Everything You Always Wanted to
Know About Applying to Law School
But Were Afraid to Ask
Associate Professor of Political
and Pre-Law Advisor
307 Hoxie Hall
Here are some links that
should get you started in your quest to find, and apply
successfully to, the law school of your choice. I'll start by
tackling what is perhaps the most common question I receive:
"What major should I pursue if I want to go to law school?"
Here's what the American Bar Association (ABA) has to
say on the subject:
"The American Bar
Association does not recommend any particular group of
undergraduate majors, or courses, that should be taken by
those wishing to prepare for legal education; developing
such a list is neither possible nor desirable. The law is
too multifaceted, and the human mind too adaptable, to
permit such a linear approach to preparing for law school
or the practice of law. Nonetheless, there are important
skills and values, and significant bodies of knowledge,
that can be acquired prior to law school and that will
provide a sound foundation for a sophisticated legal
choice of major, in the end, should be dictated by your
scholarly interests. Pursue your passion, challenge yourself
intellectually, and develop the skills that will serve you
well in your legal career.
If, however, you're having second thoughts (or first
thoughts) about your decision to go to law school, then I'd
to a Young Law Student, courtesy of Slate's Dahlia
advice on maximizing your odds of acceptance to the law school
of your choice, I'd recommend this page,
courtesy of Dan Pinello of the John Jay College of Criminal
Justice of the City University of New York. Also highly
recommended is FindLaw.com's collection
of pre-law links, as is Top-Law-Schools.com,
which features articles on virtually every aspect of the
application process, including this one on finding
a school in the New York market (though I should note
that it's targeting students who are seeking to work for big
law firms, so if you're not considering that career path,
discount the author's advice accordingly).
If you'd like to know how your GPA-LSAT combination
relates to the probability of admission to the law school of
your choice, you'll definitely want to check out the ABA-LSAC
Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. The
site provides a tremendous range of information about
every ABA-accredited law school, and you would be foolish to
apply to law schools without having looking at it. In
previous years, students had to come to my office to view this
information in printed form, or procure the book at their
expense. Now, thanks to the miracle of technology (and LSAC's
desire to save money), you can access this information from
also collects information, available here,
that is crucial to your law school search. You'll be able to
access a wide range of data about each ABA-accredited law
school, including demographic information about students and
faculty, generosity with financial aid, acceptance rates, bar
passage rates, and which sectors of the legal world graduates
gravitate to. If you're researching law schools, stop whatever
you're doing and visit this site. Seriously. This page will
still be here when you return.
here's a link to the NAPLA/SAPLA
Book of Law School Lists that has so much information
that it merits special attention. Want to know
If so, you'll want to check
it out. Warning: the PDF runs several hundred pages, so be
prepared for a sizable download.
schools offer joint degree programs?
schools offer a particular specialization that interests
you, or study abroad opportunities, or clinical programs
in your preferred field?
schools have evening programs, or summer programs, or
January start dates?
a particular student organization has a chapter at the
schools you're considering?
the schools you're considering have non-need based
scholarships? Or offer loan repayment assistance programs?
schools will allow you to defer matriculation?
schools treat multiple LSAT scores?
- Or would
you like to see massive tables featuring admissions and
And if you're a prospective or current LIU Post student who is
wondering where Post alumni have been admitted, here
is a list.
other sites of interest:
dates and deadlines: In addition to providing a
handy calendar of LSAT test dates and deadlines, this Law
School Admissions Council website also offers directions for
those applicants who seek information on test date changes
and refunds. When deciding on a test date, keep in mind that
(1) each school has its own application deadlines, and (2)
many schools have rolling admissions, which means that
applications will be considered on a first come-first served
- Michigan State University College
of Law Webinar Recordings: Looking for insights into
virtually every aspect of legal education you can think of,
and many that you can't? There's an excellent chance you'll
find a webinar on the subject. Recent examples include, "Factoring in GPA and LSAT," "The
Dos and Don'ts for Competitive Personal and Diversity
Statements," and "What
Makes a Competitive Resume and LOR."
a Law School": Courtesy of Princeton Review, this page
also includes links to articles such as "4
Myths about the LSAT" and "LSAT
- Criminal justice resources
to Become a Lawyer: From LawyerInformation.org,
this site offers a thorough and informative overview of
the journey from one's first thoughts about a career in
law to entry into the profession. The site also includes
pages addressing the bar exam, choosing a field within the
legal world, and starting salaries based on
- How to
Become a Lawyer: This site is especially helpful in
its detailed descriptions of different legal
specializations, as well as its interactive tools enabling
state-by-state comparisons of job growth opportunities and
- The Incoming One-L
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): Want some sense of
what to expect during your first year of law school? Charles
Glasser, a graduate of NYU Law School, offers advice
designed to help you survive the numerous challenges that
1Ls typically face.
- Internet Legal
Resource Guide's Pre-Law Student Services: One-stop
shopping for links related to all aspects of the law school
application process. You can find information related to
test preparation, scholarship and financial aid
availability, school rankings, median GPA and LSAT scores
for schools, and so much more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- Internet Legal
Resource Guide's Law School Information Index:
Includes law-school rankings, links to pages of schools' web
sites (both American and international), and internet
- LSAT & CAS (Credential
Assembly Service): At this site, you can register to
take the LSAT and to use the CAS, which prepares reports for
each school to which you apply. Virtually all
ABA-accredited law schools will require you to register
with CAS. The Law School Admissions Council recommends
that you register for CAS about six weeks before you plan to
apply to particular law schools. If you are absolutely unable to pay the required
fees for the LSAT or CAS, click
here for information on applying for a fee waiver.
to New York-area law schools and their application
deadlines : There's an amazing amount of material made
available on the Web by law schools themselves. Want to know
whether a school has a program in entertainment law, or loan
forgiveness for those seeking to pursue public-interest law,
or minority scholarships? Curious about the faculty there?
Take advantage of the bounty of readily available
- Paying for law school:
This page has links to sources of information about
scholarships and loans.
Legal Career Counseling, started by a recent Harvard
Law School graduate and Long Island native, provides free
mentoring and guidance about the law school application,
flourishing in law school, and building a successful legal
health and well-being
- Summer Pre-Law Programs:
Links to programs that provide exposure to law school
classes, advice on the application process, and professional
These folks offer a variety of courses to prepare you for
the LSAT, and their websites contain a wide variety of
information and advice.
the personal statement: Oftentimes, students don't
quite know where to start when writing their personal
statements. Here are some sites that offer various
strategies and insights you might find valuable.