Unlike medical school, there are no prerequisites for law school so selecting a major can be particularly hard. In fact, The American Bar Association itself does not advocate any undergraduate majors or group of courses to get ready for a legal education.
Pick a major with a higher degree of law school approval. Think about majoring in philosophy, economics or journalism, in a recent review of information from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) those majors have a high rate of acceptance.
Think twice about prelaw. While the name seems to propose that it would be a good path to follow on your way to law school, not every person concurs. Make sure to notice how much of the coursework in the prelaw program at the school you’re considering appears related to the work you’ll do in law school.
Undergraduate majors that entail plenty of reading and stress critical thinking offer good fundamentals for law school.
Focus on your GPA.
Getting the finest achievable grades is essential for a strong law school application. Whatever major you choose, focus on excelling in all of your classes. The median GPA for law school acceptance is 3.42. Higher tier schools have much more meticulous requirements. For example, the median GPA for acceptance to Yale Law School is 3.9; Harvard is 3.89 and Stanford 3.85.
Start strong. Since a good GPA is so vital, plan to work on your grades right away. Attend classes regularly, set aside sufficient time to read and study and if you need help and work with a tutor. GPA isn’t the only concern for law school acceptance, but it’s particularly important and should be your key focus during your undergraduate years.
Integrate extracurricular activities.
While good grades are essential, you want to present yourself as a well-formed candidate, so plan to get involved in some supplementary activities.
Admissions committees will want to know how long you have been involved in each activity and what significant contributions you’ve made. If you wait until senior year to join a group, it may be seen as a move you’re making simply to increase your chances of acceptance rather than an involvement that came from a genuine passion or interest.
Limit the number of groups you join. The strength of your association is much more important than the amount of activities in which you are engaged.
Investigate all of your options–affinity clubs, intramural sports, service organizations–then commit to two or three that you truly connect with.
Keep record of your hours of involvement because the applications often ask you to detail how many hours you spent on each activity per week.
Consider bigger, more established organizations. Many prominent organizations, like UNICEF and Habitat for Humanity, have college chapters on campuses all over the country.
Take on a part in student government or on a school publication (newspaper or journal). These are seen as highly significant by law school admission’s committees.
Secure a leadership role. Whatever organization you decide to become involved in, be sure to take a leadership role. It’s important that you be seen as an important person who can take charge, manage various responsibilities and people and get results.
Take an internship.
Working as an intern can help familiarize you with time in a law firm or other pertinent business, give you precious skills and introduce you to professionals whose counsel and guidance can help you.
Look for internships in related fields such as government, community activism or journalism. A law firm internship may sound huge, however if all you did were diminutive tasks it wouldn’t give you much to speak about on your applications. Search for internships online or at your school. There a great number of sites that list internship openings and the career guidance office at your university should also have listings that you can use.
Plan ahead. Internship places fill fast. Submit an application for summer positions in the winter; submit applications for fall and spring term positions at least one semester in advance.
Mind the timeline.
If there’s one bit of advice that worth attention when it comes to getting into law school, it’s the importance of preparation. Not only must you be considering your grades, activities and internships from the start of your college career, you must also be reflecting on the multiple requirements and targets of the law school application process.
According to Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at UCLA School of Law Rob Schwartz, “It’s best to start thinking about getting recommendations and preparing for the LSAT at least a year in advance and preferably even as much as two years in advance because the recommendations are a very critical part of the admissions process….”
Take the LSAT before time. For a fall admission, plan to take the LSAT by December of the previous year. If you think you may want to take the exam more than once, make your initial testing date in June or October.
Create Any Necessary Accounts
Set up a Law School Admission Council (LSAC) account.
LSAC is the group that oversees the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which you must take to gain acceptance into law school. You’ll create a user name and password for your LSAC account and then enter basic details about yourself. You’ll continue to update information here as you progress through the admissions process.
Access your LSAC account to view reminders about vital application and registration deadlines, learn more about the LSAT, buy test prep materials, register for the exam and collect your tests scores early.
Use LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service.
Once you create your LSAC account, you will also have access to the organization’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). This service facilitates, simplifies and streamlines the process of applying to law schools by creating a report that summarizes your undergraduate effort and combines all of your documents with your LSAT score and writing sample. They then mail the report to the law schools to which you apply.
Using CAS is straightforward; once you have your LSAC account set up; it’s only a matter of submitting the proper documents and paying a fee.
- Make sure there is a reportable LSAT score in your LSAC file.
- Provide details about the schools you attended to LSAC
- Make sure all required transcripts are sent to LSAC
- Be sure that all required letters of recommendation and evaluations are sent to LSAC
- Pay the charge for your account, which will stay active for five years.
Take the LSAT
Register for LSAT.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, uniform test designed to determine reading comprehension, critical-thinking and reasoning skills and analytical capability. The test is put forward four times a year (February, June, October, December) at nominated testing centers world-wide. The test takes half a day to complete and consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice question and a 35-minute timed writing section. Register online using your LSAC account; you can also register by phone or through a mail-in registration form.
There is a registration charge for the LSAT; you can pay with check, money order or credit card but not cash. An additional fee is charged for late registration for the exam. View the calendar on the LSAC website for notifications of when the registration period starts and ends for the exam.
Study for the LSAT.
