The Billy Madison of Swim Class (Ep. 158)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

The leaves are turning. The last of the summer grass is getting a trim. And there’s a hint of pumpkin spice on the wind. It’s autumn – or at least it is according to coffee-drink proprietors. The guys kick off the show with an update about their personal-statement review service. And more details are available for the upcoming Thinking LSAT Live course in Chicago on October 20-21. Plus you’ll hear more about LSAT testing accommodations and a new LSAC pilot program. The guys read through some emails from law schools, including an enticing(?) offer from Nebraska College of Law, and they round out the show by reviewing a gold-medal personal statement.

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8:18 – Email 1—Last week, the guys talked about the “broken system” that is LSAT accommodations. Well, listener Greg heard the show and started diving into the hard data. It turns out that LSAT scores in the last two cycles are trending upward. Scores in the high 160s, the mid 170s and the 175-180 bracket have all seen significant jumps, and the guys suspect the reason is not because the best and brightest are coming out of the woodwork to head to law school; it’s because of accommodations.

22:23 – Email 2—Thanks to Will, we have a new law school special offer (ding ding ding!) to consider. The Nebraska College of Law is offering in-state tuition for any applicant with a 3.0 GPA and a 156 LSAT score. Since in-state tuition is approx. half off the whole shebang, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal. But is it really? Ben and Nathan discuss who should and who should not consider this interesting offer. The pro tip still remains—don’t become someone else’s benefactor by paying for law school! Find a place you can go for free!

33:38 – Email 3—LSAC is running a new pilot program where you handle the writing sample in your own testing environment—like at home. And listener Ayesha was invited to be a guinea pig for said program. And boy is it pretty fu*king creepy. Apparently you get to do the writing sample on your laptop from the comfort of your bedroom, but not before taking a photo of your picture ID…and every wall and surface in your room. WTF. Then LSAC livestreams your test to make sure you don’t cheat on this thing. Nathan and Ben chat about this disturbing new Big Brother LSAC.

43:55 – Email 4—Both Abigail and Crystal got a total kick out of an encouraging pre-LSAT email from Willamette and wanted to share it with you, dear listeners. But it’s a wonder they could even read the damn thing. The shoddy mix of text, clip art, and randomly colored letters reads more like a puzzle in a Dan Brown novel than something sent from the offices of higher education. Still, the guys unlock this veritable cryptex of an email to find its sweet, autumn-inspired reward.

55:23 – Email 5—It’s fall, and that means it’s time for the time honored question: do I apply early in the cycle with my current LSAT score, or later in the cycle with a potentially higher LSAT score!? It’s a question the guys see every year, and it’s the question JT writes in with today. And, dear listeners, the answer is almost always the same: wait. Dear God wait to crush out those extra points. They could mean tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars difference in your law school tuition.

1:05:53 – Email 6—Luke writes in to ask the guys to review his personal statement on air. And boy is he brave to do so. The guys dive in to Luke’s tale of trial and tribulation on the pool deck where he was the Billy Madison of swim school. And while Luke, we think, eventually learned to swim, we never learn much about why he will excel as a lawyer. As is customary, Nathan and Ben rip this personal statement to shreds and offer some helpful tips along the way.