September and October LSAT Takers – The LSAT is over! Now what?

So the LSAT is behind you. Congratulations!  Now what?  Here is a checklist of items you should be working on to get those applications completed and submitted as soon as possible, with a target deadline of Fall Break.

  1. Complete the writing portion of the LSAT. You will not be able to submit your applications until you finish the writing section of the LSAT so hop on that ASAP!
  2. Register for the Credential Assembly Service if you haven’t already. This is the account where your letter of recommendation writers will send your letter–and they can’t write your letter until you set this up.  Click here for more information.
  3. Follow up with your recommenders. By now you should have already approached your letter of recommendation writers, but if not, now is the time. Provide a resume and allow at least 6-8 weeks for them to write and upload the letter to your CAS account.
  4. Order your transcript(s) now. Note: You will need to order a transcript from every undergraduate institution where you took courses–even summer courses–so now is a good time to reach out to the registrar of any community colleges or schools from which you transferred. Here is where you order your UIUC transcript. Want more information about the LSAC’s transcript policies? Go here.
  5. Write your personal statement. Not sure where to start? Sign up for our next Personal Statement and Resume Workshop, set for Tuesday, November 5, 4-5pm, Room 514 IUB. If you are unable to attend a workshop, we also provide a quick overview of the personal statement in our PLAS Handbook. Click on the “Applying to Law School” tab.  Once there, select the “Personal Statement” tab.  We have additional information in the “Applying to Law School” section of our PLAS Compass page. As both of these resources explain, each law school will have its own prompt(s) for the personal statement. While you may discover that many of these personal statement prompts are similar, you need to CAREFULLY REVIEW each prompt for each law school and reply to that prompt. Besides giving you a topic or direction to take, the prompt may also contain information about font size, page limits, etc. You need to open your CAS account and then begin to apply to each law school to see the details in each application. Note: just because you open an application today does NOT mean you have to finish it today. You can begin your law school applications and then go back and work on them at your own pace.  The law schools do NOT see anything until you actually submit your application.
  6. Research law schools. The very first thing to consider is: What are your top 3 priorities in a legal education? (Location, employment, affordability, and admissibility are common priorities.) You’ll want to develop a list of 8-10 law schools that meet those priorities. You can find LSAT/GPA data, employment information, tuition, and more by using a resource like the American Bar Association’s Required Disclosure reports. On this website you will find these reports:
    1. 509 Required Disclosures = Previous year’s incoming class data such as GPA, LSAT, ethnicity, number of applicants + admits, etc., plus you can find tuition, number and amount of scholarships awarded, and transfer data.
    2. Employment Outcomes = Law schools are required to report the employment status of graduates 10 months after graduation. Here you will see how many of the law schools’s most recent grads are employed, and in what sectors.
    3. Bar Passage Outcomes = Law schools must report bar passage data about a year out. This report will show which state bar exam this school’s grads take, how many pass, and comparisons to the general state pass rate.

If you have questions and would like to meet with an advisor, go here to schedule an appointment.

 

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September LSAT takers: Extended Nov LSAT deadline just for you

September LSAT results are in today. If you took the September LSAT and want to retake, the LSAC has extended the deadline for you to register for the November LSAT through TOMORROW–Tuesday, October 15. (This extension only applies for September LSAT takers…for everyone else, the deadline to register for the November LSAT was Oct. 10.)

You’ll need to make a quick decision, since the deadline is tomorrow. What should you know/consider about the November exam? Here’s an overview (taken from our Guide to Remaining 2019 LSATs).

November 25, 2019 LSAT Details

    • IF you are planning to apply to law school this cycle (to enter in Fall 2020), then this is the latest LSAT we advise taking. (Why? The next LSAT isn’t until January 2020, which is getting late in the cycle due to rolling admissions.)
    • This exam is on a Monday, but it’s also during our Fall Break, so current students won’t have to miss class. It may be necessary to miss work.
    • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
    • For current students–This exam is very close to finals, and LSAT prep will need to be carefully balanced with academic performance throughout the fall semester.
    • This exam is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive a full report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

If you decide to retake, then:

  • Get back to LSAT studying right away. This test is six weeks out, and you’ll want to maximize that time in order to see improvement.
  • Review your score report carefully from the Sept. exam. What types of questions did you get wrong? Spend your time wisely on improving in those areas.
  • Explore a different LSAT prep resource than you used last time.
  • Make sure that you are timing yourself, taking full length practice tests, and taking a mix of paper and digital tests (as opposed to using only paper-based previous exams) to get used to the digital format.
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New Downloadable Pre-Law Calendar!!

