The Waitlist Game of Chicken (Ep. 235)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

How you prepare for (and how you perform on) the LSAT will affect every step in your law school game—from admissions, to your law school career, passing the bar exam, and on to your legal career. You’re laying the groundwork now for the rest of your lawyerly life, and today’s show proves it out. Nathan and Ben hear from folks who are just beginning their LSAT prep and want advice about their LR pacing or feel like they’re spotting some trends about RC difficulty. They hear from folks looking toward their 1L year and have questions about diversity statements, how to parse ABA 509 reports, and what to do if you’re on the waitlist. And they hear from a former listener and current 1L about how their law career is starting to take shape. Plus Ben and Nathan talk about Ben’s health, the future of medicine, and they announce their upcoming live class in NYC.

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

March 10, 2020 – The last day to register for the April 2020 LSAT

March 30, 2020 – It’s the March LSAT

April 25, 2020 – It’s raining LSAT questions! This is the date for the April test

April 25-26, 2020 – Come to Thinking LSAT Live! in NYC for a weekend of LSAT prep with Nathan and Ben.

6:23 – Reports from a 1L

An anonymous long-time listener of the show and former LSAT Demon subscriber sends correspondence from law school to give all y’all some words of wisdom. According to this 1L? Shit only gets harder, so buckle up. But, they add, if you’ve adequately prepped for the LSAT, you’re prepping yourself well for your 1L year. Instead of methodically moving through practice LSATs, you can methodically work your way through previous exams. All of the hard work you’re doing now will pay off in spades—and you’ll see the proof when you’re calm and collected come finals week and your classmates are losing their shit.

16:54 – Prep Tests 80 and Above Difficulty

Dylan’s been buzzing through prep tests in the LSAT Demon and he’s wondering if he has spotted a trend. He asks the guys if the test is getting harder; specifically, he wants to know if wrong answer choices are being written in language deceivingly close to the correct answer choices. The guys kinda give a shrug emoji. Ben thinks that RC answers may indeed be getting harder and have several answer choices that look similar. But both Ben and Nathan agree that LG, by contrast, is getting easier. So while some aspects of the test may be getting harder, other aspects of the test may be getting easier. Plus, Nathan is quick to point out that Dylan’s only got test 181 and 182 under his belt, so the sample size is a little too small to draw any conclusions.

26:15 – Ben’s Infamous “Hardest 40”

Way back in the days of yore, Ben peddled a book that included the 40 most challenging RC passages. Cam heard tell of this tome and wants to know how he can get his hands on it. But we’re not in the stone age anymore, Cam. The LSAT Demon is the new kid on the block, and it’s constantly feeding you the best questions for you at your current level. As you improve, the Demon will throw harder questions your way. So if you’re an ace at the start, you’ll already be answering the hardest RC questions.

30:37 – Timing In LR

L is bummed. She’s racing through LR sections, finishing the whole damn thing, and only achieving about 50% accuracy. She knows this ain’t exactly cuttin’ the mustard and asks the guys for advice on how to re-approach sections. Nathan and Ben weigh in with their tried and true advice: slow down, only focus on accuracy. If you answer half the questions 100% accurately and guess on the rest you will already be improving your score. By racing through sections, you’re robbing yourself of a genuine understanding of even the questions you answer correctly.

41:58 – Diversity Statement Inquiry

What constitutes “diversity.” Is it just a matter of race or other minority communities? Or could you be considered diverse based on an outstanding achievement? Gunther, who was a quarterback on a D1 football team, wants to know. The guys are quick to agree, that this is not something you should write about as part of a diversity statement, but it sounds pretty rad! The quarterback of a D1 football team is something great to put on your resume or as a foundation for your personal statement.

47:46 – Bar Passage Rate vs. JD-Required Employment Rate

Esther’s deep in the law school game. And as she’s looking at potential schools, she’s been pouring through ABA 509 reports (hell yeah, Esther!). In doing so? She’s a bit concerned. A bar passage rate of 75% sounds pretty good, but it also means that a quarter of your classmates will be out on their asses! And is the bar passage rate more important? Or should she be looking at the JD-required employment rate? The guys weigh-in, but their pro tip is this: if you follow the advice to not pay for law school, you’re probably going to do just fine. Bar passage rate has more to do with your raw talent and work ethic than the quality of education you receive at any given school.

59:12 – Waitlist Woes

Anon is livin’ that waitlist life and wants to know what to do about it. Are they less likely to receive a scholarship because they’re waitlisted? What the hell does a school need to know to admit or deny?! Ben and Nathan consider how the law school admissions game is constantly changing and how it is affecting students trying to negotiate offers. The bottom line is that if you’re waitlisted, you should send a LOCI (Letter Of Continued Interest), that lets the school know you’re excited to be considered and you’re still interested in going to their school. Yes, you can still get a scholarship even if you’re waitlisted. Aside from sending a LOCI, it’s hard to know what will help you get off of a waitlist.