Can I Master the LSAT by Studying Only the Hardest Questions?

questions-1151886If you’ve decided to take the LSAT, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about the perfect study plan. Everyone has limited time and resources, and creating the optimal strategy under these constraints is crucial. Students often ask whether studying only the hardest LSAT questions is a good idea. I’d actually recommend the exact opposite approach: a study plan with an emphasis on easier questions is the way to go. In theory, studying only the hardest questions makes sense. Maybe, if you can crack the hardest questions, the easier questions will be simple in comparison. You’ll then have a good understanding of the entire test, thereby quickly and efficiently mastering the LSAT.

The problem is that while the hardest LSAT questions are a great test of your skills, they make very poor study tools because they’re harder to learn from. Harder questions repeat the same principles and patterns as easier questions, but are designed to be more obtuse, and the patterns are harder to discern. By studying the easier questions, where logical flaws, game rules and reading passage content are more straightforward, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the LSAT make-up. Your mastery of the easier questions more readily boost your pattern rendition, helping you dodge through the tricks, traps, and general obfuscation of the harder questions to get to the right answer. The easier questions will help you master the harder ones, not the other way around.

Studying easier questions is also more rewarding. You’re more likely to understand these questions and get them right. Studying for the LSAT is an incredible feat in self-motivation, and nothing fuels that motivation better than a series of checkmarks. Heck, you don’t even need to answer all the questions on the LSAT to get an awesome score. Start with the easier questions, and work your way up. If you start with the hardest questions, you’re more likely to get discouraged or burn yourself out. You don’t need to make studying for the LSAT any harder than it already is.

So that’s why I recommend that students emphasize studying LSAT easier questions. I think this strategy applies no matter what your diagnostic score. I scored a 179 on the LSAT and there are still some logical reasoning questions I’m not 100% sure about. It’s my rock solid knowledge of the easier questions that allows me to A: get through a section quickly and confidently and B: deconstruct the harder questions, and get the right answers. If I had skipped the easier questions in my studying, I wouldn’t have built the foundation of my LSAT abilities.

There’s an analogy Nathan likes to use for this situation: Playing one-on-one hoops with LeBron James might seem like a good way to learn basketball. But if he never let you get a shot-off and just dunked in your face 10 times in a row, would you really be learning? The LSAT questions are not your friends, and the hard ones are never going to go easy on you. LeBron James wouldn’t either. So, instead of learning how to play, you’d probably just leave the court forever, plagued by a feeling of total failure. Don’t let this happen to you with the LSAT. Everyone can learn better by playing in their own league.

I’m more of a dork than Nathan, and don’t know much about sports. The question of whether or not to study only the hardest questions reminds me of math class. There’s a reason our teachers always assigned us questions that ranged from the easiest to the hardest. Mastering easier math questions helps you answer harder questions. The patterns you ingrain into your thought process by successful answering the easier questions helps you deconstruct more abstract problems. You really shouldn’t be doing advanced linear algebra without learning basic matrix arithmetic, just like you shouldn’t be doing questions 11-25 in a logical reasoning section without understanding the difference between the necessary and the sufficient.

So do yourself a favor when studying the LSAT and focus on the easier problems. Not only will it be more rewarding, it’ll also give you a much better understanding of the LSAT as a whole. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, a mastery of the easier LSAT questions will eventually make even hardest questions seem simple.

Learn more about private LSAT tutoring with me!

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Love is Hate, War is Peace, Boring Law Jobs Are Sexy (and Vice Versa): Beware Your Crush on a Sexy Job

sand-heart-1404218This post is part one of a three-part series of guest posts by Larry Law Law, an adviser and tutor to law students who want to get top grades in law school. Larry has worked and interviewed for a wide variety of attorney jobs since graduating from NYU Law School in 2003.  After watching my video on whether to go to law school, Larry asked to write more on helping you find the right legal job for you. Welcome, Larry! I hate rom-coms.

(They usually suck as romances and comedies.)

Even still, rom-com tropes can save your life.

Rom-com tropes can help you avoid what may be a terrible job for you, and help you discover one that may be perfect.

But, stepping back a second, why am I talking about romance at all?

Blame Nathan. His video on whether to go to law school (and how to choose a career) made me think.  In short, the idea is that you should choose a job (1) that you love (what I’ll call “love”), (2) that pays you (“money”), (3) that you’re good at (“mastery”).

That’s it, the career trifecta. Triad. Threesome. You get it.

So, if you find a job at the Venn diagram intersection of love, money and mastery, it’s a green light: do that.

But what if you don’t find that trifecta?

Nathan covers that, too.  Not all of us magically find that perfect job.  Sometimes our options involve areas in the Venn diagram where just two circles overlap.

●    The “love + money” job:  You love it and get paid, but you’re not good yet.  There is hope, here because probably, you can get good at the job.

●    The “love + mastery” job:  You love it and are good at it, but there’s no money.  A bit less hope of pursuing this as a career.  Maybe if you have money already you can do this job.  Or you do this kind of work part-time, as the pro bono part of your practice.

●    The “money + mastery” job:  You get paid and are good your job, but you don’t love it.  Not much hope, here:  Nathan, rightly I think, says it is very, very hard to make yourself love something that you don’t.

No easy answers here, but this framework helps clarify your thinking.  (You still have to rumble with all this, as Brene Brown would put it.)

