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Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is the COO at Themis Bar Review.

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Joe Patrice

Joe Patrice is an Editor at Above the Law. For over a decade, he practiced as a litigator at...

Elie Mystal

Elie Mystal is the Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline and the Editor-At-Large of Breaking Media. He’s appeared...

Episode Notes

Joe and Elie chat with Rich Douglas, COO of Themis, about the bar exam and how to conquer it. Rich also tells us about the Themis Law School Essentials program of free review materials for law school courses and we discuss the impact the GRE is going to have on law school admissions.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull and Themis.

Transcript

Above the Law – Thinking Like a Lawyer

Preparing For The Bar Exam – The Last Test You’ll Ever Take

11/19/2019

 

[Music]

 

Intro: Welcome to Thinking Like a Lawyer with your hosts Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice, talking about legal news and pop culture, all while Thinking Like a Lawyer, here on Legal Talk Network.

 

[Music]

 

Joe Patrice: Hello and welcome to another edition of Thinking Like a Lawyer. I am Joe Patrice from Above the Law. I am joined as usual by my colleague Elie Mystal, who was good enough to stop watching Disney+ for a few seconds to join us today.

 

Elie Mystal: I decided to leave The Mandalorian at home and come all the way into the office.

 

Joe Patrice: Have you watched that yet?

 

Elie Mystal: Not quite. I have bought the service, the whole year long service, bundled it with a bunch of other crap, and I have The Mandalorian set to go this weekend.

 

Joe Patrice: I already watched it. It’s good. It’s like — it has a very old school Western feel to it, which I think is what they are clearly going for.

 

Elie Mystal: Interesting. See, I don’t generally like westerns. I do like Boba Fett and I do like Star Wars and I do like Oberyn Martell, who is playing the main character.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, feels very Have Gun – Will Travel kind of a show, as he is going around hunting down his bounties. But yeah.

 

Elie Mystal: It’s the whiteness of westerns that usually gets me, right?

 

Joe Patrice: Right.

 

Elie Mystal: I like Django just fine.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, right, and he is wearing a mask so you won’t have any sense of any of that.

 

Elie Mystal: But that’s not what I am angry about today.

 

Joe Patrice: Oh, okay.

 

Elie Mystal: Obviously I am quite happy about Disney+, because I don’t mind having the mark of the beast on me. I have two kids, what am I going to do? But in the words of Samuel Leroy Jackson, I have had it with these mother effing candidates in my mother effing primary.

 

Joe Patrice: So you think that the primary is too crowded now?

 

Elie Mystal: Where are all these mot effing candidates coming from?

 

Joe Patrice: Right, I mean —

 

Elie Mystal: Yes, they deserve to die and I hope they burn in hell. I mean quite honestly, I mean like joking aside, who in the hell asked for Michael Bloomberg to put his billionaire ass in the middle of my presidential election? Who in the hell asked for Bain Capital’s Deval Patrick to put his ass in the middle of my presidential election? We have enough candidates.

 

The Democratic field is historically speaking quite happy with the current choices that we have at our disposal. The only people who are unhappy about the primary process are the Democratic donor class and the Never Trumpers who are trying to — having already ruined their Republican Party, who are now trying to come into the Democratic Party and do the same ruinous things to our party. They are the only people that are unhappy and it’s like any billionaire with — anybody with a billion dollars and a dream can either run for president or fund somebody to run for president that nobody wants to run for president.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, yeah. No, I mean that’s fair. I mean you answered where they are coming from. They are rich people who feel obligated, feel a sense of entitlement that they clearly must be very good at what they do, because they figured out to build terminals 40 years ago.

 

Elie Mystal: The Federalist Society only has like $25 million. The Federalist Society is so much more well-funded than any comparable Democratic progressive organization and they only have $25 million.

 

As Dahlia Lithwick has said on multiple occasions, it turns out that the Supreme Court is exceedingly cheap to buy, as buying influence goes. Why doesn’t one of these billionaire Democrats, why doesn’t a Bloomberg or Tom Steyer, why don’t they buy the court for us?

