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Apply to lower-ranked schools now with Sept. score, then use Nov. score to apply to more schools?

mistermo96mistermo96 Alum Member
in General 42 karma

Hi all — I have a question on the admissions process. I took the September exam and received a terrible score (in the low 140s), so I am planning on sitting for the November one. Ideally, my November score would be higher, but regardless, I’m committed to applying this cycle and given my career goals and situation, I am fine with going to a lower-ranked school. A little background about myself: I graduated from a strong liberal arts college in 2018 with a 3.8+ GPA and worked as a paralegal at a big law firm in downtown NYC for about a year following graduation — stopping early this summer to dedicate full-time studying for the LSAT.

Now to my question: am I allowed to apply to a couple of schools where I have a high chance of securing admission (Roger Williams, New England Law, Vermont Law, among others) with my September score right now — and then wait for my November score to apply to a different set of schools, assuming that my score is higher? The rationale for applying right now to lower ranked schools would be to take advantage of getting my app in early and to get a couple of acceptance letters, which would give me the peace of mind that I will be going to law school next fall. Does this rationale have merit or upside? (Would I even hear back from schools before December?) And will admissions at schools like Roger Williams frown upon that or not at all? Moreover, would they delay rendering a decision on my app since they know that I am taking it again and do not want to immediately accept me knowing full well that I won’t likely attend if my Nov. score is higher? As you can discern, I am in the process of processing my September performance and am concerned about admission. In addition, if I apply to a school right now/before my November test, will they wonder why I am applying at this moment, as I assume that they can see that I’m registered for November? Further, I plan to write an LSAT addendum, but if I were to apply before the November test, how would schools interpret that? Will they think: “Why is he writing an addendum when he only took it once and seems to be settling on such a dismal score?”

Any insight and advice would be greatly appreciated!



  • Anonymouse-1Anonymouse-1 Alum Member
    189 karma

    Everyone has their unique situations/circumstances and I applaud you for analyzing where you wish you apply given your career goals. I think you have great odds of success at many schools as a "reverse splitter".

    To answer your first question: You can apply to any school at any time. Now, the problem is schools can see that you are registered for another administration of the LSAT and can choose to hold your application for review until after receiving the results of your latest administration; this is at their sole discretion. Basically... It wouldnt hurt too much to apply early, just know that law schools might hold off on granting a decision.

    Personally, in your position, I would hold off to apply all at once (with a Nov. score). The more time you put into the application, the more polished it will be, that includes a potentially better LSAT score, better optional essays, etc. So will you be truly ready to submit your application at the early date you've imposed for yourself?

    IMHO: You are in a good spot if you get your app in before the end of the year. Dont be pressured to submit ASAP and sacrifice quality of your application.

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