Saturday, June 21, 2008

Most Popular PreLaw Questions

I'm back from Maui and wanted to share with you the most common questions and issues I'm hearing this week from law school applicants. Hopefully this will make you feel better. (It isn't just you, really!).

1. Should I cancel my LSAT score?
I've blogged quite a bit about this. (See Thinking About Cancelling Your LSAT Score)Here is the link to a post I previously published about whether to cancel your LSAT score.
For details about how to cancel your LSAT score see
Here are the basics from their web site:

We must receive a signed fax or overnight letter with your request within six calendar days of the test. If you do not receive confirmation of receipt of your request within four calendar days after your request was submitted, contact LSAC immediately. If your request has not been processed, you may submit proof that your request was received at LSAC within the required period. Documentation of proof of receipt will not be accepted beyond 14 calendar days after the test. You can also cancel your score at the test center if you are absolutely certain you want to cancel your score.

2. How do I know whether I would benefit from working with an admissions consultant?
I was recently quoted in an opinion piece by Dennis Beaver, Esq. entitled "You and the Law: the Business of Getting You Into Law School."
The following is taken directly from that article:

Do you need a consultant?

"A good consultant gives you an added layer of guidance and confidence. However, if you are only applying to one or two schools, and your LSAT and undergraduate GPA is in line with what they are looking for, and there are no problem areas in you application, you probably do not need a consultant," [Ann Levine] was quick to point out. I respect that kind of honesty.

"Law School applicants who benefit the most have a weakness in their application, such as a low grade point average, poor LSAT score, an arrest, or have been out of school for a great deal of time. In today's reality of getting into school, they truly need the help of a good consultant," she [Ann Levine]adds.

In addition to the above, you may benefit from working with a law school admission consultant if:
(a) You are out of college and/or do not have access to a helpful and knowledgeable prelaw adviser.
(b) You feel overwhelmed by the process of applying to law school.
(c) You work better when you are held accountable to someone.
(d) You would like to get your parents/spouse/significant other out of the process and have access to an objective and knowledgeable third party to answer your questions and make sure you're making the right decisions for yourself.
(e) You don't know where to start and feel like you're spinning your wheels.
(f) You have a tendency to procrastinate.
(g) You are re-applying to law school.
(h) You simply want the best of everything and to arm yourself with every possible advantage in this competitive process.

3. Should I retake the LSAT in October?
This is a very hard question to answer on a personal basis in the blog format because it depends on so many factors. But if you took June and have decided not to cancel the score, then let's wait and see what the score is before you make this decision.

4. When is the earliest I can start submitting applications?
Most schools begin accepting applications September 1, but many do not begin reviewing them until November. What matters is when your application is "complete" - when all materials to be considered by the law school are received by the individual law school. The most common aggravating factor is waiting for a letter of recommendation - try to avoid this by asking for LORs early and making sure the people you ask are reliable and accountable.

5. Is it better to have a June LSAT score that doesn't reflect my potential and apply early, or to wait until October and have a better LSAT score?
WAIT! Please!
It is ABSOLUTELY much better to have a higher LSAT and have your application be complete in November than to have a lower LSAT and be the first application to be submitted. (Depending on the score differential, the same rule may or may not be true with the December LSAT but we won't worry about that quite yet since it's still June).
Here is a link to a guest blog post I answered on Integrated Learning about the importance of preparing for the LSAT the right way and taking it once (as opposed to taking it cold).

I hope this helps - and for everyone who has been asking whether you might have your LSAT scores before July 7th, I don't have solid insider info on that. But my guess is that you will have scores e-mailed out July 3rd. However, this is only a guess and it's not based on anything other than a hunch. Good luck to everyone. I'll be in the office Monday-Wednesday (June 23-25) this week, but won't be able to answer blog questions Thursday through Sunday. I will get back to everyone on the 30th. Thanks for reading, and I apologize for any sloppy formatting today -I'm still jet lagged.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thinking about cancelling today's LSAT score?

I'm on vacation in Maui, but thinking about all of you June LSAT takers today. (Really! The proof is that I'm blogging from Hawaii).

First, enjoy yourself tonight. Relax, blow off steam, watch a guilty-pleasure movie on cable.

For those of you who are already thinking about cancelling today's LSAT score, here's an article I posted last September that gives you things to consider in making this decision. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help in any way.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Law Schools to Consider

Brian Leiter pointed out this article on LawJobs about TEN possible new law schools coming up....
The discussion about the demand for these schools (and their graduates) is worth reading.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What a Law School Admission Consultant Can Do

I hate to hear stories about law school applicants who feel misled by law school admission consultants about their chances for law school admission. If you are going to invest in expert advice, it's important to work with someone who is candid with you from the very beginning. I thank Dennis Beaver, Esq. for asking me to respond to an article he wrote on how a law school admission counselor can (and cannot) help law school applicants navigate the admission process.

For more information about the ethical standards a graduate admission consultant should adhere to, learn more about AIGAC. Always check to see whether the person or company you're considering hiring is a member of this organization.

For my previous posts about considerations in hiring a law school admission consultant (which June LSAT takers usually do in June, July and August, and which October LSAT takers usually do in August, September, and October) see:

More information about the services I provide as a law school admission counselor is available at LawSchoolExpert.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June LSAT Tips

A week from Monday, many of you will be sitting for the June LSAT. Whether this will be your first time taking the LSAT or you're someone who tried applying to law school in the past and/or is trying to increase your score, these tips apply toyou.

1. If you just picked up your first LSAT prep book this past weekend and think that a last minute 2-day crash prep course will be all you need to do, save yourself a lot of aggravation and wait until October 4th to take the LSAT.

2. The test is in the afternoon, so have a really good and healthy breakfast, get some exercise, and do whatever helps you relax. Stop answering calls, emails, and facebook messages of well-wishers and paranoid fellow LSAT takers. Turn off the iphone. Disconnect yourself from the world. No distractions.

3. If you know there is one particular thing that trips you up on this test (and for most people it's logic games), then consider hiring a private tutor for a few hours to go over the mistakes you're making. Just make sure it's someone who you already know is a good teacher because the last thing you need is to be further confused right before the exam.

4. On test day, don't talk to anyone. Don't join the throngs of nervous people, don't listen to the cocky jerk who says he already got a 175 but really wants a perfect 180. And - especially important - don't talk to anyone after the test about the test. This includes discussion boards.

5. Be aware of the deadline for canceling a score. I'll post more about whether to cancel, but here are can see my previous posts about when to cancel an LSAT score.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How important is ABA accreditation?

I often get e-mails and blog comments asking me about issues relating to non-ABA accredited law schools. I don't consider myself an expert on unaccredited schools (and as a law school admission consultant, I only assist with applications to ABA law schools) but here is a link to the ABA's response to the question of the value of accreditation.

P.S. The same article confirms my prior posts (on lawschoolexpert and on IntegratedLearning) on the importance of taking the LSAT only once and only when you are fully prepared.