I’ll be getting my LSAT scores at some point in the next 48 hours. And man, I am shitting bricks right now.

In a lot of ways, I feel similar to how I felt just before getting my SAT score back. But it’s also very, very different.

I was nervous back then, but I really didn’t have to be. Regardless of my score on the test, I knew that I had a minimal chance of getting into Harvard or Yale. Realistically, whether I scored a 2100 or a 1200, my choice was always going to be between U of T and Queen’s. In other words, that test could not have had a significant impact on my life, regardless of how well I did on it.

The LSAT, on the other hand, is largely what is going to determine my options for the upcoming three years. I’m casting my net wide this time. Rather than applying to just three schools (plus Harvard and Yale, to which I didn’t have a realistic chance anyhow), I’m going after about 12 schools this time in both Canada and the U.K.

Why the U.K.? Well, since the Canadian legal system is based on the British legal system, it’s relatively easy to make the switch between the two. Or so I’ve been told. Yeah, it’d require an extra year of school were I to return to Canada afterward, but that’s a small price to pay for expanding my options both now and in the future.

The crown jewel for me is U of T. If I get accepted here, it will be very difficult to turn down that offer. The catch is that there’s no guarantee that I’m going to get in. My chances of getting in are probably about 35% right now, though that will change depending on what my LSAT score is. If I get rejected, that’s going to be hard on me. I’ve never been rejected by any school that I had a reasonable chance of getting into. It just hasn’t happened to me. But there’s a very good chance that U of T will break my heart and be the first. If that happens, my situation will get a whole lot murkier, and will make the U of T/Queen’s debate of 2009 seem insignificant by comparison.

No doubt the stress over my decision-making process will be the subject of many blogs in the months to come, much as it was in 2009. But that’s a subject for the future.

My point for the moment is that depending on what LSAT score I see tomorrow, my options for next year will change dramatically. Depending on what number I see, I might have twelve options, or I might have two. And that’s a little scary. That in itself is something else that’s new about this whole LSAT thing – I’m scared of it.

Go back as far as you’d like in my personal history. The EQAO. The PACE. The SSAT. The SAT. All of those tests had one thing in common. They didn’t scare me. I knew that I was going to do reasonably well on them, and I went in with a confident, almost cocky, attitude.

But the LSAT was a different beast. It intimidated me. I was afraid of it – particularly that damned Logic Games section. I didn’t go in with my usual swagger. And if Thursday comes and I see a poor score, I’m just going to be even more intimidated by it in December when I take it again. Hopefully that isn’t the case, but at this point I’m not confident.

Basically, here’s my scale:

  • If my score is below 155, I’ll be distraught, and I’ll be taking the LSAT again on December 1st.
  • If my score is between 155 and 160, I’ll be unhappy, and I’ll be taking the LSAT again on December 1st.
  • If my score is between 160 and 165, I’ll be content, but I’ll still be taking the LSAT again.
  • If my score is between 165 and 170, I’ll be happy, and I may or may not take the LSAT again.
  • If, by some incredible miracle, my score is above 170, then I’m streaking down Yonge street. And not taking the LSAT again.

Realistically, I expect to be in the 155-165 range. If I’m below that, God help me, and if I’m above that, well, awesome. But even within that small range there’s a wide range of emotions. A 155 is useless, and won’t get you in anywhere. A 165 is great, and will get you into the majority of law schools.

I’ll find out by Thursday afternoon. Until then, I’m a bag of nerves.