Here we will post links and useful information on Covid-19 topics of greatest interest to pre-law students. This and the Law Career listserv are our main ways to convey useful information.
Developments at Brown
On March 25, 2020 Brown announced new academic policies for the remainder of the semester, which you can consult in detail here. Our suggestions and input from LSAC below.
- Mandatory S/NC are fine for your law school application plans. If a course you are taking in spring 2020 converted to mandatory S/NC there will be a transcript notation that indicates if your initial intention had been to complete it for a grade.
- As you have the option to select a grade or S/NC by 5pm EDT on May 1st, 2020, consider this in context. Admission offices would understand if you get a grade or two that are lower than you hoped this semester. Generally, law schools have no concerns about a few elective S/NC courses throughout your 4 years in college and they would be flexible with grades from the spring 2020 semester. Keep in mind also that students nationally may have experienced similar hardships this semester.
Input from LSAC (context for the guidance above updated April 24, 2020)
How will schools view Pass/Fail grades?
Law schools are fully aware of and understand that virtually all students enrolled during the spring 2020 COVID-19 pandemic experienced significant disruption in their living and learning arrangements. Law schools are also aware that many undergraduate and graduate schools changed their grading systems to allow or require Pass/Fail grades in lieu of their traditional grading systems and will not penalize any applicant for presenting Pass/Fail grades. LSAC will place a letter in the CAS report of every applicant enrolled during spring 2020, reminding law schools of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the population and on higher education.
Due to the fluidity of the current situation do check the LSAC page with details about LSAT dates. As we all hope for a quick resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic there may be further disruptions to LSAT testing. Test dates in the summer and early fall have always been OK for the timing of the application process so don't worry unduly. Periodic updates will be posted below.
APRIL 8, 2020 NEWS
- If you have determined that the best plan for you would be to take the test in the summer, LSAC will be offering an online, remotely proctored version of the LSAT – called the LSAT-Flex – in the second half of May for test takers who were registered for the April test.
- Candidates currently registered for the April 2020 LSAT will be automatically registered to take the LSAT-Flex in the second half of May unless they choose to receive a coupon to use for a different LSAT date.
- April registrants who do not wish to take the LSAT-Flex in May should use the April 2020 Rescheduling Options online form to indicate that they would prefer to receive a coupon to use for a different LSAT date.
- LSAC will announce the exact date and instructions for the May LSAT-Flex no later than Friday, April 17.
APRIL 16, 2020 NEWS
Today, LSAC announced that the May LSAT-Flex will be administered the week of May 18.
- LSAC expect that most test takers will test on either Monday, May 18 or Tuesday, May 19, with a small number of tests occuring later in the week based on specific remote proctoring requirements. LSAC will be notifying test takers of scheduling instructions via email.
- The scheduling sign-up process will open next Wednesday, April 22, so that May test takers can select the available time that works best for them. LSAC will be sending out more information and instructions prior to that time.
- The scores for all test takers will be released on the same day, regardless of when they test during the week of May 18. Currently, LSAC are targeting Friday, June 5 as the score release date, and will update that as needed.
- LSAC are extending the deadline for April registrants to select if they want to take the May test or not. The new deadline is now 11:59pm Eastern Time, this Friday, April 17.
- Importantly, to help answer the most pressing questions, LSAC have compiled the “Top 10 Questions About the LSAT-Flex,” and posted the answers on their Law:Fully blog. The larger LSAT-Flex FAQ is expanded continually.
APRIL 29, 2020 NEWS
Today, LSAC announced that the June 8 in-person LSAT has been cancelled.
- All test takers who were currently registered for the June 8 test in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to take the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex.
- The June LSAT-Flex will be administered during the week of June 14. Most test takers will test on either Sunday, June 14, or Monday, June 15, with a small number of tests occurring later in the week based on specific remote proctoring requirements.
- Currently, LSAC are targeting Tuesday, June 30, as the score release date for all test takers, regardless of when they test during the week of June 14. We will update the score release date as needed.
- June test registrants have been instructed to visit their LSAC accounts and submit the online form to confirm their interest in taking the June LSAT-Flex or to receive a coupon for any future test between July 2020 and April 2021. Any affected registrants that we do not hear from will be automatically registered for the June LSAT-Flex.
MAY 28, 2020 NEWS
Given the continued uncertainties and health risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, LSAC have made the decision to replace the in-person LSAT scheduled for July 13 in the U.S. and Canada with an LSAT-Flex administration, which would occur the week of July 12 with scores available on July 30. LSAC have also extended the July test registration deadline to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, June 1, to allow additional time for candidates to register given the new testing dates and format.
In addition, the in-person paper-and-pencil International LSAT scheduled for June 27-28 will also be cancelled, and those international test takers will have the option of taking the LSAT-Flex during the week of July 12 as well.
LSAC has today opened up registration for all of the remaining tests in the 2020-2021 testing cycle. While it is too soon to predict how the ongoing COVID-19 emergency will affect the format or dates of these tests, LSAC will continue doing everything they can to support law school candidates and provide testing opportunities, while following public health guidance to help protect the safety of test takers and the broader community.
JULY 9, 2020 NEWS
LSAT-Flex administration will continue in August.
First-time test takers can request to fiew their score before deciding to keep it. This feature will cost $45 and will be available around August 1.
