You Have Your LSAT Score–Now What?

agendaYou just received your LSAT score.

If you did well, congrats!

If you didn’t do so well, I’m sorry.

If you’re ready to use your score, it’s time to finalize your list of schools. It’s good to know from the get-go which schools you’re applying to so you can familiarize yourself with each school’s application, requirements and essay prompts.

To help you create and refine your list, I recommend reading Choosing Law Schools and Choosing a Law School Using ABA Data & Stats.

If you’re disappointed in your LSAT score, there are several options available to you. You can take the December test if you can commit the time and energy to prep hard for the next seven weeks. Not enough time or don’t have the energy? Consider spreading out your prep over the next seven months and taking it in June. You can spend less time on it per week and instead of prepping intensively, take your time to slowly absorb and master the test.

Taking it in June means that you won’t be applying to law school this year. That’s okay. Really. I meet so many applicants who believe that they have to apply to law school this year or else their life will end…or suck…or both. That is so not true!

Taking the time to get a good LSAT score, one that truly represents your potential for law school, will help you in the long run. A great LSAT score can help you get into your dream schools and it can also help you get scholarships. That means less or no debt and more choice when it comes to your future career (when you don’t have loans looming over you, you have the freedom to pursue the jobs that are right for you, rather than the ones that will pay the most bills). Isn’t that worth another 6-7 months of prep?

You have your whole life ahead of you to be a lawyer. Practice patience. Make smart decisions. Take the time to make sure you get into the law school that is right for you.

Have questions about choosing schools? Wondering if you should take the LSAT again? I’m here to help! Post your questions below and I’ll respond.

Photo by Charles Rondeau.

16 thoughts on “You Have Your LSAT Score–Now What?

  1. I did not do as well as I wanted, especially considering my GPA does not represent my level of intelligence (which seems to be a recurring trend). My GPA is about a 3.1 and my lsat score was 153. I graduate my undergrad in December. I’m a strong writer yet lack strong softs. Should I retake in December or apply and hope for the best?

    • I’m sorry to hear your LSAT didn’t so well, Alicia. Before I answer your question about retaking in December, can you tell me more about how you prepped for the Sept LSAT? What books and/or classes did you use? How many hours per week did you prep? Also, how long did you prep? Also, what are you majoring in?

  2. So I graduated in 2000, having the worst senior year imaginable.
    I was a 3.54 dropped to a 3.18 but my LSAC is a 3.35. As only 60 of the credits were at Uni the rest as a CC.

    In 2004 I returned to school and completed my M.Ed in 9 months with all As. I’ve also completed a graduate certificate and completed the 18 graduate credits with a 4.0 in 2013. In all, I’ve taken over 66 graduate credits all resulting in a 4.0, actually a tad higher as I had a few A+

    How do I address that? What schools should I look at when it comes to GPA? I know I’m am not a 3.35 student I’ve consistantly been a 4.0 in the last 10 years. I’ve heard conflicting stories that they will average my GPA but even from the same school that varies depening on who I talk to.

    How would you approach it?

  3. Good questions, Stephanie. First of all, congrats on getting all A’s in your M.Ed program and in your graduation certificate program! That’s awesome!

    Sorry to hear about your senior year and how your GPA dropped to a 3.35. But you’re right–that lower GPA does not define you. Especially since it’s been 14 years since you graduated with your bachelor’s degree, schools will be looking more at your LSAT score and your resume.

    Schools will not average your undergrad GPA with your graduate school GPA. That said, it’s not to say they aren’t going to take your stellar grades from graduate school into consideration. I think they will and they will see that you are a much better student than what your undergrad transcript reflects.

    Have you taken the LSAT yet? If yes, how did you do?

    If no, make sure to prep well and hard for it. It’s going to help boost your application overall if you get a good score and schools will forgive your lower GPA when you have a great LSAT.

    • Stephanie, thanks for letting me know over Twitter that you’re planning on taking the December LSAT. With all your many years of work experience and a good LSAT score, you’re going to be good to go!

  4. I prepped with the Powerscore books and studied about 2-4 hours a day for about 4/5 days a week. Starting in mid June. I didn’t start taking actual practice tests, though, until the week beforehand, I feel that that could possibly be my downfall in the sense that I didn’t get to apply my concepts to actual tests as much as I should have. My major is Law and Economics with a Legal Studies minor, my major GPA is about a 3.4.

    Thanks for taking time to respond and advise, much appreciated!

  5. I’m working full time. How many months should I prepare to take the LSAT? And how many hours per day should I allocate for studying when my schedule to take the lsat is February next year. And when I get a good score can I enroll next year?

    • Thanks for writing in, Brenda. If you’re working full-time, I recommend prepping for at least four months, preferably five or six. It’s really hard to find enough time to adequately prep for the LSAT when you’re working full-time. In general, I recommend studying for 2 hours four days a week and then for 4-6 hours on the weekends. That equates to 16-20 hours per week.

      Check out The LSAT Blog’s Diaries. There are some great stories and strategies there for all kinds of prep situations. http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/p/lsat-law-school-lawyer-diaries-fun.html

      Here’s one of my favorite diaries from Brandon who scored a 170 after prepping for 5-6 months. http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/lsat-diary-170-scorers-focus.html

      If you take my advice, then you will not apply for this application season but will instead take the June 2015 LSAT and then apply EARLY (always a good thing!) in October or November 2015. Good luck, Brenda, and please post any other questions you have!

  6. Hi Peg! We met at the law career fair at UW, and just got my LSAT score today and had a few questions. I have a 3.7 GPA and 165 LSAT score and was wondering if you had any suggestions for schools too apply to with social justice/public interest focus? I’m having trouble making my list, especially filling out the solid scores section.

    Thanks!

  7. Hey so I’ve taken the LSAT twice so far. 141 the first time in Oct. and 143 this past December test. So I’m feeling pretty defeated right now. Graduating in May with a 3.5 GPA. I used Kaplan. Only study for about a month at a time for each test. I’ve got my list of dream schools and I know I won’t get in and coming to the realization that I won’t be applying to law school this year. I know I can do better on this test. Wondering what advice you could give for studying and steps to take in the meantime for an unplanned gap year. And if I should wait till Next Dec. for a full year of studying and if I could have a great jump to make me competitive. Thanks!

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your two LSAT scores, Gabi. They definitely don’t do any justice to your 3.5 GPA. They don’t show your potential for law school. I’m glad you know that you can do better. Great to hear that! Don’t give up!

      A month is not enough time for prep. Every person I know who has done well on the LSAT has prepped for 3 months, some have prepped for 6 to 9 or even 12 months. The longer preppers are the ones who know they are terrible at standardized tests. If you can relate to that, I recommend that you start prepping now from January through September. Try to do 9 months of CONSISTENT, part-time prep. Then take the October LSAT.

      Check out the LSAT tips on my blog at: http://prelaw-guru.com/blog/category/lsat-prep-tips/

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