An Insight Regarding LSAT Cancellations, Withdrawals and Absences

The conceptual differences, overall impact on evaluation by the schools and ideal methods to address them in your applications

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) can be the most difficult qualifying exams that the aspiring lawyers need to appear for. It is possible to hide your considerably bad performance in your usual scheduled examinations in your college, due to the results in flying colors in various other tests after your secondary schooling.

However, the qualifying exam to seek admission to the reputed law schools requires prolonged hours of study. The aspiring students can appear for these tests in several attempts and their repetition would not bear any adverse impact.

Lsat exam hall

Eventually, the result of every attempt of the LSAT, would be conveyed to the law schools. Now, how this statistic is analyzed and utilized for evaluation of the subsequent students would be the individual lookout of these institutions. However, the admission counselor would possess the data regarding the attempts made by the particular student, and the events when the score wasn’t attained.

The reasons for not getting the scores can be the decisions such as withdrawal, cancellation or absence. – It would be important to analyze the difference between these facilitations, and the way the law schools use this data to evaluate the students seeking admission, and why these factors need to be emphasized?

Withdrawal:

Plenty of aspiring LSAT candidates would not know about this recently added facility, but your registration for the LSAT can be voluntarily withdrawn by you till the midnight on the previous day of the announced exam date. If you withdraw earlier to this emergency situation, you can even avail partial refund of your exam fees.

There might be plenty of reasons behind the decision of the student to withdraw from LSAT exam. The students that are not confident regarding their preparation and overall progress in the studies, may think of using this option.

Again, some students might have some abrupt ad unavoidable consequences, forcing them to withdraw as well; such as if a loved one would be supposed to get wedded on the same day – this may be the important cause of withdrawal. Eventually, the details of withdrawals would never be conveyed to the schools.

So, the schools cannot even trace the details regarding whether a particular student had registered for the subsequent attempt of the LSAT; and thus, the withdrawals would not be addressed by the institutions.

Absences:

Absence is as you register yourself for the LSAT, don’t even withdraw till the allowed time frame for withdrawal, and don’t even appear for the exam. Though the absence of the candidate might be conveyed to the schools, usually the absence in a single attempt for LSAT may hardly bear any adverse impact while evaluating the candidate.

The law schools would consider the emergencies such as a sudden car collision or an emergency situation for the family and so on – that might have led to your absence for the LSAT exam. However, if the absence phenomenon repeats, it can create an impression that the candidate is unable to keep the commitments. It can be better to state the reason behind your absence along with the application to avoid that conclusion.

It can be better to be honest and prompt regarding stating the reasons for your absence well in advance to avoid the message that makes the schools feel that you were not confident. Therefore, it is recommended for you to enclose an addendum stating the reasons for your absences, especially when you remain absent for several instances.

Cancellation:

You can cancel the exam even after a week of appearing for the test. Whatever might be the reason behind this action of cancelling; but the most likely reason considered by the schools can be lack of confidence based on how bad the test was for the particular student.

The schools would also show sympathy for a single cancellation, as it is quite possible that the performance in the test might not be up to the expectations. So, there would not be any penalties enforced for cancelling the test in the first instance. However, if the action is repeated, it would imply your inability to retain confidence in the crucial situations. Though the reason for your cancellation might be better and you might have the evidences to prove; it may be tedious and unprofessional to advocate your excuses even on a single incident.

One of the extremely practical reasons for cancellation might be jumbling in ticking the answers following the precise serial numbers; and the entire sheet would be missed out due to a single mistake in between. This may be a good reason to cancel, however, the schools can question your overall attention. Therefore, it would be better to leave it and prepare for the next attempt promptly.

You must aim at registering for the LSAT and preparing to get the best scores in the single attempt honestly. It is commonly seen that the candidates interested to be the lawyers over-think, including while preparing for LSAT as well. Even the applicants that get the scores around 170, react as if the exam was excellent. Again, discussing the questions with the fellow candidates would lead to great confusion.

The best policy can be to work hard for the LSAT exam, have faith in the way you might have prepared promptly, keep yourself away from the discussions as the exam would be over and keep the fingers crossed.…

Must American Judges “Bench Their Rule-Of-Law Sapping Empathy?”

