LSAT Excuse of the Week (Ep. 281)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

Whether you’re prepping for the LSAT, or sitting for the LSAT, or getting ready to apply for law school, there are countless obstacles that can stand in your way. And as many obstacles there are—there are that many excuses for why things didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. On the flip side, if you’re prepared and cool as a cucumber, you can still perform under pressure and not pay for law school. Today the guys hear from a high-scorer who had an unfortunate Proctor U mishap, they weigh some advice about being a big fish in a small pond (will it be a pearl or a turd?!), they take a look at a claim that COVID may be causing some law schools to lose their accreditation, and they read “the excuse of the week” from their LSAT Demon classes. Plus, Nathan gives a brain teaser to Ben and the guys tackle another LR question from Prep Test 65.

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.

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Important Dates

02.03.2021 – Brace yerselves, January LSAT-Flex scores are released

02.20.2021 – It’s the February LSAT, loves!

02.24.2021 – It’s not ridiculous at all that this is registration deadline for the April LSAT

04.10.2021 – It’s raining LSAT! The April LSAT Flex testing week begins!

10:20 – Proctor U Shenanigans

So you’ve been busting yer ass, studying day in and out for the LSAT. Maybe even for more than a year. And you sit down feeling completely confident you’re gonna slay the LSAT-Flex. You get your shit set up, do a room tour with Proctor-U, and begin the test. LR? You destroy it. LG? Laid to waste in your wake. And just when you’re about to get in to RC, your digital proctor interrupts you, minimizes your browser window and congratulates you on finishing the test. “But wait!” you exclaim. You haven’t finished the test! Will this interruption mean the end of your otherwise golden test?          

Such was the experience of one of your fellow listeners. The Proctor-U proctor made a massive boo-boo and prematurely ended this person’s test. Tune in to learn how this student got back on track, and hear from Nathan and Ben about how you can best respond to these types of shenanigans in the future.

31:03 – Excuse of the Week

It’s inevitable. When you’ve been teaching the LSAT as long as Ben and Nathan? You’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why you can’t study, why you can’t improve, or why you didn’t do as well on the official test as you wanted. So the guys though: why not share these excuses with the rest of y’all?! In this new, sometimes weekly segment, Nathan and Ben will read their favorite excuses from their classrooms or from the classes of the LSAT Demon tutors. This week, the guys hear from a student who has double time on the test. When they’re finished with a section? They’ve got a ton of time left over and they begin to panic. What to do with all of this extra time!!? Ben espouses the benefits of meditation and Nathan agrees—get comfortable with waiting. Every chance you have to wait and be still is an opportunity to get better at it.


Cal Newport’s Deep Work

Sam Harris’s Waking Up

Tommy Angelo

37:59 – Pearls vs. Turds

In this week’s Pearls vs. Turds, the guys hear from A, who relays a piece of advice from a current 3L. What wisdom did said 3L bestow upon A? That, when it comes to law school, it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. If you go to a lesser known school, but you’re at the top of your class, your scholarship opportunities, internship opportunities, and career opportunities will be a lot better than if you were at the bottom of the class in a “better” school. The guys actually deem this a pearl! And while not all advice is completely infallible, Nathan and Ben share just why this advice is baked into their mantra “don’t pay for law school.”

46:08 – Law School Accreditations and COVID

Some folks over at Blueprint Prep recently wrote a blog article that indicated some law schools are in danger of losing their ABA accreditation. The article suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic will clearly disrupt law schools—some more than others (like long-time fave of the show, Golden Gate University)—and that the disruption could adversely affect (and severely so) Bar passage rates, which would cause said schools to lose their accreditation.  

Nathan and Ben all but debunk the claims, noting that folks have been crying about schools losing their accreditation for years and that the ABA’s website tells a different story.

51:16 – The Monty Hall Problem

A listener writes in with a brain buster for Nathan and Ben. Nathan reads the classic “Monty Hall” problem to Ben, who stands to win some goats or a new car as a result. Ben slices through the problem and the guys talk about how this classic puzzle is similar to a Logic Game.

1:04:11 – LR Question 18, Section 4, PT 65

Ben and Nathan tackle the next LR question from section four of Practice Test 65. This is a classic top-down, “must be true” question. The guys pick it apart and share how they approach questions like these, even when the wording of the passage or the answer choices are slightly confusing. In the end there’s always just one right answer that makes perfect sense, and Nathan and Ben show you how to root it out.