A Timeline for Applying to Law School
It is a known fact that getting ready to enroll in law school entails a lot, beginning with a bachelor’s degree. Thus, those that intend to apply to law school should start during their junior and senior year of their bachelor’s program and apply a year before they graduate.
Below you will find a timeline that you should follow if you plan to apply to law school.
The first question is; is law school what you want? This is a question that you should answer during the junior year of your bachelor’s degree. It is at this point that you will decide if a career in law is best for you. You have to start searching the LSAC (Law School Admission Council) site for law schools to apply to and plan to take your LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) in February or June of the following semester.
It is therefore advisable to use the following months to get ready for this rigorous test. You have to devote yourself to reviewing as much as possible if you’re taking the LSAT in February. You should think of enrolling in preparatory courses or even get a tutor. Use test prep books and take the sample tests that are available to you. You have to sign up for each exam 30 days before the actual test day, bearing in mind that seats at test locations often become full quickly.
After you take the LSAT, you will get your results three weeks after the exam. If you get the score you were hoping for, you don’t have to retake it. However, if you score you receive is not high enough to gain admission to your preferred law school, you still have two chances to take the LSAT before you graduate.
Summer Between Junior and Senior Year
If you have to retake the LSAT, then you have to register 30 days before the test. If you still feel you have not scored high enough to enable you to enroll in your preferred law school, then you should have one more chance to take it before you graduate. If you’re planning to retake the test, you will need to better understand the test and answer the questions.
When you have received the score you wanted, it is now time to start applying to law school. It will be necessary to enroll with the CAS (Credential Assembly Service) and get your higher education transcript uploaded to the CAS site. You will also have to put together a list of your preferred schools and make your final list of schools you want to apply to. To save money on sending applications, you will have to be more specific in your choices.
Use the summer to gather up application resources from the different schools. Check online for more information and download as many materials as you will need. Reach out to your advisor, professors, family, and friends, and have them read your personal statement and give you feedback. Use their responses and edit your statement and draft your resume, and allow them to give your materials a final review.
Senior Year, Fall
When you get into your senior year, that’s when you start calling for recommendation letters from the faculty members you already have established relationships with within the course of your schooling. Commonly, you may want to send your application with three recommendation letters. The person writing your letter will need a copy of your transcript, along with a copy of your resume for them to review.
To qualify for financial aid, you have to register for (FAFSA) Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Go over your law school applications and make necessary revisions before submitting them to the Credential Assembly Service. After this, get your law school admission forms ready and submit them to your dream schools.
It is crucial at this point to make sure your applications find their way to the right person. You would typically get a confirmation mail or postcard confirming your admission, but if you don’t, communicate with the admissions office. You should also remember to submit your already completed financial aid application at this time.
Acceptance, Rejection or Wait-List
Keeping your LSAC profile duly updated is very crucial. Therefore, it is advisable to enter your updated transcript to the LSAC when you get to the last semester of your senior year. When January comes, different letters will start coming in, acceptance, rejection, or the wait-list. You will then have to examine the wait-list and acceptance letters to know which ones you will follow up on immediately.
Whenever you can pay a visit to the law schools you received an acceptance letter from, it is highly encouraged. By doing this, you will get to know and experience the schools on your list, it’s landscape, community, location, and campus. You will also gain knowledge of their academic environment and curriculum. This will help you decide which law school you will be attending if you got accepted by more than one school.
You should send appreciation letters to the faculties that assisted you, informing them of your application status and thanking them for their contributions. Immediately after your college graduation, forward your final transcript to the school you be attending.
Finally, before law school resumes, you can rest and have a good time in your last summer.