Colin Elzie

Back before I came to my senses, I wanted to go to law school. I initially took the LSAT in 2005, and I was hooked. That last sentence does not, strictly speaking, have any truth to it. But after not knowing what to do with with a German major from Cal, I somehow wound up teaching the damn thing. Which has been great, because it allows me to get by working 15 hours per week and waking up at two in the afternoon every day. This causes some people to assume I smoke a lot of weed, and I feel like I’m missing a big opportunity by not being a pothead.

I often find myself asked the question, “Colin, with such a great LSAT score, why aren’t you going to law school?” To which I usually respond, “Leave me alone, Mom.” This is usually followed by a plethora of follow-up questions, mostly revolving around why I can’t be more like my brother.

Due to a personality flaw I have yet to identify, I actually enjoy taking the test. This is partly because the LSAT is quickly turning me into an encyclopedia of the most random facts imaginable. I’m like a walking sack of Snapple bottle caps. I can tell you anything you want to know about dinosaurs, Thurgood Marshall, or peat bogs. Seriously. (Did you know you can buy peat in gas stations in Scotland?) Also, the LSAT and I share a deep hatred of astrology.

My blog will be about whatever strikes me as interesting at the moment, and how I can jimmy that into some sort of LSAT relevance.

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LSAC to Release February LSAT Scores this Week

Good morning, children. If you took the February LSAT several weeks ago, this is going to be an important week because LSAC should be releasing your LSAT score sometime between now (right now! go check your email! not there? damn!) and Wednesday. The actual LSAC-estimated release date is on Wednesday itself, but they often send ‘em out early (assuming it’s not hurricane season).

How will you know when your February LSAT score’s ready? Well, LSAC actually emails you as soon as it’s available, so there’s no need to constantly refresh your LSAC homepage. Those of you on the east coast who had your February LSAT postponed due to inclement weather should also be getting an email along with everyone else, but only time will tell for sure. At any rate, it’ll be a very Spartan correspondence that matter-of-factly tells you what your February LSAT score was, along with its percentile.

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A Look at the LSAT Flaws in the Oscar Pistorius Case

As those of you who have been following it know, the Oscar Pistorius case has been pretty crazy. A few weeks ago the South African Paralympian fired rounds through a closed door, killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius maintains he thought she was an intruder, while the prosecution is claiming that it was a crime of passion. No one can say for certain at this point, but using LSAT logic we can deconstruct some of the claims that are being thrown around. Claims such as:

There have been allegations of abuse prior to this; he therefore killed Steenkamp purposefully. – Just because he was abusive before doesn’t actually prove that he murdered her. Does it make it more likely? Maybe. But just because something is more likely, that doesn’t show that it’s definite. Relevant data can strengthen a claim, but that doesn’t imply sufficiency to know that that claim is in fact certain.

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How Would This Year’s Oscar Nominees Fare on the LSAT?

The Oscars are this weekend, so we here at Blueprint LSAT Prep will all be tuning in to watch the film industry collectively pat itself on the back. But who will win? Who will lose? Why should you care?

All good questions, so, using the powers of the LSAT, we’re here to answer them. Sort of.

Here are our predictions of how the fictional characters portrayed would do if the awards were based on their LSAT scores, and whether or not the actor actually deserves the Oscar. Which seems as good a measure as any, considering what a subpar year this was for movies.

Supporting Actor: Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) — Lincoln

This one is pretty obvious, as Stevens is already a lawyer, and was one of the most important members of congress in the history of America.

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This Valentine’s Day, Find Out What’s to Love About the LSAT

It’s Valentine’s Day!

And you’re reading an LSAT blog.

Well, hey, not every holiday can be a winner, we get it. Some days you spend with your significant other, some days you don’t have anyone in your life and you spend the day alone in a dark room. But whether or not there are fellow human beings in this world who will love you, there are plenty of reasons why we can all love the LSAT this Valentine’s Day. Who knows, maybe it’ll even love us back.

The LSAT will always be there for you, a sure sign of true love. When you need it, you can always rely on the LSAT showing up every February, June, October (sometimes September), and December. But don’t take its availability for granted, and don’t be a tease.

