Should rising college seniors take the LSAT this fall?

Should rising college seniors take the LSAT this fall?

Many college students aiming for law school feel pressure to take the LSAT during the fall of their senior year. In general, I oppose this. Seniors in college should be focusing on the unique opportunities of their last year of college. College will come to an end–forever–for these undergraduates, in May of their senior year. But the LSAT will continue to be available four times a year, every year, on and on into the future. Seniors, make your final year special, in terms of: (1) academic excellence; (2) extracurricular activities; and (3) creative use of the community around your college. Do not be pressured into a premature LSAT. It can have a highly negative impact on your ability to reach top law schools in the future. If you put a low LSAT score on your record as a senior, you’ve damaged your record before top schools. Even a later high LSAT is somewhat diminished by an initial low LSAT (though the law schools are now permitted to report only the highest LSAT of each enrolling law student, rather than the average LSAT score. This change was announced during the summer of 2006.) Thus if you get a mediocre 150 as a senior, and then two years later a brilliant 170, for law school admission purposes, while you are still a 170, your record is not as persuasive if you had earned just the brilliant 170 alone.

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