Admission to law school is competitive. If you are considering a career in the legal profession, it is never too early to learn all you can about law school admissions requirements so that you can prepare for this critical step in your career.
All law school admissions requirements include the completion of an undergraduate degree. Your first step in preparing a legal career is to choose an undergraduate curriculum that will help you ready yourself for the rigors of law school.
There is no particular undergraduate major required to get into law school. However, those students best prepared for law school, as well as those who are looked on most favorably upon by admissions officers, are those with undergraduate backgrounds that include diverse coursework in the social sciences, humanities and physical sciences. Narrow or primarily vocational undergraduate curriculums are not recommended if your goal is to go to law school.
Undergraduates who are interested in law school should also consider getting involved in pre-law or debate groups on campus and should work closely with an advisor to choose coursework.
Your undergraduate GPA will be a critical factor in law school admission. You will be required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended.
Law School admissions requirements also include the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). As with GPAs, score requirements will vary among law schools, but all require completion of the test. According to the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the LSAT can be taken at testing centers throughout the world and is administered four times each year. The LSAC also reports that most law schools require completion of the LSAT by December to be admitted for the following fall.
Your undergraduate GPA and your LSAT scores are primary components of your admission to law school. However, they are not the only factors that will be considered. While law school admissions requirements vary, many schools will also ask for a personal statement and letters of reference. These can be key factors in the admissions process. Your personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate your communications skills and to give admissions officers the chance to get to know you and your potential for success. Reference letters allow those in a position to predict your success in law school, such as former professors or your undergraduate advisor, to speak on your behalf.
For some law schools, additional information beyond the LSAT is recommended but not required. For example, the University of Baltimore recommends two reference letters, a personal statement and a resume. It is a good idea to submit any recommended materials with your admissions application, even if they are not required.
In general, you can fulfill law school admissions requirements by completing your undergraduate degree with a solid GPA, making sure your curriculum of study is well-rounded, preparing for and doing well on the LSAT, crafting a well-written personal statement that demonstrates your goals and potential for success, and obtaining academic or law-related references who are willing to support your application.