The Application Process
The primary, but not sole, purpose of the pre-law advisory program is to help make the transition from undergraduate education to law school as smooth as possible, and so one of the main goals of the program is to help students put together the best law school application possible. The following provides information and materials to assist in this process
Where to Begin?
You should begin planning to apply for law school about 18 to 24 months in advance of the time you want to enroll. For undergraduates, this means beginning to plan for the law school application somewhere between the beginning of the fall and spring semesters of your junior year. The reason is that it is necessary to plan to take the LSAT in a timely fashion, and this means planning courses for the spring semester of your junior year so that you have enough time to study for the exam.
Meeting with the Pre-Law Advisor
Meeting with the pre-law advisor (Dr. Meyer) is an important part of the process. A prospective student meeting with Dr. Meyer while applying to law school will get answers to questions such as what school to apply to (specific to your needs), when and where to take the LSAT examination, who to ask for letters of recommendation, assistance editing and revising the personal statement, when and how to write addenda, and any other questions pertaining to the application process. During this meeting Dr. Meyer can also help with the law school decision process as well as any problems that may occur during the application process. So the first thing you should do as you begin to apply to law school is contact Dr. Meyer to set up an appointment.
Creating an LSAC Account
The next step in the application process is to set up an online account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which you can find by clicking here. On the LSAC home page, you will find useful information about choosing a school, taking the LSAT, and financial information. In order to gain full access to the website, you must set up an account. Once you become a member of this site, LSAC will send you emails with updated information such as test dates and locations.
Preparing for and Taking the LSAT
The next step in the application process is taking the LSAT. You should plan to take the LSAT in the June after your junior year or, at the latest, in September/October of your senior year. For more information on the LSAT, see here.
Preparing the Other Elements of the Application
During the beginning of the fall semester of your senior year (or about one year prior to the date you want to enter law school), you should begin assembling the various materials you need to apply for law school: LSAT scores, LSDAS report, Transcripts, Letters of recommendation, Personal Statement, Dean’s Appraisal (only when requested), Resume (often optional), and Addendum (optional). You should get an early start on this, even if you are taking the LSAT in September/October, because you should have all application materials submitted by mid-November.
Deciding Where to Apply
Make rational choices when deciding where to apply. The cost of applying to law schools can add up, and so don’t apply to a school that doesn’t fit your needs or that is above or below your ability. LSAC provides a helpful search tool that allows you to assess your chances of getting accepted to a wide range of law schools. You can find this tool here.
Completing and Submitting Your Application
In filling out your application, make sure that anything you state is complete and accurate because you don’t want to find yourself in the position of having to explain to a prospective school why you left out or mischaracterized information in your application. Such a situation will most likely dramatically hurt your chances of being accepted. You should also double and triple check your application so you don’t leave out important information and to make sure your application is free of grammar or typing errors. Also, be sure to complete every question asked on any application. Most schools utilize online applications that can be saved and completed at a later date so don’t try to tackle it all in one day. Thoroughness is better than speed in this case.