The Very Beginning!
Make Sure Law School is Really for You
Be sure that law school really is what you want to do.
This may sound silly, but trust us, far too many applicants skip this crucial
first step and often waste lots of money as well as three years of their lives
on an education they didn't really want or need.
Analyze Your Positioning
Look at your candidacy the way the admissions committee
will. Consider the following:
Do you have good grades? (Do you need to take any
classes to build an 'alternate transcript'?)
Do you have good extracurricular involvement? (You
may need to get involved in some activities before submitting your
Sit for the LSAT
The sooner you knock out this test, the sooner you can
start focusing on the rest of your application. Your LSAT score may also give
you an idea of the range of schools at which you will be competitive.
End of Summer
Finalize Your Positioning
Repeat any classes you needed for your alternate
transcript, gain any leadership experience you may have needed from
extracurricular activities, etc.
Select the Law Schools to which You Plan to Apply
After you determine what exactly you are looking for in
your law school education, do your research and determine what makes each school
unique. The schools you most closely match are also the ones where your chances
will be highest. (See the bottom of our home page if you missed this
The summer is also a good time to plan some autumn campus
Introspect on Your Admissions 'Story'
Before the applications are even released, you should have
a pretty good idea of your answers to why you want to go to law school, why you
want to attend each law school you are targeting, what you have to offer in
terms of diversity, etc. The summer is the time to really think about where you
have come from and where you are going. The fall is the time to complete your
applications, not begin the brainstorming process for your story. Finally, your
story will help chart the topic selection process for those all-important
Work on your Applications
Most law schools favor early applicants since it shows
sincerity in the program. (Apply late and they may think they are your back up
school.) It is often advised that you work through one application to completion
before starting the next application. This ensures that at least some of your
applications will be submitted early in case you run into unforeseen problems
with your schedule. Final note on applications: your letters of reference are
often a critical time path.
Why do this now when I can wait to see where I was
accepted? An admissions officer at Cornell states, "I like to see applicants who
take the time to visit our campus and reflect that in their applications. If
they are willing to visit us and they show sincerity in their personal
statement, there is an excellent chance that they will attend our school if
Don't think Cornell is the only school that cares about
yield or campus visits.
Sit tight. If you really did everything you could, you
should be fine right now. With any luck, you should be choosing between multiple
admissions offers and making plans for the next 3 years of your life!