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Checklists & Timelines - Law School Timeline


FRESHMAN & SOPHOMORE YEARS

Learn, Explore, Study, and Earn Good Grades!

  • Attend seminars and informational meetings sponsored by the Academic & Pre-Professional Advising Center. Note that law schools do not look for any particular major or minor. It’s most important to study in a subject area that interests you, and one in which you will do well academically.

  • Make every effort to adjust successfully to the academic rigors of college so that you can begin building a record of solid, positive academic achievement. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is your goal. The higher your GPA, the better. Stay focused on why you are in college and where you want to go.

  • Participate in at least one positive, enriching co-curricular activity on campus, especially one in which you demonstrate your leadership abilities.

  • Expand your vocabulary. In addition to maintaining good grades, read a good, current law-related novel every semester, read the New York Times every weekday, do a crossword puzzle (the Tuesday New York Times is a worthy goal). Sign up for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Word of the Day (www.m-w.com) and/or Wordsmith - A Word A Day (e-mail: wsmith@wordsmith.org). Try to avoid being a TV addict; studying and general reading are far more productive and more like what you will be doing in law school.

  • Pursue internships and other opportunities to gain information and experience about careers in the legal profession.

  • Bookmark and review the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website (www.LSAC.org).


JUNIOR YEAR

Obtain Recommendations, Research, Study, & Prepare to Apply!

  • Think about your decision to go to law school and if you are unsure, research other career options. Most law school students take time off between college and law school.

  • Pursue internships and other opportunities to gain information and experience about careers in the legal profession.

  • Discuss legal careers with friends and acquaintances who are attorneys. Informational interviews with attorneys are also helpful.

  • Set up a half hour appointment to speak with a Pre-Professional Advisor to review your academic progress and goals, as well as the details related to applying to law school.

  • Register with the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) at LSAC.org. Most law schools want two letters of recommendation, typically from faculty or employers. Begin having those writing recommendations submit letters on your behalf.

  • Begin serious investigation of law schools. Review law school websites. Look at each school’s profile in the Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools available for free on-line at LSAC.org and at the Academic & Pre-Professional Advising Center.

  • Research law schools by exploring websites and law school catalogues. Visit law schools whenever you can.

  • Attend the fall law school fairs, particularly the NYC Law School Forum in September or the Boston Law School Fair, Copley Plaza, in late October. These are comprehensive events with many admissions deans/counselors present to answer your questions.

  • Pick up a free copy of the LSAT Registration Book in the Academic & Pre-Professional Advising Center. The LSAT is offered four times a year: June, October, December, and February.

  • Visit the LSAC.org site to get information on ordering practice exams. Investigate LSAT review courses and prepare thoroughly for the LSAT. Practice! Practice! Practice! Both Princeton Review and Kaplan are both given on campus. There are other prep courses which can be helpful, including Cambridge and Home-Study. Check them all out if you need the extra help.

  • Begin writing your personal statement. Revise, revise, revise!

  • Review your transcript at the end of your junior year. If it is accurate, have the Registrar’s Office send an official transcript to LSDAS, and make the same request of each Registrar’s Office of previously attended colleges.


SENIOR YEAR

Research, Take the LSAT, & Apply!

  • Continue to visit law schools, especially those close to where you live.

  • Attend law recruitment days and other opportunities to meet with law school admissions officers. Revisit the NYC Law School Forum in September, or go to the Boston Law School Fair, Copley Plaza in late October.

  • Register with the LSDAS at www.LSAC.org if you have not done so already.

  • Select at least five law schools to apply to and discuss your choices with a Pre-Professional Advisor.

  • Take the LSAT if you have not yet already. LSAT exams are offered in June, October, December, and February.

  • Complete your application files with LSAT and the law schools by mid-November. Make sure you disclose everything required. Failure to do so can result in the automatic rejection of your application(s).

  • File your taxes early and submit your FAFSA in January. The FAFSA is available on-line beginning January 1.

  • Submit an updated transcript with your fall grades to LSAC and the law schools.

  • Expect to hear from law schools beginning in December through the spring. If you have been waitlisted at a school, consider forwarding NEW information to the law schools (i.e., fall semester grades, completion of a thesis, awards, additional recommendation).

  • Visit the schools where you have been admitted to or waitlisted.

  • Inform the Academic & Pre-Professional Advising Center and those writing letters of recommendation of the results of your law school applications. The Pre-Professional Advisors will be able to help if you have a problem.

  • Once admitted, send a deposit to reserve your space in the entering class. If you are no longer interested in the school, let them know early so they can offer your seat to someone else.

  • Before leaving school in the spring, have the Registrar’s Office send a final transcript to the law school which you plan to attend with your complete academic record and notice of graduation.


 


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