LSAC Could Do Something Really Funny Next Month With LSAT Administration

If they mess up again, it will supercharge the 'Let's Get Rid Of The LSAT' conversations even more.

bar exam scantron multiple choiceAre you an aspiring law student who has decided to push through the path it takes to become a lawyer despite the mounting evidence insisting that you should do something else for a living?  Well, not too long ago, many of your hard-headed peers were met with an early welcome to the profession. This year’s August LSAT offered test takers the opportunity to sit for the filtering exercise at either a test taking center or their homes. Understandably, most of the them — 61% in fact — decided that they’d rather stress out over logic games from a remote location than do it next to some sweating stranger at either side of them. And while I’d usually recommend the COVID-conscious option, many test takers found out that the remote option wasn’t the best option the hard way: far more people will be taking the next test in-person. From Reuters:

“We are seeing an uptick in people who want to test in person because of what they’ve heard about the online test,” said [Mark] Murray, adding that the council extended the deadline for September’s 23,000 LSAT registrants to choose in-person testing from Aug. 16 to Aug. 31.

And they heard a lot. The Council reported that 5,000 test takers encountered problems, some were even locked out of the test entirely. Once you consider that 19,463 test takers were registered, LSAC heard complaints from a quarter of the test takers! According to this r/LSAT post, the foibles ranged from students worrying about if they’d be able to use the bathroom, proctors not showing up, and test takers being their own proctors. Because of those complications, there’s no wonder that more people will be taking the test in-person this September. The real kicker is that, even with the calamity that hit the remote test takers, people would still rather take the remote option!

Many LSAT takers who signed up for do-overs after facing problems on last week’s remote exam are also shunning the online format. Nearly 2,700 have opted to retake the exam on Aug. 19 or 20 — special testing dates the council added in response to the August exam’s technical issues. Among those retakers, 30% opted to switch formats and take the LSAT in person, Murray said.

Only 30% decided to switch formats after a failure this catastrophic? Do they really have that much faith that whatever technical difficulties led to the problem originally will be resolved in a couple weeks? Because some very notable skeptics are making points:

Dave Killoran, founder of LSAT test prep company PowerScore, said he has been fielding many questions about which format to choose and has been advising people to go to a test center if possible. Ben Ahmad said he signed up to retake the exam in-person on Saturday after facing more than an hour delay on his Aug. 12 remote exam, among other problems.

“I have a very hard time believing the tech issues will be resolved in a week, especially given thousands of people are likely retesting,” Ahmad said Thursday.

There are two options really. The first is that it goes seamlessly. It’ll be a blow to their reputation but they can spin it as a we learned from our mistakes and “we’re so back” success story. But then people will start asking: what mistake was so big that it disturbed 5,000 test takers, but so small that it could have been resolved in a couple of weeks’ time? Was it negligence or a ploy to incentivize test takers back into physical seats?


The second, and I think the funnier outcome, would be if we get the same outcome we did the first time. If the students won’t learn their lessons and switch to in-person, what makes you think LSAC will learn theirs and administer a functional test? It really shouldn’t have been that difficult for them: LSAC had ample experience administering LSAT-FLEXes during the pandemic; the August LSAT should have just been more of the same.

If and when they mess up again, share your horror stories at

Demand For In-Person LSAT Swells After Remote Exam Misfires [Reuters]

Earlier: The Regret From Remote Testing Has Hit LSAT Takers Like A Truck
Demand For In-Person LSAT Spikes After Huge Remote Testing Failure


Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at and by tweet at @WritesForRent.