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LSAC Action Reports

In addition to all the fabulous data LSAC gives away in the Official Guide, they also provide a wealth of information to every college that designates a prelaw advisor or other person to receive the data, in the form of "Action Reports."

Since both Penn and UW used to make Action Reports available to their students (and still may; I just haven't kept up since my clientele is no longer limited to a school or two), I have seen and analyzed them many times. As with all data, they have their strengths and their weaknesses.

Action Reports can be produced by applicant or by school applied to; both have their uses for the prelaw advisor. For the applicant, however. those listing applicants by school are far more useful, since they give you information about how applicants from your college fared in applying to a certain law school. This is especially helpful if that law school doesn't publish a numerical grid in the Official Guide. For instance, American University hasn't publish a grid for the past several years. But the University of Washington's Action Report shows the following:

Sample LSAC Action Report

Note that the report is in order first by LSAT, then by GPA. An asterisk (*) indicates the average of more than one LSAT score, helping to explain some of the lower admits.

There are four possible outcomes, although only three show here:

  • MATRIC means the student matriculated, or enrolled, at this school.
  • ADMIT means the student was offered a seat, but turned it down.
  • W/D, which is not seen here, means the student withdrew the app before a decision was reached.
  • That leaves OTHER to mean, well, uh, dinged, no-go, thumbs down, and all the other euphemisms people seem to prefer to "rejected." The applicant may have first been wait listed, but was ultimately told no.

We can see that applicants with LSAT scores over 160 tended to be offered seats; the discretionary range seems to end around the mid-150s, and below that, you'd better be extraordinary in some way.

Our next example tells a much simpler story:

Sample LSAC Action Report Data

If you don't have two awesome numbers, don't apply to Berkeley unless you know what else you have to offer. It might help you to refer to the Official Guide so you can see that Berkeley's median GPA is 3.79. The only person with both numbers above median was admitted.

The biggest shortcoming of the Action Report is seen in our third example:

Sample LSAC Action Report Data

With only four applicants to the University of Georgia, we're left to guess. Fortunately, they provide a full numerical applicant profile in the Official Guide, so you can look there for more information.

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