Law School Application Timeline
Use this timeline as a guide as you begin to explore and prepare for law school. As you refine your interests, list of schools and co-op plans create a personalized timeline working backward from hard deadlines (e.g., application/financial aid and LSAT dates). Keep in mind that law schools constitute the most authoritative source of information regarding their programs, especially as deadlines, letters of recommendation, accepted LSAT administrations, and other aspects of the application process vary across programs.
As you plan to take advantage of co-op, study abroad, and other experiential learning opportunities consider whether beginning the LSAT preparation process before your third year would best position you to submit competitive applications.
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.
Schedule a Pre-Law Advising appointment through myNortheastern or by calling the front desk at 617-373-2430.
Freshman and Sophomore Year
- Pre-Law basics
- Join the Pre-Law Listserv to receive the monthly newsletter
- Meet with the Pre-Law/Graduate School Advisor
- Review the webinar, “Exploring and Preparing for Law School” on NUcareers (Career Development > Resources > Applying to Law/Professional and Graduate Programs)
- 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 their 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
- Take LSAT
- Update resume and draft your personal statement
- 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 the September/October/November LSAT, if necessary
- Request required transcripts from the Office of the University Registrar in the fall for submission to LSAC
- 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 web pages 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.
- 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.