Which major should I choose?
Law schools want students who can think critically, write well and possess good interpersonal skills. You can pursue any undergraduate major. Select something you find interesting, challenging and enjoyable. Work hard to earn good grades.
Do I have to take any pre-requisite courses before applying to law school?
No, there is no set of prescribed courses for law school.
What does a law school focus on for admission purposes?
Your Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score, undergraduate grade point average, letters of recommendation and personal statement (and often, resume) are the primary factors used to determine law school admission.
How important are extra-curricular activities for law school admission?
Law schools are looking for well-rounded applicants and involvement in campus and community activities can be beneficial. However, you need to keep in mind your grades are important, so don’t sacrifice academic performance by over-extending yourself. Your college experience will be enriched by your participation in different extracurricular activities, including leadership experiences, internships, and volunteering within the community. Law schools will be impressed if you have been able to achieve a healthy balance between academics and extracurricular activities.
Is work experience in the field of law required?
Law schools do not require applicants to have work experience in the field of law. However, students intending to attend law school should definitely consider interning or volunteering in a law related position, so they have a better understanding of law as a professional career. It is in fact very, very important to have a keen understanding of the legal profession before venturing into a long and costly legal education.
How do I learn more about individual law schools?
One source to find links to home pages of law schools is through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website. Law school websites are typically an excellent resource to learn more about different law schools.
How do I evaluate the rankings of law schools?
There are many types of rankings for law schools, ranging from personal rankings to the US News and World Report Standings that are available online. However, it is very important to understand all rankings are subjective and there is a large problem with the methodology in most rankings. Therefore, it is best for you to review law school employment statistics, talk to law students who attend or who’ve attended the law school, and make an informed decision about which schools best meet your individual needs and interests.
Which schools do I have a good chance of being accepted into?
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) provides access to materials such as the Official Guide to US Law Schools which contains admission profiles for law schools. Law School Transparency is an excellent resource as it also includes other vital information, including employment statistics.
To how many schools should I apply?
If possible, apply to at least six to eight schools. You should plan on applying to schools in these categories:
- safe schools — where you appear to be over qualified
- reality schools — where your LSAT/GPA are in the middle range
- dream schools — where your LSAT/GPA may fall below the middle range
When and how often should I take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)?
Ideally, the LSAT should be taken in June prior to the year you plan on attending law school. However, if you are not fully prepared, you should take the LSAT at a later date. You should plan on taking the LSAT only once. Repeat only if your score is low and you feel it is not an accurate reflection of your true ability. Normally, scores vary by no more than a few points. Schools now report only your higher LSAT score to the American Bar Association.
What is the Credential Assembly Service through the Law School Admission Council?
CAS provides a means of centralizing and standardizing undergraduate academic records to simplify the law school admission process. All students applying to law school must register with the CAS. When you register, your biographical and undergraduate academic records will be standardized into a uniform Law School Report. The CAS Report includes: your official college transcripts, LSAT score, and letters of recommendation (if you choose to use the Letter of Recommendation Service). When you apply to law schools, they in turn request a copy of your Law School Report from the CAS. The American Bar Association-approved law schools require using CAS for applying into JD programs. Other law schools may also require the use of CAS.
Who should I ask to write letters of recommendations?
Choose at least two faculty members who know you well and can attest to your academic abilities and strengths. It is acceptable to have a letter from a professor outside of your major. You can also request a letter of recommendation from a person for whom you have worked, interned or volunteered.
What is a Dean’s Certification and who completes the forms?
The Dean’s Certification primarily seeks information regarding a student’s academic and disciplinary record. The forms are completed by the pre-law advisor and should be brought to 112 Capen Hall. Most schools do not require a dean’s certification under most circumstances, but read the requirements for that law school within your LSAC account to ensure you are not missing any documents.