, or a tie…

33:08 – Email 2—H Pom! Writing in with a wonderfully concise question. It’s so concise, in fact, that I don’t even have to paraphrase the f*cking thing: “what are your tips for writing a letter of recommendation for oneself on behalf of an supervisor?” Nathan and Ben agree that it’s important to stick to the facts and tell a story about yourself from the perspective of your supervisor—similar to how you might write a personal statement. Not only is it more believable, it will make it easier for your supervisor to sign off on the letter. The guys also give some other tips about what data H Pom should slip into the essay.

36:06 – Email 3—Anonymous writes in to ask the guys to please read his personal statement and provide some constructive feedback. Ben and Nathan oblige. Anonymous does a nice job of including facts in the essay, but there are almost too many facts about too many disparate things! The personal statement comes off too high level and unfocused. The guys make some recommendations about how to approach the second draft, and leave a ton of fluff on the cutting room floor.  

1:14:03 – The guys continue their way through LSAT India. Today they tackle question number six of section one. This question has it all. Elephants. Clay. Licking clay. Toxic chemicals. It’s a blockbuster of a strengthen question, y’all. Nathan and Ben walk you through the question, discussing their thoughts about the passage and their reactions to each of the possible answers.

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