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.
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
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
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
applicants to submit their completed applications between October 1 and
November 15. Many law schools follow rolling admissions procedures,
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.