Last week I headed to Costa Rica to learn how to surf. It was my first time surfing. Not to brag, but on my first day my instructor told me I was very good. I then tried jokingly asking if I was the best student he ever had and he answered quite seriously, “No.”
“Very good” as in I was standing on the board and riding small waves (want proof? That’s a photo of me from last week). But my second and third days were less successful–early on day two, I lost some of the confidence my instructor’s compliment had instilled. Once I’d fallen two or three times, I became convinced I hadn’t in fact learned how to get up on the board and stay there.
After two afternoons of swallowing gallons of sea water, annoyed at myself for losing my game, I listened to my instructor’s advice: I needed to trust myself. I’d become convinced I was going to fall and so I would.
This lesson applies to the LSAT. I sometimes ask students to imagine themselves scoring 170 (or 175, or 180… whatever the target score). What does it feel like? How did they do it? Believing in oneself isn’t just about hoping that it’ll happen–it’s about trusting that you’re actually capable of getting what you want, and a way to do that is to picture yourself having already done or doing it.
If you’re convinced you’re not going to do well, chances are you won’t. But if you become convinced that you are, you might. Obviously acquiring the skills and knowledge to accomplish certain tasks is also critical–but alone it’s unlikely to be sufficient if you don’t actually see yourself as capable of reaching your goal.
Try this: imagine you just scored your goal on the LSAT–the official one. Write down how it feels. Write down how you did it. Start with, “I’m so thrilled that…” If you want to be super cheesy, hang it on your mirror (next to your “You are beautiful” mantra). What’s to lose?
Six Big Myths About Lawyers (The Careerist)
Senior lecturing fellow at Duke Law School conducted interviews, surveys, and coaching engagements with over 1,000 lawyers and law students to debunk six popular myths about lawyers.
Is Lawyering the Right Path for You? (The Girl’s Guide To Law School)
This week, career expert Lainee Beigel spoke with The Girl’s Guide To Law School to offer some helpful career guidance to both current and prospective law students.
Assistant Directors of Admission at Michigan State University College of Law and recent graduates of the Law College share advice on how to prepare for the law school application process.
Have you ever given birth to a baby? I have. And I did it along with some fellow LSAT geeks here at Manhattan LSAT. We are very proud to bring the world LSAT Interact! What the heck is LSAT Interact? In short, it’s a self-study course built on interactive videos (click on answer (D) and you go here, click on answer (B) and you go somewhere else). We are so incredibly excited for this to be done. But let me take you on a short trip down a timeline of how this all went down:
Here are the free LSAT events we’re holding this week. All times local unless otherwise specified.
02/20/13 – Boston, MA – Free Trial Class– 6:30PM- 9:30PM
01/26/13 – Washington D.C.- Free Trial Class – 10:00AM- 1:00PM
Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listings Page
We hope everyone is recovering from the February LSAT! Have a relaxing weekend with some of the leading law school articles from the week:
A Law School Dean Reflects on Law Firm Practice (Huff Post College)
Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law reflects on his time in private practice and shares what he thinks are the characteristics of good lawyers.
Planning to attend law school in the future? Ms. JD has a comprehensive, ten-step checklist to help make sure your applications are finished in time.
Are you interested in election law? PrawfsBlog shares some details about the profession and takes a look at the recent creation of a Presidential Commission on Election Administration.
Happy Friday and good luck to everyone taking the February LSAT tomorrow! Here’s our weekly roundup of law school news and advice:
Law School News—Optimistic and Smug (The Careerist)
Vivia Chen from The Careerist shares some optimistic thoughts on why it’s still a good idea to pursue a J.D. She also discusses how the crop of new law schools is booming.
One Flew Over the Law School: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies (The Girl’s Guide to Law School)
This week The Girl’s Guide to Law School shared a guest post from a 3L, who offers some invaluable tips for being successful and staying sane in law school.
Law Schools Changing with the Economy (The Post and Courier)
The decline in applicants has forced some law schools to make some changes. Catch up with the latest news on how law schools will be spending their money.
