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Doing It a Fourth Time: LSAC’s New Policy

Getting a waiver to take the LSAT for a fourth time in two years used to be as easy as getting the smelly kid to go to the prom with you (in this analogy, Cooley is the smelly kid). You just had to ask a school to write a letter, and they were so happy they wouldn’t be dancing with their cousin from two towns over they’d say yes. We even wrote about it here.

Sadly, the LSAC recently changed its policy. We don’t know for sure, but we assume that (to stretch the analogy to the breaking point) they didn’t want the LSAT to end up smelling like a World of Warcraft convention (I’ve been to one; it’s not pretty). Schools were handing out waivers like they were Elvis’ doctor prescribing pills. And while the LSAC certainly enjoys registration fees, they also like having solid rules so that their test maintains its reputation as a solid way to gauge prospective law student performance.

So they’ve implemented a new policy limiting waivers to the LSAC itself. No longer can you send an e-mail to every law school in the fourth tier, hoping for a bite (like that time you locked yourself out of the apartment and rang every buzzer in your building). You’ll have to apply directly to the LSAC itself, and they state the waivers will only be granted in “exceptional circumstances”. Unless your lifelong documented other personality ‘Rita’ was the one who showed up on test day, I don’t think you’ll qualify under that standard.

So what’s this mean for you? Well, hopefully not much. It was never a particularly good idea to retake the test three times, let alone four. However, some people out there do it. My advice is, don’t let yourself be one of those people. Register for the exam that will come after a period of relative inactivity in your life so that you have enough time to properly study. If you’re not ready, postpone, and take the exam once when you’re going to score your highest.