What's in a Name? (Ep. 219)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

We’re just one week out from the November 2019 LSAT and the guys fight through headaches, maladies, and the winter cold to drop some serious LSAT knowledge for y’all. Nathan and Ben answer questions about every step on your journey to a law degree. They weigh some wisdom about the relationship between practice LSAT scores vs. official LSAT scores. They talk about how keeping yourself challenged can help you improve your score with an exploration of “the 85% rule.” Plus, they talk about applying with a low undergraduate GPA, review a personal statement, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of transferring to a new law school after 1L, 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.

LSAT Demon

Personal Statement Review Package

Strategy Prep


Thinking LSAT Facebook Group

Instagram (upcoming events)

Important Dates

11.25.19 – Sharpen your pencils, y’all. It’s the November LSAT

12.3.19 – Don’t miss it. It’s the registration deadline for the January 2020 LSAT

12.7.19 – Ben and Nathan are hosting a personal statement workshop in NYC

1.13.20 – Pop the champagne! It’s the first LSAT of 2020.

8:24 – Pearls vs. Turds

It’s your (sometimes) weekly Pearls vs. Turds! A segment where the guys hear out LSAT tips and advice “from the field,” and let you know whether you should take it seriously. Molly’s a law-school hopeful like you, and naturally, she’s asked around for the hottest LSAT tips that might give her a leg up on the test. Someone told her that a good way to estimate your official LSAT score is to take your practice test score average and subtract six points. You don’t need to have a magic schnoz to know that this is as bad as a turd gets. Nathan and Ben immediately discard this awful and unfounded advice and offer up some thoughts on why this “tip” might have originated. Then they update the scoreboard: 5 Pearls, 26 Turds, 12 Ties. The pro tip? Take random LSAT advice with extreme caution. 

12:36 – A Farmer’s Thanks

A listener—and badass Hawaiian farmer—writes in to share how they discovered Thinking LSAT. The farmer writes about how the show has improved not only their LSAT score but other aspects of their life.

23:12 – The 85% Rule

If you’re acing your practice tests, you might not be doing yourself any favors. According to this article in the Telegraph, when you are wrong 15% of the time you stand to make the most gains in learning something new. The idea is that when you’re challenged *just* the right amount, you can make serious strides without getting bored (too easy) or giving up early (too hard). This rule is one of the guiding principles behind the LSAT Demon! You might be frustrated because you’re not seeing your accuracy improve, but the reality is that the Demon knows your skill level and serves up increasingly difficult (or easier) questions to keep you within this 75-85% accurate range.

27:05 – The Low UGPA Blues

Anonymous is a bit nervous. They suffered some bad grades in undergrad because they were caught plagiarizing in their final year. Anon realizes they done goofed and they feel bummed about their decision and that it may affect their chances of getting into law school or becoming a lawyer. They ask the guys if and how they should handle the situation when applying to law school. Ben and Nathan agree that Anon should call their state Bar Association as well as a few law schools to see how Anon should explain their low UGPA, and to understand whether this is going to be a huge barrier to entry for a career in the law.

35:18 – On Transferring

Cam writes in to ask the guys about movin’ on up after kicking ass in your 1L year. He wants to know if it’s a good strategy to shoot for a good scholarship at a lower-ranked school and then try to transfer to a better school after proving yourself during 1L. The guys weigh in and discuss why this is a pretty risky maneuver. They share how you can use the ABA 509 report to better understand your chances of succeeding in this scenario, and suggest that it’s probably a better idea to just do your best on the LSAT and get into your target school the first time.

51:31 – Khan and Kaplan

Chris writes in to ask the guys if they recommend Khan or Kaplan. Ummmm… Sorry, Chris. Did you check the sign on the door on the way in? The best way to decide between Khan and Kaplan is to just ditch both of ‘em and sign up for The LSAT Demon Premium.

58:24 – Personal Statement Review

Nathan and Ben take a look at Freed’s personal statement. It’s a tale of business deals gone wrong, failed courtroom battles, and mistaken identity. The only thing it isn’t is the right tale to tell to a law-school admission’s staffer. The guys tear into the essay in their usual style and let Freed know it would be wise to start over. The pro tip? This is a super common scenario. Writing and re-writing your essay is the best way to get to your best personal statement.