How do you get into law school? One step at a time. Even if you haven't taken the LSAT yet, get a full understanding of the entire process with this step-by-step guide for applying to law school.
1. Take the LSAT
The first step in applying to law school is taking the LSAT. Your LSAT is basically tied with your GPA for the most important number for law schools. The test is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school. Scores range from 120 to 180, with 120 being the lowest possible score and 180 the highest possible score.” The average LSAT score is about 150. You can see the LSAT percentiles of the top 25 law schools in the nation for reference.
Be sure to prepare as much as possible for the test as it's best that you only take it once. You can take it again if you are unhappy with your first score, but be sure to ask yourself these five questions before you retake the LSAT. For more advice on LSAT prep, click here.
2. Register With the LSDAS
If you didn't do so when signing up for the LSAT, register with the LSDAS as it will make applying to law schools much easier. This is the main system that law schools use to collect all the application requirements from their students. Therefore, creating an account is essential to the application process.
3. Decide Where to Apply to Law School
Applying to law school can get expensive, so it's important to narrow down your list. You can also visit schools to get a feel for what it would be like to be a student there. Read through our extensive law school profiles and have in mind that if your score is above the 75th percentile at a given school, they are likely to offer you some money to attend their school. Therefore, keep your GPA and LSAT scores in mind while you are looking for schools. It's a good idea to match your scores to your law school.
4. Write Your Personal Statement
LSAT scores and grades are the most important parts of law school applications, but personal statements run a close third. Your goal in the personal statement is to show the admissions committee why you would be a valuable addition to their law school, and it's never too early to get started on writing it. Don't expect to produce a perfect statement on your first try. It is a good thing to constantly revise, go through several drafts, and consult with teachers and advisors.
5. Get Recommendations
Law school recommendations are the final piece to your application puzzle, and with some planning ahead of time, you can be sure to get glowing letters of recommendations from your referees. Ideally, you want to ask a teacher that you have a great relationship with or someone who can really speak to your character and potential.
6. Don't Forget Financial Aid
Unfortunately, even after finishing everything mentioned above, you're not quite done. But you can't forget this important step in the application process - it could save you a good amount of money.
Each law school on your list may have a different application for applying to financial aid, so you need to research the process of each school separately. Schools may offer grants or loan programs in addition to merit scholarships. But don't just limit your search for financial aid to your law school: there are many outside scholarships you can apply for to help decrease the cost of law school. Any kind of aid helps to lower your potential debt.