Articles published in November 2012

Friday Links: Tips for LSAT Test Day, Personal Statements, and More!


The December LSAT is tomorrow! Best of luck to everyone taking it and don’t forget to check out our archive for Three Things You Should Do to Prepare for LSAT Test Day (And One Thing You Absolutely Should Not). Today is a day to relax so put down the prep books and check out some of our favorite articles from the week:

Law School is Worth the Money (The New York Times)

The dean of Case Western Reserve University’s law school makes his case for why students should not be discouraged from attending law school

2012 What’s Hot and What’s Not (Attorney at Work)

Trying to decide which area of law you want to practice? Attorney at Work turned to information from clients and leaders in the legal profession to compile a list of legal sectors that are really heating up (and some that are cooling down).
Read more

Come One, Come All! A Universal Tip for LSAT Takers


In the week before the LSAT, I’m always inclined to write last-minute tips, but I’ve done that already and you can read them here. This week I want to offer a tip both for those of you cramming a few last days of study in before Saturday and those of you beginning to prepare for the February test.

The tip is: don’t study badly.

A friend who tutored the LSAT for years used to tell her students that the worst thing they could do is study while doing something else: watching TV, listening to music, tuning out a conversation (that you’re not really tuning out, because how possible is that, really?). Her tough-love line was, if you aren’t going to study well, don’t at all. It’s worse to develop bad habits and associations around the test than it is just to study less.

I’ve come to see her point. When I talk to people who don’t understand why their scores aren’t going up, it often goes like this. They tell me that they study all the time! They use the strategies! They have read the guides cover to cover and highlighted! But then I hear, well, sure, I have Pandora on. I study during Project Runway–but I’ve seen them all before so it’s not even like it’s suspenseful! I just like having it on in the background?

You know what I say to this? Auf wiedersehen, 170+.

When you devote half your attention to a task, you’re saying that that task doesn’t demand your full brainpower. This may work when you’re talking to your mom on the phone and washing dishes, or reading Gawker and keeping an eye on the phone to see if that certain person texts, or cleaning your roommate’s toothpaste off the sink while plotting his “accidental” demise, but the LSAT isn’t a stubborn clump of Colgate or a story about your Uncle Clifford’s mystery mole. It’s an endurance test designed to challenge the best and brightest minds intellectually, emotionally (anxiety is probably the number one issue students want to discuss one-on-one) and physically. You don’t train for a marathon by stopping every two miles to update your Facebook status, and you can’t successfully study for the LSAT by half-heartedly committing to your preparation.

Easier said than done, I realize. Believe me–I spent twenty years doing exactly what I’m saying you shouldn’t. I wrote college papers to Michael Jackson denying he’s Billie Jean’s baby daddy and Bono’s stalking. Do you know when I stopped? When I was studying for the LSAT. I had already graduated from college when I learned that I wasn’t going to get by on half-braining it, because when I did, I missed twice as many questions as when I found a quiet space and focused. That remains true today.

So close the door to your bedroom–your dog will be fine–get a big, bright lamp and a little pair of bright orange ear plugs if you have to, and set a reasonable goal: I’ll do this for thirty-five minutes. One section. See what a difference it makes. And good luck.

Free LSAT Events This Week: Nov 26 – Dec 2


free greHere are the free LSAT events we’re holding this week.

11/27/12 – New York, NY – Free Trial Class – 6:30-9:30 PM

11/27/12 – Online – Free Trial Class – 8:00-11:00 PM

11/28/12 – Washington, D.C. – Free Trial Class – 6:30-9:30 PM

11/28/12 – Irvine, CA – Free Trial Class – 6:30-9:30 PM

11/28/12 – Los Angeles, CA – Free Trial Class – 6:30-9:30 PM

11/29/12 – La Jolla, CA – Free Trial Class – 6:30-9:30 PM

Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listings Page.



Friday Links: Law School Admissions, Memorization tips, The Future of Legal Education, and More!


Happy Friday everyone! Celebrate the end of the week by checking out some of top stories about legal education and the LSAT: 

Top Five Factors Take Into Account by Law School Admissions (JD Journal)

Can you list the top five factors that are weighed the heaviest by law school admissions teams? We’ll start you off with the number one factor: LSAT score!

Countdown to the LSAT: What you Need to Do Between Now & Test Day (Law School Podcaster)

If you didn’t get the chance earlier this week, be sure to stop by Law School Podcaster to listen to Manhattan LSAT’s Executive Director of Academics, Noah Teitelbaum, for some advice for mapping out an LSAT study plan.
Read more

The LSAT is a Cruise, Not T.G.I. Fridays


I came upon a great question on our forum that I want to bring up here, because there’s a valuable lesson in it. A student asked:

On the LSAT, when you have a constraint that says “T is performed EITHER immediately before F OR immediately after R” does that mean there is a potential for an RTF block? Or is that eliminated because of the EITHER/OR language?

