Law School Applications are (Mostly) Available

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It’s September 4th and it’s official. A Fall 2010 law school applicant has sent me an application to review before submitting it. The Fall 2010 application season officially begins!

I hesitate to post this because I know it will make many of my readers paranoid – ‘OMG! I need to submit my applications THIS week! Who cares if the LSAT is 3 weeks away?! I’m mortgaging my future by not applying RIGHT THIS MINUTE.”

Let me assure you, any thoughts like this are absolutely extreme and unnecessary. I dedicate an entire chapter in my book to “Working the Rolling Admission Process” but the important thing to read right now is:

“…do you need to apply on the first possible day? No. Should you? No. Here’s why: first, law school admission officers are off recruiting people to apply to their law schools.They aren’t spending time in September reviewing very many files.” The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert, p. 48.

Therefore, don’t sacrifice quality for speed. Take a few weeks to build a strong application and then submit it. Do things right; this is much more important than being the first application submitted.

In the case of the client who just sent me his first four applications, I can assure you -his materials are quality in addition to quick.

12 thoughts on “Law School Applications are (Mostly) Available

  1. Melissa on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I love your blog! You give such great advice.

    During the summers before my junior and senior years of high school, I took courses at two highly-ranked universities in California. I received college credit for this coursework, but I was disappointed to see that my grades in these courses were computed in my LSAC GPA. It resulted in only a tiny drop from my college GPA, but of course I am bummed, as my GPA is one of my strengths. Will law schools actually look at my transcripts from each institution? Or do they just see the final number and that’s it?

    If only I’d studied harder… in high school!

    Thank you!

    • Hi Melissa,
      A great question! I am so happy you asked (and so happy you love the blog).
      First, schools will see your GPA by academic year – making it very obvious how old these courses are. Second, they will see your actual transcripts. IF this only lowers your overall GPA a little bit, please don’t fret over this. It’s pretty standard and shouldn’t change your application significantly. If you are really concerned, you can explain you took college courses in high school.
      Good luck!

  2. Hi Ann,

    I am in the midst of filling out my applications and on a few of them are optional sections that ask about how I heard about their school or what other schools I am applying to. Should I fill out this section? It is included on my safety schools’ applications, and I do not what them to see that every other school I am applying too is ranked higher than them and for that to negatively impact me. I am definately interested in those schools because I could potentially graduate without a mortgage over my head since they are “regional schools” that are near home. Thanks!!

    • Elanor, It’s simply about marketing. The law schools like to know. I think it looks funny when someone with a 139 puts down that he is applying to Harvard – in that case it would reflect negatively. Your chance to show you’re sincerely interested in a lower ranked school is to use your PS to enumerate some reasons why, to visit the school if possible, and to demonstrate a sincere interest in the program.
      Good luck.
      Ann

  3. Jeff Buckner on said:

    Ann,

    Great book and blog! You need to do more podcasts though!

    I’m taking my first LSAT on 9/26. I’m currently a non-traditional student finishing my undergrad in May. I’m sitting with a 3.66 GPA. I’m currently getting all of my applications together, this way all I will be waiting on is my LSAT score.

    My question is if my LSAT score is low, and I decide to re-take in December do I send in my apps with the first LSAT score with a supplementary statement saying I’m retaking the LSAT, but keep me in consideration! Or do I just wait until the December scores are in to send in my apps?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Jeff, So glad the book and blog are helpful! (I’d love a review on Amazon if you’re so inclined!)
      If you decide to retake December and your schools list won’t change depending on the score, you can submit applications but tell them you’re re-taking the LSAT. Your application will not be reviewed w/o the pending LSAT score, but you will save a few weeks in the process.
      If you are waiting to create your schools list based on your December LSAT score, then wait for the score before applying.
      Good luck on Saturday – I hope this is the only time you have to take the test.
      Ann

  4. Long time fan of your site. I have a minor question for you, Ann. I checked the transcript that my college sent out to LSAC and I spotted one or two typos, the most obvious one being in the address for LSAC. The transcript did arrive at LSAC so the typos did not affect the mailing. I think that my order was probably mistyped in registration office when it got processed. Should I have these errors corrected and the transcript sent again just so there is no doubt of my professionalism from admissions officers? Or do these errors not matter to admissions offices? Thanks.

  5. Hi Ann. Thank you for the positive response. On my transcript, the LSAC address, the most obvious mistake, appears on every page. It lists who the transcript has been issued to. Should I still not worry? Or should I get the transcript fixed and updated?

  6. Melissa on said:

    Hi Ann!

    So I am waiting very patiently (sigh) for my last LOR to be processed by LSAC. Other than that, my applications are ready to go. I know it is possible to submit applications without your last LOR and arrange for it to be sent once it arrives, but is there any real benefit to doing this? I am a little worried that schools that do not require more than one LOR will just mark my application as complete without it (and this will be a good LOR!), and I don’t want my application to get messed up. Thoughts?

    Thank you so much!

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