Law School Discussion

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Studying for the LSAT / PT#21 Sec.2(LR) Q.19
« on: November 27, 2008, 10:24:17 PM »
here's a paraphrase.

- An analysis has revealed the existence of frozen nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide on the surface of Pluto.
- Such ices vaporize, thus producing an atmosphere.
- The proportion of any gas in such an atmosphere depends directly on how readily the ice vaporizes.
- Therefore, astronomers have concluded that Pluto's atmosphere consists of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane, in order of decreasing abundance.

The astronomers' argument relies on which one of the following assumptions?

(C) There is no frozen substance on the surface of Pluto that vaporizes more readily than methane but less readily than carbon monoxide.



(C) is the correct answer. But, suppose there's such a substance, but in so small a quantity that it takes up very, very small percentage in the atmosphere. That is, the substance is in a frozen state, and vaporizes more readily than methane, less readily than carbon monoxide, but exists in such a small quantity. Then, it would make only a very small proportion in Pluto's atmosphere. (For example, nitrogen makes 70%, carbon monoxide 20%, and methane 9%, and the mysterious substance 1%. Still, the mysterious substance could vaporize faster than methane, but from a smaller amount of ice.)

This is why I thought (C) doesn't have to be assumed. Is there anything wrong in my thinking?

12
Studying for the LSAT / PT#21 Sec.2(LR) Q.17
« on: November 27, 2008, 10:11:26 PM »
Here's a paraphrase.

- Though the Amazonian Akabe people greatly enjoy a tea made from the leaves of a forest plant, they drink it only in small amounts at dawn.
- Anthropologists hypothesize that since the tea is very high in caffeine, the explanation for the Akabe's not drinking more of it at dawn is because the caffeine intake would destroy the surefootedness that their daily tasks require.

Q. Which one of the following, if true, most seriously calls the anthropologists' explanation into question?

(C) The leaves used for the tea contain a soluble narcotic.

(C) is the correct answer, but I don't see exactly how it weakens the explanation.

13
Studying for the LSAT / PT#21 Sec.3(LR) Q.19
« on: November 27, 2008, 09:55:15 PM »
Here's how I understood the stimulus, but it's not necessarily a correct paraphrase.

-In the first decade following the foundation of the Labour party, the number of regular voters for the party increased fivefold.
-During the party's second decade, the number of committed voters for the party increased a further fivefold.
-The increase was the same in the first decade as in the second. Therefore, the Labour party's claim that they gained more voters in the second decade is clearly false.

So.. I guess it's actually true that the Labour party's claim is false, because the no. of voters first increased five times, then further increased five times in the second decade, so the absolute number of increase is greater during the second decade. (For example, it went to 5 million from 1 million during the first decade, then 25 million from 5 million during the second decade.)

But, the question stem says the argument is flawed. I don't see why it's flawed. Second, I don't understand the wording of the correct answer, (B). Can somebody explain on these points?



14
Studying for the LSAT / PT#21 Sec.3(LR) Q.15
« on: November 27, 2008, 09:40:46 PM »
Here's a paraphrase

Politician:
-The mandatory jail sentences for some crimes that became law recently, have enhanced the integrity of the justice system.
-It's because now there's no longer two kinds of justice, the kind by lenient judges and the kind by severe judges.

Public advocate:
-But, now judges have no option even if they need to be appropriately lenient.
-Juries now acquit some defendants solely because they feel mandatory sentence would be too harsh.
-Therefore, the mandatory jail sentences should be repealed.

Q. Which one of the following principles, if valid, provides the politician with the strongest basis for countering the public advocate's argument?

(B) A system of justice should clearly define what the specific actions are that judges are to perform within the system.
(E) Changes in a system of justice that produce undesirable consequences should be reversed only if it is not feasible to ameliorate those undesirable consequences through further modification.


I put (B). The correct answer is (E). I didn't put (E) because the stimulus didn't mention at all about the possibility of the "further modification", thus I thought there's no sufficient evidence that further modification on mandatory sentences is possible. I think (B) kinda hits the spot, but it's not the correct answer. Can someone please explain what conclusively makes (E) an correct answer, but not (B)?

15
Personal Statement / My PS.
« on: November 27, 2008, 09:47:55 AM »
I need a critical read of the first draft of my PS. We can swap PS, I would return the favor. Please PM me.

