Making the decision to attend law school is a significant milestone in your life. It can be exciting but also nerve-racking. You start to wonder, “When are law school applications due? When to start applying for law school? What should I prepare?” You are not alone, which is why we are here to assist you on your journey.
Knowing when and how to apply could enhance your chances of acceptance. Most schools follow a rolling admissions process, which means they start looking at applications as soon as they come in and make decisions throughout the year. So, sending your application early can make a real difference.
Read on as we unpack the law school application timeline, discuss when law school applications are due, and simplify the law school admissions process.
Understanding the Law School Application Timeline
Knowing the law school timeline is crucial for anyone entering a law school. This timeline helps you know when to start getting ready, which LSAT test dates to consider, and even how to plan for LSAT accommodations if needed. Other steps to strengthen your application are also outlined in this timeline. By closely following the law school admissions timeline, you up your chances of getting into the school you want.
When Should I Start Applying for Law School?
As a law school newbie, deciding when to apply may be both exhilarating and nerve-racking. The application process consists of complying with the requirements and meeting law school application deadlines. To assist you in getting started, here is a month-by-month guide.
March: Research Schools
Start by doing thorough research on schools that catch your interest. A useful tool for this is the LSAC’s JD program guide, where you can filter schools based on your undergraduate GPA and potential LSAT score to gauge your admission likelihood. By April, you should have a list of your top schools.
It’s essential to consider the LSAT score range of the schools you wish to attend to optimize your application strategy. Determining a target LSAT score based on these ranges can increase the likelihood of gaining admission to your preferred schools.
April: Gain Work or Internship Experience
April is also the best time to ask for recommendation letters, especially before the spring semester ends. Consider how you’ll spend your summer as well. Look for volunteer, internship, or employment options that can enhance your application.
May: Start Preparing for the LSAT
Now it’s time to focus on one of the essential law school requirements: the LSAT. This standardized test, administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), is offered at various nationwide testing centers. The LSAT consists of multiple sections that assess your skills in logical reasoning, reading comprehension, and more.
To be fully prepared, dedicate at least three to four months to studying. If you haven’t taken the LSAT by the end of your junior year, preparing now should set you up well for the end-of-summer LSAT test dates.
The LSAT is available nine times a year in the following months:
Taking the LSAT in June gives you a buffer to retest if needed and ensures you meet the application deadlines for law school.
June: Set Up Your Credential Assembly Service Account and Take the LSAT
If you’re not enrolled in summer courses, now is the time to create an account with the Law School Admissions Council and register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Most schools require that all your official undergraduate and graduate transcripts be sent through CAS.
June is also an ideal time to take the LSAT. Taking it in June allows time for a potential retake; however, if you opt for an August date, you could still retake it in September. The schools won’t start evaluating your application until they have your LSAT scores, which are usually released about three weeks after the test date.
August: Build Your Resume and Narrow Down School Choices
After wrapping up your summer commitments, August is the ideal time for resume-building activities. Use this month to improve your resume and research financial options like law school loans and scholarships. This is crucial as these factors can significantly impact your final choice of schools.
After receiving your LSAT score, you can develop a more tailored list of schools matching your academic profile and financial needs. Whether you are contemplating law school scholarships or taking out loans, having a thorough awareness of the law school application process and your financial alternatives at this time can be game-changing.
September: Kickstart Your Application and Work on Your Personal Statement
By September, most school applications are open on the LSAC website. Take advantage of this time by:
- Filling out your LSAC application
- Crafting the first drafts of your Law School Personal Statement
- Brainstorming and drafting school-specific essays
If you haven’t received your recommendation letters by the beginning of September, make sure to follow up with your recommenders promptly.
October: Optimize Applications and Meet Early Decision Deadlines
October is the month to finalize your applications, particularly if you aim for early decision programs. Most early decision deadlines are set for November 1. Before hitting the submit button, thoroughly review each school’s application checklist.
