The following Undergraduate Timeline is adapted from the NAPLA Pre-Law Handbook.
Freshman and Sophomore Years
- Select a major in a field that both interests you and allows you to excel academically. It really doesn’t matter what you major in as long as you do well in it.
- Begin to form relationships with professors, lecturers, and TAs so that they will know your work well enough to serve as recommenders in the future.
- Build skills by seeking summer jobs, internships, or externships.
- Meet with a pre-law advisor to assess your academic, extracurricular, and work experiences, career plans and application timing.
- Begin preparing for the LSAT; if you are ready, register for the June administration.
- Secure an externship and internship.
- Research law schools and compile a list of tentative schools, visit ones that you are near.
- Begin brainstorming essay topics and drafts.
Senior Year (or year before entering Law School)
- Make an application timeline, including when you plan to take the LSAT. Start with when you would like to submit applications (example, by Oct. 1) and work backwards.
- Register for the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Have transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended sent to the CAS after verifying their accuracy.
- Make sure your CAS report is correct.
- Ask potential recommendation writers if they would be willing to write letters on your behalf. Provide them with the CAS recommendation forms or the school's forms along with sufficient information to write detailed letters.
- Make arrangements to have dean's certifications sent to schools that require them.
- Attend law school fairs and programs offered by your college or university on the application process.
- Begin drafting and revising your personal statement.
- Meet with a pre-law advisor, who will help you assess the strength of your application in relation to schools you are considering. Request a critique of your personal statement draft.
- Complete applications by early to mid-November.
- Check with schools to make sure your files are complete.
- Complete the FAFSA as well as any institutional financial aid applications as soon after January 1 as possible.
- Meet with a pre-law advisor in the spring to assess your options as schools respond to you.
- Take appropriate action on acceptances, wait-list status, and financial aid packages.
- Before leaving campus, have a final transcript sent to any schools still considering your application.