What should be my first step?
Make an LSAC account. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is best described as the law school fusion between the College Board and the Common App. This is where you will register for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
Become familiar with the website; letters of recommendation, transcript requests, and other documents will be submitted through LSAC. If you need financial assistance and meet the criteria, you may apply for LSAC fee waivers.
Does law school require a specific major?
No. You can apply to law school with any major. Law schools look to create classes of diverse academic backgrounds.
Does law school require any specific classes?
No. Logic, philosophy, and writing classes might be beneficial to strengthen skills you will use in law school, but they are not required.
What are the two major factors in law school admission decision?
There are two important numbers at play: your LSAT score and your GPA. Less important factors include personal statement, leadership experience, community service, work-experience, socio-economic position, etc. Do not be discouraged, however, if either your GPA or LSAT is not as high as you'd like it to be: they are not the only factors taken into account.
When should I take the LSAT?
The earlier, the better. The LSAT is administered five times a year. We highly recommend you take the October LSAT during the fall that you are applying or the June or July LSAT the summer beforehand. Your other options are in February and December.
What are the pros and cons of the June and September LSAT?
The June LSAT puts you in pole position to apply early in the cycle - something which is advantageous, as applications are rolling. There is also a safety net—if you don't perform as well as you planned (which happens), you can retake the exam in September or November. However, a June sitting means you will have to prepare for the exam during the school year. Remember that your GPA is equally important to your LSAT score. The June LSAT is generally scheduled during final exam week at UCLA.
A September sitting means you can study for the exam through the summer, and turn your attention to your application materials immediately after the exam. You can still retake the exam in November (or even December), but you'd lose the advantage of applying early.
Can I take the LSAT more than once?
Yes. However, keep in mind that law schools will see all your scores. Some schools may only look at your highest score; others, however, may look at all of them or average your scores.
Your LSAT scores are valid for five years.
How should I prepare for the LSAT?
We highly recommend that you take an LSAT prep-course.
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?
We do not recommend any particular course. We host the major players on campus several times a year; you should go to each seminar and decide which teaching method works best for you.
Prep courses are a significant investment, but it is money well spent.
What if I cannot afford a prep course?
A number of discounts are available to members of the Pre-Law Society. Some companies provide need-based scholarships, and there are some non-profit programs that are designed to help low-income students get to law school which can help with LSAT prep.
Of course, there is also the option of self-studying - there are several textbooks on the market (and available at the library) which are a great resource.
When should I apply to law school?
The earlier, the better - most schools' admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, and it always benefits you to be considered when the class is empty rather than nearly full.
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 should have a reasonable number of reach schools, target schools, and back-ups. However, this is entirely up to you.
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. How well the recommender knows you is more important than their rank or title; we often hear from deans of admissions that TA letters are great, especially from large schools like UCLA.