So that’s all I want to do -- add more frameworks to make easier your hard job of thinking about your future career.

Thus, rom-coms.

Many rom-coms involve love triangles, two people vying for the heart of our hero/heroine.  One is the wrong choice and one is the right choice.  And this is done in stupid, exaggerated fashion.

But these two ideas – one a pitfall, the other an opportunity -- can help you think through the “love” part of Nathan’s legal job equation:  The Crush and the Hottie-in-Disguise.

●    With The Crush, rom-coms teach us that you beware the job you are so desperate to have:  The object of your affection can be your downfall.

●    With the Hottie-in-Disguise, rom-coms teach us that love sneaks up on you, and to be open to looking for jobs that may seem boring at first but might be perfect for you.

* * *

Before turning to rom coms and legal jobs, you might be asking, who the hell am I?  Why listen to me?

I am Larry Law Law.  I teach 0Ls and 1Ls how to Kick the Crap Out Of Law School (that is the real name of my course on teaching students to excel in law school).  I blog on law school and legal careers, for myself and at Above the Law and elsewhere.

More relevant to you, I spent 13 years in various legal jobs, falling in and out of career love.  I was a district court law clerk, international human rights adviser, court of appeals law clerk, Biglaw litigation associate, and boutique associate.  Now I’m a government lawyer (you’ll have to guess where).

During these 13 years, I also I interviewed (unsuccessfully) to be a law professor, plaintiff-side lawyer, World Bank attorney, in-house lawyer for an energy company, in-house lawyer to a tech company, an enforcement lawyer at FINRA (the securities self-regulatory organization), and a legal writer for Practical Law Company.

I’ve been around.  And my law school friends run the gamut from insane success (political-level appointees, partners in Biglaw) to barely employed doing document review.

So please, hear me now:  I was curious enough to try lots of jobs, and I’ve seen a lot of careers progress.  I don’t know everything, but I’ve seen a lot.

So back to rom-coms.

* * *

The Crush normally appears at the beginning of a movie.  The Crush is an apparently perfect, pants-meltingly hot stranger.  The main character can’t resist The Crush.

Hans in Frozen is a recent, prominent example.  (Older references?  Christian Bale in  American Psycho, the not-Steve-Martin-guy in Roxanne, and probably everyone in the totally confusing and stupid Love, Actually.)

Of course, in the end, The Crush always turns out to be a selfish cad (Hans), psychopathic killer (Christian Bale), sex addict (David Duchovny, actually, apparently), gold digger (Hans again), a Raiders fan . . . you get the idea.

If you knew this in advance, you might have kept The Crush out of your life.

But you didn’t know The Crush was selfish/murderous/horny/greedy/smelly (I am a Raiders fan).

Maybe there were some warning signs.

But you didn’t see them because The Crush was so damned sexy, blood pooled semi-permanently elsewhere in your body, depriving your brain of oxygen.

Your wits left you the moment you needed them the most.

We get, in the romantic context, the idea of The Crush.  It has happened to most of us.  We idealized someone.  We fell in love with the idea of someone, and got hurt by the reality of that someone.

So this happens with jobs as well.

We do this with jobs as well.  I did it, and I watch law students do this, too.

When I ask students I work with what they want to do after law school, it is almost always one of three things:

Corporate/transactional law with various levels of specificity - “I wanna go to Wall Street” to “I want to do private equity law and then become the private equity investor myself!”

Litigation, also with various levels of specificity:  “I want to be a trial lawyer” to “I want to be an appellate litigator who never dirties his hands with actual trials” (good luck with that).

Public interest law, usually involving international human rights (“I want to be/be with Amal Clooney”) or domestic civil rights.

But I often ask students, do you know what a corporate lawyer/litigator/public interest lawyer actually does day to day?  Have you ever spoken to such a lawyer?  Know what they actually do day to day?

The answer is usually no.

No I haven’t talked to a corporate lawyer.  (But I read all about this amazing firm in Vault or Above the Law.)

No, I don’t know what a litigator actually does.  (But I’ve seen “trial work” on TV.)

No, I don’t know what a human rights lawyer does.  (But I read that People write-up of Amal Clooney before the European Court of Human Rights.)

(FYI, I remember Amal from law school, and chatted with her at a group lunch years ago.  She’s the real deal.).

I can almost hear the catch-phrases floating around in the heads of these students:  Front-page deals.  Landmark cases and social change, like Brown v. Board and Prop. 9.  High-stakes, bet-the-company litigation.  Fame and immortality.  Travel to exotic.  Power and influence.  Total world domination.  (The last couple are very SPECTRE, no?)

Sounds great, right?

And different though they are from each other, these three job categories (they aren’t even jobs) have in common that they impress non-lawyers, casual friends or family when we tell them What We Want To Be When We Grow Up.

And this is where danger lies.

As Paul Graham (patron saint of entrepreneurs) put it, “Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you'd like to like.”

This to me is the key.

These students don’t actually know what a corporate lawyer, litigator or public interest lawyer actually do.

So what are they doing?

They (as I did many times) fell in love with the idea of a job, not the the actual job (warts and all) itself.

Indeed, the lack of actual knowledge about these jobs enables students to love the idea of corporate law, litigation or public interest work.

