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Preparing for Law School After the October LSAT

Before we get started, I’ll grant you that this post looks a bit further ahead than anyone taking the October LSAT is likely to advance his or her gaze. However, should you wish to get a clearer picture of what you need to do after taking (and dominating) the LSAT in order to apply to law school, please keep reading (or hit Control+D and come back after you get your score).

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s assume that you love your October LSAT score (or at least like it enough to justify applying). What’s next?

The Credential Assembly Service (CAS), that’s what.

This is a fine service provided to you by the good folks at LSAC that allows you to upload all your data (transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, etc.) in one convenient place so you can electronically spread it across the nation to admissions offices far and wide through the use of something called the “internet.” Better yet, most schools require you to use it (extenuating circumstances aside).

So, your first step is to register for CAS (there is a fee, but you can apply for a waiver – which you should do NOW if you’re going to at all). After you’ve taken care of that administrative nicety, it’s time for transcript requests (yay!). CAS has a handy dandy form you can print out for any institutions of higher education you’ve attended so that they can send your transcript straight to CAS.

After transcript requests (or perhaps at the same time), it’s on to letters of recommendation (double yay!). Hopefully you’ve managed to establish some sort of bond with a professor or two. Now your job is to print out the necessary form, write a nice letter that hints at what you’d like mentioned in your letters of recommendation and ask those professors if they’d be kind enough to write you a letter and send it to CAS. Be sure to provide your professors an addressed, stamped envelope to make their job a little easier and to ensure you don’t read the letter.

But wait, we’re not done yet. Transcript? Check. Letters of recommendation? Check. Personal statement? Whoops. It’s time to put pen to pad (or fingers to keyboard or the pedal to the metal). Your job is to figure out a way to convince admissions committees that your life experience thus far will somehow translate into marketable legal skill in the very near future. Daunting, I know. Just remember, you’re not writing an undergraduate personal statement. You’re writing one for law school. This personal statement should convince those reading that you have high-level analytical ability, can manage time well and are especially ambitious. After all, if you look good, they look good.

Unless you’re applying early decision – in which case you should have all this done by early November – you should have checked everything off this list by the beginning of December. A lot of schools review applications as they come in, so the earlier yours is complete (letters of recommendation, transcripts and personal statements) the better.

Until next time, “Always be closing.”