Agree to Disagree with Actual Lawyer Nikki Black (Ep. 289)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

Many lawyers-to-be have their eyes on the good stuff. They want to do the world-saving, altruistic work that will make communities stronger and peoples’ lives better. And immigration law is a popular focus for these folks who want to help asylees and other groups. But what is immigration law really like? Nathan and Ben sit down with immigration attorney, Nicole Black, to talk about the realities of immigration law. They discuss what cases generally look like, what happens when cases get lost, and what the day-to-day practice is like for an immigration attorney. Plus, the guys chomp thru another LR question from PT 65, they weigh some advice from Reddit and answer a bunch of listener mail.

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Important Dates

04.10.2021 – The April LSAT Flex testing week begins!

06.12.2021 – Break out the short sleeves, registration for the June LSAT is open!

1:53 – Logical Reasoning Question 24 from LSAT Prep Test 65

We’re switching it up with an LR walkthrough at the TOP of the show, y’all. Boom. Get ready to have your minds expanded not only with a thorough explanation of how to solve this parallel flaw question but also with some sweet info about the science community! Nathan and Ben discuss the argument line by line and identify one of the most prevalent errors on the test: confusing sufficient and necessary. They also talk about an annoying flaw baked into the answer choices by the test writers.

30:19 – Pearls vs. Turds

It’s your (sometimes) weekly dose of Pearls vs. Turds a segment in which the guys consider some LSAT “wisdom” from the field and determine whether the practice is worth folding into your own LSAT prep. Today’s “advice” comes courtesy of Reddit…otherwise known as the armpit of the f*cking internet. The advice basically draws an analogy between sprinting and speed work in running, to…neuro elasticity, we guess?! Basically, the Redditor said you need to “sprint” or put your brain under extreme stress (to the point of explosion), working as hard as you possibly can, when working an LSAT section. This, apparently will then cause your brain to strengthen like shredded muscles after a gnarly HIIT workout. Nathan and Ben point out that while analogies can be great teaching tools, they are also often…terrible and wrong. They explain why this particular analogy is very much so.

38:20 – Interview with Actual Lawyer Nikki Black

The guys have a chat with Nathan’s old classmate, longtime friend, and immigration attorney, Nicole Black of Dayzad Law Offices. They catch up about Nikki’s previous appearance on Thinking LSAT, her penchant for Gloomhaven, why she hates to “agree to disagree,” and most importantly, what her day-to-day is like working in immigration law. Immigration law is often in the hearts of starry-eyed, altruistic lawyers to be who want to make a difference in the world. Nikki discusses what the work looks and feels like on the ground and offers some food for thought to folks considering this field.

1:07:11 – Retaking a 176?

H writes in having just destroyed the February LSAT, earning a 176 on record (that’s pretty badass, H!). But she’s been lying in bed at night unable to sleep because she’s sure she effed up two logic games questions. Folks on Reddit(RAHHHHH) are warning against a retake, noting that law schools will scratch their chins if they see a re-take and a lowerscore. The internet says to stick with the sweet score you got and don’t risk a poor performance on a future test. Ben and Nathan sink these claims. If you don’t think you got your highest score, H., and you haven’t maxed your tests-per-cycle limit? Go for it. Schools are only going to care about your highest score. It’s a competitive cycle. There’s a tiny bit of upside if you gain a few more points, there’s almost no downside considering you already have a sweet score on record.

1:11:54 – Falling off the Study Wagon

Nelson has been following the guys’ advice about implementing short-term study plans rather than ridiculous 90-day study regimens. But he admits that he’s “fallen off” of even a seven-day plan and has been beating himself up about it. He wants to know how to get back on the horse. Ben puts forth this idea from Sam Harris of beginning again—that in any activity, your mind will wander, you will wander. That happens moment to moment, all the time. The pro tip is to recognize that and simply come back to your intention and…begin again. Nathan doubles down on this idea and encourages Nelson to fire up the Demon, click drill, and just do one LSAT question and make sure he deeply understands it and see what happens from there.

1:17:54 – The Return of Halo Top

Dani writes in to share some “interesting” information about Halo Top. Apparently, because of its molecular makeup, it cannot be classified as “ice cream.” We say: yeah, no sh*t. Tune in to hear exactly what makes Halo Top not ice cream outside of its disgusting flavor.

1:20:45 – Excuse of the Week

In another (sometimes) weekly segment, Ben and Nathan read aloud a complaint or excuse overheard in an LSAT prep class. This week? A student is downright pissed because they’re always able to narrow the answer choices down to two, but then they always seem to pick the wrong effing one. What gives?! The guys point out that this is the test. The LSAT is not about narrowing it down to two answer choices and guessing, it’s about your ability to narrow it down to two and discern the actual correct answer. Ben notes that if this sounds like you, you’re not actually “always picking the wrong one.” Sometimes you’ll undoubtedly guess the correct one. What’s happening, though, is that you’re making two mistakes. You’re missing understanding which answer choice is correct, but when you pick the wrong one, you’re also not understanding why you picked the wrong one. Examine the why, deeply understand the questions and how you came to your final answer, and you’ll have a much great chance of improving on the LSAT. Another pro tip from Nathan: if you’re getting to two answer choices, you’re giving them far too much credit. 80% of them are wrong. Nathan says that he treats the answer choices as though they’re all wrong, so one of the answer choices really needs to fight to be correct, rather than the other way around.