Law School Admissions Waitlist Advice

For students who have already applied to law school:

Waitlists will likely see a lot of movement - especially because law schools likely won't get as many seat deposits as expected -- many students will be more hesitant to make the law school commitment this cycle given how uncertain the world is right now.

The cancellation of the March LSAT (soon to be joined by April) means students who were relying on those tests to boost their odds for this cycle are disadvantaged, and those who were not planning on retaking the LSAT and currently on the waitlist will benefit as a result.

One thing you might do is send a Letter of Continued Interest right at the time of seat deposit deadlines - this way you'll be top of mind when they're looking to admit students from the waitlist.

Which LSAT prep course is best?

I get this question from students ALL THE TIME...and I have some pretty strong opinions about it.

But, first off, prep courses I would NOT recommend are.....

Kaplan and Princeton Review

Why not?

Because they don't require their instructors to have gotten super-high LSAT scores on an actual LSAC-administered LSAT PrepTest.

As you might know by's one thing to take a PrepTest by yourself (reduced stress knowing it's not the real thing, bathroom breaks, no proctors circling around, etc.)

And it's a VERY different thing to take the LSAT for real when the stakes are:

* where you'll go to law school

* what you'll tell friends and family

* whether you'll have to study more and retake

Not only that, but last time I checked, Kaplan only requires its instructors to have scored in the 90th percentile on the LSAT (around 164-165)....which is perfectly respectable for most people, but not the kind of expertise you probably want your LSAT guru to have.

I'd say you want your LSAT instructor to have scored at LEAST a 170, if not a 173+ (99th percentile) on an actual LSAT PrepTest.

So, my answer to the question of which LSAT course is best --- aside from mine, obviously :) ---


What matters more than the company providing the course is the instructor you'll actually be working with.

You need someone who's knowledgeable, experienced, engaging, able to answer random questions on the fly, and go off-script to address the actual needs of the students.
You also need an instructor who can strike a balance between the needs of the "slower" and "quicker" students. Unfortunately, most classes contain students of all different ability levels (people shooting for simply 150+ and others shooting for 170+). In a class, you need an instructor who doesn't cater solely to one group or the other.

Ideally, if you take a course, you should be able to speak with the instructor before starting the class, get references, and sit in on a sample class actually taught by that instructor.

If you do take a course, it's good to give yourself plenty of time after the course to review things more thoroughly on your own before taking the exam itself.


Sometimes people fall behind with homework during a prep course, especially in classes where they assign a TON of it. You might just more time to let things digest, 

This assumes you'll be motivated/have time to study more after the course ends. If that sounds like you, it's worthwhile to give yourself more time afterward, but it really depends on you/your personality/your schedule and other obligations.

You can use the extra time to review what you learned, fill in any conceptual gaps, and get used to taking full sections and tests. Some courses focus a lot on doing questions by type, so I typically recommend spending any extra time on full practice tests and timed sections, catch-up, and reviewing weak areas.

(Every major course now uses real LSAT questions from past tests, so you don't need to worry about that.)

If you have any questions about joining my LSAT courses (created by me, personally, after I scored 175 on an ACTUAL LSAT), just reach out and I'll get back to you as soon as I can :)

-Steve Schwartz - Creator of LSAT courses
Recommended Resources:

1. LSAT Courses

The best of my LSAT material with exclusive access to attend my Live Online LSAT Master Classes + Q&As, and on-demand video lessons you can watch anytime. Plus, LSAT study plans to keep you on track. Save hundreds of dollars with an LSAT course package.

2. LSAT Day-By-Day Study Plans
Preparing for the LSAT is confusing. There are dozens of prep books and practice tests out there, and 1,000+ articles on my website alone. When, and how, should you use them all? These super-specific study plans give you a clear plan of attack.

3. LSAT Cheat Sheets
Based on what I'd typically do in college: read what the professor emphasized and condense it all onto a single piece of paper. It gave me a quick reference, making things a lot less threatening and a lot more manageable.

how NOT to get kicked out of the LSAT

I get reports after every test from readers who end up getting kicked out of the exam. Why?

Because they brought their cell phones!

Here's the kinda question I typically get about bringing cell phones:

I'm taking the lsat soon. I know we're not supposed to bring our cellphones into the testing room but I'm taking a taxi to the testing center so I don't have a car to put it in. How do people deal with this problem? Sorry if this is a silly question but help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Short answer is: DON'T bring your phone!

Phones ring/alarms can easily go off because you forgot to turn it off (easy for that to happen just because of Test Day stress)

....and you get kicked out of the test!!!

