Resource Round-Up: April 12th

Howdy, students! Some creative projects and my gearing up for the June tutoring harvest have kept me from blogging as much as I'd hoped, so this post is the first in a casual installment I'm calling the Resource Roundup. A big reason I wanted to start ZenLSAT was my frustration over how difficult it was to find honest feedback on what LSAT resources were out there and how good they were.

As I write in Beyond the LSAT, however, I think there's a lot of value in utilizing non-LSAT-specific resources while you prepare for your test. So, whenever I find enough resources I like, I'll put them up here. 

The Long Read

I'm gearing up to write one-month fantasy novels with a few friends, which means digging back into the fantasy books I love and trying a few new ones on. Both The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Magicians by Lev Grossman detail the semi-magical education of their young protagonists, but they do so in very different ways than most books (and from each other).

Reading literary fiction is a great way to expand your vocabulary and build your empathy - and you'll also appreciate the protagonists' frustrations and trials as their magical learning parallels your less-magical LSAT learning :) 

The Short Read

I was very excited to receive the first issue of 1843, the new bi-monthly magazine from The Economist, in my mailbox the other week, and even more excited when I realized how well-suited its writing is to LSAT Reading Comp practice. 

1843's articles on culture, technology, and politics are engaging, but are technical enough that they also demand the kind of careful reading you'd need on an LSAT RC passage. I wouldn't be surprised to see both "Versailles in the valley" and "Rational reproduction" excerpted on future LSATs.

The Endorsement

There's never been a better time to brush up your logical reasoning skills, because now there are dozens of online courses that teach you computer programming languages. I recommend Udacity.

Learning a programming language is a really excellent and really different way to exercise your logical brain and to get practice with thinking in terms of logical structure because, unlike human languages, programming languages have to work very precisely. If you can't precisely wield your "if statements" and understand Boolean values, your program simply won't work. 

I've been taking CS101/Intro to Programming with Python on Udacity, and couldn't be more happy. It's 100% free and the instruction is very clear. Give it a try!

The Endangerment

There are a lot of LSAT / law school resources that can be double-edged swords in their ability to help and hurt you on your law school journey, and none fit the description better than Top Law Schools (or TLS).

TLS has an incredibly useful forum for people who are applying to law school to connect with other applicants, law school professionals, and current law students. I really would've gone mad without it.

However, it's also easy to go mad with it, because it's easy to get sucked into the vortex of talking and thinking about things that you can't necessarily control. It's also hard to decide which of the conflicting opinions on the site you can trust, and how many grains of salt need to be taken with each piece of anonymous advice you get. 

So, go! But be warned.

A Moment of Zen

While your LSAT journey may be stressful, it will never be as stressful as these dogs struggling with stairs.