Law School Admissions FAQ

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Table of Contents

  1. LSAT (14)
  2. Chances of Admission (5)
  3. Personal Statement (10)
  4. Diversity Statement (3)
  5. Recommendations (3)
  6. Addenda and Why X Essays (3)
  7. Application Process (4)
  8. Financial Aid and Cost (5)
  9. Waitlist (2)
  10. Choosing a Law School, Rankings, Seat Deposits (7)
  11. Reapplying (3)
  12. General (5)

LSAT

I just took the LSAT. Should I cancel my score?

Probably not.

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Do schools know if I'm registered for a new LSAT?

If you're registered for a future LSAT when you apply, yes.

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Should I retake the LSAT?

If you think you might improve your score, then you probably should.

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Should I take the GRE instead of the LSAT?

Probably not, but if you're much better at the GRE, maybe.

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What is the limit on LSAT takes?

  • 3 takes per year
  • 5 takes in 5 years
  • 7 takes in a lifetime
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Are schools notified when I retake the LSAT?

Schools will probably see your new score, but you should notify them anyway.

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Does it look bad to take the LSAT multiple times?

Possibly, but a better score matters most.

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Does it help to retake LSAT after you apply?

Yes.

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If I’m retaking the LSAT, should I apply now or wait?

It depends.

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Should I apply before my LSAT score comes out?

Probably not.

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What matters more—applying early, or boosting your LSAT score?

Boosting your LSAT score.

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Is the November / December / January / February LSAT too late?

No.

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Does the LSAT writing sample matter?

Yes.

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What’s the deal with LSAT withdrawals, absences, and cancels?

Schools won't see if you withdraw before the test, but they'll see if you cancel after or on the day of.

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Will it look bad if I cancel my LSAT score?

Nah.

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Chances of Admission

Who gets a URM "boost"?

African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and possibly others.

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Does it matter which school you went to for undergrad?

A little, but not as much as your raw GPA.

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How important are recommendations?

Recommendations are VERY important, but they probably can’t make up for a below-median LSAT score or GPA.

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What are "softs," and how much do they matter?

Softs are everything but your LSAT score and GPA. They matter a lot.

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What is an LSAT median, and why does it matter?

The LSAT score that falls in the middle of an incoming class's distribution of LSAT scores—NOT the average LSAT score.

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Personal Statement

Should I tailor my essay for each school?

Only if you can do it sincerely.

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How personal is too personal? When is it tmi—or just boring?

Most subjects are on the table so long as you write about them tactfully.

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At what point does my story become a sob story? Will it seem like I’m whining/playing the poor card/pitying myself?

If you write in a matter-of-fact tone, no one will think you're whining.

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I dealt with something very difficult. Should I put it in my personal statement?

Maybe/probably/it depends!

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Do I need to write about adversity / overcoming a challenge?

Nope.

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Do I have to explain why I want to be a lawyer?

It depends.

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Do I have to say why I want to go to a given law school?

Not unless they ask.

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Do I have to write a different personal statement for each law school?

Most people write one master version of their personal statement and tailor it as needed.

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How long should my essay be?

Read the directions.

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How do I make my essay stand out?

Revising it a lot.

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Diversity Statement

What is the difference between a personal statement and a diversity statement?

A DS is basically a PS about your identity.

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Should I write a diversity statement?

If and only if you can write a good one.


What counts as a valid diversity factor for a diversity statement?

It depends on the diversity statement prompt.

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Recommendations

Are my recommendations too old?

If your recommendations are only a year old, you're fine.

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How do I ask for a recommendation?

Ask them via email if they'll recommend and, if so, whether they'd be willing to have a short conversation about your application.

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Whom should I ask for a recommendtion?

Professors or supervisors who know you well.

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Addenda and Why X Essays

Should I write a "Why X" essay to every school?

Only if you can do it sincerely.

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Should I write a GPA addendum?

If your grades dropped steeply for one or two semesters, probably.

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Should I write an LSAT addendum?

If you have more than two cancels or absences, a score gap of six points or larger, or more than four LSAT takes, probably.

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Application Process

How do I look at or fill out an application on LSAC?

Visit LSAC.org and click a bunch of things.

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How do I find my LSAC academic summary / LSAC GPA / LSAC cumulative GPA?

Ugh.

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How do I order transcripts / send transcripts to LSAC?

Ugh.

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Do I need to send my transcripts to each law school?

Nope—just send them to LSAC.

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Financial Aid and Cost

How much does it cost to apply?

$45 plus a school's application fee.

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What does it mean if I receive a fee waiver that I didn't ask for?

It's kinda good, but it doesn't mean you'll get in.

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How do I request a fee waiver?

Email a school and ask.

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How can I be considered for a merit scholarship?

It's automatic.

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When should I start negotiating law school scholarship offers?

March or after a school's first deposit deadline.

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Waitlist

When should I send a letter of continuing interest (LOCI)?

Send a short immediately, a longer note a few days before the first deposit deadline, and another note every three weeks or so.

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What should I do if I'm waitlisted?

Send a letter of continuing interest and visit if you can.


Choosing a Law School, Rankings, Seat Deposits

Does attending a T-14 school really matter that much?

It depends on what you're looking for.

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How does the US News determine their rankings?

  • 40% schools reputation
  • 25% LSAT and GPA medians
  • 20% Employment
  • 15% Other
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What questions should I ask a law school admissions officer?

Questions about the school and its programming.

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What should I ask current law students or alumni about their law school?

Real stuff.

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What are seat deposits? Are seat deposits binding?

A non-refundable deposit to hold your place in a law school class.

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Can I deposit at more than one law school? Will law schools know?

You can make your first seat deposit at as many schools as you want.

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How do I learn more about a law school's employment outcomes?

http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/EmploymentOutcomes.aspx

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Reapplying

Does reapplying hurt my chances?

No, unless you turned a school down.

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Do I have to rewrite my essays if I reapply?

Probably.

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Do I need new recommendations if I reapply?

Probably not, but they might help.

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General

What activities should I do as an undergrad if I know I'll be applying to law school?

Follow your passion, with an asterisk.

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How much time does a law school admissions officer actually spend on my file?

Typically five to ten minutes.

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Can I send a letter of continuing interest (LOCI) before I hear from a law school?

Yes, by February 15.

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How do I withdraw my application from a law school?

Politely.

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How do I visit a law school?

Read their website and reach out to the admissions office.

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Note

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