LSAT Requirement May Be Eliminated

LSAT Blog LSAT Requirement May Be Eliminated
The ABA's Standards Review Committee has voted, once again, to consider dropping the "LSAT requirement" for admission to law school.

In this post, I address 3 questions:

1. What is the LSAT requirement?
2. Why would the committee consider dropping it?
3. How would this affect law school admissions?

Cooley Law School Founder Still Paid 6-Figure Salary | Why?

LSAT Blog Cooley Law School Founder Still Paid 6 Figures
Former Michigan Chief Justice and Cooley Law School founder Thomas E. Brennan retired in 2002.

According to Cooley's 3 most recent IRS filings available on GuideStar, he received $370,245 (2009-10 - PDF p35), $368,581 (2008-9 - PDF p50), and $365,008 (2007-8 - PDF p6) in total compensation for each of those years.

These IRS documents suggest that his formal titles are "Professor Emeritus" and "Former President" and that he works just 10 hours/week. Taking the average of his total compensation for these 3 years, and assuming he worked 52 weeks/year (no vacations), he earned $707.58/hour during this 3-year period.

But what has he done to earn such a high hourly rate during his retirement? The only current formal responsibility of which I find mention is that of compiling the widely-derided "Cooley Rankings," aka "Judging the Law Schools." (Cooley places #2 nationwide in his latest ranking, while it's in the bottom tier of the U.S. News rankings.)

Logic and Games

* Sick of working on that term paper? This website instantly writes one on any subject. Well, not really, but it's fun to pretend. [Essay Typer]

* 53% of recent college grads are jobless or underemployed—how? [The Atlantic]

* ACLU sues over expulsion of 8th-graders for Facebook posts about killing ugly classmates. [ABA Journal]

* Two members of Congress introduced a bill to prevent employers from requiring applicants to turn over Facebook passwords. [Ars Technica]

* 23 successful people who wake up really early. [Business Insider]

* The kids in this tumblr are awesome. [Children With Swag]


Once a week, I'll use this space to mention LSAT Blog posts you may have missed, as well as highlights from the previous week. (Since I wrote a ton last week, I'm simply including most of those posts.)

Can playing this memory game increase your LSAT score?

Law school applicant numbers continue decline

How will law schools be affected by the LSAT fee increase?

LSAC responds to LSAT fee hike criticism

LSAT Diary: 20-Point Score Improvement

This LSAT Diary is from Jessica, who improved her original LSAT score by 20 points on the February 2012 LSAT.

If you want to be in LSAT Diaries, please email me at (You can be in LSAT Diaries whether you've taken the exam already or not.)

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her experience and advice, and please leave your questions for her below in the comments!

Guy Sues LSAC For Refusing Double-Time LSAT Accommodations

LSAT Blog LSAT Accommodations: Double Time LSAT
Nathan F., a law student in Massachusetts, wants to transfer to a better law school.

Unfortunately, he has learning disabilities that limit his ability to do well on the LSAT. He's also got ADHD, anxiety disorder, OCD, and mild depression. When he applied for LSAT accommodations, he was granted 50% extra time on the LSAT.

However, even with this extra time, he didn't do particularly well on the LSAT the two times he's taken it. Despite lots of studying, he scored only 150 on the December 2010 LSAT and 151 on the February 2012 LSAT.

When LSAT Scores (and Fortune Cookies) Determine Futures

It's understandable that law school applicants place so much weight on LSAT scores, given that they're the single most important factor determining law school admissions.

Some people (many of you, I'm sure) have wanted to be lawyers ever since childhood.

Logic and Games

* Analysis of the recently-released ABA data about employment outcomes of the law school class of 2010. [Concurring Opinions]

* The ABA's pick for interim advisor on legal education is the former dean of an unaccredited online law school. Think about that for a minute. [Above the Law]

* Judge awards workers comp to woman injured during sex while on business trip. [ABA Journal]

* The 13 most useless majors, from philosophy to journalism. [The Daily Beast]

* Visualization of Wikipedia's lamest edit wars. [Information is Beautiful]

Will Some Law Schools Close? | Video

Former law school dean and current law professor Nancy Rapoport, an expert on bankruptcy and ethics, was recently interviewed by Bloomberg News. She discussed whether Congress will make student debt dischargeable, as well as the impact of debt on law students and schools.

Can Playing This Memory Game Increase Your LSAT Score?

