Articles published in May 2012

LSAT Inspiration from Manhattan LSAT Students.. Via Haiku


WordsIn the last session of my spring course this week, I asked (pressured?) my students to author inspirational LSAT poetry. Wooed with promises of drinks for the winner (oh yeah, it was a contest), they submitted the following. Since it has been months since I blogged my own original LSAT haiku, the time is ripe to present haiku once again. This time, they come from my students. Enjoy!

Games make my head hurt;
I don’t care who won the race;
All losers to me.

Help me find the flaw!
We can make inferences!
Bang head into wall!

Don’t fear the LSAT.
I won’t do poorly, okay?
You will look better.

Same film like three times?
Open assignment be damned.
This club is BS.*

*The author wishes to clarify that this haiku was in reference to a game on an old prep test in which members of a film club watch the same movie repeatedly. Familiar to anyone else?

Share you own LSAT haiku in the comments!

The Assassination of Procrastination – Time to Prep for October LSAT


It is a natural human tendency to procrastinate. Some of the most productive people I know procrastinate habitually. To procrastinate on some things, though, can be seriously detrimental to overall goals (and we know how important goals are). Preparing for the LSAT is one of those things!


If you are hoping to begin law school in the Fall of 2013, now is the time to begin planning your LSAT prep. The October LSAT is 19 weeks away, so if you haven’t given a thought to what you’re going to do this summer to prepare, now is the time to start planning.

In the spirit of getting you off your butt and beginning to prep for the LSAT, here are some famous quotes on procrastination: Read more

Logical Reasoning: A Tricky Breed of Principle Example Questions (Illustrations of Illustrations)


Principle Example questions on the logical reasoning section ask you to find an illustration (or example) of a principle given to you in the stimulus. The most straightforward of these provide an outright principle (generally stated) followed by five answer choices describing specific situations. For example, one might look like this:


It's an illustration within an illustration

‘Tis better to give than to receive. 

Which of the following best illustrates the principle stated above? 

(A) It is better for Jeremy to give his dad an HDTV than to give his mom a necklace. 

(B) It is better for Jeremy to get a motorcycle from his dad than from his mom. 

(C) It is better for Jeremy to give his sister the iPad than to keep it for himself. 

(D) It is better for Jeremy’s sister to give the iPad to Jeremy than to give it to charity. 

(E) It is better for Jeremy to give his girlfriend a Dr. Seuss book than to receive one from his sister. 
Read more

VIDEO: Coolest Teacher Ever?! Dmitry Farber jams in Paris


It only takes a few minutes browsing the Manhattan LSAT website to realize that we are extremely proud of our teachers. Not only are they 99th percentile LSAT gurus, but they’re seriously cool, too.

Exhibit B (see exhibit A):  Recently our Dmitry Farber was in Paris and partook in a little loose Jazz groove. That’s him on the mic.

Rock on, Dmitry. Rock on.

Binary Grouping: Is It or Isn’t It?


To recognize a binary grouping game, we look for two things: (1) two groups into which we’re placing elements (that’s what makes it binary) and (2) conditional constraints.

On the June 2011 LSAT, there is a game masquerading as a binary grouping game. It asks us to place judges on one of two courts–appellate or trial–so it meets the first of the two criteria above. Many people see this, make their two columns, and get ready to draw some arrows. But when they get to the rules/constraints, they get stuck. You can’t draw arrows if you don’t have “ifs” and “thens.”

Check out the first game on Prep Test 63, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Did you fall for the trap?

The game offers a lesson that potentially could save valuable time–and points–on the test. Once you spot that you’re sorting elements into two groups, and that alerts your binary-grouping-‘dar, good for you. But you’re only halfway there. Don’t start making “in” and “out” columns until you scan the constraints to confirm they’re conditional. Otherwise, you’re about to spend the next few seconds (or more) wishing you had.

