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Studying with Rod Taynes: 12 Weeks until the LSAT

Why, hello there to all of you in LSAT prep land. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the newest blog series on MSS, which will chronicle the next 12 weeks of my life. You see, like most of you who are interested in walking down the law school path and who read our blog (we don’t know who the other visitors are, but may God have mercy on their souls) I, too, am just beginning to study for the June LSAT. As you might have guessed, my name is not actually Rod Taynes. Rather, this is a pseudonym I use to protect my true identity – think Mark Twain, or Dixie Tananbaum. I’d like to give you a little background info on who I am and how I ended up in your Blueprint LSAT class. Am I in your LSAT class? You will never know. (if you are attending a spring class at USC next week, I definitely am not the tall dude in the back who already seems to know the instructor).

In 2008, I graduated from a top-20 undergraduate university located in the great state of Georgia. Again, I must be vague, and good luck trying to narrow it down from that information. Rather than immediately returning home to Los Angeles, I gathered three friends and my impressive $2950 in savings and moved to Sydney, Australia for 10 months to “find myself” (see: work as a bartender, surf, and excessively consume alcohol). Having gotten all of that out of my system, I am finally ready to substantiate my interest in law by studying my ass off for the next 12 weeks. Like dirty hippies at a Phish concert, the LSAT is unavoidable, but I am taking solace in the fact that LSAT class looks like it will be a hoot.

WEEK 1:

First thing’s first: registering for the actual exam. Now you may be thinking: “But Rod, the registration deadline for the June LSAT isn’t until May 4, I have plenty of time.” Or, you may be thinking: “Rod, I have to register for the LSAT? Doesn’t Blueprint do that for me when I lay down my mom’s AmEx card?” Unfortunately, test centers tend to fill up well in advance, and many of the more popular locations (see: the entire island of Manhattan) are already full. Luckily, I was able to reserve a testing seat at Southwestern Law School, which has been known to have tables and chairs, and not those tiny, individual desks that fold over. I mean, I’m 6’3”, I need some space. (I’m blowing my cover. Fuck.) Upon creating my LSAC account and officially registering for the exam, I had that false sense of accomplishment that work had actually been completed. This is no different than in college, when instead of giving up that Saturday night to study for your two midterms on Monday, you instead made a very detailed Sunday “to-do” list to make yourself feel on top of it (as you proceed to the beer pong table). The necessary work has yet to begin. You see, just signing up for the LSAT is the same as being an organized drunk. Write that down.

Blueprint starts all courses with a practice exam before any actual instruction. This is so all students know the score they are starting with, and so you can measure your improvement throughout the course each time you take an exam. Like many of you, I was tempted to blow off the first practice exam before Lesson 1 . “It’s no big deal” I said to myself “After all, class hasn’t even started yet.” In reality, most students feel awkward taking a very difficult test without having learned any strategies. Suck it up. Take the test.

Self-righteously taking my own advice, I opened up my supplement book and turned to PT1, fighting the urge to procrastinate. I wonder how the NCAA tourney is going. Am I still beating Riley in the office bracket pool? I am. Alright, time to focus. I open to Section 1. Logic Games. My task is to order several activities: hedge trimming, jogging, grocery shopping, motorbike servicing, and kitchen cleaning. In the back of my mind, I might actually prefer doing any of these activities right now. That’s right, I said it: even motorbike servicing. This game was pretty straight forward, much more so than another game where I was forced to figure out whether or not a museum display has a yellow plateosaur. I guarantee that this task will not come up in real life more than three, maybe four times.

After games, I got through some logical reasoning where I learned about how car washes have improved over the years and how older bees have larger brains than younger bees (well, no shit!). Reading Comp was a struggle, and like countless other times in my life, I would have benefited from some casual knowledge of fractal geometry. My first full-length practice exam was over, and like doing many things for the first time, there was some confusion, a few awkward moments, and a deep-seated need for more practice (the obvious glaring difference is that this lasted well over 3 hours). I logged onto MyBlueprint to score my exam: 151. Certainly far from where I want to be scoring when June 7th rolls around, but definitely something to work with…

See you all next week.

Rod is a Blueprint student and office employee.

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