How to Improve Your Grades at Law School (Law Actually)
Whether you’re already in law school or planning to attend in the future, this post from Law Actually is great for anyone looking for some advice on how to earn high marks.
There are Not Too Many Lawyers (Huffington Post College)
Huffington Post’s Will Foster squashes the claim that there are currently too many lawyers. Foster particularly discusses the value of lawyers and their exceptional problem solving abilities.
Did we miss your favorite story from the week? Let us know what you’ve been reading in the comments or tweet @manhattanlsat
If you are registered to sit for the exam this Saturday in an area that is likely to get pounded by snow, please resist the urge to freak out. Instead, you should keep yourself on high alert and know how to get the most up to date, accurate information as it is possible that your exam may be postponed.
Here are the best places to watch for updates:
- www.LSAC.org, of course.
- @Offical_LSAT (LSAC’s official twitter handle)
- Your email inbox; affected students will receive an email in the event that their testing location is closed.
So what happens if your exam center is indeed closed due to inclement weather? You’re asked to sit tight while LSAC organizes make up exams. Make up exams typically happen 1-3 weeks after the original exam date, and you’re given a few options for how to proceed based on whether or not you’re available to take the exam at the time of the makeup. If you do sit for one of these makeup exams, LSAC will attach a note to your score report explaining to schools why it was late being delivered.
Should you be unable to attend the make up exam, LSAC has historically offered full refunds or the option to take a future LSAT at no additional cost.
If your exam is postponed and you’re able to take the make up, be sure to stay sharp during the interval by reviewing recent PrepTests and replaying some of the harder games.
UPDATE from LSAC: As of 2:35 PM (EST), LSAC confirmed that the following February 2013 LSAT test centers will be closed tomorrow, Saturday, February 9, 2013. Registered test takers will receive information next week regarding make up test dates.
- Bridgeport—University of Bridgeport, 3017
- Fairfield—Fairfield University, 3001
- Middletown—Wesleyan University, 3002
- New Britain—Charter Oak State College, 3016
- New Haven—Yale University, 3003
- West Hartford—University of Hartford, 3009
- Brunswick—Bowdoin College, 4280
- Orono—University of Maine, 4282
- Portland—University of Southern Maine, 4290
- Waterville—Colby College, 4284
- Amherst—Amherst College, 2650
- Bedford—Middlesex Community College, 2663
- Boston—Boston University, 2651
- Boston—Northeastern University, 2656
- Boston—Suffolk University, 2676
- Boston—Suffolk University Law School, 2674
- Bridgewater—Bridgewater State University, 2667
- Holyoke—Holyoke Community College, 2678
- Newton—Boston College Law School, 2652
- North Dartmouth—University of Massachusetts School of Law, 2664
- Salem—Salem State University, 2653
- South Hadley—Mount Holyoke College, 2670
- Springfield—American International College, 2680
- Springfield—Western New England University School of Law, 2671
- Waltham—Brandeis University, 2672
- Durham—University of New Hampshire, 4001
- Plymouth—Plymouth State University, 4003
- Lincroft—Brookdale Community College, 1039
- Newark—Rutgers University – Newark, 1001
- New Brunswick—Rutgers the State University, 1004
- South Orange—Seton Hall University, 1003
- Upper Montclair—Montclair State University, 1011
- Wayne—William Paterson University, 1032
- Albany—Albany Law School, 3150
- Albany—SUNY – Albany, 3167
- Brentwood—Long Island University-Brentwood, 3599
- Brooklyn—South Shore High School, 3617
- Brookville—CW Post – Long Island University, 3170
- Hempstead—Hofstra University, 3157
- Jamaica—St. Johns University, 3605
- Long Island City—CUNY School of Law, 3621
- New Paltz—SUNY-New Paltz, 3175
- New York City—Fordham University, 3632
- Pleasantville—Pace University/Pleasantville, 3174
- Poughkeepsie—Marist College, 3180
- Staten Island—Wagner College, 3633
- Center Valley—Penn State University-Lehigh Valley, 2031
- Philadelphia—LaSalle University, 2506
- Kingston—University of Rhode Island, 2551
- Providence—Brown University, 2552
- Providence—Rhode Island College, 2561
- Antigonish—St. Francis Xavier University, 0906
- Halifax—Dalhousie University, 0950
- Sydney—Cape Breton University, 0935
Prince Edward Island
- Charlottetown—University of Prince Edward Island, 0926
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet’s recent gun control rant in Newsweek drew ample criticism for making no sense whatsoever, disappointing some (including me) who like his plays. It’s an illogical essay–not illogical by nerdy LSAT standards, but nonsensical by pretty much everyone’s real world standards, regardless of your views on gun control. (Read his paragraph on arming criminals so they’ll accidentally shoot themselves–then read it again, and again.) So it’s not really fair that I’m about to shred his logic–in the sense that it’s kicking a guy when he’s down, or a sick puppy. But as it’s a puppy with several Tony and Oscar nominations who is apparently packing heat, I think he’s fine.