The Morbid Flaws


Some people have trouble with flaw questions on the LSAT because there are two ways the answer choices can be worded. One just points out the assumption by asking what the argument “takes for granted.” The other points out the assumption, too, but in a more indirect way; it tells you something the argument isn’t considering by making the assumption:

The argument fails to consider that…


The argument ignores the possibility that…

When I teach flaw questions, there are a couple of morbid examples I like to use to illustrate the difference. So apologies in advance for being a Debbie Downer, but I like to think the morbidity of these makes them more memorable. Here they are, the Morbid Flaws. Read more

Jay-Z’s Legal Advice in “99 Problems”


I’m sure I’m not the only one who has taken a bit of inspiration from rapper/hip-hop mogul Sean Carter (more commonly known as Jay-Z) – but did you know that the best rapper alive actually has a bit of decent legal advice to offer? A friend of mine in law school posted this on her facebook wall recently: “How Valid is Implied Legal Advice Given in Jay-Z’s  ’99Problems‘ “?

It turns out that most of the Hova”s implied legal advice in the song is fairly sound! While I doubt the Jigga man will be looking to make a career change any time soon, I’d love to see the God MC in the court room – closing arguments would flow as effortlessly as a track from The Blueprint. Alas, for some, swagger in the courtroom is frowned upon.

Important Summer 2012 LSAT Dates


Since the vast majority of law school bound individuals are not at a stage in their lives where they have their own personal secretaries to keep them on schedule and ensure they don’t miss important dates, we’ve decided to round up some important upcoming LSAT dates and deadlines.

Logical Reasoning by Siri

Get out your planners, add these to Outlook, or ask Siri (nicely) to save these:

Upcoming Dates/Deadlines Pertaining to the June 2012 LSAT:

  • May 8th, 2012 – Registration Deadline (via internet, mail, or telephone)
  • May 18th, 2012 – Late Registration Deadline (via phone or internet)  **note that if your registration is “late”, you will have to pay an additional $69 processing fee
  • May 18th, 2012 – Last day to withdraw and receive partial refund of $49
  • May 20th, 2012 – Last day to change your test date (via internet)
  • June 10th, 2012 – Last day to withdraw from LSAT (important for avoiding a ‘no show’ on your score report)

Upcoming Dates/Deadlines Pertaining to the October 2012 LSAT:

  • May 7th, 2012 (TODAY!) – When you should seriously start planning your study program!
  • September 4th, 2012 – Registration Deadline (via internet, mail, or telephone)
  • September 14, 2012 – Late Registration Deadline (via phone or internet)  **note that if your registration is “late”, you will have to pay an additional $69 processing fee
  • September 14th, 2012 – Last day to withdraw and receive partial refund of $49
  • September 16th, 2012 – Last day to change your test date (via internet)
  • October 5th, 2012 – Last day to withdraw from LSAT (important for avoiding a ‘no show’ on your score report)


The Role of the Goal, Part II of II


Last week, I talked about good goals to set in preparing for the LSAT. Once you’ve set ’em, the question becomes how in the humanities-passage to stick with (and meet) them in a way that gets you the biggest bang for your buck.

LSAT goal

First, meeting your goal(s) should be challenging, at least a little bit. If it’s not, you didn’t set the right one. If you’re trying to quicken your pace on games, and you set a goal for 11 minutes instead of 13, and that’s easy, it wasn’t ambitious enough. Set it for 9. Or go crazy… 8! If you are having trouble concentrating for long periods of time and decide to study 30 minutes without texting or getting a snack, once that becomes easy, don’t increase it to 40. Go for an hour, or 90 minutes. Push yourself when it comes to resetting your goals over time, and they will serve you well. Read more

How NOT to Cheat in Law School: A Cautionary Tale


Growing up in the information age, there is no limit to the ways in which we rely upon the internet for answers. For better (or often, for worse), we’ll pump things in to Google for  instant information on an endless array of topics.

If you want to laugh, and if you’re able to see your recent searches, go ahead and take a look at the last 5 things you Googled…go ahead, do it! A friend of mine (seriously, a friend, not me) recently sent out a very funny email to a bunch of old college friends listing the last 10 phrases he’d searched for on Google. Among some other extremely funny terms that won’t be as humorous to those who don’t know him were “why is my poo green” and “how to make white rice”. Read more