LSAC offers a Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAC website also explains the law school application process. Some law schools also accept the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as an alternative to the LSAT.
Applicants are encouraged and sometimes required to provide a current resume. Remember, a resume for a law school application is not the same resume you would send to a potential employer. The resume is an easy way to remind the admissions committee of number of hours worked, number of volunteer hours spent on a project, and to summarize your experiences. Look at this article from US News and World Report for tips on how to make a good law school application resume.
Most law schools require a personal statement as part of the application process. The personal statement should be well written with no typos. The personal statement is an opportunity for an applicant to provide the admissions committee with information that will be helpful and insightful as the file is reviewed. Most law schools do not provide a specific topic for the personal statement, some do, so read the directions carefully. Use the following resources for tips on how to write an effective personal statement:
- Nine Important Personal Statement Tips for Law School Applicants by New England School of Law.
- Law School Personal Statement Dos and Don’ts by Georgetown University.
- How to Write a Great Law School Personal Statement by Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law.
- How to Write a Good Personal Statement for Law School by Hillary Mantis.
In addition to meeting the standards of admission, a competitive LSAT and GPA, applicants to law school must also meet certain standards of character and fitness. Most law schools will ask a series of questions related to character and fitness, it is important that applicants be both candid and forthright in responding. A minor issue is typically not going to keep someone out of law school, the failure to be honest will. Lawyers are held to very high ethical standards and therefore applicants need to be upfront in providing the law school with accurate information. Applicants who have a character and fitness issue will be required to provide an addendum to explain the incident and to provide specifics about the charges and the outcome of the matter.
Law schools encourage applicants to provide a diversity statement. Such a statement may address ethnicity, sexual orientation, first generation college student, military service, being a non-traditional student, anything that the applicant thinks makes them different.
Most law schools require two letters of recommendation. For someone currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, at least one of the letters should be from a faculty member. The second letter may be from an employer, a supervisor, someone who knows you from community, church, or volunteer work. It is important that you remember to ask the letter writer if they can write you a “good letter of recommendation.”
An applicant may need to provide an addendum to address any “issues” in their file. Frequent “issues” include a low GPA – perhaps the first year of college did not go as planned, maybe due to choosing the wrong major or lack of maturity or having to work while in school. The other common “issue” is the LSAT and GPA don’t match. An applicant has a very high GPA but a low LSAT. An addendum addressing how you prepared for the LSAT, how you have typically performed on other standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT, can be helpful in understanding the score in conjunction with the GPA.