A natural and somewhat obvious question arises once scores come out: what’s next?
The answer to that question largely depends on which of two, or possibly three, categories best describes your situation. Let’s examine the scenarios below and discuss what might qualify you for each, and the appropriate actions to take moving forward (one of which inspired my picture choice for this post).
The disappointing reality for a lot of people is that the LSAT they just took is not their last LSAT. That’s okay. Take it again.
The key at this point is that you use the months remaining to you to ensure your next attempt is your last attempt: buy some books, take a class, find a tutor…just don’t leave anything to chance. You’ve got experience on your side at this point; capitalize on knowing what it’s like to take the LSAT and crush it on your next go.
Still not convinced? People fret about multiple attempts and how schools view them, but here’s the reality: schools don’t care. Seriously! Law schools really aren’t concerned with multiple test attempts, whether they consist of cancel/high or low/high(er) score splits. The ABA requires, and USNWR considers, only the highest score of each accepted applicant, so that’s all that schools care about. Presuming a score improvement on the LSAT, to quote our friends at Spivey Consulting, “For the vast majority of scenarios, to retake for a higher score presents all opportunity with no downside.”
STILL not convinced?? Well I’ll let my colleague Dave Killoran take it from here. To pull a single, salient quote from an article rich in them, “you should strongly consider taking the LSAT again if you can improve at all.”
So you’ve done it: achieved, or even surpassed, your dream score and the LSAT is now behind you. Congrats! Time to get the rest of your application in order.
There are a number of programs available if you need help with anything from personal statements to letters of recommendation to resume proofing to addenda; the key is that, now that you’ve got the score you need, you leave nothing else to chance! Capitalize on the tremendous advantage you’ve given yourself with a great score and a fairly early start and finish strong.
I hesitate here, but try as I might I just can’t let this category end without a footnote of sorts: maybe, just maybe, consider a retake. Wait! Don’t go! All I mean to say is that, even if your score is guaranteed to get you into your target school, honestly examine the test you just took and consider if you could do better. I’ll both refer you back to point #1 above, and elaborate further below…
Let’s face it: law school is not only competitive, but also quite expensive, so even a modest score increase, just 2-3 points even, can make a big difference. If you’re comfortably in, or feel like you’ve topped out score-wise (you probably haven’t, by the way) then by all means apply and be done with it. But the possibility of a few more points, and the host of rewards that come with them, is often worth the effort.
So why did I call this “both” if I’ve just reiterated the first point above? Because a retake doesn’t preclude applying before your next test date! That’s right, you can plan on another LSAT and still send off your applications beforehand–provided you either feel they’re reasonably competitive as-is, or you let the school know you’ll be retaking and ask that they evaluate you based on your upcoming performance–getting an early jump on the application cycle while still allowing yourself the chance to improve your credentials.
Different schools treat applications with a “score increase to hopefully follow” addendum in different ways, so it’s always a good idea to contact the school in question and ask them directly how to proceed…but know that this option not only exists, but may in fact be the best of both worlds if you’re nearly where you want to be but also believe you could go further.
Lastly, much of this is understandably murky, and your LSAT score may leave you with more questions than answers. That’s both understandable and okay. Just get in touch with us and ask! Call at (800) 545-1750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will happily take the time to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, give December another look–it might be a more attractive option than you thought.
Image “Dublin, Ireland (Temple Bar)” courtesy of LenDog64.