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Registering for LSDAS

Law Services processes not only your LSAT, but also your transcripts, recommendations and evaluations. The portion of Law Services which processes your transcripts is called the LSDAS (Law School Data Assembly Service).Instead of sending transcripts to each law school, you send one to Law Services. Law Services receives your transcripts from all colleges and prepares a report for the law schools.

That report includes:

  • A summary of the transcripts for every college you've attended;
  • A calculated index number if the law school wishes; and
  • A copy of your transcripts; and
  • At least some recommendations for you.  

You must register for the service, send your transcripts, and follow up to make sure everything has been received.

Where do you find the page?  Under "Apply -- Credentials." (The color scheme has changed slightly in 2011, but the photo is the same.)

Locatin gthe transcript section of the LSDAS service

The Letter of Recommendation (LOR) service has its own page, over here. This page deals only with the LSDAS, or transcript summary report.

The LSDAS registration is good for five years, so you can register now even if you're not applying to law schools this year. It's a good idea to register, since you can then have your recommendations sent to and stored at Law Services.

What Does the LSDAS Report Say?

Your transcript analysis does not give any information about the actual courses; instead the transcripts are attached for the law schools' review. The report shows

LSDAS transcript summary report

  • Your gpa by year or semester, and your cumulative gpa.
  • If you attended more than one college, your cumulative gpa at your degree-granting school and overall.
  • ALL your LSAT scores for the past five years, including cancellations.
  • Any reports of misconduct.
  • How many recommendations have been sent.
  • Whether you've attended or signed a binding agreement at ("Intent to Matriculate," in the lower right portion) any other law schools.
  • If 50 or more people from your college applied to law school in the last three years, it compares your GPA to the median for applicants from your school.
  • It shows the number of A's, B's, C's, D's, F's, pass/fails and incomplete or withdrawn courses for each year.
  • It also shows the distribution of LSAT scores at your school, along with the median score. Admissions officers often use this info when they're not familiar with your college.
    • Notice that this report shows that NYU Continuing Ed. is not as rigorous as NYU. The median LSAT score is 146, and only half the national average get good numbers -- e.g. only 15% of the students have an LSAT score in the top 30%.

Wow!  That's quite a lot of data!  That's why it takes the untrained eye a good half-hour to read the thing; it's as bad as an IRS form.

How Much Does it Cost?

Prices change yearly; in 2011, expect a fee of about $150; you must also pay a fee of $16 per school for each law school to which you apply.  That fee is added automatically when you go to put the app in the shopping cart. 

I Don't Know Where I'm Applying

As of 2010, you no longer have to specify in advance for which or even how many schools you'll need to purchase LSDAS reports.  As you transmit each application to the law school, the fee will be added to the Shopping Cart for you; you have to pay it to send the app. 

LSAC Fee Waivers

As with the LSAT, fee waivers are available for needy applicants. Your fee waiver entitles you to apply to 3 law schools without paying the $16 transcript fee. 

If for some reason you're applying to a school without going through LSAC software, you must call the LSAC staff at 205-968-1001, and they'll add the charge and send the LSDAS Report for you. 

What Do I Do Besides Pay?

In addition to completing great volumes of electronic forms and paying your money, you must have transcripts sent from every school you attended.

Let me repeat:  EVERY SCHOOL

Be sure to request transcripts for summer programs, even if you attended them before you began college. You must also include transcripts from non-degree programs such as nursing school, and from graduate study programs. Law Services will not analyze these transcripts, but will send copies to the law schools for you.

LSDAS list of schools you've attended

Note that on my mockup, I even include my local community college where I take ceramics.  (I reported my law school as "grad" because I didn't know whether the system would let me go further if I told it I'd already completed law school.

Below the name of the school there's a link (circled above) that will produce a bar-coded form (shown below). Anything being snail-mailed has a bar-coded form to accompany it, and anything that has a bar-coded form cannot be submitted electronically.

bar-coded transcript request form

If you are unable to obtain a transcript because you owe a school money, you should contact LSAC by calling 215.968.1393, or by e-mailing   support@LSAC.org.

LSAC Changes for Foreign Transcripts

AFAIK, this change applies to anyone who attended a college outside the U.S.

Beginning in 2006, LSAC announced that they will analyze the transcripts of all applicants. You no longer need to go through WES or another translation service.  This service (JD CAS) has changed several times in a few years.  The rule as of 2010 is that if you attend a foreign school and pay your tuition to that school, you must request the transcript. If you pay your own college and they arrange the program, you do not need a separate transcript. 

Almost all law schools have agreed to accept foreign transcripts through LSDAS, but not 100%. Click here for a complete list.   

When Should I Register?

Since registering with LSAC is free, you should sign up as soon as possible. Registering for the LSDAS costs money, so you should register as soon as you can pay. If you're requesting a fee waiver, start right now; they take a while to complete.

The later in the application year, the longer it takes for Law Services to process your papers.  Processing recs and transcripts adds time; training a staff to use a new system takes time; figuring out work-around's for the bugs takes time.  So make sure you do your work of completing the info online and sending the recs and resumes at least 4 weeks before you want the info sent to law schools.  

 

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