Pre-Law Advising Guide

Pre-Law Advising

Our goal is to help Wilson students and alumnae prepare for law school and guide them through the admissions process. Wilson College provides excellent preparation for any student wishing to attend law school. Its strong liberal arts curriculum with an emphasis on writing and speaking is highly valued by law schools. Wilson students have the unique opportunity to take advantage of the college’s admissions agreement with Vermont Law School. Under this agreement, Vermont Law School will automatically admit any Wilson student to its JD, MSEL or joint JD/MSEL programs so long as the student meets a reasonable set of criteria. This is a very exciting and distinctive opportunity for our student body! Check out the Vermont Law School Wilson College Agreement tab below. There is no pre-determined major or course of study law school applicants need to pursue in order to be successful. While law schools do consider the academic rigor of your chosen course of study, they view majors equally, from Veterinary Medical Technology to English to Political Science. Any of Wilson’s broad range of majors, and the academic rigor required therein, will help students gain the skills they need to succeed in the legal profession. If you are a prospective Wilson student, you are encouraged to email the pre-law advisor with any questions you may have about Wilson’s pre-law advising program. If you are a Wilson student or alumna who is planning to attend law school, please email the pre-law advisor to set up an appointment to discuss your future plans. The following links will be useful to students throughout the pre-law advising process. Issues and questions addressed include: Is law school right for me? What should I be doing to prepare for law school? Are there any classes I should take? What is the timeline for the application process? Are grades and LSAT scores the only criteria that matter in admissions? What’s a personal statement and what are law schools looking for? How should I go about getting letters of recommendation? How should I decide where to apply? Wilson College values personalized, one-on-one advising between faculty and students. This personalized advising is certainly available to you throughout the pre-law advising process, and we encourage you to take advantage of it.

Law School Application Process Timeline

Yes, there is an ideal timetable applicants should to follow in order to maximize their chances of getting into law school. The following is a timeline that will take applicants through the process from spring semester of their junior years forward. The formal application process should take about 10 months--from registering with LSDAS (Law School Data Application Service) and for the LSAT in January to submitting the final applications in October.

Spring Semester of Junior Year:

  • January: Register for the LSDAS through lsac.org. Be sure to take some time and explore this most important website. All of your applications will be processed through here.
  • January: Register for the June LSAT. Sign up for an LSAT prep course or obtain test prep materials to study on your own.
  • January through May: Carve out a scheduled amount of time per day or per week to study for the LSAT. Be sure to take many practice tests and be very diligent about studying.

Summer between Junior and Senior Years:

  • June:Take the June LSAT.
  • July:After receiving your score, research schools to determine where you will apply.
  • August: Determine who you want to ask to write recommendations. Prepare materials to give to them once you return to school in the fall.
  • August: Update your resume, which many law school applications require.
  • August: Brainstorm ideas for your personal statement. Prepare a draft for your advisors to review in the fall.

Fall Semester of Senior Year

  • September: Send your official transcripts from all schools attended to the LSDAS.
  • September: As soon as you return to school, set up a meeting with your pre-law advisor to review and finalize your application strategy.
  • September: Complete your personal statement and have the pre-law advisor and/or other faculty advisors review it.
  • September: As soon as you return to school, set up personal meetings with professors and ask them to write recommendations. Present them with your background materials. Make sure you give your recommenders at least 3 weeks notice so that they have ample time to compose a thorough letter. Recommenders should have their letters completed no later than October 1st.
  • October: Complete your applications by the first rolling admissions date to take advantage of the statistical benefits of applying early. The later you apply, the more difficult it is to be accepted.
  • October: Be sure to thank your recommenders with a written note.
  • October through December: Relax and wait.

Spring Semester of Senior Year

  • Once you have your acceptances, decide where you want to enroll.
  • If you are still undecided, schedule campus visits and/or talk to current students.
  • Be courteous and let your recommenders know where you have decided to attend.
  • Put down a deposit at one school. Law schools will know if you have put down deposits at more than one school.
  • Apply for financial aid.