If you were signed up to take the February 2010 LSAT almost anywhere on the East Coast, then chances are your test didn't happen on February 6. Instead, you got a nasty surprise on February 5 when your test center was closed due to inclement weather and you got a notification from LSAC stating that you would soon receive an email with instructions on when and where your make-up test would occur.
And that's when everybody started panicking.
"What are the law schools going to think?" "Is this going to affect my admissions chances?" "What if I miss the deadline because my scores aren't out in time?" "Should I write an addendum explaining what happened? Two addendums? Three? Four?" I fielded these calls, emails, and questions for days after Snowpocalypse 2010 hit the East Coast.
The answer is actually pretty simple.
Like you, me, and everyone else in the United States, law school AdComs are aware of the weather situation. As a matter of fact, they would likely be even more aware of it, since they have probably answered hundreds of phone calls from panicked students, all asking them to please forgive them for their late scores. Here is what a lot of students are forgetting though:
- This was not your fault. It wasn't even LSAC's fault. It was Mother Nature's. Therefore, you didn't do anything wrong.
- Schools know this wasn't your fault. Therefore, they don't need a groveling explanation and request their forgiveness.
- This wasn't an incident isolated to just one test center. Over 70 centers and potentially thousands of students were affected by this cancellation, making this not an aberration so much as the status quo. AdComs will actually be surprised with students that were not cancelled on, since a huge number of students will be taking their February LSAT late this year. Therefore, if you find yourself on the delayed LSAT boat, you're not the exception--you're almost the rule.
So take a deep breath. Relax. You don't need to explain what happened. The good folks at LSAC will do that for you, and the AdComs already know (and they are being very understanding about it). Just look at this note from the Washington & Lee Law School admissions team:
It has been brought to our attention that this most recent spate of snow has resulted in a number of applicants being unable to take the February LSAT on their appointed date. If you happen to find yourself in this category, please do not worry. We are aware of the situation, and we encourage you to contact LSAC with any and all questions you might have about the rescheduling of the test administration. Please feel free to consult lsac.org for additional information. As noted in their post addressing the closings, LSAC will contact you via email as soon as possible (most likely the week after the test date) regarding other options, including a make-up test.
We will do our best to work with you throughout this process. As we note on our website, if your file is complete by March 1, we guarantee a decision by no later than the last week in March/first week in April, and we will make every effort to hold to this standard even if this weekend’s inclement weather results in your sitting for the February LSAT at a later date.
Source: WLU Blog
You'll be fine. If you find that, for your own peace of mind, you absolutely must send in an explanation, make it very concise. One sentence is all that is needed:
"Due to the inclement weather in the East Coast, my February LSAT test date (and score release date) was delayed."
Brief, factual, drama-free. Remember that AdComs already know, they're being nice about it, and will work with you. After all, the snow made them close their offices, too!
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