Matt Shinners

Matt one time concussed himself by falling off of a goal post. Well, technically, the concrete concussed him, but many say it knocked some sense into him. He just thinks it was the right way to celebrate Boston College's victory over Notre Dame.
Matt was accepted to Harvard Law School despite a non-pre-med Biochemistry GPA mostly thanks to his 180 LSAT score. Have you seen the recent U.S. News and World Report rankings? You can thank Matt for that +.0001 bump in prestige.
When teaching a class, Matt likes to relate the LSAT to real life. Since his real life consists of amassing Transformer action figures and playing far too much Final Fantasy, we imagine that means you'll be discussing a lot of revenge motifs and searching for the Allspark. Matt assures us this will result in a solid understanding of the material and better human beings with +3 crystarium points.
After a heated office debate involving a hamster and a pint of grape kool-aid, confirmed that ''concussed'' is actually a word. Sorry, Riley.

Author Archive:

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What Law Schools Look For in Your LSAT Writing Sample

Ah, the LSAT writing sample. You will never find a more wretched collection of half-formed arguments and poor writing. You should be careful.

Or not.

Because, in all honesty, it doesn’t matter very much.

The writing sample on the LSAT always evokes a feeling of dread from first-time LSAT test-takers. You’ve sat in a room for over three hours, nerves shot and caffeine headache pounding, with dozens of other students, many of whom haven’t showered in the past few days in order to maximize their study time. The last thing anyone wants to do is write an essay.

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Tips for Law School Letter of Recommendations

While your LSAT score, GPA and personal statement will make up the majority of your application packet, your law school letters of recommendation are an integral part of it as well. It’s easy to treat them as an afterthought, just hitting up a few professors in whose classes you received a good grade. However, if you plan out your law school letters of recommendation, they can become a huge plus. Here are a few rules to guide you in the process.

Law School Letters of Recommendation Rule #1
Ask for them early

Professors are notoriously slow at writing law school letters of recommendation.

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From the Archives: What to Expect on Your LSAT Date

So you’re not ready for the big leagues of law school letter of recommendation dating yet. That’s fine. Blueprint’s got you covered. We guarantee we’ve got the perfect gal for you to meet on an LSAT date.

Going on an LSAT date may not be what you were hoping for, but it’ll be far from the worst blind date you’ve ever been on.

So what can you expect on your LSAT date?

The Introduction

You show up, not really knowing what to expect. You hope for the best, yet fear for the worst. Your palms are a bit sweaty. You debate the hug versus the hand shake. Will this LSAT date go well?

There she is!

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From the Archives: Taking Time Off Before Law School is OK

People love to tell you how to land that nice, cushy, Big Law job after graduation. Get straight A’s. Go to a top school. Earn a spot on law review.

All good advice, even if significantly easier said than done.

But what if I told you there’s something you can do right now that would increase your chances of landing a job after graduation almost as much as anything else?

Well, there is! (I sound like Vince from the ShamWow! Commercials; imagine me screaming this last sentence at you.)

Get a job.


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Help! I’m Still Waiting on a Letter of Recommendation!

Unfortunately, not many professors have a New Year’s resolution of getting through their backlog of law school letters of recommendation. So not only are they already holding up your application, but they’re unlikely to make a lot of headway…

Without a gentle reminder.

Waiting on law school letters of recommendation is, by far, the most frustrating part of the law school application process. While you might get stymied during your LSAT prep or sick of your personal statement, at least they’re under your control. The law school letter of recommendation, however, falls squarely on someone else’s shoulders.

It’s getting late in the law school application season, though, so it’s time to start prodding professors to get those letters in so you can apply.

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Matt Shinners’s Law School Admissions Predictions for 2014

Last week, I looked at the move by Harvard Law School to extend the application deadline. As another storm barrels across the country, let’s talk about how the overall law school admissions landscape is going to change in the upcoming year.

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by predicting the decline in the number of law school applicants to continue. However, I do think that we’re getting close to it reaching a peak. While I don’t know if 2014 will be the year we see that number slow its meteoric rise, I do think there’s a good chance that the rate of decline will slow.

However, that still means there will be a decline. While the top law schools will still (mostly) hold on to their numbers, expect to see almost everyone drop a bit.

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HLS is for Lovers…of Applying Late

Harvard is causing quite a stir this year. As announced on their garish blog, they will be accepting the February LSAT for applicants who want to begin law school this upcoming fall.

Their stated reason is the postponement of the LSAT for many test-takers due to winter storms throughout the country. And many people are saying that’s most likely the case.

However, there is another, vocal group who insists that they’re accepting later applications to make up for the decline in applicants – a decline of 11% again, continuing the recent downward trend.

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The December LSAT Score Wait: Time to Finish Applications

Many of you braved bad proctors, small desks, storms, and, yes, even earthquakes to sit for the 2013 December LSAT. It’s a huge accomplishment. In fact, I’m writing this with a speech recognition program so I can slow clap while writing it. Can you hear it start to speed up? Well, I assure you it is.

My software tried to transcribe the crescendo, so back to serious business.

You should be proud of finishing the LSAT, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about the rest of the law school application process. We’re already in December, so it’s time to light a fire under you.

First off, if you want to apply for the current law school admissions cycle, it’s important to get through the list I’m about to give you ASAP.

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Matt Shinners’s 2013 December LSAT Predictions

I’m just now recovering from my turkey-induced coma (and Wild Turkey-induced hangover), and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to make some 2013 December LSAT predictions!

Let’s peek inside the closet to see what crazy presents the LSAT is hiding for this holiday season.

2013 December LSAT Prediction I: Logic Games

The October 2013 LSAT featured a killer game (movie theater scheduling) and three standard games. This seems to be an emerging trend for the LSAT – moderately difficult games, with a really hard one thrown in.