Practice for the LSAT-Flex wih the free Official LSAT Prep practice tests available on LSAC’s LawHub
- Registration for the August 29 test is open through July 15th.
OCTOBER 25, 2020 NEWS
Given the continuing uncertainty and disruption of the COVID-19 emergency in many regions, LSAC have decided that all of the remaining LSAT administrations through April 2021 will be delivered via the online, remotely proctored LSAT-Flex, instead of in-person.
The November LSAT-Flex administration will occur the week starting Saturday, November 7. Most test takers will test on either Saturday, November 7; Sunday, November 8; Tuesday, November 10; or Wednesday, November 11, with a small number of tests occurring later in the week based on specific remote proctoring requirements. Currently, we are targeting Tuesday, November 24, as the November LSAT-Flex score release date for all test takers who test during the week of November 7. All candidates who had previously registered for the November in-person LSAT were automatically registered to take the corresponding November LSAT-Flex exam, unless they chose to opt out and receive a coupon which can be applied to any future LSAT until April 2021.
The January, February, and April LSAT-Flex administrations will occur during the same week that the corresponding in-person LSAT administrations were scheduled. Most test takers will test on Saturday or Sunday of the week, with some tests occurring later in the week based on test-taker volume or specific remote proctoring requirements. Candidates registered for the January-April 2021 in-person LSAT administrations may choose to take the corresponding LSAT-Flex, or opt out by November 13, 2020, and receive a full refund. The online opt-out form is available in candidates’ LSAC accounts. Candidates who do not indicate their preference by November 13 will be automatically registered for the LSAT-Flex exam that corresponds with their current LSAT registration(s).
FEBRUARY 17, 2021 NEWS FROM LSAC
We will continue to provide the LSAT in an online, live remote-proctored format through June 2022.
We are also announcing the June 2021 test date, as well as test dates for the entire next cycle, which will begin in August and run through June 2022, so that candidates may plan in advance for the timing that works best. You can find the schedule here https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsat-dates-deadlines-score-release-dates.
The LSAT will continue to have three scored sections. Starting in August, we will be returning to our pre-COVID practice of including an unscored variable section along with the three scored sections so that we can validate new test questions for future use. This validation process is a vital part of our commitment to equity and helps us ensure our questions continue their long standard of being free from any kind of bias. With the addition of a fourth, unscored section, we plan to include a short break between the second and third sections of the new LSAT starting August 2021, similar to the break mid-way through the traditional in-person LSAT that was used before the COVID-19 emergency.
The LSAT will continue to have three scored sections and one unscored variable section for the next several years, and you can learn more about the LSAT for August 2021 and beyond on our website.
Scores will continue to be reported on the 120-180 LSAT range, along with a percentile ranking. Our questions and methodology will remain the same, meaning the LSAT will continue to be the most valid and reliable indicator of first-year law school success. Because they both contain three scored sections with the same methodology and questions, we anticipate that scores from the current LSAT-Flex and the LSAT beginning in August will be aligned. As always, our measurement scientists will continue to scrutinize and evaluate all the data to ensure scores preserve their meaning across test administrations.
While the LSAT is the the official law school admission test, a number of law schools accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT, especially for some of their joint-degree programs. The schools that accept the GRE only admit a small proportion of their incoming class this way. You can read more about these tests in our Law School Applicant Guide. If this exam is part of your plan, as of mid April ETS has expanded the availability of at-home testing for the GRE General Test to everywhere the computer-delivered GRE General Test is normally available, with the exception of Mainland China and Iran. All the relevant details about the GRE Genreal Test are on the ETS website.
From March 2020 through the 2020- 2021 academic year George Vassilev and Linda Dunleavy will speak with students through the College's Zoom appointment page . Simply click on the link corresponding to the individual Zoom Hours session you'd like to register for. Ari Gabinet will meet with students and alumni by appointment. Zoom hours and email are the best ways to connect with us. Our website and the Law Careers listserv remain the best ways for us to share valuable insight with you.
Many of the activities you were involved with or were hoping to pursue during the pandemic may need to be postponed. Unfortunatley, many community service organizations may put their programs on hold, some internships or jobs may be suspended. Keep in mind that this would affect students nationally, and not just you. Admission committees would be mindful to keep all of this in context when you apply. This page on CareerLAB's website can be a useful guide about some types of activities.
- Information from various offices at Brown. If yo uare current students please make sure you follow the guidance you receive from various offices at Brown. You may be receiving messages from the President's and the Provost's office, as well as from a number of other offices ranging from The College, Financial Aid, the Registrar, SEAS, SSS, CAPS to a number of other offices. You would also be receiving messages from the instructors of your courses.
- Information from various federal, state, and local agencies. Make sure you stay up-to-date on the specific guidance you would be receiving from responsible authorities in your area so you stay safe and contribute to the community's well-being.
- Do take good care of yourselves and those around you. The months ahead will bring uncertainty and concern to all. It is especially important at times like these to make sure you focus on your and others' well-being. You aim to become law professionals. What you experience and observe now may help inform your career aspirations. It also calls for compassion, care, and dedication to the well-being of all, including yourselves. Among the good guidance you may be getting from sources you trust, such as the WHO and CDC, consider Dr. Jud Brewer's regular videos on managing the stress of the current situation.
- Consult only credible and official sources of information about any aspects of the application process. All information from LSAC, and on our website is fully reliable. Be judicious when consulting online discussion boards or the websites of presumed experts.