410 episodes

Ben Olson and Nathan Fox started the Thinking LSAT Podcast to become better LSAT teachers and have some fun. Please 1) subscribe, 2) rate and review, and 3) send us questions: help@thinkinglsat.com. Don't pay for law school!

Learn more at lsatdemon.com

Thinking LSAT Nathan Fox and Ben Olson

    • Education
    • 4.6 • 820 Ratings

Ben Olson and Nathan Fox started the Thinking LSAT Podcast to become better LSAT teachers and have some fun. Please 1) subscribe, 2) rate and review, and 3) send us questions: help@thinkinglsat.com. Don't pay for law school!

Learn more at lsatdemon.com

    Worlds First, Worlds Always in Logic Games (Ep. 404)

    Worlds First, Worlds Always in Logic Games (Ep. 404)

    LSAT Demon teacher and Logic Games guru Matt DuMont joins Ben to share some LG wisdom. Matt and Ben discuss their approach to building worlds in Logic Games and outline productive study habits. Later, the guys help a listener who is concerned about how law schools may view his personal brand. They warn applicants against throwing up red flags in optional essays. And they implore listeners not to decide on a law school before beginning their application process.

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    2:19 - Test Location Options - If you change your mind about taking the LSAT at a test center, you will have until three days before testing begins to schedule a remote session instead. If you’d like to switch from remote to in-person testing, you must do so before the seven-day deadline to schedule a test center.

    5:35 - Worlds in Logic Games - Matt summarizes LSAT Demon’s world-building approach to Logic Games and answers some frequently asked questions:

    How do I know when to stop making worlds?

    What about games where it doesn’t make sense to build worlds?

    21:59 - Do the “If” Questions First - Ben and Matt explain why they recommend answering “If” questions first in Logic Games: it’s a strategy that can’t hurt you and can sometimes help you by exposing you to new information about the game.

    31:30 - Getting Faster in LG - Listener Don asks how to get faster at the games to overcome an LG plateau. Matt and Ben recommend attending live classes to sharpen world-building fundamentals, and they detail review methods that may help Don to approach games more efficiently.

    46:01 - Does Law School Make Financial Sense? - Listener Brenda has sunk thousands of dollars and years of her life into preparing for the LSAT and law school. She now wonders whether law school is a wise financial decision. Ben and Matt advise Brenda to forget sunk costs and to reconsider going to law school if money is her motivation.

    54:33 - Personal Brand - Listener Caleb worries that his religious college and work history may negatively impact his personal brand on law school applications. Matt and Ben discuss how Caleb can highlight his professional accomplishments without evangelizing.

    1:00:38 - Optional Essays - Listener J is unsure how to approach optional essays related to diversity. Ben and Matt warn J not to overshare and to treat every essay as a potential red flag generator. If the essay won’t add something meaningful to your application, it’s better not to write it at all.

    1:12:32 - Decide Last - Listener Marc has set his sights on Arizona State Law and asks when he should start studying for the LSAT. The guys worry that Marc has flipped the GLAD order of operations by deciding on a law school before applying. They encourage Marc to decide on a school at the end of his application process, not the beginning.

    1:22:34 - Don’t Buy a Brand - Listener Jay asks whether he should accept a partial scholarship to his dream law school over a full ride at another good school. Ben and Matt counsel Jay not to invest in a law school’s “brand”—they want Jay to attend a school that invests in him.

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Breaking Down the New Rankings (Ep. 403)

    Breaking Down the New Rankings (Ep. 403)

    After months of delays, the new law school rankings have arrived. Will changes to U.S. News’s methodology mean fewer merit scholarships? Ben is joined by TLP producer Erik to discuss the new rankings and how they might affect prospective law students. Later, Ben and Erik dig into the correlation–causation flaw, discuss the trouble with study timelines, and advise applicants on whether and how to write a GPA addendum.

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    1:57 - Law School Rankings - Ben and Erik recap U.S. News’s tumultuous year and consider how the new ranking methodology might impact law schools’ admissions and scholarship decisions.

    LSAC claims ⁠the LSAT is the most accurate predictor of law school success⁠.
    A Journal of Empirical Studies article questions ⁠the correlation between LSAT and LGPA⁠.

    31:57 - Correlation vs. Causation - Ben breaks down the correlation–causation flaw. While correlation alone doesn’t prove causation, it is evidence of causation.

