The New Law School Admissions Game with Ann Levine (Ep. 252)

Ben Olson's headshot.

With the LSAT-Flex and the impact of the new coronavirus, 1L hopefuls and 1Ls in waiting have a lot of questions about attending or applying to law school in the fall. Nathan and Ben sit down with friend of the show and law school expert, Ann Levine, to discuss her latest book and the state of law school admissions in 2020. The guys also talk about converting your LSAT-Flex scores, they hear from a student whose LSAC fee-waiver request was denied, and they answer an LR question from practice test 65. Plus, Nathan and Ben dig into cooperative board games, E-Prime, and they read an LR question drafted by a listener who was inspired by Nathan’s COVID-19 rant.

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

Facebook Group

Instagram (upcoming events)

Important Dates

6.30.2020 – The June LSAT-Flex scores are released

7.12.2020 – The week of the July LSAT-Flex

7.15.2020 – It’s the registration deadline for the August LSAT

7.30.2020 – Fingers crossed! July LSAT-Flex scores are released

8.29.2020 – Can you beat the heat?! It’s the August LSAT!

04:06 – Interview with Law School Expert, Ann Levine

The guys welcome back to the show law school expert, Ann Levine. Ann is the author of The Law School Admission Game, which has just been updated to its 4th edition. Ann has helped students navigate the law school admissions process and achieve their best offers for over 15 years. The guys discuss the new version of Ann’s book and get her opinions on going to (or not going to) law school in 2020. They talk COVID-19, deferments, LSAT-Flex, and more.  

21:34 – LSAC Fee Waiver Appeal: Denied

Monette’s pretty bummed. She applied for an LSAC fee waiver, but was—BOOM—denied based on her family’s income. LSAC was all like, “looks like you got plenty of cheddar to spare, no fee waiver for you!” But Monette wrote LSAC back and explained that due to the global pandemic, her family’s financial outlook has changed dramatically. LSAC still denied the appeal, so now Monette’s wondering WTF. Ann and the guys weigh in, and suggest that Monette continues to pester LSAC about the issue and that sometimes persistence really is the key when it comes to the Law School Admissions organization. They also talk about the GRE and whether Monette should explore taking the GRE instead.

27:29 – LSAT-Flex Raw-to-Scaled Score Conversion Table

Ben reads an email in which LSAC explains to a student that they will not be providing a raw-to-scaled score conversion table. Nope. LSAT-Flex scores will be shrouded in mystery—kept in the shadows. But the guys kind of laugh this off. There’s no two ways about it, your LSAT-Flex raw-to-scaled score can be determined (more or less), and they share how you can calculate it on your own.

32:10 – An LSAT Question Based On Nathan's COVID Rant

Faithful listeners will know that Nathan ranted about the politicization of mask-wearing and COVID-19 in episode 251. Well, E. heard the episode and crafted an LR question based on Nathan’s argument. The only problem is that E. kind of misinterprets Nathan’s argument, and Nathan puts the kibosh on the fabricated LR problem. Nathan restates his argument and the gang rants anew about politics and the pandemic.  

40:12 – E-Prime

Demon subscriber Greg has been thinking about the guys’ personal statement writing advice. Nathan and Ben will often recommend that folks not use the passive voice, or to try and substitute “to be” conjugations with more interesting active verbs. As Greg was pondering this writing advice, he came across a description of E-Prime. E-Prime, or English Prime is a version of the English language without the verb “to be.” Ann Levine agrees that this is a good writing tip, but that it’s less about cutting out “to be” and more about using every word wisely when it comes to your personal statement. That’s what lawyers do, and that’s what you need to do if you’re going to present yourself to law schools in a professional manner.

46:37 – Uncooperative Characters from Dead Of Winter

If you’ve been listening to Thinking LSAT for a while, then you’ll know that Nathan is a fan of games. And he’s recently gotten into the cooperative board game (where everyone’s on the same team-ish) Dead of Winter. In the game, you work alongside the other folks in the game to survive, but there are some troublemakers in the midst who may foil your plans. Nathan describes an altered, two-player version of the game that’s fully cooperative, but requires the removal of a few characters to work. And who needs to be removed from the game, dear listeners? A pirate…and…you guessed it: a lawyer.

Also see:

Pandemic Cooperative Board Game

Forbidden Desert Cooperative Board Game

52:40 – PT 65 Section 4 Q4

Ben and Nathan jump into another LR question from practice test 65. This time, they do a bit of role play to debate pedagogy for young children. In their usual style, the guys take you through their thought process step-by-step as they read the stimulus and then slice and dice the answer choices.