Frequently Asked Law Questions
Last updated: 13 April 2018
Preparing for Law School Questions
What major do I need for Law School?
Law schools do not require a particular major. Rather than focusing on a specific major, law schools generally prefer students who excel in their chosen field of study. Law schools appreciate having a diverse student body, and will accept students with a range of different educational backgrounds. Therefore, you should pick something aligns with your interests and will encourage your success in school!
- What classes should I take for law school?
There are no specific classes or prerequisites that you need to take in order to get into law school. You should focus on getting the best GPA that you can and building relationships with your professors (it’s never too soon to think about letters of recommendation!). For your reference, the PAC office has compiled a Recommended Course List that can help you develop skills that will be utilized in law school, but none of these classes are required for law school admittance.
- I am an undergraduate student who is interested in exploring a career in law. What summer programs are available for me?
Many law schools offer summer law programs for undergraduate students who are considering in pursuing a legal career. Certain programs are geared toward specific demographics and have different eligibility requirements.
For a more exhaustive list of law schools that offer summer law undergraduate programs, please refer to: (always remember to inquire directly with the specific law school for the most up to date information) http://ow.ly/ceEjy
- Which law schools offer accelerated admissions to prospective college students (ex., 3+3 programs) and accelerated degree programs to prospective law students (ex., 2-year JD programs, 3-year JD/MBA programs)?
Some prospective law students are concerned about the time and cost requirements required to complete a law degree. As a result, a number of schools have developed accelerated programs. Although these options are indeed rare, they do exist. Applicants should do their own research to identify the accelerated programs that met their interests.
For a more exhaustive list of law schools that offer accelerated JD programs, please refer to: (always remember to inquire directly with the specific law school for the most up to date information) http://ow.ly/cq90E
Law School Application Questions
- When is the best time to take the LSAT?
The LSAT is offered eight times per year: June, July, August/September, October, November, January, February, and April. Generally, we recommend taking the test in June, if you are prepared for it. If you take the LSAT in June, you will have the rest of the summer to focus on making the other areas of your application perfect. Additionally, you have a buffer in case something unexpected happens the day of the test and you have to retake it. Also, you will be prepared to submit your application as soon as possible in the fall.
Planning when to take the LSAT is a balancing act between making sure you feel as prepared as possible, and getting your application in early for schools with rolling admissions deadlines. Do not take the LSAT if you are not adequately prepared, as your score will permanently stay on record with LSAC and appear on your application. Although a vast majority of law schools take your highest LSAT score, others may average LSAT scores or take the most recent LSAT score. Refer to your individual law schools to learn which LSAT score policy applies.
- What is the best way to study for the LSAT?
Take full-length practice tests. We recommend beginning with untimed tests and building up to tests under timed, test-like conditions. Many students fall into the trap of spending a long time preparing to take a practice test. Taking a complete test is the best way of determining your strengths and the areas that need improvement, so it is ideal to do it as soon as possible. Preparing for the LSAT is like training for a marathon, you need to make sure that your brain will function as well in the first hour of the test as the last hour.
- What is a good LSAT score?
A good LSAT score is one that will make you a competitive candidate for the law school you want to attend. Many law schools will publish information about the range of scores they accepted in previous years and make these score ranges available on their official websites or in the ABA-LSAC Official Guide.
- Which law schools offer application fee waivers?
There are two ways to obtain fee waivers for law school applications: the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) fee waiver and those issued by individual law schools.
In order to qualify for an LSAC fee waiver, one must submit an application available on the LSAC website. Applicants must provide detailed financial information, including income and holdings data. It is generally considered extremely difficult to qualify for such a waiver. However, if you plan to apply to this program, it is recommended that you submit your application at least one month before you plan to register for your first LSAT. See, Fee Waivers for the LSAT and Credential Assembly Service for more details.
Individual law schools may also opt to waive a candidate’s fee. Generally, a school will contact an individual to inform him/her of the fee waiver. Applicants can also request a fee waiver directly from the school, however some may require proof of financial hardship.
For a more exhaustive list of law schools that offer application fee waivers, please refer to: (always remember to inquire directly with the specific law school for the most up to date information) http://ow.ly/6OuFM
- When is my application due? Does this school require a dean’s letter from my undergraduate institution?
Each law school designates an application deadline. Therefore, it is up to each applicant to research this information and plan to finish all application materials and submit them via LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service. Generally, applications open in late Summer to early Fall each year. Applicants should prepare to submit their applications as soon as it opens due to the variety of law school admissions policies.
Some law schools require submission of a Dean’s Certification which asks college(s) whether an applicant has been subject to disciplinary action or academic probation. Most law schools do not require a Dean’s Certification with the exception of a few institutions.
For a more exhaustive list of law schools and their application deadlines/Dean’s letter requirements, please refer to: (always remember to inquire directly with the specific law school for the most up to date information) http://ow.ly/7jZdY
- When and how will I learn if I have been admitted to law school?
Law schools will notify applicants of their admissions status by mail, e-mail or both. The length of time it takes each law school’s admissions committee to review an application varies; consult the individual law schools to which you apply. Also remember that if you have strong qualifications, but do not quite match the competition of those currently being admitted at a particular law school, you may be placed on a waiting list. The law school will notify you of its final decision as early as April or as late as July.
For more information on law school admission result dates, please refer to: (always remember to inquire directly with the specific law school for the most up to date information) http://ow.ly/7uvsY
- I am a non-resident seeking to attend a state law school. May I establish residency in your state while/by attending the state law school?
Many prospective law applicants seek to find opportunities to attend law schools at the in-state tuition rate. Luckily, certain law schools allow its students to establish residency in that particular state while/by attending the state law school. For more information, please refer to: (always remember to inquire directly with the specific law school for the most up to date information) http://ow.ly/c4SB9
Questions about the Pre-Law Advising Center
- I’m not a student at UH Manoa, can I still come and talk with you?
Yes! PAC is open to the public, and we see prospective law students from all walks of life. We offer a variety of services, such as making personalized application strategy timelines, helping you to create your list of potential law schools, and reviewing resumes and personal statements for your application. Schedule your appointment with a Pre-Law Advisor here!