• Ben Olson

Ep. 276: Rachel Barnes, National Black Law Students Association Chair

Black Americans are woefully underrepresented in the field of law, making up around 5% of all attorneys compared to 13% of the U.S. population. Enter NBLSA, the National Black Law Students Association—an organization working to improve the relationship between Black law students, Black attorneys, and the American legal structure. Nathan and Ben are joined by NBLSA National Director and Chair, Rachel Barnes to discuss how NBLSA is articulating and promoting the educational, professional, political, and social needs and goals of Black law students. The guys also hear from two students who are trying to push their scores higher than their current on-record, they advise someone who’s bummed about an early decision decision, and they tackle another LR question from PT 65. Plus, get the latest updates about the LSAT Demon.

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Important Dates

01.06.2021 – Don’t miss it! It’s the last day to register for the February LSAT

01.16.2021 – Y’all ready for this?! It’s the January LSAT

02.20.2021 – It’s the February LSAT, loves!


5:20 – Interview with Rachel Barnes, National Black Law Students Association Chair

Rachel Barnes is the National Director of NBLSA—the National Black Law Students Association. She’s currently getting her JD and an MBA from the University of Virginia and is enjoying her second year as the chair of the organization. NBLSA is a national organization that aims to “articulate and promote the needs and goals of Black law students to effectuate change in the legal community.” Barnes discusses what NBLSA does, including all of the support they provide to Black pre-law students, Black law students, and Black lawyers who are getting started in their career. Longtime listeners will know that Nathan and Ben are critical of JD MBA programs, and Barnes offers a healthy perspective from within the academic tract. Banes also shares how she prepared for the LSAT and lets you know how you can be a part of the NBLSA mission.


25:17 – Retaking on a 170

Mattie started her LSAT journey with a 145 diagnostic. But after a few months with the Demon, she nabbed a 164 on her first official test and went on to smash out a 170 a month later. That 25-point improvement is prettyyyy prettyyyy pretttyyyyy impressive, Mattie! Congratulations! But now that she’s got some badass stats on record, she’s realizing she has plenty of free time before applying to law school next fall and wants to know if it’s worth it to try for an even higher score. Given that her practice test range is 169-174, the guys say absolutely. Here’s the pro tip: colleges and the US News rankings only give a damn about your highest score, and you’re already a 170. You don’t really have anything to lose, and you have tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money to gain.


39:33 – High 160s with the Demon?

Jessica is fresh off the November LSAT Flex where she smashed out a 157. She’s set to take the LSAT Flex again in January and is wondering if she could see a 10 point improvement in that time. The guys agree that while they can’t guar-an-teeee anything, they do see 10 point jumps like that all the time from Demon students. Their advice is as it often is: drill in the Demon, read the descriptions for LR and RC questions you don’t understand, and watch videos for the LG questions you get wrong. With a Demon Live subscription, you’ll be able to work in classes and office hours if you want to talk anything through or ask questions in real-time. Ben and Nathan also discuss how COVID-19 is on the rise once again.


49:38 – Early Decision Seat Deposit…Help!!

Anon applied (and was accepted) early decision to law school, and now they’re worried that they’re bound to pay sticker price for a school that they’re not sure about. Plus, A also got wait-listed at a reach school they’re excited about and got a partial scholarship to yet another school. Now, A wants to know if they can get out of their early decision debacle. DAMN. That’s quite a pickle, A. Nathan and Ben discuss why early decision programs are almost never worth it (unless they have a full-ride attached), and they offer A some advice:


- Ask the early decision school to release you

- Read the fine print and see if (and how) the early decision school can enforce its policy

- Walk away from the idea of going to law school in 2021. Get a higher LSAT score and apply for 2022.


When it comes down to it, Anon may be better off with door number three. A higher LSAT score could push them into full-ride territory, or give them access to better schools altogether.

1:03:04 – LR Question from PT 65

Is it hot in here, or is that just global climate change? That’s the topic covered in the latest LR Question (#14) from section four of prep test 65. Nathan and Ben tackle the LR question which explores whether or not rising temperatures affect the frequency of tropical storms. The guys break the stimulus down sentence by sentence and then glide thru the answer choices like an electric knife thru a block of cheese.


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