LSAT Blog Increase LSAT Score Playing Memory Game
New research demonstrates that you might be able to increase your intelligence. Scientists had previously considered this to be impossible.

The evidence (a study from 2008) suggests that by playing a game called "Dual N-Back," kids were able to improve their nonverbal IQ scores by an average of 10 points.

LSAC Responds to LSAT Fee Hike Criticism

LSAT Blog LSAC Responds LSAT Fee Hike Criticism

I've recently posted about how the LSAT fee increase will affect law schools. You may have also read Professor Brian Tamanaha's criticisms of the Law School Admission Council for raising the fee.

Well, LSAC recently issued a response to his criticisms. I've posted LSAC's response below (via TaxProf Blog).

After reading it, you may also be interested in reading Professor Tamanaha's comments on LSAC's response.

Logic and Games

* The drop in applicants with high LSAT scores may be due to the fact that an increasing percentage of applicants are older. [Am Law Daily]

* Is a legal profession shakeout long overdue? Ratio of lawyers to Americans is 1 to 257. [ABA Journal]

* Judge sexts nearly-nude photos to bailiff. Interview: “yep that’s me. I’ve got no shame in my game." [Above the Law]

* The US Supreme Court is going to revisit the issue of affirmative action in college admissions. [Boston Globe]

* Op-ed by Yale Law prof and student suggesting there are better ways to police than stop-and-frisk. [NYTimes]

Law School Diary: Finals Studying

LSAT Blog Law School Diary Finals Studying
In this week's Law School Diaries column, law student "Elle Woods" studies for finals.

How Will Law Schools Be Affected By The LSAT Fee Increase?

LSAT Blog Law Schools LSAT Fee Increase
Last week, I wrote that the Law School Admission Council significantly increased the LSAT registration fee, as well as other application-related fees, in response to the declining number of test-takers and applicants.

I was puzzled by this reaction, given that it will lead to a further decline in demand for LSAC's services.

Of course, LSAC has a monopoly on the processing of law school applications and the administration of the LSAT, so it can raise its fees as it pleases. If you've decided that law school is for you, but don't qualify for a fee waiver, you'll manage to come up with the $160 LSAT registration fee, $155 Credential Assembly Service (CAS) fee, and $21 fee per CAS law school report.

Law School Applicant Numbers Continue Decline

LSAT Blog Law School Applicant Numbers Continue Decline
The Law School Admission Council's latest update indicates that the decline in the number of law school applicants is lessening little, if at all, compared to LSAC's last update.

LSAC's newest data indicates that the number of applicants to ABA law schools has declined 15%, and that the number of ABA applications is down 12.9% from the same time last cycle (through 4/13/12).

(LSAC states, "Last year at this time, we had 93% of the preliminary final applicant count.")

Based on this information, we can project that this cycle will have a total about 67,022 applicants.

Logic and Games

* Missed one of my posts on recent trends in law school admissions? I'm listing them all here. [LSAT Blog]

* Juries pulled from all-white jury pools convict black defendants more often than whites, according to a new study. [ABA Journal]

* Supreme Court ruled that foreign political organizations and multinational corporations can't be sued for torture or murder of persons abroad. [LA Times]

* On 4/20, police stood back and watched as hundreds lit up at the University of Colorado. [Reuters]

* How to write emails that actually get responses. [Lifehacker]

* Just in case you've ever wondered, "Why are people from the future not time traveling to our period?", someone's actually answered that question. [Quora]

Law School Class of 2010 ABA Employment Data Released

LSAT Blog Law School Class 2010 ABA Employment Data Released
If you've been following the law school news over the past several months, you've likely read that some law schools have attempted to inflate their employment statistics by hiring their own graduates.

In an attempt to cut down on the shenanigans, the ABA has required law schools to report the number of graduates they employ nine months after graduation.

The ABA's 2011 Placement Survey was just released this week in spreadsheet format. It provides some interesting findings, as you can see in the graph to the top-right.

So, which law schools have more than 15% of their graduates in school-funded positions?

