The news ticker in LSAT land has been unusually active lately, so we're rounding up all the new and notable LSAT and law school updates in today's post. We have news on LSAT registration, the future of LSAT's "dual-mode" testing, whether law schools can adopt "test-optional" admissions, and the U.S. News & World Report rankings. So, without further ado and in no particular order of importance …
Registration is Open for the 2023-24 LSATs
After what felt like an interminable wait, LSAC finally opened registration for the next year of LSATs. As of May 17, you can sign up for any LSAT between August 2023 and June 2024. The registration deadlines for each test are below. So, pick a test, make a study plan, choose a tutor or a prep course, and get to work turning that law school dream into a reality! And don't forget, these tests will usher in a new era of dual-mode testing — you can choose to take the LSAT at home or a test center.
August 11 and 12, 2023
Registration Deadline: June 29, 2023Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: July 3, 2023Score Release: August 30, 2023
September 8 and 9, 2023
Registration Deadline: July 25, 2023Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: August 1, 2023Score Release: September 27, 2023
October 13 and 14, 2023
Registration Deadline: August 31, 2023Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: September 5, 2023Score Release: November 1, 2023
November 10 and 11, 2023
Registration Deadline: September 28, 2023Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: October 3, 2023Score release: November 29, 2023
January 12 and 13, 2024
Registration Deadline: November 30, 2023Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: December 5, 2023Score Release: January 31, 2024
February 9, 2024
Registration Deadline: December 26, 2023Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: January 2, 2024Score Release: February 28, 2024
April 12, 2024
Registration Deadline: February 29, 2024Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: March 5, 2024Score release: May 1, 2024
June 7 and 8, 2024
Registration Deadline: April 23, 2024Test Date Change/Partial Refund Deadline: April 30, 2024Score release: June 26, 2024
More Info on Dual-Mode Testing
Speaking of dual-model testing, LSAC held a webinar last week to clarify some of the finer points of the updated LSAT delivery system that will go live in August 2023. Not only will Prometric take over the test-center duties, but they'll also take over scheduling and proctoring for remote testing. If you took the at-home LSAT over the last few years and are planning to take the LSAT in August 2023 or later, the scheduling and proctoring will not be the same for these new tests.
Au revoir, ProctorU. At least they'll still use you for the Writing section.
Are We Ever Going to a Ruling on Whether Admissions Are Test Optional?
If you've been following American Bar Association (ABA) news over the last few months, hoping that maybe that group will get rid of that whole LSAT-requirement thing that separates you and law school, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit longer. If you haven't been following that news and the last sentence was literal gibberish to you, here's a quick rundown of what we're talking about.
There's been an internal debate within the ABA, which sets all sorts of standards for the legal profession and, most germane to our immediate purposes, education. You see, there's a group of ABA members who very much would like to get rid of a rule that requires law schools to use a standardized test (like the LSAT) as part of their admissions process. And another group seemingly would like to keep that rule in place. These two groups have been punting this decision back and forth over the last few months. Last we heard, the group that wants to make admissions test optional voted to make the admissions test optional; this meant that the group that is seemingly OK with keeping the test requirement in place would make the final vote on the matter in August 2023. Except, now they won't make that vote in August, according to Spivey Consulting. At any rate, any decisions that may or may not be made which may or may not affect the LSAT will not go into effect until 2025.
The 2023-24 U.S. News & World Report Rankings Dropped, But Do They Hit Different This Year?
The U.S. News & World Report — being the inveterate rankers they are — just ranked the law schools. In most years, this is pretty big news. These rankings are influential. If you know a lawyer or law student, there's a good chance their decision on where to apply to law school was influenced — at least a little bit — by those rankings.
But this year, there was even more interest in these rankings than usual. As we've discussed previously, many of the top brand-name law schools — those that have been so lavishly rewarded by the U.S. News rankings, decided to stop sharing non-public information with U.S. News this year, arguing that the rankings' metrics disincentivize law schools from making legal education more accessible and diverse. This prompted U.S. News to change some of those metrics.
How did all this strum und drang affect the rankings? Not much, really, at least among the "T14" schools. There is perhaps a bit more change from the previous year's rankings than usual, but it wasn't like the "boycotting" schools were uniformly punished by U.S. News. Use these new and maybe-improved rankings as you see fit.