Welcome to our pre-application tip series. July marks an important point in pre-application preparations. By July, many applicants have either recently sat for the 1st LSAT or will be doing so in the upcoming weeks while also taking other active steps to prepare for the upcoming application cycle. To assist in your efforts, below are a few tips and recommendations for this phase of the pre-application series.
Assess your application plans and timeline!
July is the perfect month to take an assessment of your overall application goals and timeline, examining how your projected goal dates and application time frame fit with your current situation. As you assess your timeline consider the following:
- LSAT Status: Have you completed the LSAT or will you be sitting for an upcoming exam? If you are sitting for an upcoming exam that is different than you projected, how will that affect other goal dates? Keep in mind that there are many LSAT administration options in the fall and that there are many strategies for being successful in this process. Don’t be discouraged if your LSAT plans have changed requiring an additional attempt or one at a later month, do make sure you have made proactive adjustments to your overall plan to accommodate this change. If you are preparing for an upcoming LSAT – that should be your highest application priority this month
- Course/Professional/Personal Obligations: By now, you are likely beginning to have a better sense of big events that will be upcoming for this fall. Be sure to build these significant obligations into your plans, including reviewing your course schedules/syllabi for due dates this fall as they become available!
- Is the Time Still Right? Consider if the upcoming application cycle is still the right time to apply for you. Whether you are an alum working currently, or a student moving into your senior year – don’t be afraid to reassess your overall application timeline and anticipated start to law school if your circumstances have changed or new opportunities have come up. Law school is waiting – make sure it is the right time for you!
Get Logistics In Line!
There are many administrative aspects to applying to law school, these administrative steps can assist you in having a more manageable and successful applications process or put you at a disadvantage by missing important steps or limiting your time to prepare. Position yourself for success by working ahead on administrative aspects of the application process. Below are a few areas to concentrate on!
- Organize! Create a system to organize the information you receive during the application process. Building a document(s) such as a spreadsheet can be a great way to create a comprehensive place for important details on schools you are researching and planning to apply to – including unique requirements and deadlines. Consider creating an email for your admissions process only or begin setting up an organization system within your email account to ensure you can keep track of information and communications during the process. Create files to store your application material drafts and other relevant information you will be working on.
- Create an Application Calendar: Whether you have an existing calendar where you manage obligations or need to create a separate system, consider creating an online or hard copy calendar where you will track important deadlines, goal dates, programs, events, and other important obligations related to your application. Having a designated place where your plans and goals are mapped out will assist in keeping tracking, anticipating next steps, and making adjustments as needed to accommodate the unexpected. Your calendar should begin now and continue through the spring semester. Be sure to build in reminders at least a week in advance of important deadlines/obligations.
Here are examples of some important dates to list now!
- Credential Assembly Service: The Credential Assembly Service (CAS) is the system you will utilize to access application requirements, assemble application materials, and submit finalized applications to individual law schools. Most law school applications will open September 1, and although you do not (and likely should not) need to submit on that date to be “early” in the admissions process, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the system prior to this date and possibly to begin compiling some application components. You can register for CAS at any time; however, we encourage applicants to register by mid-August if that is financially feasible. The CAS fee is $200 for five years. Already registered? Consider requesting your transcripts be sent now!
Don’t Be Discouraged!
Applying to law school is a marathon! You may be discouraged at points and perhaps feel uncertain – that is common. There are many paths to success in this process and no two applicants’ journeys will look exactly alike.
Schedule a time to talk with a pre-law advisor to discuss any questions or concerns you have, we are ready to help and support you!