LSAC: The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is the umbrella organization that orchestrates your law school application process. You can create a personal account at any point to even begin your research, and later use it to register for the LSAT, and the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)—a service that houses your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and allows electronic application processing for all ABA-approved law schools.
It is in your best interest to apply to law school early, even though you will see rolling admissions with deadlines in the spring. As a general rule of thumb, apply in the fall: October is not too early to push send on your applications. Early applicants also have an advantage for being considered for scholarship or grant monies as well as a maximized change for admission.
Letters of Recommendation are submitted through LSAC via the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), specifically called LOR (Letter of Recommendation Service). You should have prepared, on average, two letters (from PhD faculty), on professional letterhead, sent directly to LSAC.
When asking for letters, make sure you are the considerate, professional lawyer to aim to become; make an appointment to meet with letter writers well in advance of the application deadline. Ask them, "Do you feel you know my work well enough to write a positive letter on behalf of my application to law school?"
Provide information about your background to assist him/her in writing a detailed letter:
- a cover sheet quickly summarizing this process, your goals and enclosures, including a deadline for the letter
- a copy of your transcript and LSAT score (if you so choose)
- a draft of your personal statement (if available)
- a resume
- copies of exams or papers written in his/her class
- recommendation forms/directions from CAS.
Waive your right of access since you may find writers unwilling to write letters if applicants have access to them, and some admissions committee members may discount disclosed letters. If you have not been notified that your application is complete by about one month before a deadline, speak with those writers who have not sent letters yet to remind them politely of the approaching deadline. After you have received decisions, send thank-you letters to your recommenders, and let them know where you have been accepted and where you intend to enroll.
Recommenders send letters directly to the CAS, which then forwards up to four letters to law schools to which you are applying. You can specify that targeted letters be sent to specific schools; otherwise, general letters will be sent to every school to which you apply. Letters will be maintained for five years from the time you register for CAS or from the time you take the LSAT, whichever comes last.
To read more on letters please visit: http://www.lsac.org/llm/applying/llm-letters-of-recommendation.asp
The law school application essay/personal statement provides schools with the opportunity to evaluate your writing and your ability to communicate an idea or theme in a clear and concise manner. It is also a great way for them to get to know you. It is most important that your ideas be well organized and focused. Your theme choice is not limited to "Why do you want to attend law school?" but should be a topic that reflects personal values, decision-making processes, significant contributions, accomplishments and/or special experiences that are not fully revealed elsewhere in your law school application.
Think of the personal statement as your opportunity to share your strengths in a positive, non-defensive way. This should not be viewed as an opportunity to explain, apologize for, or defend a negative issue or experience, such as a poor academic record or LSAT score. In choosing a topic, take time to first analyze your personal history, evaluate experiences most relished, and determine the personal significance of learning or events in your life. Most importantly discuss the "hows" and "whys" of your experiences. Why did you make a particular decision? How did you benefit from the choice you made? What did you value or gain from your experience? Discuss the personal significance of an event. Keep in mind that the topic is your choice. Law schools will be interested in analyzing the content quality of your essay as well as, learning more about you. In fact, since law schools do not usually provide interviews, the essay serves as an opportunity for admissions officers to "get to know you." Think of it as your interview.
Think: What can I write in a couple of pages that would serve as an introduction to who I am? Try to personalize your statement by avoiding the use of passive expressions. Instead use active language. Perfecting your grammar and spelling is a given. Vary your sentence structure and write engagingly. Many law schools request that the length be two pages, double spaced, although some school requirements may vary. Generally, applicants can attach the same essay to each application, perhaps varying the last couple of paragraphs to address the particular issues a particular school would like you to cover. Finally, realize that you will probably be making several drafts with many revisions and refinements. The pre-law advisor will be happy to assist you in the critique of typed drafts. Please allow 3-5 days for a thorough critique.
You are responsible for sending all of your official academic transcripts to LSAC. If you study a full year abroad, you must have your transcript sent and it will count towards your GPA. If you spent a semester or less abroad, it does not count officially towards your GPA, if you feel the grades are important to your application however, you can scan a copy of the transcript and submit it as an addendum on LSAC.
In January, if you are a senior applicant and your fall semester grades are reflecting an upward trend, you may want to send updated official transcripts directly to the individual law schools you’ve applied to and to LSAC. In some cases, your fall grades could make a difference.
Transcripts: Transcripts from any institution past high school that you have attended for a year or more are almost always required.