The Law School Application Process
Planning and preparation are important ingredients in the process of applying to enter law school. Ideally, you should start preparing during your junior year or earlier. Develop a list of law schools you intend to apply to and investigate their programs to determine whether they meet your criteria for selecting a law school.
You should plan to take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, (see below) in the June preceding your senior year or in October or December of your senior fall term. Most law schools require the LSAT to be taken at the latest by December of your senior year for admission the following fall.
Your first step in initiating the law school application process should be to visit theLaw School Admissions Council web site, where you will find information on two important elements of the application process.
About the LSAT
The Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, is a half-day standardized test required for all applicants to ABA-approved law schools in the United States. The Law School Admissions Council web site provides information about the LSAT, how to register to take the LSAT, test dates and locations, and offers copies of old tests for sale as preparation materials.
The LSAC offers a centralized process known as Law School Data Application Service (LSDAS) for standardizing your undergraduate records to simplify the law school admission process. By registering with LSDAS, this process will prepare a report for each law school you apply to that includes an academic summary, copies of your academic transcripts, your LSAT score(s), and letters of recommendation. Once your file is complete, the LSDAS will submit these documents to each of the law schools you list in your LSDAS account. You will still need to prepare and submit law school applications directly to your chosen law schools.
Preparing for the LSAT
The LSAT is a standardized test that most law schools place great emphasis upon in the admissions process, and the better your score, the better your chance of admission to a particular school as well as to top ranked schools.
Most students find that taking a commercial preparation course specializing in the LSAT is vital to enhancing their prospects for getting the best score they can on the LSAT. You should plan to take the LSAT only once, maximizing your score on that test, since retaking the LSAT may often result in the law school averaging scores if a student takes the LSAT more than once.
Commercially-available LSAT preparation courses include the following. (Inclusion of these links does not constitute endorsement or recommendation of these programs by Carthage.)
- Kaplan LSAT Preparation course
- Powerscore LSAT Preparation course
- The Princeton Review LSAT Preparation course
- 7Sage LSAT Preparation courses