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The Wait Begins for Law School Applicants with February LSAT Scores

So LSAC finally pulled the trigger and released February LSAT scores a day before they were expected to come out. Another curve ball, as LSAT test takers have become accustomed to LSAT scores being released several days early. Those folks in Newtown, PA, sure like to keep us guessing.

Some of you are understandably elated at your LSAT score. Some of you are understandably upset.

Some of you are way ahead of the game and already have an LSAT score for the upcoming law school application season (this article isn’t for you). Some of you are a little behind and are relying on this LSAT score to update your law school applications for next fall (this article is for you). Some of you didn’t take the February LSAT at all but are still waiting to hear back (check at the end of the article).

So where are we at in the law school application season? How will the February 2012 LSAT score play into it for those of you still hoping for a law school admission into the Class of 2015?

First, if you haven’t applied to law school yet because you were waiting for a February LSAT score, you’re a little behind the game. There are slots left at many law schools, but there are much fewer slots than there were at the beginning of the season. Putting yourself at a disadvantage for law school isn’t the best idea. I know it hurts to hear, but I’d strongly recommend taking a year off, getting some work experience (which will help your chances both in the law school application process and OCI), and applying for law school in the fall. A law school that rejects you now might admit you with an October application, and now you’re ahead of the game with a February LSAT score.

For those of you relying on the February LSAT score to update your application, how’s it feel to finally have everything in? Hopefully, pretty good.

You’re in one of two boats:

1) You’re on the waitlist, and your February LSAT score will hopefully get you accepted. If that’s the case, the school has your LSAT score now. I would send in a brief letter explaining your continued interest in the law school, pointing out your higher (hopefully) LSAT score. Talk about specific programs that interest you and why you’d contribute to those programs. If you have a much improved LSAT score, expect to hear back soon. If you don’t, expect it to take a while as they see how the rest of their applications play out.

2) You told the law school to hold off on considering your application until your February LSAT score came out. If this is the case, expect to hear back in a couple of months. While the application season is petering out, there is still going to be some delay in your file going complete and you receiving a decision. However, realize that this late in the game, you’re going to need to have numbers slightly above what those who applied early and were accepted have.

Finally, for those of you who are still waiting to hear back, I feel for you. One law school to which I applied sat on my application for six months. Two months is a good rule of thumb generally, but some law schools just take a bit longer (especially if you’re a borderline candidate). It is fine to call up the admissions office to check on your status once or twice, but don’t be needy. If you have an upcoming deadline, you can mention that as well (though don’t expect it to do much). Unfortunately, they have all the power now, so you just have to ride it out.