It is very hard to see, sometimes, if you love with the idea of a job instead of loving the job itself.

But if you don’t actually know anything about the job, how can you truthfully say you love the job?

You must be in love with the idea of the job only.

(Just as it is hard to see when you are in love with the idea of a person instead of that person with all of his or her flaws.)

Face it:  You may be in love with the idea of a job.

You have a Dream Job Crush.

This is okay.  Most of us do this.  And maybe it can still work out.

But first, don’t fool yourself (and you are, as Richard Feymann tells us, the easiest person to fool).

And you will fool yourself, telling others that you did tons of research on Above the Law, Vault, etc., and telling me they don’t pull punches, tell the truth, blah blah blah.

Spare me.

Here is a single clarifying question that you should be able to answer if you really know a job:

What are three things you hate about your Dream Job, or three reasons why you might grow to hate your Dream Job?

No?  Nothing?

Sorry, every job has problems.  A job is work, not an unending orgasm in a tub of chocolate.

Find out what the problems with your Dream Job are, and figure out if you can live with them.

And, to be fair, this is not easy work.  And I’ll give you some tips on this below.

It’s nice to feel like you are in love.

But blind love is a huge problem.

I tell you this as someone who was a little bit destroyed by my blind love of Biglaw.

Some days, honestly, I loved the job.  It made me feel important.  I loved how older attorneys were awed when I told them where I worked.  I loved my colleagues (they are friends to this day), and some days I loved the work (they were generous with pro bono).

I loved Biglaw.  It did not love me back.  I had to leave -- I wasn’t suited to the work.  I couldn’t take the constant travel, the long hours, immense pressures, and most of all the intense and crippling humiliation of being screamed at and belittled by the very partner I idolized (the same partner who once mocked my hyperventilating on the phone--itself a response to his screaming).

I had some great moments (a pro bono award, some other cool things), and a lot of terrible ones.

The terrible moments were enough to push me away.

Next time, in Part 2 of 3, I go into the consequences of taking the legal job version of The Crush, and a different way to think about what might be “true love” when it comes to a legal career.

Larry Law Law teaches law students to kick the crap out of law school and writes about law school, legal careers and legal creativity. Visit him here or write him here.

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The LSAT is This Weekend … What Do I Do?

calendarWith only a few days remaining until the December LSAT, I get a lot of panicked questions. Students want to know exactly what they should do -- hour-by-precious-hour -- with the time they have remaining before the big day. Some of them are nicely prepared, and some of them are woefully unprepared. No matter who's asking, my answer is always the same.

First of all, you need to relax!

If you haven't already thoroughly prepared for the LSAT, you're not going to magically get yourself ready in the last five days. No amount of last-minute cramming is going to replace what should have been weeks, if not months, of practice. There's no memorization on the LSAT, which means you simply can't do this by brute force. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Yet, you can still do a few things to ensure that you'll get your (relatively) best score on test day, and giving yourself a last-minute ulcer isn't going to help anything.  Stay with me, because most of the tips below will apply to you.

If you have already thoroughly prepared for the LSAT, then congratulations!  Your months of hard work and practice are about to pay off. You've banged your head against the wall, you've done countless practice tests, you've spent lots of time (and probably money) on your preparation. You've invested wisely in your future. Now is the time to take a deep breath and make sure that your investment pays off on test day. Here are some recommendations:

1) Stop scoring yourself. If you want to do some practice during the week leading up to the test, that's great. But please don't hang on the results of every single practice test. If you obsess about every single score, you're becoming too results-oriented instead of process-oriented. The major risk is if you happen to have a bad day, and then let that bad day get inside your head. The worst-possible scenario I can imagine is someone who takes a full-length practice test on the day before the actual LSAT, scores 10 points lower than their average score, and breaks down sobbing. This is very taxing emotionally, and is the exact opposite of what you should be doing at this point. Do some practice if you want, but don't look at your scores.

2)  Get healthy. You might have been neglecting your physical and mental health over the past few months, juggling work, school, family, and LSAT preparation. Use this week to start to repair all that. As an LSAT teacher, I help people improve their average scores.  But most people still have a plus or minus 5 point range around their average. You need to ensure that you get at least your average score, and hopefully better than average, on test day. The way you do this is: Get some sleep. Get some exercise. Don't drink too much. Eat something healthy. Get some fresh air. See a movie. Relax.

3)  Take care of your loved ones. Buy your mom some flowers. Seriously. Take your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/it's complicated out to dinner. If you've been fighting with your roommate about your dirty bathroom, then just clean the damn thing and be done with it. The last thing you want on test day is a relationship problem hanging over your head. Your friends, family, and other loved ones have probably put up with a lot of shit from you as you've been studying for the LSAT. Don't study so much this week, and use the time instead to make some amends.

4)  Clear some space around the test. Make sure you've got your work or school affairs well in order so that you aren't worried about some last-minute project during the test. Talk to your boss or professor if necessary. Do NOT plan to cook a big dinner with all your friends at your apartment immediately after the test! A former student told me she did this, and during the test she couldn't stop thinking about all the shopping, cleaning, and other preparation she needed to do... big mistake. The test (including registration, etcetera) is a long and arduous process. Plan on getting there early and staying there late.  It'll take longer than you think. Don't make plans that will be spoiled if the test takes all day.

