The June 2013 LSAT for Fall 2013 Admissions? What’s Up with That?
Ordinarily, the June LSAT is the first LSAT for the law school admissions cycle the following year; so, most people taking the June 2013 LSAT are doing it to apply for admission to law school in 2014. That’s because, usually, almost no law schools accept the June LSAT for admissions a couple of months away.
This year is different. May more law schools are apparently willing to consider the June LSAT for admission this fall, not next. And I’ve been getting enough calls about that prospect to make it worth clarifying exactly what’s going on.
As I’ve said several times before on this blog—and many times to my clients—if you think of law schools as a business, what they do is a lot easier to understand. No different here. What’s going on with the business of law schools? Well, law school applications are down—sharply. How much, well, not clear yet, but the fact that more law schools are suddenly pinning their hopes to fill their fall classes on June LSAT-takers indicates that the drop is significant. Enough to make them worried about how much cash they’ll bring in.
That’s the second point. Law schools are filling out their classes, and they expect to get revenue from anyone else they accept. Which is another way of saying that June LSAT-takers who are applying for the fall of 2013 are significantly less likely to get merit-based aid than other, previously-accepted applicants. To begin with, the money is largely gone by this point. And more, well, if they could fill their classes and bring in their anticipated revenue without accepting June LSAT-takers, they probably would have already done that.
Finally, I’m not aware of any elite law school that is accepting a June LSAT score for this fall’s class. That’s another way of saying the same thing. Those schools don’t have to go the extra mile, because their classes are filled. It’s the less well-regarded law schools that are getting burned in this market, and one reason for that is that the post-law school opportunities they are decidedly poorer than many of their more esteemed counterparts (although that does vary by school)
So, what I have I recommended to those who have asked? If you need to go to law school this fall and didn’t take the LSAT previously, June offers an opportunity. But if you don’t need to go to law school this fall, consider saving your powder. With the same LSAT score, GPA and application package, you will likely have more admission options and merit scholarship opportunities if you hold your applications until this fall, for consideration in the fall of 2014.