The process of applying to law schools can seem confusing and intimidating. Furthermore, making a mistake in the application process could prevent you from being accepted to the schools of your choice. Thus, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the steps necessary to apply to law school.
Get to Know About the Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is an organization that both administers the LSAT and provides important information on your behalf to the schools to which you apply. The best way to begin to learn about the application process is by looking over their website.
Know What Deadlines Apply to You
There will be a number of application deadlines that you will face as you begin the application process, ranging from deadlines for registering to take the LSAT, to deadlines to getting your applications in to the schools to which you wish to apply. Furthermore, each school to which you apply may have different deadlines. Keeping all of this straight will require careful planning on your part.
To determine the deadline to register for the LSAT you want to take, go to the LSAC’s website.
To determine the application deadline for the law schools to which you wish to apply, you will need to go to each schools website, or contact their admissions officers yourself.
Register with the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS)
The Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) is a service operated by LSAC, and is used in order to simplify the application process. Most ABA approved law schools require you to use this service, and so it is a good idea to register for it at the same time you register to take the LSAT. You can do both of these at the LSAC website.
You will need to have your transcripts sent to LSDAS from every undergraduate school you attended. You will also have your letters of recommendation sent here, as well as your statement of purpose, and your resume. The LSDAS will prepare a report for each school to which you apply, sending that school all of the relevant information you sent to LSDAS. It must be noted that you are charged both for registering with LSDAS, and for each report sent to each law school to which you apply.
LSDAS will not begin generating reports on your behalf until your LSDAS file is complete. It is your responsibility to ensure that it is complete. To learn what is required for a complete file, click here.
Complete Your LSDAS File
Many law schools require letters of recommendation from people who are qualified to judge your ability to succeed in law school. You will need to contact them and ask them to write you a letter. You will also provide them with a form from the LSAC website, giving them instructions on how to complete the letter and where they should send it when complete. It is your responsibility to give them enough time to do this well and get the letters in on time.
It is also your responsibility to contact the colleges and universities you have attended to request that transcripts be sent to LSDAS in time.
Fifth: Send in Applications to the Schools to Which you Wish to Apply
Each law school to which you apply will require you to fill out their application (and application fee) and send it directly to them by their application deadline. Once they have your completed application file, they will request your LSDAS report directly from LSDAS. Once they have all of this, they begin to make their admissions decision.