Applying to Law Schools
1. The first step in applying to law school is to create an account with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), which you must do before registering for the LSAT.
You can register with LSAC through the mail or online at the LSAC website www.lsac.org. You should register at least three months before your schools’ earliest application deadline; even earlier is better. For LSAC, you will need to complete application information and submit transcripts, LSAT scores, and a personal statement.
2. Almost all ABA-approved law schools require that applicants register for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
CAS creates your Law School Report by combining:
- an academic summary;
- LSAT score(s) and writing sample(s);
- transcripts (all undergraduate, graduate, and law/professional school);
- letters of recommendation/evaluations; and
- other relevant information, such as prior matriculation.
3. In addition to the CAS report, each law school also requires its own application form, all of which are available both on the websites of individual law schools and the LSAC. You can submit individual schools’ applications by mail or electronically, following instructions on their websites.
If you have questions at any point in the process, you can contact LSAC via telephone or email. Note: Individual schools have different deadlines and procedures, especially regarding letters of recommendation and personal statements. It is your responsibility to follow all instructions and to meet all deadlines, so read all of the application instructions carefully!
4. Many schools prefer or require that your letters of recommendation be submitted through LSAC’s Letters of Recommendation and Evaluation Services; others accept letters directly. Instructions for submitting letters are on the LSAC website.
The Timeline for Applying
Regardless when you graduate from college, the timeline for applying is the same for everyone. Apply early in the application cycle! Application cycles typically open in early September and run through February, but be sure to research the deadlines for your schools.
|Study||Take LSAT (June)||ApplyBackup LSAT date (Sept/Oct)||Decisions||Enter Law School|
|Undergrad||Junior year||Senior Year||May Grad||Enter Law School|
|Gap Year||Senior Year||May Grad||Work|
|Returning Student (graduated)||Work||
Tip: Plan to apply one year before you intend to go to law school. Most law schools admit students on a rolling basis, so applying early gives you an advantage.