The LSAT is an exact exam, and you’ll achieve better results if you give yourself ample of time to prepare. You can study for the LSAT on your own or take advantage of tutoring services and programs that focus on getting students ready for this exam. Take a class. Select a professionally designed LSAT course to give you an overview of the exam and instruments and practice you’ll need to earn the best feasible score. Be certain the class is taught by a highly qualified instructor and is small (under 20 students) so you can get individual attention.
- Take the class a few months before your LSAT date; then, you’ll have time to study on your own, reinforcing what you’ve learned in your class.
Work with a tutor. Receiving one-on-one tuition for a professional LSAT tutor can help you concentrate on your specific needs and fill in comprehension gaps you may have. Choose a tutor who’s been teaching for at least two years and arrange to meet several times a week for the greatest benefit.
- Take practice exams. One of the best ways to get ready for the LSAT is to spend time answering the kinds of questions that will be on the real exam. Becoming familiar with the questions and the format of the test will increase your preparedness and make you’re more comfortable when your testing day rolls around.
You can take practice exams on your own. LSAC offers a free online prep test and there are sample tests on other sites and in LSAT study guide books you can buy.
- Join a group. Taking a proctored exam with other students replicates the real-world testing situation. Your prep test will be timed, and you’ll have an idea of what it’s like to retain your focus in a room crowded with other students.
Some LSAT classes offer practice testing as part of the core curriculum. If your plan to take a class, opt for one that includes a testing section.
Don’t underrate the significance of practice. It is recommended that you take at least 30 full-length practice tests in preparation for the real LSAT.
Take the exam.
Anxiety is universal when facing this essential exam, so be acquainted with what to expect and be prepared will help put some of your fears to rest.
Don’t forget your ticket. Once you’ve successfully registered for the LSAT, you’ll get an admission ticket that you must present on the day of the exam. There is no admission without this ticket.
You’ll need valid identification and a photo. You must attach a photo (passport size) to your LSAT admission ticket. It must be an up to date photo of you.
Take test-taking materials such as #2 or HB pencils as well as a pencil sharpener with you on test days. Mechanical pencils are barred but you can bring highlighters if you’d like. If you’re unable to move to attend law school, apply to the schools in your area where you would be competitive. If you can or want to move, do the same in the area where you hope to transfer to?
Apply through your LSAC account.
Now you’ll turn to the CAS associated with your LSAC account to complete your application procedure. As pointed out over, there are many must-dos:
Make sure there is a reportable LSAT rating in your LSAC history.
Provide details concerning the schools you took care of LSAC.
Make certain all necessary notes are delivered to LSAC.
Make sure all required letters of recommendation and assessments are sent to LSAC.
Pay the fees.
There are a number of expenses linked with obtaining law school, so it benefits you to know upfront the money you’ll need to buy this procedure.
CAS asks for an overall fee plus an extra charge for each and every institution to which you use.
Law school application fees range from $40 to $100.
Don’t forget the cost of travel. You may prefer to go to legislation colleges as component of your decision-making procedure. Those travels will certainly have costs for gas, airline tickets, housing and meals, every one of which must be factored into your budget.
Complete your applications.
It takes many hrs to finish a law school application, so strategy to allot time to concentrate on this activity. You do not want to hurry throughout this process as exactly what you create and just how well you create it will certainly be reviewed very closely as part of the application process.
The basic details of the application are pretty straight onward. Have all the info you could have to describe on-hand to streamline the procedure.
Invest time in your essay or personal statement. Your individual statement or composition can permit you to stand out from the crowd and deserves your time, thoughtful consideration and several revisions. Among other things, the admissions officer will intend to totally comprehend what enticed you to law and your specific field of interest.
Ask people who know you well and can provide useful comments to read your declaration or composition. Inquire to judge whether it succeeds in interacting your character and a clear sense of objective.
Request your transcripts.
Submit a request for your transcripts to the registrar’s office at your undergraduate university. Make your request three to four months ahead of your application date.
Ask for letters of recommendation.
Admissions committees want to become aware of you from others who know you well. Get letters of recommendation from individuals that could supply favorable impressions of you and envisage your success as an attorney. Each university has a different demand for the many referrals they desire. Plan on at least 2 and as many as 4.
Ask teachers who understand you well or neighborhood or group leaders with whom you worked. Ideally, offer them with a duplicate of your individual statement to ensure that their remarks could uphold just what you have actually shared about on your own and reflect your profession goals.
Mind the timeline.
While law schools often list their application due dates as occurring sometime between January and April, most schools use a rolling admissions process that greatly favors those people who submit their applications as early as possible.
Plan to submit all of your applications by late November or early December.
Give yourself about a year to complete all of the required steps. It’s not the end of the world if you start a bit later, but be prepared and get your application in early.
Wait for a response.
It can take somewhere from days to weeks to hear whether or not you’ve been admitted to law school. Stay calm and focus on the reality that you did your best.
While it’s not easy to wait, you can use that time to think about why you want to go to law school in the first place. Those thoughts can keep your strength up while you wait or help make you stronger you if you don’t get the response you hoped for. If you don’t get accepted to the school you wished for, there are things you can do to make yourself an attractive candidate in the future. Consider resitting the LSAT’s, working for a year or two before reapplying or attending graduate school.