Not worth it.

So. Please. DON'T bring your phone to the test.
Anyway....I'm sure the proctors will have their cell phones, which you can ask to borrow to call someone if you really need to.

Also, I heard that once, at Columbia University, the proctors asked anyone with a cell phone to come forward (implying they'd hold your phone for you). Then, they immediately kicked out all of those people!

So, yeah, they can be pretty serious about the rules.

Also, if you haven't already, please register for the LSAT - conveniently-located test centers get booked up early.

You don't want to have to travel to a faraway or inconvenient test center.

You also don't want to have to take the LSAT at a test center with small desks, poor lighting, etc.

You can always postpone your test date (LSAC calls it a test date change) anytime up until approx 3 weeks before the test date. There is a fee to change it, but it's worth not having to travel far or take your test at a bad test center.

And don't take the LSAT "just to see how you'll do."

I'm not a fan of taking diagnostics before you've studied at all, but if you want to take a proctored exam after studying for a while, here's what you do:

Go to one of those prep companies like Kaplan or Princeton Review that offers free proctored exams for marketing purposes.

Last time I checked, I heard Kaplan uses PrepTest 36 for all their free marketing proctored exams. If you tell Kaplan you've already done that one, they might be able/willing to provide you with a different PT. Just request it in advance so they'll have it ready for you if they're able to accommodate.

If you live in a decent-sized city, you might be able to attend several of these close to Test Day and even bring your own exam!

Just consider listing your phone number as something like 867-5309 to avoid repeat follow-up phone calls from them afterward. :)

If you don't want to deal with all that, you can always proctor exams for yourself.

Some tips:

* Take some tests in mildly stressful environments (like a library or a coffee shop).

* Keep your own time, and don't count on getting a 5 minute warning (sometimes proctors forget).

The idea's just to get ready for any potential distractions and issues on test day.

This is getting pretty long so I'm going to leave off for now, but if you want more, I put together a full article about this:

Lemme know if you have other questions about Test Day - maybe, if you're lucky, I'll answer your question in a future article!


P.S. Before I sign off, I'm going to share 5 YouTube videos to help get you pumped for the LSAT, whenever you're taking it.

* 40 inspirational speeches in 2 minutes:

* football-focused, but the message is applicable to LSAT:

* if Elle Woods can score 179, so can you! :)

* LSAT-themed remix of "I Gotta Feeling":

* how one guy got rid of his prep books post-LSAT:

Watching videos like that helps to get you into a positive and success-oriented mindset. It sounds silly to some people, but top scorers will use any technique that might have a remote chance of helping.

In my experience, more students benefit from techniques like this one than you might expect.

If a technique, whether an uplifting video or or Legally Blonde reference, could help get you more motivated to study, or sharpen your focus...

If it could get you even one more point on the LSAT...

Wouldn't you want to take advantage of it?

These are just a small sample of the LSAT Mindset techniques I use in my LSAT Test Day Success course (part of the LSAT courses).

So watch these videos whenever you're feeling down about the LSAT (I know it can be frustrating at times!), when you just want an energy boost to jump back into studying....

...and, obviously, on Test Day itself!

If you have any favorite motivational videos, please hit reply and share them! I'm always looking for more.

Recommended Resources:

1. A Comprehensive Guide to the Law School Personal Statement
This guide provides tips on conceptualizing, planning, writing, and editing the law school personal statement.

2. Law School Admissions Guide
I've written a concise guide to the law school admission process with tips on completing every aspect of your applications from start to finish. It's a small price to pay for a whole lot of guidance, and it's short enough that you'll actually read the whole thing.

3. Law School Admissions Cheat Sheet
Quick-reference guide for the law school personal statement, the "Why X?" essay, and the law school résumé. (You can also get it with the LSAT Cheat Sheets.)

LSAT Score Cancellations

"How do you decide whether to cancel your score, assuming that the LSAT does not go well for you on test day, or you think it didn't go well?"
How do we know? It's not always easy to tell. Especially when you are so close to the problem that you have tunnel vision and you can't see straight. Once you walk out of the LSAT your brain is going to be fried. If you've done a 5-section exam, or maybe even gone really nuts and done a 6-section exam, you know what that feels like. After the LSAT, you're not in the best situation to make an evaluation of where you stand.

So for that reason, don't make any sudden moves. You don't need to cancel your score right away. You've got six calendar days from the day of the exam to cancel your score, and there is no benefit to canceling the day of or the next day vs three days later.