16
Studying for the LSAT / PT#37 Sec.2(LR) Q.22
« on: November 19, 2008, 05:24:33 AM »
Please help me with this weirdo.

A paraphrase:

Political theorist:
- Many believe that the punishment of criminals should be mitigated to some extent if the crime was motivated by a good, sincere desire.
- Nevertheless, judges should never mitigate punishment on the basis of motives, since motives are essentially a matter of conjecture and even the worst motives can easily presented as good.

Q. Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the political theorist's reasoning?

(A) Laws that prohibit or permit actions solely on the basis of psychological states should not be part of a legal system.
(B) It is better to err on the side of overly severe punishment than to err on the side of overly lenient punishment.
(C) The legal permissibility of actions should depend on the perceivable consequences of those actions.


I put (C). The correct answer's (B). All of these, (A), (B), (C) were my contenders and I still have less than clear clue on why (B) is the answer. I guess (C) is not the answer because the legal permissibility of actions may depend on the motives of the actions as well as on the perceivable consequences of them. I thought (B) was kind of too simplistic of an answer to be the correct choice. (A) also sounds pretty plausible.

Could someone explain with clarity why (B) has to be the answer and not (A) and (C)?

Thanks.

17
Studying for the LSAT / PT#37 Sec.2(LR) Q.2
« on: November 19, 2008, 04:54:31 AM »
It's always embarrasing to miss a question within Q1-10. cause I just assume I get them right.

Anyways, here's a paraphrase.

- Prior to 1700, pilings for bridge piers were driven to "refusal," that is, to the point at which they refuse to go any deeper.
- In 1588, a folk named Da Ponte had met the contemporary standard for refusal, that is, to have the pilings to be driven until additional penetration into the ground is no greater than two inches after 24 hammer blows.

Q. Which one of the following can properly be inferred from the passage?

(C) Da Ponte's standard of refusal was less strict than that of other bridge builders of his day.
(E) It is possible that the pilings of Da Ponte's bridge could have been driven deeper even after the standard of refusal had been met.


I put (C). (E) is the correct answer.
Here's how I understood it:
1. the contemporary standard for refusal is less strict than "refusal."
2. In around 1588, many builders other than Da Ponte met the standard of "refusal," not the contemporary standard for refusal.
3. Therefore, Da Ponte's standard of refusal was less strict than other builders' of his day. ->(C)

(E) was also my contender, but didn't pick it because I thought first, Da Ponte didn't have the pilings to be driven to the point of "refusal," and second, you never know for sure if there would've been a room for pilings to go even deeper after meeting "refusal."

Can anybody tell me what is wrong with my reasoning?

Thanks in advance.

18
Personal Statement / I'm re-applying. Do I need a new PS?
« on: November 16, 2008, 08:10:13 AM »
I applied in the last cycle, so this is the second time around for me. I already have my old PS and DS ,and I think I'll apply to most of the schools that I applied last time. Do I need to write new essays? Or can I just send the same PS and DS to the schools that I've already applied?

19
Studying for the LSAT / PT#36 Sec.3(LR) Q.20
« on: November 14, 2008, 07:47:37 AM »
Let me rephrase the question.

Critic:
- Some people claim that it is inconsistent to support freedom of speech and also support limiting violence on TV. But, it is not.
- The damage done by violent TV shows is more harmful than the decrease in freedom of speech by limiting it. Therefore we can limit violent TV shows.

Question: Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the critic's reasoning.

I put (D), which says "If the exercise of a basic freedom leads to some harm, then the exercise of that freedom should be restricted." I thought this principle was kind of an overkill, nevertheless it can do the most sweeping justification for the argument. In the passage, it's argued that TV shows can be limited because violent TV shows do more harm than the loss from limitation in freedom of speech. Then, the principle that says if there's any harm in some activity then it should be restricted, can correctly justify the argument, I thought. Is there anything wrong in my thinking?

The correct answer is (B), which says "One can support freedom of speech while at the same time recognizing that it can sometimes be overriden by other interests." This sounds pretty good, too. But, I thought "other interests" was too weak or too vague to strengthen the argument.

What do you think?

20
Studying for the LSAT / PT #36 Sec1(LR) Q.24
« on: November 14, 2008, 04:17:59 AM »
I don't get why (B) is the correct answer. The passage doesn't say 1984 exercised the most influence; it just says that 1984 exercised much influence and that it was chosen second most often by the readers. Then, why do we need to know how many people chose books other than 1984 to evaluate the columnist's argument?

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