To give yourself the best chance for admission, start the process at least 18 months before you want to start law school. Here is a checklist/schedule of what you should be doing.
- Attend the Law School Application and Financial Aid Workshops offered by the U of U law school, http://law.utah.edu/events/month/.
- Attend the Law School Fair and the Admissions Panel that follows
- Set up your LSAC account online
- Attend the Law School Application Workshop offered by the U of U law school http://law.utah.edu/events/month/.
- Register for the June LSAT at http://www.LSAC.org. (June is optimal as you know your scores early and it allows for October repeat if necessary.)
- Subscribe to the Credential Assembly Service CAS at http://www.LSAC.org . This is mandatory to apply to most law schools. It is a 5 year subscription which provides the following services.
- Collects your transcripts and generates a report for all schools to which you apply with your transcript information and LSAT score(s), and copies of your transcripts
- Collects and sends letters of recommendation
- Provides online applications for all ABA (American Bar Association) approved law schools
- Begin preparing for the LSAT using the method(s) of your choice; study groups, courses, practice, etc. Real previous LSAT tests are available at http://www.LSAC.org.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report from one of three national credit bureaus. You are entitled to one free report per year from each. Good credit is important for some law school financial aid.
- Take the June LSAT
- Start drafting your personal statement
- Think about who to ask for recommendations
- Make a list of potential law schools. You can use The Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools available online at http://www.LSAC.org as an aid.
- Start visiting as many schools as you can.
- Register for the October LSAT if you’re not satisfied with your June score, or if you did not take the June LSAT.
- Subscribe to CAS, if you haven’t already done so http://www.LSAC.org.
- Contact any creditors with whom you have problem accounts and make arrangements to satisfy your debts.
Early Fall—12 months
- Familiarize yourself with the applications online
- Make a checklist and schedule for each application
- Attend an LSAC Law School forum if you are able to do so
- Subscribe to CAS, if you haven’t already done so
- Send transcript request forms to all undergraduate and graduate schools you have attended. Transcript Request Forms are available through your CAS subscription
- Approach your recommenders and schedule an appointment to discuss writing a letter.
- Give them the Recommendation Form available through CAS, if you are using that optional service, or the school specific form if not.
- Provide them with specific info that will help them write an outstanding recommendation for you.
- Revise your personal statement. Tailor it to the length requested by each school, and specific essay topics, if any, on individual applications. Seek feedback from a variety of sources—professors, advisors, etc.—before finalizing.
- Make sure your credit card payments are on up to date. Avoid taking on any additional debt.
Mid to late Fall—9-10 Months
- Attend U of U Law School Fair in October: Dates/times posted on the UC Calendar
- Attend the Application and Financial Aid Workshops offered by U of U law school http://law.utah.edu/events/month/.
- Finalize your personal statement
- Put the finishing touches on your online applications.
- Take the October LSAT if you need to.
- Submit your applications, either online or by mail. Make sure you don’t mix up mailings! Thanksgiving time is a good time to shoot for.
- Request financial aid application materials from schools that require them, and make sure you read the instructions carefully.
- Remind your recommenders to send in recommendations to schools, or LSAC if you are using that service, ASAP.
- View your Master Law School Report from CAS online. It summarizes your transcripts, schools information, LSAT scores etc. Request corrections if necessary.
- Submit any financial aid applications to schools that require them.
Winter, Spring, Summer—8-2 months
- Receive monthly updates from CAS.
- Take the December LSAT if you need to.
- Cross your fingers while you wait for the acceptances to roll in.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
- Complete all school applications for financial aid several weeks before the due dates.
- Review financial aid notices from the law schools and project your resources and costs.
- Visit as many schools as you can
- Decide which offer to accept.
- Send in acceptance of admission and financial aid and seat deposit
- Review your finances at the start of the summer to be certain you’ll have sufficient resources to meet your law school expenses.
- Start the semester at the law school of your choice.