Ep. 239: LSAT in the Time of Corona
There’s no getting around it. A global pandemic has upended everyday life for almost everyone—including 1L hopefuls and lawyers-to-be. Ben and Nathan field questions about anxiety and uncertainty around the LSAT and law school in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and a looming recession. They share how to prepare for the June LSAT if you feel like the test-prep rug has been pulled out from under yer feet. They discuss the benefits of not going to law school right now. And they offer some food for thought to prospective students who are suddenly faced with going to law school during a recession. Plus, Ben and Nathan talk about meditation and consider what their next careers would be if the LSAT is forever cancelled.
As always, if you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. You can connect with other folks studying for the LSAT, and get more useful resources from Nathan and Ben.
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April 25, 2020 – LSAC is hopeful that this will still be the date for the April test.
18:19 – Pearls vs. Turds
Darius has been giving himself a leg up by tackling comparative reading passages with his own method. He reads the first passage – then skims the questions and looks for questions that ask about both passages and eliminates answer choices that don’t have anything to do with the first passage. This helps him narrow answer choices down to 2-3 options. The guys see a few flaws with this approach, not the least of which is the excess time that it would take to jump back and forth between the questions, answers, and passages. Darius, we’re glad that this is helping you in the short term, but this one’s going in the turd pile.
26:49 – PhD. vs. Law School
Anonymous is a long-time listener of the show and writes in to share some pretty sweet news with Nathan and Ben. Years ago, Anon had her personal statement destroyed on the show. After much deliberation, after interrogating law schools, and investigating PhD. programs, Anon decided to pursue a PhD. instead of going to law school. And guess what. It worked out good AF. Anon is in the PhD. program of her choosing, she’s going to school for free (*thank you* Thinking LSAT rules to live by), and she’s getting a stipend. See, dear listeners? NOT going to law school really can be the best choice you ever make.
35:44 – Accommodated Testing Score Variation
J wants to know about scoring ranges. If you score within a 2-3 point range on your practice tests, can you expect to score within that same range on an official test? And what about accommodations? Would that range get smaller considering you have more time? Ben and Nathan point out several issues with J’s statsturbating and speculating. The reality is you are always scoring within a range – and that could be plus or minus five. The guys agree, however, that this range could get smaller with the extra time you get with accommodated testing.
42:31 – LSAT and Anxiety
M is getting anxious about experiencing anxiety on test day. While she’s taken several practice exams—she’s been alone in the peace and quiet of her room. She wants to know how she can get out in front of text-day anxiety before she sits for the June test. The guys offer up these pro tips:
Remember that this is just another practice test—it’s no different than the tests you’ve been taking in your room.
Try meditating and cultivating inner peace.
Visualization is key—try to visualize every aspect of test day: showing up to the test location, filing in with other students, sitting down in a large room filled with people, a proctor timing you, etc. Try to feel at ease in your mind about the entire scenario before you experience it for real.
Remember that the LSAT Demon offers live, online, proctored exams to get you a bit closer to a live testing environment.
46:39 – Cancelling the Demon due to Unemployment
D is super bummed out. He worked his butt off to consistently score in the 170s on his practice tests. But he’s lost his job due to coronavirus, which really sucks. The guys recommend a few free resources and suggest reaching out to friends and crawling the internet to find more tests to do. The best way to prepare and stay sharp is to continue to do more sections and tests.
49:34 – Law School Rankings Questions
The guys get a couple of questions about law school rankings. One listener wants to know if the ranking of your undergraduate school carries any weight when it comes to your LSAC GPA. Nathan and Ben weigh in with what they know.
Separately, Brennan recently got fantastic competing offers from Georgetown and UVA. He wants to know if it’s foolish to turn down the higher-ranked UVA, even though both schools are in the top 14. The guys give Brennan some food for thought.
59:06 – Lawyers and the Looming Recession
Eric is concerned about job prospects in the legal field in the context of a looming recession. And he’s got reason to worry. He wants to know if prospective 1Ls would be better off going to paying full price for a T14 school vs. taking a significant scholarship at a lower-ranked school. Will T14 grads be recession-proof because of their alma maters? Or will folks who graduate without debt be better positioned in a job market without much demand for lawyers? The guys agree that the crème de la crème (the top students at the top schools) will always have jobs, but that even folks who struggle at top schools may have a tough time during a recession if they graduate with a considerable amount of debt. The bottom line? Try as hard as you can to not pay for law school.
1:07:39 – Alternate Careers for Nathan and Ben?!
In episode 235, Nathan joked that he and Ben would have to retire and find new careers if LSAC ended up dissolving the LSAT. One curious listener wants to know what their next career choices will be. The guys consider their options.