Articles published in January 2013

LOGICAL REASONING: The Conditional Logic of Break Ups

Overly Nice Guy

Nice Guys Finish Last

We’ve all had a friend (or even a really close friend… so close they’re just like us, same name and same height and everything) who breaks up with someone and says, “But he’s/she’s so nice! I must not want to date nice people–what’s wrong with me?”

Whenever I hear this, it strikes me as an opportunity to give a short logic lesson, which I sometimes do, to mixed results.

Recall our classic illustration of a conditional sentence: if you’re in Canada, you’re in North America. We symbolize this as:

C -> NA

From this, there are other conditional statements that may be tempting to infer but are incorrect. One is that if you’re in North America you’re in Canada (not true–you could be in Minnesota):

NA –> C (FALSE!)

The other is that if you’re not in Canada then you’re not in North America (now you’re in Mexico–Minnesota was too cold):

~C –> ~NA (FALSE!)

The one inference we can make from that first statement is that if you’re not in North America, you’re not in Canada:

~NA –> ~C (TRUE.)

How might “omigosh-I-must-only-have-crushes-on-horrible-humans-since-I-find-one-decent-human-boring” fit this model?

Pause here to think about this on your own. When you’re ready read on. (It’s more useful to practice yourself than to go straight into reading the answer.)

Ready? Okay.

While it’s true that if you aren’t interested in nice people, you won’t be interested in this nice person:

~Nice People –> ~This Nice Person

… the omigosh statement would be broken down as:

~This Nice Person –> ~Nice People

How do these compare? It’s the same as flipping Canada and North America and saying that if you’re in North America you’re in Canada. It’s false.

There are many nice fish in the sea, and not liking one of them doesn’t mean you don’t like all of them.

Note: this particular pep talk may draw yawns, eye rolls, or expressions of concern (“Jim, please stop studying for the LSAT, you’re not behaving normally”), but it’s true nonetheless. And your more logic-minded friends may appreciate it.

Law School Applications Down A Staggering 38% from 2010


There’s not much left to be reported on the “law school applicants are on the decline” story line that hasn’t been said again and again. However coming across an article on Above The Law today, I read something that once again took me by surprise: law school applications are down 38% from where they were in 2010.

38% !!

While we’ve covered the decline in LSAT takers in the past, I (perhaps naively) never thought that the number of applicants would fall by 38% over the course of two short years. Elie Mystal’s take on why this is and the consequences of these numbers for some law schools is a worthy read if you’re interested in this new data.

Friday Links: Tips to Save Money, The LSAT Requirement, Legal Career Tips and More!


Happy FridayHappy Friday everyone! Here’s a roundup of our favorite law school and legal-related articles from the week:

Top 10 Ways to Save Money When You’re a Law Student (The Law Street Journal)

There is no getting around the fact that law school is expensive. Here are a few easy things you can do to help you save money while earning your J.D.

The Short On Long-Term Planning: Be Nice to Everyone All the Time (jdMission)

Here’s a friendly reminder from our friends at jdMission to always remember your manners when speaking with people at the law school admissions office.

ABA Committee Recommends Keeping LSAT Requirement (ABA Journal)

ABA Journal reports that the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar’s Standards Review Committee voted to recommend keeping the LSAT requirement.

Ms. JD’s Pre-Law Prep Guide: Get the Scoop: Going Directly to the Source (Ms. JD)

Trying to figure out if law is the right path for you? This post from Ms. JD explains why it’s important to speak with professionals in the field to help you make your decision.

Ten Tips to Thrive in Your Legal Career (The Girl’s Guide to Law School)

Earning a high score on the LSAT and getting into a top law school may be your main priority right now but keep these useful tips in mind for when it comes time to enter into the legal profession.

Don’t see your favorite article here? Let us know what you read this week in the comments or tweet @manhattanLSAT.



Perhaps if he were a Reading Comp answer choice....

A couple of years ago, Lori Gottlieb’s MARRY HIM! The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough (like the accompanying essay she’d written for the Atlantic several years before) ruffled feathers. Everyone I knew seemed to have a strong reaction to the idea, even if they didn’t actually read the book. Settle! Don’t settle! Maybe settle! Don’t settle now but settle later!

The concept of settling implies that you’re picking a person who isn’t your ideal. You’re willing to compromise because maybe you’re just too dang picky. (I recall telling one friend who’d just gotten engaged and was on the Gottlieb side of the debate that she might want to avoid the actual term “settling” around her fiance. Call me crazy.)

It’s a controversial concept.