Judges

Chip Mellor, President and General Counsel of the Institute for Justice, penned an interesting piece in Forbes critiquing the school of so-called “legal realism,” which Mellor argues is exhibited today both in the courts, and in the Obama Administration. “Legal realists,” as described by Mellor,

believed that the law is subjective, inevitably influenced by the personal beliefs and values of individual judges. This meant any assertion that law could be objective and based on enduring principles was at best naive and at worst, led to entrenching the rich and powerful. Legal realists urged courts to recognize this and to seek outcomes based on the greatest social welfare.

This school of thought can be seen, Mellor argues, in President Obama’s promise to appoint judges who “stand up for social and economic justice” and have “empathy … to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”

Mellor concludes:

Obviously, empathy is a virtue. But a judge who places his or her vision of social and economic justice above the rule of law may confer benefits on some litigants — ruling in their favor when the Constitution demands otherwise. For those in favor of a “living Constitution,” empathy and social consciousness — not the history or plain meaning of the Constitution — should dictate how a judge rules in any matter.

Who has it right? The “legal realists” or the “Constitutional originalists?” Mellor’s piece is an interesting contribution to the discussion.…

Rule of Law Interview with Attorney General George Jepsen

A prominent theme at the CBA’s 2010 Rule of Law Conference was the impact that Connecticut’s regulatory structure has on business in the State. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen graciously agreed to an interview with the Rule of Law Blog to discuss this and other themes relevant to the Rule of Law. Please enjoy the Rule of Law Blog’s interview with Attorney General Jepsen.

What is the Rule of Law?

The rule of law is the fair and impartial application and enforcement of the statutes, legal opinions and regulations that govern the conduct of individuals and corporate entities for the protection of society and public health and safety.

rule of law

A common theme at the CBA’s Rule of Law Conference was the impact that regulations and administrative agencies have on the business community. In your estimation, are regulations and the administrative agencies helping or hurting businesses?

Compliance with the law is a necessary cost of doing business; as long as regulations are applied fairly and uniformly, no business should be unduly burdened. Administrative agencies and the regulations they enforce are meant to ensure that businesses are registered; have the necessary training, licenses, permits, and insurance to do the job correctly; and that their workers are protected. It would be naïve, however, to suggest that all regulations are created equal or that agencies always exercise their authority reasonably.

As Attorney General, I recognize that government leaders should at times reassess whether a particular law or regulation serves its intended purpose and whether a government agency is appropriately exercising its authority. Only then will any regulatory scheme inspire public trust and confidence.

One of my responsibilities as Attorney General is to represent state administrative agencies. That responsibility carries enormous power and the opportunity to bring about positive change. But with that power is a corollary responsibility to exercise the broad discretion of the office in a fair, wise and just manner. The key word here is “discretion.” Bringing the wrong case could destroy the life of an innocent person or ruin an honest business.

To minimize the risk, I try to hear all sides of an issue before moving forward, and not to announce anything publicly before I am confident I have the facts right. To further protect the reputation of those who have had issues before my office, I have not hesitated to close files and, when appropriate, inform the public that a matter has been closed.

What role should regulations play in our society?

Federal and state laws define the rules of society. Regulations help to interpret those rules and provide practical application to daily life. In an ideal world, everyone would be accountable for their own actions and regulations would be unnecessary. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. We have seen all too well what happens in a largely unregulated marketplace – the bank bailouts and mortgage foreclosure crisis. However, too much regulation, outdated regulations, or the unfair application of regulations stifles creativity, opportunity and growth. So we need a thoughtful, balanced approach. Government leaders must encourage a respectful debate about the need for certain regulations and, when appropriate, seek changes to a regulatory scheme. As Attorney General, my job is to ensure a level playing field for all companies operating in Connecticut, while at the same time protecting consumers from unfair or illegal practices by businesses. I will not shy away from a robust debate about how best to strike that balance.

Is Connecticut a business friendly state?

I would say yes, but there is room for improvement. The state business tax climate ranks among the lowest in the nation according to a recent national survey. The state offers an educated, skilled workforce, good schools and exceptional quality of life. Governor Malloy has recently offered a number of tax and other incentives to encourage certain companies to relocate or do business here.

As Attorney General, I have made every attempt in my first eight months in office to engage in a dialogue with businesses to better understand their concerns and how my office can address those concerns without compromising its mission to protect the citizens of Connecticut from any unfair or illegal practices.

What role do those outside of government and the legal profession have in shaping the Rule of Law?

Every citizen in a democracy is responsible for their government. They have a responsibility to educate themselves, identify problems or issues, make their voices heard and work toward solutions by voting or participating in decision-making. The Internet and use of social media make it easier than ever for individuals to make their views known to elected representatives and government leaders. Citizens are the pulse of the body politic, a vital sign of a healthy democracy.

