November LSAT registration was very high, and lots of people are now submitting their applications. An inside tip that we want to share: Many of last year’s November LSAT takers ended up waiting until January to apply. Why? It was Fall Break, then finals, then the holidays, then winter break…and before they knew it, it was the end of January. Our advice? DON’T WAIT.
Remember that most law schools use rolling admissions–they have been admitting people since September. So your goal should be to complete your applications as soon as your LSAT score is released on December 19. Here’s what to do now.
- Complete the writing portion of the LSAT. Many law schools will not review your application until you finish the writing section of the LSAT so hop on that ASAP!
- Register for the Credential Assembly Service if you haven’t already. This is the account where your letter of recommendation writers will send your letter–and they can’t write your letter until you set this up. Click here for more information.
- Follow up with your recommenders. By now you should have already approached your letter of recommendation writers, but if not, NOW is the time. Provide a resume and allow at least 6-8 weeks for them to write and upload the letter to your CAS account.
- Order your transcript(s) now. Note: You will need to order a transcript from every undergraduate institution where you took courses–even summer courses–so now is a good time to reach out to the registrar of any community colleges or schools from which you transferred. Here is where you order your UIUC transcript. Want more information about the LSAC’s transcript policies? Go here.
- Write your personal statement. Our personal statement workshops are finished for the year, but we also provide a quick overview of the personal statement in our PLAS Handbook. Click on the “Applying to Law School” tab. Once there, select the “Personal Statement” tab. We have additional information in the “Applying to Law School” section of our PLAS Compass page. As both of these resources explain, each law school will have its own prompt(s) for the personal statement. While you may discover that many of these personal statement prompts are similar, you need to CAREFULLY REVIEW each prompt for each law school and reply to that prompt. Besides giving you a topic or direction to take, the prompt may also contain information about font size, page limits, etc. You need to open your CAS account and then begin to apply to each law school to see the details in each application. Note: just because you open an application today does NOT mean you have to finish it today. You can begin your law school applications and then go back and work on them at your own pace.
- Research law schools. The very first thing to consider is: What are your top 3 priorities in a legal education? (Location, employment, affordability, and admissibility are common priorities.) You’ll want to develop a list of 8-10 law schools that meet those priorities. You can find LSAT/GPA data, employment information, tuition, and more by using a resource like the American Bar Association’s Required Disclosure reports. On this website you will find these reports:
- 509 Required Disclosures = Previous year’s incoming class data such as GPA, LSAT, ethnicity, number of applicants + admits, etc., plus you can find tuition, number and amount of scholarships awarded, and transfer data.
- Employment Outcomes = Law schools are required to report the employment status of graduates 10 months after graduation. Here you will see how many of the law schools’s most recent grads are employed, and in what sectors.
- Bar Passage Outcomes = Law schools must report bar passage data about a year out. This report will show which state bar exam this school’s grads take, how many pass, and comparisons to the general state pass rate.
If you have questions and would like to meet with an advisor, go here to schedule an appointment. We will be available until December 20 and then again in January.