If you’re studying for the October LSAT, it’s a good bet that any part of your law school application (aside from the exam) isn’t the closest to your mind right now. That said, the specter of law school application submission draws nigh, and as they say, “Fortune favors the prepared.”
If you have any free time, doubtful though that is, you can at least get the ball rolling by signing up for the Credential Assembly Service (“CAS”) offered by LSAC. The CAS is the means by which you will submit applications electronically to all the law schools on your list. You can even start filling out your basic information (date of birth, SSN, etc), but don’t worry about going any further than that until you’re done with the October LSAT. You may even wish to wait to submit any applications until after receiving your LSAT score. If your LSAT score is better than expected, you may want to upgrade your safety schools and reaches. If your LSAT score is worse than expected, you’ll have the opportunity to save money by not reaching too far and instead adding more realistic safety schools.
If you’re going to take the December LSAT, you currently have a chance to get ahead of the game before you start studying. Sign up for CAS. Put together a list of law schools you could conceivably attend broken down into realistic, reach and safety schools. Start writing a personal statement. Assemble a list of professors and other professionals whom you can ask for letters of recommendation (if you haven’t already). With all of this done, you will only need your LSAT score to complete your file for review by the schools to which you apply. The idea is to do as much as you can before you start studying for the LSAT. That way you’ll be able to submit your applications very soon after you receive your LSAT score. As most schools start reviewing applications on a rolling basis around November, the sooner you submit the better.
If you’re taking the 2014 February LSAT, you will likely have to submit your law school applications with no knowledge of your LSAT score before submission. In other words, you won’t have nearly as clear a picture of the schools to which you ought to apply as those who took earlier tests. You’ll also be among the last applicants to be reviewed by most admissions offices. That said, you want your applications submitted long before you take the LSAT. This way, once results are released, your application will be complete and get reviewed without any additional effort necessary on your part. Get your letters of recommendation, write your personal statement and fill our your applications long before you start your LSAT prep course. That way you can focus on your studies, kick ass on the exam and get an LSAT score you won’t have to worry about submitting to even the best schools.