Law School Application Timeline
Use this timeline as a guide as you begin to actively explore and prepare for law school. As you refine your interests and list of schools, create a personalized timeline working backwards from hard deadlines (e.g., application/financial aid and LSAT dates). Keep in mind that law schools are the best source of information regarding their programs and they have varying deadlines and requirements for letters of recommendation, accepted LSAT administrations, and other aspects of the application process.
If you are beginning the process after graduation, meet with the Pre-Law/Graduate School Advisor to tailor your strategy and aim to give yourself 1.5 years to navigate the process.
Freshman and Sophomore Year
- Pre-Law basics
- Explore your interest in law school and law-related careers
- Build relevant skills, experiences, and a strong academic record
- Take classes that are engaging and perform as well as possible
- Develop your research, writing, and logical reasoning capacities through coursework internships, and community service opportunities
- Review the American Bar Association’s Statement, Preparing for Law School, to learn about additional skills, values, knowledge, and experience you should aim to develop
- Join pre-law and other student organizations (e.g., Phi Alpha Delta) and begin designing a path to leadership positions
- Engage with professors
- Participate meaningfully in classroom discussions
- Attend office hours
- Clarify your interest in law school and law-related careers
- Continue shadowing or conducting informational interviews
- Take advantage of co-op, internship, research, and other experiential learning opportunities to explore different career paths
- Meet with the Pre-Law/Graduate School Advisor to design an application strategy
- LSAC and LSAT
- Register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
- Prepare and register for the spring/summer LSAT following junior year – check for the date when registration opens several months in advance of your target LSAT and register early, as seats fill up. Taking the LSAT 1.5 years before beginning law school classes is recommended, though one year may be sufficient depending on your schools’ deadlines.
- Attend practice LSAT and other pre-law events
- Speak with the Pre-Law/Graduate School Advisor if you are considering taking the GRE
- Research schools, build a preliminary list, and develop your own timeline
- Review factors to consider when evaluating law schools and assess which are most important for your professional goals. Consider LSAC’s How to Evaluate Law Schools and NALP’s Prelaw – What Questions Should I Ask?
- Create a spreadsheet of schools and make note of application, early decision/early action, and financial aid deadlines; letter of recommendation requirements (academic v. professional and min. and max. number of letters); and attributes of the program that interest you
- Attend Boston LSAC Law School Forum (typically mid-late fall) or another law fair
- Visit law schools when feasible
- Update resume and draft your personal statement
- Request required transcripts from the Office of the University Registrar and submit to LSAC
- Request letters of recommendation a few months before you intend to submit applications
- Decide on safety, target, and reach schools to which you will apply
- Take LSAT
- Take the September/October/November LSAT, if necessary
- Attend law school fairs as needed
- Meet with the Pre-Law/Graduate School Advisor for application advising
- Submit competitive applications as early as possible
- Note that many law schools process applications on a rolling admissions basis and open applications in September (be mindful of early decision/action deadlines)
- Attend the Graduate and Professional School Coaching Lab to receive support as you revise your admissions essays and resume. Attend workshops featuring guest speakers on admissions and application materials with other Huskies applying to law school
- Research financial aid options and apply early
- Review resources from the financial aid office at the law schools to which you are applying to understand your options. Visit LSAC’s webpages on Paying for Law School to learn more.
- Submit financial aid applications early
- Consult with your academic department or dean’s office if you need a Dean’s Certificate
- Check your CAS file to ensure application materials are accurate and up to date. Submit transcript with fall grades.
- Visit schools to which you have been admitted and follow instructions for submitting deposit once you make a decision
- If you are placed on a waitlist, follow the law school’s instructions very carefully and meet with the Pre-Law/Graduate School Advisor for strategic advice on increasing your chances of being admitted
- Consider a visit to the school, if feasible, letter of continued interest noting updates regarding GPA, honors, extracurricular activities, internships, etc., and additional letters of recommendation when allowed
- Consult with Pre-Law/Graduate School Advisor to explore alternative plans, if necessary
Review additional pre-law advising resources here