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Law School Application Process


The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is a nonprofit corporation whose members are 200 law schools in the United States and Canada. Of these, 185 law schools are located in the United States; 15 are in Canada. Headquartered in Newtown, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, LSAC is best known for administering the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Programs and Services offered by the LSAC:

  • The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • The Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS)
  • Candidate Referral Service (CRS)
  • Law School Forums
  • MILE Program (Minorities Interested in Legal Education)
  • Publications, Software, and Videos for Legal Education Questions


The Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) provides a means of centralizing and standardizing undergraduate academic records to simplify the law school admission process.

Almost all ABA-approved law schools and several non-ABA-approved schools require that their applicants register for the LSDAS.

The LSDAS prepares and provides a report for each law school to which you apply. The report contains information that is important in the law school admission process. Your report will include:

  • An undergraduate academic summary
  • Copies of all undergraduate, graduate, and law school transcripts
  • LSAT scores: Up to 12 exam scores are reported in the LSDAS report. Exam scores are averaged when more than one reportable score is on file.
  • Writing sample copies: If more than one LSAT has been taken, photocopies of the last three LSAT writing samples are provided in the LSDAS report.
  • Copies of Letters of Recommendation if processed by LSAC

Admissions Index

If desired by the law school, the objective measures of an applicant's background (LSAT and GPA) can be combined into a single number called an admission index, using a formula provided by the law school. The Admission Index is a single number obtained by applying a formula drawn from two predictors: undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. The index is produced by:

  1. Mulitplying the LSAT score by some constant (A)
  2. Multiplying the undergraduate GPA by some other constant (B)
  3. Adding the sum of these two quantities to a third constant (C)

The law school determines the values of the constants A, B, and C. Please note that not all law schools use index formulas and those that do use index formulas may not use them in the same way.

Law school admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. This means that decisions are made as applications are received and reviewed. It is critical that you complete the LSDAS and submit your applications as early as possible.

Financial Aid

Money for law school is available, in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans. Law students finance most of their education through loans, either from the federal government or private sources—often both. The amount of aid you receive and the form it takes is largely determined by the law schools; therefore, the law schools to which you are applying should be your primary source of information.


The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized exam that is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school. It is comprised of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sesions contributes to the test taker's score. The unscored section is used to pretest new test items and forms. The test is divided into the following sections:

  • 1 Reading Comprehension
  • 1 Analytical Reasoning
  • 2 Logical Reasoning
  • 1 Experimental section (unscored section)

In addition to the five sessions, a 30 minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test.

Legitimate reasons for retaking the LSAT include:

  • Significant discrepancy between college grades and LSAT scores.
  • Taking the exam prematurely. (Inadequate preparation, i.e. studying)
  • Serious illness or dire situation that affected your ability to perform well.
  • Recommendation from a law school or admissions committee member that the LSAT be retaken.

It is suggested that applicants take the LSAT no later than December for admission in the following fall's entering class. Applicants are not permitted to take the LSAT more than 3 times within a two-year period.



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