Law School: Admissions and Application Prep

 Timeline from LSAC for Applying to Law School

Sample recommended timelines:


  • Research and evaluate law schools, their admission process, and the field(s) of laws you want to study
  • Reflect on which law schools may be the best fit for you in terms of interest(s)/program(s), location, demographic and ranking
  • Use to the LSAC UGPA/LSAT Search tool to determine LSAT score and GPA needed to be competitive for the schools you are interested in. Or, you can use this tool to put in your LSAT score and your GPA at the time of graduation to determine what schools will accept you
  • Take Gen ST 391 (Section R) Common Law Legal Reasoning offered Autumn 2018
  • Look through UW Law School JD Admissions and find out how you can visit and sit in on a Law School Class

Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

  • Create your account on the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
  • Purchase a copy of your Law School Report for each law school you are applying to
  • Your transcripts, LSAT score, and letters of recommendation are all sent to CAS
  • You need to request an official copy of your transcript from every collegiate-level institution you have attended. You can do this by printing a transcript request form from LSAC and submitting it with your request to each of these institutions. They will send it to CAS.
  • When schools receive your application, they will contact CAS for a copy of your Law School Report

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

  • Sign up for the LSAT early
    • You do not need to sign up for CAS at the same time you register for the LSAT; however, you should sign up at least four to six weeks before your first law school application deadline. It takes approximately two weeks to process a transcript from the time it is received
  • Study for the LSAT as if you’re taking a 15-credit class load. We suggest you take a lighter load if you are planning to take classes and study for the LSAT at the same time.
    1. You can self-study and take practice tests to prepare (make sure you are self-motivated and can keep to a strict study schedule)
    2. You can attend LSAT classes (more links under Additional Resources for Pre-Law Students)
  • It is recommended that you study about 10-15 hours/week for 2-4 months leading up to the test
  • You should take the LSAT no later than the summer and/or fall of the year in which you intend to apply, a full year (or more) before you intend to begin law school (taking it in December is too late)
  • Staring July 2018, 23 law schools are accepting GRE scores in lieu of LSAT scores. To find out more information about the difference between the GRE and LSAT, you can find that here

Letters of Recommendations (LOR)

  • Start thinking about 2-3 individuals you can ask that can speak of your experience and character (this can be anyone: employer, supervisor, mentor, professor)
  • If you cannot think of anyone, take the opportunity to start networking, build relationships, participate in extra-curricular activities, and gain leadership experience


  • A resume should be sent with each application unless the law school states that you do not need to
  • Use these suggestions to edit and polish your resume
  • Meet with the Pre-Law Career Coach or other coaches at the C&IC to look over your resume via Handshake
  • Consider different ways and opportunities that can make your resume stronger

Personal Statement

  • Start thinking about how you can demonstrate why a law school should take you over all other applicants. What distinguishes you from the group? What you will add to the class? How will this law school/program help you achieve your goals?
  • Think in the lens of the admission reader. Questions they may be asking while reading your personal statement are:
    • What did this person learn about himself or herself?
    • What strengths, skills or values does this person have?
    • What makes this person a good candidate for law school
  • Ask yourself: “What’s an important topic or event from my life that I can write about that will represent who I am in 2-3 pages?”
  • Don’t rush this process. Many students need to write 3-6 drafts to craft a strong, concise and memorable personal statement
  • Make sure you start on this early and allow enough time to ask for people to proof read


  • The addenda should be attached to applications when there is a discrepancy that requires an explanation (e.g. your GPA does not reflect your true academic abilities, your GPA trend, barriers you faced during your education). If you have encountered some barriers while at the UW, start thinking about how you will write your addendum.