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.