Hillary Mantis 2017-11-08 06:25:58
You may have heard: There have been some big changes in law school admissions. And there are more to come. Traditionally, the LSAT has been offered four times a year, but starting in the 2018-19 cycle, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) plans to offer the test six times a year. It looks like those taking the LSAT in the future will have more choices and flexibility in terms of test timing. Check the website (www.lsac.org) for upcoming test dates. LSAC is also experimenting with offering the LSAT on a tablet, so that may be a future option. They also recently removed the limit on the number of times you can take the LSAT exam. Another huge change is that some law schools will be accepting the GRE in place of the LSAT. So far, just a handful of schools have announced that they will accept it, but those schools include Harvard, Northwestern, Georgetown and The University of Arizona. Will other law schools follow? It remains to be seen whether it will be only a small number of schools that accept the GRE or if the rest of the law schools will follow. This will certainly change the options for future law school applicants. Will most choose to take the GRE over the LSAT? This also remains to be seen. RATCH/SHUTTERSTOCK If you’re applying to other graduate schools in addition to law school, you might be able to take just the GRE and skip the LSAT. This change, along with the expanded LSAT test schedule, will give future law school applicants more choices about which test to take. Another change in recent months has been the increased number of potential law school applicants registering for the LSAT. The number of test-takers has been flat for several years, but more people are taking the test now, so presumably more people will be applying to law school. The June LSAT showed an increase in registration of almost 20 percent. What does this mean for you? It’s hard to predict. It may mean that we are entering a more competitive admissions cycle. As the legal job market seems to be improving slightly, there may be more applicants to law schools. So, the bad news is, with more people taking the LSAT, it could become harder to get admitted to law school. But the good news is that if the legal job market, which has stabilized, continues to improve, there may be more employment options down the road for law school grads. How will you handle all of these changes? I recommend you check in frequently with LSAC, as they post new information on their website. If you don’t already have an LSAC account, now is a good time to set one up. They are the best source of official LSAT information. This is also a good time to attend an LSAC Law School Forum in your city. The Law School Forum travels around the country throughout the admissions season. The forums have excellent panels, and admissions officers from all over the country are there. It’s a great opportunity to meet admissions staff from law schools that interest you. It’s also a chance to find out whether law schools on your list plan to offer the GRE admissions option and if there are any other major changes planned. You can register for a Law School Forum on the LSAC website. I also recommend that you set up an appointment with your school’s pre-law adviser if you are applying to law school soon. (They usually work with alumni as well.) If you are curious about the GRE, you can learn more about it at www.ets.org. It’s an exciting time in law school admissions. It will take some getting used to, but all of the changes with the LSAT administration and the possibility of having the GRE as another option are good, in my opinion. It will give you more choices as you apply to law school. HILLARY MANTIS works with pre-law students, law students and lawyers. She is the author of career books for lawyers, including “Alternative Careers for Lawyers.” She is also director of the pre-law program at Fordham University. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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