Pre-Law Advising|Loyola University Chicago

Pre-Law Advising

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Suggested Timeline

Freshman Year

  • Do well in your academic course work and begin developing professional relationships with faculty members who may write letters of recommendation.
  • Keep your mind open about possible careers (beware of making up your mind too soon).
  • Read the material on this Website about selecting a major and taking courses.
  • Consider attending a pre-law information session and/or meeting with the pre-law advisor.

Sophomore Year

  • Continue strong academic preparation and developing professional relationships with faculty members.
  • If you have not yet done so, attend a pre-law information session and/or meet with the pre-law advisor.
  • Consider making use of the self-assessment and career-planning services of the university's Career Development Center.
  • Read So You Want to Be a Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Law as a Career, a publication of the Law School Admissions Council (available at the LSAC web site and bookstores; a copy is available on 3-day reserve at Cudahy Library).
  • Seek out the advice/counsel of attorneys or law students that you know (or who know people you know).
  • Consider becoming involved with the undergraduate Pre-Law Society.
  • Consider pursuing a summer work opportunity or an internship in a legal setting.

Junior Year

Fall Semester

  • Continue strong academic preparation.
  • Contact the Office of Pre-Law Advising to ensure that you are on its e-mail list.
  • Move to the advanced stages of self-assessment and career planning.
  • Explore in detail the Law School Admissions Council web site.
  • Explore internship opportunities for the spring semester or summer sessions.

Spring Semester

  • Begin preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) offered in June.
  • Register in March for the June LSAT.
  • Visit law schools to get a sense of what classes are like and to gain exposure to the law school environment.
  • Do a law-related internship this semester or during the summer.

Summer

  • Take the June LSAT.
  • Begin researching law schools and prepare a list of schools to which you may apply. Visit schools, if possible.
  • Request hardcopy application material from each of the schools on your list (do this even if you plan to use the LSACD or apply on-line).
  • Obtain and review a copy of your credit report (having an accurate report is essential for applying for financial aid).
  • Register in July for the October LSAT (if you did not take the June LSAT or need to re-take the test).
  • Begin drafting your personal statements.
  • Think about whom you will ask to provide letters of recommendation.

Senior Year

September

  • Set up a calendar of deadlines for all schools to which you will apply, as it will help ensure that you do not miss an important date for applying for scholarships, sending tuition deposits, etc.
  • Subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) of the Law School Admission Council.
  • Request that one official transcript be sent directly to the LSDAS from the registrar of each college or university you attended.
  • Request letters of recommendation (see individual schools' requirements).
  • Continue working on your personal statements.
  • Attend a Law School Forum, a recruitment event organized by of the Law School Admission Council that attracts law schools from throughout the country (a Forum is held in Chicago in September or October each year).

October

  • Take the October LSAT (if you did not take the June LSAT or need to re-take the test).
  • Ask the pre-law advisor and others to review and comment on your personal statements.
  • Confirm that your file with the LSDAS is complete.

November

  • Complete and submit your applications. Set November 15 as your personal deadline, regardless of individual schools' deadlines. Applying early increases the likelihood of admission. (Note that some schools' early-acceptance deadlines may be prior to November 15.)

December

  • Check with each law school to confirm that your application file is complete.

January

  • Have an updated transcript with fall term grades sent to the LSDAS.
  • Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is often required to be eligible for financial aid.
  • Obtain dates for schools' programs for admitted students so you can plan to visit if admitted (this information is particularly important if the school is out of state, as you may need to purchase plane tickets, miss classes, etc.).

February and following months

  • Evaluate and respond to offers of admission and financial aid.



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