The Most Taxing Parts of Applying to Law School

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It’s tax day, but since you’re reading this blog, taxes probably aren’t the only potentially tedious and painful item on your plate. Applying to law school is taxing in its own special way.

Most taxing in terms of time investment: Technically, your GPA is probably the aspect of your law school application in which you’ve invested the most time. But you probably would’ve done all that work even if you weren’t going to law school, so we won’t count it.

The second most time-consuming aspect of your application is the LSAT. Note that you don’t have to spend too much time on the LSAT — you can theoretically just show up — but if you’re doing it well, you’ll want to spend at least 3 months studying (and that would be 3 months of very intense studying).

Most taxing in terms of money: Applying to law school is, in general, an expensive process. Registering for the LSAT will run you $165 — and that’s if you never change your test date, request hand scoring, or anything else that would incur an extra cost. Oh, and you’ll also need to register for the Credential Assembly Service, which will cost another cool $160. You’ll probably need to invest some money in LSAT prep, though the amount of money depends on how you choose to study. (This money, at least, is well worthwhile in that your LSAT score can open the door to many scholarships.) Application fees can cost up to $100, though it varies by school (and you can sometimes get a fee waiver). Want to visit any schools? Unless you’re in the area, that will probably cost you, too.

So it’s hard to say what the most costly part of law school admissions is, because unfortunately, it’s all pretty darn costly.

Most taxing in terms of stress: The LSAT is definitely a high-stress experience. I continued to have the occasional LSAT-related nightmare even after I was done with my own LSAT.

However, I’m going to guess that the most stressful part of law school applications is waiting for the admissions decision to be handed down. In general, you can’t do much to improve your chances of admission after your application is submitted (although there are exceptions, such as the letter of continuing interest), and there’s certainly nothing you can do to speed up the decision process. So most of the time, you’re just stuck waiting to find out the course of your future. Sounds just a little bit stressful, right?

So, with all that said, doing your taxes doesn’t sound too bad any more – at least not compared to applying to law school. How’s that for a new perspective?

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