 

Joe Patrice: Right. Well, I mean I think that — I think there are a few things, one of which is that as a fundamental philosophical matter, the whole point of the Democratic Party is to try to create a world in which buying political agencies is not what they do anymore.

 

Elie Mystal: You think Mike Bloomberg is part of that Democratic Party philosophy?

 

Joe Patrice: No, no, no. Well, I mean if he were he would be doing it, right, so there is that. But also, no, it’s just kind of an ego trip. It’s going to happen.

 

Elie Mystal: So that’s something I am angry about today.

 

Joe Patrice: Okay.

 

Elie Mystal: There was a deadline to become a serious contender and I don’t know when that deadline was, but it’s done past.

 

Joe Patrice: Yes, you can no longer get into the first several primary states, you have to begin with Super Tuesday, which is now, especially with California moving up means that you are very far behind the eight ball by the time you join.

 

Elie Mystal: All these people could have decided to run earlier, remember, like all the — that’s how weak these people are. The Bloombergs and the Deval Patricks and whoever else, these people are so weak. The person who scared them was Joe Biden. What kind of future leader are you if you were scared off by Joe Biden? Please, get out of here.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Elie Mystal: Anyway.

 

(00:04:56)

 

Joe Patrice: Anyway, what we are going to talk about today is the Bar Exam, which is a rite of passage that all of you are going to — if you haven’t already be going through, and so we are going to —

 

Elie Mystal: That’s a damn gatekeeper. That’s what Deval Patrick needs, right?

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Elie Mystal: Take a Bar Exam before you get into this primary, right?

 

Joe Patrice: That would be an interesting question, like what would the games section and all, although that’s more the LSAT.

 

Elie Mystal: The distractor answer would be like the Koch Brother talking point.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Elie Mystal: Medicare for All is bad because it doesn’t give people choice, because it wrecks — because of socialism.

 

Joe Patrice: All of the above, none of the above, only A and B. Yeah, so we are going to be talking about that, but before we get into that I am going to — I have got a quick sponsor to give a shout out to.

 

This is a quote from a real life user. My constant dialogue with the Themis staff helped me avoid feeling overwhelmed and optimized my study time. Without the personalized support, quick response time and flexible adaptable program, I would have been in heaps of trouble. I cannot fathom why anyone would pay double or triple for an inferior product. Thanks Themis. That’s Benjamin K, a Northwestern student who passed the 2018 Bar Exam with the help of Themis, which is a good transition because we are talking to Themis today.

 

I want to bring in Rich Douglas, who is the COO at Themis. Welcome to the show.

 

Richard Douglas: Thank you very much. I am happy to be here and looking forward to chatting with you.

 

Joe Patrice: So let’s talk a little bit about what Themis offers. So for those who — and we do have a fairly robust pre-law audience too, so for them this is actually a complete new concept. So talk a little bit about like what the Bar Exam is kind of as an existential thing and what Themis does to help people get across that Bar.

 

Richard Douglas: Sure. I think the number one thing for students when they are considering the Bar Exam itself is to make sure they understand that what you are doing is you are preparing for a multiple subject examination, sometimes more than 15 subjects that’s going to be tested over two days, roughly eight hours a day each. So the exam itself is unlike anything they have seen in law school or even in undergrad or any other time in their life.

 

So the Bar Exam prep and what we do is we help structure and organize that for students. We provide them a schedule, study materials, resources. So attorneys like myself, a team of people dedicated to helping them through the process. We keep these students accountable throughout the period and we also now, in light of where we are today with technology, really track very carefully the performance analytics. So how much of the work they are completing, how well they are doing as they complete this work, how many questions they have done, what their percentage correct is, a lot of these things that we are tracking.

 

We have some secret sauce, if you will, or an internal algorithm that will give us a better idea if these students are tracking where they need to be or if we need to give them a little bit of a push and encouragement to move forward at a better pace, or even if they are beyond where they are, give them a little bit of advice or guidance in terms of where to focus their attention if there is some areas of challenge.

 

Elie Mystal: One of the things that I think is important for people to understand, especially if you haven’t been through the Bar process just yet or thinking about going to law school, is that law school for the most part is not there to teach you at all how to pass the Bar Exam, right, it’s an entirely different skill set, it’s an entirely different kind of curriculum.

