Persuasive writing skills are key to law school success. Law school faculty care about their students’ ability to organize evidence into a position and argue logically in writing that is structurally sound. In fact, in LSAC’s most recent LSAT Skills Analysis Study, law school faculty identified these writing skills as among the top 10 skills needed for success in law school.
LSAT Writing is included in the LSAT® to give law school candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their persuasive writing skills. Although LSAT Writing samples don’t receive a score, they are considered by law school admission committees when reviewing individuals’ applications. Each law school uses LSAT Writing in its own way. However, most law schools view LSAT Writing samples as an integral part of their admission decisions.
LSAT Writing is a proctored, on-demand writing exam that is administered online using secure proctoring software that is installed on the candidate’s computer.
LSAC’s approach to this section has shortened the LSAT test day and provides more flexibility for candidates taking the exam by letting them complete the writing portion at a convenient time and place of their choosing. LSAT Writing opens eight (8) days prior to every test administration. Candidates must have a complete writing sample in their file in order to see their LSAT score or have their score released to schools.
LSAT Writing uses the same decision-prompt structure that schools and candidates are already familiar with from previous LSAT administrations. This structure is specifically designed to elicit the kind of argumentative writing that candidates will be expected to produce in law school. Candidates will still be given 35 minutes to write an essay in response to the prompt that is presented to them.
Quick Facts about LSAT Writing
Take a Practice Writing Prompt
Through your free LSAC LawHub account, you have access to an official Writing Sample Practice Prompt that can help you prepare for exam day. This writing prompt was part of a real LSAT administration in 2016 and is representative of the kind of prompts currently used in the LSAT Writing assessment. You can use this prompt to get familiar with both the content and the interface of the LSAT Writing exam.
You can sign into LawHub with your LSAC username and password.
Through our deep commitment to disability rights, LSAC will continue to address the needs of all individuals with disabilities who require testing accommodations. We will make every effort to ensure all individuals are able to fully demonstrate their skills when they take the LSAT and LSAT Writing.
Learn How to Verify Your ID on Exam Day
To begin your LSAT Writing exam, you’ll need to take a photo of your valid, government-issued photo ID. Please ensure that the photo of your ID is clear and recognizable. Images of IDs that are blurry, out of focus, or unrecognizable will not be accepted and your writing sample will be canceled. Please review the image of your ID on your screen for clarity before capturing the image.
Frequently Asked Questions About Testing
How do I register for LSAT Writing?
One administration of LSAT Writing is included in your LSAT registration. By registering for the LSAT, you will be automatically eligible to complete the writing section as of eight (8) days before you take the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT. You can access LSAT Writing from your LSAC online account.
NOTE: The LSAT registration fee includes both the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT and LSAT Writing. There are no additional fees associated with LSAT Writing.
When can I take LSAT Writing?
Candidates are eligible to take LSAT Writing starting eight (8) days prior to their LSAT administration. For your LSAT to be considered complete, you will need to take the LSAT Writing section of the test if you do not already have a writing sample on file from a previous LSAT administration. Most law schools require a writing sample as an integral part of their admission decision, and therefore, you should take the writing sample immediately to meet schools’ application deadlines. Your writing sample will be shared with you and the law schools to which you have applied as soon as it is complete. Candidates will be required to have a completed writing sample in their file in order to see their test score or have their score released to law schools.
How long do I have to complete LSAT Writing?
Candidates will be given 35 minutes to write an essay in response to the prompt that is presented to them.
If you do not have a writing sample on file, we encourage you to complete LSAT Writing as soon as you can. LSAT Writing opens eight (8) days prior to every test administration. Candidates must have a complete writing sample in their file in order to see their score or have their score released to schools. Most law schools require a writing sample as an integral part of their admission decision, and therefore, you should take the writing sample immediately to meet schools’ application deadlines.
In case you are not applying in the current cycle, please note you have a maximum of a year to take LSAT Writing. For questions, please contact LSAC’s Candidate Services team at LSACinfo@LSAC.org or 1.800.336.3982.
What can I use to write notes since scratch paper is prohibited?
Unlike the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT, physical scratch paper and writing utensils are not permitted during the standard administration of LSAT Writing. Instead, the LSAT Writing interface includes a built-in, digital “Scratch Paper” section where you’ll be able to type notes, instead of writing them on a physical piece of scratch paper.
How is test security managed for LSAT Writing?
The secure proctoring platform uses input from the webcam, microphone, and screen of the candidate’s own computer to ensure that the writing sample is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate is not receiving any inappropriate assistance.
Prior to the exam, candidates will complete a video check-in process. As part of the check-in process, candidates will be required to clearly display a physical, valid government-issued photo ID issued by the United States of America, U.S. Territories, Canada, or Australia or an international passport for the camera to capture. This image must not be blurry or out of focus. Candidates will also be required to show their workspace using their webcam, to ensure that only permissible items are in that space. The room will be scanned to make sure no other people or prohibited items are in the room. Candidates who require additional items in their workspace due to a disability may seek appropriate accommodations through the standard procedures for requesting testing accommodations.
The proctoring software will automatically close any messaging, word-processing, or web-browsing applications before the exam begins and prevent such applications from being opened during the exam.
Audio and video from every testing session will be reviewed by trained proctors.
Please review the Test and Test-Taker Security FAQs for more information.