LSAT guru Mike Kim answered:

On the LSAT, the statement either/or does not inherently rule out the possibility of both (though sometimes other factors, such as the design of the game itself, do “naturally” limit the possibility of both).


Not Pictured: The LSAT

Mike went on to use a great example of soup or salad on a menu. If you’re at a restaurant and given the option of ordering a soup or salad with your entree, does that mean you can have both? Not unless the waiter thinks you’re cute. You have to pick one or the other (or pay more). That’s the T.G.I.Friday’s Or.

The LSAT Or is not the T.G.I.Friday’s Or. The LSAT Or is the Cruise Or. I’m told (as I’ve yet to cruise) that on a luxury ship, as the ventriloquist makes you cackle so hard you spit out your unlimited soda, “soup or salad” means you can also have both (gluttonous places that cruise ships are). The same definition applies on the LSAT. As Mike indicated, unless there are other restrictions in the game that prevent “both” from being an option, the “either/or” language itself does not prevent it. Both is possible.

In case this post left you wanting to go on a cruise (think of all that simultaneous consumption of clam chowder and iceberg…), I recommend David Foster Wallace’s essay “Shipping Out.” It may change your mind. It’s also very good.

Law School Transparency Score Reports: A New Way to Compare Law Schools


Last week, Law School Transparency rolled out a new tool for prospective law school students to help guide application and enrollment decisions. While many students turn to U.S. News & World Report’s annual law school rankings, LST hopes that their Score Reports will reduce the influence of U.S. News by providing more detailed comparisons. Instead of comparing law schools based solely on traditional factors like LSAT scores and undergraduate grade-point averages, LST Score Reports sort schools according to employment outcomes, projected costs, and admissions stats.

Using LST’s Score Reports, prospective students can click on any state on the country map and receive a comprehensive chart that shows the relationship between regional law schools and employment percentages in that specific state. This way, students can essentially select where they want to land their future law career and see which schools will give them the best opportunity for employment.
Read more

Free LSAT Events This Week: Nov 12 – 18


free greHere are the free LSAT events we’re holding this week.

11/17/12 – Washington, D.C. – Free Proctored LSAT Exam – 6:00-10:00 PM

11/17/12 – Santa Monica, CA. – Free Proctored LSAT Exam – 6:00-10:00 PM

11/17/12 – San Diego, CA. – Free Proctored LSAT Exam – 9:30 AM-1:30 PM

11/17/12 – Irvine, CA. – Free Proctored LSAT Exam – 9:30 AM-1:30 PM

Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listings Page.



Friday Links: Letters of Reference, Personal Statements, Law School Trends and More!


As we near the end of this week, we again hope that those affected by Hurricane Sandy are making a progressive recovery and that life is returning to as close to normal as possible. To help everyone ease back into the usual routine, we’ve complied our weekly list of law school and LSAT-related links:

Telling Your Story: Avoiding Oversimplification, Part 2 of 3 (jdMission)

As you’re filling out law school applications and writing your personal statements, take a moment to stop by jdMission for some tips for avoiding oversimplification of your essay.
Read more

Perspective Reminder This Week


Hurricane ReliefIt’s been a hard week for the east coast, and here in New York, the difficulties range from inconvenient to catastrophic. Volunteer and donation opportunities abound, and with neighbors in such dire need, it feels strange to write about the LSAT.

You’re hopefully already taking a break from study to vote, but if you, like me, are finding it difficult to focus when the need around us is so desperate in places, consider taking some time to step away from the test to volunteer.

Donation opportunities:

Brooklyn Community Foundation

Occupy Sandy

Volunteer opportunities in NY/NJ:

New York Cares

NYC Service

Food Bank for New York City

Jersey Cares

And for a quick read that finds the silver lining in hardship, I recommend Mei Mei Fox’s 5 Spiritual Lessons from Hurricane Sandy.

Life After the October LSAT


After a Sandy-induced delay, October LSAT scores were released last week. To those of you who rocked the test to your satisfaction, congratulations! Time to get thinking about the rest of your application.

For those of you with more LSAT work to do still, we’re here for you. Whether you’re still having nightmares about zones, or you simply want some help deciding whether or not you should retake,  I strongly encourage you to attend our free, live online review of the October LSAT. This Thurssday evening (8pm EST) Manhattan Prep’s Executive Director of Academics, Noah Teitelbaum, will cover some of the more challenging questions from the October exam, as well as provide some perspective for your retake decision. The best part? It’s completely free to sign up!