It might not solve all life’s problems, but a high LSAT score is the closest thing to a panacea for law school application troubles. It can overshadow a mediocre GPA and demonstrate your aptitude to succeed in law school. It can open doors at higher-ranked schools. And, most importantly, it can save you from taking on a lifetime of student debt. Tune in this week for a mixed-bag episode covering everything from LSAT strategies and score improvements to scholarships and URM status.
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.
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
5.18.2022 — April LSAT scores released
First up, Nathan and Ben share a recent one-star review that a listener posted on Apple Podcasts. The reviewer denounced the guys’ “self-stroking” banter and criticized them for “evangelizing a high LSAT score as the solution to all problems.” The guys remind listeners that their goal is to help students not pay for law school. Within the narrow space of applying to law school, a high LSAT score may actually be the solution to all your problems.
Student Jennifer started with a strong diagnostic score of 155. After three months of studying with another prep company, she scored only five points higher. Feeling more confused and less confident than when she started, she began searching for other resources. LSAT Demon “changed everything” for her. Within just a few months, she was able to raise her score to an official 177. Jennifer was the first woman in her family to attend college, and now she’ll be going to law school for free. Congrats, Jennifer!
LSAT Demon tutor Francesca shares some advice from one of her professors, who also happens to be a full-time corporate lawyer. She asked him whether he likes practicing law. His answer was that, on many days, he hates it—in the same way that you sometimes hate a really hard workout while you’re doing it. But if it weren’t for the intense struggle, he wouldn’t get the level of satisfaction he does when he overcomes a legal challenge. “This,” Francesca suggests, “is the kind of ‘crazy’ that takes someone far in the legal world.” Nathan and Ben agree and remind listeners that, if you’re the kind of person who likes to clock out at 5 pm, this profession is probably not for you.
Listener Eric asks a follow-up question about a bit of advice from episode 340 of the podcast. He recalls Nathan mentioning that students should be “running the tables” at the beginning of each LSAT section, and he isn’t sure what that means. Nathan clarifies that the idiom comes from pool. In the context of the LSAT, it means that you should dominate all the easy questions, which tend to show up at the beginning of each section.
Student Elijah notes that LSAT Demon allows him to use CTRL+F while taking a practice test, and he wonders whether this function will be available on the official LSAT. The short answer is yes. You are allowed to use CTRL+F on the official test. But Ben and Nathan don’t think it’s a useful strategy. Synonyms exist on the LSAT, as do different forms of words (such as “law” vs. “legal”). You may end up wasting time if you search for a specific word that doesn’t exist in the text. If you read and understand the passage well enough, you shouldn’t need CTRL+F.
Listener Cristian has a 3.38 GPA and a 166 on record. He hopes to break 170 on the June 2022 LSAT and to attend a school that can set him up for a career in big law. Although Christian would like to go to law school tuition-free, he anticipates that he’ll need to take out loans for living expenses. He is already sitting on $34,000 of debt from his undergraduate degree, so he’d like to minimize the amount of money he’ll have to borrow. The guys suggest that Christian raise his LSAT score and go to the best law school that offers him a full scholarship. They then offer some advice on how to minimize living expenses during law school.
Listener Jared recently started studying with the Demon and saw his score jump by 10 points in only two weeks. He’s now scoring around 165 on practice tests. But he questions whether his 3.74 GPA will hurt his potential for a full-ride scholarship. Nathan and Ben advise Jared to focus on what he can control—his LSAT score! His 3.74 isn’t going to hold him back at most schools, but his 165 might. Jared should plug his GPA into the LSAT Demon Scholarship Estimator and see what LSAT score range is likely to earn him a full ride at various schools.
LSAT Demon tutor Dylan shares a revelation he had while answering students’ questions through the Ask button. He asked his girlfriend, who is a strong reader but never studied logic or the LSAT, to attempt a few questions that students were overcomplicating. Without fail, she got each question right in a reasonable amount of time using only her innate reading and reasoning abilities. Dylan wants students to recognize that the test is easy when approached using common sense and careful reading. Forget all the formulaic LSAT dogma that other prep companies teach—all it does is overcomplicate the test and make it out to be harder than it really is.
Listener Karlton is an underrepresented minority student who plans to apply to law school next cycle. He has an impressive 3.97 GPA and scored 170 on the LSAT. Karlton noticed that when he checks the URM box, the LSAT Demon Scholarship Estimator indicates a high likelihood of being offered full rides at many T-14 schools. But when the URM box is unchecked, full-scholarship predictions start further down in the rankings. Does URM status really have this great of an impact on scholarship offers? The guys explain that, when all else is equal, schools generally favor underrepresented minorities because they add diversity to the student body. To account for this URM boost, the estimator increases your index number by the equivalent of adding 3 points to your LSAT score and 0.2 points to your GPA. Scholarship predictions are thus more generous when the URM box is selected.