 

And so one of the things that Bar prep companies have to do, and first of all, it’s one of the things that you have to kind of sell people that you are doing, and then once you convince them of that, you have to actually do it. You have to do a lot of teaching to your students so that they can pass the Bar. It’s not test prep in the sense that like, oh, I am doing some vocabulary flashcards for the SATs; it is test prep in the terms of like oh, I need to learn the hearsay rule now, because I didn’t have to take evidence, but now I need to be able to note the 13 exceptions to hearsay in order to pass this Bar Exam.

 

So how does Themis go about really — what’s their kind of classroom prep, what’s their teaching mechanism to help students absorb all of this information in a very compressed time scale?

 

Richard Douglas: And it’s interesting you talk there at the end about the compressed time scale, so in general most students graduate from law school in May of their third year; there are some that graduate December, January, but the bulk of them, and they will go on, those May graduates to take a July Bar Exam. So what you are looking at is a prep period of anywhere of 8-10 weeks that you can study and kind of get organized and structure all the materials necessary to pass this exam.

 

(00:10:02)

 

What we really focus on is we are an online provider and what that means is years ago it was very typical, back when I went to law school 20 years ago, people would sit in the classroom and watch these really long videotapes, or if you were lucky enough there might have actually been a professor there, where you just listen to somebody drone on about the law and then you would go home and you would practice on your own. There really wasn’t any personalized process with it.

 

We put the process online. We have actually also taken the substantive learning and segmented it, if you will, into much shorter chapters. So we are really trying to focus people on learning less information at a time, but yet enough so that they still have what they need to pass the Bar Examination.

 

And where we are focusing really is on what we call the Black Letter Law, the key principles and then focusing on the analysis, the comprehension, the understanding, and then we are teaching them the skill necessary in the way that the Bar Exam tests.

 

And it really tests in two different ways. One is in writing itself and the other is in the multiple-choice examination. So the real emphasis is on making sure they understand the law in the way that it’s going to be tested on the Bar Exam and then understanding how they can do well on the test, either really well or just well enough to pass the Bar Exam, because at the end of the day the only score that matters is you passing, whether you have the highest score or the score that’s closest to the median point as possible, it doesn’t matter as long as the end of the day you get your pass.

 

Elie Mystal: You don’t actually ever even, at least on the multistate exam, you don’t actually ever even know your raw score, unless you are like me, and you send away for it. I felt so confident after I took the Bar that I bet Matt Levine, who people know is a columnist for Bloomberg View, he was in my college class, and he is one of the smartest people I know, and I killed the Bar so hard that I sent away from my score and bet Matt Levine that he didn’t get within five points of my raw out of 200 NBE score, that’s how confident I was.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, how did that turn out?

 

Elie Mystal: I owed him $100, and when he came back — when he got his score back, he was like well Elie, you are right, I didn’t get within five points of you, I beat you by eight.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, that sounds like how that story was going to end. That’s good.

 

I have reached an age in working with you that I don’t actually hear stories I haven’t heard before all that often, so I am really — this is a huge moment for me.

 

So I wanted to — I do though want to zero in on a comment that you made because for those who haven’t taken the Bar, it may be lost on them, because media portrayals, what was it, I think it was The Firm, where they talk about oh, he got top score on his Bar Exam, like that doesn’t happen, it is very much a, go out there and get a D-, so long as it’s not a fail, you get through.

 

Richard Douglas: Absolutely. And to my end, there might be a few, I can only think of one off the top of my head where there is an actual jurisdiction that reaches out to the top scoring candidate on an annual basis to let them know that they had the top score, but the reality is, it doesn’t matter how many points, you just need to — and in fact, if you are looking at the scoring of the Bar Exam itself, and I don’t think we want to go down that road too much, but it really is doing either a D+ or average or better, if you were to equate it to an A through F scale like you would see in school.

 

So where you want to score is just well enough to pass the examination. Now, I am not proposing that you just study just enough to get it done, but you have to keep in mind there is quite a bit of material that’s going to be tested, so you are never going to be able to master all the material. You just have to master enough to be successful on the exam day.

