Are you a freshman, sophomore, or transfer student new to Pre-Law Advising?...
Attend the Pre-Law Orientation and Informational meeting in the fall and register with Pre-Law Advising. Attend other pre-law events and workshops throughout the year.
Check out the pre-law student organizations: Pre-Law Society, Diversity in Law Association, Pre-Law Review, Mock Trial and Mock Mediation Team.
Learn about Boston University’s student clubs and organizations (including the pre-law groups) through SAO (the Student Activities Office). Explore service opportunities provided by the CSC (Community Service Center) programs.
Visit the Pre-Professional Advising Office, and familiarize yourself with the resources available there.
Take courses that will enhance your writing, reading comprehension, and analytical skills. Develop your logical reasoning ability and increase your awareness of human institutions, social values, and the world at large.
When choosing classes, explore all interests. Choose a major in a field that both intrigues and motivates you to excel!
Focus on time management, academic skill development, and study habits. College academics are rigorous, and the skills and discipline required for success can always be improved! If you are struggling, or simply want to enhance your skills and learn different techniques, support is available through the ERC (Educational Resource Center). All students can benefit from the ERC’s services!
Be serious about your studies. Your grades are a very important part of your law school applications.
Make efforts to actively participate in class and attend office hours so that professors know you and your work. You will need academic letters of recommendation for your law school applications.
Find the right balance between academic coursework and extracurricular activities. Pursue your interests outside of class, but not at the expense of your academic performance.
Develop a realistic view of legal careers. Seek out shadowing opportunities and talk with lawyers about their work. Attend lectures and networking events. Look for opportunities to obtain law-related experience.
Consider a summer job or internship as well as a study abroad program that will allow you to gain experience and expand your knowledge of the law profession.
Take a look at a past LSAT (Law School Admissions Test). The Pre-Law library has all of the released tests. Also check out LSAC.org (Law School Admission Council). Meet with a pre-law advisor and set up a tentative plan for when you would like to take the test and how you will prepare. Allow yourself six months to a year to prepare for the LSAT!
If you haven’t already done so, visit the Pre-Professional Advising Office to take a look at a past LSAT, and either self-administer or sign-up to take a diagnostic LSAT. Both the Pre-Law Society and the Diversity in Law Association sponsor free events with area test preparation companies.
Go to LSAC.org to read up on the LSAT (test design, registration information, preparation materials, etc.) and the LSAC application services (Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and application access). Research law schools through the searchable Official Guide and links to the school websites.
Attend the LSAC Boston Law School Forum. Be sure to pick up information from schools to which you expect you will apply. The Forum will be busy and crowded, so a prepared list of schools will help to keep you on track. Gather as much information and talk to as many admissions representatives as you can. The Forum is held annually in the fall. Forum information and additional tips for preparing for and attending the Forum are available on the LSAC Website.
Attend information sessions and panels offered by Pre-Law Advising and the Pre-Law Society. Hear firsthand from admissions representatives about their schools’ programs and what they seek in law school candidates.
Think deeply about your decision to go to law school and research other options if you are not sure. Most law students take time off between college and law school. Consider working for a couple of years before going.
Continue researching programmatic, lifestyle, and financial aid issues of law schools you are interested in attending. Read trade publications and guides available in the Pre-Law Advising library to learn more about the legal profession. There are multiple resources available for viewing during office hours.
Think about how you will pay for law school. Talk with your family. Obtain a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. Apply for a fee waiver through LSAC if you think you may qualify. (The qualification threshold is extremely stringent, and only those with extreme need should apply.)
Begin studying for the LSAT. Discuss your plan with a pre-law advisor, and set up a study schedule. If you haven’t yet, take a full-length practice test. Work with two LSAT prep books and released official tests. If you feel that you are self-disciplined with your study plan and making progress to your satisfaction, continue with this method. If you are struggling with the material (or with motivating yourself to study), you may benefit from a commercial prep course or from working with a tutor. We strongly recommend that you do some research before you sign up. The Pre-Law Society holds events to help you learn about the test prep programs operating in Boston. Also, ask friends or acquaintances who have taken prep courses for their opinions on how effective the course was and whether it really helped them improve their scores.
