If We Started a Law School (Ep. 352)

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As hybrid-online law programs make their way into the eye of the ABA, Ben and Nathan toy with the idea of creating their own law school. But first, the guys take another dive into the listener mailbag and answer questions about application addenda. Should you write an addendum to explain an LSAT score increase? What about a GPA addendum to explain poor grades? The guys answer these questions and more. Plus, they revisit last week’s discussion about law school scholarships and share a promising email from an international student.

As always, if you like the show and 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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6.10.2022 — June LSAT begins

6.29.2022 — June LSAT scores released

6.30.2022 — August LSAT registration deadline

7.26.2022 — September LSAT registration deadline

8.12.2022 — August LSAT begins

8.31.2022 — August LSAT scores released

9.9.2022 — September LSAT begins

5:00 - Does LSAC Flag Score Increases?

Demon student Sam is scheduled to take the June LSAT, and based on his recent practice test scores, he anticipates a score increase of more than 20 points. Should he be concerned that LSAC may flag his test for further review before releasing his score? Nathan and Ben assure Sam that he has nothing to worry about. They recall a few anecdotal reports of delayed scores from other students who made major improvements. But those reports are rare. Most students—including those with substantial score increases—receive their scores on time.

Sam also asks for advice on whether to write an addendum to explain his large score increase. The guys recommend writing an addendum only if a school’s application requires it. If Sam does write an addendum, he should keep it short and simple: “I knew I could do better, so I took it again.”

15:30 - Scholarships for International Students

Listener Brandon reaches out in response to last week’s discussion about law school scholarships for international applicants (episode 351). Brandon is an international student from Canada who is attending law school in the United States for free. He received multiple full-ride offers, and his international status was never an issue. Ben and Nathan reiterate that law schools tend to offer scholarships to the applicants with the best LSAT scores and GPAs (regardless of international status). These numbers predict how well applicants will perform in law school. They also affect law school rankings. The guys go on to discuss the methodology behind the U.S. News rankings.

26:20 - GPA Addenda

Listener Ashlie expects to graduate from UNLV with nearly straight A’s. But her community college grades from over 10 years ago will likely pull her LSAC-calculated GPA down to a 3.4. She asks Ben and Nathan for guidance on whether to write a GPA addendum explaining that she was granted academic renewal by her community college. She also wonders how high of an LSAT score she’ll need to be competitive for scholarships at mid-ranked schools. The guys point Ashlie to the LSAT Demon Scholarship Estimator, where she can plug in her GPA along with different LSAT scores and see which schools are likely to offer scholarships. If Ashlie chooses to write a GPA addendum, Ben and Nathan recommend that she briefly state the fact that she was granted academic renewal by her community college and report her GPA without those grades factored in.

40:51 - If Ben and Nathan Started a Law School

Listener Anita plans to begin law school in fall 2023, but her plans may change depending on her partner’s next duty location assignment. Should she register for the August LSAT even though she won’t yet know whether she’ll be applying this fall? Or should she wait to avoid wasting an attempt? Ben and Nathan recommend that Anita sign up for the option to take the August LSAT if she plans to apply in the fall. She can always withdraw if she decides she’s not ready.

Anita also asks the guys for their thoughts on attending law school online. Ben and Nathan remind listeners that the ABA has yet to approve fully online law school programs. All online programs are currently hybrid programs. Nathan argues that online learning is better than in-person when it comes to higher education. This discussion leads the guys to contemplate how they would run their own online law school.

1:02:44 - LSAC Transcript Requirements

An anonymous Demon student describes a predicament in submitting materials to LSAC for his CAS report. He has submitted all but one of his transcripts. An undergraduate institution that he attended over 20 years ago won’t release his transcript until he pays an outstanding $5,000 debt, which he can’t afford to pay. Ben and Nathan advise Anonymous to be careful about how he represents himself to avoid any potential character-and-fitness issues when he applies to his state’s bar. They recommend calling the school to ask if payment plans are available.