So You Want to go to Law School?

by Stevie Hall*

Aspiration

A key factor to accomplishing your dream is do NOT procrastinate. Give yourself a whole year or more to complete the application and all of its mandatory components.

Most applications are due in January-April however, many schools have rolling admissions, which means they accept students as the completed applications come in. It’s recommended that you apply as early as possible to have a better chance at getting into the top school of your choice.

LSAT

The first step in applying is to take your Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The best time to take your first LSAT is a whole year before you start to apply to any law schools. Taking the exam this early allows you to have plenty of time to retake the test and avoid crunch time when application deadlines approach. The LSAT is only offered four times a year: February, June, October, and December, and registration usually begins a month in advance.

LSAT scores range from 120 (possible lowest score) to 180 (possible highest score). Law schools have a varied range of LSAT scores for admissions.

CAS

The Credential Assembly Service (CAS) is required by most American Bar Association (ABA) approved schools, and is provided by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). For a fee, LSAC puts together a report of your LSAT scores, your transcript, and your letters of recommendation. The school(s) can contact the CAS to request a copy of this report.

Transcripts, Recommendations, and Personal Statement

Princeton Review suggests waiting until August to request that your transcript from your undergraduate institution be sent to CAS. As for recommendations, hopefully by the time you start to apply to law school you have two professors, or more, that you’ve worked closely with that would be willing to write a recommendation letter. A strong educational relationship with these professors is important for many reasons, and when they write their letter they need a strong sense of your ambitions and potential.

Your personal statement is also an important part of the process. This allows you to freely voice your motivations and love for the law. Although it has the most flexibility when writing it, make sure not to stray from professionalism, good grammar, and concise information.

Choosing a School

After you receive your LSAT scores and look at your GPA, you’ll have a good sense of possible options for law school. It’s always good to apply for higher ranked schools, as well as “safe schools”. On average, people apply anywhere from six to ten schools. Here is a list of Texas law schools, and a few out of state schools with their national rank, average LSAT and GPA, and acceptance rate.

school chart

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Student Legal and Mediation Services office by phone (936) 294-1717, email slms@shsu.edu, or go online at http://www.shsu.com/legalservice to schedule an appointment.

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