Terminology and slang

Commonly used slang and terminology used by law school applicants. Missing a term? Have a question/suggestion?


A law school applicant. 0L is what comes before 1L.


First year law student. Popularized by the book One L, by Scott Turrow.


Second year law student.


Third year law student.


Third year law student that is LOLing her way through the final year of law school, because she locked down a job offer during her 2L summer.

25/50/75th percentile#

Refers to the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles of a school's matriculated (i.e. actually attending, not merely admitted) class. Can be used for GPA or LSAT. For example, an LSAT 75th percentile of 169 means that 75% of the class has an LSAT score at or below 169.

ABA 509 report#

This refers to law school info and disclosures required by the American Bar Association. The reports contain a lot of very useful information, such as class sizes, acceptance rates, conditional scholarship grant rates, GPA/LSAT, and more.

You can find the reports here. For a detailed breakdown of ABA 509s, read more here.


Cost of Living. All the costs associated with going to law school, excluding tuition.


When your application has been marked as complete by the law school admissions office. This means that all your materials have been received and your app is complete and ready for review. Also known as going complete.


Short for 'application cycle'. Refers to the period during which law school apps are submitted and considered. Generally starts in September and ends in April of the following year, although waitlisted applicants may not receive a final decision until late summer or fall (right before school starts).


Synonym for being rejected. E.g. "I was dinged by YLS yesterday."


Synonym for being rejected. E.g. "I was donged by YLS yesterday."

Fee waiver#

Application fee waiver. Fee waivers may be either need or merit-based. To receive an unsolicited fee waiver, you must opt into LSAC's CRS (Candidate Referral Service). You may also contact schools to request a fee waivers. If you do this, make sure you've already opted-in to CRS, and don't be annoying or pushy about it.

Going red#

When there has been a change in your application status. When the LSData's automated status checker detects a change in an application's status, the text will turn red, hence "going red".


Your application is too strong to be immediately waitlisted but is unusual or not strong enough to be accepted. Because the school has not committed to a decision deadline and has many other applicants to pick and choose from, it is advantageous for the school to "hold" the application for further review and comparison.


See KJ1. The previous dean of admissions at HLS was Jessica Soban, hence the initials JS. No longer used.


Refers to receiving an interview invite (KJ1) or acceptance (KJ2) from HLS. The current dean of admissions at HLS is Kristi Jobson, hence the initials KJ.


Kindergarten to JD. An applicant that applies to law school directly out of college with no work experience.

Reverse splitter#

Similar to a splitter, but with GPA and LSAT reversed: An applicant whose GPA is above the school's median (50th percentile) and whose LSAT is below the median.


UChicago's coveted Rubenstein scholarship. Full tuition plus $20k annual stipend.

Scholarships $$$$#

The amount of money that you received as a scholarship. Each $ is equivalent to 25% tuition (excludes CoL).

  • $ = 25% scholarship
  • $$ = 50% scholarship
  • $$$ = 75% scholarship
  • $$$$ = full ride
  • $$$$+ = full ride + stipend.


The counterpart to an app's hard stats. The soft, unquantifiable part of your application that sets you apart from others. This includes life experiences, accomplishments, hardships overcome, and more. Technically includes everything in your app apart from your stats, but when used colloquially, it usually excludes personal statements and recommendation letters. E.g. "I had strong recs, a https://docs.lawschooldata.org/school-graphs#applicant-tableskiller PS, and T1 softs but I still got donged by YLS."

Soft tiers#

Refers to T1, T2, T3, and T4 soft tiers. Read more here.


An applicant whose LSAT is above the school's median (50th percentile) and whose GPA is below the median.


An applicant's uGPA and test scores (usually LSAT). Counterpart to an app's softs.

Super splitter#

An applicant with an LSAT above the school's 75th percentile and GPA below the school's 25th percentile.


This can mean either tier 3 schools (USNWR rank 105-139) or the top 3 law schools as ranked by USNWR: Yale, Stanford, and Harvard. Referred to as the T3 because it's always the same 3 schools, year after year.


The top 6 law schools as ranked by USNWR. See the ranking page for the exact ranks.


The top 14 law schools as ranked by USNWR. See the ranking page for the exact ranks. Referred to as the T14 because it's always the same 14 schools, year after year.


The top 25 law schools as ranked by USNWR. See the ranking page for the exact ranks.


A batch of admissions results released by a school is called a wave. For example, "Will there be an HLS A wave today?" refers to a batch Harvard acceptances being released today.


Slang for the third (rank 105-139)/fourth tier(139+) in the USNWR rankings. Originally a derogatory initialism of "Third Tier Toilet".


Slang for the fourth tier in the USNWR rankings.


UR stands for under review, when the admissions office has begun reviewing your application. This is usually accompanied by a date change in your status checker. When your app is already UR and the date changes again, this is known as UR2 and likely means that your application is being reviewed by a second source.


Under Represented Minority. URM status is usually considered as a boost when considering an applicant. What races are considered to be URM differs by school, but American Indian and Black/African American are almost always considered to have URM status. Different URM statuses are valued differently by admissions committees.


US News and World Report, an organization that publishes the most prestigious set of law school rankings. USNWR rankings and methodology has a strong influence on the admissions decisions of most law schools. For example, USNWR highly weights median LSAT in their ranking, leading some schools to flatly deny applicants below a certain LSAT score.