Download the New Pre-Law Calendar!

Staying organized with school work and applying to law school can be a difficult challenge for many students. That is why we have created a Pre-Law Calendar for students to download that will remind you when to work on applying to law school! We have taken the stress off your shoulder and have offered answers to questions such as “when should I start my personal statement?” “when is the next LSAT exam?” and “when should I get my letter of recommendations?” All these answers and more will be available to you on the Pre-law Calendar.

The Pre-Law Calendar is available for ICal, Outlook, and Google Calendar. For students interested in using the google calendar format must follow the additional downloading steps below.

How to Convert ICal to Google Calendar

      1. On the left side go to “Other Calendars” and click on the drop down.
      2. Choose “Import calendar“.
      3. Click on “Choose file” and locate the .ics file on your computer.  A copy of the .ics file is below.  (https://calendar.google.com/calendar/ical/uiucprelaw%40gmail.com/public/basic.ics)     
      4. Click on “Import” and wait for Google to import your events.

Check out some snap shoots of  how the calendar works!

 

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Planning on Taking the LSAT in October or November (or even January)? REGISTER NOW!

Fall 2019 Test Takers: As we discussed in our August 14 PLAS blog post, the new format and schedule for the LSAT have significantly reduced the number of available slots for test takers.  Consequently, the stated registration deadlines of September 10 for the October LSAT and October 10 for the November LSAT are almost meaningless. In fact, as of today THERE ARE WAIT LISTS FOR SEVERAL TEST LOCATIONS FOR BOTH THE OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER EXAMS! If you plan to take the LSAT either in October or November (or possibly even January – see below), you need to register ASAP – do NOT wait until the registration deadline!!  Here is a link to the test center search portal to allow you to determine where there are still open spots for the exam. https://tcs.lsac.org/SearchCenter.aspx. Remember: the next LSAT administration here at UIUC isn’t until February so you need to consider the best time and location for you with that in mind.

July 2019 Test Takers: Scores were released last week.  You have until next Wednesday, September 4, to cancel your score.  After that, it remains in your LSAC/CAS account and all law schools to which you apply will see it. If you opt to cancel your score, you should be able to schedule your free retake through your LSAC/CAS account. As noted above, you should plan to register for your retake ASAP! Registration is now open for all administrations of the exam through April of 2020.   https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsat-dates-deadlines-score-release-dates. If you encounter any issues with scheduling the free retake, contact LSAC directly at (215) 968-1001.

Some final thoughts/reminders:

(1) Given what we are seeing with wait lists for fall registrations, those of you considering the January LSAT should also register as soon as possible to make sure you get a seat! Do not wait until the December 3 deadline!!

(2) Applicants who took the LSAT in either June or July (and all future test takers), do not forget to complete the writing portion of the LSAT.  Your law school applications cannot be processed until the writing section is submitted!

(3) For more information about the latest developments concerning the LSAT, go to the LSAC’s website.  You can also search our blog by using the search tool in the upper left corner of this page as we have covered these topics in several previous posts.

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Register now for Oct & Nov LSATs

Important Fall LSAT Update: We are hearing that there are wait lists for many October and November LSAT locations already. If you plan to take either of those tests, then it is strongly suggested that you register ASAP to get a seat! Upcoming LSAT options are: Mon, Oct. 28, Mon, Nov. 25, and Mon, Jan. 13 (2020). You can search for available test sites near you for each upcoming LSAT here.

The LSAC is advising that you add yourself to a waitlist for your preferred location for the October or November exam, and they will try to place you at that location or nearby. (Note that wait lists do not guarantee that you will get a seat.)

Registration is open for all LSATs through April of 2020 on the LSAC website here. For a thorough discussion of all the pros and cons of each upcoming LSAT revisit our blog here–despite the title, that blog post is not just for July LSAT takers!