Find the flaws in these arguments of Mamet’s.
1. “As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator.”
Core: One size fits all → Lowest possible denominator
Flaw: This argument expects we have any idea what a “one size fits all” rule is and what a “lowest common denominator” person is, but as we do in logical reasoning, let’s accept these terms on their face. What’s being assumed?
The gap that jumps out to me is the assumption that something made to fit everyone is going to be something tailored to the person at the extreme end. But think about what “one size fits all” actually means–not XXXXL, because that’s not “fitting.” Those OSFA tags you only see, in fact, on average sizes. Think about trying on a hat in a store, or a pair of gloves, or a t-shirt. It’s not a great fit for most of us. It’s not a horrible fit for most of us. It’s designed to fit the average person. If “one size fits all” actually meant the smallest person or largest person, it would in fact fit very few of us.
2. “Violence by firearms is most prevalent in big cities with the strictest gun laws. Cities of similar size in Texas, Florida, Arizona, and elsewhere, which leave the citizen the right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed in the Constitution, typically are much safer. More legal guns equal less crime.”
Core: Cities with stricter laws have more violence + cities with less stringent laws have less → More legal guns equals less crime
Flaw: Makin’ it easy for us, Mamet! Just because everyone with big feet is smarter than everyone with little feet doesn’t mean that big feet make you smarter. It means we’re adults and educated; five-year-olds are still eating glue and pooping in their pants. In this particular argument of Mamet’s (which may also be flawed empirically, but again we’re concerned with his logic), reverse causation could very well be in play. Maybe the cities with more violence have stricter laws because they are more violent and need them?
3. “Will increased cosmetic measures make anyone safer? They, like all efforts at disarmament, will put the citizenry more at risk. Disarmament rests on the assumption that all people are good and basically want the same things.”
Core: Disarmament rests on the assumption that people are good and basically want the same things → Increased gun control will increase risk
Flaw: This argument assumes that if people are not good or don’t basically want the same things, increased gun control will increase danger.
However, say we aren’t good and don’t want the same things (I certainly don’t want to shoot innocent people, but others apparently do), and a particular “effort at disarmament” makes it hard enough for the “bad” people to arm themselves such that it leads to less total gun violence? Mamet would say this is impossible, but that’s a convenient (and necessary) assumption.
In conclusion, the man probably shouldn’t teach the LSAT. I’d say he won’t ever have to, but you never know.
Still trying to decide whether to attend law school? This week Ms. JD asks some thought-provoking questions to help you determine if law is the right path for you.
Law School Applications Crater (Above the Law)
The top news in the law school world this week is how applications are down 38% from 2010. Above the Law’s Elie Mystal has an interesting analysis on the matter.
Law Students Should Hang Out With Judges (Lawyerist)
Ever consider shadowing a trial court judge? Lawyerist explains why they will help you see how the law really works.