Slightly Bloviated (Ep. 130)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

Nathan and Ben have started their spring courses to prep law-school hopefuls for the June LSAT. Ben shares the pearls of wisdom he offers his students on their first evening of class. The guys talk about their common sense approach to getting ready for a prep class, and dish the dirt on students who think they’re doing the work to get ready for the test but who seem to lack the patience to actually study. But then: listener mail.

12:38 – HC writes a comment on the Thinking LSAT website to thank the guys for their sage advice. After scoring an initial diagnostic in the 150s, HC signed up for the June 2017 test. But just days before putting pencil to bubble sheet, disaster struck. HC had to go under the knife for an emergency appendectomy. Holy shit, right? And still, she sat for the exam a few days later. Double holy shit. AND she scored a 164. Triple holy shit. But was HC panicked about taking the test so close to her life-saving operation? Nope. Why? Because even though she wanted to get her best score the first time, she knew that taking the test multiple times was a smart idea— thanks to the podcast. So when she took the test a second time and scored her goal of 174, she put herself in a position to receive over one million dollars in scholarship offers. Pretty badass. Congrats, HC! So remember, dear listeners. One timed section a day. Deep review. Retake the LSAT as necessary. It worked for HC, and it can work for you, too.

21:25 – Email 1—Aaron, a former student of Ben’s, writes in to share a test day experience. While waiting in line, a chatty person in front of him turns around and says how they hope to crack a 148 on the test, immediately mitigating Aaron’s own nervousness. Aaron’s advice to fellow test takers? Take a look around the room and spot the person who’s more nervous than you are, and relax knowing you’ve done your best to prep for this thing.

26:00 – Email 2—Letters of recommendation from the military are pretty great and Alyssa knows it because the guys have talked about it before. She’s got a number of commanders and chiefs and so on that would be willing to pen an enthusiastic endorsement of her. So she’s wondering: can they all write a group letter and sign it collectively? Would that be better than just having a single author? The guys talk about how letters of rec work when it comes to the LSAC. Tune in to hear the answer to Alyssa’s question.

35:07 – Email 3—Our old friend of the podcast, Splitty, has been hearing his name over the airwaves. And he’s writing in to set the record straight. Another frequent listener and correspondent, Ravinder, called Splitty out on the validity of Splitty’s scientific papers. But Splitty bites back with a full-fledged defense of his work. Plus, he gives us an update on his law-school applications for the 2018-2019 school year.

39:40 – Email 4—Dorothy recently misidentified a weaken question as a strengthen question, and while she knows she’s wrong, she doesn’t know why. To her, any way she cuts it, it seems like a strengthen question. So she’s like, what gives? The guys discuss common ways in which students mistakenly identify question types and give some advice on how to avoid doing so. The pro tip? All y’all need to act like a lawyers and scrutinize every word.

50:37 – Email 5—Evan sheds some light on the mystery that is the undisclosed February LSAT. He lives in South Korea and took the LSAT two times. In both cases, he discovered that the tests he took were recycled from February exams. He also shares an incredible 500-word email from a law school that basically says nothing at all. Plus, Ben and Nathan give Evan some advice on how to choose between the elite law schools he’s considering.

1:09:12 – Email 6—Salieri has done a lot…a lot of thinking about the LSAT. Weighing how long he should spend reading materials vs. taking tests, wondering what prep materials will be the best bang for his time…it goes on and on. He really wants to improve on RC, and so he’s hoping the guys can give him some serious advice on how to make that happen. The guys give Salieri the best advice they can give: practice RC questions. Over and over and over again. Practice and review and get serious about understanding where you’ve made mistakes. No amount of strategizing will help you better than that approach.