The Law School Application Cycle
This week’s podcast discusses the law school application cycle. Depending when you start the process, the task of applying to law school can take anywhere from six months to two years, and can involve everything from potential law school and legal profession research to the admissions decision waiting game.
One the program we have Heike Spahn, former Assistant Dean at the University of Chicago Law School and current senior consultant with Admission Consultants; Ann Levine, author of The Law School Admission Game; and Kara Blanchard, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Drake University Law School.
Our first guest, Heike Spahn, says that your first step in the law school application cycle should be researching. She suggests that students do research of the legal profession prior to applying in order to truly know why they want to go to law school. Spahn also says that, when creating your application timeline, one of your initial concerns should be the LSAT. Since the LSAT is only offered four times a year, you should arrange the rest of your application process around your LSAT preparation and test date. Finally, she encourages students to create the schedule that works best for them; each student is different and she has seen a variety of effective timelines used to successfully apply to law school.
Ann Levine, author of The Law School Admission Game, offers advice to students based on their LSAT test date and their current academic year in college. She warns that your law school application timeline will be much more condensed if you apply to law school during your senior year in college, whereas a college junior has a little bit more time to think about their options. She also says understanding “lead-time” is extremely important. She defines “lead-time” as the time it takes to prepare the supporting documents (personal statement, addenda, letter f recommendation, résumé) for a law school application, and says it could take anywhere from a week to a various months to solidify them, so make sure to give yourself as much time as you can. In addition, she says, once you have received all of your admissions decisions you should definitely adhere to the deadline for your seat deposit.
Our last guest, Kara Blanchard, agrees with Heike Spahn by stating that researching law schools and your reasons for becoming a lawyer are both very important. She also says that deciding when to take the LSAT is crucial. Blanchard also takes the time to break down an application cycle in the simplest way possible: September 1 – Application season begins. November 1 – Law schools start making admission decisions. March 1 – FASFA is due. April 1 – First seat deposit deadline.
Heike Spahn – Senior Consultant with Admission Consultants and Former Assistant Dean at the University of Chicago Law School
Ann Levine – Author of The Law School Admission Game
Kara Blanchard – Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Drake University Law School