Don’t Bank on Loan Forgiveness, with Derek Brainard (Ep. 348)

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—don’t pay for law school. Today on the show, Ben and Nathan are joined by financial advisor Derek Brainard to help educate students on the realities of law school debt and loan forgiveness programs. But before that, the guys roast a Pearls vs. Turds submission regarding the correlation-to-causation flaw. They also tackle another Logical Reasoning question from PrepTest 73 and denounce a law school “scammership.”

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Important Dates

5.18.2022 — April LSAT scores released

6.10.2022 — June LSAT begins

6.28.2022 — August LSAT registration deadline

6.30.2022 — June LSAT scores released

8.12.2022 — August LSAT begins

8:27 - Pearls vs. Turds

Listener Faye found a confusing piece of advice on the correlation-to-causation flaw in a popular LSAT prep book. She quotes the book as saying, “When an LSAT speaker concludes that one occurrence caused another, that speaker also assumes that the stated cause is the ONLY possible cause of the effect and that consequently the stated cause will always produce the effect.” Nathan and Ben use a simple example to explain why that statement is inaccurate. In trying to explain a logical flaw, this piece of advice commits a flaw of its own. Into the turd pile it goes.

Scoreboard: 17 pearls, 59 turds, 24 ties

16:15 - Test 73, Section 4, Question 11

The manager’s argument begins with a statement about the need for her company to address a problem now. At first, Ben thinks this statement sounds like a conclusion and anticipates evidence to follow in support of it. But then the manager proceeds to describe an opinion that contradicts her own and calls that approach “irresponsible.” Ben immediately revises his prediction—the main conclusion now appears to be the manager’s assertion that waiting to address the problem is an irresponsible approach. The final sentences of the argument present an analogy intended to support that conclusion.

Nathan and Ben discuss the weaknesses inherent in an argument that relies on the use of an analogy to support its conclusion. The question, however, just asks for the manager’s overall conclusion. If you’ve read and understood the argument, you should know the answer before even looking at the choices. As Ben and Nathan point out, the main conclusion is found in the third sentence. Try this question here, and then listen to Ben and Nathan’s full explanation.

29:34 - Law School Scammership

Listener Sam shares a pamphlet for the Widener Legal Scholars Program at Delaware Law School. This program offers a $38,000 annual scholarship to students who meet eligibility requirements, including a minimum 3.5 undergraduate GPA and 85th percentile SAT score. The catch? Applicants must NOT have taken the LSAT. Nathan and Ben explain why this requirement appears to be a sneaky way for Delaware Law to poach strong applicants who may otherwise earn scholarships to better schools. While a $38,000 scholarship may sound substantial, it’s merely a discount off the school’s $57,000 price tag. Beware of law school scammerships.

51:47 - Getting Ahead of Expenses 

Derek Brainard, National Director of Financial Education at AccessLex, offers tips on financially preparing for graduation and getting ahead of expenses. Derek aims to help students gain a better understanding of law school loans, repayment plans, and debt forgiveness programs. Ben and Nathan encourage students to avoid taking on debt in the first place.

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