Baylor Pre-Law Timeline
Summer Before Your Freshman Year
- Attend the Pre-Law session at Summer Orientation.
- Register for rigorous, but appropriate courses.
- If appropriate, consider participating in one of the Honors College programs.
- Talk to your advisor about declaring Pre-Law on your degree plan and about courses that will help you prepare for the LSAT and for law school. We advise taking PHI 1306: Introduction to Logic before the end of your junior year. Remember: Pre-Law is not a major, but rather a pre-professional track.
- Focus on your grades. It is difficult to get into law school if you perform poorly during any academic year.
- Law schools do not require a particular major, so select a major in which you are interested.
- Consider joining Phi Alpha Delta, Baylor's pre-law fraternity (open to all majors).
- Continue to focus on your grades. Pay particular attention to all courses in your major.
- Explore the legal field. Conduct informational interviews. Volunteer or intern in different legal settings.
- Register for challenging, seminar-style classes.
- Talk with your advisor about additional course selections to round out your academic profile.
Fall of Junior Year
- Continue to focus on grades. Since most students apply to law school in the fall of senior year, law school applications will, most likely, only include grades through the end of junior year.
- Begin exploring the Law School Admissions Council website (www.lsac.org).
Spring of Junior Year
- Begin compiling a list of possible recommenders, and speak with them regarding your plans for law school.
- Establish criteria for what you want in a law school and begin researching schools. The Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools is a terrific resource.
- Register early for the June LSAT to ensure a seat in your preferred location.
- We advise taking an LSAT preparation course.
- Increase intensity of LSAT preparation as soon as you are finished with your final exams. During the month before the LSAT, study approximately 3 to 4 hours per day.
- Take the LSAT.
- Continue researching schools.
- Evaluate your LSAT score. If you're not satisfied with it, consider retaking the exam in October.
- Plug your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score into the LSAC search tool to help you determine where to apply.
- Begin working on your personal statement.
- If taking the October LSAT, study for the exam and register early to ensure a seat.
- Continue revising your personal statement and resume. Try to have these completed by summer's end.
- Refine your list of schools and finalize it by the end of the summer.
- Register for the Credential Assembly Service - CAS (previously known as LSDAS). Order score reports for the schools to which you are applying.
- Order the LSAC or on the web, LSACd software, to complete applications or request paper applications from schools individually.
- Finalize your list of recommenders and compile information packets for them.
September of Senior Year
- Meet with those you have chosen as recommenders to ask for letters of recommendation. Be sure to have all paperwork prepared to give to them.
- Request transcripts from all undergraduate colleges to be sent to LSDAS.
- Begin working on application forms.
- Read applications carefully to determine if you must submit additional essays. If so, begin work on these immediately and have them critiqued as needed.
- Consider attending the Texas Law School Forum that takes place either later this month or in October (see www.lsac.org for details).
- Take the LSAT if you have not already done so.
- Continue work on applications, including additional essays.
- Send handwritten "Thank You" notes to your recommenders. These notes will serve as an appropriate gesture of thanks to those who have submitted recommendations and as a reminder to those who have not.
- For those who took the October LSAT, receive and evaluate LSAT scores. Adjust your list of schools if necessary.
- Finalize all application forms, resumes, and essays for admission.
- Follow up with recommenders to ensure that letters have been mailed.
- Submit applications either by mail or online. If submitting online, be sure to mail any supplementary forms to the law school that could not be transmitted online. If using the mail, make a copy of your entire application package and send the package certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you have proof of delivery and signature confirmation. You may also use a private carrier such as FedEx or UPS.
- December 1 - Preferred application deadline.
- Confirm that you have submitted or will submit all required materials to qualify for financial aid.
- Early Action and Early Decision applicants start receiving admission notifications.
- Check to ensure that your application was received and that your file is complete.
- Follow up with the appropriate persons regarding any parts of your application that have not been received.
- Have your parents complete their taxes as soon as possible so that you can complete the FAFSA and all other financial aid paperwork.
- Begin receiving admission and financial aid award notifications from schools and weighing admission offers.
- Decide which school to attend and submit deposit.