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Make this your
best year academically. Your acceptance to
law school will depend to a great extent on
your academic record. If you hope to go on
immediately to law school after graduation,
your junior year grades will be the most
recently completed and thus reported.
Usually it is not a
good idea to take the LSAT prior to June,
but start reviewing old copies of the test
and exploring the option of enrolling in a
commercial test preparation course. Sample
tests are available in the LSAT registration
packets (available in the academic advising
office, Ley Student Center) or in LSAT prep
books (such as Barron's).
Do not write to law
schools for catalogs and application forms
until you return to school in August. Their
printing deadlines for current year
materials are late summer.
Continue to explore
and learn about the legal profession by:
articles, pamphlets, and books.
- talking with
and observing lawyers.
- taking part
in the law-related activities on campus.
- Start investigating law schools. Think
about where you want to spend three years
of intensive study. There are a number of
variables to consider: location, size,
prestige, cost, special programs, student
body, chances of admission, etc. Again,
reading and talking with others can help.
Take advantage of the prelaw programs and
the Houston Law Forum, which bring law
school representatives to town. Visit
prospective law schools during your
- Give some thought to recommendations.
Most law schools request two faculty
letters. The most persuasive letters are
often written by faculty who know you well
and for whom you have done your best work.
Consider taking another course from such
- Now is the time to correct any
remaining weakness(es) in your academic
skills. If you are a slow reader, have a
weak vocabulary, or possess mediocre
writing skills, you might explore courses
in a community college in your home town
during the summer or you might take an
additional English course.
Junior and Senior Years
- Pick up an LSAT/LSDAS Registration
Packet in the academic advising office.
Read the packet thoroughly to make sure
you understand all phases of the
application process. This is the single
most important step.
- Register for the LSAT and LSDAS.
- Read the Official Guide to U.S. Law
Schools, if you have not already.
Begin to develop a list of 10 to 15 law
schools which, given your GPA and LSAT
scores, offer a reasonable chance of your
gaining admission. A few should be
longshots, but most should be in the "more
likely" range. It's also nice to have one
or two "safe" schools. Most applicants
wind up sending applications to 6 to 10
- Prepare for and take the LSAT. The
advantage of taking the June test is that
you will know your score before August and
can better select an appropriate range of
law schools. You will also have time to
register for and retake the test in the
fall if your performance is not up to par.
If the June test is not convenient, plan
to take the October test. The june test
also allows for early application
- Develop a system for keeping track of
all the registration and application
details. Duplicate all forms,
applications, and correspondence for your
- First request applications from law
schools using the postcards in the LSAT/LSDAS
- Make an appointment with the prelaw
advisor to discuss your plans.
- Pull together ideas for a personal
statement or essay. Begin drafting and
- Conclude arrangements for your letters
- Use the transcript matching forms in
your LSAT/LSDAS packet to request that the
registrar send your transcript to LSDAS.
- Obtain financial aid applications
(available from the financial aid office)
if you intend to apply for financial aid.
- Investigate other financial aid
- If you are uncertain about the
strength of your credentials or the
advisability of retaking the LSAT, make an
appointment with the prelaw advisor.
- Finalize and send your applications
(with the Law School Matching Forms in the
LSAT/LSDAS Packet) to law schools before
Thanksgiving, if possible.
- Double check everything. By
mid-January, make sure the law schools
received your applications, your LSDAS
reports, and all letters of
- Wait and hope.
- Once admitted, send a deposit to
reserve your space in the entering class.
- After hearing from all law schools,
but before graduation, let the prelaw
advisor know your results and decision.
- Let your recommenders know of your
- Arrange with the registrar for a final
copy of your transcript to be sent to the
law school you will attend.
School Financial Aid Timeline and Checklist