Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: Consigliere3 on June 23, 2015, 03:03:11 PM

Title: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: Consigliere3 on June 23, 2015, 03:03:11 PM
Hi all,
I plan to take the October 2015 LSAT, when should I apply to law schools?

I am only considering applying to schools in my state and the adjacent state, so my choices are limited. (Must be close to due to family responsibilities)

Would there be any benefit in applying this early for schools that might have an accelerated or a weekend JD program?

Thanks In advance
Title: Re: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: Citylaw on June 23, 2015, 03:24:51 PM
There is absolutely no harm in applying early and telling them you are taking the LSAT that I am aware of. However, I am just a random person on the internet and you would be better served by calling the admissions office of each school you are applying to. I know this can be a bit scary when you are a nervous 0L, but the admissions department is there to answer these exact questions and nobody will know more about the admissions process at an individual school than the people in charge of the admissions process at the individaul school.

Your LSAT score will be the main factor and focus on getting a good score, but having your applications on file early certainly will not hurt you.
Title: Re: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 23, 2015, 03:43:10 PM
Hi all,
I plan to take the October 2015 LSAT, when should I apply to law schools?

First off, I agree with Citylaw that there is no harm in applying early. In fact, you may even have a better shot at acceptance if the school reviews applications on a rolling basis. Each school will have it's own deadlines, however, so be sure to check with the individual schools.

Just remember that until you have an LSAT score to report they will not really consider your application. Personally, I am of the opinion that if you have limited study time (and with a family I assume you do!) you would be better off using that time to prepare for the LSAT rather than filling out applications. That can be done after the LSAT. Just my opinion.

Would there be any benefit in applying this early for schools that might have an accelerated or a weekend JD program?

Again, it depends on whether admissions are rolling. Maybe, so ask each school.

I'm only aware of one "accelerated" program (Southwestern), and I don't know of any ABA schools with weekend programs. There might be a few, but the vast majority of school will be traditional three year programs and maybe a four year part time option.
Title: Re: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: Groundhog on June 23, 2015, 05:53:55 PM
You won't "go complete" until you have an LSAT score in your file. It shouldn't delay things if you apply pending LSAT, but it won't speed them up any compared to applying the day your LSAT is added to your file.
Title: Re: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on June 23, 2015, 10:32:34 PM
Start LOOKING now. Some will publish their formula for scholarships, you may be able to guess what scores you need in combo with your gpa.
Do campus tours. Get a feel.
Title: Re: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: latinlord on June 29, 2015, 10:20:25 AM
no you need your LSAT score first to get an  idea of where to apply..

it won't matter, b/c schools don't look at you till you are considered complete.. which means they have your LSAT Score
Title: Re: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: Citylaw on June 29, 2015, 05:31:11 PM
As latin says nobody will make a decision on your application until you have an LSAT score. There is nothing wrong about applying first, but as latin says you might be wasting your money applying to schools you don't have a chance at. More importantly you will use energy on your applications opposed to studying for the LSAT.

So in response to your question should you apply before the LSAT? I would say no, but you can do it.

As an additional piece of information you should attend an LSAC forum. Here is a list of the ones coming up. http://www.lsac.org/jd/choosing-a-law-school/law-school-recruitment-forums#Atlanta . If you register you will get a bunch of e-mails saying if you stop by X schools booth they will give you a fee waiver and when I attended the forum in NY I wrote my LSAC number at almost every schools booth and they sent me a fee wavier. This saved me about $1,000-$1,500 on fee waivers and also allowed me to get a bunch of scholarship money to various schools, which I used as leverage for more scholarship money at the schools I really wanted to attend.

So basically if you are close to any of the cities where an LSAC forum is then attending will be a great cost savings and it will also be informative.

Good luck. 
Title: Re: Should I apply to law schools before taking the LSAT?
Post by: Burhop on July 29, 2015, 07:19:36 AM
For October test takers, it is a good idea to have all elements of your applications complete and uploaded (all essays, letters, etc) so that when you receive your LSAT score, you can simply click "submit."

The best months to apply during rolling admissions are typically Sept-Oct, because rolling = first come, first served. It usually takes adcomms a couple weeks after you apply to review your application materials. Early-mid November is also all right. Once you hit Thanksgiving, you're up against Thanksgiving and Winter vacations, so admissions review typically slows, and then picks up again in January.

If you took the October LSAT and did not receive a sufficient score to achieve admission at your preferred schools, you may be better off waiting a cycle. The prior advice about receiving waivers for application fees is excellent, but might only benefit you if you meet or exceed the 50% LSAT/GPA split for your target schools. Throwing a Hail Mary application with a low LSAT runs the risk of you not achieving admission at your preferred school, and then that school remembering that they rejected you once already if/when you apply the next cycle. Always aim for best foot forward, and don't be afraid to wait a cycle if need be. - DB