Applying this Fall/Winter to go to law school next Fall? Here’s your checklist:
- Sign up for/take the LSAT if you haven’t taken it already
- LSAT dates for this application season:
- September 8th -- this is historically the most popular test date
- November 17th -- this is pretty late for a first attempt
- January 26th -- this is the last test many schools will accept for fall admissions
- Register for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and pay the fees
- This is a service provided by the LSAC that collects and distributes your personal statement(s), resume, undergraduate transcripts, LSAT score, and letters of recommendation. It is required by almost all ABA-approved law schools, so consider it mandatory for law schools in the United States. Before you apply, you'll upload all of your documents to the CAS, and you can select which documents will be sent to each school that you're planning to apply to.
- Submit all undergrad + graduate transcripts to CAS
- Submit 2 Letters of recommendation to CAS
- Research law schools and start compiling a list
- LSAC has a handy Law School Guide where you can input your LSAT score and GPA and see how you compare to the other applicants at a particular school
- Using your GPA and LSAT scores, start sorting programs into reach, match, and safety
- Take into account school atmosphere and location as well! Too often people get way too caught up in rankings and ignore other important factors that will affect their experience
- Talk to your pre-law adviser when school starts to solidify your choices once school starts
- Don’t forget to ask your adviser about early decision options!
- Revise your resume
- Make sure it is flawless - NO typographical errors or inconsistent dates
- Get as many people as you can (especially those with with hiring experience) to review it
- Write your personal statement
- Sort your list of law schools, and collect additional essay and due date information
- A google spreadsheet or an Excel doc can be really useful for organization
Here is a sample Excel sheet that we made by researching schools on the LSAC Law School Guide. It even has a “likelihood” chart by the schools once you put your own stats in. Make sure to personalize your own list with factors that sense to you. Color coding can also be extremely useful, and as you can see here, we’ve color coded the schools according to whether it was a safety, match, or reach school.
- Decide whether to write any optional essays, such as an addendum or a diversity statement
- Pay all of the fees and submit all your applications!
Do you want a PDF version to print and save? Download here