The LSAT Enters the Digital Age

Mia Carpiniello, Associate Director

After 71 years, LSAT-takers will put down their #2 pencils for good. Starting this summer, the Law School Admission Test will transition from a paper-and-pencil test to a digital exam administered on the Microsoft Surface Go tablet. To familiarize applicants with the digital format, the Law School Admission Council has created a Digital LSAT Tutorial. In addition, there is an extensive list of FAQs about the digital LSAT on LSAC’s website.

When is this High-Tech Change Happening?

The first digital exam will be administered at the July 2019 test when approximately half of test-takers will be assigned the tablet test and half will be assigned the traditional pencil-and-paper test. After July, all exams will be digital.

To accommodate this transition with the July 2019 LSAT, those who take the July test will be given the opportunity to cancel the test after viewing their score. (Normally, you can only cancel a test before receiving a score.) If a July test-taker decides to cancel their score, they may take one additional LSAT through April 2020. Note that as with all cancellations, a July 2019 cancelled score will be reported to the law schools as a cancelled test.

Beginning in September 2019, all LSAT exams administered in North America will be digital.

What About the Writing Sample?

You might be wondering how the writing sample – the unscored, written section of the LSAT – will be affected by this transition to digital format. This section is changing in two ways starting with the June 3, 2019 test – so even before the digital LSAT is introduced. First, as you probably already guessed, the writing section will no longer be hand-written. Test-takers will now type their essays in a secure, online platform. Second, the writing sample will no longer be administered on test day. Instead, test-takers will complete the writing sample on a computer or laptop on their own, up to one year after their LSAT test date. For more information on the writing sample, check out these FAQs.

If you want advice about when to take the LSAT, we’re here to help! Schedule a pre-law advising appointment through Handshake or by calling our office at 215-898-1789.

Getting Up Close and Personal with Beijing

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Kimberly Batista, WH ’20

Kimberly Batista in Beijing

When I first arrived, it seemed neither I nor my coworkers really knew what to expect for this experience but we were aware it would be a learning period for all of us. Without knowing the language, they weren’t sure how much I could offer but I made efforts to showcase my willingness to learn and to contribute. It first started with small editing and proofreading assignments but as I learned more about what the company was involved with, I too asked to be more involved.

As a public relations company, Porter Novelli is involved with many aspects of their clients interactions with the media. One of my coworkers was working on planning an event for Western Digital and I helped brainstorm ideas and set up a detailed proposal. The other was involving a media crisis regarding an action by one international client that caused a negative reaction in the Chinese market so I helped monitor the response and draft a report. Another of my coworkers was in charge of helping to coordinate a conference and accommodate the US delegates that had been invited, amongst them was a former ambassador and the chief operating officer of an entertainment company. As I helped sort out the delegates flight information and created a briefing book for them to have information about the conference, I became interested and asked if I could attend and help make sure things run smoothly. The conference was about small and medium enterprises in China with the goal of growing globally and it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the Chinese business culture and different industries. As a global conference I also got to hear from delegates of other countries and learn more about China’s trade relations. The conference took place at the Beijing Yanqi Lake International Conference Resort and also gave me the opportunity to step outside the center of Beijing and see some of the countryside.

During this time, I also have gotten to grow closer with my coworkers. Although I am the only intern among more seasoned professionals, my coworkers have made efforts to ensure that I feel welcomed and included. I’ve developed mentorship relationships with them and have gotten to hear about their career paths and development, as they’ve offered me advice on discovering and showcasing my strengths and confidence. This has helped me not just in the workplace but also in taking steps to get more involved and adapting to the culture here, giving me the confidence to eat jellyfish, share my personal bubble with people in the packed subway, and hike up the Great Wall. Through all these explorations and new experiences, I can definitely say I’ve gotten up close and personal with Beijing and it has shown me new aspects of myself.

End of (Spring) Semester quickly approaching – still figuring out Summer 2019 plans?

Kevin Haines, Associate Director

Now that you’re back from Spring Break, I’m sure that you’re feeling like the pressure is on to complete the semester and get ready for summer 2019. Many students have figured out their summer plans already, whether they have an internship, a full-time job, or simply have the luxury of relaxing before entering into a job in the real world. Regardless of their plans, if you haven’t found the perfect internship yet, or are still not sure what you are doing this summer – that’s OKAY! It’s easy (and normal) to feel stressed after you hear that all your friends received offers from companies all over the world. Good for them – be happy for them! Just because you haven’t found something yet doesn’t mean it’s too late. Last year, we had students find summer internships as late as May. Yes, of course this isn’t “ideal,” but don’t worry – Career Services is here to help guide you. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan the remaining days of the spring 2019 semester and to help you land an internship/job:

  • Update your Resume and Cover Letter
    • If you haven’t already had Career Services review your resume and cover letter, do so ASAP. Even if Career Services looked at your resume last semester, it’s always a good idea to have another look at it, especially if you’ve updated it since last semester.
  • Network
    • One of the first things I ask students in advising meetings is “have you started networking yet?” It can seem awkward and silly at first to reach out to a random person/Penn alum, but, take that thought and throw it away. Networking has become one of the key ingredients for job success. Tap into your network and see who you know, or who you know who knows someone who knows someone else. Yes, networking is an ongoing, sometimes long process, but in the end, it will help you more than if you didn’t network at all. By cultivating networking relationships, you’re helping your future self in the internship/job search, while also meeting new people. So, take a look at LinkedIn and QuakerNet, because there are people waiting to hear from you!
  • Utilize Job Search Sites
    • LinkedIn, CareerShift, Indeed, Handshake, etc. There are tons of websites to help narrow down your search. One main resource is the Career Services website: “What Do Penn Students Do?” and “Resources by Career Field” are two sections of the website that showcase companies where students have gotten internships/jobs at in the past and also additional links to websites specific to majors. Check them out – you never know what you might find!
    • Yes, .co, not .com. Not sure if you have the required skills/experience for a job? Try using to see what percentage your resume matches the job description. If you’ve never signed up before, you get 5 free trials (10 additional for each time you refer someone to the website!). Copy and paste your resume on the left and then the job posting that you’re interested in on the right, and will scan your resume to see how much of a match you are for the job. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a low percentage – highlights sections you might be missing that you may have experience in that will help move your resume up above others. You do NOT need a 100% match – even if you just get your resume to be a 60% match – that’s still really good! Try using some of their suggestions, but make sure you are being 100% honest in all that you’re including on your resume.

Remember – don’t compare yourself to others. This is very important and you should remind yourself of this should you feel yourself thinking “well how come I don’t have an internship yet?” You have your OWN path. And whatever you choose will be just right.

CS Radio – Episode 83: “Opening Lines”

Networking is an essential part of career development and exploration, but it can often feel intimidating to dive right in to conversations with people you may not know. This week, Michael and Mylène review some great opening lines to use in “blind” networking…and some not so great ones too. Enjoy!

  Show Notes

Prouder of Who I Am Than I Have Ever Been

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Valerie J. Toledo, COL ’19

This summer, while interning at d’expósito & Partners I realized not only a love for the advertising industry, but for the Hispanic advertising industry.

d’expósito & Partners is a Hispanic advertising agency both inside and out. Walking into work every morning felt like entering the home of a relative. It was as if someone had bottled up my native Miami and placed it there for me to enjoy. Pero likesand Dales flew around the office in every conversation, Hellos and Goodbyes were always accompanied by besitos, and one of my supervisors wore the same guayaberas to office parties that my Abuelito wears to his job interviews. We referred to each other as d’familia in emails, and World Cup matches were streamed during internal meetings (albeit silently). It was a place to intern, but it was also a temporary home for a young Cuban woman who felt overwhelmingly alone in New York City.

Dex was a comfortable place to work, but it was by no means lethargic. Like at any advertising agency, hard work is a constant, and they manage high stakes deals and clients with high standards. There’s just no need to hide behind a practiced accent or stoic American expression. Because their clients depend on them to provide Hispanic insight and check that messages aren’t tone deaf, they don’t have to change who they are to gain clients’ respect.

In addition to the intrinsic cultural insight that comes from being Hispanic, there is the Hispanic or Latino work ethic. Most of us are immigrants, or our parents are, and so we were raised to understand the meaning of sacrifice and of perseverance in every situation. Everyone at Dex puts their best foot forward because it is second nature to them, and in doing so are proving to our challengers that , Latinos hacen buen trabajo. In my opinion, the work ethic exhibited by that agency inspires those in the industry, and I know it attracts other minorities who have the same understanding of what it means to struggle for something. 

On a more technical level, this internship at Dex taught me that within the Hispanic advertising industry, strategy is the trade I want to learn, a craft that marries research with creative thinking. Because I speak the language and know the customs, gaining insights that will lead to creating effective Hispanic marketing strategy won’t be as difficult as task as it might be for someone who doesn’t have those same experiences that I do. While I know that it’s important to step back from my own personal experiences in order to be objective, I also know that these experiences can equate to a form of cultural common sense.

Estoy orgullosa. I’m prouder of who I am than I have ever been, and I attribute that to this summer. My trademark Cuban loudness is not vulgar, it is what enables me to speak up in a meeting. My socioeconomic status is not a disadvantage, but a privilege when I consider how it has forced me to manage resources carefully and be sensitive to others. My bicultural identity does not make me foreign to the way things are, but rather, opens up doors of opportunity and visions of the way things could be. I hope to return to the world of Hispanic advertising after I graduate, because in that world, being myself is an asset.