November: Finalize Remaining Applications
After sending off your early decision applications, November is the month to focus on fine-tuning the rest of your applications. Be meticulous in ensuring all required documents are complete before submission. This is also when you might start receiving interview invitations as schools begin to review your applications.
December: Finalize Outstanding Applications
If you have any remaining applications, strive to complete them by the end of December. Since many schools admit students on a rolling basis, submitting applications before the slots fill up is an advantage. If you haven’t already started receiving interview invitations, expect them to also come in during this period.
January to April: Attend Interviews and Await Admissions Decisions
You will likely receive more interview invitations upon submitting all your applications as schools continue their review process.
Between January and April, you should expect to receive admissions decisions from all the schools you applied to. Don’t worry if some schools take longer to respond. If you’re fortunate to receive multiple admissions offers, take the time to:
- Visit campuses to assess your fit with each school
- Examine any scholarship or financial aid offers before making your decision
Maximize your chances of getting accepted by having a law school application timeline and knowing the best time to apply to law school. To learn more about law school online programs, refer to our comprehensive guide. This resource provides detailed information on curriculum, accreditation, and how an online law degree can fit into your career goals.
Maximize Your LSAT Score Through Comprehensive LSAT Preparation
Starting your LSAT preparation early is crucial, as the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) offers this vital test multiple times throughout the year.
The LSAT consists of the following sections:
|Section||Time||Format||Number of Questions|
|Logical reasoning||35 minutes||Multiple choice||24-26|
|Logical reasoning||35 minutes||Multiple choice||24-26|
|Logic games||35 minutes||Multiple choice||22-24|
|Reading comprehension||35 minutes||Multiple choice||26-28|
|Experimental section||35 minutes||Multiple choice||22-28|
|Writing sample||35 minutes||Essay||1|
The LSAT is unique and challenges you in ways unlike other exams, particularly in assessing your analytical skills within a strict time limit.
To give you a head start in your preparations, Odyssey offers a variety of comprehensive services:
1. LSAT Prep Course
The LSAT Prep Course is a holistic program that tackles LSAT questions and provides strategies to manage your time effectively during the exam. Equipped with a variety of study materials, including practice tests and answer explanations, this course aims to fully prepare you for all sections of the LSAT. Enroll in our LSAT Prep Course and get a head start on your law school journey.
2. LSAT Tutoring
Our LSAT Tutoring service provides a more personalized approach. Working one-on-one with an experienced instructor, you’ll go through a pre-assessment to discover areas that need improvement. The instructor will then tailor courses to assist you in overcoming obstacles and improving your test-taking tactics, with the goal of optimizing your results. Excel in the LSAT with our expert tutors and achieve greater success in your law school application!
3. Law School Admission Consulting
Navigating the law school application process can be daunting. Our Law School Admission Consulting service provides expert guidance on crafting an impressive application. From selecting the right schools to apply to finessing your personal statement, we help you every step of the way to ensure you present a compelling application. Be on track with the Law School Application Timeline and ensure your application stands out.
Frequently Asked Questions About Law School Application Timeline
When does law school application open?
The applications are usually open for submissions between August and September of each year.
When is the best time to apply for law school?
Applying in the fall or early winter generally provides the best chances for admission.
When should I apply to law school?
To improve your odds of acceptance, it’s recommended to submit your applications early—preferably in October or November. However, it’s important not to rush and compromise the quality of your application.
Is December too late to apply to law school?
December is not too late for law school applications. In fact, many candidates submit their applications during this month.
When is the law school application deadline?
Law school application deadlines differ from one institution to another. However, the majority of regular decision deadlines are between February and March. Some schools even accept applications during the summer months.
Understanding the law school application timeline is crucial for a smooth and successful application process. From knowing when to submit your applications to meeting deadlines, a well-planned timeline can make the difference between getting into your dream school or not. By applying early and adhering to the guidelines set by each institution, you enhance your chances of a favorable outcome.