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5 Things To Do After the July LSAT

The July LSAT is over!  Whether you’re applying to law school this fall or in future years, here are your next steps.

  1. Consider LSAT retake options. This is the only LSAT administration that will allow you to see your score, cancel it, and sign up for a free retake.  For a full consideration of ALL upcoming LSAT options–including timing for this fall’s applicants–revisit this post. Even though you don’t yet have results, now is a good time to consider your retake options so that you are ready to register as soon as scores are released.
  2. Get your letters of recommendation lined up. Have you already contacted your LOR writers and asked them to submit a letter for you? If not, do that now, because giving your writer all summer to write the letter is smart. Recent grads: Go ahead and approach your professors now, even if you don’t plan to apply for another year or two…having them submit their letter while they still remember you (and work here) is smart. Don’t wait until a super busy time for them–or come back to find that they’re retired, on medical leave, etc.–to ask. Here are some tips on getting great recommendations.
  3. Register for the Credential Assembly Service if you haven’t already. This is the account where your recommenders will send your letter–and they can’t write your letter until you set this up.  Click here for more information.
  4. Order your transcript(s) now if you aren’t taking summer classes. If you are taking summer classes, put a reminder on your calendar to order your transcript after August 12 (or Aug. 27 if you are a summer 2019 graduate). Note: You will need to order a transcript from every undergraduate institution where you took courses–even summer courses–so now is a good time to reach out to the registrar of any community colleges or schools from which you transferred. Here is where you order your UIUC transcript.
  5. Research law schools. The very first thing to consider is: What are your top 3 priorities in a legal education? (Location, employment, affordability, and admissibility are common priorities.) You’ll want to develop a list of 8-10 law schools that meet those priorities. You can find LSAT/GPA data, employment information, tuition, and more by using a resource like the American Bar Association’s Required Disclosure reports. On this website you will find these reports:
    1. 509 Required Disclosures = Previous year’s incoming class data such as GPA, LSAT, ethnicity, number of applicants + admits, etc., plus you can find tuition, number and amount of scholarships awarded, and transfer data.
    2. Employment Outcomes = Law schools are required to report the employment status of graduates 10 months after graduation. Here you will see how many of the law schools’s most recent grads are employed, and in what sectors.
    3. Bar Passage Outcomes = Law schools must report bar passage data about a year out. This report will show which state bar exam this school’s grads take, how many pass, and comparisons to the general state pass rate.

If you’re finished with the LSAT (not retaking it), then now is a good time to work on drafting a personal statement. We’ll post more about that in a future blog, or you can take a look at our Pre-Law Handbook (click on the Applying to Law School tab, then Personal Statements) for details.

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Free Digital Practice LSAT for Illini This Month!

Announcing…a great opportunity for pre-law Illini!

Taking the LSAT in the future? University of Illinois students and alumni have a unique opportunity to take a free digital tablet-based practice LSAT on campus on July 23!

Through a partnership between Pre-Law Advising Services and the Law School Admission Council, this digital practice LSAT will use the LSAC’s tablets on which the test is now given.

Details:

  • The LSAC’s tablet and stylus will be provided for test takers. No need to bring your own tablet.
  • The test will be administered in a realistic, proctored, timed campus environment.
  • Get a baseline score, or use it as practice for an upcoming LSAT.

Any interested Illinois student or alum may register.

  • Not currently LSAT prepping? Taking the practice LSAT cold will provide a baseline score.
  • Currently prepping for a fall (September, October, or November) LSAT? This realistic practice test on the LSAT tablet will be especially helpful.

Registration is required and seating is limited. Click this link for more details and to register. Location and other details will be provided to registrants prior to the exam.

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July LSAT Resource Extravaganza

The LSAC has released this handy one-page Friendly Reminders for July LSAT takers. Can’t view the picture above? Access the pdf here:

https://www.lsac.org/sites/default/files/media/LSAT-July_Test-Day_One-Pager.pdf

ICYMI: We’ve also posted these blogs below just for July LSAT takers.

