Scholarship Death Match (Ep. 218)

Ben Olson's headshot.

The November LSAT is just two weeks away, and Ben and Nathan receive a grab bag of LSAT and law-school-application questions to answer from their separate havens in DC and on a riverboat! The guys hear a sad tale of a career-ending LSAT conversation, they answer a question about reapplying to law school when you realize you’re at the wrong one, they take a renewed look at ABA 509 reports, and they weigh in on whether or not to put a response in the “ethnicity” section of your law school application. Plus, they answer some questions about the LSAT Demon and they take a cold hard look at a personal statement.

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 Prep


Thinking LSAT Facebook Group

Instagram (upcoming events)

Important Dates

11/25 – November LSAT

3:20 – LSAT Demon Lessons

Mamie Bear writes in and wants to know just what the heck to expect if they were to sign up for LSAT Demon Premium. Well… It’s a pretty awesome mix of things. Check it out:

  • All the benefits of studying with the LSAT Demon, like web-based study on your phone or computer, written and video explanations, and practice sections and tests, plus:
  • Access to the most recent tests: PLSAT 62-88
  • A series of audio and written topic-specific lessons, like the difference between sufficient and necessary, and much more
  • Extra help sessions—several hours a week where you can work with a Thinking LSAT instructor in a live forum
  • Proctored digital tests—get invited to sit for practice LSATs that simulate actual testing conditions

8:06 – Fired Because of the LSAT?!

Crash is fired up to take the LSAT soon and wanted to share a cautionary tale. Crash casually mentioned to his boss that he was planning to take the LSAT, and soon after was fired! It turns out the company saw this future lawyer as a flight risk and decided to pull the chute. So, should you tell your boss you’re planning to go to law school? Maybe not if you’re also intimating that you’ll be leaving them out to dry as a result.

11:51 – K’s Re-Application Conundrum 

K. made a grave mistake. She enrolled in an unranked law school after scoring a (conditional) full-ride scholarship from the school—badass, K! But after a month in, she discovered she effing hated the place. Now she’s retaking the LSAT and wants to reapply. She asks the guys if and what kind of addendum to send during her re-application process. The guys weigh in on how to frame up the fact that K. already attended and then withdrew from law school.

18:07 – Nathan’s Excellent Explanation for PT10.S1.Q9

A listener writes in to say how helpful it was to read through Nathan’s explanation of this “strengthen the least” question. The guys read-through the explanation and suggest that when you do enough practice tests, there’s very little that LSAC can surprise you with. Do the work, and you’ll find most tests pretty familiar even if it’s one you haven’t seen before. 

26:35 – What’s The Deal with 509 Reports?!

Anna’s perplexed. She’s looking through a bunch of ABA 509 reports for her target schools. She’s making a spreadsheet that includes a bunch of data bout each one. And damned if it isn’t confusing! She asks the guys to breakdown the infamous 509 and sort out some of these pesky problems, like how the school reports scholarship allocation and tuition. The guys run through some of the finer points of the report, and they, too, find some figures that don’t quite add up. Here’s the pro tip: the schools (not LSAC) fill out their ABA 509 report, and they’re prone to f*cking up, just like most of us humans. If something’s not adding up, call the school and ask for clarification. 

43:04 – On *Not* Declaring Ethnicity

Bella wonders if it’s a good idea to declare ethnicity on your law school application. In general? Yep. This is always a good or at least a fine idea. The schools are going to care more about your LSAT score and your GPA. 

45:52 – Personal Statement Review

Joan asks the guys to review her personal statement: a tale of trudging through the cold, internal debates, stick-to-it-iveness, and working with homeless communities. Welp. You know what that means, dear readers. It means that the guys put their reading goggles on and slice the shit out of an essay. Tune in to hear some solid tips from Nathan and Ben about key phrases to avoid in your personal statement, and ways to reframe the statement around the strongest aspects of your story.