Glossary of Admissions Terms

Updated 2024

Here's a glossary of some of the most common law school admissions-related acronyms, abbreviations, and terminology!

Law School Admissions Glossary of Common Terms & Acronyms

0L: prospective law student
1L: first year law student
2L: second year law student
3L: third year law student (note: traditional full-time JD programs are typically three years long)
$: approx. 1/4 tuition scholarship or lower
$$: approx. half tuition scholarship
$$$: approx. 3/4 tuition scholarship
$$$$: full tuition scholarship or higher
ABA: the American Bar Association
Adcomm/Adcom: admissions officer (short for “admissions committee”)
ASD: Admitted Students Day
ASW: Admitted Students Weekend
Bar: (1) a professional membership organization (either national, the ABA, or state-specific) required to practice law in the United States; (2) the test required to be admitted to that organization; or (3) a place to purchase and imbibe alcoholic beverages, often after the LSAT
Bibles: PowerScore LSAT study guides
Biglaw: large law firms employing 250+ attorneys, which typically follow a market standard model of compensation, with salaries for first-year associates earning salaries of $225,000 as of 2024
CAS: LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (generates transcript summary reports, calculates standardized cumulative GPA, collects and organizes letters of recommendation)
CCN: Columbia, Chicago, NYU
Cycle: admission period in which applications are submitted and decisions rendered; essentially your admissions calendar year (e.g. 2023-2024 cycle)
Ding: denial from a law school
DS: diversity statement, or similar essays having to do with perspective, background, and identity
ED: early decision (typically binding)
Experimental Section: the section of the LSAT that is not scored and is used instead by LSAC for data purposes; test-takers do not know which of their sections is experimental at the time of the test
GRE: the Graduate Record Examination; an alternate test to the LSAT that an increasing number of law schools are allowing for law school admissions
HTE: "hold tight" email
HYS: Harvard, Yale, Stanford
IP: intellectual property (law)
JD: Juris Doctor (law degree)
KJD: one who is applying straight out of undergrad; one who went from “kindergarten to law school” without a break for full-time work experience
Law Review: a publication produced by law schools that features law-related articles and research; typically editorial membership is highly competitive and based on a writing competition, law school grades, or both
Law Revue: a comedy musical production put on by many students at law schools each spring
LG: Logic Games (or Analytical Reasoning) section of the LSAT, set to be removed from the test starting in August 2024
LOCI: letter of continued interest, typically sent after being waitlisted at a law school
LOR: letter of recommendation
LR: the Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT
LSAC: the Law School Admissions Council
LSAT: the Law School Admissions Test
LSD: Law School Data, repository of admissions data and results
LST: Law School Transparency, a website owned by LSAC that includes information about law schools, including employment data
Medians: a school’s median uGPA and LSAT
OCI: on-campus interviews (typically for "biglaw" positions)
Non-Traditional or Non-Trad: an applicant who is at least several years out from undergrad when applying to law school; often one who has made significant career strides prior to attending law school
PI: public interest law
PS: personal statement
PT: LSAT practice test
RC: Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT
Reverse Splitter: an applicant who is above a school’s median GPA, but below that school’s LSAT (of note, applicants came up with this phrase and the accompanying term “splitter”)
Softs: “soft” factors; i.e. any component of a law school application apart from LSAT and uGPA
Splitter: an applicant who is above a school’s LSAT and below a school’s GPA (“splitter” historically meant splitting either LSAT or GPA until applicants created the term “reverse splitter”)
Stats: LSAT and uGPA
T1: Tier one schools according to the U.S. News rankings (1-50)
T2: Tier 2 (50-100) law schools
T3: Tier 3 (100-150) law schools
T4: Tier 4 (below 150) law schools
T6: Top 6 law schools
T14: Top 14 law schools (typically referring to the historically consistent 14 schools that have most frequently occupied the top 14 spots)
Target Medians: LSAT and uGPA goals that a school is aiming for throughout the cycle, e.g. even if a school's LSAT median for the previous class was a 168, you may still be below their "target median" with a 168 if they are aiming for a 169 this year
TTT: derogatory reference to 3rd and 4th tier law schools
UG: undergrad
uGPA: undergraduate GPA
Unicorn: an applicant with exceptionally outstanding “softs” (see above), e.g. Olympic athlete, Rhodes scholar, etc.
URM: underrepresented minority applicant
USNWR: U.S. News and World Report, publisher of the most prominent law school rankings
V10/V100: the top 10/100 law firms in the country, as ranked by Vault
Why Statement/Why X: generally one-page essay on why you have applied and would like to attend a certain school (an offspring of Yield Protection)
WL: waitlist
YP: yield protection, or the process by which admissions offices may WL, hold, or deny an application under the notion that they probably wouldn't attend if admitted (a less common practice now than it has been in the past in law school admissions)