Should You Go to Law School? (Ep. 340)

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It takes a “special type of crazy” to really enjoy doing the work of a lawyer. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before deciding to embark on a three-year quest for a JD. This week’s episode is all about shedding light on what it takes to be successful as a lawyer. Ben and Nathan dive into the listener mailbag and answer questions about what personality type is best suited to a career in law, how to block out distractions and focus on the LSAT, whether a waitlisted applicant has a shot at earning a scholarship, and more!

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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3.11.2022 — March LSAT begins

3.16.2022 — April LSAT registration deadline

3.30.2022 — March LSAT scores released

4.27.2022 — June LSAT registration deadline

4.29.2022 — April LSAT begins

3:40 - Be Careful Who You Take Admissions Advice From

Regular listeners of the show know that Ben and Nathan encourage all students to get their best LSAT score and apply in September of the year before they plan to start law school. Why? Because those who apply at the beginning of the cycle—with their best LSAT scores—receive better scholarship offers. Unfortunately, law schools and admissions consultants frequently offer advice that’s not in the student’s best interest.

As a case in point, Nathan shares an anecdote from a recent conversation with a former police officer who wants to go to law school. This student says she was advised by multiple law school admissions personnel and consultants to rush getting her applications submitted at the eleventh hour. Otherwise, they contend, she may be “too old” to get a job when she graduates. She’s only 28! Starting law school one year later will make no difference to her job prospects. But taking the time necessary to improve her LSAT score will open doors for her at higher-ranked law schools and potentially save her from taking on a lifetime of student debt.

31:14 - Yale Scholarships

In a recent press release, Yale Law School has announced that they will offer 50 full-tuition scholarships per year to their highest-need students. LSAT Demon tutor Matt speculates that this may be a way for Yale to avoid losing top candidates to schools that offer full scholarships. Ben and Nathan think it’s a step in the right direction to award more scholarships on the basis of need, and they hope more law schools will follow suit.

38:40 - Judy, the YouTube Lawyer

Former LSAT Demon teacher Katie shares two powerful videos by Judy, the YouTube Lawyer. Check them out here and here. Judy graduated from Georgetown—generally considered a prestigious law school. Yet her first position, as an attorney at a small firm, earned her a starting salary of only $30,000. Through her YouTube channel, Judy offers invaluable insights into law school, admissions consultants, and working as a lawyer. The guys applaud Judy for advocating no law school debt and shedding light on what the job market looks like after law school.

1:00:45 - Scholarships Off the Waitlist

Listener L asks the guys whether there is any likelihood of being offered a scholarship if a “reach” school were to accept their application off of the waitlist. Is it even worth filling out a form to express continued interest? Nathan and Ben agree that a scholarship is unlikely. Still, L already took the time to apply to this school. It can’t hurt to fill out the waitlist survey if they would still like to be considered.

1:10:05 - LSAT Studying Amid World Chaos

Student Don seeks advice on how to maintain focus on his LSAT studies while the crisis in Ukraine is a constant source of distraction. Though Don is well-meaning, the guys remind him that it doesn’t do any good to perseverate on things that are out of his control. If he really wants to improve his LSAT score, Don needs to give it his full focus while studying. That might mean turning off news alerts for the time being.

1:32:33 - What Makes a Good Lawyer?

Listener B asks Ben and Nathan their thoughts on what personality type is best suited for a career in law. The guys stress that lawyers are professional readers and writers. The best ones make their work the primary focus of their lives. They obsess over every detail of a case, and they don’t make mistakes. Lawyers enjoy the fight and are driven to WIN regardless of who or what their case is about. Nathan explains why those who are best suited for law are those who truly understand what lawyers do on a daily basis and want to do those things.