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Law School Timeline

Freshman Year

  • Make an appointment with the pre-law advisor, Anne Harrington, Director of Academic Advisement
  • Take core courses
  • Take courses that interest you. Do not take courses because you think they are related to a particular profession
  • Get involved in extra-curricular activities. Volunteer. Law schools want to see involvement outside the class and evidence of varied talents beyond academics. Show your leadership skills. Focus on a few organizations as opposed to many (depth not breadth). Lay the foundation to obtain leadership status. See the Campus Life web page
  • Get to know your faculty members
  • Work hard. Your GPA is 50% of your law school application

Sophomore Year

  • Take courses that will develop your communication skills, reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical skills. There is no pre-law curriculum other than taking a wide array of liberal arts courses.
  • Pick a major that you will enjoy. The more technically included your major (math or science), the more important it is that you take courses that force you to write. Do not pick a major because you think it will increase your chances of acceptance at a law school. Law schools seek diversity in majors.
  • Seek leadership positions in selected student organizations. Remember: depth not breadth.
  • Develop relationships with faculty members.

Junior Year

  • Purchase the Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools from LSAC or your local bookstore. Determine the schools to which you might apply.
  • Take challenging courses. Not only do law schools look at your overall GPA, they also evaluate your transcript to see evidence that you challenged yourself (i.e. you avoided "easy" courses).
  • Register for the June LSAT (the deadline is generally in early May).
  • Prepare for the LSAT. Take full length practice exams. Research LSAT prep courses if you intend to enroll in one. Purchase prep materials. Invest 150-200 hours of study time because the LSAT is the other 50% of your law school application.
  • Identify who might write your letters of recommendation.

Senior Year

September-October

  • Register with the Law School Data Assembly Service. The LSDAS is a clearinghouse which summarizes academic records, LSAT scores, and letters of recommendation for law schools.
  • Give the transcript request form to the Registrar's Office . Send transcript request forms to any other undergraduate schools you have attended.
  • Write a draft of your personal statement.
  • Update your resume. See Career Services .
  • Decide on safety, competitive, and reach schools.
  • Schedule an appointment with the faculty members writing your recommendations. Distribute recommendation forms. Give them a deadline.
  • Attend the Law School Forum in Boston.
  • Take the October LSAT if you need to (if you did not take it in June).
  • Visit schools if you have a chance.

November - January

  • Make final revisions to your personal statement.
  • Remind recommenders, if you need to.
  • Complete and submit your applications (November 1 - December 1).
  • Send first semester grades to the law schools via the Transcript Request Form to LSDAS (transcripts must come directly from the institution).
  • Submit any financial aid applications due early to the schools that request them.

February - April
Wait.

April

  • Complete all applications for financial aid several weeks before the due date.
  • Visit schools to which you have been accepted; attend classes; speak with current students; receive Alumni
  • Questionnaires; compare financial aid packages.
  • Review financial aid notices from the law schools and project your resources and costs.
  • Decide which law schools offer to accept.
  • Send in acceptance of admission and financial aid.