    38:40 - Study Tips for a Marine - An anonymous student who’s also an active duty Marine officer asks for advice on how to study for the LSAT. Ben and Erik explain why LSAT Demon is the perfect study tool for a student who frequently travels. They also encourage Anonymous not to settle for a 155 target score.

    44:15 - When Should I Start Studying? - Listener Rebecca asks for help plotting out her LSAT study timeline. Ben and Erik advise Rebecca not to plan backward from a particular test date or admissions cycle. Instead, she should start studying without a timeline and to take a gap year if needed.

    51:11 - GPA Addendum - Erik and Ben review listener Spencer's GPA addendum and offer some general rules for how to approach your GPA addendum—or whether to write one at all.

    1:01:43 - Work-Study vs. Law School - Listener Breanna asks for the guys’ opinion on a program that would allow her to take the bar exam after a four-year work-study program with a judge or attorney in lieu of attending law school. Ben and Erik are optimistic but encourage Breanna to do her due diligence on the program’s job outcomes.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Why Are the Guys So Rude? (And Other FAQs) (Ep. 402)

    Why Are the Guys So Rude? (And Other FAQs) (Ep. 402)

    “Why are the LSAT Demon guys so rude?” LSAT Demon’s social media lead, Ashley joins Nathan and Ben to share this and other frequently asked questions from internet strangers on our social media. Later, the guys face a major setback in their dream of creating their own law school, they break down a tricky “determined” question in Logic Games, and they encourage a student to stop worrying about “plateaus.”

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    0:00 - FAQs from Social Media - Social media guru Ashley Beaver joins Ben and Nathan to answer some FAQs:

    Which LSAT Demon plan should I start with?

    Are Nathan and Ben friends in real life?

    What LSAT score is good enough for me?

    Why are the LSAT Demon guys so rude?

    You can find Thinking LSAT and LSAT Demon on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

    49:32 - ABA Accreditation - Listeners Bonnie and Jonathan share insights into the requirements for becoming an ABA-accredited law school. The guys rail against the absurdity of these regulations, which serve to entrench the power of existing law schools.

    1:03:28 - Fatigue - Listener Patrick asks how to overcome mental fatigue at the end of practice tests. The guys assure Patrick that his LSAT endurance will improve naturally with time and practice.

    1:05:53 - “Determined” Questions in LG - Nathan and Ben read an example of a “determined” question from PrepTest 65. They break down what this LG question type is asking and how to approach it.

    1:08:32 - Focus on Your Mistakes - After years of study and four official test attempts, listener Sophie feels that she’s stuck in a plateau. How can she break free of her scoring slump on her fifth and final attempt? Ben and Nathan encourage Sophie not to obsess over practice test scores and to focus on her mistakes one question at a time.

    1:14:24 - Diversity Statement - Listener Algernon considers writing a diversity statement about attending one of the few all-male colleges in the United States. Ben and Nathan doubt that such a statement would benefit Algernon, and they fear that it might highlight his naivety.

    1:19:01 - Don’t Rush into Law School - Listener Marie asks for advice in creating an LSAT study schedule, but the guys question her motivations for pursuing a legal career. Career uncertainty isn’t a good reason to rush into law school.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    How to Understand Abstract Answers (Ep. 401)

    How to Understand Abstract Answers (Ep. 401)

    Sometimes the writing on the LSAT feels deliberately opaque—especially when it uses abstract language. On this week’s episode, Ben and Nathan break down a challenging Reasoning question from PrepTest 65 by linking abstract terms in the answer choices to specifics from the passage. Later, the guys explain why they no longer teach “assumption negation” on Necessary Assumption questions. They steer a student away from worrying about contrapositives. And they fantasize about building a better law school online.

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    0:41 - The LSAT Is Fun - The better you are at the LSAT, the more enjoyable it is. Ben and Nathan discuss why Logical Reasoning and Logic Games are their favorite sections of the test.

    7:00 - Understanding Abstract Language - LSAT Demon student Eric asks how to approach questions that use awkward or vague language, like Logical Reasoning question 16 from PrepTest 65. Nathan and Ben parse each answer choice by tying abstract terms to concrete details in the passage. The guys instruct students not to settle for narrowing answer choices down to two or more contenders.

    26:47 - Assumption Negation - Nathan and Ben explain why they no longer teach “assumption negation” on Necessary Assumption questions. They recommend a more intuitive approach: pick the answer choice that the author has to agree with.

