With Memorial Day in the past and with the conclusion of their children’s academic year hurtling towards them at light speed, law school admissions officers find themselves straddling the line between finalizing this year’s class and looking ahead to fully planning for the coming cycle. As we’ll discuss below, second deposit deadlines are almost here. This tends to bring a great deal of clarity to the incoming class—far fewer students hold multiple deposits at this point and admissions officers should know if they have any available seats for possible waitlist activity. Meanwhile, the June LSAT is nigh, invitations to law fairs will start going out soon, and LSAC will begin reminding AdComms that they need to submit their school’s applications for this year in the coming weeks. It’s almost time to go full Silver Bullet Band and turn the page to the next class. But before that happens and admissions officers end up somewhere east of Omaha on 16-hour drives, let’s review a few of the headlines around the world of law school admissions.

Annual Meeting – Slower Week

As we discussed last week and just to offer it as a reminder to waitlisted students eagerly awaiting/praying/wishing for movement …

it’s not likely to happen this week.

The LSAC Annual Meeting will draw law school admissions officers to lovely Scottsdale, Arizona, for what promises to at least be a “dry heat.” (Fun fact—many law school AdComms were stranded a few extra days at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Palm Springs because it was so hot that the airlines were worried that the planes’ tires would deteriorate on the tarmac.) Some offices will leave at least one staff member behind to keep the lights turned on at their school and to be present in case of any emergencies. However, skeleton staffs rarely have authorization to make larger-scale decisions such as admitting students from the waitlist. But given how the annual meeting and June 1 are coinciding, that leaves open the possibility of some further action next week. Why? Because of….

Second Deposit Deadlines Approaching

Because of that!

Unlike undergrad institutions that usually require a single deposit, most law schools require two. The first deposit usually falls in the window between April 1 and May 1, while the second is due sometime between June 1 and June 15. While the origins of this practice are hazy, the rationale for its continued existence centers around students’ proclivity for depositing at more than one school and then taking a bit of time to arrive at a final decision. The second deposit deadline has usually acted as the moment when schools would gently encourage students to make that call.

Interestingly, the mechanism that allowed schools to know whom to force into a final decision has gone by the wayside. Back in the good old days—i.e., pre-2020-ish—LSAC would provide law schools with two reports regarding overlapping deposits. LSAC would generate the first report after the initial deposit deadline. The first report was rather simple. It would tell a school:

  • How many deposits it was reporting to LSAC.
  • Of that total, how many students were only deposited at the school in question.
  • Of that total, how many students were also deposited at another school.
  • And finally, a list of the law schools at which those students were double- (or triple- or quadruple-) deposited.

This was useful for schools to get a sense of how “firm” their deposits were. For example, if Law School A had:

  • 200 deposits,
  • 190 of whom were deposited solely at Law School A, and
  • The remaining 10 double-deposited at schools ranked lower than Law School A,

then the admissions officers at Law School A could feel confident that the overwhelming majority of its 200 deposits would arrive at its doors for orientation in August.

While the first overlap report continues to exist, the second overlap report has—in all its glorious carnage—been discontinued. Not only would this second report provide all of the above information, it would also give student names.

We’ll pause here to allow the shivers to sufficiently pass down everyone’s spines.

And with that moment now in the past, we want to state clearly that LSAC discontinued this report several years ago due—unsurprisingly—to threats of legal action. So don’t panic! This report doesn’t exist anymore!

But the ghost of this report still hovers over the second deposit deadline and encourages students to make their final call. Coming full circle back to the original point of bringing this up, any significant number of students giving up their second (or third, or fourth) deposit potentially opens up seats for waitlist activity. If there is going to be any further bursts of waitlist admission, expect to see it shortly after a school’s second deposit deadline.

June LSAT Numbers

And now looking ahead to the coming cycle, the June LSAT registration numbers are holding steady as we approach t-minus one week until test date. Last week’s check on registrants had us at 32,439. And looking at the LSAT Registrant and Test Taker Volumes report this week, we’re not too far off that clip:

31,285 represents a 3.5% decline from last week and a 13.1% total decline from our high-water mark of 36,028 back at the beginning of the month. There’s an outside chance of staying above 30,000 but our guess is that we’ll end up around 29,000. That would still represent the highest number of June LSAT takers since the June 2010 test. That was such a different world for law school admissions that any comparisons are less apples to apples and more apples to aardvarks.

The truly observant among our readers will notice a new column to the far right that shows the registrants for the next testing cycle. That cycle will begin in August. The registration deadline for that exam is still a month away but we’re already halfway to the final numbers for last year’s exam. Moreover, registration has only been open for one week!

While the June LSAT numbers have been keeping our attention, we also acknowledge that those totals may be inflated a bit by applicants hoping to take the Logic Games section one last time. But if the August LSAT registration numbers are strong, that would mean that the June numbers are less “artificial inflation” and more “sign of an application wave for this cycle.”

7Sage Events

We have two new podcasts up and available for our listeners this week! Our LSAT team is here to help explain how some elementary math can help on a handful of exam questions. Meanwhile, our admissions consulting team takes a few minutes to talk about how to get started with your personal statement, especially at this time of year when you know that you should get started with things … but the weather is good … and the beach is so enticing.