Articles published in May 2013

Friday Links: Legal Books, Law Students Working for Free, & More!


newsThe June LSAT is just over one week away! Take a quick study break to catch up on some of this week’s top law school links:

The Mental Fortitude Necessary to Practice Law (Lawyerist)

Being a lawyer takes thick skin. That’s because your job, in serving your client, is to tune out the bluster, stay cool, and make good decisions under fire.

Should You Drop Out of Law School (The Girl’s Guide to Law School)

As the school year winds down, a whispered question is floating in on the wind: “Should I drop out of law school?”

New Lawyer Tip of the Week—How Books Can Inspire & Improve your Legal Career (Green Horn Legal)

This list of legal books can inspire you, re-energize you and deliver to you a few wise lessons that you can use to improve your career.

Law Students Should Be Able to Work For Free, Says ABA (Wall Street Journal Law Blog)

The ABA is stepping into the fray over whether law firms should have to pay law students to help out on pro bono cases.

Toobin: The Legal Job Crisis Doesn’t Exist For Harvard Law Grads (Business Insider)

Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin spoke at Harvard Law’s “Class Day” on Wednesday, telling grads not to worry about the “oversupply of lawyers” that’s been in the news.

Did we miss your favorite article from the week? Let us know what you have been reading in the comments or tweet @ManhattanLSAT

For It to Take You Seriously, You Need to Take It Seriously

Blue Pill

There's no magic LSAT pill, just hard work and dedication

Here’s a beautiful fantasy: you walk into your first LSAT class, and you’re given a set of books full of LSAT secrets. Over the next six to twelve weeks, you memorize these little treasures, which are like decadent bite-size morsels, and you leave your last class knowing exactly what you need to regurgitate in order to score a 180. It was merely a matter of getting down all the tricks! You scribbled them in your notebook, took a snapshot with your brain, and that’s all there was to it.

If only.

When you take a Manhattan LSAT course, at some point your instructor will likely deliver the bad news that this fantasy is just that. There isn’t a magic pill to make you do well on this test–but there are certainly things you can do in order to perform better, and when you get to a certain level, it’s no longer about memorization.

If I memorized all the rules of good writing–be specific! have vivid characters! create conflict!–does that mean that if I just sit down and apply all of those rules, I’m going to write a great story? A story that’s in the top 1% of all stories?

No. If I actually apply everything I’ve learned, and if it’s good information, then I’ll probably write a pretty decent story–a better one than I’d written before. But in order to move from decent to outstanding, I’ve got to have something else: flexibility. I’ve got to be able to know where the rules stop and my own sense of the story’s logic takes over, because there is no perfect formula that applies to every tale ever written or to be written.

The same is true of the LSAT. If you work hard to learn rules and apply them, your score will likely go up. It may go up a lot. You may score a 165 or a 168. But people who score 175 are not just applying rules; they know how to think on their feet to interpret unfamiliar questions, and to come up with variations on the principles they understand well.

The beauty of the LSAT is that it’s a logic test, and logic can be learned. But logic is also not something you can fool your way through for four 35-minute sections. To score in the 99th percentile, you should absolutely study methods, general rules, and tips. These will get you far. But  to reach those extra few points, you are going to have to work at making yourself better at logical thinking. And there’s no shortcut for that.

Coming Soon: True Stories About Law Told Live


“In prison, time crawls on hands and knees in what feels like a dead world.” –Fernando Bermudez

In 1992, Fernando Bermudez was convicted of murder. He spent 18 years in prison before his conviction was overturned in 2009 by State Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo on the grounds that he’d “demonstrated his actual innocence.” Judge Cataldo continued, “This court wishes to express its profound regret over the past 18 years. I hope for you a better future.”

As a member of the team that produces Life of the Law‘s podcast and blog, I have had the privilege of hearing Fernando’s story firsthand. On May 3, at WNYC’s The Greene Space, you’re invited to hear it, too (for free!).

LIVE LAW: Stories from the Legal Edge is produced by Life of the Law and will feature true stories told live by Fernando and others, including The Lady Aye, a sword swallower (for real); Steve Zimmer, former kid; Gretchen Greene, a lawyer-turned sculptor; and Yannick Morgan, a semi-narcoleptic attorney. Drinks will be sold to buy and to drink.

I am posting about it here not just because I’m directing the show, but because I am so excited about it and know that many of you might be interested in coming for the same reasons you’re interested in law. I hope if you do, you’ll introduced yourself (or say hello). Seats are free but going quickly; make a reservation here. I hope to see you there!


The Greene Space
44 Charlton Street (on the corner of Varick)
New York, NY 10013

May 31, 2013

7pm-8:15pm (doors open at 6:30)
Free admission
Beer, wine and light refreshments for sale

Friday Links: Law School Rankings, Internships, and More!


iStock_000010849371XSmallThe June 2013 LSAT is quickly approaching! When you need a break from studying, check out some of our favorite links from the past week:

Build Your Own Law School Rankings (Lawyerist)

If you just want to know which law school will do the best job preparing you to go solo or work at a small or medium-sized firm, try this new ranking tool.

