APPLYING TO LAW SCHOOLWHAT TO DO & WHEN TO DO ITPenn Career Services215.898.1789Pre-Law Advising
THE APPLICATIONYou will apply to law school through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).A complete application consists of:Law Schools follow a rollingadmissions process.Applications become available inSeptember and should becompleted by early November,well before Spring deadlines.1 Individual Law School Application2 Personal Statement3 Law School Resume4 1-3 Letters of RecommendationApply with the intention tomatriculate in the Fall. Deferralsare possible, but not guaranteed.5 Dean’s Letter/Certification6 LSAC Law School Report with official academic transcript(s) and LSAT score(s)
PHASE 1BEFORE YOU APPLY
ACADEMIC RIGOR & ACHIEVEMENTIn your undergraduate career, aim to demonstrate academic initiative.Taking one course Pass/Fail orwithdrawing from one course isnot a problem. Avoid a pattern.When applying, you will need tohave your official transcript sent toLSAC. Request an official transcriptthrough the Penn Registrar /transcripts.htmlTake increasingly advanced, upper-level coursework as you progressthrough college.Take advantage of opportunities to challenge yourself academically,such as independent research, an honors thesis, graduate levelcoursework.
CREDENTIAL ASSEMBLY SERVICE (CAS)To apply to US and Canadian law schools, you need to create a CAS account through LSAC for a 195 fee.CAS is the online portal where you will obtain all electronic applications andsubmit your application materials.Open a CAS account by registering at www.lsac.org.Creating a CAS account is a separate step from registering for the LSAT.5Your account will be valid for five years.You can open a CAS account even if youare not yet ready to apply.
THE LSATPrepare for and take the LSAT in advance of applying.1For more advice on the LSAT,visit our pre-law website of/law/lsat.phpThe LSAT is offered approximately 9 times each year. Youshould register 2-3 months in advance.2 Test scores are valid for 5 years.We recommend taking the LSAT by October and applying by3 early November of your chosen application cycle becauselaw schools follow a rolling admissions process.
PHASE 2IN THE SUMMER BEFORE YOU APPLY
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONMost law schools require 2 letters of recommendation with a strong preference for academic letters.If a law school accepts more than 2 letters, consider getting a third letter from a supervisor, especiallyif you are in the work force.Yourrecommenderswill send theirletters directly toyour CASaccount.Your recommenders should know you and your work well.Their title or position is less important than what they have tosay about you.Cultivate relationships with your letter writers through officehours and by staying in touch.Give your recommenders at least 4-6 weeks to complete their lettersbefore you intend to submit your applications.
LAW SCHOOL RESUMEThis is an opportunity to explain your experiences in detail. Unlike a job resume, most law schoolresumes can be 2 pages in length. Highlight the following:EducationFor more advice and sampleresumes, visit our prelaw website of/law/HonorsAwardsExtracurricular ActivitiesLeadershipCommunity ServiceProfessional ExperiencesFull-Time EmploymentSummer Internships
PERSONAL STATEMENTThis essay will provide a personal, non-quantitative impression of you as an applicant.1For more advice on personalstatements, visit our pre-lawwebsite of/law/pstateandothers.php2Discuss your strengths and/or passions through 1 or 2anecdotes that illustrate who you are as a person.You can begin drafting a 2-page personal statement beforeyou have access to the individual law school applications.For the most part, you will submit the same essay to all lawschools, abiding by their particular instructions regardingformatting. The prompt will differ by school, but theprompts are intentionally open-ended.
PHASE 3IN THE FALL OF YOUR APPLICATION CYCLE
LIST OF LAW SCHOOLSApply to a realistic range of law schools, including reach schools, in-range schools and safety schools.Applicants apply to an average of 9 to 11 schools.Your GPA and LSAT are important, butthey are not predictive of admission.When creating your list, consider:There are Penn-specific admissionsstatistics available on our website tistics.phpProgramCareerPlacementFor more advice on developing your listof law schools, visit our pre-law website of/law/thingstoconsider.phpClass SizeLocation
ADDENDA & SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAYSSome law schools will invite you to submit additional, shorter essays.Explanatory AddendaAn explanatory addendum provides anopportunity to address anything in yourapplication that you think requires contextor explanation.Supplemental EssaysSupplemental essays may include a diversitystatement or an explanation of why you are agood fit for a particular school.Not every applicant will submit anaddendum.These are optional. However, completingthese essays will convey your enthusiasm forthe law school.Potential topics include a health issue orother extenuating circumstance that mayhave impacted your LSAT or academicperformance.Interpret “diversity” broadly; however, youshould not submit a diversity statement ifyou really do not have anything to say on thetopic.You must submit an addendum if you have adisciplinary violation.For more advice on addenda and supplemental essays, visit our pre-law website at /law/pstateandothers.php
RESOURCESPre-Law gradprof/law/Advising Appointments30-minute appointments in-person, over the phone, or by video conferenceSchedule via Handshake at https://upenn.joinhandshake.com/ or by calling 215.898.1789Walk-In Hours15-minute, in-person meetings for quick questionsCall 215.898.1789 for days and timesEmailPre-Law Advisors:Mia Carpiniello: firstname.lastname@example.orgAriana Alexander: email@example.com
You will apply to law school through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). 1 6 4 5 3 2 Individual Law School Application Personal Statement Law School Resume 1-3 Letters of Recommendation Dean’s Letter/Certification LSAC Law School Report with official academic transcript(s) and LSAT score(s)
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