When applying to law school, timing is everything. You need to know which LSATs you should take and when to submit your applications. Getting your letters of recommendation on time is completely dependent on when you ask for them. Same with getting your transcripts. As you can see, timing is a big factor in the admissions process! Below is an ideal timeline for getting into law school.
Before & During the Admissions Process
Before we get into the timeline, there are a couple of things that need to be in the works and happening while you’re going through this process. Let’s go over them
- Foster relationships for Letters of Recommendation. This is huge and often overlooked. We won’t go into detail here, but in your final years of college, you need to be making connections with the people that will go on to write your LORs.
- Maintain good grades, especially in your last two years of college. Your GPA is super important! It’s the second most important numerical factor in your application, so keep those grades up!
- Write a Personal Statement. This is another incredibly important factor of your application.
Consider Different Law Schools
1. What are your dream schools? Write them down. Try to be realistic, but don’t deny yourself by thinking you might not fit the criteria for particular schools.
2. Take that list and do research on them. What GPA and LSAT scores are they looking for? You can find this information on LSAC’s ABA-Approved Law School Guide. Something to note is that rankings aren’t the be-all to end-all! Think about the other things that are important to you. What is their availability of the programs you want to pursue? Are they located somewhere you think is desirable? What’s the size of the school and are you comfortable with that size? Make notes on all of these points and more when forming your decisions.
Start Thinking About the LSAT
3. Take a practice LSAT. This gives you an idea of where your initial LSAT score is. It also gives you a general idea of where your score might be after studying. Students in our courses go up an average of 10-12 points! Having this initial number on had is helpful for the following steps.
4. Using this diagnostic score, make a list of schools where your GPA and initial LSAT score put you in a good position of gaining admittance. Consider these your safety schools.
5. Assume you can improve your score with studying because you definitely can. Go ahead and assume an increase of 10-12 points since our students have proved that possible. Now, make a list of schools where your GPA and new score give you a good shot of admittance. Depending on your optimism, consider these your “target” or “reach” schools.
6. Using this information, sit down and decide what you want to score on the actual LSAT. This decision should come from your initial score, schools and their LSAT requirements, and your increase potential. Having a score goal is one of the most effective ways to prepare your mind for the grueling task ahead.
Focus on the LSAT
7. Study your tail off for the LSAT. If you take one of our courses, you will take multiple practice tests throughout. Doing this helps track your progress towards your target score. If you’re studying on your own with books, make sure you have plenty of practice tests to gauge how you’re improving with specific sections and question types. Even if you don’t purchase a course, books, or tutoring hours with us, check out our free Self-Study Site. It has a multitude of free tools that are helpful for any test-taker.
8. Take the LSAT. Preferably do this once you’re scoring at or above your target score on practice tests.
9. Waiting is arguably the hardest part of the process. While you’re waiting, work on your application. Make sure all your ducks are in a row so that when you do get your LSAT score back, you can hit the ground running.
10. Once you get your score, review your school list. You may have to adjust your safety, target, and reach schools based on your score. But, now you not only have your score in hand, you also know which schools you want to attend. Two birds, one stone.
…and voilá! That’s our suggested LSAT/application plan. Don’t do one ahead of the other, instead, do them concurrently so each one helps and informs the other. This helps make sure the schools you’re choosing are realistic in terms of your numerical indicators and that your LSAT score is giving you a boost of confidence by your school choices. It’s a win-win!