 

And that’s one of the things that we really stress to students, particularly in the way that we measure the work. We have always talked about the importance of completion. We talk about the engagement and the grid of students and pushing them forward, but we talk about how much of the course you actually have to complete, which also helps them kind of compartmentalize what they need to do.

 

But we really push this 75% number and what we tell students is, if you are doing at least 75% of the work we are going to assign you during this course or that 8-10 week period I laid out before, more likely than not you are going to be successful on your Bar Exam. And if you do more than the 75%, be it 80, 85, the likelihood that you are going to be successful only increases, it never decreases from there. So we really talk about don’t focus on a 100% of the work, focus on doing 75% or more of the work to make it manageable and keep in mind that you are never going to be a master of everything. You just have to master enough to be successful on the exam day itself.

 

(00:15:04)

 

Elie Mystal: That is so much nicer than what I heard. I had my whole Harvard graduating class, they put us in an auditorium and the booming voice over the microphone was straight up like, one of you will fail, do not be that one, and like that was our, then go forth and study.

 

Joe, what was the hardest part of the Bar Exam for you, because this is the test that is known as one of the most difficult tests like available in America and there are parts that people find not as hard, there are parts that people find terrifying, what was the hardest part for you, not just in terms of like what you thought was going to be hard, but like test day, day one, day two?

 

Joe Patrice: Right, right. So this plays into humblebrag I guess, but the most terrifying moment of the test for me was on the second day when I finished with a couple of hours to spare and looked around and was like um, because you are in the Javits Center here in New York and so it’s thousands of people all around you and no one else is done and I am done, and I am like, um, did I completely miss what was going on or what?

 

Ultimately I spent about 15 minutes just looking over everything to make sure I wasn’t crazy and then when I decided I was done I got on out of there. It turned out I wasn’t the only person done. I did run into one of my law school friends outside, but we were very early finishers and that was the most terrifying part, the part where you think — it’s like the old Rumsfeld thing about known knowns, known unknown, whatever. It’s like when you finish early like that, you are like, I have clearly done something wrong and I have no idea what it is, because otherwise I wouldn’t be done this early, but it turned out it was okay.

 

Well, let’s take this opportunity to read another ad, because that’s what we can do. This episode also is brought to you by Mr. Whiskers, who is very mad at you and thinking about moving in with your ex, all because you are still at the office slogging through an endless doc review project. Make better decisions, keep your pet and work smarter with Logikcull. eDiscovery Software that gets you started in minutes. Live in the meow. Create your free account today at logikcull.com/atl.

 

Elie Mystal: You don’t have to do that last part. You don’t have to do live in the meow.

 

Joe Patrice: Oh no, I have to do that. That’s the part that’s good, right? Not to dislike the rest of the copy, the rest of the copy is fine, but like it’s all about the meow.

 

Elie Mystal: You don’t have to do that.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, no, you do. Anyway.

 

Elie Mystal: Hardest part for me in the Bar Exam, well, not testing, but just in terms of like —

 

Joe Patrice: Like falling behind Matt Levine again.

 

Elie Mystal: Yeah, exactly, was in the prep I was really flummoxed by the distractor answers. So the Bar Exam, unlike pretty much every other exam, puts — in the multiple-choice section, puts an answer choice in that is kind of purposefully meant to distract you. It’s purposely meant to sound like it’s right and almost kind of take advantage of over information, this is what Richard was talking about, about how you can’t actually master everything, takes advantage of over information.

 

So you will get this fact pattern, the guy walks into the car and the brakes are faulty. He runs the red light. He gets slammed in by a driver who was speeding. At that point the aliens come down and they stab him in the face. Who is to blame for this driver? And they tell you right in the beginning, the brakes were faulty. They tell you the answer right in the beginning, and answer A is the brakes were faulty, right, but answer C is like really getting you into like you have been learning about manslaughter and voluntary, and you have all of these other like random thoughts, and that’s what that answer is — that distractor answer is, it’s taking advantage of all of these other words you have heard to like make you want to circle and see when the most — the first answer is the most obvious answer and you didn’t have to know anything about the law to read the damn paragraph, because it’s the Bar, like every exam ever made, it is a reading comprehension test, they put the answer right in the first sentence, the brakes were faulty.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah. So with that, so when it comes to Bar prep, is that an issue that A, that you find is true of a lot of students and not just Elie; and B, is this actually a good place where those analytics that you talk about can come into play, allowing you to kind of identify early, oh, this is where somebody is missing something?

