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When to Apply to Law School with the June or October LSAT.

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When You Should Apply to Law School with the June or October LSAT

I love my parents. I really do. They’re great people who raised me well and taught me all the lessons I needed to get me to where I am today (well, I’m in Texas today, so that might not be an endorsement, but you know what I mean).

But I don’t call them nearly as often as I should. And that’s because every time I call them, I have to sit through the same story twice.

First, my mom will go into great detail about the happenings at the Shinners household over the past few days. After awhile, she’ll hand the phone off to my dad, who will go into the same story. Then, he’ll finish with, “But I guess your mother probably already told you all this.”

Why am I telling you this? A little is because if I have to suffer through it, so do you. But mostly, it’s to drive home this point: if I get sick of listening to the same story twice, told by two people whom I love, what chance do you think you have with an admissions officer after they’ve read a few hundred personal statements?

This whole intro was a very long-winded way of saying that the earlier you apply, the better. To get in early enough to beat the rush, however, you’re going to need to plan a bit. And, luckily, we’ve got your back.

Last week, I wrote out a timeline for the next application season. Today, I’m going to focus on the June and October LSATs, and the strategies to use for preparing your application around both of them.

June

If you’ve registered for this test and prepared for it, good for you. While the February test is the earliest this year that you could take, the June one is just as good. Scores will be released around the 29th, well in front of the first day you could apply (Sept. 1st or Oct. 1st). You’ll also have another ‘early’* administration of the LSAT to fall back on should you run into problems.

If you’re this far ahead of the game, then you should have no problem finding professors who will write an absolutely rave review of you in the form of a letter of recommendation. Much as the admissions officers get PS fatigue, professors get LoR fatigue. Get in there early and remind them why you were such an awesome student. As an added benefit, asking them so early for a letter will show them that you’re serious about law school and well-prepared.

You should also start working on your personal statement. The longer you have to revise it, the better it will get. Over the summer is also the perfect time to get some application consulting from Blueprint; we application consultants get very busy during prime application time, so picking a package up now will get you in front of the line. We’re also a lot more likely to couch our criticism in praise at this point, not yet aggravated by a deluge of grammatical errors.

If all of this goes as planned, you should have your letters in and a personal statement ready to go by the time schools open themselves up for applications. Get in the front of the line, get accepted, get some financial aid, get a degree, and get yourself a trophy significant other. Because, hey, that’s what this is all about, right?

October

Much the same as the June LSAT, taking the October LSAT (and applying with that score instead of freaking out, cancelling, and drowing your sorrows in a bottle of MD 40/40, since you don’t deserve the good stuff) will give you a bit of a jump on the competition, but only if you have a plan.

Scores will be released around the 26th, and you should have your applications ready to go. Plan to have your letters and transcripts submitted at the beginning of this month; and essays polished by the 20th. Then, read over your essays one last time on the 25th. Have someone else read them. Read them out loud. All of these will help you catch that last grammatical error that would otherwise cause Berkeley to scoff at you.

When scores are released, you should be ready to hit ‘submit’, if you haven’t already. Get those things in right away and you’ll still be towards the front of the pack. If you wait until you see your score to prepare these materials, you’ll probably get slogged down with midterms, professors will drag their feet on letters, and you won’t get your applications out until mid-November, at the earliest. If you can even avoid a turkey-induced coma at Thanksgiving.

So plan accordingly, but the earlier you get your materials together, the better off your chances at your top choice will be. Good luck!

*I put early in quotes because, while still relatively early in the season, applying with an October LSAT will put you in the meaty part** of the application pack. You won’t be at a disadvantage applying with an October score, but you won’t get the bump that you would from applying at the very beginning of the season.

**Yes, I said meaty part.

Article by Blueprint LSAT instructor and law school application consultant Matt Shinners.

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