what reasons should I NOT attand law school?
- Undecided about career plans
- Family and peer pressure
- Expectations of high salaries
- Unable to find a job
- Television/movie images of the
- It seems like a “cool” idea
LAW SCHOOL PREPARATION
there a recommended major or coursework for those interested in
a legal profession?
is no "best" major to prepare for law school, although research
has proven some majors may help one better prepare for the
rigors of a legal education. Successful law students come from a
variety of backgrounds, from accounting and engineering to
nursing and political science. The most important thing is to
find a major which you enjoy and can do well in. Admissions
officers are more concerned with the following than your choice
- A strong academic record that
demonstrates your ability to maintain a diverse and
rigorous course load.
- Courses which allow you to
develop skills and abilities helpful for law school and the
legal profession, e.g. logical thinking, reasoning, and
- Knowledge of the American
activities really matter, and if so, what type?
quality of your activities is more important than the
quantity. Active participation which permits you to demonstrate
leadership, contribution, and motivation is the most
working in a law firm or a law-related position help my
Law-related experience can help you to the extent that it can
confirm your interest and commitment to the legal field.
LAW SCHOOL APPLICATIONS
selection factors may be considered by admissions committees?
- LSAT score(s)
- Undergraduate GPA
- College coursework
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
- Volunteer work/community
- Difficulties you have overcome
- Professional experience
- Extracurricular activities
- Ethnic background
- Motivation to study law
do I determine where to apply for law school?
your profile (GPA, LSAT, etc.) against the admissions profile of
the law school. These profiles may be obtained in Guide to
U.S. Law Schools. You can also consult the
College Law School Locator to determine the GPA and LSAT
scores of a particular school. Apply to a realistic range of
schools, offering varying degrees of probability for your
acceptance. Consider the following:
- Admissions and selection
- Curriculum and programs
- Facilities, library and
- Costs and financial aid
- Size, faculty/student ratio
- Students (age, diversity,
- Placement opportunities
- Student groups and journals
- Geographic location
- Personal considerations
Where can I obtain information about law schools?
- Law school catalogs, web
pages, and directories
- Law school fairs and programs
- Talking with students and
- Attend law school classes
- Campus tours
- Visit with
are application deadlines?
Application deadlines vary from January to May depending upon
the school, with February being the most popular. Many schools
review applications on a rolling-admission basis, or as they
receive batches of completed files. In these cases it is best to
submit materials as soon as possible, preferably before the
first of the year.
Remember that law schools require complete files (LSAT
score, application, letters of recommendation, etc.) before
considering you for admission.
LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST (LSAT)
LSAT is a half-day standardized test required for admission to
all LSAC-member law schools. It is designed to measure skills
that are considered essential for success in law school. Also,
the LSAT allows admissions officers to more objectively compare
candidates from different campuses.
LSAT is scored on a scale of 120-180, and scores are received
via mail approximately, five weeks after the test.
is the best time to take the LSAT?
LSAT is offered four times a year: June, October, December, and
February.' June of your junior year is optimal. However, if you
cannot take it in June or you wish to retake it, October is
recommended. Most importantly, take the LSAT when you are able
to prepare for it fully.
types of questions are on the LSAT?
LSAT reflects a broad range of academic disciplines. It consists
of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions and one
30-minute writing sample.
- Reading comprehension
Ability to read and understand lengthy and complex materials
- Analytical reasoning (1
Ability to understand a structure of relationships and to
draw conclusions about that structure
- Logical reasoning (2
Aptitude for understanding, analyzing and criticizing
- An uncensored set of questions
used to present new items and to equate new test forms (test
makers are not told which section is not scored)
- Writing sample (1
Ability to communicate and to support a position
do I best prepare for the LSAT?
Concentrated practice over a period of time is necessary for
adequate preparation. Make sure that you take at least one
complete test under timed test conditions.
Should I take a commercial prep course?
