Western Law Admissions Response to COVID-19

We appreciate there may be some uncertainty among applicants as to how we will assess applications in light of changes to universities’ grading policies for the winter 2020 term, and in light of the LSAT-Flex.  The following is intended to clarify this for you, depending on whether you are a first-year applicant, Western combined-degree applicant, an upper-year applicant, or will be applying to Western Law in the future. 

LSAT-Flex

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) introduced the LSAT-Flex – an online remotely-proctored condensed version of the traditional LSAT – to address the COVID-19 challenges associated with traditional LSAT administration. When reviewing applications we will treat LSAT-Flex scores as comparable to traditional LSAT scores. For further information on the LSAT-Flex, please visit the LSAC website

First-Year Applicants

You may have studied at an institution that implemented a pass/fail (P/F) or credit/no credit (CR/NCR) model for the winter 2020 term, or some variation of that, on an optional or mandatory basis.  Alternatively, you may have had the option to receive grades on an aegrotat basis, or delay your final examination until a future date.  Please be aware that performance in one semester, standing alone, rarely “makes or breaks” an application considering the weight we place on other factors as part of our holistic admissions process.   Rest assured that, with respect to your winter 2020 courses:

  • you will not be disadvantaged in the application process if your institution mandated a P/F or CR/NCR model;
  • we will not draw an adverse inference if you elected the P/F or CR/NCR model, where that election was offered (for one or more courses);
  • if you elected to receive grades (where that election was available), or you received aegrotat grades, we will include them in our assessment of your academic performance;
  • if a final grade was deferred until a final exam or other evaluation is completed in the future, then we may include that course in our assessment this year.

We recognize the COVID-19 challenges some students faced and we will take that into consideration.  If you experienced an extraordinary or unusual challenge relating to COVID-19 for which you are seeking special consideration, you should consider applying as an Access applicant.

Western Combined-Degree Applicants

The application deadline is May 1.  Our response to COVID-19 issues that may have impacted your law school application are covered under “First-Year Applicants”, above.  Please review that information in detail.  Information relating to the OLSAS portal does not apply to you because you will apply to us directly.  Please visit our Combined Undergraduate Applications webpage for more information on the application process.  We will be receiving all applications via regular mail or email during the 2021 cycle.

If you experienced an extraordinary or unusual challenge relating to COVID-19 that you would like us to consider, you may submit an additional paragraph in your personal statement (not to exceed 1000 characters), with supporting documentation where applicable (e.g., medical).    

Upper-Year Applicants

The OLSAS deadline for upper-year applications is May 1.  Our response to COVID-19 issues that may have impacted your law school application are covered under “First-Year Applicants”, above.  Please review that information in detail.

We recognize the challenges some students may have faced as a result of COVID-19 and we will be taking that into consideration.  If you experienced an extraordinary or unusual challenge relating to COVID-19 that you would like us to consider, you may submit an addendum to your application in a Word or PDF file (not to exceed 1000 characters), with supporting documentation where applicable (e.g., medical), through the Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) tool in the OLSAS portal.

Future Applicants

We recognize that different universities had different options for evaluation and assessment in the winter 2020 term, including implementing a pass/fail (P/F) or credit/no credit (CR/NCR) model, on a mandatory or optional basis.  Alternatively, you may have had the option to receive grades on an aegrotat basis, or delay your final examination until a future date.  If you are still in university and planning to apply to law school in the future, we recognize this reality, which was beyond your control.  

Please be aware that performance in one semester, standing alone, rarely “makes or breaks” an application considering the weight we place on other factors as part of our holistic admissions process.   Rest assured that, with respect to your winter 2020 courses:

  • you will not be disadvantaged in the application process in the future if your institution mandated a P/F or CR/NCR model;
  • we will not draw an adverse inference if you elected the P/F or CR/NCR model, where that election was offered (for one or more courses); 
  • if you elected to receive grades (where that election is available), or you received aegrotat grades, we will include them in our assessment of your academic performance;
  • if a final grade was deferred until a final exam or other evaluation was completed in the future, then we will expect to see that grade on your transcript and it will be included our assessment.

Please be aware that since a GPA cannot be attributed to “pass” or “credit” notations on a transcript using the OLSAS grade conversion table, those courses cannot be included in the calculation of your GPA (cumulative or “Last 2”) for the purpose of our future assessment of your undergraduate performance.

Status of Free LSAT Prep Course for Black, Indigenous, and Low-Income Students

Our in-person LSAT Preparation Course for Black, Indigenous, and Low-Income students provides an introduction to the LSAT that familiarizes participants with all aspects of the test. The course also includes four full-length practice tests administered under realistic testing conditions.  This free course is offered with the support of the Law School Admission Council and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. 

Due to COVID-19 we were not able to offer this course in the summer of 2020, but we will be offering it in the winter of 2021.  Please visit law.uwo.ca/lsatprep for more information and to register.