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Don’t Expect Law School Scholarships to Fall in Your Lap

Last week, we were reminded of the Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship, rewarded to a Berkeley Law student working in the Orange County public defender’s office, and named after the eponymous character from The O.C. Really. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but given that the number of law school applicants has been plummeting, we wouldn’t be surprised to see even more of these. Law school tuition is bad enough, having nearly doubled in the last eleven years, leaving little money for room and board. So how about the Ally McBeal Nutritional Supplement Fund to help students stay fed? Or what about all the poor sorority girls who thought Legally Blonde was a documentary? The Elle Woods Expectations Management Grant will help to lessen the blow.

But in all seriousness, now more than ever you prospective law students should be on the lookout for scholarships.

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Katie Holmes: Scientology Nightmare to Law School Dream

If you’re anything like us, you probably spend all your downtime from the LSAT keeping up on the hottest celebrity gossip. So you were probably as excited as we were when you read on the infinitely-reliable and relevant Showbiz Spy that recent divorcee Katie Holmes is maybe heading to law school. Maybe!

The gossip website scored a hot interview with everyone’s favorite famous celebrity insider: “a source.” Mr(s). Source claims that everyone’s favorite Scientology apostate is now headed to the welcoming arms of law school. Holmes’ father is a lawyer, and they’re even thinking of going into practice together! Sound fishy? Well, it shouldn’t. This all came from “a source!” And with sentences like “Sources say the actress — who last year divorce [sic] Tom Cruise — is planning a career change away from “acting” and spellings like “in-terest,” we know we’re dealing with journalistic integrity of the highest degree.

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Cycle Through Some Lance Armstrong LSAT Flaws

Last week, professional cyclist and hall-of-fame liar Lance Armstrong surprised no one when he admitted to longstanding doping allegations during an interview with a sleeping Oprah Winfrey. What’s to be gained from all this? Well, aside from a healthy dose of schadenfreude, the whole ordeal highlights some commonly-found LSAT flaws. You may have seen the following arguments bandied about in the last few days…

Lance Armstrong wasn’t very forthcoming; he therefore must have even more to hide.

Alright, let’s be honest – that was one of the most softball interviews in recent memory, and Lance didn’t give out much more than broad, sweeping confessions. Does that make it seem like there’s even more lurid details that he’s trying to gloss over? Sure. But it doesn’t have to be the case.

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Tricky LSAT Phrases to Keep an Eye Out For

The skills that the LSAT tests are complicated and difficult to learn. Whether it’s diagramming conditional statements, assembling the setup to a game, or knowing what to pay attention to in reading comp, this stuff ain’t easy. But what can make things even harder is when the LSAT buries these already-confusing concepts in perplexing linguistic phrasings.

Luckily, we’re here to help.

When you read something on the LSAT that you don’t understand, the worst thing you can possibly do is just move on, hoping the exam won’t ask about it; it will. Often times, understanding a confusing phrase just involves rereading it a few times and rolling it around in your head. But there are a few phrases that the LSAT uses again and again that students regularly get tripped up on. I’ve compiled a few for you here:

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Make Your Worst Section Your Best Before the February LSAT

Today is January 9. The LSAT is on February 9. Unless you failed the third grade, you know that this means you have precisely one month until LSAT test day.

Ideally you’ve done a substantial amount of studying already, and your LSAT skills have been growing stronger by the day. But often people find that there’s one pesky section where things just aren’t clicking. Maybe you’re finding that you’re always missing a bunch of questions in Reading Comp, or you’re never able to finish Logical Reasoning, or perhaps you’re just not quite getting Logic Games. Well, whatever your weakest section may be, with practice you can turn it around this month and make it your strongest section by February LSAT test day.

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Studying for the LSAT by the Light of the Kinara

Christmas is over, which can only mean one thing: That’s right, it’s Kwanzaa time! For the next seven days, we here at the Blueprint offices will be busy celebrating all things Pan-African. However, even as we observe the holiday, our LSAT duties unfortunately cannot remain forgotten for an entire week. But that’s alright! Even if you don’t celebrate Kwanzaa, you can still let Kwanzaa’s seven core principles guide you in your LSAT studies. Principles such as:

Unity – While studying, one must focus on the different sections individually. A solid grasp of Logical Reasoning, Reading Comp, and Games needs to be attained before putting it all together. But put it together one must, which is why taking many practice exams is so important. Just as it is with families, communities, and nations, unity cannot be forgotten on the LSAT.