Logic and Games

* On Tuesday, I wrote that various LSAC fees are increasing due to falling applicant numbers (including the LSAT registration fee). The story got picked up elsewhere. [ABA Journal]

* Cooley Law grad sues photo studio for showing his pimply complexion in "before" and "after" pics. [Above the Law]

* Lawyer Bob Loblaw will return for the new season of Arrested Development coming next year. [Vulture]

* Zuckerberg apparently negotiated Facebook's purchase of Instagram without any input from lawyers. [ABA Journal]

* A Justice Department lawyer tells the Supreme Court that unfair crack cocaine sentences may number in the thousands. [LA Times]

Fun LSAT and Law School Admissions GIFs

Here are some fun LSAT and law school admissions GIFs:

Law School Diary: Law Students Get Apartments More Easily

LSAT Blog Law School Diary Law Students Get Apartments More Easily
In this week's Law School Diaries column, law student "Elle Woods" gets a summer job.

Logic and Games

* 2 new reports tell us about law school graduates. Some go to law firms, others pursue more unusual careers like sheep farming and professional poker. [Above the Law; ABA Journal]

* Washington Monthly picked up one of my recent posts on the declining number of law school applicants. [Washington Monthly]

* A physicist uses his skills to beat a traffic ticket. That's pretty badass. [ABA Journal]

* A new law school may open in Daytona Beach. [WSJ Law Blog]

* "Supreme Court to weigh crack cocaine sentences." I question the use of "weigh" in the headline, but the issue itself is still important. [LA Times]

* A student who imported and sold international editions of college textbooks is going to the Supreme Court after being sued by the publisher for copyright infringement. [Above the Law; ABA Journal]

LSAT Test Registration Fee Increase: Why?

LSAT Blog LSAT Test Registation Fee Increase GMAT Test Registration Fee Why
The Law School Admission Council has jacked up the LSAT test registration fee from $139 to $160 for the 2012-2013 admission cycle.

And, strangely enough, LSAC has acknowledged that the increase is in direct response to the recent drop in law school applicants and LSATs administered.

Law School Admission Cycle: Who Applies First?

LSAT Blog % of 2011 Applicants Counted by 1/6/11 vs. 3/30/11, by Highest LSAT Score
An LSAT Blog reader recently asked whether law school applicants with relatively higher LSAT scores apply earlier in the admission cycle than others.

I've always believed this to be the case, but not until recently did we have the information necessary to determine whether this is actually true.

Data from the Law School Admission Council indicates that high scorers tend to apply much earlier in the admission cycle than do low scorers.

Logic and Games

* An open letter to a 4th-tier law school with the radical suggestion that it teach lawyering. [Lawyerist]

* How to succeed in law school without even trying (too much). [Above the Law]

* The prosecutor in the George Zimmerman case is known for being tough. She won an election even after being fired. [ABA Journal]

* Eyewitness mistakes can lead to tragic errors in court (by Jonah Lehrer). [WSJ]

* Fresh off the campaign trail, Rick Santorum just bought his 3-year-old daughter a lifetime NRA membership. [Jezebel]

Lawyer Diaries: Women's Rights Writer

Lawyer Diaries is a new semi-regular feature on LSAT Blog where current and former lawyers will share their experiences.

The first is from Kate McGuinness, a lawyer with a long and varied legal career who is now a full-time writer. Please thank her for sharing her story in the comments!

How *Much* Easier to Gain Admission to Top-14 Law Schools?

LSAT Blog Drop Number Applicants Scoring 165+ LSAT 2010 2011 2012 Cycle
I've talked a lot recently about the fact that law schools will have to lower their admission standards and reduce class sizes.

This is due to the shrinking applicant pool and the fact that the largest percentage decrease within that applicant pool comes from applicants scoring in the 170-174 range.

The graph to the top-right displays the projected number of law school applicants by LSAT score for the admission cycle ending in 2012, compared to applicants in the previous cycle (specifically for those scoring 165+).

A graph at the end of this post shows the projected number of applicants whose highest LSAT scores are below 165.

Logic and Games

* George Zimmerman is in custody and has been charged with second-degree murder. [CNN]

* A lawyer who's been waiting 30+ years to get off the waitlist from UChicago Law finally withdraws his application. (Don't worry, he ended up going to UMichigan in the meantime.) [Above the Law]

* Please don't practice law without a license. Just don't. [ABA Journal]

* A new ordinance in Seattle defends the right to breast-feed in public. Still no extra time to breast-feed at the LSAT, though. [WSJ Law Blog]

* FBI statistics indicate that 72 police officers were killed in 2011: a 25% rise from previous year and 75% rise from 2008. Determining the reason for the increase is tricky - full of correlation-causation issues. [NYTimes]

* A visual representation of the 15,000 temperature records that were broken in March. [io9]

Will Law Schools Have To Admit Almost Every Applicant?

