LSAT Engine Strategy Blog

Co-Founder Josh Lord had a conversation earlier this month where he discussed LSAT Engine with UCLA's Bruin Businesses. Here's part of that conversation:

What is something about your experience at UCLA that you bring to your business today?

The hustle. Both Justin and I met at UCLA, and though we pursued different degrees and took courses on the opposite ends of campus, we both had the same experience. UCLA offers so many resources as well as opportunities to connect with talented, driven people from all over the world. But it’s your job to seek these resources out, make those connections, and design your own career path. This forces you to think about your future and to employ professional skills like time management and organization to squeeze the most value out of those opportunities. In our time at UCLA, we both found that professors/advisers/mentors were willing to discuss our ideas and offer sage advice, but they weren’t going to knock on our dorm room begging us to receive it. It is an invaluable skill for the young, hungry entrepreneur to be skilled at seeking out opportunity. We have grown over 100% each year we’ve been in business without the need for outside capital because we seek out partnerships and take on whatever task is necessary to push the business forward, regardless of title or recognition. To capture a piece of any market dominated by large, entrenched competitors, you gotta be willing to hustle. And UCLA taught us to do just that.

What would you share with other Bruins interested in your business?

We’re disrupting the way students prepare for high-stakes exams. Using machine learning to replicate the private tutoring experience, we’ve created a program that constantly adjusts to a student’s skill level on the LSAT, making the one-size-fits-all model of traditional classroom courses obsolete. Because we automate that experience, we’re able to cut costs dramatically and help a wider range of students who might not have been able to afford prep at all. By partnering with LSAC, we match fee waivers and offer financial aid in service of our mission to Never Turn A Student Away Because He/She Couldn’t Pay for our program. Guided by a social mission and helped by our amazing staff of current and former bruins (our Director of Marketing, Director of Student Outreach, and Front-End Developer are all bruins!), we are a small but talented team of people who can see the direct results of their hard work. Our company runs as a flat organization, where everyone from our interns to our accountant can feel free to share his/her ideas and criticisms equally, knowing that they are appreciated as we constantly look to make our product better for our students. And we’re based in Westwood!

What is one of your professional achievements/professional goals that you are most proud of/would like to share?

It’s working. We knew it would take some time to validate our thesis that students from any background with an internet connection and a desire to improve could do so consistently. After 3.5 years in business, we can say that they do just that with confidence. Recently we had a fee waiver student named Avery (a student who receives our course entirely for free as a result of difficult socio-economic circumstances) put roughly 30 points on her score, going from a 145 to a 175 (the LSAT is out of 180 and a 175 is a 99.5th percentile score). That is a life-changing increase and one that opens doors to the best law schools in the world. And though we don’t make any money on fee waiver students (in fact, we actually lose money servicing this type of account), Avery’s story is exactly why we got into this business. In our combined 35+ years of helping student’s reach their ultimate potential, it never gets old.

Posted: 6-26-2020