How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

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VeiledProtectorate

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How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby VeiledProtectorate » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:40 pm

I've heard that while one's LSAT score is technically valid for 5 years, law schools (particularly the t14) greatly prefer one that is three years old or less. Is that true? I ask because my LSAT will be a year old in September, and I'm considering taking time off to gain some WE. I'm trying to game out what kind of opportunities/programs/employment I could commit to. My LSAT is very, very high, and was achieved through a lot of prep. I don't want to chance a lower score and go through a similar prep routine. Thanks in advance for your sage advice!

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby stego » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:55 pm

How high is your current score?

My guess is if you've only got a really old score and are only just now applying to LS, adcoms will wonder if you actually want to go to law school or what's up with that. If the score you have now is high enough to justify not retaking, I would think it's less of a concern.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby VeiledProtectorate » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:04 am

stego wrote:How high is your current score?

My guess is if you've only got a really old score and are only just now applying to LS, adcoms will wonder if you actually want to go to law school or what's up with that. If the score you have now is high enough to justify not retaking, I would think it's less of a concern.


3.6X/178/URM (Mexican). Want to give myself a better shot at HYS by not being a KJD, which I am now.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby Rigo » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:07 am

My LSAT score is over 3 years old and I haven't had issues. Check with each individual school if you really want to make sure, but I think the 5 year rule is what actually matters.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:11 am

I'd be very surprised if the age of your LSAT score turns out to be a factor. The schools will just care about the "178"; I doubt adcomms will even bother to notice when you took the exam, so long as it was within the last five years.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby stego » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:14 am

No point in retaking a 178 if it's still valid.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby VeiledProtectorate » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:13 am

Well we seem to have a consensus here. To follow up, would not being a K-JD demonstrably help me with HYS or should I just pull the trigger and apply later this year?

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:36 am

VeiledProtectorate wrote:Well we seem to have a consensus here. To follow up, would not being a K-JD demonstrably help me with HYS or should I just pull the trigger and apply later this year?

H doesn't really care about softs. Y & S do. If you'd be happy with H, go ahead and apply now. (H is also less-GPA focused than the other two, which will help you.)

If you want to strengthen you chances at Y&S, a couple of years of interesting work experience would help.

I have to ask: how is it that you have a three-year old LSAT and are K-JD? Did you take the LSAT as a college frosh or something?

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby VeiledProtectorate » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:40 am

rpupkin wrote:
VeiledProtectorate wrote:Well we seem to have a consensus here. To follow up, would not being a K-JD demonstrably help me with HYS or should I just pull the trigger and apply later this year?

H doesn't really care about softs. Y & S do. If you'd be happy with H, go ahead and apply now. (H is also less-GPA focused than the other two, which will help you.)

If you want to strengthen you chances at Y&S, a couple of years of interesting work experience would help.

I have to ask: how is it that you have a three-year old LSAT and are K-JD? Did you take the LSAT as a college frosh or something?


Nah, the LSAT is less than a year old, taken last September. Really just trying to game out if I could commit to a program like TFA or the Peace Corps and if so, when I'd need to start those programs. I have some time and some options, just trying to think ahead.
EDIT: Said Oct., meant Sept.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:43 am

VeiledProtectorate wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
VeiledProtectorate wrote:Well we seem to have a consensus here. To follow up, would not being a K-JD demonstrably help me with HYS or should I just pull the trigger and apply later this year?

H doesn't really care about softs. Y & S do. If you'd be happy with H, go ahead and apply now. (H is also less-GPA focused than the other two, which will help you.)

If you want to strengthen you chances at Y&S, a couple of years of interesting work experience would help.

I have to ask: how is it that you have a three-year old LSAT and are K-JD? Did you take the LSAT as a college frosh or something?


Nah, the LSAT is less than a year old, taken last October. Really just trying to game out if I could commit to a program like TFA or the Peace Corps and if so, when I'd need to start those programs. I have some time and some options, just trying to think ahead.