5)  Remove some potential panic-inducers. Print out your admission ticket if you haven't already, and slap it on your fridge. The last thing you want is a morning-of-the-LSAT printer nightmare. Make sure you have your ID photo attached to your ticket. Oops, didn't realize you had to have a special photo? You need to immediately review the list of test-day requirements published by LSAC. If you haven't already gone to your testing site, do so! Figure out where you're going to park, what the traffic will be like, or what the public transportation situation is. I've had students call me, while running across campus on the morning of the test, panicked because they can't find the room. You can avoid this if you do some reconnaissance this week.

6)  Find a caddy, if you can. The LSAC's requirement that you not bring a cellphone to the test site is a real pain in the ass. Transportation can also be a major issue. A friend or family member can be a big help here. See if you can get mom, or a buddy who owes you a favor, to be your chauffeur/caddy on test day. They can drop you off, hold your phone and other stuff for you, bring you a snack at the break, pick you up afterward, and just generally be there for you as moral support. This probably isn't absolutely necessary (I didn't have a caddy on my test day) but it sure wouldn't have hurt.

7)  Redo some easy LSAT questions. Test day is going to be all about confidence, and one thing that can help that is reviewing things you've learned. If you get panicked, or if you just want to build extra confidence, consider redoing some easy Logic Games, or stepping through a couple easy Logical Reasoning questions... maybe a couple Main Conclusion questions would work. The point is to show yourself how easy the test can be. The more you believe this, the more it will be true.

With a few days to go before the test, the substantive work should basically be done. But there's always going to be at least a 10-point swing between your best and worst case scenario. I scored 4 points higher on my real LSAT than on any previous practice test. To give yourself the best chance of a welcome surprise on test day, use your remaining time to get happy, focused, and relaxed. The payoff is just around the corner.

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Fox LSAT Tutoring is Now in Los Angeles

fox lsat tutoringI'm excited to announce I'm now living part time in Los Angeles, and accepting appointments for private LSAT tutoring in Southern California. One-on-one LSAT tutoring lessons are the fastest, most convenient route to a killer score. You can read what my Los Angeles students are staying about Fox LSAT on Yelp. Here's how to book an appointment online for in-person or Skype tutoring sessions.

Additionally, if you attend a Southern California university and would like me to speak to your pre-law student group, send me an email and we'll get something set up!

Learn more about my private tutoring options (Skype or in-person in San Francisco and Los Angeles), and how it can help you conquer the LSAT!

Check Out Fox LSAT on the LSATisfy Blog

studying-2-1475294Have you ever wondered if private tutoring can help you with the LSAT? Samantha is a former Peace Corps worker who is now one of my LSAT students. She wrote about her experience working with me for individual tutoring on her blog, LSATisfy. Here are a few things she said: This afternoon I met with Nathan Fox for private tutoring in San Francisco. I had been a bit nervous, after all, I'm a fan and have listened to all of the Thinking LSAT podcasts. But he was incredibly friendly and casual, and it was the first time in the last 3 months of LSAT-studying-to-the-max, that I had fun with it.

Of course he didn't give me a magic button that I press and BOOM! 180! Which is of course what every person studying for the LSAT would love to have, but he definitely called me out on some of my big flaws that I know I'm guilty of (reading too quickly without enough attention to detail), he simplified a lot of the test for me. Didn't focus so much on strategies but took it back to being more natural, evaluating the arguments with attitude. Goodness knows I have no problem doing that in daily life.

More than anything I feel like I have a game plan, I have a better idea of what productive studying looks like, doing 35 minute timed sections, and not getting burned out. One thing that I really appreciated that he said was it is important not only to practice the logic but to also practice the attitude, so to study when I'm relaxed and want to do it, and not to make it a chore.

Thanks for the nice words, Samantha!

Read the rest of Samantha's post on her LSATisfy blog.

Learn more about my private tutoring options (Skype or in-person in San Francisco and Los Angeles), and how it can help you conquer the LSAT!

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Thou Shalt Pay Attention to the Type of LSAT Question

question-mark-1238622No matter what type of question you're looking at on the LSAT Logical Reasoning section, it's critical that you argue with what you're reading. But that's only half the battle. Once you've argued with the speaker, and made sure you've comprehended what they're saying, it's critical to figure out what kind of question you're dealing with. There's no point in looking at the answers until you know what you're looking for. This Commandment applies to all sections, but particularly to the Logical Reasoning. I'm shocked when a student says, "I didn't pick A because it seemed too strongly worded," on a Sufficient Assumption question. Sufficient Assumption questions love strongly stated answers! Stop being so formulaic, forget everything you learned from whatever gimmicky LSAT book you read before this, and pay attention to what the question is asking. You are smart enough to figure this out. Read every word on the page, figure out what they are asking, and answer the question. If you're not open to the possibility that you're smart enough to do this, then you really shouldn't even attempt it. I believe in you.

Here are examples of what various "question stem" wordings sound like for any given type of question.

FLAW:

-- Which one of the following most accurately describes a way in which the reasoning above is questionable? -- The reasoning in the argument is flawed because the argument -- Which one of the following most accurately describes a flaw in the reasoning above?

WEAKEN:

-- Which of the following, if shown to be a realistic possibility, would undermine the argument? -- Which one of the following, as potential challenges, most seriously calls into question evidence offered in support of the conclusion above? -- Which one of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the support for the arguments conclusion?