LSAT is designed to measure intellectual qualities developed
over a period of time. Thus there are two thoughts concerning
test prep programs:
(1) A prep course cannot help you develop those qualities, and
(2) Prep courses may not prepare you in terms of content, but
they may make you feel more comfortable with the test by helping
you to develop and sharpen your test taking techniques.
deciding whether or not a commercial course will be helpful for
you, analyze your abilities and your potential to structure
your study independently. Even if you attend a test preparation
course, you should still prepare on your own. Courses do not
replace individual study.
should I decide whether to retake the LSAT?
you believe your score does not reflect your true ability, or
you were ill on the day of the test, it may be beneficial to
retake the test. However, if your score is a fairly accurate
indicator of your ability, it is unlikely that taking the test
again will result in a substantially different score. There is
also the chance that your score will drop.
school has its own system for interpreting multiple LSAT scores
- some average the scores, while others look at the highest or
lowest. When in doubt, consult with the admissions office of the
schools in which you are interested.
LAW SCHOOL DATA ASSEMBLY SERVICE (LSDAS)
LSDAS is a computerized service that was created to centralize
and standardize undergraduate records and to simplify the
admissions process. Grades are converted to one system that
allows schools to more uniformly compare applicants. The LSDAS
report contains the following:
- Biographical information from
your registration form
- A year-by-year summary of your
- Copies of all undergraduate
and graduate transcripts
- LSAT score(s) and LSAT writing
do I subscribe to the LSDAS?
may subscribe for the service at the time you register for the
LSAT, or at a later date. Regardless, make certain you
subscribe for the LSDAS during the year you are actually
applying to law school. LSDAS is a one-year service and requires
a renewal fee for each additional year. Registration information
is available in the LSAT/LSDAS book in
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
many recommendations do I need?
schools vary in their requirements for letters of
recommendation. However, two to three recommendations are
type of recommendations do I need?
schools seek letters written by individuals who know you and can
address your ability to think cogently and analytically, as well
as your ability to assimilate and interpret information.
Typical letters include the following:
- Dean's Letter
- Club Advisors
schools are not impressed by "big names" who have little
in-depth knowledge to provide about you.
can I assist those who are writing a letter of recommendation?
Provide the individual writing the recommendation with a copy of
your resume, transcript and/or copy of your personal statement.
This will give the writer a better sense of who you are and
provide support for his/her points. Provide a stamped,
addressed envelope and indicate any deadlines. Be thoughtful and
courteous by giving the writer at least four to six weeks in
which to complete the letter and any required forms.
is a credential file service?
college career centers provide a credential file service for
maintaining and distributing your letters of recommendation.
One letter is completed by each writer and kept in file on the
career center. Copies of the original letter may then be sent
to any law school upon your request. This service may be open to
alumni or current students.
also offers a similar service. Check the registration booklet
for more information.
is the personal statement?
Nearly every law school will require a personal statement. This
1-2 page document is designed to assess the following:
- Your unique qualities and what
sets you apart from other candidates
- Communication skills
- Your motivation for the study
the personal statement to elaborate on topics which the
application does not allow you to cover. Do not simply list your
experiences. Include your role and responsibilities, level and
length of involvement, plus any significant contributions. Write
clearly, creatively and concisely.
VIII. FINANCIAL AID
Tuition can range from a few thousand dollars to over twenty
thousand dollars per year. Add in housing, books and personal
expenses and you can pay beyond $75,000 for a three-year
program. Law school is an important investment of time and
financial aid resources are available?
are three basic types of financial aid:
- Scholarships, grants and
(merit and need-based; quite limited)
(need-based and not need-based; awarded directly by the
school or through private agencies)
- Federal College Work-Study
Education loans are a serious financial obligation, particularly
when you may also have loans from your undergraduate education.
Borrow only the amounts you can reasonably expect to pay based
on your projection of future income.
do I apply for financial aid?
Discuss your financial needs with the law school's financial aid
office early in the application process. Request information
about financial aid forms and applications at the same time you
apply for admission. Do not wait until you have been accepted.
can I expect to hear about admissions decisions?
law schools operate on a rolling admission process. The school
evaluates applications and informs candidates of admissions
decisions on a continuous basis over several months, usually
beginning in late fall and extending to mid-summer for
waiting-list admissions. Schools that do not use
rolling-admission process usually wait to announce all their
decisions at once, typically in early April.