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Gambling With a December LSAT Score in Law School Admissions

If you’re looking to start law school in 2012, I hope you took the December LSAT this past weekend. Well, I really hope you took it a while ago, applied before Thanksgiving, and have already heard back from your dream school. But if not, you hopefully now have a new score on the way.

If that’s the case, there are two courses of action you can take:

1) The Risk-Averse Method

You’ve got a few weeks to get your materials together. Hopefully, your law school letters of recommendation are already in, as professors who are slow normally are like molasses rolling uphill on a cold day during the holidays (Can I pull off Southern charm? That simile suggests that no, no I can’t). Ditto with the transcripts.

If you’re risk averse, it’s time to get your law school admissions essays finished, your transcripts in, and your applications filled out. Then, it’s time to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

A watched Inbox never receives mail, I’m sure someone has said since Al Gore invented the internet. Go out and have fun. LSAT scores are always released a few days before the release date (January 6 this time). That gives you plenty of time to spread some holiday cheer (by which I’m pretty sure they mean schnapps).

Make sure you save some of that for yourself, though, for score release day. You’ll either be celebrating or lamenting.

When LSAT scores come out, hit submit. This allows you to make a last minute audible should the score end up lower (or even higher) than you expected. You’re behind the curve already, but there are definitely slots still at most schools. You might be out of luck at your reaches, but if your numbers would normally get you into a school without much hassle, you’ll probably still be good.

2) The Risk-Taking Method, aka the Maverick

Back before he was a notorious racist, Mel Gibson was an action movie hero. He was a man’s man who could inspire tears in even the most jaded soul. Before action movie stars shaved everything but their faces, he was a hairy behemoth who transitioned easily from action to action-comedy, releasing a string of classics that survive his current reputation.

Maverick was not one of them.

It was a cute enough film that didn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s been relegated to the Sunday afternoon TNT time slot.

In it, he plays a riverboat gambler out for a big score. The penultimate scene sees him play the championship hand of poker without checking his hole card. All in, he flips it over to reveal the card he needs for the win.

If you’re like Maverick, you’ll get your applications in and submit them before you see your LSAT score. While giving you a slight jump on the competition (whole seconds here, as others read their scores and then click submit), it also means that you won’t be able to adjust last minute. Your law school applications will go complete, and the schools will throw you in the pile with everyone else waiting in line for a determination.

All in all, there’s very little difference between the two. You’ll still be applying a little later in the cycle, and that will still hurt you a little (since seats are already filled). However, if you want the respect of an anonymous internet author (i.e. me), you’ll Maverick that sumbitch. And post about it in the comments.