February LSAT scores came out yesterday, just as I was enjoying a lovely lunch with my friends at BlueprintPrep.
The February LSAT is a tricky one, as evidenced by comments to this post about very low LSAT scores. (Skip to the recent comments). Here are the issues raised by this score:
1. If I submit applications by the middle/end of March, am I still going to be competitive?
2. My score was lower than I’d expected: Do I apply now with this score or retake the LSAT and apply after the June LSAT?
3. Do I use my June LSAT score and apply hoping to get admitted and start law school mere weeks after I apply?
If you were ever going to choose a year to apply late in the application cycle, THIS IS IT. 2013 is YOUR TIME! Why? Because applications are down 38% over two years and law schools are begging for applications. (See this post: The Time is Now To Get Into Law School – it has a handy infographic worthy of being printed and taped on your wall). However, law schools aren’t so desperate that it will make your 139 an attractive LSAT score and they will scoop you up the moment you apply. You still have to be reasonable in your expectations, especially because the law schools already have waiting lists filled with people who applied with LSAT scores from October and December. If your numbers are strong for a school, absolutely go ahead and apply now: you’ll be in good shape.
If your LSAT score from February won’t put you in range for the schools you want to attend, please stop and regroup and come up with a new timeline and strategy. Please. You won’t want to listen, of course. You’ll have already told your family and friends and that cute guy at the bar that you’re applying to law school and it would be, like, totally humiliating to change course right now and have to tell people you suck at the LSAT. (Wow, I think my Blueprint friends are rubbing off on me…one lunch and I’m snarky! I’ll work on that… let me rephrase in Ann Levine speak:)
Sometimes life gives you lemons, sometimes there are surprises. But how you deal with them is what defines you. Make a good long-term decision. Please don’t rush and apply, hoping to get in anywhere and transfer after the first year. If you do that, you’ll be one of the phone calls I get every January when 1L grades come out: “I’m not in the top half of my class but I really hate [insert random state 1,000+ miles from hometown] here and I want to go home. Can I transfer to the Top-14 school across the street from my parents’ house?” I hate, hate, hate being the person who tells you that you’re stuck in that random place that you hate. So please, for my sake, take a few months to regroup, retake the LSAT, and set yourself up for longterm success.