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Legal Studies/Pre-Law Resources

Applying to Law School

Students interested in applying to law school should begin the law school application process in their junior year at Otterbein. It is recommended that students prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) during their junior year, in order to complete the exam during the summer before their senior year or in the fall of their senior year.

Law school applicants must create an account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). All applicants to ABA-approved law schools are required to register for LSAC’s Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS). LSAC also manages the LSAT. LSAC members can register for the LSAT online, obtain their scores via e-mail, assemble their credentials, and manage their law school applications on-line. LSAC service fees vary.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the entrance exam used by law schools to help determine admission. It is required for admission to all American Bar Association–approved law schools. An applicant's LSAT score and prior academic performance are the two most important factors considered in law school admission. The LSAT tests your ability to think through problems and focuses on logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and critical reading.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT four times a year at designated centers. Many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by December for admission in the following fall. However, taking the test earlier - in June or October - is advised in order to submit one's application early.

LSAT Preparation

Students should prepare for the LSAT through independent study and/or by completing a commercial preparation course. In either instance, students should familiarize themselves with test mechanics and question types, study test-taking techniques and strategies, and practice on sample tests.

For those studying independently, the LSAC offers some free preparation materials and sells preparation books, but several book publishers also offer preparation books. However, students should seriously consider completing a commercial preparation course. Many firms offer LSAT preparation courses:

Law School Application Materials and Evaluation Criteria

Law school admissions committees examine many criteria in evaluating law school applications. However, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score and one’s college undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) are the two most important factors for many of the top law schools.

Because there are more law school applicants than available spaces, law schools rely heavily on selection criteria that indicate expected performance and can be applied objectively to all candidates. LSAT and GPA are considered the most objective. However, admissions committees consider additional criteria, such as letters or recommendation, work experience, a personal essay, and community activities, among others, in determining whom to admit.

Law School Application Tips & Guides

Choosing Law Schools to Apply

Admission to law school depends heavily on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score and one's college-level grade point average (GPA). To determine which schools to apply to, applicants should identity schools where their LSAT score and GPA will be most competitive. The sources below provide a matrix of LSAT scores and GPA ranges for recent admissions decisions at ABA-approved law schools. These numbers can be used to help applicants compile a list of schools where their scores would be the most competitive.

Law School Rankings

Law school applicants should consider the ranking of the individual schools to which the apply. The magazine U.S. News And World Report conducts a yearly law school ranking, according to three oddly named tiers: Top 100, Tier 3, and Tier 4.

U.S. News And World Report also ranks law schools according to specific specialties:

The website Top-Law-Schools.com also provides law school rankings, along with corresponding GPA and LSAT statistics.

When to Apply

It is best to apply to law school as early as possible. Law school application deadlines range between January 1 and May 1. However, it is advisable for applicants to submit their completed applications between October 1 and November 15. Many law schools follow rolling admissions procedures, allowing early applicants the opportunity to receive initial consideration in comparison to a smaller pool of other applicants. Early applicants also have a greater chance of being considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

/ Department of History and Political Science

La Trice Washington
p/ 614.823.1019
e/ LWashington@otterbein.edu


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