Application Process and Timeline
Two Years Out
Is law school on your horizon? Two years before you anticipate enrolling in the law school of your choice, follow these guidelines:
Start thinking LSAT. Talk to the College’s pre-law advisors about how to prepare for this difficult, high-stakes exam.
Enroll in an LSAT test-prep course. The College sometimes offers a test-prep course on campus; talk to pre-law advisors for information.
Obtain the Official LSAT Registration Booklet. This book is usually published every March. You can get one at any law school, by calling LSAC (Law School Admissions Council) at 215.968.1001, by visiting LSAC.org, or by talking with one of our pre-law advisors. The LSAT is given only four times per year.
Research schools. Use the resources at the Career Center (books, contact alumni attorneys, etc.). During the spring, visit the schools you are most interested in attending.
Register for the LSAT. Don’t miss the deadline. There is a fee to take the test; if you register late, the fee is higher.
Write a bio. Prepare a brief profile about yourself for your references to use when they write letters of recommendations for you.
Contact potential references. Most law school applications require three letters of recommendation. Try to pick references who have an in-depth personal perspective of you versus someone who will only be able to provide a generic recommendation.
Take the LSAT. It’s essential that you’re well prepared to ace the LSAT the first time, because most law schools will average multiple scores. If you don’t feel thoroughly prepared for the June exam, wait to take the exam in October.
Finalize your school list. Once you know your LSAT score, it will be easier to narrow your list. Mix top-tier with second- and third-tier schools.
Keep track of deadlines. Don’t assume all deadlines are the same. Many deadlines are in early February, but some schools have earlier deadlines in the late fall.
Send your undergraduate transcripts to LSDAS. Remember to send your College transcripts from every undergraduate institution you’ve attended. There is sometimes a small fee for transcripts.
Update your resume. Most law schools require that you submit a current resume. Contact the Career Center for help with resume writing.
Start your applications. Begin with the essays. Use the resources at the Career Center for advice on essay writing.
One Year Out
One year before packing up for law school, follow these guidelines:
Register for the September/October LSAT. If you didn’t take the exam in June, or need to retake the LSAT, now is the time.
Revise your personal statements. Have a pre-law advisor critique and proofread your essays.
Keep in touch with your references. Check in to make sure your references won’t have any problems with their deadlines for submitting their recommendations.
Inquire about interviews. Some law schools allow you to interview prior to the application deadlines; others may require it once they’ve received your application.
Complete and send early-decision applications. Be sure to keep a photocopy of all completed applications.
Send thank-you notes to your references. You may have to call on these references again, so don’t overlook them!
Keep working. If you didn’t make the early deadlines, keep working to perfect your applications and personal statements.
Send all applications. Check one last time for errors, and make photocopies of all applications before dropping them in the mail.
Relax. Take a deep breath—all the work is behind you. Wait for the acceptance letters to start arriving!
Wait for acceptances. Your acceptances should arrive during this time.