Go to LSAC.org to register for the LSAT and LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
Think about sources for letters of recommendation. Letters from faculty are the most valuable for law school admissions. Employers, internship supervisors, or coaches may also offer additional helpful insights into your qualities and capabilities. Keep in mind that asking potential letter writers before the summer break will give them plenty of time to write thorough and thoughtful letters. Assemble packets of information that include an academic writing sample, your resume, and any other helpful information to your letter of recommendation writers to help guide them. (Solicit 2-4 letters of recommendation.)
Attend Pre-Law Advising’s Application Process Meeting (held in April).
Continue studying for the June LSAT. If you feel ready, take it in June. If not, consider the August, September, October, or November test. Remember that ideally you will only take the LSAT once. However, many candidates do take the LSAT twice, and it makes sense to plan in a way that would provide you with two test date options that are reasonable for you.
Summer Before Senior Year
Take the LSAT in June and/or register and prepare for the August, September, or October LSAT.
Begin drafting your personal statement as well as any diversity statement, addenda, etc. that you expect to submit as a part of your applications. Have the statements reviewed by your pre-law advisor, a faculty mentor, and/or a friend who possesses great writing skills.
Update and edit your résumé for the purposes of your law school applications.
Send transcript requests to the Registrar’s Office of all undergraduate institutions attended to have your record/s sent to LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
Verify the accuracy of your transcript through your online account.
Check with professors/employers for the status of your recommendations.
Select the law schools to which you will apply. Carefully review the specifications for each application. (Most applications become available on or around September 1st. The rest should be available by mid-September.)
Attend the LSAC Law School Forum. Be prepared with a list of schools you want to visit and with a set of unanswered questions. Go with an open mind; you may leave the forum with an interest in schools you had not previously considered.
Attend information sessions and panels offered by Pre-Law Advising and the Pre-Law Society. Hear firsthand from admissions representatives about their schools’ programs and what they seek in law school candidates. Meet representatives of schools to which you will apply!
Double-check your Credential Assembly Service report for accuracy and completion. Have your transcripts arrived and been entered correctly? Have your requested Letters of Recommendation been received and processed?
Take the LSAT. (The LSAT is offered in September and October.)
If applying for early decision/early notification, your application should be ready for submission.
Continue to work on and submit applications to law schools: Prepare application materials, including the personal statement, résumé, supplementary essays, and miscellaneous forms.
Aim to have all applications complete by November 1st. Send applications as early as possible. Remember that law schools use a rolling admission process.
Monitor your online account at LSAC.org. Double-check everything to make sure that your files are ready for review.
Take the November LSAT if needed.
All law school applications should be complete. Check your online account for application status. Most law schools provide application status updates through their own websites as well.
Begin gathering and working on financial aid documents. Request financial aid information from the law schools. Review the requirements of each school to which you have applied.
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form and send financial aid information to law schools as soon as possible for your best chances of receiving financial aid. (Note, the FAFSA becomes available on October 1st, but be sure to prioritize filing your admissions applications before you move on to financial aid paperwork.) In addition to the FAFSA, many schools will have applications for institutional aid and awards. Pay close attention to all requirements and deadlines!
Develop a plan to finance your law school education.
If you are a current student, send you updated transcript with your fall semester grades to LSAC.
Most decision letters arrive in the spring. As your decisions come in, meet with a pre-law advisor to discuss your options. If possible, schedule visits to law schools you are considering attending. Make timely decisions on acceptances, wait-lists, financial aid, and deposits.
Pay the deposit to the school of your choice and notify other schools of your decision.
Send a final transcript to the law school you have decided to attend.
Congratulations! You’ve done it!