 

(00:19:53)

 

Richard Douglas: I think it absolutely is, and one of the things that we do in our program is we teach and provide both, what we call, substantive presentations, so those that are actually teaching the law students as well as we provide skill workshops, and a real emphasis on the skill workshops, we do these for both multiple choice question approach as well as an essay approach is talking about the types of questions and fact patterns that you’re going to see on the Bar exam.

 

And it’s interesting you brought up the distracter question because that is something that if I could count over the years, how many questions have arisen throughout our prep courses relating to distracters, it has to be well into the thousands. But we spend a lot of time talking to students about why these are in the questions, why they’re important and how practice can help you identify them right away.

 

We also do things like break down, provide some templates, help students understand how to compartmentalize, how to think about the questions and then look at each of the answer choices but always not lose sight of the facts and the real question that was asked up above when they’re reading that hypothetical, if you will.

 

So, there is a function of what we do where we’re really talking to students about the skills necessary to be successful and how to practice within each subject area and the types of questions that they’re going to see on the Bar exam and we break those down into the various areas, depending on how they’re tested within that subject.

 

Joe Patrice: I want to change gears a little bit since we said we do have pre-law students and law students who are early enough in their career that the Bar exam seems like a far off thing to them. Let’s talk a little bit about the law school essentials work that Themis does.

 

Rich Douglas: Sure.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, so walk us through that and ways in which people who maybe aren’t ready to take the Bar exam can still be utilizing and leveraging what Themis can offer?

 

Rich Douglas: So, one of the things that we do is, we provide a host of resources that are free for law students and a big one particularly for someone in the pre-law space or even as a first-year student, and frankly even maybe a foreign-trained attorney that might be out there is, there is what we call a first-year law school essential course, and it’s free.

 

There’s no obligations to take us, we’re not going to come chase you down someday and bang on your door for money, it’s absolutely free. The only thing you have to give us is frankly an email address, and what we do in there is we provide — there’s videos that are segmented based on our methodology that I touched on briefly before, broken down into very short chapters, if you will, focusing on a few areas at a time, and we do all this, where we’ve integrated in visuals as well as we have some study templates that we provide almost as if a handout or a final study document a student can use thereafter.

 

There’s practice questions that students can then have from there, but it’s a great way to whether you’re actually in law school or before you get to law school for you to really get a sense of what you’re going to be learning within each of these areas, and if you’re in school, I always encourage students they should be using this as they progress because they can jump through the chapters, they can search let’s say again what we were talking about before, let’s say you’re covering negligence within torts.

 

You can jump directly to the series of chapters on negligence, watch those, have an understanding for negligence, you can do your work and then attend class and have a better overview of what the professor is going to be talking about in class. It just helps give you a better understanding of the approach and what you’re learning in school, and hopefully, where you can kind of better understand and put your outline together to help you become more successful in that Bar exam or even your law school grades first and Bar exam later on.

 

But again, no obligation in any ways for payment to us, they’re simply free, so whether you’re in law school or not, it’s a great way even if you’re thinking about law school just go check out the program, watch a couple of the videos and I might help you decide whether or not spending all that money on tuition really make some sense for something that you just either like or maybe you don’t like so much.

 

Elie Mystal: Do you think that 8 to 10 weeks is enough?

 

Rich Douglas: That’s a great question too and the answer is, it maybe for some students but not for all students. It really depends on the individual and what they need. A number of schools today are working to create or dedicate some credit time and actual classes that is almost like a reintroduction to their first year classes, but they call it like a Bar support course.

 

And what that effectively does is extends the runway into the Bar exam preparation. The school sometimes will partner with providers such as ourselves or sometimes, they’ll do it on their own.

