I’ve talked about this in a couple other posts but it’s a question that comes up frequently: if you take the LSAT in February is it too late to apply for law schools for enrollment the next fall? Well, yes and no. It used to be that most schools did not accept the February LSAT for fall admissions. However, applications and enrollment are so far down at most schools that they will in fact accept applications from Feb LSAT takers, even if their official policy is that they do not consider Feb LSAT scores. Just to avoid confusion: every school will accept the February LSAT the following applications cycle (admission in fall of the following year).
In this post, we list various school’s policy on accepting the Feb LSAT for admission the immediately following fall. However, if you are applying in spring with a February LSAT score you will be getting in late in the game. We strongly recommend you wait and apply early on the next cycle. Jump to the end of the post for the discussion as to why this is usually your best plan.
A number of schools DO officially take February LSAT scores. Here is a list:
Arizona State University
Brooklyn Law School
College of William and Mary
New England School of Law
North Carolina Central University
Ohio State University
Rutgers University, Newark
Santa Clara University
St. Mary’s University
University of Connecticut
University of Hawaii
University of Kansas
University of Maryland
University of Montana
University of Pittsburgh
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wyoming
University of the District of Columbia
University of the Pacific
Wayne State University
Western New England College
The following schools also accept the February LSAT, but express the preference that you take an earlier LSAT.
Charleston School of Law
CUNY (Queen’s College)
Illinois Institute of Technology
Lewis & Clark College
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Chicago
Roger Williams University
Texas Tech University
University of Akron
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of California, Davis
University of California, Hastings
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Houston
University of Idaho
University of Iowa
University of Kentucky
University of Maine
University of Memphis
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri, Kansas City
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond
University of San Francisco
University of South Carolina
University of South Dakota
University of Southern California
University of Utah
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Wake Forest University
Washington and Lee University
Is It A Good Idea To Apply For Admission The Coming Fall With Your February LSAT Score?
A lot of people seem like they are in a big rush to get to law school. I understand that you want to take the next step in your life, but applying in spring for admission the immediately following fall is almost always a mistake. Here’s why:
1. Law Schools Have Given Away A Lot Of Their Scholarship Money By Then
Law schools have a limited pool of scholarships resources to draw from. They tend to use most of their money early trying to attract strong applicants. Yes, there may be some money sitting around and it may be available for you, but here’s the problem: you’ll never know if you could have gotten a better offer with a timely application (unless of course they give you the best scholarship they have, in which case, by all means, take it). It’s generally better to apply in the fall/early winter when you know there is a greater chance that you’ll get their most generous offer.
2. You Are Lowering Your Chances Of Getting Into Your Reach Schools
Yes, right now applications are way down and there are plenty of spots left for late applicants. However, good law schools still have way more people applying who are at the low end of their GPA/LSAT range than they intend to take. They give these spots away early in the applications cycle so they know these spots will filled. If you have comparatively weak numbers for a school, you have way better odds applying early.
Is money not an issue for you?? Do you not care about getting into reach schools??? Then go ahead and apply in spring. The other 99% of applicants should wait, do something productive with the extra year, then apply when the odds are in their favor.
I took the Dec 2014 lsat but wasn’t too happy with my score. If I take feb 2015 again will the schools look at my dec score or feb before making a decision?
What if their application due dates are before the feb score will be released?
Any comments on applying to a brand new law school that is likely to be T3? Also, what do you recommend with a 3.0 GPA, LSAT-TBD (taking in Feb); Graduate degree; 20+ years of active duty military? Looking to attend Fall 2014.
Is there a disadvantage to reapply the following year if your not happy with the schools you got into or the scholarship offers you received because you applied late in the game?
No, it’s no disadvantage whatsoever. I’ll edit the post to make this clear. Schools avoid prejudicing applicants thusly, and for good reason: it would be viewed as a tactic to force students to attend. The backlash from that would be terrific.
Does this mean all other universities aren’t even considering February test takers? Or would we just be at a larger disadvantage at those other schools?
Generally at this point to want to assume that any school not on this list is accepting Feb LSATs. They all need students really badly.
What if you have a stellar LSAT score by February (+170), would it still be a bad idea to apply?
Well, it’s worth it to apply if you think you can determine whether you are getting a good offer. Obviously if the school gives you it’s biggest scholarship or one close to that, then you are safe taking that offer. You can look on law school numbers to see what people with your numbers got for scholarships in past years. If your offer is the same or better, by all means take it. The problem is there often isn’t enough data on there to make a decision. Also, applying is a lot of effort. Unless you have compelling reasons to attend right away, it’s often better to wait until you know you’ll have the best chance.