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Can Anyone Take the LSAT?

So, you’re starting to think about law school and start your journey toward becoming a lawyer. It may be a distant dream years down the line, or you might be planning to apply this cycle or the next. You may be wondering, is it too early to get started? Are there classes I should have taken, internships I should have applied to? And if law school is on your mind, chances are that you’ve also heard about an often-dreaded thing called the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). What even is on the LSAT, and who can take it? 

We break down what you should be thinking about before taking the LSAT and applying to law school, as well as what qualities can help set you up for success on both! 

What do I need to have done in college to take the LSAT? 

Nothing. That’s right, the LSAT has no prerequisites, and because it is not a content-forward exam (unlike the MCAT or even the GRE), there are no classes that you “need to” have taken in order to perform well on the LSAT test. 

In fact, you don’t even need to be committed to going to law school and getting a law degree! Your LSAT score is valid for five years from your test date, so it can be worth getting an LSAT prep course and taking the Law School Admission test even when you are unsure if and when exactly you may apply to law school. 

Although the LSAT test does not require any specific content or skills training, here are some qualities and some LSAT tips that successful Blueprint students and instructors and alike tend to emphasize: 

  • Understanding arguments 

We all have the ability to spot a deeply flawed argument when we see it “out in the wild”. The LSAT hones in on that concept in Logical Reasoning, testing your ability to identify how good arguments are being advanced and supported, and more importantly, how bad arguments are flawed and could be made stronger (or weaker). LSAT-takers with backgrounds in Philosophy and debate might find this type of thinking more intuitive at first, but the good news is that it is very learnable! 

  • Identifying an author’s goals and attitudes

Perhaps the most familiar-feeling section of the LSAT is Reading Comprehension. More than fast reading or a dictionary-level understanding of advanced vocabulary, the LSAT rewards those test-takers who have an ability to spot the writer’s tone, purpose, and more importantly, how they are bolstering the argument paragraph-by-paragraph. To supplement their studying, LSAT-takers may find it useful to look for these qualities in whatever they’re reading, be it literature, biology, or the news.

  • Adaptability and open-mindedness 

On the flip-side of the LSAT Reading Comprehension we have the head-scratching, riddle-like Logic Games section. The key to success in this section is to stay positive, flexible, and just keep testing things! Prospective law students who find the logic game start to “click” often get there by keeping calm, breaking down the question, and having a game plan to handle whatever funkiness the Law School Admission Test or LSAT might throw at them in this section. 

[Note: The Logic Games Section will be removed from the LSAT starting in August 2024 and will be replaced by an additional Logical Reasoning Section.]

What else do I need to apply to law school? 

Besides the LSAT (which you should consider taking, although some schools accept alternatives), law schools expect to see an application package with a variety of components. These include, but are not limited to, a personal statement, recommendation letters, supplemental essays, your undergraduate transcript, and resume.