5 Things To Know & Do for the July LSAT

July LSAT takers: A Guide to All of Your Free LSAT Retake Options

 

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5 Things To Do After the June LSAT

June LSAT scores are out!  Whether you’re applying to law school this fall or in future years, here are your next steps.

  1. Make some LSAT retake decisions. The July LSAT registration is closed, so September is your next LSAT retake option and registration is already open here. October and November are also options, but these are on Mondays and are not offered on our campus (if that is important to you). For a full consideration of upcoming LSAT options–including timing for this fall’s applicants–revisit this post. You’ll also want to start re-prepping with digital LSAT resources like these, since every LSAT Sept and later will be on a tablet.
  2. Get your letters of recommendation lined up. Have you already contacted your LOR writers and asked them to submit a letter for you? If not, do that now, because giving your writer all summer to write the letter is smart. Recent grads: Go ahead and approach your professors now, even if you don’t plan to apply for another year or two…having them submit their letter while they still remember you (and work here) is smart. Don’t wait until a super busy time for them–or come back to find that they’re retired, on medical leave, etc.–to ask. Here are some tips on getting great recommendations.
  3. Register for the Credential Assembly Service if you haven’t already. This is the account where your recommenders will send your letter–and they can’t write your letter until you set this up.  Click here for more information.
  4. Order your transcript(s) now if you aren’t taking summer classes. If you are taking summer classes, put a reminder on your calendar to order your transcript after August 12 (or Aug. 27 if you are a summer 2019 graduate). Note: You will need to order a transcript from every undergraduate institution where you took courses–even summer courses–so now is a good time to reach out to the registrar of any community colleges or schools from which you transferred. Here is where you order your UIUC transcript.
  5. Research law schools. The very first thing to consider is: What are your top 3 priorities in a legal education? (Location, employment, affordability, and admissibility are common priorities.) You’ll want to develop a list of 8-10 law schools that meet those priorities. You can find LSAT/GPA data, employment information, tuition, and more by using a resource like the American Bar Association’s Required Disclosure reports. On this website you will find these reports:
    1. 509 Required Disclosures = Previous year’s incoming class data such as GPA, LSAT, ethnicity, number of applicants + admits, etc., plus you can find tuition, number and amount of scholarships awarded, and transfer data.
    2. Employment Outcomes = Law schools are required to report the employment status of graduates 10 months after graduation. Here you will see how many of the law schools’s most recent grads are employed, and in what sectors.
    3. Bar Passage Outcomes = Law schools must report bar passage data about a year out. This report will show which state bar exam this school’s grads take, how many pass, and comparisons to the general state pass rate.

If you’re finished with the LSAT (not retaking it), then now is a good time to work on drafting a personal statement. We’ll post more about that in a future blog, or you can take a look at our Pre-Law Handbook (click on the Applying to Law School tab, then Personal Statements) for details.

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July LSAT takers: A Guide to All of Your Free LSAT Retake Options

July test takers: As you know, this is the big “transition to digital” exam, and ONLY for this exam, takers will be able to see your score, cancel if you choose, and retake for free until April 2020. It’s smart to think through your retake options now, especially if you intend to apply to law school this cycle (to enter law school in Fall 2020).

Tip: Before reading this, you may want to read our earlier blog post on 5 Things to Know & Do For the July LSAT

Let’s talk about 2 important details for considering any LSAT retake options.

  1. July LSAT scores will be released on August 28, and takers will have until September 4 to cancel that score. Given that information, let’s consider all of your LSAT retake options.
  2. The July LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that takers will not receive a full report of questions you got correct and incorrect. Takers will only receive a score, nothing more, to study from for a retake.

Let’s consider all of the free LSAT retake options for July takers. 

September 21, 2019 LSAT. Registration is currently open here and closes on August 1.

    • July scores will be released long after the September 2019 LSAT registration deadline (August 1), so this will not be a realistic free retake option. Also, takers would have less than 1 month after July score release to prep for a retake, and that’s not a realistic time frame to see improvement.
    • This LSAT is offered on our campus. It is also the last LSAT of 2019 to be offered on a Saturday.
    • IF you really want this option because pushing to a later LSAT won’t work, then you may want to go ahead and pay to register for the September LSAT prior to August 1. You won’t get the advantage of the FREE retake, but you will still have the advantage of cancelling your July score if you aren’t satisfied with it.
    • Those who take this route would be wise to keep up with the LSAT studying until your July score is released (so that you don’t lose ground if you decide to retake), knowing that if you like your July score, you can just cancel your Sept registration and be done.
    • This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will get a full report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

October 28, 2019 LSAT. Registration for this LSAT is currently open here and closes on September 10.

