February LSAT's Effect on Applications

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
kjsmit02
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:35 pm

February LSAT's Effect on Applications

Postby kjsmit02 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:50 am

I wanted to get an idea of just how damaging a February LSAT would be to a URM Applicant seeking T14 admission. I really don't want to wait until the next cycle and am ready to move on. However I don't want to undersell my self, and seek acceptance into the best law school possible. I'm an AA male with a 3.42 gpa. I just took the December test but know I will need to prepare better for a Feb retake to reach my desired score. I've been practice testing in the mid 150s (5 prac. tests taken total), but look to raise that and break the 160s within the next two months. Does anyone know how drastically February lsat submissions affect admission chances? Does anyone have any 1st hand experience with February lsat submissions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

blackandstrong
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:10 pm

Re: February LSAT's Effect on Applications

Postby blackandstrong » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:36 am

kjsmit02 wrote:I wanted to get an idea of just how damaging a February LSAT would be to a URM Applicant seeking T14 admission. I really don't want to wait until the next cycle and am ready to move on. However I don't want to undersell my self, and seek acceptance into the best law school possible. I'm an AA male with a 3.42 gpa. I just took the December test but know I will need to prepare better for a Feb retake to reach my desired score. I've been practice testing in the mid 150s (5 prac. tests taken total), but look to raise that and break the 160s within the next two months. Does anyone know how drastically February lsat submissions affect admission chances? Does anyone have any 1st hand experience with February lsat submissions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


This. I'm wondering that myself. I'm an AA male too with a 3.7+ GPA.

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amc987
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Re: February LSAT's Effect on Applications

Postby amc987 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:44 pm

I don't have any first-hand experience with February LSAT submissions. I know a few people who took the test in February, but all of them had taken the test before and had at least 1 score on their record. They were only retaking in order to increase their chances at a couple of schools or to give themselves better leverage when negotiating scholarships. If that's your plan, I don't think it's necessarily a bad one.

However, if you have a score that you feel is totally inadequate for the school you'd like to attend or you don't have a score on your record (because you cancelled or because you didn't take the test before February), I wouldn't recommend it. February is really late in the cycle and if you don't have a score yet (or the score you have on file makes you an uncompetitive applicant), the school in question will be forced to hold your application until your Feb LSAT score comes back. That means that your file won't be given serious consideration until March, which is well past the application deadline at many schools and after most schools have admitted the majority of students for their incoming classes.

There's nothing wrong with taking the Feb LSAT, but if you're not retaking, you're better off sitting out the current cycle and waiting until the fall to apply.

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midnight_circus
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:36 am

Re: February LSAT's Effect on Applications

Postby midnight_circus » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:58 pm

I don't have firsthand experience with this either, but I think the Feb LSAT is traditionally used to 1) get off a waitlist and/or 2) negotiate more $$$. Using it for admission is risky.
For the T14, I know for a fact that Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, NYU, & Duke do not accept the Feb LSAT for admission for fall 2014. Berkeley and Georgetown "strongly recommend" you take December. Penn & Yale don't seem to care much. For everyone except Yale, Feb is extremely late in the cycle.
My advice is to wait a year. Being a splitter is better than being under both medians, so you'd be hugely benefitted by a high LSAT. If you can get one that is above median, as a URM you will be particularly valuable. (Look around this forum to see the statistics on high-scoring AA applicants; they are few and far between.) Study hard, sit for June. Don't just break 160, aim for 180. Get some interesting work experience and you'll be even more attractive to adcoms. Your chances will increase and so will your $$$.
I know it's not fun to wait a year, but you'll have a better time in the long run. :)
Best of luck!

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Black_Swan
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:47 pm

Re: February LSAT's Effect on Applications

Postby Black_Swan » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:18 pm

Second all of the above.
Also, did you really take only 5 Practice Tests? :?
Dont take the test if you are scoring in the 15x. I would suggest you retake in June/October for the following cycle. Nothing more frustrating that starting to seeing improvements when one has exhausted the 3x takes.
I know of one girl who got into HYS with a February LSAT score, but she scored a 17x and had a 3.9x GPA and had good softs.

michlaw
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: February LSAT's Effect on Applications

Postby michlaw » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:36 pm

It is a serious disadvantage to apply late in the cycle. Earlier is better by a wide margin. IMO it is the best schools who give the most consideration and they get things done early. Only Yale claims that when you apply doesn't matter. Check any of the charts on LSN that show dates of admission and you will see that by Feb much of the admission cycle is complete.




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