The Four Stages of Flaw Awareness (Ep. 210)

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The leaves are beginning to change. Schools are settling into their first semesters. Law-school hopefuls are busy scurrying about, tidying up their applications or getting ready to take the LSAT. And Nathan and Ben blaze through a bunch of listener questions in this jam-packed episode. The guys talk about LR flaw questions, they try to help a confused listener out of an LG fog, shedding some clarity on conditional-ordering games. They also talk conjunctions on personal statements, online degrees, and whether you should waive the right to review your letters of rec. Plus, the guys hear from a listener with a writing-sample horror story and more. 

As always, if you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. You can connect with other folks studying for the LSAT, and get more useful resources from Nathan and Ben.

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Important Dates

9.21 – The September 2019 LSAT

10.12-13 — Thinking LSAT Live! In NYC

That’s right! Ben and Nathan are back in the Big Apple for a weekend of awesome LSAT prep. The cost for the class is $395 for the weekend, but there are significant discounts if you use the LSAT Demon. If you’re a Demon subscriber, you get $200 off, and if you’re a Premium Demon subscriber, the weekend class is only $95. Check out more information here.

17:54 – Three Questions from Lydia

Listener Lydia kicks off the show with three exceptional questions. Leading the pack, she wants to know the guys’ take on “match-the-flaw” questions. Every time she tackles one, she gets it wrong! Nathan and Ben oblige with an LSAT-FUNdamental-worthy discussion of this question type. The pro tip here is that you should avoid reading the question first (as always). Instead, read the paragraph critically and you’ll recognize the flaw when you see it. Understanding the flaw through a deep reading of the paragraph will set you up for success when tackling the answer choices. Ben also delivers an inspiring lesson on the four stages of flaw awareness.

36:46 – Question 2

Lydia goes on to reference episode 178 wherein the guys discuss getting matching tattoos. While neither Ben nor Nathan remember what Lydia’s referencing, they agree that Ben may get a tattoo if fans raise enough money and there’s some artwork good enough to permanently set in his flesh.

38:20 – Question 3

In her third question, Lydia asks for some clarification on an LG scenario she sees from time to time. You know the one. It’s conditional combined with ordering: if A before B, then B before C. Lydia shares how she diagrams this scenario out, but she makes a fatal error. The guys point out where she went wrong and then do their level best to describe the ins and outs of LG scenarios over the airwaves. 

47:01 – Writing Sample Horror Story

You’ve done it. You’ve taken the LSAT. You’ve achieved your best score. You did the weirdo big-brother LSAC Writing writing sample. Chased down folks and convinced them to write you letters of rec. You wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote again and sanded and polished and finished up your personal statement. You convinced your target schools to let you off the hook for a boatload of application fees. You filled the shit out. You sent it in. 


You applied to law school and you feel like a badass. But then? Something awful happens. You get a call from a school asking why your application is incomplete. ‘Huh?!’ you think to yourself. You crossed all the t’s, you dotted all the i’s. WTF?! 

This is what happened to Mike. 

It turns out that, while he sat for and submitted his writing sample at home, the sample was never recorded and is not in his LSAC application. Huge bummer. The guy did the writing sample in June so he could apply at the start of the cycle. The guys share Mike’s story, which takes a turn for the worse, and talk about some of the stumbles LSAC has had transitioning to their new all-digital testing. 

54:23 – Avoiding the Bar in Wisconsin

Bennett writes in about some pretty sweet perks of attending UW Madison or Marquette law schools. Turns out that if you do well on the LSAT, you’ve got a good chance of getting a great scholarship. But what’s more, dear listeners? If you graduate from either school, you don’t have to take the Wisconsin Bar exam. Sounds pretty awesome. You’ll just have to remember yer hat and mittens if you’re planning to attend law school in the frigid Midwest. 


1:02:40 – Letters of Rec Waiver 

If you’re planning to apply to law school, yer gonna need some letters of recommendation from professors or employers or character witnesses and the like. And in the process, LSAC asks you to waive the right to view these letters. Sterling smells bullsh*t and asks the guys “what gives?” Nathan and Ben respond and discuss why you should always waive the right to view letters of recommendation when applying to law school.

1:06:00 – Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Adrien, who is active duty military, is pursuing their bachelor’s degree online. They’re wondering if an online degree will hurt them when it comes time to apply to law schools. Ben and Nathan weigh in. 

1:10:52 – To Contraction or Not To Contraction?

Rheme asks whether they are OK to use conjunctions [she means contraction] in personal statements. The guys offer a resounding YES. Totally cool to use them. In fact, they’re often preferred to make your essay more conversational and easier to read. However, your writing style is your own. Use contractions where they make sense. Don’t use them if you feel like the sentence is providing the emphasis and effect as-is. A good rule of thumb is to read the statement out loud often and edit based on how it reads.