September test scores are out. Some of my clients do not feel that their scores are indicative of their true ability, and we’re discussing the pros/cons of retaking it on December 5th. Check out my July 20th post "Thinking about retaking the LSAT?" where I address the topic.
What they are more concerned about, however, is whether the December administration will put them at a disadvantage because it is late in the admissions cycle. I’ll address that today.
When law schools indicate a deadline date of February 1, March 1, March 15, etc., they understand that the December LSAT is a popular one, and they know that many qualified applicants will come out of that test. Yes, spots will have already been filled, but spots are still open, too.
To get the competitive edge, you want to make sure that your application is in that first batch that are completed once the scores become available. Let me explain.
Remember, you can apply to law school at any time. You do not need to have taken the LSAT. Your letters of recommendation and transcripts do not need to have been received by LSAC. You can apply as soon as you’ve completed the application, and written your personal statement, addendum (if needed) and resume. Once the Admissions Office receives this material, it will request your LSAT score, transcripts and letters of recommendation from LSAC.
Here is the key…LSAC will send out this information to the law schools to which you applied only when all of the material – LSAT score, transripts and letters of recommendation – has been received.
If you choose to take the LSAT in December, your goal should be to submit your application beforehand or soon afterwards. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to ask your recommenders to write your letters now. And, submit the transcript request form to your registrar now if you haven’t yet done so. You want to ensure that this material is received by LSAC as soon as possible.
A number of Admissions Offices close the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Faculty are away on vacation. It’s a very quiet time. By submitting your application before or soon after you take the test, you give the Admissions Office time to request your material from LSAC so that once your score becomes available, LSAC will mail out your packet, the Admissions Office will receive and file it, and your application will be considered complete and go to the Admissions Committee for review come the first of the year when everything picks up again.