Parallel Flaw Hacks (Ep. 224)

Ben Olson's headshot.

The guys are busy and in the holiday swing of things. Ben’s busy planning for time with family and Nathan’s negotiating gift-giving with his 11-year-old niece. And as the winter winds continue to blow, the guys answer your burning LSAT questions. Nathan and Ben talk about how you can ace an interview with a virtual assistant, should you have one; they offer up some advice on fielding parallel flaw questions and talk about whether or not you can appeal your LSAC GPA with LSAC in hopes of getting some more impressive numbers. Plus, the guys read a personal statement, and give a PSA about conditional scholarships.

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 Fox LSAT

Thinking LSAT Facebook Group


Important Dates

1.7.20 – Registration deadline for the February LSAT.

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

2.22.20 – It’s the February LSAT

4:21 – Personal Statement Workshop Review

Sam attended the Thinking LSAT Personal Statement Workshop in NYC and shares some kind words about their experience. The guys read Sam’s review, which includes a few key takeaways from the writing workshop:

  • Don’t over-use "we" when talking about things done as a team effort. Stick with "I" to keep the focus on you and your achievements.
  • It's not just about the content of your story. It's also how you tell it. If your excellent story is told poorly, that could mean the difference between “admit” or “deny.”
  • Both style and content matter. A great story can be ruined by typos and grammatical errors. And a well-written story can still le suck if the content is garbage.
  • Consume resources about how to write well, like:

The Grammarly Blog

Legal Writing In Plain English by Bryan A. Garner – a resource and workbook!

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams

On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

13:31 – Pearls vs. Turds

Jamie is a rock star law-school candidate. And she’s got interviews with a bunch of top schools. But these aren’t your meat-and-potatoes chit chats. They’re ROBO-interviews. So instead of sitting down with flesh balls like you and me, she’s talking to a virtual-assistant-style software interface named Kira. Kira poses a question and then you video record your answers. Jamie writes to share some advice she read online about these types of interviews: hide the window where you can see yourself on screen so you aren’t distracted by your own beautiful visage. Tune in to hear how the guys judge this piece of advice.  

19:26 – On Parallel Flaw Questions

D writes in to ask the guys whether parallel flaw questions are in a similar “question family” with parallel reasoning questions. Nathan and Ben are quick to point out that question types and categories are just made up. But that, yes, you could consider parallel flaw questions this way. The important thing is to scrutinize the passage, recognize the flaw(s), and be able to recognize the same kind of flaw among the answer choices. The guys do an on-the-spot flaw challenge to show you what they mean.

31:18 – Logic Games and Blindness

Nathan and Ben further discuss the lawsuit brought against LSAC by a blind man regarding the fairness of the Logic Games.

44:35 – PSA: Beware Conditional Scholarships, and Remember The 509!

Nathan tells an all-too-familiar tale of a student who’s been accepted to a regional law school. The 1L hopeful was given a scholarship and she asked Nathan to review the offer to see if it was “any good.” Since many of you may start seeing offers roll in, the guys wanted to offer a word of caution. IF you receive a scholarship, make sure you completely understand the terms of the scholarship before blindly accepting. If it’s a conditional scholarship, the money may be bait that will soon be whisked away from you after your soul is on the line. Make sure to reference the ABA 509 Report for your school to review all the information you can before deciding which offer to accept.  

53:30 – Appealing Your LSAC GPA

G recently received some disappointing news. Their LSAC GPA came in lower than they expected. Now they’re wondering if they can appeal to LSAC to raise their GPA. The guys point out that the LSAC has a refined formula for calculating the LSAC GPA, and that chances are slim that G would be successful in this pursuit. On the other hand, lawyers are relentless about getting what they want, so pick up the phone (again and again) and give it a shot.

57:00 – Personal Statement Review

The guys sharpen their forks and knives and prepare to feast on yet another personal statement. Chance is already well into the application process and has received scholarship offers from seven schools. He believes that his personal statement must be halfway decent considering his standing thus far. The guys dive in and serve up their usual slicing and dicing.