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|What is LSDAS?|
|Written by Norton Gappy, Esq.|
The Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) assembles data from law school candidates looking to apply to law school. The LSDAS consolidates information from many sources and includes school transcripts and LSAT scores. It serves as a clearinghouse for the information of law school candidates.
The LSDAS places grades from different college(s) or universities with varying grade point scales on the same scale to allow the competing law schools to evaluate potential law school candidates on an equivalent basis. The LSDAS service consolidates all of a candidate’s college or university transcript information so that a grade point average (GPA) can be calculated on an equal basis with other competing candidates and is reported by the LSDAS to law schools to which the candidate applies.
The LSDAS also reports any earned LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) scores over the previous five years in which the law school candidate took the LSAT examination. If more than one LSAT is taken over the previous five years prior to a candidate’s law school application, an average is derived. The LSDAS may also, at the request of a competing law school, request the LSDAS to calculate or derive an index score from a candidate’s GPA, LSAT score(s), and a candidate’s college or university school(s) attended.
Nearly every American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school requires potential law school candidates to register and submit their information via the LSDAS.
So if you are considering going to law school, it is practically a necessity that you register with the LSDAS. This would include using the application forms included in the LSDAS book, registering with the LSDAS, sending your official transcripts to the LSDAS from your previous colleges and universities, and then following the LSDAS instructions very carefully.
The LSDAS book is available at most every university or college campus and virtually every law school. There is no charge for the book itself.
An LSDAS subscription generally includes one free law school report. If you intend to apply to more than one law school, which is generally a good idea, the LSDAS charges you a fee for each additional law school you apply to beyond the first. Therefore, you should attempt to estimate the number of law schools you intend on applying to, and pay for that number of reports when you register for the LSDAS service.
You do not need to inform the LSDAS service of exactly which schools you are considering at the time you register with the LSDAS, this can be, and is more appropriately done at a later date. The law schools to which you apply to will obtain a copy of the LSDAS report.
It is still possible to apply to additional law schools beyond your initial estimate by filing out an “Additional LSDAS Law School Order Form” which is included in the LSDAS book.
The LSDAS also offers fee waivers for many of the fees and service charges. NOTE: fee waivers, if applicable in a your particular situation, do not apply to additional reports. Your should keep copies of all your correspondences to the LSDAS and keep your LSDAS book in a safe place until your application process and acceptance to a desired law school is fully completed. The LSDAS book will be a necessary reference and guide throughout the application process and until your acceptance to law school is confirmed.
The LSDAS subscription is valid for five years from the date of registration. But you should avoid registering too early, and plan on registering for the service in the same year you intend to apply to law school. Still, this process should be done early enough to give the LSDAS enough time to process all of your information. The LSDAS service handles thousands of files each year. Generally, registering and starting the LSDAS/law school application process should begin about one year in advance of your projected attendance date. If you wish to have your senior grades recorded and on file with the LSDAS, consider waiting until your grades are recorded and available if you think this may help your overall credentials.
Additionally, the LSDAS also collects and organizes the letters of recommendation written on your behalf. Copies of up to three to five letters will be organized and sent to law schools to which you apply. All letters of recommendation should be sent to the LSDAS as soon as practicable after you register – the sooner the better. NOTE: the LSDAS does have a particular format it requires you to follow when submitting letters of recommendation. Further, prospective law schools generally prefer receiving such letters via the LSDAS/LSAC service. It is always a good rule-of-thumb to follow the program directions carefully when applying to law schools.
For further and more detailed information on the LSDAS registration process, consult the LSDAS book. AUTHOR’S NOTE: The entire process sounds more onerous than it really is, most colleges and universities are very familiar with the overall process and, generally, the process runs smoothly and efficiently but may require follow-up efforts on your part. This, of course, depends on the staff at your particular university or college.
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