Too Many Notes and Other Sins (Ep. 396)

Nathan Fox's headshot.

Too much note-taking stymies understanding. Today on the show, Ben and Nathan discuss how to study most effectively for a skills-based test like the LSAT. Hint: spend less time taking notes and more time engaging with the material. They also answer listeners’ questions about undergraduate versus graduate GPAs, LSAC fee waivers, and more.

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4.14.2023 — April LSAT begins

4.25.2023 — June LSAT registration deadline

5.3.2023 — April LSAT scores released

6.9.2023 — June LSAT begins

6.28.2023 — June LSAT scores released

0:00 - Upcoming Free Class

Register for Ben’s free Reading Comprehension class on April 17.

1:48 - We’re Hiring

Nathan and Ben are looking for former Demon students who have scored above 170 to teach at the Demon. Email with a screenshot of your official LSAT score and a video of you teaching a question or logic game.

2:59 - Don’t Pay for Law School

Listener Anthony writes in with good news: he took Ben and Nathan’s advice and will be going to law school for free. Congrats, Anthony!

12:19 - Fee Waivers and Graduate GPAs

An anonymous listener shares information about LSAC’s fee-waiver timeline. The fee waiver kicks in when you get approved, not when you decide you’re ready to take the test. Anonymous also asks about their graduate GPA and whether it will make their UGPA look better. It’s a soft factor, but it might be a point in your favor.

19:06 - Take Practice Tests in the Demon

A student emailed the Demon help team to ask why Law Hub and LSAT Demon calculated different scores for the same practice test. Law Hub uses an outdated scoring scale from when the test had four scored sections. Ben and Nathan advise Demon students to take their practice tests and timed sections in the Demon.

24:29 - Is Note-Taking Effective?

Listener Jeff asks if he should start taking notes while he’s drilling. The guys assure him that taking notes isn’t necessary. Don’t fall into the trap of using note-taking as a crutch. Focus on real understanding. They clarify that it might be helpful to some students and offer advice on how to take notes effectively.

34:35 - There Are No Second-Best Answers

Listener Jeff’s second question concerns his self-diagnosed habit of picking commonly chosen wrong answers on Logical Reasoning questions. Ben and Nathan point out possible selection bias that occurs when students focus only on what they get wrong. They emphasize the power of prediction to solve the problem.

37:08 - Lawyers Ask for Special Treatment

Listener Will asks if he should contact his undergrad institution to request that they change some of his grades. Ben and Nathan assure him that it’s worth a shot if he can make a convincing case for himself—the worst they can say is no.

41:50 - Listener Book Recommendation

Listener Molly writes in with a book recommendation endorsed by Ben and Nathan: Way Worse Than Being A Dentist: The Lawyer's Quest for Meaning, by Will Meyerhofer.

48:56 - Valuable Work Experience

Listener Sarah has 11 years of work experience as a paralegal. Still, she has concerns about her UGPA. Ben and Nathan recommend that she focus on her strengths in law school applications, not her weaknesses.

55:10 - The LNAT Versus the LSAT?

Listener Peyton asks about law schools outside the United States and the Law National Aptitude Test. The guys think the LNAT sounds highly comparable to the LSAT.

58:12 - Personal Statement Feedback

Listener Sam wants to know if the guys plan to critique more applicants’ personal statements on the podcast before the next application cycle. Ben and Nathan say they’ll think about it, but probably not. They encourage students looking for support on their personal statements to work with Leslie at LSAT Demon.

1:02:26 - ChatGPT’s Effect on Lawyers

Listener Ashwin asks for Ben’s and Nathan’s thoughts on how ChatGPT and other AI will affect the legal profession. The guys think AI will have a significant impact on the profession—and many other professions.