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Timeline for Applying to Law School

Note: If you want to go to law school, you are not at all required to matriculate at a law school immediately after you graduate from Shippensburg University. Indeed, you may be better off taking a year or more and working; professional experience will likely enhance your chances of getting accepted at the law school of your choice. But even if you do not intend to submit your law school applications while you are an undergraduate student, parts of this timeline are still important to you.

First Year

  • attend pre-law information sessions
    • get to know pre-law advisor
    • add name to pre-law mailing list
    • sign up for brief consultation with pre-law advisor
  • course selection
    • decide on a major field of study
      • there is no "required" or even "recommended" major to get you into law school
    • take classes that are interesting to you
      • you will get better grades if you are interested in the class
    • take classes that will hone your writing skills
  • faculty relationships
    • get to know your professors; have them get to know you
      • letters of recommendation should show that your recommender knows your work

Sophomore Year

  • continue to develop faculty relationships
    • do your favorite professors need research assistants?
    • are there independent study projects available to you
  • investigate an internship
    • "hands-on" experiential learning will help you decide on your career path
  • attend pre-law information sessions
    • sign up for brief consultation with pre-law advisor

Junior Year (Fall Semester)

  • begin researching law schools
    • where you attend law school is where you are likely to live/work after law school
      • unless you get into Top 20 school ... you can take that J.D. nationwide
    • are you looking to get into a specific kind of law?
      • some schools known for specializations (Vermont Law for environmental law, e.g.)
    • consult with pre-law advisor regularly
      • advisor has statistics (GPA, LSAT) on where you are likely to be admitted
  • attend pre-law workshops and panels
  • investigate financial aid options
  • compare LSAT prep courses
    • a prep course is highly recommended; it is an investment in your career

Junior Year (Spring Semester)

  • take an LSAT prep course
    • many test prep companies offer courses at night and/or on weekends
  • draft your resume
    • consult with academic advisor and with Pre-Law Advisor on style/format
  • sign up for the June LSAT
    • deadline is usually mid-May
    • registration booklet and packet available at pre-law advisor's office (Grove 413)
  • continue researching law schools
  • attend pre-law workshops and panels

Summer Between Junior and Senior Year

  • take the June LSAT
  • continue researching law schools
    • ask schools to send you information packages, if they have any
  • visit law schools you are considering (if possible)
    • contact the school's admissions office
  • register with LSDAS
    • will need to arrange to send transcripts, etc.
  • begin drafting a personal statement
  • sign up to take the October LSAT (if necessary)
    • sign-up deadline for October LSAT is usually late August or early September

Senior Year (Fall Semester)

  • arrange for letters of recommendation
    • should have letters from professors, possibly also from an employer
    • letters must be submitted to LSDAS
  • attend workshop on writing the personal statement
    • edit your statement and have the Pre-Law Advisor review it
  • finalize applications to law schools
  • take October LSAT (if necessary)
  • sign up for and take the December LSAT (if necessary)
    • sign-up deadline for December LSAT is usually early November

Senior Year (Winter Break)

  • sign up for the February LSAT (if necessary)
    • sign-up deadline for February LSAT is usually late December or early January
  • send LSDAS an updated transcript (with fall grades)
  • apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
    • normally, applications can be sent starting January 1st
    • check FAFSA website for state financial aid deadlines
  • visit law schools you are considering (if possible)

Senior Year (Spring Semester)

  • decide on what school you will attend
    • keep your recommenders and pre-law advisor informed of your plans
  • continue to study hard
    • most law school acceptances are contingent on maintaining a good academic performance, so don't slack off!
Contact the Pre-Law Advisor 413 Grove Hall Phone: 717-477-1845