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Pre-Law Program

Undergraduate Law School Preparation Timeline

Information for this timeline was partially drawn from Temple University Pre-Law website ( www.temple.edu/claprelaw/timeline ); Calvin College Pre-Law website ( www.calvin.edu/academic/prelaw/pre-law/timeline ); Central Michigan University Pre-Law website ( www.chsbs.cmich.edu/Law_Center ); and about.com: Law School ( www.lawschool.about.com/od/preparingforlawschool/tp/preparingtimeline ).

FRESHMAN AND SOPHMORE YEARS (OR TRANSFER STUDENT)

  • Talk with the CAS Advising Office concerning your interest in pre-law.
  • Consider making an appointment with the pre-law mentor, Dr. Ann Dirks-Linhorst.
  • Start with a strong GPA, and continue to work hard to maintain that GPA.
  • Attend any pre-law speaker presentations.
  • See if you can find any volunteer opportunities with lawyers, courts, or any related legal field venue to make sure this is something that interests you, or even consider trying to find a summer job in this area.
  • Become friends with the SIUE Pre-Law Program Facebook page for any announcements and updates.
  • Check out the Pre-Law Association, if active.

JUNIOR YEAR

  • Continue your conversations with the CAS Advising Office.
  • Continue your interaction with the Pre-Law mentor.
  • Remember that your junior year grades will be the last that will be reported on your academic transcript as you begin the law school application process in your senior year.
  • Attend any pre-law speaker presentations.
  • Check out the www.lsac.org website to begin to familiarize yourself with the website's contents, and with the registration process for the LSAT.
  • Think about which law schools you may want to attend, and check out their websites, and think about attending a MAPLA Law School Caravan (check out SIUE Pre-Law Program and Facebook pages updates on the where and when of those).
  • Consider scheduling a visit to one or more law schools of interest. Check out potential questions to ask at each law school by clicking on that icon on this webpage. You may also consider asking if you can sit in on a first year class while you are there.
  • Consider attending the LSAC Law School Forum (the closest one to SIUE is held in Chicago each fall, and has many law schools represented).
  • Take a practice LSAT exam, or two! SIUE Pre-Law Program website has a link to one; check out any that will be held on campus; and/or consider purchasing prep LSAT books/materials.
  • Actually read the LSAT prep materials that you have! Preparation is so important for this exam.
  • Register for the LSAT! Consider taking it in June of the summer between junior and senior year so you can prep for it in the summer. However, if that does not work for your schedule, then register for the October LSAT, and continue to work on preparation.
  • If you have not already done so, register with the LSAC.
  • Update your resume. You may want to note any pre-law presentations or programs you attended.
  • Start thinking about those individuals you may ask to provide letters of recommendation.
  • Think about starting a draft of your personal statement (remember that the personal statement will be geared to the specific law school to which you apply, but there are some general points you may want to include in each personal statement).
  • Keep that GPA up!!!!

SENIOR YEAR

  • Continue your conversations with the CAS Advising Office.
  • Continue your interactions with the Pre-Law Mentor.
  • Make a timeline of application and registration due dates to make sure you do not miss anything!
  • If you have not yet registered with LSAC, do so as early in your senior year as possible ( www.lsac.org).
  • Remember to have a copy of your academic transcript sent to LSAC.
  • Either request copies of admission applications from your list of law schools, or confirm that they have an online process.
  • During fall semester, begin working on financial aid. Request copies of any financial aid applications from each of the law schools in which you are interested.
  • In the spring, you will need to complete the FAFSA ( www.fafsa.org).
  • If you have any questions during the application process, schedule time with the Pre-Law Mentor.
  • Make sure all required materials are submitted to the LSAC CAS (Credential Assembly Service). This includes transcript (all of them from undergraduate, and any other graduate programs), letters of recommendation, application forms, and personal statement(s).
  • Submit your application(s) early - hopefully by Thanksgiving.
  • Watch for your admission decision letters during spring semester.
  • If you have questions about which school to choose, it may be helpful to schedule some time with the Pre-Law Mentor.
  • Once you have made a selection decision, make sure your final undergraduate transcript is sent to that law school.
  • Tell the Pre-Law Mentor which school you have chosen.
  • Enjoy!
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