Wednesday, January 17, 2018


And another bites the dust. It feels like more and more schools are hopping onto the GRE bandwagon. As of 1/17/2018 here the complete list of GRE open schools:

Are great lawyers born or made?

I recently read a very interesting article by Prof. William Henderson (Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington) - the article is entitled, "Is a great lawyer born or made?"

The verdict? Great lawyers are actually made (not born). This may be a slap in the face for some of you (ahem *elitists*) out there.

According to Carolyn Dweck, a cognitive psychologist at Stanford University, there are two types of people: 1) the ones with a fixed mindset; and 2) the ones with a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset tend to prefer activities that validate their own abilities, while they shy away from tasks that may provide the world with evidence that they lack talent.

In contrast, people with a growth mindset believe they can acquire important skills, knowledge, and abilities through effort. So floundering at a task is not failure - it's learning.

Between the two types, it's the people who possess a growth mindset that tend to be fearless and willing to take on difficult tasks. And it's those fearless folks who become high performing attorneys.

The example that Prof. Henderson uses is Fred Bartlit (the named partner of the ultra prestigious litigation boutique law firm Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP). Despite having tried hundreds of cases, the man still impanels a mock jury and humbly seeks their advice.

What does this have to do with the LSAT? Everything!

The LSAT is known to be a good predictor of law school performance and bar passage rate; not perfect, but still good. Like good lawyers, good LSAT test takers are made (not born).

I see it year-in and year-out. Baseline intelligence does matter, but without fearless hard-work achieving a high LSAT score is impossible.

So be fearless when you are studying for this exam. Be confident. If you get something wrong, don't let it defeat you. Go back. Revisit the question. Look at it in the face and stare it down until you can crush it!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Planet Law School II

This book is scary. The sheer weight and thickness will make you think - "S*** what have I gotten myself into?"

Once you crack the book open, it gets worst. It espouses that law professors are out to get you, and that you won't garner anything worthwhile by attending class. That's a load of horse cr*p.

Atticus Falcon, the pseudonym of the author of this book, encourages impressionable 1L students to (skip class and) purchase hornbooks instead. He argues that students can simply study at home and show up only for the final exam.

While I haven't been to every single law school in the universe, I know this is a horrible strategy for most law students at most law schools. One of the biggest benefits of going to law school is networking with classmates. The shortsightedness of anyone who stays locked up in his/her room memorizing blackletter law, in hopes to get a higher grade, is baffling to me.

My vote is for you to avoid this book.

But...I will be fair. I do know someone from my law school (the University of Chicago Law School), who stayed home and studied off of hornbooks, never came to class, and still aced his 1L year.

Still. This doesn't change the fact that not showing up to class is a horrible strategy for success.