As many of you are putting together your applications to law school, I am sure you are all familiar with the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). This test is offered four times a year and the next time it is being offering is Saturday, October 4. This is a standardized test required by law schools and is used during the admissios process as one of the pieces of the application that is evaluated. There are three type of test questions including reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and logical reasoning. Each question type is multiple choice and there is a non-graded writing sample as well. I and maybe some of you are not big fans of taking standardized tests. I took the LSAT many moons ago when there was even a different scoring scale and still remember preparing for the test. The LSAT is a test that you should definitely prepare for, I would not recommend going into "cold". Preparing for the LSAT is important and the way to prepare depends on the individual. However, make sure your preparation includes taking practice exams in "test like" conditions which should included timing each section. This means not giving yourself any extra time to finish a practice session. I have heard many times from applicants that they didn’t have enough time to finish a section or two. This is something you can definitely prepare for as you take practice tests. And remember, on test day you may be a bit anxious and so you want to have a good sense of how the test day will go for you.
Students tend to focus too much on the LSAT and think that it is the main thing law schools look for in the applications. I want to try to dispel this myth and give a little insight into the admissions process here at Chicago. The LSAT is an important piece but by all means it is not the only part we look at when reviewing applications at Chicago. If that was the case, the Admissions Committee’s job would be easy and a computer program could be used to determine who was admitted. However, that is not the way we handle the process. We require all the other items in your application including: Personal Statement, Resume, Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation because we want to get to know the applicants. We read all of our 5,000+ applications and each one is read completely by at least two members of the Admissions Committee. There are no LSAT (or GPA for that matter) cut offs, again each application is read in its entirety. If you do take the LSAT more than once, we will review all scores and if their is a significant change it might be wise to include and addendum explaining the difference. You need to make sure all the other parts you provide in your application are your finest work as well. Good luck if you are still have the LSAT ahead of you but remember it is only one piece of the application puzzle!!