You will always have the chance to come back later with a fresh perspective and see where you stand. So for that reason, I would say, first of all, just don't do anything drastic in the moment. What you can do is take a reasoned assessment of how the test went, and I want you to walk through the following questions.

First of all, were you fully prepared? Did you do everything that you reasonably could have done? Or did you suddenly realize that for the past 2-3 months, you've been doing everything wrong. You've been working out of some awful, off-the-shelf prep book that doesn't even use real LSAT questions.

If that's the book you've been using, and it was using fake questions, then yes, you've been doing it wrong. You could probably improve your score drastically by taking a wholly different course of prep.
But if, on the other hand, you've been prepping in a reasonably solid way, you've been using well-reviewed LSAT materials from trusted sources, you've been using actual LSAT problems, and you've been getting advice from people that you consider to be experts.

Maybe you've even been taking their courses or using their study plans and you found that it just fell apart for you for one vague reason or another.

Now, let’s define "fall apart." Is it that you suddenly forgot everything and were at a loss for the entire 35 minutes per section? Or is it that you encountered a couple of difficult problems and weren't entirely sure how to handle them? If you just have this vague sense of dread because you didn't answer everything 100% correctly, then you probably shouldn't. 

Maybe you could take a couple of days and think, “It might not have gone perfectly. Maybe it's a couple of points lower than I wanted, but...honestly, I'm not sure. I'm not sure how it went.” If that's the case for you, then I wouldn't cancel.

The reason is, there are many people who have gotten great scores, but they had that vague sense of dread right afterwards. And it's because the test is scary. Your adrenaline is running, your heart's racing, and that fight or flight kicks in and it feels like it was 10 hours of agony.

And then it also feels like it went by in the flash of an instant, all at the same time. And you walk out of there sweaty and drained. That's the situation that everyone's in. Even when it doesn't count and it's just a practice run, then it can still happen. It's normal, but if that's all you're feeling, I would keep the score. For more, I've got an entire LSAT Unplugged playlist focused on LSAT Test Day prep here -----> and several articles on LSAT Test Day prep here -----> Free Stuff | YouTube | Podcast | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Books | Courses

LSAT Logic Games - How to diagram "or" conditional statements

In this article, I'm answering your questions about diagramming "or" conditional statements.

First question's from Nadia:

On the LSAT, is "or" inclusive or exclusive?

On the LSAT, the word "or" is inclusive, meaning it allows the possibility of having both (not just one).

And sometimes, just to mess with you, the LSAT says, "one, the other, or both" - even when it's not NECESSARY to say both. 
(Click here to see how to diagram rules saying "before or after, but NOT both.")

For example, take the following rule from PrepTest 33 (December 2000), Game 2 (birds in the forest):

If J, M, or both are in the forest, then so are H.

It could have said:

If J or M are in the forest, then so are H.

instead, and the meaning would have been the same:

In other words, saying "or both" in the original is unnecessary.

(You can see how I diagram this ENTIRE game, step-by-step, in this article and this video.)


Next question's from James:

If a statement said the following:

To graduate from law school you must be both smart and resourceful.

Therefore, the contrapositive of the statement would be:

If you are not smart or not resourceful then you will not graduate from law school.

Can you explain the and --> or part? I am getting a little confused (thinking too much about the or), what if someone is smart but not resourceful, can they not graduated then?

Any explanation/examples would be appreciated.

Break the statement into two parts, and things get clearer REAL fast:

If graduate -> smart

If graduate -> resourceful


If not smart -> not graduate

If not resourceful -> not graduate

Graduating requires both, so...if you lack one, the other, or both, then you cannot graduate.


Bonus question from Rachel:

What about dealing with words like "only" and "until?"

the only = sufficient indicator

only if / only when = necessary indicator

until / except / unless / without = tricky indicator words

2 main ways to translate these tricky indicator words:
Method 1.) when you see these words, replace them with the phrase "if not"

Method 2.) take them as introducing the necessary condition (whatever immediately follows is the necessary condition), then take the other part of the sentence, negate it, and then that part will be the sufficient condition

for example:

"No X until Y" can be translated...

Using Method #1:

No X if not Y = If not Y, not X

Using Method #2:

If X then Y.

I personally prefer the 2nd way, but both are TOTALLY fine ways to deal with these annoying words.

Next time, I'll share some tips on dealing with sufficient and necessary conditions with some examples to make it REAL.

(These DEFINITELY won't be your typical boring ones about the LSAT, Harvard Law, and Elle Woods.)