STRENGTHEN:

-- Each of the following supports the arguments reasoning EXCEPT: -- Which of the following, if assumed, most helps to justify the reasoning above? -- Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the columnist’s reasoning?

SUFFICIENT ASSUMPTION:

-- Which one of the following, if assumed, would allow the conclusion above to be properly drawn? -- The conclusion drawn follows logically from the premises if which of the following is assumed? -- The conclusion is properly inferred if which one of the following is assumed?

NECESSARY ASSUMPTION:

-- Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends? -- The argument makes which one of the following assumptions -- Which one of the following is an assumption required by the argument?

MUST BE TRUE:

-- Which one of the following must be true if the statements above are correct? -- The above statements, if true, most strongly support which one of the following? -- Which of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?

MAIN CONCLUSION:

-- Which one of the following most accurately expresses the arguments conclusion? -- Of the following, which one most accurately expresses the conclusion drawn above?

AGREE/DISAGREE:

-- “Robert” and “Sarah” have committed to disagreeing on which of the following? -- “Beth’s” and “Carmen’s” statements provide the most support for the claim that they would disagree about whether -- The dialogue most strongly supports the claim that “Chris” and “Joe” disagree about which one of the following?

EXPLANATION:

-- Which one of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the puzzling situation described above? -- Which of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy above? -- Which one of the following, if true, contributes to a resolution of the apparent paradox?

IDENTIFYING A GUIDING PRINCIPLE:

-- Which one of the following principles best justifies the above actions? -- Which one of the following principles is best illustrated by the information above? -- The reasoning above conforms most closely to which one of the following propositions?

APPLYING A PRINCIPLE GIVEN:

-- Which one of the following would be a proper application of the principle stated above? -- Of the following, which one conforms most closely to the principle illustrated by the situation described above? -- Which one of the following best illustrates the proposition above?

COMPLETE THE ARGUMENT:

-- Which one of the following most logically completes the argument? -- The conclusion of the argument above is most strongly supported if which one of the following completes the argument? -- Which one of the following most reasonable completes the argument?

STRATEGY OF ARGUMENTATION:

-- Which one of the following most accurately describes the method of reasoning used in the argument? -- “Which of the following most accurately describes the role played in the Philosopher’s argument by the claim that “…” -- The editorial undermines the conclusion of the causal argument by

MATCHING PATTERN:

-- Which one of the following arguments is most similar to the reasoning in the argument above? -- The reasoning in the argument above is most paralleled by the argument that there is -- In which one of the following is the pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the Doctor’s argument?

MATCHING FLAW:

-- Which one of the following arguments exhibits flawed reasoning most similar to that exhibited by the argument above? -- Which one of the following exhibits both of the logical flaws exhibited in the arguments above? -- The flawed pattern of reasoning in which of the following most closely resembles the flawed pattern of reasoning in the actor’s argument?

This post is excerpted from "Introducing the LSAT” (available on Amazon). Please drop me a line in the comments, or at nathan@foxlsat.com.

Learn more about my LSAT prep class and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

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December LSAT Registration Deadlines

untitled-1398764-mDon’t miss the deadline to register for the December LSAT The deadline to register online, by mail, or by telephone is Friday, October 23 (receipt deadline). The late registration deadline is Tuesday, November 3 (receipt deadline). The online receipt deadline is 11:59 pm Eastern Time (ET).

Don’t wait until the last minute to sign up! But if you do register on the deadline day, make sure you do so during the Law School Admission Council’s (LSAC) business hours.

Visit the LSAC website for more information or to register.

Need help preparing for the December LSAT? Read why Fox LSAT stands out and how it will help you conquer the LSAT.

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Fox LSAT Alumni Spotlight: Felix Hagenimana

thumb_20141020_104726_1024I love hearing what my former LSAT students are doing in law school and beyond. Felix Hagenimana took a LSAT prep class from me and is attending Maine Law. In this post, he answers a few questions about his experience taking the LSAT and shares some advice. When you started prepping for the LSAT, what scared you the most? How did your perceptions about the LSAT change?

The Logical Games scared me the most. But the entire test seemed to be a beast after my first actual LSAT taking. I had always been a good student. I decided to prepare on my own for the test. I read a few books. I overestimated my abilities and rushed to register for the test. Little did I know. Suffice to say, I was stunned when I got my LSAT score back. It was then that I decided to take Nathan’s class. He helped me adopt a totally different attitude towards the test. I stopped approaching the LSAT in a defensive mode, but rather a offensive/attack mode. His approach worked for me and I improved my LSAT score on record by 14 points.

Nathan was always there when I needed help. He offered his help not just for the LSAT prep but rather for the entire process. I was one of the students who took him on his word. He kept his word. He goes above and beyond to help you reach your goals as far as law school admissions goes.

Where did you end up attending? What do you hope to do after graduation?

I applied broadly and was admitted to several law schools, including two T-20 schools. I ended up going to Maine Law as a McKursick Scholar. I loved Maine and the law school community was incredibly welcoming. I hope to practice some sort of public interest law in areas of Refugee and Human Rights Law.

Do you have any tips for current and future LSAT students?