Ok then. I thought your LSAT was currently three-years old and that you'd risk losing your 178 if you waited a couple of years. Yeah, I definitely suggest taking a couple of years to work. In addition to strengthening your resume, it will give you time to reflect on whether you really want to go to law school. It's basically all upside for you.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby Legallylawyer2020 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:35 am

rpupkin wrote:
VeiledProtectorate wrote:Well we seem to have a consensus here. To follow up, would not being a K-JD demonstrably help me with HYS or should I just pull the trigger and apply later this year?

H doesn't really care about softs. Y & S do. If you'd be happy with H, go ahead and apply now. (H is also less-GPA focused than the other two, which will help you.)

If you want to strengthen you chances at Y&S, a couple of years of interesting work experience would help.

I have to ask: how is it that you have a three-year old LSAT and are K-JD? Did you take the LSAT as a college frosh or something?


H is starting to prefer candidates that are not K-JD. They've told several K-JDs to reapply in a year or two if they're not admitted this cycle during their JS1s. Obviously that's not across he board advice and K-JDs are still being admitted, but in general it seems that H (and a lot of schools in general) are starting to prefer students that have at least a year or two of work experience.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:52 am

Legallylawyer2020 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
VeiledProtectorate wrote:Well we seem to have a consensus here. To follow up, would not being a K-JD demonstrably help me with HYS or should I just pull the trigger and apply later this year?

H doesn't really care about softs. Y & S do. If you'd be happy with H, go ahead and apply now. (H is also less-GPA focused than the other two, which will help you.)

If you want to strengthen you chances at Y&S, a couple of years of interesting work experience would help.

I have to ask: how is it that you have a three-year old LSAT and are K-JD? Did you take the LSAT as a college frosh or something?


H is starting to prefer candidates that are not K-JD. They've told several K-JDs to reapply in a year or two if they're not admitted this cycle during their JS1s. Obviously that's not across he board advice and K-JDs are still being admitted, but in general it seems that H (and a lot of schools in general) are starting to prefer students that have at least a year or two of work experience.

HLS was saying that 9 years ago. The problem for HLS is that they admit huge class sizes, so they can't afford to get too picky on the softs front if they want to keep their medians up. While I don't dispute the notion that HLS would prefer candidates with work experience, they're still going to admit tons of K-JD applicants so long as they maintain 550-student class sizes.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby VapidP » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:25 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Legallylawyer2020 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
VeiledProtectorate wrote:Well we seem to have a consensus here. To follow up, would not being a K-JD demonstrably help me with HYS or should I just pull the trigger and apply later this year?

H doesn't really care about softs. Y & S do. If you'd be happy with H, go ahead and apply now. (H is also less-GPA focused than the other two, which will help you.)

If you want to strengthen you chances at Y&S, a couple of years of interesting work experience would help.

I have to ask: how is it that you have a three-year old LSAT and are K-JD? Did you take the LSAT as a college frosh or something?


H is starting to prefer candidates that are not K-JD. They've told several K-JDs to reapply in a year or two if they're not admitted this cycle during their JS1s. Obviously that's not across he board advice and K-JDs are still being admitted, but in general it seems that H (and a lot of schools in general) are starting to prefer students that have at least a year or two of work experience.

HLS was saying that 9 years ago. The problem for HLS is that they admit huge class sizes, so they can't afford to get too picky on the softs front if they want to keep their medians up. While I don't dispute the notion that HLS would prefer candidates with work experience, they're still going to admit tons of K-JD applicants so long as they maintain 550-student class sizes.


Given that 80% of their incoming class last year was at least 1 year out and 60% was at least 2, I would say work experience helps a ton. Probably doesn't matter what work experience, but work experience nonetheless.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:39 pm

VapidP wrote:Given that 80% of their incoming class last year was at least 1 year out and 60% was at least 2, I would say work experience helps a ton. Probably doesn't matter what work experience, but work experience nonetheless.

That means that HLS's incoming class included 200 students--the size of the entire incoming classes at YLS and SLS--that were basically K-JD. If anything, your stat supports what I wrote.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby VapidP » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:48 pm

rpupkin wrote:
VapidP wrote:Given that 80% of their incoming class last year was at least 1 year out and 60% was at least 2, I would say work experience helps a ton. Probably doesn't matter what work experience, but work experience nonetheless.

