Timeline & Tips

Checklist for Pre-Law JRs and SRs

Projected month Activity

Oct. – June Prepare for the LSAT

January Attend The Law School Fair at The University of Alabama

April – Register for the LSAT

June Take the LSAT

June – August Research law schools and financial aid/scholarships

August – Subscribe/open your CAS file through LSAC

August – Have official transcripts sent to LSAC from each college or university attended

August – September Request letters of recommendation from appropriate recommenders be sent to LSAC

August – September Compose a schedule of application deadlines

August – September Edit and finalize personal statement(s) and resume

September Check CAS report for accuracy

September – October Take/re-take LSAT

October – November Research scholarships and verify deadlines for scholarship applications

October – November Attend LSAC Law School Forum in Atlanta, GA

October – November Check your LSAC account to make sure CAS file is complete

October – November Complete law school applications

January – File financial aid paperwork

January – Attend The Law School Fair at The University of Alabama

April – Pay seat deposit by deadlines

This is a recommended timeline. Some dates on this timeline may vary depending on deadlines, if you take the LSAT multiple times, your scheduling style, where you apply, etc. Be sure to work with your pre-law advisor as you are going through your law school application process.

Freshman and Sophomore Year

  • Complete an evaluation of your strengths and interests. Discuss your interests with an academic advisor to explore courses that are in your areas of interest.
  • Take classes that will help you develop critical and analytical thinking skills and oral and written communication skills.
  • There is no required major for law school so you should explore and choose a major in the field that you enjoy and in which you are able to perform well.
  • ALWAYS attend class and schedule STUDY time. Time management is very critical and will help you succeed academically. Your grades are IMPORTANT and having a strong academic record is needed for admission to law school.
  • Join the Pre-law Student Association (PLSA).
  • Get involved in extra-curricular activities that are important to you. Only participate in activities that are of interest to you and will help you develop leadership, public service, and communication skills.
  • Learn how best to build relationships with your faculty. Developing strong relationships with your faculty is important so that you will have professors to ask for advice and letters of recommendations later.
  • Continue to take classes that will enhance your reading and writing abilities. Purchase an LSAT book and review the different types of questions.
  • Start researching the opportunities for summer law school programs, study abroad, internships, and externships.

Junior Year

  • Take the AS 299, Pre-Law Seminar class.
  • Begin your internships or externships.
  • Continue to focus on your academics and meet with the pre-law advisor to begin your research of law schools.
  • Attend law school forums or conferences and meet with the law school representatives.
  • Continue developing relationships with your faculty.
  • At the end of the junior year, plan to take the LSAT in June (if you are prepared).
  • Register with the LSAC (LSAC.org).
  • Research law schools of your interest and learn of the necessary steps to begin the application process.
  • Tip: Begin writing your personal statement and resume for law school during the summer.

Senior Year

  • If you did not take the LSAT in June, register for the September/October test date.
  • Make sure you are registered with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through LSAC and complete your online profile.
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with your faculty or other to request a letter of recommendation. Ask your recommenders if they would prefer a copy of your resume, transcript, personal statement, etc. and be prepared to provide them with whatever information they need to write you a strong letter of recommendation.
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with your pre-law advisor to discuss your application process to law schools, ask questions, and receive additional information if needed.
  • Select the law schools of your interest and begin your application process. It is very important that you follow directions for each law school, submit all required documents, and are aware of each school’s application deadline.
  • While law school deadlines are not until the spring, set a “self” deadline to have all of your application materials submitted by mid-November. This will give you the best opportunities for scholarships and other possible opportunities.

Helpful tips when following the Pre-Law program:

  • Remember to take full advantage of your faculty advisor as well as your Pre-Law advisor. Both can be tremendous resources as you progress through your undergraduate career.
  • Establish and get use to working in study groups.
  • TIME MANAGEMENT is an extremely important skill to develop.
  • Workshops are offered specifically geared toward students planning on and preparing for law school.
  • AS 101 – prelaw is a one-hour compass course offered to freshmen students interested in knowing more about the Pre-Law Program.
  • AS 299 is a one-hour credit seminar course offered for pre-law sophomores, juniors, and seniors which gives the students an in-depth overview of the application process to law school.
  • Get involved in the Pre-Law Student Association. This is a great group of students who share the same goals in attending law school. In addition, there are opportunities to meet representatives from law schools, speak with current lawyers, take a practice LSAT, etc.; for more information about the Pre-Law Student Association, visit the PLSA tab on the prelaw.ua.edu website.
  • LSAC.org is an important website to gather information as you are preparing for law school. You will also need to register for the LSAT through the LSAC website, so become familiar with the services early.
  • Begin studying and preparing for the LSAT 8-10 months before you plan on taking the test.
  • Take tons of practice tests – TIMED.
  • Get logic game books to practice.
  • Play word games; wordsmith.org is a good website.
  • Be prepared the first time you take the LSAT. Most law schools now look at the highest score, but some still average scores. Check with the schools you are interested in applying with to see what their policy is. You want to be sure to do your very best every time you take the test if you take it more than once.
  • The LSAT should be taken (if you are prepared) in June between junior and senior year and the application process started. There is also a September / October test date if you do not feel quite ready to take the test in June. Most law schools do not begin accepting applications until September 1, so either date is fine.
  • While law school deadlines are not until the spring, set a “self” deadline to have all of your application materials in by mid-November. This will give you the best chance at scholarships and other possible opportunities.
  • Please check the “yes, you can share this information with my school” so we can gather accurate information as we are working with other students considering the pre-law program. (Your personal information is always kept confidential).
  • Personal statements and essays are extremely important. Make sure in your writing samples that you stay focused, they are technically written well, you have attention to detail, they are interesting, and make sure that you are writing about something that will help the law school admissions committee get to know you personally; include information that they cannot assertain from your resume or transcript.
  • Services are offered through the Writing Center and through the pre-law advising office to proofread personal statements and essays. Take advantage of these resources.
  • Your law school resume should be very detailed. A resume for law school admission is slightly different from a resume for a job. They want to know about every club, organization, job, advancement/promotion, etc. since high school. Be sure to include leadership positions and community service.
  • Visit the law schools you are interested in applying to. Pay attention to things like where the faculty offices are, what is on the bulletin boards, what type of research is being done by the faculty, what opportunities are available to the students while in school (i.e. clinics and internships, summer clerk recruiting, research, journals, etc.). Talk to students at the law school and ask for contact information for alumni.
  • How you will finance law school is an important issue to consider. Do your research on what opportunities there are such as scholarships and financial aid packages, paying close attention to deadlines. Another good resource for financing law school is the accessgroup.org website and the http://www.fastweb.com/ website.
  • When preparing for law school as an undergraduate student:
  1. Get in the habit of studying every day
  2. Use a dictionary
  3. Select a major and minor that you enjoy and can do well in.
  4. Get as much exposure to new classes and other activities in which you must adapt to different styles of teaching, studying, reading, and thinking.
  5. Take writing courses and courses that you are expected to take essay tests.
  6. Talk to, get to know, and develop relationships with some of your faculty. Strong faculty letters of recommendation carry the most weight.
  • When applying to law school:
  1. Pay attention to what school(s) fits you and your values and goals the best. Also pay close attention to location and atmosphere of schools.
  2. Read and follow directions carefully. Pay careful attention to deadlines. Be sure to fill out information completely and in as much detail as possible.
  3. Be aware of state specific schools. If you are not sure how or where to gather this information, contact the LSAC.
  4. Letters of recommendation should be strong, not luke-warm. Also remember that if a waiver for letters is not signed, those letters will not hold much weight.
  5. You should send addenda with applications for any information that is inconsistent. Use the addendum to address issues that may raise questions or any discrepancy with your application.
  6. Misconduct – FULL DISCLOSURE. Provide complete explanations of any questionable information.
  7. Academic transcripts as part of your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) file need to be requested through The University of Alabama records office in 206 Student Services building. You must have an official transcript sent from every college or university you have attended.
  8. If a school requires a Dean’s Letter or Certification, the document is provided by the law school as part of the application. This form will be completed by the Pre-Law Program office.
  • If you have any questions as you are filling out applications, call the school that you are applying to for clarification or direction.
  • If you are not admitted to a school, call and ask if there is anything that could have made your application stronger.
  • If you have questions or need any assistance with your pre-law program, please call or e-mail anytime. Thank you for your interest in The University of Alabama Pre-Law Program.

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