Take advantage of all the help you can get. Nathan is very generous and very knowledgeable. Please take advantage of that if you are taking his class. The LSAT seems to be heavily weighted in the admissions’ process. Please take it seriously. Take a year off-if need be-and make sure you can get the best score that you are capable of. Please apply to many schools if you can afford it. Ask for fee waivers too. Schools seem to give them generously if you ask.

Thanks for sharing what you’re doing, Felix. Good luck!

If you want to talk with Felix about his experience, send him an email at felixrwanda1@yahoo.com.

Learn more about my in-person classes and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

Yelp Review of the Week: The Fox LSAT Prep Class Paid Returns in the Long Run

pencils-1240400Here’s what Jay from Fremont, CA had to say after taking my LSAT prep class to prepare for the LSAT.

Short and sweet: This is the best LSAT class I have taken; yes, even better than TestMasters.

Traveling from Fremont to attend every class definitely took its toll on me but it definitely paid returns in the long run. My score jumped significantly after taking this course. Nathan doesn't use any secret tricks that are better than what you would find in other courses or LSAT prep books. However, his method of instilling proper studying techniques and forcing each student to reflect on his/her own mistakes truly made my score jump. Sitting quietly for four hours in each TestMasters class made me dread the LSAT more and more. Fox LSAT really didn't feel that long. Not only did Nathan help me understand the test better but I learned a lot more about law school itself.

After completing my personal statement I sent it to Nathan to proofread. After getting into law school but deciding to reapply the next year, I once again sent my new personal statement to Nathan. Both times Nathan gave me useful tips and criticism while not charging me a cent.

Trust me, this is worth every penny: both in the short and long run.

Also, Nathan doesn't overcharge for his services (imo). He even took everyone for a round of drinks one class. If you're looking for a LSAT prep course just save yourself the time and take this course. I don't know of one person who regretted it.

Thanks for the nice words, Jay! You can read the review and other recommendations on Yelp.

Learn more about my LSAT prep class and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

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Yelp Review of the Week: Nathan Makes the LSAT Fun and the Materials Enjoyable

jump-for-joy-1312980Here’s what Hunter from Chicago, IL had to say after taking my LSAT prep class to prepare for the LSAT.

Nathan's class was absolutely fantastic. Nathan ensured that every moment was engaging, challenging, and most importantly, fun. Diving head first into LSAT preparation can be a tedious experience, but Nathan was able to keep it lighthearted, which definitely helped me to focus and actually enjoy the material.

Furthermore, the LSAT book perfectly captures the in-class experience. Cannot thank Nathan enough!

Thanks for the nice words, Hunter! You can read the review and other recommendations on Yelp.

Learn more about my LSAT prep class and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

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Join Me for a Logic Games Boot Camp

What are you doing on Saturday, November 7? Join me for a free Logic Games Boot Camp at Santa Clara University.

From 1 - 4 p.m., we'll be working on Logic Games together. LSAT materials will be provided for free, so come ready to work! The day also includes a Q&A session on applying to law school, applications, scholarships and more.

Got questions? Send me an email or call me at 415-518-0630. See you there!

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Learn more about my LSAT prep class and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

22 Rules of Writing Your Law School Personal Statement

ruled-notebook-1148339If you're thinking of applying to law school (which I'm guessing you are if you're reading this blog), most admissions experts say that your personal statement is one of the most important components of your application. I came up with 22 rules (albeit a bit humorous) for writing your law school personal statement.  Join me over at The Girl's Guide to Law School where I share the rules with you:

What did you think? Were the rules helpful?

Need help preparing for the LSAT? Read why Fox LSAT stands out and how it will help you conquer the LSAT.

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Yelp Review of the Week: Fox LSAT Helped This Student Conquer the LSAT and Apply to Law School

law-series-1-1467440Here’s what Nikki from San Francisco, CA had to say after taking my LSAT prep class to prepare for the LSAT.  If you're looking for the best LSAT prep course, congrats-- you've found it.

In order to get the best LSAT score you possibly can, do yourself a favor and take Nathan's prep course. Everyone I've spoken to while taking his class has increased their score dramatically, myself included. Learn how to tackle every section in the most efficient way possible. You leave Fox LSAT armed with not only how to take the LSAT, but how to apply to law school, and potentially go for FREE.

Read that last line again. For FREE.

If you want to be a lawyer, you have to go to law school. If you want to go to law school, you have to take the LSAT. And if you want to be smart about such an important decision, you'll take the best LSAT prep course you can get your hands on -- and without hesitation, it's Fox LSAT.

Thanks for the nice words, Nikki! You can read the review and other recommendations on Yelp.

Learn more about my LSAT prep class and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

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Yelp Review of the Week: Nathan Wants to Help Passionate People Crush the LSAT

hammered-1241070jpgHere’s what Chase M. from Jamaica Plain, MA had to say after buying my LSAT books and listening to the Thinking LSAT podcast I have his books and I listen to his Thinking LSAT Podcast with Strategy Prep founder Ben Olson and I have drank the Kool Aid. Nathan Fox is the man in the LSAT world and I truly believe he doesn't care about anyone more than passionate people looking to crush the LSAT. He may care about us more than himself. 

