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New LSAC Policy on LSAT Writing

David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator

LSAC has decided to release LSAT scores to schools even if the test-taker hasn't taken LSAT Writing. Here's the full text of a recent LSAC communique (though the emphasis is mine):

As you know, starting in June 2019, we separated the writing portion of the LSAT from the multiple-choice portion. After five months of experience with the writing portion (“LSAT Writing”), many of the benefits we expected – including a shorter test day and the ability for candidates to provide their writing sample in a more natural setting at a convenient time and place of their choosing, as well as a more legible and useful writing sample for admission consideration – have come to fruition. But we have also heard from a number of member schools that they are interested in receiving applicant scores as soon as they are available, even as candidates are still completing LSAT Writing.

Therefore, to help candidates and schools move expeditiously through the admission process, we will be releasing scores for the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT to candidates and to the law schools to which candidates apply (or have applied), as soon as scores are available, even if candidates have not yet completed their writing sample. This change applies to anyone who took or will take the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT in this testing cycle which began June 2019 and ends in April 2020.

This change does not mean that legal writing is any less important. Many law schools require a writing sample as an integral part of their admission decision, and therefore, candidates should take the writing sample immediately and to meet schools’ application deadlines. Writing samples will be shared with candidates and schools as soon as they are completed. LSAC includes the fee for the writing sample as part of the LSAT fee to encourage this prompt action. In case candidates are not applying in the current cycle, please note they have a maximum of a year to take LSAT Writing without an additional fee; after that it is a separate fee unless they take the entire LSAT again.

As mentioned in a recent communication, 97% of candidates applying for fall 2020 have completed a writing sample and 73% who have started but not finished a 2020 application have completed a writing sample. As a reminder, candidates need only one writing sample on file to be considered complete, even if they take the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT more than once.

We understand that this is an important decision and a shift in the way that schools have received LSAT scores and the writing sample. We considered many factors in making this decision – balancing candidate and school requests for speed in score release, the varying admission requirements that institutions have, and the need to communicate clear policies and procedures to candidates and institutions. We will continue to work with our community to explore options for how to best offer LSAT Writing in the next testing cycle and will share those decisions well in advance.


  • noonawoonnoonawoon Alum Member
    3481 karma

    Thank you for sharing!

  • simplayyysimplayyy Alum Member
    59 karma

    This doesn't change how soon we should expect our scores, right?

  • David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator
    7085 karma

    @simplayyy Nope :neutral:

  • simplayyysimplayyy Alum Member
    59 karma


  • LSATsavageLSATsavage Member
    21 karma

    I can't seem to find the answer online or anywhere else, but which prompts are to be used for the writing section if we want to write a new LSAT writing?

  • carpediemcarpediem Member
    39 karma

    Does this mean that for those who have taken LSAT both before June and after June don't have to take the Lsat writing online before applying to law schools?

  • I want to echo Carpediem's question. I took the December LSAT in 2017 and completed writing at the test. Do I need to do the online writing portion now for my most recent October 2019 LSAT?

  • Ms NikkiMs Nikki Alum Member
    128 karma

    @Andersonerinelizabeth said:
    I want to echo Carpediem's question. I took the December LSAT in 2017 and completed writing at the test. Do I need to do the online writing portion now for my most recent October 2019 LSAT?

    If you have one writing on file, you are all good.

  • David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator
    7085 karma

    @carpediem @Andersonerinelizabeth, @"Ms Nikki" has it right. You only need to take LSAT writing once. If you took it before the test transitioned to digital, it still counts.

  • nat2tulanat2tula Alum Member
    75 karma

    Hi Everyone, does this mean that the CAS report will be released to schools even before the LSAT writing has been completed for review? I'm in a tight spot where I completed the LSAT writing before a school's application deadline, and received my october score today, but the CAS report still hasn't been sent to the school yet.

    However, I do see in my LSAC account under the Law School Reports for the requested school that it says Report Generated- Type: Credential Assembly. There are no error messages, so I'm guessing that LSAC might send out the report tomorrow morning if the LSAT writing portion is no longer needed to send scores.

    As a third note, does anyone know how long it takes for the proctors to review the LSAT writing videos, on average?? I'm stressed out here and will call LSAC tomorrow, but am currently searching for answers.

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