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General questions relating to law school or law school admissions.
 Zarie Blackburn
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We recently received the following question from a student. An LSAT Expert will respond below. Thanks!
I graduated from Cornell University in 2019 and am hoping to enter law school next fall. For a variety of reasons, I was unable to take an earlier LSAT. As such, I am enrolled for the January test. I am also taking the GRE in December. I have been averaging around 172-177 on my LSAT practices. My GPA is 3.99/4.3. I am applying to most T14 schools aside from my alma mater, along with UT Austin and UCLA. I would likely only attend if I were accepted at a T3 school or received close to a full scholarship from a lower ranked school. Given that these are "reach" possibilities and the fact that I will be at a significant disadvantage due to rolling admissions, is it worth applying this cycle?
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It's difficult to tell you exactly what to do in this situation. A high GPA and a high LSAT score will make you a strong candidate at most schools--though of course you'll need a strong personal statement and other application materials to go with it! And many people apply to law school with the January test. But obviously, due to the nature of rolling admissions, applying earlier in the cycle gives you the best shot. If you really want to start law school in the fall, I would go ahead and apply--you still have a good shot at getting into some very good schools and getting scholarships. But if it's more important to you that you get into a T3 or get a full scholarship and you don't want to risk the application fees, then you could wait and apply early next cycle. The truth is, there's no way to really guarantee what will happen in either event as there are so many factors that impact the admissions process. You have to weigh your own personal priorities (starting law school next fall vs. going to a T3/getting a full scholarship). If application fees aren't a major concern, I would probably go ahead and apply this cycle and if it doesn't go how you're hoping, try again in the fall. But either way, make sure that personal statement is stellar!

Hope this helps!

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 Dave Killoran
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I'd like to add two comments to Kelsey's excellent analysis.

As she notes, there are so many factors in play that it's always hard to say what will happen in any given cycle (this is especially so in the T3). I will note to you what Yale says on their website about when you apply: "Please note that it may take several weeks for LSAC to process your materials. Under our review process there is no advantage, in terms of the likelihood of admission, to applying earlier in the application cycle. In other words, your chances of admission remain constant regardless of when you submit your application" (italics added for emphasis). I also talked about this very point in our recent Secrets of the Law School Admission Process webinar.

Second, be advised that once you have an LSAT score on record, law schools are obligated by the ABA to use the SLAT score and will then ignore the GRE score. That may make no difference, but you should at least be aware.


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