Pre-Law

Applying to Law School

Overview

Law school admission committees rely heavily on two parts of your application: undergraduate grades and scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Still, there are other imporat parts of your application, which include letters of recommendation, extra-curricular activities, distinctive experiences, and personal statement. Those who demonstrate excellence as undergraduate students are more likely to be admitted to law schools than applicants whose academic performance has been less distinguished. The standards for admission vary, of course, depending on the law school.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website has many resources that are worth consulting throughout the application process. This website provides valuable information about applying to law school and is your portal for signing up for the LSAT and the LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS), a dossier service that compiles your LSAT score report, transcripts, recommendation letters and evaluations into one report that is sent to the law schools to which you are applying.

Timeline for Applying to Law School

For those planning to go directly to law school after college, the timeline below offers suggestions for you as you move through your time at Fort Lewis College. You should begin preparing for admission to law school well before you apply. This schedule identifies several things to do at various stages. Appropriate adjustments may be made for those not planning to go directly from college to law school.

Fall of Junior Year, or Sooner

  • Begin identifying and creating relationships with professors who can write you informed and thoughtful letters of recommendation
  • Consult various resources in order to decide whether or not a career in law is appropriate for you

Spring of Junior Year

  • Get the Official Guide to US Law Schools.
  • Register for the June LSAT (or wait to take it in October).
  • Prepare for the LSAT.
  • Subscribe to CAS (they will send your transcripts, LSAT scores, and recommendation letters (optional) to the schools you request).

Summer before Senior Year

  • Take the June LSAT (or wait to take it in October).
  • Receive your score report electronically about three weeks after taking the test.
  • Start drafting your personal statement.
  • Think about whom you'll be asking for recommendations.
  • Make a list of schools you'll be applying to, using tools such as those at LSAC's website.
  • Register for the October LSAT if you'll be taking that test.

 Early Fall of Senior Year (A Year Before you plan to Enroll in Law School)

  • Familiarize yourself with the applications as you receive them.
  • Make a checklist and schedule for each application. Use the electronic applications available through CAS and your LSAC account.
  • Send transcript request forms to all undergraduate and graduate schools you've attended.
  • Line up your recommendation writers. Give them the specific information they will need to write a letter of recommendation for you.
  • Revise your personal statement. Tailor it to specific essay topics, if any, on individual applications.

Mid-Fall of Senior Year

  • Finalize your personal statements.
  • Finalize electronic applications.
  • Keep complete copies of all law school application records throughout the admission cycle and law school, as some state bar associations inquire about the law school admission records of those seeking admission to the bar.
  • Check on the status of letters of recommendation.
  • Take the October LSAT (for those doing so).
  • Receive your score report electronically about three weeks after taking the test.
  • Submit your applications electronically.

Late Fall

  • Check a final time on the status of letters of recommendation. Follow up with writers, if necessary.
  • Log into LSAC account to check on the status of your application process. Make sure the CAS has your complete file.

Spring of Senior Year

  • Periodically log into your LSAC account to make sure your file is complete and current.
  • Wait for letters of acceptance from law schools.
  • Decide which offer, if any, to accept.
  • Send in acceptance.
  • Apply for financial aid, if eligible.