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The December LSAT Score Wait: Time to Finish Applications

Many of you braved bad proctors, small desks, storms, and, yes, even earthquakes to sit for the 2013 December LSAT. It’s a huge accomplishment. In fact, I’m writing this with a speech recognition program so I can slow clap while writing it. Can you hear it start to speed up? Well, I assure you it is.

My software tried to transcribe the crescendo, so back to serious business.

You should be proud of finishing the LSAT, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about the rest of the law school application process. We’re already in December, so it’s time to light a fire under you.

First off, if you want to apply for the current law school admissions cycle, it’s important to get through the list I’m about to give you ASAP. While law schools are getting more lax with rolling admissions and deadlines because of the shrinking applicant pool, an early application is still better. The readers of your law school personal statement are more fresh, you look more on top of your game, and you’ll hear back sooner, meaning less time languishing in a pre-decision daze.

So what should you get done?

If you don’t have your letters of recommendation yet, get to that ASAP. Professors have families, too, and they’re going to spend the holidays with them. They’re not going to want to write you a letter.

Second, get your transcripts submitted. The processing time is going to get longer as more students send them in; the holidays also create a backlog.

Knock out your law school résumé in an afternoon. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – go over a page. You can cut it down; I believe in you!

Next, start your essays. Do the law school personal statement first – it’s the hardest. You can also use any family gatherings to force relatives to read it. Hey, you’re wearing Aunt Clara’s pink bunny pajamas; the least she can do is give you some notes.

After that, focus on an explanatory, diversity, or secondary essays you might be writing. This is a good time to read through the law school applications to make sure you’ve got everything covered. There’s nothing worse than realizing when you’re ready to submit that you still haven’t written Pepperdine’s Mission Statement.

After checking the applications and making sure you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to fill out the law school applications themselves. This shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes per application. Your basic info should fill in automatically; the rest is pretty straightforward. They’re just trying to get basic demographic info here; don’t read too much into the questions. They’re not trying to trick you.

Finally, it’s time to submit. Maybe.

Honestly – and I mean honestly – assess your December LSAT performance. If you think you did well, you’re dead-set on applying this year, and have followed my advice, then submit the your law school applications before December LSAT score release day (probably Jan. 3). It’ll give you a marginal leg up in the law school admissions process as you’ll be ahead of everyone who waits to see his or her December LSAT score to submit.

If you don’t think you’ll be happy with your December LSAT score and you’re not set on applying this year (and good for you – law school will always be there), then hold off on sending in the application. If you decide to retake, or even apply the following year, you’ll have to retract these applications. Not a big deal, but annoying.

So get busy! It’s time for finals, but then it’s winter break. Knock these things out so you can enjoy your senior year.