When people say get their score in early, what does that really mean? By around what time would be suggested?
Ideally, you should have your apps in the first day (or week) they're accepted. The earlier you apply, the greater your odds of admission.
You should also apply "early decision" to a school you're sure you want to attend, and is a reasonably realistic shot. This will make an acceptance binding on you, but will also increase your odds of admission.
Just wanted to know because I'm going to have to take the September LSAT to get into my target schools. So if I do really well and get my score back around the middle or perhaps 3 weeks into October then apply right after that, should that be early enough?
Well, if there's no question you'll need a higher score, I guess that'll have to do. Otherwise, I would see if you can apply earlier, but have them hold off on final decisions until your new score is in.
Hm, I'll give that some thought. But I think getting an application like 4 months early for a lot of these places HAS to early enough. I'd do ED, but what happens if there is a school I really like and would love to attend, but I get a huge scholarship offer from another school that really causes me to second guess my first choice? There is no one school out there that I would go into a ton of debt for if I had financially compelling offer from another school.
Then you probably shouldn't do ED.
As for your other point, again, if you need a higher LSAT, you need a higher LSAT. Otherwise, the earlier the better. "early" is a relative term. It's not really 4 months "early" just because it's 4 months before the deadline -- it's just 4 months before the deadline. Not that that would be late at all -- it just wouldn't be as early.
(Check the early decision / early action deadlines for the schools you like -- that may give you a better idea of when's best to apply by.)
I'll do that. But I really have some work to do for September Nothing like completely under performing on test day.