Your Law School Application Checklist in 19 Simple (?) Steps

Today on the LSAT blog: a guest post by Law School Expert Ann Levine, the former director of admissions for two ABA-approved law schools and the author of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert and The Law School Decision Game: A Playbook for Prospective Lawyers.

This law school application checklist is straight out of my new version of The Law School Admission Game, to be released in just a few weeks. References to chapters (below) are within the new book. I hope it’s helpful to those of you applying this fall for the Fall 2014 cycle (and beyond).

1. Register for CAS (Credential Assembly Service)
How? Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation must be sent through the CAS, and CAS then is responsible for sending these items (along with your Academic Summary Report (as per #6) and your LSAT score (as per #10) to each school where you end up applying (for a fee, as per #18, below).

2. Get a professional sounding e-mail address
E-mail names like2parTi and SexSImama need to be retired.

3. Cultivate and ask for letters of recommendation
You need between 2-5 law school letters of recommendation. (See Chapter 6, “Letters of Recommendation.”)

4. Add recommender information to your CAS account

5. Send transcripts to LSAC
(See Chapter 3, “Your GPA.”)

6. Check your Academic Summary Report (based on your transcripts) for errors/inconsistencies

7. Attend a law school forum or a campus recruiting event or visit your local law school(s)

8. Choose an LSAT date
Visit LSAC’s website. (See Chapter 12, “The Application Timeline.”)

9. Select an LSAT prep method
(See Chapter 4, “The LSAT.”)

10. Take the LSAT

11. Collect fee waivers (free applications)!

12. Create and hone your résumé
(See Chapter 7, “Building Your Resume.”)

13. Write your law school personal statement
(See Chapter 10, “The Personal Statement.”)

14. Create your addenda (re: Character and Fitness)
(See Chapter 9, “Explaining Your Weaknesses”); LSAT (Chapter 4, “The LSAT”), Grades (Chapter 3, “Your GPA”), or disability (Chapter 9, “Explaining Your Weaknesses”).

15. Create a list of law schools, essay prompts, and requirements
Follow the application instructions on each law school’s website. (See Chapter 14, “Choosing a Law School.”)

16. Write optional essays
(See Chapter 11, “Writing Optional Essays.”)

17. Fill out law school applications online, then proofread them!
(See Chapter 13, “Filling Out Applications.”)

18. Pay for LSAC reports for each law school and for the applications themselves

19. Submit law school applications

3 Responses

  1. Smita says:


    I have a question about filling out the online application (Step #17). Once all of the application materials have been completed (personal statement, resume, additional essays, etc.), about how much time does it take to fill out the actual online application? I assume that the application asks for biographical data, but are there other substantial sections to the application? Thanks!

    • Hi Smita,

      It’s been a while since I used this function myself (as in ten years), but my understanding is that all the biographical data, etc. is submitted when you enroll initially in CAS, so you don’t have to fill it out repeatedly for each application. Instead, filling out applications involves selecting the letters of recommendation, the version of the personal statement, and the version of the resume you want to go to a particular school, as well as providing any additional information in which the individual schools are interested. In other words, a winning application will be tailored to each school. So, the answer to your question is, if you have all the documents you need to create submitted to CAS and ready to go, this step shouldn’t take too long.

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