The Blog


When Does the Fall 2008 Application Period Begin for Top Law Schools?

September 29, 2008

A check today of the websites of the top 20 law schools as currently ranked by US News & World Report reveals this information about when they will start receiving applications for the 2008-2009 application period:

1. Yale Law School: September 1.

2. Harvard Law School: September 15

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How do I transfer to a better, higher-tier law school?

The law school transfer application process works most effectively in the following scenario.

An applicant applies to a top law school, with a strong file, a strong GPA, but with a relatively low LSAT. Because of the top school's LSAT sensitivity, the applicant is rejected, but reluctantly.

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Ranking Top Law Schools by Employer Interest (September 2008)

How effective are top law schools in attracting legal employers?

You may not be thinking of this now, as a law school applicant, but it is extremely important to think about how effective your desired law school is in attracting the law-related employers you will be interested in working for, after your second year of law school, and on into your future.

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I have a sub-140 LSAT score in practice. What should I do now?



The bad news: You certainly aren't ready for real LSAT. Do not apply to law school...yet. The law schools regard the LSAT as more or less the IQ test for law school. At a practice score of say, 138, you are at a point where over 90% of official LSAT results are above you. Law schools will have the gravest concerns about your abilities, if you give them this score officially.

The good news: The LSAT can be mastered. If you are below 140, you are currently extremely low on the LSAT learning curve. But you can move forward.

Let me share the most positive story of LSAT mastery I've come across over the years. Note that this path was inexpensive. It did not require high-priced LSAT tutoring or courses. But it did require a considerable amount of time, in a disciplined and effective program of self-development.

"It took me about half a year to prepare for the test since I was still in school and had other exams to cope with. What I did was really simple! I took a test under simulated conditions on Monday. On Tuesday, I went over the test again, problem by problem, and analyzed the answers and marked the questions I didn't really understand well, without any time restraint. On Wednesday, I took a break. Thursdays through Saturdays I repeated my Monday through Wednesday schedule. On Sunday, I restudied the difficult questions in the two sets I took in that week. The entire process took me 17 weeks. I took two weeks off to deal with school exams. In total it took me 19 weeks. At first glance, you may think I spent a great deal of time preparing for the LSAT. I took 34 practice tests! But counting the hours, it's not that much. I believe I spent an average of six hours on each test, including two review sessions. That adds up to around 200 hours in total. My score improved from 151 on the first test (a 49th-percentile score that would definitely not be attractive to top law schools) to low/mid 170s on the last five tests. My actual test score was 177.” (This is a stunning 99.8th-percentile score that will cause law school admissions officials to fall out of their chairs).

My improvement from the low 150s to the low 160s was quick, about seven to eight tests. But it took me 15-20 tests to go from 160 to 170. Once I broke 170, I stayed in the low to mid 170s for the remaining seven to nine tests. It seems to me that about three weeks and six to eight tests are needed to consolidate a level. That's why I think it's important to take as many real tests as possible (at least 25, 30+ is preferred).”

I graduated from a college in northeast and am going to law school in the same region next semester."

He was admitted to Harvard Law School with his 177.

If you are struggling with a low LSAT score in practice, you will benefit by having a comprehensive plan developed for you by me at Don’t act solely on your own assumptions about how the law school admissions process will work. Don’t trust the law schools to lift you to your goal. Law schools are better understood as simply creating an obstacle course for you to conquer and solve effectively. Send an e-mail to, and we can go to work together, building a solid, multi-year plan for your career progress.



I've earned an official 170+ LSAT score. How do I best take advantage of it?


Congratulations! You've really got the "right stuff," in the minds of law school admissions decision makers. They are going to be extremely interested in you. But be aware that you need to protect your interests carefully. Given your high LSAT score, law schools will be eager to present you with opportunities that benefit their interests. You need an advocate and advisor who will help you make the most of such a high LSAT score, someone who will put your interests first.


Recognize these points:

1. Understand why the law schools are so strongly attracted to persons with high official LSAT scores. The US News & World Report ranking phenomenon creates enormous incentives for law schools to seek high-LSAT students. If they can attract them, their numbers go up, and in time they can move up in the rankings. The USN&WR ranking system is enormously influential. Love schools love to have bragging rights to enrolling students with high LSAT scores. The law school admission process is a competition for cognitive talent.

2. Don't rely on a high LSAT alone to carry you into an elite, top 10 or top 5 law school. You need to present the whole package, to the maximum extent possible: a great GPA, a strong undergraduate school (or at least a highly respected path through a lesser undergraduate school), a brilliant personal statement, the right timing, and strongly supportive recommendations from properly selected and prepared recommenders. Look to to assist you in hitting this "sweet spot."

3. Include in your strategy a plan to win some law school admission offers that include a full-tuition scholarship. You might not end up taking it, but at least work carefully to create such an option. You can save yourself and your family thousands and thousands of dollars this way. But you have to craft your message just right. I can help you do this. I've actually seen a law school make this offer to get a highly attractive candidate: (1) A full-tuition scholarship for all three years; (2) free room and board; (3) free books; (4) a $1,000 month stipend; and (5) a no-cost LL.M degree (the advanced law degree one can choose to earn after earning a JD degree). The price for law school can be quite variable, for highly attractive candidates.

Maximize the potential of your high LSAT by working with To begin, send an e-mail to me at