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In the year prior to applying to law school, a candidate should begin to consider law schools with particular regard to type (private, state), size, location, opportunities for clinical work, programs of special interest, arrangements for financial assistance, and a realistic assessment of her chances for admission based on academic performance and test scores.
January before application year
- Prepare for the LSAT by reading thoroughly the LSAT & LSDAS Information Book and other information from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Take the sample test on a timed basis. Additional practice materials may be ordered from the LSAC. The majority of applicants take a commercial test preparatory course. Allow at least six months’ time to study for the LSAT.
Spring/Summer before application year
- Visit the LSAC to register for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and to order Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
- Take the LSAT by early October. Note: if you register for the December exam, the time between the October and the December test administrations probably will not permit you to receive October scores before the December registration deadlines. If you have to wait for December test scores to select your schools, note carefully the application deadlines.
August before application year
- Visit the LSAC to view law school web sites.
- Check out the ABA·LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. Links to The Guide and to all ABA-approved law schools may be found at the LSAC.
September/October of application year
- Order Wellesley College transcript from Registrar to be sent to the LSAC. Also order transcripts from all other undergraduate or graduate schools at which you have a transcript. Have transcript(s) sent to CAS.
- Attend on-campus law school information sessions and the fall LSAC Law School Boston Forum.
- Work on your application and essay.
- Request references.
- Give recommenders 6-8 weeks to prepare their evaluations. Provide recommenders with the link to Guidelines for Faculty Writing Law School References.
- Review the CAS Letters of Reference section to learn of your options regarding supplying general and/or school specific, targeted letters of reference.
- Check each application and determine what references are required. Some law schools require a dean's form.
- Approximately three weeks after you take the LSAT, the LSAC will e-mail your LSAT report to you, indicating your current test results and the results of any previous tests for which you registered in the last five years.
- Complete and submit applications by Thanksgiving. Many schools have rolling admissions; it is always better to apply early, but not before Labor Day.
- Check the status of your CAS file to be sure that all of your undergraduate transcripts have been received and the CAS summary has been completed. Report any inaccuracies to the CAS.
- Many law schools send acknowledgments when your file is complete. If you have not received an acknowledgement within nine or ten weeks from the time of application, first check your CAS account. Follow up with your recommenders, institutions from which you have ordered a transcript, or the CAS, as appropriate.
- Undergraduates should send seventh semester grades to the CAS. If your file is active, CAS will send an updated report to the law schools.
February - April
- Acceptances and rejections begin to arrive, although some schools with rolling admissions will notify you of your status earlier. As soon as you are admitted to the law school of your choice, notify all other law schools that you are withdrawing your application. When you begin to receive your decisions, please keep Liz O'Connell, prelaw advisor in the Center for Work and Service, informed.