Relevance of logic games-type thinking

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powerfail

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Relevance of logic games-type thinking

Postby powerfail » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:24 am

This may be an odd question for this forum, but I feel like it would be interesting to get answers from people in different practice areas. My question is: What areas/aspects of law rely on the type of thinking tested by the Logic Games section of the LSAT?

I can totally see why the Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension sections test cognitive abilities that are relevant to law, since you need to be able to (1) understand and respond to arguments, and (2) read complex texts, especially judicial opinions, briefs, etc. But I'm a bit confused about how the LG section is relevant. Has anyone found this type of thinking useful in law school/practice? If so, are there courses/areas that rely on LG thinking more heavily than others? (Intuitively, I would expect that tax law might be like this--there are arbitrary rules like, "If you claim a deduction on X, then you can't claim a deduction on Y" and you need to be able to exploit those rules to your client's benefit. But I'm just speculating, I don't know anything about tax law.)

Genuinely curious about this.

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LSATWiz.com

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Re: Relevance of logic games-type thinking

Postby LSATWiz.com » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:46 am

I enjoy these questions because many assume that the LSAT has 0 applicability to law school and practice, but if an experienced attorney looked at the LSAT at a high-level, they'd likely see why the test correlates with 1L grades and bar passage and conclude that LSAC is actually quite brilliant for creating the test they did.

I agree that logical reasoning is probably the most applicable to law school, because in addition to testing reading comprehension and critical thinking, it requires you to be able to quickly simplify wordy and convoluted arguments to their raw logic and recognize potential counterarguments, which is a big part of exam taking. Reading comprehension insofar as the questions that LSAC throws at you vaguely test your ability to brief a case - you're looking to identify the conclusion of the passage and analyze how the main points of the other paragraphs relate to that conclusion.

While it may not make sense until you are already practicing law and LSAC may be able to do this more effectively, logic games test your ability to (1) apply law to fact and (2) analyze how different laws relate to each other. If you're a tax lawyer, for instance, you're often going to be confronted with considering both a blanket law and whether any exceptions or exceptions to the exception apply. In other words, in addition to applying law to fact, you will be expected to consider how different rules relate to one another. Logic games are there to test your ability to apply law to fact and to consider what deductions you can make.

One thing I notice is that many people taking the test are so focused on how to make a sketch or some superficial approach that dumbs down their natural way of thinking that they lose sight of what LSAC is really testing them for, which is simply to apply law to fact.

powerfail

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Re: Relevance of logic games-type thinking

Postby powerfail » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:16 pm

Interesting. What’s a little weird to me is the fact that validity studies show that the GRE correlates just as well with law school performance as the LSAT, even though (1) the GRE has neither LG not LR (which, like you said, seems especially relevant for legal thinking), and (2) half of the GRE is math, which you probably don’t need much in law. I think it was these studies which have led lots of law schools (including some of the top ones) to feel comfortable accepting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT over the last few years.

Any thoughts on what could explain that? How is it that an admission test for graduate school in general is just as predictive of law school success as an admission test specifically designed for law school admissions?

cavalier1138

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Re: Relevance of logic games-type thinking

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:08 am

powerfail wrote:Interesting. What’s a little weird to me is the fact that validity studies show that the GRE correlates just as well with law school performance as the LSAT, even though (1) the GRE has neither LG not LR (which, like you said, seems especially relevant for legal thinking), and (2) half of the GRE is math, which you probably don’t need much in law. I think it was these studies which have led lots of law schools (including some of the top ones) to feel comfortable accepting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT over the last few years.

Any thoughts on what could explain that? How is it that an admission test for graduate school in general is just as predictive of law school success as an admission test specifically designed for law school admissions?


Those "studies" (surveys would be a better description) have serious issues. For starters, the sample size was limited to students in each law school that who had taken the GRE. More importantly, the students they surveyed had already taken the LSAT and clearly had GRE scores in a comparable band. There was no indication that a student with a weak LSAT but a strong GRE would have had their law school performance track their GRE score rather than the LSAT.

Additionally, the schools that have used these surveys to justify accepting the GRE have been entirely opaque about which part of the GRE is being considered. As you mentioned, math is useless for law students, but the quantitative section of the GRE is the closest thing it has to logic games. So it's not clear whether schools are looking at the score as a whole, weighting one section, etc.

nixy

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Re: Relevance of logic games-type thinking

Postby nixy » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:08 am

Personally I think both tests just reward general smarts/work ethic and therefore people who do well on the tests have the ability to succeed in most fields.



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