Applying to Law School
The Application Process
Create An Account With LSAC
The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is your one-stop resource for all of your law school admission needs. Go to www.lsac.org and open your “Future JD account.” The law school application process is much simpler with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Services (CAS). CAS streamlines law school admission by allowing applicants to have all transcripts, recommendations, and evaluations sent only once to LSAC, where they are summarized and combined with LSAT scores and writing samples into a report that LSAC sends to your prospective law schools. Many law schools will waive their application fee if you use the CAS.
Check to see when the application for your entering class will be available online on LSAC. The earlier you apply, the more advantageous it is to you. Files are reviewed by the Admissions Committee as they arrive and decisions are completed on a “rolling” basis.
LSAT Timing and Preparation
Determine when you will take the LSAT and how you will prepare for it. You can find preparation materials on the LSAC site or you can enroll in a formal test preparation program. NC State University has a formal agreement with the Princeton Review for test preparation (www.princetonreview.com/law-school.aspx) and they offer a significant discount to NC State students. Preparing well for this test is critically important and requires hours of diligent and time-intensive practice.
Besides GPA, your score on the LSAT is the most important factor in determining what law schools will accept you. Because of its importance in determining law school admissions, it is not an exam that one should take lightly or simply because you are interested in seeing how you do without extensive study. Once the test is taken, the score becomes permanent for the next five years. This is true even if you take the test a second time. The law school will receive both scores, and then it is up to the law school to decide whether they will take the higher score, the latter score, or average them. Make sure you review all policies related to the LSAT.
Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
Think about appropriate people to write recommendations. Contact your recommenders, as early as possible, and ask for what you will need. “Do you believe you can provide a strong supportive letter in support of my law school application?” If you are a recent graduate, most schools wish to see at least one letter from a faculty member. The others may come from an internship or research supervisor, an employer, etc. If you have been out of school for over five years then other recommendations may be used. When completing your applications, having two LOR’s submitted usually fulfills your application requirements; however, verify the exact number allowed within the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
List all institutions from which you have taken any college-level course credit in your CAS report. Request your institution send the transcript directly to LSAC. Transcripts should be sent during the application process, and again with your posted degree on the final transcript. The LSAC system uses only your undergraduate grades to calculate your GPA in the Academic Summary for your LSAC/CAS report.
Your law school resume can be more than one page, especially if you have a longer work history and other experiences to include (internship/community service, etc.). Where possible, provide comprehensive background and details describing your experiences to assist those evaluating your application.
Carefully review and follow the guidelines found within the application. Discuss in-depth details or questions with your pre-law advisor or an admissions officer. Because this is essentially your interview on paper, be sure to carefully edit and meticulously proofread this document before submitting it with your application.