Really? You’re already prepping for your law school applications for the 2013 school year? You realize some of your law school brethren are still getting out applications for 2012, right?
There’s a name for someone like you: Gunner. But you don’t care, because those people are just jealous, right?
Kidding aside, starting your law school application process this early is a great decision. While you won’t have a looming deadline to get you to finish that Personal Statement (which is something that motivates me like no other), you will have plenty of time to finish everything you need.
What are those things? What can you start now?
1. Sign up for an LSAC account
Go now. Do it.
2. Letters of Recommendation
By far, the slowest part of the entire law school application process (besides waiting for decisions) is getting letters of recommendation.
Professors are notoriously slow at writing them. Bosses are notoriously slow at writing them. You are going to need to ask for them a significant amount of time before you want them in.
So why not now?
Asking early gives the professors a lot of time to write the letters (though you’ll still need to stay on them to ensure that they don’t “forget”). It makes you seem proactive, which is something they can mention in the LoR. It also takes a lot of stress out of your life when your file is complete before applications open, and your friends are all scrambling to find someone who isn’t already bogged down writing letters for a dozen other students.
3. DON’T send in transcripts
Your grades are locked in when you send in your transcript. You want as many semesters in there as possible. Unless you’re bombing this semester.
However, you’re contractually (and ethically) obligated to keep your file with LSAC up to date. That means sending in new transcripts as they’re released. If you send a transcript in now, you’ll just have to do it again in a few months. Why put yourself through that?
-Edit- One important note, from the comments – if you’ve transferred out of one school, it’s fine to send in those transcripts. They’re complete (you won’t be adding more classes), so getting their submission out of the way now is a great idea.
4. Register for the June LSAT. Study for the June LSAT.
Go now and register for the June LSAT. Don’t do like I did and have to take the exam seven states over.
5. Personal Statement
The personal statement is the single-most important factor in your law school application package outside of your GPA and LSAT.
It should be perfect.
Perfection doesn’t happen overnight. It takes many, many edits and a few sets of eyes to get it there.
Start on it now. Not only will that allow you a leisurely pace through it, but it’ll allow you the luxury of editing over time. It’s hard to edit an essay with fresh eyes when you’ve read it several dozen times over. Write it, edit it, let it sit for a month. Come back to it with fresh eyes and make some changes. It’ll allow for a smoother essay, and a stronger one.
6. Law School Fairs/Tours
Hit up as many law school fairs as you can. Talk with admissions officers. Let them know how much you’d love to apply to their law schools. Collect fee waivers. Profit.