 

(00:25:00)

 

But they will give students a little bit extra time that final semester of law school typically, where they’ll reintroduce a subject like torts or contracts. Talk to them about it and then hopefully explain the differences in terms of how it’s tested in law school but how it will be tested on the Bar exam, and the types of questions they’re going to see.

 

And they provide some sort of foundational basis for the students, so before they get to their exam prep, they have a better understanding of, one, what they’re going to be encountering and how they’re going to prepare for ourselves even if you don’t have one of those classes at your school.

 

We actually open up our materials and we talk about the entire course, not just a portion of the course or a hundred questions or something like that. The entire course, we open in March for our July takers, for our takers of the February exam we open the course in November. But either way we try to elongate or extend that runway into the prep and we’ll talk to students, we’ll do some consultations. I mentioned earlier foreign trained attorneys may need a little extra time, they may have a full load, there may be some students that are working, they already have a job and they may not be able to put in the typical, we always talk about a 40-hour workweek, eight hours a day. That doesn’t work for everyone. So there is some things that you can do. We can help get them scheduled, we can talk about days off that are necessary but you can do that.

 

Now again, it’s not for everyone. Some people and eight to ten weeks is more than enough and frankly, I’ll be very honest, it’s not going to be a very fun eight to ten weeks.

 

Elie Mystal: It was not.

 

Rich Douglas: Yes, so nothing about what I’m talking about today is going to be something you’re going to look back fondly on later in life. But it’s a very necessary thing that has to be done because it’s the final hurdle before you can eventually practice law.

 

Joe Patrice: So one of the biggest controversies in legal education right now is, we’ve said for years that the LSAT shows is probably the best predictor of how people will ultimately perform on the Bar exam, that’s a stat that gets tossed around a lot.

 

Now, law schools are moving towards accepting in addition to LSAT, the GRE. Do you have any thoughts on whether or not that changes that predictive power whether that’s going to lead to changes in how people need to prepare or do you think that we’re kind of making a mountain out of a molehill there?

 

Rich Douglas: I don’t, I don’t. I think I’ll stay clear of what I think of the old LSAT versus GRE, but at the end of the day, my understanding is, and there’s been quite a bit of research placed into this over the past few years but the LSAT in my understanding is a reliable indicator of how a student or a person is going to do in their first year of law school, right?

 

What their ability is to pass those first year classes and there was some research done recently by the GRE or a company I believe conducted by ETS that indicated the same thing. Now, I simply think that the GRE, there’s a couple of reasons why there’s arguments for a number of law schools, and I should say the GRE now, I don’t know the exact number but I believe we’re talking at 40 or 40+ law schools in the country, that is significant.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Rich Douglas: But some of the arguments that I’ve heard for inclusion and moving away from the exclusive test for law school being that LSAT, it provides more accessibility to students. There’s tons of GRE test centers all over, it’s given multiple times a year. It can also broaden the range of applicants and pools.

 

I mean you talk about candidates and where they’re coming from and you talk about there’s this big push particularly at the undergraduate or even a for stem of backgrounds and you talk about where the law and the future is going, you talk about things like Artificial Intelligence, patent, all these different areas of law that are starting to explode.

 

You need people with those types of backgrounds and an exam like the GRE may be more viable for that person as opposed to the LSAT exam itself. The ABA has been relatively silent on the issue. They have certain standards that the schools, the ones that are ABA credit, I should say, have to abide by and there’s one particularly that talks about admission testing if you will for law school, ABA 503, and all it says is that the exam itself needs to be valid and reliable to be used for as an admission test for law school.

 

The ABA has not said anything about the GRE yet, and I think that’s kind of opened the door or the floodgates to a certain extent for a number of schools, in a number of schools all across the country. We’re not talking just one geographic area to accept the GRE.

 

(00:30:00)

 

So all in all I don’t know whether there’s — I’d love to see some data, but I think it’s probably a little too early to tell, but I don’t see anything wrong with this and I think at the end of the day if it’s bringing in more diverse candidates with different backgrounds and they’re going to expose people to the changes that are going to be impacting not just our lives but the law itself, then I think this is a good thing.

