Ep. 141: I turned down Harvard Law School
Ben Olson May 29, 2018
The guys jump into a bunch of listener emails and specifically sidestep their usual reports on east- and west-coast weather patterns. Instead, they chat cinema. Fireside style. Nathan talks Deadpool and Deadpool 2 while Ben shares his excitement around the documentary RBG. Then it’s on to a treasure chest of listener emails that discuss everything from late enrollment to going to law school later in life. And perhaps most exciting? There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to law schools offering full rides based on LSAT score alone.
6:03 – Email 1—Speaking of Thinking LSAT patrons, Jane is a monthly contributor to the Thinking LSAT podcast. As a result, her query is being bumped to the top of the list, y’all. Thanks, Jane! Jane hooked up a 3.1 GPA in undergrad and went on to join the working world. Then she smashed out a 3.4 GPA getting a master’s degree. Along the way she’s climbed the ladder at her job. But now she’s feeling that familiar pull of law school. She’s always wanted to be a lawyer, and now she thinks it’s time to leap. Jane’s been studying a bunch and wanted to take the June test. But guess what. She fucking forgot to sign up. Nathan and Ben hear this a TON. So don’t forget to sign up for your tests, dear listeners. Jane goes on to ask if the guys think she has a chance of getting in to a local law school, which she names. The guys half refuse and half reluctantly statsturbate. But the important thing to remember, is that you can always use a school’s ABA 509 report and the LSAT calculator to gauge your likelihood of getting in to a particular school.
16:11 – Email 2—Thomas writes in with a pretty baller PSA. It turns out Thomas Jefferson School of Law has some friendly competition. Concordia School of Law in Idaho is offering full-ride scholarships for anyone who achieves a score of 160 or higher on the LSAT. Now you have at least two choices for law schools that will let you earn a JD for FREE so long as you get a great LSAT score. And guess what else. More than 90% of Concordia graduates would recommend. Dear listeners, won’t you be mensches like Thomas, and send us any similar offers you’ve heard of from other law schools?
23:09 – Email 3—E. has committed one of the several deadly Thinking LSAT sins. After scoring in the 150s on the February LSAT, she applied late in the cycle to matriculate at a law school this coming fall. As many of our long-time listeners will know, this is a big no no. E. received wait list status at one of her choice schools and received a partial scholarship to another. She’s wondering if she should take the offer, or wait to see if she can go to her preferred school if she comes off the wait list. She doesn’t want to wait another year to go to law school and wants to know her best path forward. The guys give E. a stern talking to. E., you’ve got to give up your death grip on going to school this year. If you apply in the fall, you’ll get at least double the offers you’ve already received. And guess what. You’re worth it. Here are the pro tips:
Get a better LSAT score. Get the best LSAT score you can.Apply early in the cycle.Apply broadly.Go to law school for free.
45:21 – Email 4—By contrast, James is killing it by following some Thinking LSAT mantras. He’s doing a bit of meditation. Making sure he’s got some food in his system. Staying calm. Reciting affirmations. And most importantly? He’s taking his time on the test, making sure he answers every question he works on correctly. Recently, he’s been scoring high in the 160s while trying to answer every question. As an experiment, he decided to focus more on accuracy than answer every question. He took the test and left several questions unanswered and still scored his highest practice-test score—174. Great work, James. Now he wants to know: how can he score in the 170s every time? The guys let him know next steps to consistently scoring in the 170s.
56:54 – Email 5—Cara writes in to ask for a shout out on the show. She’s been listening morning and night ahead of the June exam. And in exploring some of the materials on Nathan’s site, she found a typo. She lets him know, and the guys happily give her that shout out.
59:55 – Email 6—How’d you like to be a practicing lawyer someday in the future, and from your seat on high be able to say, “yeah…I got in to Harvard…but I turned ‘em down.” Sounds kind of badass, right? Well Tinée is on track to do just that. In the fall she scored a 174 on the LSAT and took a full-ride scholarship to Columbia. Now she’s trying to make some money on the side to reduce her living expenses in Manhattan. She is considering doing some LSAT prep tutoring and wants to know if the guys suggest working for a company or going the private route. The guys offer advice on the pros and cons of working for a company vs. roughing it on your own.
1:04:54 – Email 7—Have you dreamed of one day becoming a law school professor? Well, that’s what Dedicated Listener is dreaming of. And he’s wondering about the traditional path to professorship. He’s heard that some things are changing. Dedicated Listener has heard from a friend that you can get a particular assortment of PhD and JDs that will set you up for teaching rather than the traditional path of going out and working for a big firm before coming back to academia. Ben and Nathan start raising red flags and warn Dedicated Listener not to go to law school if his goal is to teach in the end.
1:12:35 – Email 8—Payton is feeling good heading into the June test in a little over a week. But she wants to know about a backup plan in case her score isn’t up to snuff. Should she just continue to study in the weeks following the test before she knows how she scored? The guys say that it’s probably a pretty good idea to keep studying. Maybe take a week off. But act as though you’re going to take the July, and then the September, and then the November test. Basically study until you see an LSAT score on record that makes you stop.
1:15:44 – Email 9—Bodhi finished up undergrad 15 years ago with a bit of a bummer of a GPA. After a successful business career and a master’s degree under his belt (with a 4.0 GPA), now he’s looking to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer. He’s aiming for the high 160s with his LSAT score, but he’s wondering if schools will look down on him because of his decade-old GPA or his age. He plans to not pay for law school, but wants to know if the guys think it’s even a possibility for him. Nathan and Ben point out that he could already be going to Concordia Law for free. And that he’s got plenty of options ahead of him. Score in the high 160s. Write an addendum. And you’ve got a great chance of not paying for law school, Bodhi.