Firms Want Lawyers with Emotional Intelligence –Huh? (The Careerist)

Partners often say that hiring those with emotional intelligence—that is, people with interpersonal skills—is a priority.
Read more

My LSAT Memoirs in Six (Times Nine) Words


hemingwayHeard of the six-word story? It’s a Thing now, thanks to ol’ Hemingway and his classic, six-word tale, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” There’s even a sub-genre of the six-word story–the six-word memoir. When you finish those (and you should–they’re fascinating), buy the other book of them.

Three of my favorites:

It’s pretty high. You go first.

Wasn’t noticed so I painted trains.

It was worth it, I think.

You may recall the LSAT haiku I birthed into the world on this very blog last year at this time. Today, I share my own six-word LSAT memoirs, all  based on my real test-day experience.

Nine Six-word LSAT Memoirs By Me

Bike, watch, map. Pencils in baggie.

Ma’am this map is not allowed.

Hide prohibited bike map in bush.

Anxious neighbor claims I stole pencils.

I did not steal anyone’s pencils.

Anxious neighbor finds pencils in pocket.

Experimental’s logic games! God does exist!

Having to pee’s in the mind.

Five sections. One essay. Two margaritas!


What’s yours?



Friday Links: Law School Rankings, Interviewing Tips, & More!


LSAT Glasses

Just one month until the June 2013 LSAT! When you need a break from studying, check out a handful of our favorite law school related articles from the week:

The Biggest Problem in Legal Education: The Mismatch Between How Law Schools Teach Their Students and What Lawyers Do in Practice (Legal Skills Prof Blog)

Many wonder whether the current legal education system is adequate for the future lawyers of American, or do law schools need to take a different approach to legal education?

The Best Online Law Schools: JD and LLM Programs (Above the Law)

Set on getting an online law degree? Above the Law picks a couple of the best.

The Best Law Schools in the World (Above the Law)

Can’t get enough rankings? Neither can we! Here’s the best law schools in the world.
Read more

FREE LSAT Arcade App May 10 – May 16



512-icon_frankThe June 2013 LSAT is just one short month away.

Breath. Breath. Breath.

To kick off the one month countdown and help ease the anxiety, we’re going to make the full version of our LSAT Arcade App FREE for one week. Beginning today, May 10th through Thursday, May 16th, you can download the arcade to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad free of charge. Using thousands of questions, the eight different mini games will stretch your ability to make inferences, draw diagrams, analyze arguments, and understand conditional statements. The four unlocked games are adaptive, delivering harder or easier questions depending on your performance and scores are based on number of questions correct.

Whether you’re looking for a fun way to change up your prep routine in time for the June LSAT or you’re just beginning to study, don’t miss out on this special opportunity. Working from the computer? Don’t forget that you can also play our Free Online LSAT Arcade via our website. The app will resume full price May 17th, so use this week as a time to stop studying and start playing!

Breaking News on the LSAT: It Isn’t Going Anywhere


No need to rush, the LSAT is here to stay

When I was 22, I started studying for the LSAT in August and planned to take it in December. I’d just moved to New York after graduating from college, and I was working a few jobs to cover my bills: being a production assistant at a theater during the day, bar tending at night, and grading papers for a professor during my off time. On the weekends, I’d huddle in the corner of the 1.5 bedroom (1BR with wide hallway) I shared with two other people and try to learn logic games. I did my best to focus under these less than ideal circumstances, and gradually but steadily, found my practice test scores going up.

Then, in November, just a few weeks before the exam, my long-distance boyfriend broke up with me. When I called my mom crushed, our conversation turned to the test. AND HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CONCENTRATE WHEN I’M SUCH A MESS?! I wailed, to which she replied, as if it took no thought at all: don’t. Postpone it.

At the time, this sounded like the dumbest thing anyone had ever said. Postpone it? I’d been studying for (two) MONTHS! I’d sacrificed nights out for this dumb test. I’d spent my half-hour lunch breaks smushed in a dingy dressing room on 42nd street trying to put M, G, L, and F in order as fast as I could before resuming work, i.e. delivering small paper cups of water to attention-obsessed actors. The truth was, I wanted to be done with the friggin LSAT. I told her this.
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Free LSAT Events This Week: May 5 – May 11


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

5/5/13 – Online- Zen and the Art of LSAT with Brian Birdwell– 8:30PM- 10:30PM (EDT)

5/11/13 – Austin, TX- Free Proctored LSAT Practice Exam– 9:30AM- 1:30PM

5/11/13 -La Jolla, CA- Free Proctored LSAT Practice Exam– 9:30PM- 1:30PM

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

Friday Links: Top Paying Legal Jobs, Life Hacks for Finals Season and More!


Finals coming up? Take a break with some light(er) reading

Happy Friday everyone! Here’s our roundup of news articles and helpful law school tips from the week:

Can’t Keep Up? 10 Easy Life Hacks That Will Save You Time During Finals Season (Ms. JD)

Here are 10 simple life hacks that will save you time during finals season and give you more freedom to focus on studying during the final stretch.

5 Ways New Attorneys Can Add Value (Lawyerist)

Working in a legal setting this coming summer? Here are five great ways to add value as a new lawyer and get the most out of your job.

Top 3 High Paying Legal Careers (The Law Street Journal)

From lowest to highest, this list takes a look at some of the highest paying legal professions and outlines what they entail.
Read more