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Four Year Timeline

Timeline for Students Considering Law School


 FIRST AND SOPHOMORE YEARS

  • Select a major in a field that interests you and in which you can excel academically.  Focus on academics!  Creating a strong academic record is critical to admission to law school.
  • Begin to form relationships with professors so that they will know your work well enough to write a recommendation letter for you.
  • Expand your experience by obtaining job shadows or internships in fields of interest.
  • Gain academic experience writing papers, engaging in analysis, critical thinking and reasoning.
  • Sign up for a BCDC-sponsored job shadow through the Career Discovery in Practice (CDIP) program. Details announced on JobCat in September.
  • Participate in at least one or two student activities and/or community organizations.
  • Join the prelaw listserv.  Subscribe by emailing prelaw@lists.bates.edu
  • Attend the Grad School & Professional Fair on October 29 from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Gray Cage and meet law school admission representatives.
  • Attend the BCDC law school information meeting on Wednesday November 13 at noon. Room TBA.

JUNIOR YEAR

  • Take upper-level courses in departments outside of your major.
  • Participate in BCDC-sponsored presentations and workshops.
  • Visit a law school while students are on campus.
  • Schedule a preliminary conference with Nancy Gibson to discuss your plans.
  • Attend Writing a Personal Statement for Grad and Law School workshop. For schedule, check JobCat Calendar.
  • Attend the Grad School & Professional Fair on October 29 from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Gray Cage and meet law school admission representatives.
  •   Attend the BCDC law school information meeting on November 13 at noon. Location TBA.
  • Attend a BCDC workshop on resume development and cover letters.  By January, meet with a counselor to review your resume and get tips on your summer job search.
  • Consider taking the June administration of the LSAT; register online at least one month before the test date.
  • Develop an LSAT preparation strategy including dedicated study time and practice exams. Ideally, you should have 2 – 4 months to prepare.
  • Speak with those whom you would like to write recommendations and/or evaluations; provide recommenders with sufficient information to write detailed letters.

SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR

  • Prepare a resume.  This will be helpful to recommendation writers and will be useful in organizing application answers and essays.  You may also submit your resume as an addendum to your application.
  • Prepare a draft of your personal statement and ask Nancy Gibson to review it.
  • If you will apply for financial aid, obtain your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com and address any errors or omissions with the credit bureaus.
  • Compile a list of all your current debts and estimate your monthly payments during law school.
  • Begin your search for grants and scholarships.

SENIOR YEAR/YEAR BEFORE ENTERING LAW SCHOOL

  • Register with the LSAC.  Have transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended for one year or more sent to the LSAC after verifying their accuracy.
  • Research law schools which meet your selection criteria.
  • Take the LSAT in October if you did not take the test in June or wish to retake it.
  • Request recommendations and/or evaluations from faculty members and others if you have not already done so.  Provide recommenders with the LSAC forms or the law school’s forms along with sufficient information to write detailed letters.
  • If you have not already done so, draft and revise your personal statement.  Meet with Nancy Gibson to discuss.
  • Meet with Nancy Gibson to discuss your plans and application strategy.
  • Obtain current financial aid budgets for each school to which you will apply.
  • Research grant and scholarship opportunities.
  • Check law school deadlines for submission of financial aid information.
  • Determine whether additional scholarship applications or letters of recommendation will be necessary for chosen law schools.
  • Make sure your LSAC report is correct.
  • Make arrangements to have Dean’s Certification sent to schools that require it by contacting Dean of Students office.
  • Complete and submit your applications.  Admissions are on a rolling basis.
  • Take the LSAT in December if you are retaking the test.
  • Check with schools to make sure your files are complete
  • Complete your federal income tax return as soon as you have complete documentation after January 1.
  • In January complete the FAFSA.
  • Complete your law school financial aid applications.
  • Meet with Nancy Gibson in the spring to assess your options as you learn schools’ decisions.
  • Receive financial aid offers.  If you have special concerns or situations, discuss these with the law school.  Examine the net costs and benefits of attending schools where you have been admitted.  Discuss actual housing costs with law students at individual schools.
  • Send further helpful information to schools.  Take appropriate action on acceptances, wait-list status, and financial aid packages.
  • Pay your first law school deposit.  Once you have selected your law school, submit your loan application(s) and finalize your housing arrangements.
  • Before leaving campus, have a final transcript sent to the law school you plan to attend and/or to any schools still considering your application.
  • Pay your second and third law school deposits.
  • Make sure BCDC has your new permanent (non-Bates) email address.

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