    32:03 - Forget Contrapositives - The guys tackle Logical Reasoning question 17 from PrepTest J. They champion a commonsense approach to the LSAT that doesn’t rely on contrapositives or indicator words. Students hinder their intuitive understanding of the test when they cling to overly technical “strategies” and dogma.

    49:55 - Don’t Aim to Finish Sections - Ben and Nathan discuss the benefits of slowing down and attempting fewer questions rather than rushing to finish timed sections. Higher accuracy allows you to work less for more pay.

    56:58 - Tuition Waivers and Online JDs - Listener L asks the guys to weigh in on a tuition waiver program that requires recipients to submit an IRS exemption form. Nathan and Ben fantasize about how an excellent online law school could disrupt the industry.

    1:09:21 - Removing Failing Grades - An anonymous listener laments the fact that LSAC’s GPA calculation will include F’s that appear on their transcript even though their university has discounted those same grades. Ben and Nathan encourage Anonymous to continue petitioning to have failing grades entirely removed from their transcript.

    1:15:43 - Prolonging Undergrad - Nathan and Ben weigh the value of prolonging an undergraduate degree in order to improve your GPA.

    1:22:35 - Forty-Point Improvement? - Listener Jackson has already improved their score by twenty points but would need another twenty to reach their goal of 175. Ben and Nathan have never seen a forty-point improvement, but that doesn’t make it impossible.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Our Favorite Episodes (Ep. 400)

    Our Favorite Episodes (Ep. 400)

    From the “holy grail” of Logical Reasoning to roasting their own personal statements, Ben and Nathan celebrate 400 episodes by revisiting some of the podcast’s greatest hits. Later, the guys unpack the meaning of the word unless, address a discrepancy between drilling accuracy and timed-section scores, and  advise a listener on whether to write a GPA addendum.

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    0:00 - The Best of Thinking LSAT -

    Ben and Nathan revisit a few of Thinking LSAT’s best moments, handpicked by LSAT Demon team members:

    LSAT Elevator Pitches (Ep. 322)

    Slow Down to Speed Up (Ep. 299)

    The Man with the Kind Eyes (Ep. 156)

    The Guys Roast Their Own Personal Statements (Ep. 190)

    15:08 - LSAT Price Increase - In August 2023, the LSAT test fee will increase to $222, and the CAS subscription fee will increase to $200.

    16:35 - Unless - Listener Karl finds himself correcting people’s language more often as he studies for the LSAT. His wife isn’t amused. Nathan and Ben adjudicate a verbal dispute and explain that the word “unless” works like an escape hatch.

    25:23 - Accuracy vs. Speed - The guys theorize why an anonymous listener performs worse on timed sections than in untimed drilling. They encourage Anonymous to find some swagger and to commit to leaving timed sections unfinished. Ben also shares some details about overcoming his struggles with reading.

    39:13 - Application Deadlines - Listener K shares a chart comparing law school rankings and application deadlines. Ben and Nathan discuss some takeaways from the data.

    46:22 - T14 with a Low GPA - Listener Jack worries that his low GPA will keep him out of the T14. Nathan and Ben think that Jack’s Reddit-fueled fears are overblown. They recommend that he apply broadly and make efforts to express his genuine interest in the schools he applies to.

    57:25 - Lawyer Parents - An anonymous listener worries that law schools might discriminate against them for being the child of a lawyer. Ben and Nathan assure Anonymous that no such stigma exists in law school admissions.

    1:04:00 - Own Your GPA - Listener Dan has a near-spotless undergraduate transcript. Should he write a GPA addendum to explain two outlier grades? Nathan and Ben suspect that addendums may exist so that law schools can gather unflattering info about their applicants. Dan would be better served by focusing on the positive parts of his application and not making excuses for low grades.

    1:15:32 - High School Activities - An anonymous listener asks if it’s okay for a 19-year-old applicant to reference high school activities in their applications. Ben and Nathan encourage Anonymous not to rush and to get some work experience before going to law school.

    1:19:27 - Marijuana Law - An anonymous listener worries that working for an attorney who practices marijuana law might be a red flag to some law schools. Nathan and Ben think that any school that discriminates on that basis probably isn’t a school that Anonymous would want to attend.

