March 28, 2020
Hello LSAT test-takers!
Welcome to the limbo of COVID-19 as you contemplate your law school future and as we hurt for our neighbors, friends, family, and ourselves, there are small blessings to count. Law school applicants are fortunate this disruption emerged in spring and not fall (though it may disrupt the fall application cycle). There is time to reorient your schedule to accommodate this brave new world of testing. Here’s some guidance from Clayborne.
- Plan on testing in June or later. The April 25 exam is still on, for now; according to LSAC, we’ll know its final status by April 10. A conservative approach to the virus’ progress would suggest that the March LSAT cancellation won’t be the last; April seems likely to be a casualty as well. If April does take place, registering for June as a backup would be wise. (LSAC is allowing free rescheduling of both March and April exams to the June date.)
- For June, be prepared for anything. There’s plenty of room for hope that the June test may still be administered in person as planned. But even if not, LSAC will be motivated to come up with an alternative similar to the GRE’s announcement of online testing and the GMAT’s upcoming modified test. It seems likely that LSAC will do something similar by June (or midsummer at the latest) if the June test cannot proceed as normal.
Stick with the LSAT
Although 60+ American law schools accept the GRE, growth has slowed somewhat and the LSAT remains the gold standard. Exception: if all your target law schools accept the GRE (see list here), you may want to pivot to that test, especially given ETS’ quick response to quarantine by making the GRE available online. But keep in mind: you cannot use the GRE for law school admissions if you have already taken the LSAT.
Ask, “What does this make possible?”
A good evaluative question when confronted with any disruption, and quarantine is no different. For some, this state of affairs gives unexpected time off, resulting in more time to prepare for the LSAT. Others may discern an opportunity to reflect on graduate school plans and make sure the way ahead is clear. Those students still considering admission to law school this year may find spots open because of other admitted students deferring enrollment. Those admitted to law school for this year may find schools flexible regarding seat deposits and other deadlines. All law school applicants for 2021 should remain flexible and ready; no one knows what’s coming, but the possibility of revised application deadlines this fall may work to the advantage of many.