A New Year, A New LSAT Cycle, and A New Chance to Dominate––Part Two

Posted by on March 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM

It's been about four weeks now since I first discussed the kickoff of the 2015-2016 LSAT cycle--the upcoming four exams typically taken for admission in the fall of 2016--and if you'll recall I noted that I'd be addressing these tests in two parts: general advice on why you should start preparing immediately, and a detailed look at each of the cycle's LSATs, June through February, in an attempt to steer you towards the most appropriate one.

This post will provide that test-by-test breakdown and comparison. But before I launch into it let me take a moment to recap what I covered in Part One:

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Topics: Law School Admissions, LSAT Prep

Everyday LSAT: Is Football Really Safer than Riding A Bicycle?

Posted by on March 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Recently, Chris Borland, a promising linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers just coming out of his rookie season, announced that he was retiring from football. He retired because he was concerned about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a poorly understood neurodegenerative disease associated with head trauma. Over the last several years, concerns about damage from head trauma related to professional football have gotten increasing news coverage. During an interview concerning Borland's retirement, Dr. Joseph Maroon,  a neurosurgeon and sports medicine expert who is the team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, said that it is more dangerous for a child to ride a bike than it is for a child to play football. Hmm. Let's take a closer look.

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Topics: LSAT Logical Reasoning, LSAT Prep

LSAT Logical Reasoning: Archer’s Many Flaws

Posted by on March 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Archer, an animated series on FX, is about a spy agency and its group of clever, often bitingly sarcastic secret agents, who provide some great examples of the same kinds of logical flaws that we see on the LSAT:

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Topics: LSAT Logical Reasoning, LSAT Prep, LSAT

The June LSAT and The Law School Wait List

Posted by on March 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Every year about this time (January through the spring), in each law school admissions office a Wait List is created. Students who aren't accepted but also not rejected are put on the Wait List (WL), and told there's a chance they might get in at some point. In other words, they get sent to law school admissions purgatory. And it's not just one or two students: Mike Spivey over at law school admissions firm Spivey Consulting Group notes that, "many schools will WL as much as 40-50% of their applicant pool, and at times up to half of the entering class will be comprised of those admitted off of the WL." That's a lot of people, and if you find yourself on this list, the waiting can be an agonizing process. Equally challenging is knowing the proper steps to take to get yourself off the Waiting List and into the Accepted pool. While Mike talked about those steps in the free PowerScore Law School Admissions Guide, what I want to address here is a little-known trick that can help you get off the WL: using the June LSAT to raise your score and get in to law school.

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Topics: Law School Admissions, LSAT Prep

The 2016 US News Law School Rankings Reviewed

Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 11:00 AM

With the recent release of the 2016 US News rankings of North American law schools on March 10th, we can now see how 198 ABA-accredited schools stack up against one another in what is generally considered the more or less definitive guide to LS ranks. My colleague Dave Killoran posted the top 25 schools and his thoughts earlier this week, and I'm going to echo some of that and expand on it with my thoughts here.

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Topics: Law School Admissions

The 2016 US News Law School Rankings Released!

Posted by on March 10, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Today, US News released their 2016 Law School Rankings (yeah, even though it's March 2015, the 2016 version is out somehow), and we're here to update you on the changes. As a standard disclaimer about rankings, remember that these are just numbers put through an arbitrary formula that was created by a magazine that makes millions of dollars off of them, so use them at your own risk! 

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Topics: LSAT Prep

Everyday LSAT: O.J. Simpson's Bloody Gloves

Posted by on March 9, 2015 at 11:00 AM

The most memorable line from O.J. Simpson’s 1994-95 jury trial, other than the “not guilty” verdicts, was defense attorney Johnnie Cochran’s genius phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” That clear, simple rule is widely thought to be a key factor in Simpson’s acquittal. In today’s post, we’re going to look at that statement and it’s circumstances in the context of the LSAT.

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Topics: LSAT Prep, LSAT

LSAT Optional? Not for many...

Posted by on March 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM

BluePower-1Recently, the State University of New York-Buffalo Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law announced that the LSAT will “no longer be required” for their applicants (at which point many students added SUNY Buffalo and Iowa to their lists of prospective law schools). This change does not, however, mean that all applicants will be exempt; the exception applies to a relatively small number of applicants.  

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Topics: LSAT Prep

Sunk Costs and the LSAT

Posted by on March 2, 2015 at 11:00 AM

I was an Economics major in college, and one of the concepts we discussed was “sunk costs.” In Econ terms, a sunk cost is one that has already been expended and which cannot be recovered. The thinking goes that since you’ve spent it and you aren’t getting it back, you shouldn’t figure those costs into any decisions you make going forward. Examples of sunk costs include things like advertising, the use of consultants, product research, and staff training. If, for example, you had spent $100,000 on product research for a new widget but the widget wasn’t selling, then you should ignore that $100,000 in making future decisions because it’s a sunk cost and won’t impact the future sales (or lack thereof) of the product. The “Sunk Cost Fallacy” (sometimes called the Concorde Fallacy) is one where further investment is deemed necessary because otherwise the money already spent will be lost, but thinking in this manner ignores the fact that additional investment can accrue more losses (meaning, be careful about throwing good money after bad). 

So, why the Econ lesson here in an LSAT blog? Because some of the things we frequently hear from LSAT prep students are based on a sunk cost fallacy, and I've always found it a useful discussion because it can help inform the choices you make, or plan to make. 

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Topics: LSAT Prep

A New Year, A New LSAT Cycle, and A New Chance to Dominate

Posted by on February 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM

With the administration of the February 2015 LSAT a few weeks ago, and scores from that exam likely released tomorrow (that's my prediction anyway!), we find ourselves entering a new cycle of LSATs geared towards a 2016 admission. For students with a 2016 start in mind, the next several months present a host of interesting, and often difficult, choices: which LSAT to take?, when to begin preparing?, and how to best prepare? all deserve serious consideration.

So consider them I shall. 

The following discussion is in two parts, the first of which will offer some advice for those at the outset of their LSAT journey, while the second will lay out the pros (and occasional cons) of each test. I hope together they serve, in some small way, to point you in the right direction as you embark. 

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Topics: LSAT Study Plans, LSAT Prep