Well, December LSAT scores are released. You’re either sleeping off the most delightful or most painful hangover of your undergrad career. If you’re in the latter camp, it’s time for some tough decisions.
The December LSAT score isn’t necessarily the last chance for those of you who want to start in Fall 2012; after all, there’s still February. However, as law school admissions are done on a rolling basis, applying essentially in March puts you at a huge disadvantage. Add on top of that a deadline for most schools in February, and you have yourself a tipping point in the next few days.
The big decision you’ll have to face is to postpone, or not to postpone.
Each have positives and negatives, so let’s look at each one.
Pros – You get to start law school next year; you don’t have to enter the real world quite yet; you can follow through on your plan; you probably have some parental/SO/family pressure to start law school and not dally about like an 18th Century Englishman who uses words like ‘dally’.
Cons – You’re at a huge disadvantage in the admission cycle by applying so late; you have a restricted list of schools to which you can apply; you might get rejected anyway and need to reapply to schools that have already turned you down (i.e. you’re a stalker).
Pros – You can retake the LSAT and (hopefully) do much better; you can get a year of work experience (which is becoming more important in both admissions and employment after law school); you can get your materials ready and submit early next year.
Cons – You have to get a job and enter the real world; you have to retake the LSAT.
So what’s my general feeling towards all of this? I’m always in the ‘postpone’ camp, unless you have a specific need to start right away. A year off in between undergrad and law school will help you really decide if it’s the right path. You’ll be able to work to both bolster your resume and save up some money. You’ll also have something to talk about during job interviews other than that totally awesome music law club you started with your friends to get beer money from the school.
If that’s absolutely out of the question, however, you have to make a quick call on whether to apply right now or retake the February exam. Make a list of schools to which you hope to apply, and find out their admissions deadlines so that you know if you can still get your law school application in. Send it out yesterday. If you’re retaking in February, get all your materials in and get those applications complete (sans LSAT) ASAP.