That means that HLS's incoming class included 200 students--the size of the entire incoming classes at YLS and SLS--that were basically K-JD. If anything, your stat supports what I wrote.


Hmm? Aren't KJD's the ones that apply while still in undergrad? So being 1 year out would mean that you are not a KJD right?

Edit: FWIW, friend of a friend works in the admissions office at HLS, and she said that HLS was trying to aim for KJDs to make up about 10% of the class.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:53 pm

VapidP wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
VapidP wrote:Given that 80% of their incoming class last year was at least 1 year out and 60% was at least 2, I would say work experience helps a ton. Probably doesn't matter what work experience, but work experience nonetheless.

That means that HLS's incoming class included 200 students--the size of the entire incoming classes at YLS and SLS--that were basically K-JD. If anything, your stat supports what I wrote.


Hmm? Aren't KJD's the ones that apply while still in undergrad? So being 1 year out would mean that you are not a KJD right?

I said "basically K-JD" because there's no meaningful difference between being in undergrad and being one year out. You apply to law school in the fall; someone who just graduated has no real work experience. But even if you want to limit the universe to your narrow definition of K-JD (i.e, folks who are literally still in undergrad when they're applying), HLS's first-year class includes 110+ of those. HLS is not a school that has an issues with admitting students without work experience.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby VapidP » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:00 pm

rpupkin wrote:
VapidP wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
VapidP wrote:Given that 80% of their incoming class last year was at least 1 year out and 60% was at least 2, I would say work experience helps a ton. Probably doesn't matter what work experience, but work experience nonetheless.

That means that HLS's incoming class included 200 students--the size of the entire incoming classes at YLS and SLS--that were basically K-JD. If anything, your stat supports what I wrote.


Hmm? Aren't KJD's the ones that apply while still in undergrad? So being 1 year out would mean that you are not a KJD right?

I said "basically KJD" because there's no meaningful difference between being in undergrad and being one year out. You apply to law school in the fall; omeone who just graduated has no real work experience. But even if you want to limit the universe your narrow definition of K-JD (i.e, folks whoa re literally still in undergrad when they're applying), HLS's first-year class includes 110+ of those. HLS is not a school that has an issues with admitting students without work experience.


Oh yeah, I don't disagree that the work experience has to meaningful. I don't HLS cares about work experience beyond the fact that they can include it in this statistic. TBH, I don't even think you need to work, you could just take a gap year and travel to "give you more experience with the world" or whatever and I think it would still be the same impact.

I would just advise not to apply straight out of college since H does seem to have a clear preference for those who don't apply right away. I guess I should rephrase as "being out of college when you apply helps a ton". Maybe numerically they still take a lot of KJDs, but numerically they also take a ton of sub 25th percentile LSATs. Doesn't mean it isn't substantially easier to get in if you had an above median LSAT.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:06 pm

VapidP wrote:Edit: FWIW, friend of a friend works in the admissions office at HLS, and she said that HLS was trying to aim for KJDs to make up about 10% of the class.

I'll believe it when I see it. Again, this isn't some new revelation for HLS; they've been saying stuff like this off and on for years. They probably mean it when they say it. But when they realize that admitting only 50 KJDs means that their LSAT and GPA medians have to drop and that they'll fall further behind SLS (and closer to UChi) in the USNWR rankings, they revise their goals.

Until HLS significantly cuts its class sizes, it's always going to be easier for a K-JD to get into HLS compared to SLS and YLS.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby obligatorysnark » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:14 pm

It's not important, as long as LSAC is sending the score with your report. Admissions confirmed this when I called. Each school I applied to had different requirements, and I was accepted into all of them (including tier 1 with scholarships) this cycle with a score from 2011.

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Re: How important is it that an applicant have an LSAT from the past 3 years?

Postby enoca » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:29 am

This cycle I was admitted at Columbia and waitlisted at Harvard with a mid 170s LSAT score from June 2012. I don't think the age of my score mattered in any way. Your resume/personal statement should make it clear that you weren't just doing bong rips for 3 years or whatever, though.



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