Trent Teti

Trent Teti experiences equal parts horror and fascination when he realizes that he's taught more LSAT courses, to more people, than just about anyone else in the world.  At some point along the way, he started an LSAT company called Blueprint that does the same.  Teaching LSAT classes provides a fairly strange vantage point, and Trent is repeatedly confronted with a rather narrow cross-section of humanity (aspiring lawyers) during what they believe to be the most stressful time of their lives (which will, no doubt, be dwarfed by future harrowing events the like of which they have yet to conceive).

The cyclical nature of LSAT preparation forces a blighted few, Trent Teti included, to answer the same questions regarding the LSAT ad infinitum.  Part of the motivation for Trent Teti's blog is to set forth some provisional answers regarding these issues.  Another motive is to address some broader cultural issues that may be of interest to students studying for the LSAT.  Some of these include the nature of genius, the probable LSAT scores of characters on LOST, and issues regarding the lives of lawyers in general.

The last motive is to assure that Trent Teti avoids working on a languishing dissertation in philosophy he's fairly certain won’t write itself.

As for the rest, Trent enjoys Illy cafe, motorcycles, and Apple Computers.  He's either indifferent toward or actively dislikes most everything else.

In particular, Mr. Teti loathes certain expressions (which are sadly in vogue of late) that express trivial truth, such as  “It is what is is.”  Trent also dies a little when he hears locutions that are apparently devoid of any content, such as “whatever.”  Lastly, he's annoyed by the use of expressions that strive at meaning, but apply improper predicates, such as “Let’s be real,” (as if we could be unreal), when what is meant is that we ought to try to be authentic or sincere.

Author Archive:

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Roman Polanski: “Rape-Rape” and LSAT Fallacies of Causation

I thought I was a veritable Thurgood Marshall when I pointed out the apparent disproportionality of Plaxico Burress’ sentence when compared with other celebrities who’ve acted badly. And then someone at the justice department decided it was time to reel in Roman Polanski. Gold. Solid gold. I’ll just set the stage quickly, as I’m sure

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The Lost LSATs

Very recently, I was in one of the world’s most beautiful places (Kauai), when regrettably, I got really sick. As in ten days of not being able to get up and walk outside sick. As in I was stuck in a room staring at the walls like a POW sunrise to sunset. It sucked.

By the fourth day in this miserable (albeit well appointed) prison cell, I had read every book I’d brought, twice. I’d read the entire internet. I’d even acquiesced to reading the fairer sex’s tripartite news lifeline: People, Us, and Life & Style. (The last of these experiences was profoundly damaging, and looking back at it, I now believe that it exacerbated my illness).

The Confusing Case of Plaxico Burress

Apologies for my inattention to this blog. I got married (to a lovely girl) in Kauai and then got swine flu. I’m happy to report that the former was a much more pleasant experience.

The following doesn’t really pertain to the LSAT directly (or even indirectly), and because any attempt to relate it might seem disingenuous, I won’t try. But some familiar news has irked me and the people I ask don’t resonate my concerns, so I’m going out to you, our loyal MSS readers. You’ve probably considered this in passing, but in the way many thoughts are, it was likely lost in tumult of your daily life.

I’m talking, of course, about the sentencing of Plaxico Burress, the (former) New York Giants wide receiver.

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Too Much Law School Debt to be a Lawyer?

Okay, so I’m not the first to get to this. Or the second. In fact, it kind of feels like everyone I know or read on the internet has commented on the NYT piece about the guy who was denied admission to the New York bar because he had too much debt. But it’s very appropriate for MSS’s readers, and I have my own reasons for following this story with some interest, so here goes.

The apparent facts, such as they are:

Robert Bowman apparently didn’t have much money. He thus had to work and borrow for his education, from community college to Hastings Law School, accruing some $230,000 in student loan debt along the way. While this might sound like a large sum, it isn’t unimaginable when tuition alone for graduate schools is creeping towards $40,000 a year.

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Why U.S. News Law School Rankings are Lame: Part Trois

I’m tired of talking about this, so I can only imagine how tired your must be of hearing about it.

In my first post on this subject I argued that the USNWR rankings use LSAT scores in a way that is inappropriately self-reinforcing. In my second post, I argued that the use of lawyers’ and judges’ opinions in the rankings was inappropriate for similar reasons. By the end, I’d concluded that the USNWR rankings were performative, not merely descriptive, in that they heavily influence both law school admissions patterns and hiring practices which are the phenomena they’re purporting to track.

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Why U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Lame: Part Deux

In my last post, I bemoaned USNWR’s law school rankings as being performative rather than merely descriptive; that is, I claimed that the rankings create and reinforce a hierarchy of law schools, rather than merely tracking an independently established hierarchy.

I’m going to do more of the same here, but now I want to focus on another of USNWR’s ranking criteria: the opinions of lawyers, hiring partners, and judges. These are especially important, because the opinions of this group constitute one of the most heavily weighed criteria in the rankings.

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Why U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Lame

Every year when the U.S. News and World Report (hereafter USNWR) ranking of law schools comes out, I’m annoyed. Not just watered down drink, cold entree, stain on your new shirt annoyed either, but deeply existentially troubled.

Riley just wrote a piece about the USNWR rankings and, in doing so, he brought it all back. And now, I’m suffering again. Allow me to explain why.

First, I’m not casting aspersions on the people who compile this report. I’m sure they’re all intelligent and well-meaning people. (Or not, but either way it has no bearing on my annoyance).

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LSAT Study: Smart Drug + Genius = Oh Sh*t…

So they asked me to write something about an LSAT-related topic I’ve been thinking about.  So, being friendly-neighborhood-Trent, I complied.  Then they asked for another one, and so I popped another one out.

Problem is that I might not have considered the relationship between the content contained therein.

In class, I always have an impossible time trying to convince people that there are many conditional claims they’ve accepted as true, and yet have failed to conjoin.

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How to Become an LSAT Genius

A recent op-ed in the New York Times commented on the sources of genius.  We’ve traditionally thought of genius as something innate, an intangible kernel that allows an oddly chosen few to flourish while the rest of us toil in mundanity without any hope of reaching such heights.  The pathos, for example, of the film Amadeus largely derives from the fact that Salieri could never, through any amount of effort, be Mozart.  The latter was graced with some other-worldly gift that was simply unattainable to the former through hard work. When we marvel at athletes on TV, we’re quietly contented with the fact that we could never do what they do, that our bodies could never be as elastic, strong or coordinated as those who grace the court and field.