A knowledgeable and active electorate is one of the important checks and balances on elected government and the rule of law. While public participation is vital for government to function well, it does take time, a precious commodity for individuals trying to get ahead and working families struggling to do more with less. Community and public interest organizations can help individuals participate, and also focus attention on their most important issues.

Based on my experience, government does and will continue to respond. In America, we enjoy what few countries have: respect for the rule of law where justice is not for sale. It is for this reason that I, as Attorney General, take very, very seriously the business of making government work right. There is no greater responsibility than preserving and enhancing public confidence that the laws of Connecticut are being enforced effectively, efficiently and most of all, fairly.

How can government and the business community work together to strengthen the Rule of Law?

Government and the business community can work together to strengthen the Rule of Law by operating honestly, openly and in good faith. We need a working relationship based on mutual respect and understanding, one which promotes cooperation rather than confrontation. We may disagree, but disagreements should not prevent working toward a solution.

As I exercise discretion as Attorney General in deciding which cases to pursue and in what manner, I am cognizant that not all mistakes and transgressions are created equal. To me, there is a world of difference between an honest mistake, an act of negligence, and intentional wrongdoing. Proportionality needs to be reflected in the manner my office pursues a matter.

While sometimes there may be no other choice but to go to court, I do not believe that litigation is the only answer or always the right answer. There is not always a clear right and wrong. Issues and controversies are nuanced, shades of gray, rather than black and white. My preferred approach is to get the parties to a dispute around a table and work for a solution that reflects the interests at stake in all of their complexity, treating the dispute as a problem to be solved, rather than a reason to be confrontational.…

Is Connecticut A “Business Friendly” State?

An interesting article by the Hartford Courant’s Kenneth Gosselin on Sunday posed the question: “What does it mean to be business friendly?” More specifically, what does it mean here in Connecticut? Gosselin says:

There is plenty of disagreement about what constitutes business friendly, but there’s no dispute about its importance for every state, as governors across the nation play it up. That’s especially true in a state that ranks at or near the bottom in job creation over the last two decades.

Before discussing these issues in the context of Pfizer’s relationship with the State (including its recent decision to relocate jobs to Cambridge, Massachusetts), Gosselin discusses the importance of a direct line of communication between CEOs and the State’s equivalent of a “CEO”: the Governor. He recounts the recent efforts of Governor Dannel Malloy on this score:

Since taking office in early January, Malloy has been visiting employers around the state, including Electric Boat, Travelers, Aetna, CIGNA and several manufacturers including United Technologies Corp. — and he has been struck by some of the reaction that he is getting.

“Almost every time I speak to someone in the business community, they say, ‘We’re talking to you, the governor? Wow.'” Malloy said.

Malloy’s message to business executives has been direct: The state needs to get its fiscal house in order, answer questions quickly from business and streamline the process for obtaining licenses and permits.

“We have to constantly be doing all we can to help create another job,” he said.

The article continues:

CEOs expect to deal with executives at the same level at other companies, and that goes for the state of Connecticut, said Matthew Nemerson, the [Connecticut Technology Council’s] president.

“The culture is, ‘at our level we deal with CEOs,'” Nemerson said. “In state government, that’s the governor. So that’s the game.”

Nemerson said it’s crucial for the governor to build relationships with business executives before a company faces a crisis or an expansion — so the CEO is comfortable picking up the telephone and calling the governor.

ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative Presenting at Annual Meeting

The CBA isn’t the only organization interested in promoting interest and knowledge in the rule of law. Our sister organization, the American Bar Association, started a Rule of Law Initiative.

The ABA’s ROLI (as it is called) has a robust website and even a Facebook page to visit.

ABA's Rule of Law Initiative

For those attending the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Toronto this weekend, the ROLI has put together a notable program on the role of lawyers during times of transition: “Lessons from Mexico and the Middle East”.

It features Mr. Samir Annabi, Director of Tunisia’s Higher Institute for the Education of Lawyers, who will speak about the ongoing social and political transition in the Middle East, and Mr. Gerardo Nieto, President of Mexican Corporate Counsel Association, who will discuss Mexico’s transition to an adversarial legal system.

Attendees of the program will also get to watch a new documentary. A sneak peak is down below. Further videos can be found at the ROLI’s YouTube channel.…