    1:26:07 - Nothing’s Off the Table - The guys assure listener Jayson that no school is off the table as long as he applies broadly with his best LSAT score.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Mindfulness: Your LSAT Superpower (Ep. 399)

    Mindfulness: Your LSAT Superpower (Ep. 399)

    Your mind is awesome. Harness its power by training yourself to focus on what you choose. Today, Ben and Nathan extol the benefits of meditation as a way to reclaim control over your attention. Also on the pod, the guys emphasize the importance of understanding the passages in Reading Comprehension rather than simply trying to memorize facts. They explain why you should always plan to retake the LSAT. And they implore listeners not to let sunk costs guide their decision-making.

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    0:00 - LSAT Swagger - Confidence is key on the LSAT. Register for Nathan’s upcoming free class to learn how to approach the test with swagger.

    4:10 - Remembering vs. Understanding - Listener Caleb shares how a mid-test epiphany unlocked his confidence in Reading Comprehension. Ben and Nathan encourage listeners to focus on understanding rather than memorizing RC passages.

    15:23 - Always Retake - LSAT Demon student Conner lost focus during the April LSAT when he encountered an issue with his remote proctor. Nathan and Ben encourage Conner to retake the test. Just as lawyers exhaust all possible arguments to defend their clients, test takers should exhaust all possible attempts to achieve their best scores.

    28:10 - Online vs. In Person - Several listeners share their opinions on the in-person test option for the 2023–2024 cycle. Ben and Nathan think that your test environment shouldn’t matter if you’ve mastered the LSAT. They recommend meditation and mindfulness practice as a powerful way to sharpen your focus.

    42:56 - Academic Credibility - The guys assure listener E that an applicant’s GPA matters far more than the “academic credibility” of their degree. They advise E to remain brief and factual in any academic addendum.

    50:26 - Pearls vs. Turds - Listener Greg’s previous Pearls vs. Turds submission was judged a turd. Now he’s back with another potential pearl from his work as a police officer. Will Nathan and Ben ride along this time?

    55:34 - Diagnostic Test - An anonymous listener asks whether they should begin with a cold diagnostic test or just start drilling. Ben and Nathan don’t think it matters as long as Anonymous starts practicing real LSAT questions and thoroughly reviewing their mistakes. Don’t get trapped by analysis paralysis when planning your LSAT prep.

    1:12:56 - Forget Sunk Costs - After two years of studying, listener E is nowhere near their target score. E wants to throw in the towel and take the June test. Nathan and Ben implore E not to let a sunk cost cloud their judgment.

    1:22:31 - GPA Appeal - Listener S shares how persistence paid off in appealing their GPA with their undergraduate institution.

    1:28:40 - One Question at a Time - Listener Nick has his sights set on the T14 and big law, but he’s unsure how to boost his LSAT score into the 170s. Ben and Nathan point Nick back to the Demon way: focus on one question at a time.

    • 1 hr 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
820 Ratings

820 Ratings

mwelk95 ,

Helpful & Informative

Considering a career change & pursuing law. Been listening to this podcast as part of my early prep. While I’m not fully committed, I like the insight & understanding I’m getting.

Also adding to the Louisiana listener stat.

Natalie ,

Engaging LSAT Prep Podcast with Insightful Strategies and Dry Humor

I recently stumbled upon a fantastic LSAT prep podcast hosted by two incredibly knowledgeable individuals, Nathan and Ben. Not only do these hosts have an incredible understanding of the LSAT, but they also have a knack for incorporating dry humor into their discussions, making for a very engaging listening experience.

What I appreciate most about Nathan is his recognition of the obstacles faced by minority students in the law school application process. He offers unique insight into how to strategically apply in order to overcome these obstacles and increase the chances of success.

Overall, this podcast is a must-listen for anyone who is serious about preparing for the LSAT. The hosts are not only incredibly informative, but they also keep things interesting with their witty banter and insightful commentary. If you're looking for an LSAT prep podcast that is both informative and enjoyable, look no further than this one.

Jess Kit ,

Great! As long as you can get over the hosts’ bluntness

The hosts, Ben and Nathan, have a wealth of knowledge, and if you’re going to use one study tool for the LSAT, the LSAT Demon is the way to go. I began studying with Kaplan, but it was not helpful. These guys really cut through the crap and get straight to the point and have been incredibly helpful! Nathan in particular can be brutal, but they really do want people to be successful. If you’d rather have someone nicer, and end up paying tens-hundreds of thousands of dollars more, go for it. I don’t care whether someone is a jerk, as long as they’re a jerk who can help me master the LSAT and go to law school for free.

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