LSAT Blog Law School Applicants vs. Applicants Admitted
For updates, see my series of posts on recent trends in law school admissions.


Will law schools soon have to admit almost everyone who applies?

As the number of law school applicants has sharply decreased over the past 10 years, law schools have been forced to admit an increasing percentage of applicants.

Here's the data from the Law School Admission Council demonstrating the increasing percentage of law school applicants admitted to at least one law school (shown in the graph to the top-right).

The second graph shows that the projected number of law school applicants for the 2011-2012 admission cycle (those applying to begin law school in 2012) is coming perilously close to the number of applicants admitted by law schools in previous years. (Projection for 2012 is based on this LSAC data.)

Will Law Schools' Scramble for Applicants / Rankings Turn Even Uglier?

LSAT Blog Law Schools Applicants Rankings Scramble

For updates, see my series of posts on recent trends in law school admissions.


To what new lows will law schools have to sink in order to attract top-scoring applicants?

While the Law School Admission Council's newest numbers indicate that law school applicant numbers are in steep decline, they also indicate that the declines are not equal across the board.

In particular, we're seeing a huge drop-off in top LSAT scorers applying this cycle. The decline in the number of law school applicants has come disproportionately from the top end of the spectrum.

7 Sage LSAT Tips To Improve Your Score

LSAT Blog 7 Sage LSAT Tips Improve Your Score
Throughout history, we've looked to old wise men, known as sages, for advice and guidance in times of need.

Since the LSAT didn't exist in olden times, there's a serious lack of guidance from the sages with regard to LSAT preparation.

However, we have something even better: LSAT diaries from top LSAT scorers.

In the blog post, I've compiled tips from 7 sage LSAT masters who wrote about their experiences in LSAT Diaries.

7 Sage LSAT Tips from LSAT Diaries:

Law School Diaries: Getting A Summer Job

In this week's Law School Diaries column, law student "Elle Woods" gets a summer job.

(Read more Law School Diaries.)

Logic and Games

* My recent post about the steep decline in law school applicants was picked up by a few legal news sites. Some good discussions about the potential impact on tuition (or lack thereof). [Above the Law; WSJ Law Blog; ABA Journal]

* The ABA Journal picked up my post discussing why pre-law students are losing interest in political careers. [ABA Journal]

* An article in defense of superstition argues that being illogical can actually bring some benefits. Sadly for some, that's not the case when it comes to the LSAT. [NYTimes]

* Apparently, college makes people care less about racism. [Gawker]

* An awesome new machine allows paraplegics to avoid using wheelchairs. [YouTube]

* Bad spring allergies? Consider using a neti pot. I just started, and the verdict so far is "weird, but effective." [The Hairpin; Wikipedia]

Law School Applicant Numbers / Applications in Steep Decline

LSAT Blog Steep Decline in Law School Applicant Numbers, Applications

For updates, see my series of posts on recent trends in law school admissions.


The Law School Admission Council's latest numbers indicate that law school applicants and applications for this past cycle have dropped precipitously compared to the previous cycle.

Applicant numbers are down 15.6%, and applications submitted are down 13.6%, according to data submitted through 3/30/12.

True Life: I'm in the Baylor Law Email

You may remember that, last week, Baylor Law's Director of Admissions accidentally emailed a spreadsheet containing individual names, LSAT scores, and GPAs, as well as race and scholarship information, to over 400 admitted students.

While we've heard a lot about the information in that spreadsheet, we haven't heard much from the students to whom that information belonged. What do they think?

I recently interviewed one of the affected students (a former LSAT Blog reader). Since her info's already been a little too public lately, we'll call her "Kelly."

Logic and Games

* When asked whether he reads the NYTimes every day, Justice Clarence Thomas says, "Oh, God, no!" [ABA Journal]

* Larry Summers and Bob Kerrey are backing an online "Ivy League" university. [The Atlantic]

* The guys who brought the death penalty back to California now want to ban it - because it's never too late to say "I'm sorry" when it comes to executing people. [NYTimes]

* Florida prosecutors say 'Stand Your Ground' should be repealed. It's about time. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Whatever your politics, you may find this tumblr amusing. [Texts from Hillary Clinton]

* A look at what the Occupy Wall Street movement was up to over the winter. [YouTube]

Why are Pre-Law Students Losing Interest in Political Careers?

