Choosing Your Personal Statement Topic (Ep. 221)

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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 

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.

7:27 – LSAT Demon Testimonial Heeyahh!

Bron writes in with some kind words for the fellas about the LSAT Demon. No, that ain’t the badass swaggering, slaying sell-sword from your favorite fantasy book and television series, Game of Thrones. It’s just another guy. A badass nevertheless, though. Bron started studying for the LSAT earlier this year and kicked off with a cold diagnostic in the 150s. After some self-study, he nabbed a 164 and wondered if he could reach even higher. He discovered the LSAT Demon and studied with the Demon for a month. The result? He just smashed out a 171 on the October LSAT. Way to go, Bron! He shares what parts of the Demon he found most helpful, and Nathan and Ben discuss all of the crazy helpful LSAT-conquering tools you get with a premium subscription.

23:03 – LSAC Snafu Remix

Well, dear listeners, you know how the old saying goes: “Another LSAT, another massive eff-up from LSAC.” That’s right. The November test has come and gone, and LSAC done goofed. Turns out they weren’t able to properly staff 30 of their testing centers for the November LSAT and had to cancel the test for law-school hopefuls ready to sit at those locations. Major. Bummer. Can you imagine the horror, the nightmare, of studying your butt off only to get notice that you’re shit out of luck two days before the test? Well, that nightmare was a sick reality for some of your comrades. Nathan and Ben share a note from LSAC about the closures and discuss the issues LSAC has faced since transitioning to a digital test.  

41:10 – The Bad Things List

If you’re gonna sit for the LSAT, you’re gonna need nerves of still and a thick skin. And not just for studying and coping with the stress of preparing for the test either. Once you sign up, LSAC will inundate you with loquacious, tome-length emails with regulations and this and that. It’s a true pain in the ass. But miss out on a warning line here or a “must have” there, and you’ll be refused at the testing center or have your test attempt disqualified. Nathan and Ben read one such email on the show that covers what you must and must not bring to your LSAT testing center.

49:53 – State Accredited Programs

Julie’s been working in the same industry for years in California. And she’s been thinking about upping her career game by getting a JD. She writes to ask the guys if it’s kosher to get her JD from a California Bar accredited school instead of an ABA-accredited school. The guys offer up these thoughts:

  • State Bar accredited schools ARE generally OK
  • Only go this route if you plan on staying in your state
  • This option is WAY cheaper than going to an ABA-accredited school
  • Consider going to an ABA-accredited school if you get full-ride to give yourself more options
  • In California, be warned. You’ll need to take the Baby Bar after your 1L year.
  • Ask practicing lawyers or employers in your industry if a degree from this type of program will work for you
  • It can be more challenging to get a job with a degree from a state-accredited program (as opposed to ABA)

58:16 – “The Illiterate Future Lawyer”

Anonymous has struggled with dyslexia for years. But since high school, they’ve had their sights set on becoming a lawyer, in spite of the challenges that dyslexia presents. And their hard work has paid off. Anon is scoring in the 160s with excellent marks on LR and LG, but when it comes to RC, everything falls apart. Anon asks the guys for some help with RC, and Ben and Nathan oblige. Here are some of their tips:

  • If you’re scoring well on LR, you should be able to nail RC—just think of RC questions as long LR questions
  • Slow way down and go for 100% accuracy on easy RC questions in the LSAT Demon
  • Make sure you’re taking accommodated time—with dyslexia you’ll likely be approved for 2x time
  • Remember that RC questions are heavily weighted to main point and must-be-true questions—keep an eye out for common flaws in the wrong answers like superfluous extra information

1:09:18 – Biconditional Rules

A listener writes in with a question about biconditional rules they’ve seen in Logic Games. Specifically, they ask about PT 29, Game #1. The guys dive in and share several ways you can think about this ruleset.

1:17:28 – Diversity Statement Review

Jonathan asks the guys to review his diversity statement, which advocates for law schools to diversify their student bodies with applicants who have a STEM background. While the idea has legs, the diversity statement does not. Tune in to hear the guys break it down for Jonathan.

1:33:04 – How to Pick a Personal Statement Topic

Devynn’s been listening to the show for a while, and she takes the guys’ personal statement reviews seriously. Their persistent shredding of personal essays has her asking, “what the hell should I write about?!” Devynn offers up three topics she’s considering for her personal statement and asks the guys to weigh in on the subject matter before she even starts clackity clacking away at the keyboard. Ben and Nathan listen to each idea and offer some feedback.