What’s the Deal with Law School Prep Courses? (Ep. 211)

Ben Olson's headshot.

The September ’19 LSAT is finally behind y’all, but the Thinking LSAT crew never rests. LSAT questions continue to come in, and the guys settle in for a well-rounded episode of news, updates, and listener questions. 

Nathan and Ben answer questions about reading comp and whether you should attend a law school prep course. They also take a look at an email from Maine Law and a listener-submitted personal statement. Plus, the guys talk about why Ben is perpetually tired, hear from a long-time fan now 2L, and they correct an error from a previous episode. 

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.

LSAT Demon

Personal Statement Review Package

Strategy PrepFox LSAT

Thinking LSAT Facebook Group

Instagram (upcoming events)

Important Dates

10/11 – Law School Forum in NYC

LSAC is hosting a Law School Forum in NYC on 10/11-12. If you’re coming to our Thinking LSAT Live NYC Class you can catch day one of this event. Meet with and learn from representatives of over 100 law schools. It’s a cool thing to check out if you’re around. 

10/12-13 — Thinking LSAT Live NYC Class

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

10:59 – Conjunction Junction

For a brief moment, Nathan and Ben offer a non-apology for confusing the word “contraction” with “conjunction” in episode 210. A listener made the mistake in their email first, but the guys neglected to notice or correct the email and rolled with the error. 

11:32 - Pearls Vs. Turds, Reading Comp Edition

In this weekly segment, Ben and Nathan review some law school “wisdom” from the ether—tips and tricks presented in other courses, on the internet, dark social, or some publication. They consider the advice and then deem it worthy of the rubbish bin, or worthy of including in your own LSAT prep.

Aubrey writes in citing results of a Google search for “RC tips” that suggested reading RC passages twice. While a second read makes sense, especially if you didn’t understand what you read, the guys recommend that you read carefully and with enough engagement to absorb the passage on your first read. This tip? It’s going to turd town. 

18:51 - What’s the Deal with Law School Prep Courses?

Mary’s applying to law school for 2020, and she’s pumped. But she also wants to be prepped for her first day. She asks the guys their thoughts on law school prep courses. These are classes that help you understand how law school works and what 1L classes will be like. The guys say that getting a sense of what law school will be like, and preparing for 1L is a good idea. While they don’t endorse any particular program, they do recommend you steer clear of any prep courses offered by the law school itself. Otherwise, here are some materials that may be useful in preparing for law school:

The Law School Toolbox – Alison Monahan and Lee Burgess have tons of resources—mini-guides, blog, podcast, classes, etc. to help you destroy your law school experience.

Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams – Ben’s recommended read for 1Ls-to-be

The Law Career Playbook – A book by friend-of-the-show, Rachel Gezerseh, about understanding the ins and outs of a law career from a big-law lawyer. 

A Horn Book on Torts – Nathan’s recommended read for 1Ls to get them ready for the type of materials you’ll need to soak up in law school. He also suggests taking a trip to the law school library and checking out exams, so you have a sense of where your semester is heading. 

31:42 - Update from a Chapman 2L

A former listener writes in with an update from their second year at Chapman Law. Before law school, this Thinking LSAT fan had scored a conditional scholarship from Chapman. They had a 157 on record and a 3.6+ GPA. Not bad, right? But also, conditional scholarships are tricky. They went ahead and took the offer from Chapman, and they took the guys’ advice. Keep. That. Scholarship. Anon has worked their ass off, kept the scholarship, kept their grades up, and now they’re a shoo-in for a clerkship with a federal judge. Tune in to hear about their law school experience, and to hear their advice for all y’all future law school students out there. 

38:50 - Missive from Maine Law

Tell us, dear listeners. Would you rather go to law school, or would you rather go on vacation? We know what you’re thinking: “Why not both?!” That’s right, why not go to law school in vacationland itself—the great state of Maine. Well the admissions folks over at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland, ME feel the exact same way. 

Their office sent an email—or maybe we’ll call it a super pitch—about Portland and Maine Law (but mostly about Portland) to potential candidates. Nathan and Ben read through the email and have fun learning about Portland along the way.

45:10 – Personal Statement Review

Mary submits her personal statement for review, though she’s admittedly nervous to do so. She lets the guys know that her writing style is a bit different than some of the other listeners who traveled the personal-statement-teardown road before her. The guys, of course, do a deep dive into the personal statement and offer Mary some constructive criticism.