Stay tuned,

LSAT-Obsessed Steve

Recommended Resources:

1. LSAT Courses
The best of my LSAT material with exclusive access to attend my Live Online LSAT Master Classes + Q&As, and on-demand video lessons you can watch anytime. Plus, LSAT study plans to keep you on track. Save hundreds of dollars with an LSAT course package.

2. Logic Games Explanations
The explanations that should have come with the LSAT. These tell you why the wrong answers are wrong, why the right answers are right, and the easiest way to get the correct answer.

3. Mastering LSAT Logic Games
This guide to Logic Games is by a former writer of actual LSAT questions! Enough said.

LSAT Prep During Coronavirus Pandemic

I know you’re all worried about a LOT of things, such as how the coronavirus will affect future LSAT test dates. The April LSAT will almost certainly be canceled. The June LSAT is uncertain.

*Everyone* is being affected in some way - it's a crazy time.

What we DO know is that you should take advantage of the downtime, if you have it.

Take advantage of the uncertainty and make the most of the time you have - even if you’re stuck at home. And with the LSAT being digital now and so many available resources online, you actually don't need books. You don't need to go anywhere. What you need to do is turn your home into a study oasis, where you can focus on getting things done.

If you have more free time, NOW is the perfect time to sit down and study. Even though it might feel like you’re in limbo, prepare yourself just to be ready. That way when the time comes and things start to clear up, you can take the next LSAT you want to.

It's hard to study when you have uncertainty about when and where the next test is going to be and what law school is going to look like in the summer and fall. Is it going to be online? Is it going to go forward? A lot of unknowns are floating about; it feels like all these external forces are crashing down on you, whether it's the latest government lockdown or LSAC canceling the April LSAT, maybe even the June LSAT. There's no downside to being ready for the LSAT too early. These skills do not go away.

Right now is a good time to hone those study skills and just get it done.

And it's better to be safe than sorry. It's better to prepare now whether you're going to take it in two or six months. Just prepare as much as you can. At the end of the day, we don't know when this coronavirus pandemic is going to lift and when things are going to start opening again.

But it's best to do what you can to take advantage of the hiatus -- dedicate yourself to reaching your fullest potential.

LSAC restoring canceled scores for test-takers who registered for March or April 2020 LSAT

From LSAC:

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by the COVID-19 situation.

As you know, the COVID-19 outbreak forced cancellation of the March LSAT. The April LSAT in North America may also be canceled or postponed. We will continue to follow the guidance of public health authorities and will announce a final decision about the April test no later than April 10, so that April registrants have the opportunity to plan accordingly.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation, LSAC is working to provide testing alternatives for candidates, including candidates who need a score for admission this fall. We are looking at a number of options, including adding another test date in the late spring, secure remote-proctored testing, the possibility of in-person testing in smaller groups with appropriate social distancing and other safety measures, and more. We will continue to provide frequent updates on these efforts.

I wanted to make you aware of another step we are taking to help candidates get a reportable score in order to apply to law school during this difficult time. Any candidate who registered for the March 2020 or April 2020 LSAT, and who has a canceled score from a previous LSAT, will now have the opportunity to review their canceled score and restore that canceled score to their record if they choose.

Our records indicate that more than 3,000 of the candidates who registered for the March and April LSAT administrations have a previously canceled score. Many of these individuals do not currently have a non-canceled score, so allowing them to review and restore their canceled score could be an important step in enabling them to complete their application process for admission this fall.

Participation is completely optional, but given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 emergency, we are strongly encouraging all candidates who had registered for the March and April LSATs to take advantage of this opportunity if they have a previously canceled score. We appreciate everything you are doing to support candidates during this time, and hope that you will encourage eligible candidates with whom you are in touch to take advantage of this opportunity as quickly as possible given where we are in the admission cycle.

We will be providing March and April registrants with their canceled scores over the next few days via confidential email. For candidates who choose to restore a previously canceled score, we will update their files within 2-3 business days, and new reports will be provided to any schools to which they have applied during this cycle.

This “Review and Restore” opportunity could help a significant number of candidates, but we know it won’t address the needs of everyone. We will continue our work to provide a variety of testing alternatives for the next several months. We also applaud the efforts of so many of our member law schools who have extended application deadlines and taken other steps to provide greater flexibility for candidates.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. You can also find the answers to commonly asked questions at our COVID-19 information page on

LSAT prep advice: quick tips on how/where to study

First of all,


Just kidding. But only kinda.

