Getting Started

Thinking About Law School

If you are just beginning to think about law school, the following questions may be among the many on your mind. 

Once you have made your decision that law school is indeed something you will want to pursue, you will need to begin the complex sequence of events that make up the law school application process.

The first step is preparation for the LSAT. There are a number of ways to prepare, but you may want to begin with taking a sample test under simulated conditions. When you are ready, you can also purchase previously administered tests for practice, which is probably the best way to get ready for the actual test as well as to maximize your score.

Once you begin the application process in earnest—which usually begins with registering to take the test—you will need to subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service. You may want to subscribe to this service at the same time that you register for the test to simplify the paperwork, but you don’t have to. The important thing is to understand that this service will coordinate your academic and biographical information, as well as your test score, for the law schools to which you apply.

You can register for the test and subscribe to the LSDAS online or by phone or by mail. To order registration materials from the Law School Admission Council, click here.

You also will want to give some thought to which of the 183 LSAC-member law schools you are interested in attending. There are many things to consider when choosing a law school and many ways to go about researching the information. One way to begin might be to attend a Law School Forum. The best source of information on law schools is always going to be the law schools themselves.

LSAT/LSDAS Checklist

The following checklist broadly illustrates the sequence of events in the law school application process. You are responsible for monitoring your file. (You can obtain your up-to-date file status by clicking here)

  • Prepare for the LSAT.

  • Research law schools and compose a schedule of application deadlines.

  • Register for the LSAT and LSDAS. Click here to register online.

    You need not subscribe to the LSDAS at the same time you register for the LSAT; however, subscribe as soon as possible before your first law school deadline.

    Many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by December for admission the following fall. However, taking the test earlier—in June or October—is often advised.

  • Receive an LSAT Admission Ticket.

  • Receive an LSDAS Subscription Confirmation.

  • Receive an LSAC Activity Update each month that activity occurs in your file, or click here to check the status of your file online.

  • Request that an official transcript be sent to us from the registrar’s office of each school you attended.

    Allow two weeks from the time of receipt for us to process your transcripts.

  • Request that letters of recommendation be written and sent to us or directly to law schools as appropriate.

    Allow two weeks from the time of receipt for us to process your letters of recommendation.

  • Take the LSAT.

  • Receive your LSAT score.

  • Receive a Master Law School Report once all undergraduate transcripts have been summarized.

  • Apply to law schools. Schools will then request your report from us.

  • Receive an Activity Update that indicates reports have been sent to law schools, or click here to check online status of law school reports that have been requested and sent.

The above checklist presents one of many approaches to the law school admission process. It is important for you to prepare your own timetable based on the application deadlines for the law schools to which you apply. Consulting a prelaw advisor would be useful.

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