LSAT Blog Pre-Law Students Losing Interest in Political Careers
The percentage of pre-law students considering a career in politics has dropped from 54% in 2009 to 38% today, according to recent survey results.

This decline was preceded by a similar drop in the percentage of lawyers in Congress over the past 4 decades.

I turned to my pre-law audience for answers, and the explanations I received generally fell into two broad categories:

LSAT Diaries: Reducing Test Anxiety

LSAT Blog Diaries Reducing Test Anxiety
This LSAT Diary is from Anthony, who improved his original LSAT score from the 140s to a 161 on the February 2012 LSAT. (Read the first half of his LSAT Diary, too.)

If you want to be in LSAT Diaries, please email me at (You can be in LSAT Diaries whether you've taken the exam already or not.)

Thanks to Anthony for sharing his experience and advice, and please leave your questions for him below in the comments!

Baylor Law Emails LSAT Scores / GPAs of Admitted Students

LSAT Blog Baylor Law Emails LSAT Scores GPAs Admitted Students
Update: See this interview: True Life: I'm in the Baylor Law Email

Baylor Law's Director of Admissions accidentally emailed over 400 admitted students with a spreadsheet containing the students' LSAT scores and GPAs, among other personal information, on Tuesday afternoon.

Logic and Games

* Baylor Law's Director of Admissions accidentally emailed individual LSAT scores and GPAs to 400+ admitted students. Whoops. [Above The Law, Baylor Lariat]

* An undocumented immigrant (who discloses his status) is allowed to take the bar exam and passes. Now he might be denied admission to the bar. [Miami Herald]

* Unpaid interns are suing their employers over lack of educational benefits (a violation of labor laws). It's about time. [Atlantic Wire]

* Teacher fired for refusing to hand over Facebook password to administrators. [The Consumerist]

* High school student sues for right to wear T-shirt saying, "Jesus Is Not a Homophobe." [ABA Journal]

* Aaron Sorkin's upcoming show on HBO, The Newsroom, looks promising. [YouTube]

What To Expect In Law School Video

LSAT Blog What To Expect In Law School VideoThe below 10-minute video gives a great overview of what you'll face in law school. It covers various aspects of law school life, including:

-The Case Method
-Clinical Programs
-The Socratic Method

LSAT Diaries: Improving from 140s to 161

This LSAT Diary is from Anthony, who improved his original LSAT score from the 140s to a 161 on the February 2012 LSAT.

If you want to be in LSAT Diaries, please email me at (You can be in LSAT Diaries whether you've taken the exam already or not.)

Thanks to Anthony for sharing his experience and advice, and please leave your questions for him below in the comments!

Logic and Games

* Write about why you want to go to law school for a chance to win 16 hours of free tutoring for the June LSAT. [180 Degrees LSAT]

* A proposal that the LSAT actually test knowledge of the law (shudder). [Constitutional Daily]

* Yale Law School's assistant dean of admissions says to let her know if another law school acts shady towards you. [Above the Law, 203 Admissions Blog]

* Supreme Court approves strip-searches for people arrested for any offense. Solution: wear classy underwear 24/7. [NYTimes]

* Who wants to become a sketchy lawyer like Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad? Anyone? [YouTube]

* One high school's Black Student Union has a white president. Some people are confused. [Washington Post]

Logic and Games

* A satirical take on the incoming UVA Law Class of 2015. [Virginia Law Weekly]

* Did you know that alien abduction insurance is a thing? [Wikipedia]

* St. Thomas School of Law loses its U.S. News ranking over "error." (It reported its graduates' employment rate to be 80.6% when it's actually 32.9%.) [Star Tribune]

* The Supreme Court issues a 5-4 decision on where to order lunch. [McSweeney's]

* A high school kid was expelled for tweeting the F-word. [Above The Law]

* This webcomic features someone drawing an unexpected conclusion based upon evidence about Cadbury eggs. [xkcd]

Harvard Law School Drops LSAT For GMAT

After years of debate over the LSAT's relevance to the practice of law, Harvard Law School has finally dropped the LSAT as an admissions requirement and replaced it with the requirement that applicants take the GMAT. The decision came after a new study revealed that students scoring in the 75th percentile on the exam were no less likely to rise to prominent positions in the legal field than those scoring in the 99th percentile.

Harvard Law's Assistant Dean of Admissions, Pilar Folso, stated: