It has been long-standing LSAC policy that you can take the LSAT only three times in two years. If you wanted to take it more times, it used to be the case that you'd have to find a law school to give you a special dispensation and tell LSAC to let you take it a fourth time.
Our friends at LSAT Blog report that that rule has now changed. If you want to request an exception to the three-tests-in-two-years rule, you'll have to appeal to LSAC directy.
Here are some more details directly from LSAC:
Greetings. I write to make you aware of a change in policy regarding the LSAT. The LSAC Board of Trustees has approved a change in the policy related to applicants who wish to take the LSAT more than three times in two years. In the past, law schools could allow applicants to take the test an additional time by notifying LSAC of the extenuating circumstances of the candidate. Under the new policy, all exceptions to the policy will be determined by LSAC. Schools will not approve requests for additional testing after June 24, 2011 when the new policy goes into effect.
Following is the language for applicants on the LSAC website regarding this policy:
You may not take the LSAT more than three times in any two-year period. This policy applies even if you cancel your score or if your score is not otherwise reported. LSAC reserves the right to cancel your registration, rescind your admission ticket, or take any other steps necessary to enforce this policy.
For significant extenuating circumstances, exception to this policy may be made by LSAC. To request an exception, submit a signed, detailed explanation addressing the circumstances that you feel make you eligible to retake the LSAT and specify the date that you wish to test. E-mail your request as an attachment to LSACinfo@LSAC.org or send it by fax to 215.968.1277.
You will be notified by e-mail of approval or denial of your request. Be sure to submit your request well in advance of the regular registration deadline so that you can receive timely notification of our decision. Barring unforeseen circumstances, LSAC will respond within seven working days of its receipt. LSAC’s decisions are final.
As a law school applicant, you're looking to join a profession that lives and dies by nitty-gritty procedural rules, so make sure you know about this one, too. That being said, I would strongly discourage you from taking the test more than three times. If you haven't been able to conquer the LSAT in three attempts, you and the LSAT should probably part ways.
Readers, do you agree? And how generous do you find LSAC to be in its new role handling those requests for exceptions? Is it mostly pro forma?
Former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and a recovering lawyer, Anna Ivey founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process. You can read more admissions tips in The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, recently updated and available as an e-book, and connect with Anna on Twitter and Facebook. Have a question for us to tackle in the blog? Please email us.