Here are some actual tips:
* Set aside specific times of day to study.

* Do your studying out of the house.

* Don't bring a laptop.

* Turn your phone off or put it on airplane mode.

* Eat before you leave, so that you'll be able to spend as much time there as possible.

* Bring earplugs, or get an mp3 of white noise and loop it.

Starbucks is a typical go-to location...

but it can get crowded.

Someone recently suggested Dunkin Donuts and Burger King because they have lots of space.

True, they might be pretty empty, but they often also smell like the food they sell. You don't want to be hungered/disgusted by the food (depending upon your preferences), while you're studying.

Places that cater to office-worker lunch crowds are often quiet in the evening and the smell of their food may be less likely to overtake the entire restaurant. (I'm talking about places like Panera Bread, Cosi, etc.) Since they're chains, they probably won't care if you sit there for hours and hours. Also, their food is decent, so you can eat without leaving if you get hungry.

I'm not familiar with good study spots in every city in the world (yet!), but I do have some tips for anyone studying in NYC:

* The Sony Wonder Public Space in Midtown East (quiet in the evenings and is open late) 

* The Rose Reading Room at the main branch of the New York Public Library in Bryant Park (surprisingly quiet, but limited hours)

* The main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (also where I meet with in-person students!)

In general, if you live in a decent-sized city, look into indoor public spaces - they're usually busy during weekday lunchtime but very quiet in the evening.

If you want some tips on how to fit studying into your day, you're in luck. I've put together some tips on.....
How to fit 2-3 hours of studying into your day ---->

Reach out and let me know if you have any tips on good study locations, or if you have any other questions about anything at all. I read every message myself.

Very truly yours,

LSAT Studyin' Steve
Recommended Resources:

1. A Comprehensive Guide to the Law School Personal Statement
This guide provides tips on conceptualizing, planning, writing, and editing the law school personal statement.

2. Law School Admissions Guide
I've written a concise guide to the law school admission process with tips on completing every aspect of your applications from start to finish. It's a small price to pay for a whole lot of guidance, and it's short enough that you'll actually read the whole thing.

3. Law School Admissions Cheat Sheet
Quick-reference guide for the law school personal statement, the "Why X?" essay, and the law school résumé. (You can also get it with the LSAT Cheat Sheets.)

Do Law Schools Average LSAT Scores?

Law schools do NOT average multiple LSAT scores. It's one of the biggest myths I still hear from students even though law schools have not been averaging multiple scores since 2006. It was back in 2006 when the American Bar Association changed their policy from averaging multiple scores. Now, they only require law schools to submit their students' highest scores of their students - and that's what US News and World Report uses for their ever-important rankings. (And it's funny because nobody reads the US News for anything else, but they suddenly think they're the most important source when it comes to rankings.) Other places do rankings too. And one of the biggest things you want to look for rankings on is employment outcomes, not their highest average LSAT scores. But anyway, I digress. The point is that law schools don't average multiple scores anymore. They have not done so since 2006 and any school that tells you they're averaging multiple scores is lying to you. And I don't really know why they're lying to you. But I think it's because they want to seem more holistic - but they have no incentive to average multiple scores. They care a lot about the rankings. It's part of why they keep working to solicit as many applications as they possibly can. That's why they now want to open it up to the GRE and get rid of the LSAT requirement entirely, which is totally absurd, but that's a topic for another conversation. The point is that they are not averaging multiple scores. So you have no reason to worry about getting a score that is slightly below what you were hoping for, even if it was five or 10 points lower than what you were hoping for. You can retake. It would not be the end of the world for you. Relatedly, the only time that you should cancel is if something went horribly, horribly wrong. Like the person next to you vomited on you, or there was a marching band outside, or the fire alarm went off, or the proctor didn't even give you proper time per section. Those are cases where you should cancel, LSAC will likely give you a free retake. But ultimately, re-taking, not a big deal. And it's not really worth canceling. If you don't want to take it when you're already scheduled for it and it's coming up very soon, then you could withdraw. That is an option for you. And if the LSAT is more than a couple of weeks away for you, you could postpone your test date, and I think they charge you a lesser fee or let you just pay a small difference to change to the next test date instead. And that's nice. You get a little bit less of your money. If you withdraw, they keep all your money, but either way, not, it's only a small drop in the big scheme of what your law school tuition will be. So I wouldn't worry too much about the fee.
For more, 
I've got an entire playlist focused on LSAT Test Day prep here -----> and several articles on LSAT Test Day prep here ----->