    • This is the most realistic next LSAT for July retakers. (Demand will probably be high for that reason.) July takers will have 2 full months after July scores roll to prepare for October, which is a more realistic time frame to see improvement.
    • Note that this exam is on a Monday, which may mean making arrangements to miss class or work.
    • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
    • IF you plan to apply Early Decision, then this may be the latest LSAT accepted. It depends on the law school. Check the application of the law school where you plan to apply Early Decision to see whether they will accept November scores…many will not.
    • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

November 25, 2019. Registration is currently open here for this LSAT and closes on October 10.

    • IF you are planning to apply to law school this cycle (to enter in Fall 2020), then this is the latest LSAT we advise taking. (Why? The next LSAT isn’t until January 2020, which is getting late in the cycle due to rolling admissions.) This LSAT may also be too late to apply Early Decision–see the note above.
    • This exam is on a Monday, but it’s also during our Fall Break, so current students won’t have to miss class. It may be necessary to miss work.
    • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
    • For current students–This exam is very close to finals, and LSAT prep will need to be carefully balanced with academic performance throughout the fall semester.
    • This exam is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive a full report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

January 13, 2020 LSAT. Registration is currently open here for this LSAT and closes on December 3.

    • This exam is possible for those who want to enter law school in fall of 2020, but it is getting late. Remember that in a rolling admission cycle, law schools begin accepting people–and awarding their scholarships–in September.
    • LSAT takers who are applying to law school this cycle would be wise to complete all other elements of the application as soon as this exam is over in order to apply ASAP once scores are released.
    • This exam is on a Monday, but it falls during our Winter Break, so current students will not have to miss class. It may be necessary to miss work.
    • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
    • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

February 22, 2020 LSAT. Registration for this LSAT is currently open here and closes on January 7.

    • This exam is very late in the cycle for those who are applying to law school to enter in Fall 2020. Applicants may even miss some law school application deadlines by the time February scores are released; check the deadlines of law schools you’re applying to if considering this option.
    • This may be a great option for those who aren’t applying to law school this cycle. Current students will have all of winter break to focus on LSAT prep. And, you’d be done with the LSAT before midterms–always a plus. You can spend the rest of the semester focused on your classwork.
    • This exam is on a Saturday, so current students don’t need to miss class. Alumni may not need to miss work, either.
    • This exam IS offered on our campus. Current students and local alumni can avoid travel costs and logistics.
    • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

March 30, 2020 LSAT. Registration for this LSAT is currently open here and closes on February 11.

  • This exam is not a realistic option for those who are applying to law school to enter in Fall 2020. Applicants will miss many law school  application deadlines, and many scholarships will already be awarded.
  • This may be a great option for those who aren’t applying to law school this cycle. Current students will have all of winter break AND spring break to study. And, you’d be done with the LSAT before finals. However, balancing of LSAT prep and classwork would be necessary throughout most of spring semester.
  • This exam is on a Monday (and does NOT fall during our spring break), so current students would need to miss class, and alumni may need to miss work.
  • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
  • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

April 25, 2020. This is the final FREE LSAT retake option for July 2019 LSAT takers. Registration is currently open here and closes on March 10.

  • This exam is not an option for those who are applying to law school to enter in Fall 2020. It is well past most law school application deadlines.
  • This may be a great option for those who aren’t applying to law school this cycle. Current students will have all of winter break AND spring break to study. However, this LSAT is so late in the spring that it requires balancing LSAT prep and classwork essentially the entire semester. And it’s close to finals, which is not ideal.
  • This exam is on a Saturday, so current students don’t need to miss class. Alumni may not need to miss work, either.
  • This LSAT IS offered on our campus. Current students and local alumni can avoid travel costs and logistics.
  • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.
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