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#36741
Complete Question Explanation

(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=14629)

Specific Reference, Function. The correct answer choice is (A)

This question refers to line 43, so it is advisable to begin reading for context a few lines earlier. The
third paragraph begins with a pessimistic prediction about the long-term ramifications of these plans,
and the author goes on to assert that the plans’ main role will probably be to serve as marketing devices
for unestablished attorneys. Since the passage goes on to say that this class of attorney is likely to offer
less expertise and less customer satisfaction, it appears that the author does not believe that such use, as
marketing devices, will be beneficial.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. The author believes that the use of these plans
as marketing devices is likely to bring more clients to lawyers with less expertise, thus reducing client
satisfaction. It would therefore seem the author focuses on this aspect of the plan in order to point out its
potential detriment.

Answer choice (B): Since the author does not discuss what plan administrators believe, this answer
choice is incorrect. While it seems reasonable to believe that administrators might perceive their role in
this way, the author never makes this point.

Answer choice (C): The author doesn’t seem to believe the plans offer any long-term benefits to lawyers
and clients, and specifically discusses how the aspect of marketing can be harmful. This response states
that marketing is an “unequivocal” benefit, an assertion which is contrary to the passage.

Answer choice (D): The last paragraph consists of the author’s own opinions, and does not attribute any
ideas to established opponents of the plan.

Answer choice (E): Even though the discussion of marketing might explain why lawyers who are not yet
established are willing to sign on to the plan, the passage does not define marketing as a “chief burden.”
 pacemaker
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#19192
I don't understand why choice C is wrong?

I thought that by talking about how the plan may serve as a marketing device for the new and unestablished lawyers, the author is presenting a counterargument and acknowledging that some people may benefit from the plan but later on in the paragraph, he states his opinion that the plan is not beneficial for the entire legal profession. I thought that the author was elaborating further on the administrator's claim from paragraph 2 about the referrals and weakening the administrator's argument by saying that the referrals don't benefit the established lawyers and given that the plan is driving prices low, those referrals don't bring in enough money.

I don't see the link between the marketing devices leading to deterimental effects.

If the question asked me for the purpose of the final paragraph, then I see how A could be right. In the final paragraph, the author is presenting his opinion against the plan.
 Steve Stein
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#19193
Hi pacemaker,

That's a good question. Since the question refers to line 43, it is advisable to begin reading for context a few lines earlier. The third paragraph begins with a pessimistic prediction about the long-term ramifications of these plans, and the author goes on to assert that the plans’ main role will probably be to serve as marketing devices for unestablished attorneys. Since the passage goes on to say that this class of attorney is likely to offer less expertise and less customer satisfaction, it appears that the author does not believe that such use, as marketing devices, will be beneficial. This explains why answer choice (A) is right. The author believes that the use of these plans as marketing devices is likely to bring more clients to lawyers with less expertise, thus reducing client satisfaction. It would therefore seem the author focuses on this aspect of the plan in order to point out its potential detriment.

The issue with answer choice (C) is that the author doesn’t seem to believe the plans offer any long-term benefits to lawyers and clients, and specifically discusses how the aspect of marketing can be harmful. This response states that marketing is an “unequivocal” benefit, an assertion which is contrary to the passage.

I hope that's helpful! please let me know if this is clear--thanks!

~Steve
 pacemaker
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#19209
Thanks Steve! I see how that reasoning works in the context of this passage/question.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid such errors on other passages?

When I get questions wrong, I am studying the mistakes carefully but I feel that I have having problem in transferring what I have learned from the mistakes in one passage to another passage to avoid making more mistakes.
 Robert Carroll
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#19216
pacemaker,

The big point that should turn you away from answer choice (C) here (and in similar contexts where you're tempted by an analogous wrong answer choice) is the importance of language in the answer choices. Answer choice (C) says that the author considers marketing devices an unequivocal benefit. The author would have to use language that would enable me to infer a strongly positive attitude toward marketing devices - "unequivocal benefit" is quite strong and needs to be supported by language in the passage. Since the context surrounding the reference is negative, the author would have to go out of his/her way in order to tell me that marketing devices are an exception to this list of bad effects. Since the author does not do that, "unequivocal" is a large red flag.

The short of this is that you don't want to distort the words of the passage or of the answer choice in order to force something to be right. This question falls within the Must Be True category, so if an answer is correct, it must be based on what you already saw in the passage. Don't shift the answer choice's meaning to match the passage, or the context of the passage to match the answer choice.

A final word that may be helpful in this situation and that could be transferred to similar questions: even if you found yourself thinking the author might think marketing devices are beneficial, ask yourself if you are prepared to say that they are unequivocally so. Each word matters, so if this answer is true, you could confidently say "The author regards the marketing devices not only as a benefit, but as an unequivocal benefit." If you can't say that, you don't have the right answer.

Robert Carroll
 Haleyeastham
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#19540
Can you please explain to me how answer choice A is the correct answer? I went with D originally and I'm not seeing A's connection to that part of the passage. Thanks!
 Steve Stein
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#19548
Hi Haley,

That's a good question; with questions that refer to a specific line in a given passage, it is generally advisable to begin reading a bit before the first referenced line in order to ensure that you understand the full context. The third paragraph begins with a pessimistic prediction about the long-term ramifications of these plans, and the author asserts that the plans’ main role will probably be to serve as marketing devices for unestablished attorneys. Since the passage goes on to say that this class of attorney is likely to offer less expertise and less customer satisfaction, it appears that the author does not believe that such use (as marketing devices) will be beneficial. The author believes that the use of these plans as marketing devices is likely to bring more clients to lawyers with less expertise, thus reducing client satisfaction. It would therefore seem, as answer choice (A) provides, that the author focuses on this aspect of the plan in order to point out its potential detriment.

I hope that's helpful! Please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

~Steve

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