• When should I have all my applications submitted to the law schools?
• What is the difference between early decision and early action?
• What should I write about in my personal statement?
• What is the appropriate format for explaining irregularities, disparities, or question marks on my record?
• Do you have any final tips for applying to law school?
When should I have all my applications submitted to the law schools?
The earlier, the better! We recommend having all your applications submitted by no later than Thanksgiving as most schools have rolling admissions. Do NOT wait until the last minute and apply close to the school’s deadline. Apply EARLY! Some schools’ definition of a completed application is not only your application, recommendations, and Dean’s Certification but also your CAS Report. It can take two-three weeks after the request is made for a school to receive your CAS report.
- Early Decision is BINDING and you should only apply Early Decision to a school if it is your first choice. If your decision of where to attend law school is dependent on the financial aid package offered by a school it may not be wise to apply early decision. Check with the school. Applications are due earlier so be sure to follow deadlines. Check with individual schools as to whether applicants who are not admitted through the Early Decision process are still considered in the general pool of applicants. Policies differ from school to school.
- Early Action is non-binding but it allows applicants to get an admission decision much earlier, usually by mid-December. Check with individual schools as to whether applicants who are not admitted through Early Action are still considered in the general pool of applicants. Policies differ from school to school.
What should I write about in my personal statement?
Write about you! Law schools do not typically interview candidates (exceptions are Virginia and Northwestern) so this is your chance to tell the admissions officers who you are beyond your GPA, LSAT score, awards, and activities. This is an important part of the application and you should treat it seriously. Please refer to the Personal Statement section of the prelaw website.
What is the appropriate format for explaining irregularities, disparities, or question marks on my record?
Use an addendum to explain any irregularities and disparities. Do not include them in your personal statement. If, for example, your two LSAT scores are very different due to illness during one examination, express this reason in an attachment “Explanation of LSAT Scores,” not in your personal statement. If you need to explain that your grades were low during your sophomore year because you were experiencing difficulty choosing a major, entitle the attachment “Sophomore Slump.” You should approach problem areas in your background frankly rather than leaving the admissions committee members with unanswered questions.
Do you have any final tips for applying to law school?
(Adapted from Johns Hopkins University's Pre-Law Top Ten Tips)
- Start early.
- Make realistic choices on schools.
- Read bulletins and application materials carefully.
- Follow directions.
- Provide complete and accurate responses.
- Make copies of your completed applications. Keep them because some states will ask applicants applying to the Bar which law schools they sought admission to.
- Submit the fee with your application.