I’m back from Maui and wanted to share with you the most common questions and issues I’m hearing this week from law school applicants. Hopefully this will make you feel better. (It isn’t just you, really!).
1. Should I cancel my LSAT score?
I’ve blogged quite a bit about this. (See Thinking About Cancelling Your LSAT Score)Here is the link to a post I previously published about whether to cancel your LSAT score.
For details about how to cancel your LSAT score see LSAC.org.
Here are the basics from their web site:
We must receive a signed fax or overnight letter with your request within six calendar days of the test. If you do not receive confirmation of receipt of your request within four calendar days after your request was submitted, contact LSAC immediately. If your request has not been processed, you may submit proof that your request was received at LSAC within the required period. Documentation of proof of receipt will not be accepted beyond 14 calendar days after the test. You can also cancel your score at the test center if you are absolutely certain you want to cancel your score.
2. How do I know whether I would benefit from working with an admissions consultant?
I was recently quoted in an opinion piece by Dennis Beaver, Esq. entitled “You and the Law: the Business of Getting You Into Law School.”
The following is taken directly from that article:
Do you need a consultant?
“A good consultant gives you an added layer of guidance and confidence. However, if you are only applying to one or two schools, and your LSAT and undergraduate GPA is in line with what they are looking for, and there are no problem areas in you application, you probably do not need a consultant,” [Ann Levine] was quick to point out. I respect that kind of honesty.
“Law School applicants who benefit the most have a weakness in their application, such as a low grade point average, poor LSAT score, an arrest, or have been out of school for a great deal of time. In today’s reality of getting into school, they truly need the help of a good consultant,” she [Ann Levine]adds.
In addition to the above, you may benefit from working with a law school admission consultant if:
(a) You are out of college and/or do not have access to a helpful and knowledgeable prelaw adviser.
(b) You feel overwhelmed by the process of applying to law school.
(c) You work better when you are held accountable to someone.
(d) You would like to get your parents/spouse/significant other out of the process and have access to an objective and knowledgeable third party to answer your questions and make sure you’re making the right decisions for yourself.
(e) You don’t know where to start and feel like you’re spinning your wheels.
(f) You have a tendency to procrastinate.
(g) You are re-applying to law school.
(h) You simply want the best of everything and to arm yourself with every possible advantage in this competitive process.
3. Should I retake the LSAT in October?
This is a very hard question to answer on a personal basis in the blog format because it depends on so many factors. But if you took June and have decided not to cancel the score, then let’s wait and see what the score is before you make this decision.
4. When is the earliest I can start submitting applications?
Most schools begin accepting applications September 1, but many do not begin reviewing them until November. What matters is when your application is “complete” – when all materials to be considered by the law school are received by the individual law school. The most common aggravating factor is waiting for a letter of recommendation – try to avoid this by asking for LORs early and making sure the people you ask are reliable and accountable.
5. Is it better to have a June LSAT score that doesn’t reflect my potential and apply early, or to wait until October and have a better LSAT score?
It is ABSOLUTELY much better to have a higher LSAT and have your application be complete in November than to have a lower LSAT and be the first application to be submitted. (Depending on the score differential, the same rule may or may not be true with the December LSAT but we won’t worry about that quite yet since it’s still June).
Here is a link to a guest blog post I answered on Integrated Learning about the importance of preparing for the LSAT the right way and taking it once (as opposed to taking it cold).
I hope this helps – and for everyone who has been asking whether you might have your LSAT scores before July 7th, I don’t have solid insider info on that. But my guess is that you will have scores e-mailed out July 3rd. However, this is only a guess and it’s not based on anything other than a hunch. Good luck to everyone. I’ll be in the office Monday-Wednesday (June 23-25) this week, but won’t be able to answer blog questions Thursday through Sunday. I will get back to everyone on the 30th. Thanks for reading, and I apologize for any sloppy formatting today -I’m still jet lagged.
Should LOCI be sent on paper or on email?
Dear Law school expert,
i’ve a problem – If I don’t do well on the LSAT, I would like to retake it.
However, I realize that the october administrations within my vicinity is full for just about 50 miles all around. That would leave me only with a december administration option (besides waiting a year).
Do you think that will be too late? Furthermore, if waitlisted by then, do you think a better LSAT score will help pull an applicant off the waitlist?
Hi – First see how your score is. If you decide to retake the test for Fall 2009 admission, then try to get into a test center for October, even if it requires traveling. December should be a last resort.
Will this cycle be more competitive than the last?
My guess – in a word – yes. Traditionally, when the economy/job market are down then applications to J.D. programs rise. This will particularly be true with those schools where people perceive “added value” in attending – like the top law schools.
oh dear, that sounds bad…
do u think it will be significantly harder, like a big jump in median LSAT/ GPA at top schools eg 3-4 points rise in median lsat? and 0.2-0.3 rise in median GPA?
It is extremely difficult for a law school to raise it’s median by 3-4 points. That would be a remarkable feat in a year.
so i guess it’ll be about 1-2?
I got my June score already today, 7/3/08. What a 4th gift?