Zombie Horse (Ep. 135)

Ben Olson's headshot.

If you think you’re headed for a six figure salary straight out of law school, think again. In this episode, the guys thoroughly dismantle some misleading search results from Google that suggest high payouts for lawyers entering the workforce. Then they dive in to show that the deck is actually stacked against most new lawyers. They take a look at some salary data that supports their favorite argument: you really shouldn’t pay for law school.

The guys also offer a PSA regarding the undisclosed July LSAT. No, it’s not a conspiracy to make you perform your worst. Yes, you should absolutely take it anyway. Plus the guys give an update on the ever-growing Thinking LSAT Facebook Group and give a reward to a recent Patreon supporter.

If you love Thinking LSAT, if the show has helped you improve your score, or if you just dig listening to the guys each week, consider supporting the show on Patreon. There are many support levels, and each has its own unique and highly desirable reward.

And if you’re looking for a great way to connect with other Thinking LSAT listeners to ask questions and find study partners near you, join the Thinking LSAT Facebook group to meet some like-minded lawyers to be.

27:33 – Email 1—Guillaume has his sights set on working as a Lawyer in D.C. But he doesn’t think he can get a full ride scholarship to any schools in that market. So he wants to know if he should forego the Thinking LSAT mantra, “don’t pay for law school,” and instead take a half scholarship to a school in that area that will give him a higher chance of working in D.C. after earning his JD. The guys agree that Guillaume may have a better chance of finding work in Washington if he attends a school in (or in close proximity to) the city, but that it’s not at all impossible to get work there if you go to school elsewhere. Ben and Nathan also remind everyone that if you have certain goals, whether it’s a scholarship opportunity or a geographic region in which you aspire to attend law school, you must apply broadly and apply often to increase your chances of success.

43:03 – Email 2—After finding the podcast and listening through each episode, Katie saw her LSAT practice scores jump from a diagnostic in the low 160s to a 180 on her most recent practice exam. Dang. Way to go, Katie! But she writes in to encourage everyone to cut it the EFF out with all the nicknaming on your personal statements. In fact, she found a collection of personal statements online, some of which included the use of a nickname and boy did it ever piss Katie off. The guys agree. Despite Papa Zach totally winning the hearts of the Stanford admissions staff, maybe this isn’t the best gimmick to use in your personal statement. Katie goes on to suggest Nathan’s campaign of hatred toward Halo Top may be backfiring. And she asks for the guys’ advice about writing her diversity statement on a challenging topic. Tune in to hear more.  

50:37 – Email 3—Right on the heels of Katie’s note comes Chris’s email asking whether he should include the fact that he was hospitalized for depression in his addendum. Nathan and Ben discuss a few ways Chris could frame his situation that both use this fact and also avoid it. Chris also wants to know if he can use full ride scholarships to lower-ranked schools as leverage to get better offers from more prestigious universities. The guys agree: absolutely. They talk about what it takes to negotiate with law school admissions staffers. The pro tip? If you want to get the best offer, be completely willing to walk away from the negotiation if it doesn’t go your way.

1:01:29 – Email 4—After tracking your scores with Ben’s free score tracker and reading all of Nathan’s Fox LSAT books, you’ve smashed out a 170 on record, but your recent practice test average has you sitting closer to a 174. Do you retake? That’s what Juanita wants to know. And the guys give her a resounding yes. Congrats on your 170 Juanita and you should absolutely retake until you hit that 174 or higher. With a 3.94 GPA, you have an excellent chance of not paying a dime for law school. But Juanita also wants to know if she should start preparing her personal statement, or if she should wait until she’s gotten the LSAT out of the way. The guys opine.

1:09:16 – Email 5—Anonymous, anonymous, anonymous. You started off so strong. Praise of the show. A score that leapt from the 150s to the 170s due to taking advice from the show. Recounting sage Thinking LSAT advice word-for-word. But then it all fell apart. Anonymous wants to know if—after their kickass score came back from the February LSAT—they should apply to a top 14 school for the 2018 cycle. C’monnnnnnnn. Long-time listeners will know that this is an absolute no no. And the guys aren’t going to statsturbate and weigh in on your chances of getting in to a top school. Congrats on your score, Anon, and goodbyes aren’t bittersweet if it’s not goodbye after all. Keep listening, and let us know about your admissions!

1:11:55 – Email 6—Jillian’s concerned. She recently enrolled in a TestMasters LSAT prep course, but then found the Thinking LSAT podcast shortly after. And the two platforms seem at odds in the advice they give. With TestMasters, Jillian is looking at a mountain of homework which includes consecutively answering the same question type dozens of times over. No timed sections. No full practice tests. Not until seven weeks in! “Is this madness?!” she asks. Nathan and Ben discuss the philosophical differences between their approach and the TestMasters course. They tell Jillian where to follow her coursework, and where it’s OK to buck the system.

1:29:30 – Last but not least, a correspondent writes in to ask the guys what they’ve learned over the past number of years teaching the LSAT that they wish they had known when they took the LSAT back in the day. The guys dig deep and share the things they wish they had known early on.