If you were signed up to take the February 2013 LSAT in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, or Prince Edward Island, then chances are your test didn’t happen on February 9. Instead, you got a nasty surprise on February 8 when your test center was closed due to inclement weather and you got a notification from LSAC stating that you would soon receive an email with instructions on when and where your make-up test would occur.
And that’s when everybody started panicking.
“What are the law schools going to think?” “Is this going to affect my admissions chances?” “What if I miss the deadline because my scores aren’t out in time?” “Should I write an addendum explaining what happened? Two addendums? Three? Four?”
The answer is actually pretty simple:
Like you, me, and everyone else on the east coast of the United States and Canada, law school admissions officers are aware of the weather situation. As a matter of fact, they’re probably more aware of it than most, since they have likely answered hundreds of phone calls and emails from panicked students, all asking them to please forgive them for their late scores. Here is what a lot of students are forgetting though:
- This was not your fault. It wasn’t even LSAC’s fault. It was Mother Nature’s fault. Therefore, you didn’t do anything wrong.
- Schools know this wasn’t your fault. Therefore, they don’t need a groveling explanation and request for their forgiveness.
- This wasn’t an incident isolated to just one test center. Almost 80 test centers were affected by this cancellation, making this not an aberration so much as the status quo. Admissions officers will actually be surprised with students that were not cancelled on, since a large chunk of students will be taking their February LSAT late this year. Therefore, if you find yourself on the delayed LSAT boat, you’re not the exception–you’re almost the rule.
So take a deep breath. Relax. You don’t need to explain what happened. The good folks at LSAC will do that for you, and schools already know (and will likely be very understanding about it). This has happened in very recent memory–in 2010, a similar Snowpocalypse delayed that February’s LSAT. Take a look at what Washington & Lee Law School admissions team said then:
It has been brought to our attention that this most recent spate of snow has resulted in a number of applicants being unable to take the February LSAT on their appointed date. If you happen to find yourself in this category, please do not worry. We are aware of the situation, and we encourage you to contact LSAC with any and all questions you might have about the rescheduling of the test administration. Please feel free to consult lsac.org for additional information. As noted in their post addressing the closings, LSAC will contact you via email as soon as possible (most likely the week after the test date) regarding other options, including a make-up test.
We will do our best to work with you throughout this process. As we note on our website, if your file is complete by March 1, we guarantee a decision by no later than the last week in March/first week in April, and we will make every effort to hold to this standard even if this weekend’s inclement weather results in your sitting for the February LSAT at a later date.
Source: WLU Blog
See? People are understanding. Schools get it. LSAC is on it, and will get you squared away with a new test date in the coming weeks. You’ll be fine. If you find that, for your own peace of mind, you absolutely must send in an explanation, make it very concise. One sentence is all that is needed:
“Due to Winter Storm Nemo, my February LSAT test date (and score release date) was delayed.”
Brief, factual, drama-free. Remember that schools already know, they’ll likely be very nice about it, and they will work with you. After all, the snow made them close their offices, too!