Don’t pay to apply, either (Ep. 116)

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LSAT Demon Team

The guys are back from their Thanksgiving breaks from reality. Ben splashed around the Atlantic while Nathan couched it in Tahoe smashing bags of haribo bears. And from their respective coasts, they both played some serious Nintendo (although Ben less enthusiastically so). Welcome to December, dear listeners. Let’s dive into a bevy of listener mail.

5:21 — Email 1—The impact is real, people. If you ever wonder whether the guys are shedding pearls or turds of wisdom, just get in line for these “holy shit” anecdotes from Katie. After finding the podcast 6 months ago, Katie flipped the switch on her approach to the LSAT. She worked with Ben to study. Then she gave the test her goddamn best and improved her score by 5 points. “Fiiiveee poinnntsss,” you whine? That moved Katie from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile at her dream school. Did you just hear the scholarship engine start? Because I did. But the party doesn’t stop there. She also reached out to each of the schools she applied to asking for app fee waivers. And guess what. She saved over $500. That’s some serious change. Congrats on the improvement, Katie! And thanks for the gracious $10 tip—a whopping 488% increase over the last tip we received.

10:46 — Email 2—Speaking of fee waivers, anonymous wants to know if they should ask for app fee waivers even if they’re in the 25th percentile for a given school. Well, Anon, if the above story doesn’t answer the question for you, we don’t know what will. Yes. It never hurts to make the ask. And guess what. They don’t know you’re in their 25th percentile, so go for it! Anon also has questions about whether they should write an addendum to explain a few bad grades, should they consider the “optional” essays to be not-so-optional, and should they wait for the next cycle to apply. The guys opine. Thanks, Anon, for the $26 tip! A 26-point improvement is no joke, and we’re really glad the podcast helped.

25:25 — Email 3—Wicked, a listener who the guys have been guiding through the law-school application process, writes in with an update—and a pretty exciting update to boot! Her 3.8 GPA and 179 LSAT score have helped Wicked land spots at a bunch of top-dog schools, including an interview with her dream school, HRVRD. Congrats, Wicked! She also reveals that her nom-de-plume is all too apropos—she’s recently been hired by Kaplan.

33:24 — Email 4—In a pretty awesome email, Jeremy bats 1000 when it comes to slightly off questions. Queries like: is it good advice to write with such poor handwriting on the writing-sample portion of the LSAT that no one can read it? Does LSAC, or do law schools, secretly do handwriting analysis in order to judge your character? The guys hilariously discuss. Plus, find out what would shake Nathan from his firm position as an atheist.

50:52 — Email 5—Nathan and Ben go deep on how withdrawing and no-showing affect your LSAC record thanks to a question from Stephanie. She’s heard that cancelling registration will reflect poorly on her. The guys set the record straight. Stephanie also expresses concern about taking the February LSAT if she opts out of taking the December test. Is it spooky, dark, and scary? Is it odd industrial noises coming from behind closed doors? No, silly listeners. It’s just the February LSAT. And Stephanie wants to know if she should take it despite hearing some troubling things about the mysterious February test. It is “undisclosed” after all. The guys decisively weigh in: just take it. Ben and Nathan talk about the finer points of the least-taken LSAT of the year.

1:02:07 — Email 6—Anonymous writes in with thoughts on accommodated testing, which sparks new conversation on this oft-debated topic.

1:19:39 — Email 7—In Laurie’s late 20s, she scored a 148 on the LSAT. And with her 2.4 GPA, she wasn’t an ideal applicant for law school. Now in her 40’s, she’s once again aspiring to go to law school so she can make a positive impact on the world through meaningful legislation. Nathan and Ben jump into a sobering discussion about the likelihood of impacting public policy as a lawyer, and discuss other ways you can have a positive impact in your community.