Dozens of Mason students apply to law school every year, but in some cases their scores on the Law School Admissions Test are preventing them from attending the schools of their dreams, or even from pursuing a legal career at all. This problem is particularly serious among students of color and first-generation students, many of whom have faced educational disadvantages from the time they were born. That is why the Schar School’s Patriot Pre-Law Program (P3) is offering an instructional video series to help Mason students develop the tools to excel on the LSAT.
Our instructor is Hunter Southall, a former student of Professor Mink’s from the University of Delaware who will attend Harvard Law School in fall 2020. As a Black woman, Hunter understands the anxiety that many minority students feel from being told they cannot test well, but she countered that theory by raising her score from 152 to 174, which is over the 99th percentile.
We hope her videos will inspire Mason’s students to prepare for the test more effectively.
– Prof. Phillip Mink
Video #1 – Overview
In this video, Hunter advises students on how LSAT scores can affect admissions and scholarship offers. She also argues that the best way to overcome test anxiety is to “get better at the test…. The more you prepare, the more confident you’re going to be on game day.”
Video #2 – Logical Reasoning (LR) and General Principles
According to the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the purpose of the LR section is to evaluate a student’s ability to analyze and critically evaluate arguments from newspapers, magazines, and other sources. In this video, Hunter explains her distinctive methodology of developing detailed rules for every type of question.
Video #3 – Logical Reasoning – Problem #1
Hunter analyzes an actual LR problem in this video. Her goal is not for students to use the same rule she developed. Instead her goal is to show students how to develop their own rules. Hunter also emphasizes that since students have just over a minute to answer each question, they must learn to analyze problems quickly.
Video #4 – Logical Reasoning – Problem #2
Hunter dissects a 2nd LR problem to show how her methodology works for each of five possible answers. Hunter also describes how she first started working on short formal logic questions through a free app, and it would take her five minutes to complete five questions. Near the end of her practice period, she could complete five questions in 15 seconds.
Video #5 – Reading Comprehension (RC)
According to LSAC, the purpose of this section is to “measure the ability to read … examples of lengthy and complex materials” similar to those encountered in law school. Hunter uses an actual LSAT prompt from the June 2007 test (available here) to discuss the thought process necessary to answer questions correctly.
Please note that in this section Hunter shares the test question through her iPad, so you will not see her as she speaks.