 

Elie Mystal: My thing with that is always though and this is one it’s good that you’re on, yeah, it’s all well and good until somebody can’t pass the bar. Right, like it’s — like I’m all about increasing opportunity and access and blah, blah, blah, stands for law, but if you can’t pass the bar at the end of the journey then that money that they are not giving back to you, doesn’t ever pay off.

 

Joe Patrice: Right, and all of that is contingent. This is an argument that Elie and I’ve had several times on this show that you have walked into the middle of unfortunately, but the problem with that is there’s nothing to suggest that there are going to be more people failing the Bar because they took the GRE then failed the Bar for taking the LSAT. The data is just not there. And to the extent that we have basically no distinction between the two, access is always going to trump.

 

Elie Mystal: Sure, to the extent that we have no distinction between the two, the extent that we have really studied the distinction between the two which we haven’t really been able to study yet.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Elie Mystal: We are still within the first generation of people taking the GRE and going into law school, right? One of the things that the LSAT has at least going for it and I — these are like I don’t like this debate as opposed to most of the debates that we do have is that I don’t like what I’m defending, usually I like what I’m defending.

 

Joe Patrice: Right, right, right.

 

Elie Mystal: Even if I am wrong, and here I am kind of wrong and I don’t like what I’m defending.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

 

Elie Mystal: I don’t think that the LSAT is a great test. I don’t think the LSAT should be the only thing that determines whether or not a person gets in the law school, but taking the LSAT does show a certain level of seriousness and commitment and understanding of what you were about to get into, whereas taking the GRE is just like what you do when you don’t feel like getting a job after college, like the PHE, History, law school.

 

Joe Patrice: That’s what the LSAT is too. The LSAT is what you do when you do when you don’t feel like getting a job after college but we’re also not good at math. Anyway — so — but that’s the whole aside there; no, but that is an excellent point about increasing the exposure and the way that the law is moving towards more hard science-related subject practice areas which — that’s a great point.

 

Well, thanks Rich for joining us today. This was super, super-valuable. I’m glad you could join.

 

Richard Douglas: It was a lot of fun. Thanks for having me, and I appreciate you — I’ve got a little bit of a cold so I appreciate you dealing with my slightly nasally voice, but anytime you guys need a guest, feel free, I enjoyed myself.

 

Joe Patrice: Excellent.

 

Elie Mystal:  Excellent.

 

Joe Patrice: And we would like to thank our sponsor, Themis Bar Review, who’s known and respected by law students for their fair pricing and full transparency. The only Bar prep company to publish the pass rates every single year. Go to themisbar.com and find out why 97% of July 2019 Themis students said they’d recommend Themis Bar Review to others.

 

And thank you all for listening, you should be subscribed to the show by now, but if not, go ahead and do that now. Give us some reviews, not just the stars. Write something, because words on that page tell the algorithm that it’s important to pay attention to this show which moves us up their rankings of legal podcasts, which is always important.

 

You should be listening to The Jabot which is Kathryn’s podcast, an occasional host here where she talks about women and minorities in the legal profession, you should be listening to the other offerings of the Legal Talk Network. You should be reading Above the Law. Go ahead and follow us on Twitter, I’m @JosephPatrice, he’s @ElieNYC, and well, this episode comes out before the next debate, you should sign up for the nation’s like whatever — is in a live blog?

 

Richard Douglas: The live blog, I think, yeah.

 

Joe Patrice: Yeah, live blog where they’re going to be covering the next debate and Elie is going to be one of the commentators for that and I —

 

Elie Mystal: Chill, but you didn’t do the other thing.

 

Joe Patrice: Oh what’s that, Elie?

 

Elie Mystal: Not too big. Meow.

 

Outro: If you would like more information about what you heard today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. You can also find us at abovethelaw.com, atlredline.com, iTunes, RSS, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

 

[Music]

 

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Episode Details
Published: November 19, 2019
Podcast: Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law
Category: Law School , Legal Entertainment
Podcast
Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law
Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law

Above the Law's Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice examine everyday topics through the prism of a legal framework.

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