Significantly out of Compliance (Ep. 145)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

This week, the Thinking LSAT team is reduced to a party of one. While Ben lives it up at the beach, Nathan mans the helm on his lonesome and burns through a bunch of listener mail and sprinkles in some movie-going suggestions.

But first, Nathan reminds you guys that he and Ben are teaching a joint class in the city that never sleeps. That’s right. It’s the first-ever Thinking LSAT live class. Join the guys in NYC on 7/14-15 and get your prep on for the July or September LSAT (or any LSAT for that matter). It’s going to be a fun and informative few days with your favorite LSAT podcasters. Find out all the details here(

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7:14 – Email 1—L writes in with a helpful tip for all you preppers out there. While practicing 35-minute sections, L tackles the section question by question. When she reaches the 35-minute mark, she draws a line under the last question she attempts. Then she continues on and does the remainder of the section untimed for additional practice. L reviews the section for her mistake, and then calculates her score based on her timed attempts, thus giving her the practice of a timed section while also giving her the freedom of untimed practice in more difficult sections. Nathan opines about whether this is a good way to practice.

13:37 – Email 2—Is Golden Gate Law School in danger of losing its accreditation? Thomas writes in about an article he read in the ABA Journal about GGU being “significantly out of compliance” with accreditation standards. Apparently GGU students can expect a less-than 50% chance of passing the bar. And for the ABA, that’s just not up to snuff. Thomas also points out that GGU’s first-year attrition rate is pretty effing high. Nathan points out that this is kind of par for the course for a school like GGU. And as for the risk of losing its accreditation? Nathan says that’s some old bay-area news he’s been hearing for years.

21:00 – Email 3—Kayla’s all signed up. She’s taken the June test, and she’s also got a September date on the books in the event that her June score isn’t that hot. Way to plan, K! Kayla is getting discouraged with her practice scores in the high 140s, and listening to all you Thinking LSAT high achievers out there doesn’t always provide the best moral support. She wants the guys to weigh in on her practice strategy, and Nathan happily obliges.

30:56 – Email 4—As a young parent, Justin always thought law school would be out of reach. But after scoring a cold 155, he’s seeing a glimmer of hope. And now that he’s taking the free LSAT courses offered by Ben and Nathan, he’s hoping to watch his score bump into the mid 160s or low 170s. He’s been looking into hybrid and online JD programs from University of Denver, Syracuse Law, and Mitchell Hamline, and wants to know what the guys think about the prospect of going to law school from home.

36:00 – Email 5— Joe’s LSAT scores are all over the place. After nabbing a 155 on record, he spent a third of a year prepping. When he sat for the test again, he saw his score drop by a point. After seeing months of practice scores in the low 160s, Joe was pretty disappointed. But now he’s back in the groove. Studying a bunch and prepping for the September test. He’s bought Nathan’s LR Encyclopedia and he’s hard at work, but his scores are still pretty erratic. He wants to know if the guys have any skipping-and-guessing strategies that might help give him a lift. Nathan jumps in to give Joe a dose of reality instead. The real pro tips? Slow way down and make certain you are getting the problem in front of you correct. Rinse and repeat.

49:42 – Email 6—Doug got his Bachelor’s from the University of Colorado after achieving an Associate’s degree from a community college—and he kept his grades pretty high. His collective GPA is a 3.85, which is pretty effing great, Doug. But now he’s wondering if LSAC or law schools will care that his GPA is, in part, made up of years spent at a community college. He also wants to know whether writing an LGBTQ diversity statement about being out and proud is worthwhile. Nathan’s reactions are pretty swift. Law schools are only gonna care about your GPA in that it’s freakin’ great. And absolutely write that diversity statement.

57:26 – Email 7—Did you know that you could skip law school all together and instead enter a legal-apprenticeship program? Well, Don’t Go writes in to tell us about it. It’s an interesting route to take. Just give four years of your life to a law office or judge’s chambers while you study under an attorney or judge. At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll tackle the Bar. But Bar-passage rates for folks who have taken this road-less-traveled aren’t terribly encouraging. Still, Nathan weighs in with his thoughts on whether this is a viable path for some, and whether or not the LSAT matters for would-be apprentices.