Study: Just Studying To Get Into Law School Can Make You Smarter

The Saxon State Library in Dresden, Germany

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Stephan Herz

You don’t have to attend law school to become smarter — just study for the entrance exam.

Few students look fondly at taking the Law School Admissions Test, but those who take the time to study might see benefits such as higher IQ scores, the National Law Journal reports.

Studying for the LSAT bolsters the brain’s circuits and bridges the gap between its two hemispheres, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley Department of Psychology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute.

“The fact that performance on the LSAT can be improved with practice is not new,” lead researcher Allyson Mackey told the NLJ. “What we were interested in is whether and how the brain changes as a result of LSAT preparation – which we think is, fundamentally, reasoning training. We wanted to show that the ability to reason is malleable in adults.”

Researchers conducted brain scans on 24 college students and recent graduates, before and after they spent 100 hours over three months studying for the LSAT. They also scanned 23 young adults who did not study.

The scans revealed increased connectivity between the frontal lobes of the brain as well as frontal and parietal lobes among those who studied — both are parts of the brain associated with reasoning and spatial cognition, NLJ reported.Even in the tough job market for lawyers, law students can still walk away a little bit smarter – but only if they studied.

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