So you’ve taken the LSAT but you’ve got three heart pounding weeks until you get your score back. What should you be doing during these three weeks to stay competitive?
I know, you thought after applying to undergrad you would never have to fill out another school application again. So did I, it’s painful. Luckily this year LSAC is utilizing the FlexApp, once you fill out one application on their site it stores this data. When you go to fill out your next law school application you simply click the section of the app you want to work on and it will auto-fill any questions that are the same from previous applications. It’s an especially huge time saver when it comes to some schools and their employment section that makes you fill in your resume instead of simply attaching it as a .doc.
Law school applications are expensive. Most run in general vicinity of $60 a piece and that doesn’t include the mandatory $16 for each CAS report that LSAC sends with each application. Luckily there is a solution. You’ve probably received at least a few e-mails and/or pieces of literature in the mail from prospective law schools waiving your application fee. This is a great way to reduce the overall cost of applying but you’re not merely limited to the schools who target you. My list of prospective schools is somewhere between 10-12 depending on how seriously I’m considering them. Obviously I have some top choices but I’d like to get my application to most of them. This would run me in the ballpark of $600-$700 to merely apply! By e-mailing the admissions office at the school you want to apply to a majority of the time you can get your application fee waived. I simply write an e-mail discussing how I’m interested in the school and whether or not merit-based fee-waivers are available. I then provide my LSAC account number and LSAT Score/GPA and they’re normally quick to respond.
Keep in mind, some schools don’t offer merit-based fee-waivers, and I wouldn’t advise abusing the system. I only send the requests to schools I’m legitimately interested in attending. However, it really is a great way to cut down on some of your initial costs of a legal education. Also, these don’t have to be schools that you simply blow away in the stats department. It certainly helps if you’re above the median 50% of applicants from pervious years in terms of LSAT/GPA but is by no means necessary. I’ve requested and received fee-waivers to schools I want to apply to but barely hit the bottom 25% in their range. Give it a shot, worst case scenario they say sorry they can’t but you’ve at least put your name before someone on the admissions committee to show you really are interested in attending that law school.