Application Timeline Checklist
Wondering when to take the LSAT? Or when to ask for recommendations? Don’t worry… we’re here to help you make sure that you’re on time and on track. The law school application process can be time-consuming, but by following the timeline below, you can keep the process from consuming you. And you’ll even get to enjoy your holiday breaks without the stress of applications. Organization and strong time management skills are key to success!
Note: This timeline assumes that you are planning to apply during senior year to begin law school immediately after college. If you are planning to take time for other experiences between college and law school, this timeline is easily adjustable. Simply refer to the calendar months instead. You should be completing the application process in the Fall semester timeframe of the year prior to starting law school.
Spring of Junior Year (January – April)
Maintain/raise your GPA!!!
Prepare heavily for the LSAT, and register for the summer exam of your choice (June or August). June is the recommended sitting, as this will allow you to preserve the later summer test as a retake, if needed, and still be completed with the exam prior to the start of Fall classes.
Begin thinking of possible recommenders and advise them of your plans for law school. Ensure that they will be at Emory in the Fall semester. If not, request and secure letters now.
Summer after Junior Year (May – August)
Continue heavy preparation for the summer LSAT date you’ve chosen. Once you sit for the exam and receive your score, make a decision to either keep the score or retake the test. If retaking, set up a new re-preparation schedule and secure resource materials, if needed.
If taking the LSAT in the Fall semester, begin studying for the exam now and continue throughout the summer months.
Begin work on your general personal statement and resume, and submit for critique as needed. Plan to have these completed by summer’s end.
Begin researching law schools in light of personal preferences, school offerings, and personal competitiveness. Refine and finalize your list of schools by summer’s end if you took a summer exam.
Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) on LSAC’s website and be sure to sign up for the Candidate Referral Service (CRS).
Finalize your list of recommenders so that you are prepared to make formal requests for letters once school begins in the fall.
Fall of Senior Year (September – December)
Meet with your recommenders to formally request letters of recommendation by September 15.
Request transcripts from all undergraduate colleges to be sent to the LSAC for placement in your CAS file.
Most applications will open on September 1.
Read applications carefully to determine whether you will have to write additional essays. If so, begin work on these immediately and have them critiqued as needed.
Take the LSAT (for those who did not take a summer exam or those who are retaking).
Begin investigating financial aid requirements at the schools to which you are applying. Find out about any paperwork that you will need to submit.
Check your CAS account to ensure letters of recommendation have been submitted. If not, follow up with recommenders as needed to ensure timely receipt of letters.
Receive and evaluate Fall administration LSAT scores. Adjust your list of schools if necessary.
Finalize all application forms, resumes, and essays for admission. Plan to submit applications by November 15. Keep a printed/saved copy of your entire application package for record-keeping purposes.
Contact all schools to ensure that your application was received and that your file is complete. Follow up with the appropriate persons regarding any parts of your application that have not been received.
ENJOY YOUR WINTER BREAK!!!!
Spring of Senior Year (January – April)
Complete all financial aid forms and submit to schools.
Await admissions decisions and financial aid offers.
Meet with the Pre-Law Advisor as needed for assistance on deciding between multiple offers.
Send a “Thank You” note to your recommenders and let them know where you have decided to enroll for law school.
Submit any Dean’s Certifications for admitted schools to The Career Center to be processed.