What is the first step I have to take?
Make an LSAC account. This is like the College Board meets Common App of law schools. Become familiar with the website. Letters of recommendation, evaluation, transcript requests, etc. will be done through the LSAC website. If you need financial assistance and meet the criteria, you could apply for an LSAC fee waiver. Try to apply for the fee waiver early because it might take a while for you to acquire all of the necessary materials for the fee waiver application.
Does law school require a specific major?
No. You can apply to law school with any major. Frequently, students who apply are political science or history majors but chose a major that interests you in order to ensure a high GPA.
Does law school require any specific classes?
No. Logic, philosophy, and writing classes might be beneficial to strengthen you skills but they are not required.
What are the two major factors in law school admission decision?
The first factor is you LSAT score and the second is your GPA. Minor factors include personal statement, leadership experience, community service, work-experience, socio-economic position, etc.
When should I take the LSAT?
The LSAT is administered four times a year. However, we highly recommend you take the October LSAT during the fall that you are applying or the June LSAT before the fall that you apply. Your other options are in February and December.
What are the pros and cons of the June and October LSAT?
For the June LSAT, you would be in the best position for applying in terms of timing if you do well on it. You can comfortably work on your application materials, like the Personal Statement, during the summer so that you can send off your applications right when the application period opens in September. Sending your application early would essentially put your application on the top of every law school's pile. There is also a nice safety net--if you don't perform as well as you planned (which happens often). If your LSAT score is lower than you had hoped, you can retake the test in October and not have it seriously hurt your timing. However, taking the LSAT in June would mean studying for it during the school year, which is possible but burdensome. It might jeopardize your grades, which is not advised. The June LSAT would be scheduled during the same week as finals at UCLA.
For the October LSAT, the bulk of your studying would be done during the summer when you don't have to worry as much about school. For timing, you would study hard and do some preliminary application work during the summer, and right after you take the October test, it's best to spend the next 3-4 weeks getting your applications ready for submission until your score is released in late October/early November, which is when you would immediately send in your applications. Late October/early November is still a good time to submit applications too. However, there isn't as big of a safety net since if you don't do well on the October test, you would have to retake it in December and by the time you get your December score, about 50% of applications will have been submitted. Essentially, the October LSAT leaves you with no safety net.
Can I take the LSAT more than once?
You are allowed to take the LSAT up to 3 times in a 2-year period. However you have to send all of your reports when applying. Depending on the law schools you are applying to, they might look at your highest score, most recent, or average all of your scores.
Your LSAT scores are valid for up to five years.
How should I prepare for the LSAT?
We highly recommend that you take an LSAT prep-course. For those whom would rather self-study we recommend you study with the PowerScore guides http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/publications/
Either way, we recommend giving yourself at least 4-5 months of serious studying to ensure that you do well on the LSAT. Do the extra-targeted problems/practice tests until your practice test scores are where you want your real LSAT score to be. The classes/books do a good job with giving you the tools you will need. The drills and practice exams are where all your score jumps will be made.
Which Prep course should I take?
Testmasters and BluePrint are the two most popular choices.
What if I cannot afford a Prep course?
There are many different offers and discounts that are available. The Pre-Law Society has LSAT prep events and law forums, where law schools offer discounts. There are also need base special discounts with different prep courses (like Blueprint) if you qualify.
There is also the option of self-study. (Please refer to “How Should I Prepare for the LSAT” response)
When should I apply to Law school?
Your applications should be completed as early as possible, preferably by the fall during the year before you would like to enter law school. For example, if you are applying straight from undergrad you would preferably complete your application by November or December of the school year you are graduating. Most likely it will be the fall quarter of your senior year. Most law schools have rolling admissions (look under “What is Rolling Admission” for explanation) and many applications deadlines are in February.
Your LSAT score is valid for up to five years. Therefore you could have taken the LSAT well before applying to law school.
What is Rolling Admission?
Many law schools have rolling admission. This means that the law schools accept and evaluate applications continuously before the final deadline.
How many law schools should I apply to?
Similar to applying to undergraduate school, you would have a good number of reach schools, target schools, and back-ups.
How Should I decide where to apply?
You should try to apply to law schools in the area that you plan to practice law in. Other factors to consider would be how much scholarship the school is offering, regional prestige or national prestige, and the specialty of the school.
When should I ask for a letter of recommendation?
Ask early to ensure they have time to write a strong and well thought out letter for you. Try asking towards the middle of the spring quarter you are applying. Ask a few professors you are close with. Most schools would want about two letters.
Should I take a gap year?
If you feel like your LSAT scores or grades are not high enough, you could take a gap year. This way you could work on your LSAT the summer after you graduate and take an internship during the rest of the year.