Episode 104: Your Thirty Cents’ Worth

A flurry of recent LSAT and legal-profession news frontloads this action-packed show. The guys discuss recent developments with additional law schools accepting—or not accepting—the GRE. Plus, the show gets an historic donation.

02:06 – Big news in the law-school world. Georgetown and Northwestern will both join the ranks of law schools that accept applicants based on their GRE scores. This seems to be a growing trend, but there are sure to be hold-outs. The Thinking LSAT duo discuss the merits of schools accepting the GRE alongside the LSAT, and poke fun at some absurd comments about the GRE vs. the LSAT in a recent interview.

13:53 – If you heard the “ding ding ding” of the tip jar, however faintly, you heard right. Annalisa has graced the guys with the smallest donation Thinking LSAT has ever received. Thank you, Annalisa! There’s no donation too small (or is there?)—and we’re grateful for the fun money. Alongside her contribution, Annalisa says she’s curious as to why some top schools indicate that applicants “need only take the LSAT once,” especially given the guys’ frequent recommendations to re-take the test to improve your score. Nathan and Ben go full LR on the statement to provide some clarity.

23:40 – The Dream-Crushing Email—Nathan receives a thoughtful email from a fan of the show regarding his unfiltered cynicism toward the institution of law school as well as the legal profession in general. Miriam wants to do some good in the world, and work in the public interest. She says she’s bummed about how Nathan discourages students from going to law school, and how describes the profession. The guys go deep in explaining why they sometimes come off as “dream crushing.”

39:21 – Correlation vs. causation. A big topic when it comes to the LSAT, and also recent news! A Wall Street Journal article notes that most studies are usually bunk because they have not been or cannot be repeated, thus bringing their respective conclusions into question. Ben and Nathan consider correlation vs. causation, and Ben mentions a pretty funny list of spurious correlations. For example, did you know that per capita cheese consumption very closely correlates with the number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets? All I know is… I’m dropping the cheddar.

42:00 – Remember back in Episode 101 when the guys talked about the NYT article about drug abuse and mental health issues as they relate to lawyers? Well, the ABA got wind that there might be a problem and did what they did best: they responded with a set of rules and guidelines to mitigate the problems! The irony is not lost on the guys as they discuss the emotional challenges of being a lawyer.

46:19 –Rob is registered for the September LSAT, and recently received an email from lsac_alert@lsac.org with an alarming ALL-CAPS subject line. Tune in to see hear exactly what was so urgent. Here’s a hint: it has to do with LSAT admission-ticket photo requirements. See the guidelines here, and make sure you’re up to code!

53:06 – Nathan asks Ben about a question he receives frequently: Should you prepare for your first LSAT diagnostic? If so, how should you prepare? The guys agree that there are upsides to taking a cold diagnostic, and why you shouldn’t avoid doing so.

56:35 – Email 3—Ben writes in to thank the guys for the show (you’re welcome, Ben), and for the many Pearls of Wisdom he’s gleaned from listening. Tune in to discover which Pearl Ben’s taken to heart that caused his boss to pull him aside at the office.

59:48 – Email 4—What do you do when you know you’re going to quit your shitty job at some point and go to law school in the future? Do you quit now and spare yourself the agony of the next shitty shift? Or do you wait it out? Do you ask your employer for a letter of recommendation before you quit? After you quit? Do you ask them at all? That’s just the kind of pickle Hodor is in. Ben and Nathan offer advice and discuss some potential places to go looking for additional letters of recommendation when they’re otherwise hard to come by.

01:09:50 – Email 5—After getting expelled from college, Anonymous went on to have an outstanding military career followed by admission to one of the nation’s top colleges. Now, they’re gearing up for the September LSAT and scoring in the low 170s on practice exams. Things are looking pretttttyyyy pretty good for Anon. There’s just one thing: how will the fact that Anon was expelled impact his admissions chances? Nathan and Ben weigh in and recommend taking a look at Ann Levine’s latest edition of her book, The Law School Admission Game: Play Like An Expert.

01:15:57 – Email 6—Aaron is considering attending law school, but recognizes he needs to maintain a level of income while he’s there. He asks whether he should attend law school part time, and work full time, or even better, work part time and attend law school full time. The guys discuss what life would be like in both scenarios, and recommend taking it slow. Work full time and attend law school part time. It may even help you perform better than your peers.

01:20:21 – Email 7—Kyle writes in to ask one of the biggies: how do you maintain a cool, calm state-of-mind during the test? Kyle finds that, at the start of the test, he is chilled out while others tear into their test booklets. But as the exam wears on, he finds himself losing focus or making mistakes when he feels like he’s getting the better of the test. The best pro tip? Continue to practice, practice, practice, until you are far more comfortable with the test. But Ben and Nathan go on to discuss how they unlock extra time throughout the test, and how 50% of the LSAT is just garbage answers.


  1. Great podcast guys! All pearls, no turds.

    I’m sure you all have already covered this before, but maybe for new listeners tuning in, you could describe what “deep review” means to you, and suggest some good techniques for getting the most out of review.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. I was listening to old episodes (I started listening in December and listen to old ones when I run out of fresh ones) and you guys were critiquing a listener’s email. One space or two after a period? You both agreed one space was the new standard. What about the Oxford comma?!?!


    1. Everyone should use the Oxford comma, even journalists! I’m so tired of sentences that could be read two different ways because the journalist removed this essential comma to save space. It’s a comma. Better writing will save way more space. Seriously misguided. 🙂


  3. I really want to say I love listening to these podcasts. But I do have to make a comment to this specific one.
    So I graduated in 5 years. My freshman year was so hard for me. I ended up being diagnosed with ADHD along with my anxiety disorder after my freshman year and signed up with DSS (disabled student services). They were able to accommodate me with double the time on my exams and was able to take the exams in a separate room. I reached out to someone about that for when I’m ready to take the LSAT and I hope it is something that can be likely.
    I don’t really appreciate y’all thinking it’s unfair and comparing it to taking a tax break, when we suffer from learning disabilities. The stress of knowing you read a lot slower than the average person while taking a hard exam is not fun. It makes one’s test anxiety greater and just becomes a disadvantage. Not all people are the same, and some have it worse than myself. However, that doesn’t mean they are less capable than myself to score the same or better than myself. Also we can look pretty normal so it’s not fair to judge the situation without knowing what allowed his to get time and half.


    1. Hi Edessa, thanks for your honest feedback on the accommodations issue. To be clear, neither Ben nor I think that accommodations are patently unfair. Rather, we think it is a very complicated issue that we are eager to learn more about. To that end, please stay tuned for episode 109 of the show (which is with our editor now, and will be published soon) in which we interviewed a Beverly Hills doctor who specializes in getting people accommodated testing.

      I personally believe that 1) some people absolutely deserve accommodations and 2) some people are clearly taking advantage of the system.

      Thanks for listening, and for sharing your honest feedback. I promise you that we’re doing the best we can to learn more about this issue.


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