You should start thinking about applying to law school by fall semester of your junior year, and you should complete the application by fall of your senior year. Applications are typically open from October to February or March, and most law schools require you to commit by April or May. In general, the earlier in the cycle you apply to law school, the greater your chance of admission and scholarship.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

You should take the LSAT in the summer between your junior and senior year unless you are a joint-degree student. In that case, you should take the LSAT in the summer between your sophomore and junior years.

Academic Record

You will need to register for Law School Admission Council’s Credential Assembly Service. This is a service that compiles your transcripts. 

Study what you’re interested in. It doesn’t matter what your major is in college, but it does matter that you’ve done well in your studies. Don’t worry about taking law classes like Con Law unless you are interested in those subjects and they fit your major. 

To best prepare yourself for law school, you should take classes that are challenging and heavy in reading and writing. The actual subjects of those classes are not as important as the fact that they prepare you for analytical thinking and writing.

Personal Statement

Answer the question that the law schools asks. Many law schools will want to know why you are interested in law school or becoming an attorney. This is a chance for you to show a side of yourself beyond your resume and LSAT score.

You should plan to spend substantial time on the personal statement, since it will require multiple drafts. Plan to seek feedback from faculty, peers, and someone who doesn't know you well but has experience with personal statements (such as someone in Student Academic Grants and Awards or Career Development).


Visit Willamette’s Career Development Center for assistance with formatting and content for your law school resume.

Letters of Recommendation

Typically, law schools ask for two letters of recommendation. Professors are good sources for these letters, as are supervisors, mentors or community members. In general, law schools are looking for someone who knows you well and who can speak to your ability to do well in law school. You are encouraged to share a copy of your personal statement with your recommender to help them write stronger and better-informed letters of recommendation.

Character and Fitness Questions

Answer all application questions honestly. If you omit something that’s discovered later, you likely will be disqualified from consideration.

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