I have never paid for in-person courses from Nathan. Just bought books and listen to his amazing podcast and out of the blue I email him with a question as he always tells listeners to do and within 24 hours he has responded and then responded AGAIN to a follow up email of mine. I mean I am so far down the totem pole for him and his business but I poured my thoughts into an email and he just responded like a was personal student. I can't imagine what his schedule is like but he took the time to show he wants to help anyone who asks. If I lived near San Francisco at all. I would do all I could to get face to face with him.

Do yourself and favor. Buy prep materials from Nathan or Ben Olson of Strategy Prep and listen to the Thinking LSAT podcast anytime you can't physically study and practice. It's a game changer!

Nathan Fox and Fox LSAT are the truth of LSAT prep!

Thanks for the nice words, Chase! You can read the review and other recommendations on Yelp.

Learn more about my LSAT prep books and tune in to the Thinking LSAT podcast

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June-July 2015 LSAT Class Results

Here are the results from my four-week class that wrapped up earlier this month, with 19 students submitting results for both test #1 and test #3. 

Test #1 Class Averages: June 30, 2015 (December 2012 official LSAT) Logic Games: 10.5 correct Logical Reasoning: 26.5 correct Reading Comprehension: 14.3 correct Total Raw Score: 51.3 correct Scaled LSAT Score: 146.5 Scaled LSAT Range: 132-163

Just 19 days later, the class had their final diagnostic:

Test #3 Class Averages: July 19, 2015 (December 2014 official LSAT) Logic Games: 13.6 correct (+3.1) Logical Reasoning: 32.7 correct (+6.2) Reading Comprehension: 16.4 correct (+2.1) Total Raw Score: 62.7 correct (+11.4) Scaled LSAT Score: 153.6 (+7.1) Scaled LSAT Range: 141-163

In 19 days, I'm ecstatic about this result. Seven LSAT points is an incredible improvement in less than three weeks, and it's even more impressive when you look at the percentiles. The class average moved from the 33d percentile into the 60th; that's the difference between not getting in and getting big bucks in scholarships. I couldn't be happier.

I'm particularly proud of the following students:

Biggest Improvement, Scaled LSAT Score: Chelsey, from 134 to 155 (+21)

Biggest Improvement, Logic Games: Joey, from 4 correct to 13 correct(+9)

Biggest Improvement, Logical Reasoning: Chelsey and Ricky, from 18 and 9 correct, respectively, to 34 and 25 correct, respectively (+16)

Biggest Improvement, Reading Comprehension: Chelsey, from 6 correct to 17 correct (+11)

I love what I do, and I'm super-grateful for all my students. Through hard work and a lot of good questions, they make my job easy.

Review of the Week: This Student Received a 176 LSAT Score After Working With Nathan Fox

bullseye-1315371Here’s what Andrew K. from Rochester, NY had to say after working with me one-on-one to prepare for the LSAT.  Earlier this month I received my June 2015 LSAT score of 176 and I couldn't be more thrilled. Though hard work and sacrifice underpin the effort as a whole, I credit reaching my dream score of 175+ to my work with Nathan. I worked with him across two Skype consultations and numerous emails in preparation for the June 2015 LSAT. Throughout the process, Nathan was timely, honest, direct, insightful, and considerate. In other words, exactly what you want from someone helping you score your best on the LSAT.

This was going to be my second time taking the LSAT after receiving a 162 in September of 2014. While I was receiving significantly higher practice test scores than the last time I studied for the LSAT, my scores would jump up and down from test to test. Needless to say, as the test day moved closer this was cause for concern. 

Though I felt I had a strong understanding of the test, I thought that I could benefit from an outside perspective and an expert opinion. Nathan was just that. Together we identified types of questions and reasoning issues that I hadn't realized I was weak in and that were holding me back. By focusing on those areas, I was able to find consistency in my practice tests (175+) and better understand and incorporate the few mistakes that were left. Even outside of the consultations, Nathan was accessible by email for any follow-up questions and advice.

In a few words, I strongly recommend Nathan Fox for anyone who has committed to taking the LSAT. He is an invaluable resource and is sincerely happy to share his wisdom and experience. I believe this to be true whether you are at the start of your studies or the end, whether you are taking an LSAT course or are studying on your own. 

As someone who is now moving their stack of LSAT books into the recycling bin, I hope that those reading this review take a moment and give Nathan a call or send him an email. I am glad that I did.

As a side note, for those of you like me who were concerned about the cost I'll be frank. Law school is expensive and a significant determinant of your financial aid can be your LSAT score. I reviewed different options before trying Nathan out and there are other lower-cost options out there. However, given the unique nature of the LSAT (that it is a skill exam and a performance on test day) the quality of the person you work with and the ease you can work with them is essential.

Thanks for the nice words, Andrew! You can read the review and other recommendations on Yelp.

Learn more about my one-on-one LSAT tutoring options and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

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October LSAT Registration Deadlines

time-1196952If you're planning to take the October LSAT, make sure you register before it's too late!

The deadline to register online, by mail, or by telephone is Friday, August 28 (receipt deadline). The late registration deadline is Wednesday, September 9 (receipt deadline). The online receipt deadline is 11:59 pm Eastern Time (ET).

Don’t wait until the last minute to sign up! But if you do register on the deadline day, make sure you do so during the Law School Admission Council’s (LSAC) business hours.

Visit the LSAC website for more information or to register.

Need help preparing for the October LSAT? Read why Fox LSAT stands out and how it will help you conquer the LSAT.