It’s not, however, so controversial when it comes to reading comp. In fact, it’s a useful way of thinking about reading comp. At Manhattan LSAT, we teach that you should “work wrong to right”–eliminate wrong answer choices in order to get to the right one (as opposed to searching for the right answer). “Not you. Not you. Not you. Not you. Okay, you’re fine.” You’re the best of the bunch, (E), even though your breath is bad and you should really pluck your eyebrows, at least your left one.

Settle for right answers in Reading Comp. Don’t reach for your ideal. It’s already had an affair with Angelina Jolie and adopted a seventeenth kid.

Manhattan LSAT Social Venture Scholars Program


Manhattan Prep is offering special full tuition scholarships for up to 4 individuals per year (1 per quarter) who will be selected as part of Manhattan Prep’s LSAT Social Venture Scholars program. This program provides the selected scholars with free admission into one of Manhattan Prep’s LSAT live online Complete Courses (an $890 value).

These competitive scholarships are offered to individuals who (1) currently work full-time in an organization that promotes positive social change, (2) plan to use their law degree to work in a public, not-for-profit, or other venture with a social-change oriented mission, and (3) demonstrate clear financial need. The Social Venture Scholars can enroll in any live online preparation course taught by one of Manhattan Prep’s expert instructors within one year of winning the scholarship.

Details about the SVS program and how you can apply can be found here.

Free LSAT Events This Week: Jan 21 – Jan 27


free greHere are the free LSAT events we’re holding this week. All times local unless otherwise specified.

01/26/13 – Washington D.C. – Free Proctored LSAT Practice Exam– 9:30AM- 1:30PM

01/26/13 – San Diego, CA- Free Proctored LSAT Practice Exam – 9:30AM- 1:30PM

01/26/13 – Santa Monica, CA- Free Proctored LSAT Practice Exam – 6:00PM- 10:00PM

01/26/13 – Irvine, CA- Free Proctored LSAT Practice Exam – 9:30AM- 1:30PM


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

Friday Links: Sharpening Your Legal Skills, Personal Statements, Law School News and More!


LSAT ExtraHappy Friday all! Here are some of our favorite law school and legal-related articles from the week:

Law School Students Increase Legal Skills with Professor Interactions (JD Journal)

A new survey reveals that interacting with professors and peers in law school has a wealth of benefits—better critical and analytical thinking and improved writing and research skills, just to name a few.

The “Collaboration Generation” and the Legal Profession (My Case)

My Case speculates on how the current generation’s knowledge of digital platforms will influence the legal profession and business at large.

Ms. JD’s Pre-Law Prep Guide: So You Want to Go to Law School; What Law & Order Doesn’t Tell You (Ms. JD)

Two Assistant Directors of Admission at Michigan State University College of Law take a look at the differences between the mediated lawyer and the real-world lawyer.
Read more

LOGICAL REASONING: Correlation Does Not Equal Causation


If you’ve been studying for the LSAT for very long, you’ve encountered the old correlation-causation issue: just because two things are correlated (say, use of umbrellas and rain) doesn’t mean one is causing the other (the umbrella is causing the rain?). Correlation simply means that as one “thing” changes, so does another “thing”.  I stumbled on a TED talk this week that I think presents the issue in clear (and meaningful–to your health) terms. It’s also an interesting lesson in medical research and reporting. If you have a few minutes, give it a watch.

Friday Links: College Grades, Reading, Advice for Law Students and More!


LSAT NewsHappy New Year and Happy Friday! Check out some of the top law school related articles so far from 2013:

While You Wait to Hear Back From Law Schools (Law School Podcaster)

Patience is key if you’re waiting to hear from law school admissions committees. Once you’ve confirmed that all of your selected schools received your application, take a look at this list of tips for what to do while you wait for the verdict.

What Do College Grades Tell Law School Admissions Officers (Legal Skills Prof Blog)

Interested in how law school admissions committees see your undergraduate report card? Here’s some insight from Legal Skills Prof Blog.

What I Wish I Knew In Law School (Canadian Lawyer Mag)

A recent law school grad offers some valuable advice to current and prospective students.
Read more

New Year, New LSAT, New Review Workshop

Manhattan LSAT Geek Lair

An overhead shot of the Manhattan LSAT Geek Lair

Deep within the Manhattan LSAT Geek Lair (a real place, by the way, located somewhere in the mountains of Colorado), a team of master LSAT teachers

has dissecting and deconstructing the December 2012 LSAT. While it was Socrates who said “the only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing”, we’re never going to stop in our relentless mission to fill the world with all of the geeky truisms of being a top scorer the LSAT.

Join us tomorrow evening, January 8th, at 8pm EST for a free live online review of the December 2012 LSAT. Manhattan Prep’s executive director of academics Noah Teitelbaum will be joined by curriculum developer Dmitry Farber  to break down the exam’s more difficult questions, as well as to address that age old question of whether or not to retake.