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Yelp Review of the Week: This Student Went from the Low 160s to 172 on the LSAT

balance-875413-mHere’s what Jae from Millbrae, CA had to say after taking my LSAT prep class to prepare for the LSAT. I took the Fox LSAT class for a month and improved my score dramatically from the low 160's to 167-172 range. Nathan does an excellent job at teaching you the shortcuts that you need to know to be successful at the test, especially with the logic games section. His go-to strategy with the grouping games is especially good and makes those games a cake-walk. He also goes through tough Logical reasoning questions, showing you which operative words to look out for and why one answer choice is better than the other. If you find yourself getting questions wrong on practice tests and you have no idea why, this class will help you.  

Another huge benefit for joining class is that you get his Fox LSAT Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia for free. It is a behemoth of a book with hundreds of logical reasoning questions with an entertaining and thorough explanation provided for every question and their answer choices. This helped me a lot, as I often found myself asking why a certain choice was incorrect when I was self-studying for the test. It will definitely help you sharpen your critical eye, so that you can find the correct answer choices faster and easier. 

Finally, Nathan is a pretty awesome dude who is always willing to help outside of class time in case you have questions about the LSATs, law school, or careers in law. He is brutally honest however, and will not shy away from disillusioning you on the merits of going to law school. He keeps it real, and you should really listen to all that he has to say before fully committing. Law school debt is no joke and there may be no going back once you're in. Still, whether you are undecided or all-in on this law school thing like me, then you should definitely give this class a shot. You won't regret it.

Thanks for the nice words, Jae! You can read the review and other recommendations on Yelp.

Learn more about my LSAT prep class and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

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Yelp Review of the Week: This Student Increased Her Score 10 Points With My LSAT Prep Books

reading-book-1368361-mHere’s what Amber from Indianapolis, IN had to say after using the Fox LSAT prep books to study for the LSAT. I have Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia: Disrespecting the LSAT and Fox's Quick & Dirty LSAT Primer. Both books are great. I've come up about 10 points because of what I learned from Nathan. 

What's shocking to me is that Nathan's books are actually enjoyable to read. He's bleeping hilarious and that helps the concepts stick. More than anything, I've appreciated how much Nathan has helped me better understand how to read the LSAT. It feels like a one-on-one tutoring session from a friend that aced the LSAT and rocks at doing stand-up comedy. 

I don't learn $!#!t if I don't find it interesting. When I'm entertained I can engage and remember. Nathan holds my attention. I wish he would have taught my 9th grade algebra class ... and my ornithology class.

Thanks for the nice words, Amber! You can read her review and other recommendations on Yelp.

Learn more about my LSAT prep class and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.

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Fox LSAT Alumni Spotlight: Molly Niffenegger

molly picI love hearing what my former LSAT students are doing in law school and beyond. Molly Niffenegger took a class from me and will be attending UC Davis School of Law this fall. When you started prepping for the LSAT, what scared you the most? Did you study in a classroom, one on one, online, or using Fox LSAT books?

When I started prepping for the LSAT I had been out of school for three years, so I was scared about studying again, especially while working full-time. I also had no idea what to expect, as I’d never seen an LSAT exam prior to my first day of class.

I took Nathan’s class that was held twice a week with group exams on the weekends. On the nights I wasn’t in class I used his books to study and practice.

After studying with Nathan, how did your perceptions about the LSAT change?

Nathan made the LSAT more approachable and less intimidating with his humor and knowledge of the test. He also helped me understand the significance a few points can make in admissions and scholarships.

Did Nathan give you advice about law school admissions?

One of the best parts about working with Nathan was that he's available for all law school related questions, including admissions. One of the main reasons I decided on Fox LSAT was Nathan had actually attended law school, unlike many of the competing teachers from some of the larger LSAT prep companies. So not only could he offer first-hand experience to my law school questions, but he always knew someone who had similar questions and experiences to put me in touch with.

I always felt comfortable asking Nathan for advice and his responses were always helpful. Nathan also provided Ann Levine’s The Law School Admissions Game book, which was a great place to start when considering law school.

What are your law school plans? Where are you attending (or will you attend)? What do you hope to do after graduation?

I’m very excited to start law school at UC Davis this fall. I don’t yet know what area of law I want to practice in, so my plan is to join as many organizations as possible my first year to get a better idea of what I’m most passionate about. I’ve been in the Bay Area for the past eight years and hope to find a position here when I graduate.

Do you have any tips for current and future LSAT students?

For the exam, one of the biggest challenges for me was staying focused during the RC sections. The first time I took the LSAT I spent most of my free time doing practice problems and reading through the explanations in Nathan’s books. The second time I took the test, I added a few hours of leisure reading each day into my study regimen which helped a lot with my focus, resulting in a higher score. It was also a nice break from the stories about ancient art and aboriginal rights.

For applying to law school, I suggest taking as much time as you need to get the best possible score on your LSAT. I took the test three times and improved my score each time, which resulted in increased scholarships. Worst case scenario is waiting a year and gaining work experience, which will probably help your application too.

Thanks for sharing what you’re doing, Molly. Good luck as you start law school!

If you want to talk with Molly about her experience, send her an email at niffeneggerm@gmail.com.

Learn more about my in-person classes and how they can help you conquer the LSAT.