Application Timeline for Seniors
While it is ideal to follow the general parameters provided in the following timelines, this is not always possible. In a sense, it is never too late to begin preparation for applying to law school. While all applicants should meet with a HPPLC Prelaw Advisor to construct an individualized timeline, it is essential to do so for those who come to the decision to apply relatively late in their academic career.
Fall Semester of Senior Year
- Make sure that you are still on the HPPLC Prelaw Email Listserve.
- Secure letters of recommendation (LOR). For guidelines, click HERE.
- Attend Law Day and other prelaw events.
- Expand your horizons: attend as many law recruiter visits as you can. You will learn something new at every meeting. It is crucial that you are as well-informed as possible.
- Finalize the list of schools to which you will apply and go over their applications.
- If you haven't already, register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The law schools require that you register for the CAS--no exceptions! Go to www.lsac.org to register. There is a separate fee for the CAS (i.e., it is in addition to the fee you pay for the LSAT).
- Complete your file with the CAS:
- Arrange for transcripts from every undergraduate institution you've attended to be sent to the CAS. You'll need to access your CAS account and print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution. For IUB, these requests go to the Registrar in Union St. Center at 408 N. Union Street.
- Arrange for your Letters of Recommendation to be sent to the CAS.
- For step-by-step guides as to what you need to do to complete your CAS file, including setting up your LOR, submitting transcripts, and applying electronically, read these INSTRUCTIONS.
- Check the status of your account with the CAS to make sure everything arrives, including ALL letters of recommendation.
- Note that it can take up to two weeks or more for them to process your material after they receive it. Occasionally they make mistakes, which you must discover and correct. All this takes time. Plan ahead!
- Finish your personal statement according to the parameters given on the applications to your schools. See the personal statement section of the website by clicking HERE, as well as HPPLC publications: Writing an Effective Personal Statement for Law School; and The Personal Statement.
- Write supplemental/optional essays if they apply to your situation. Always take the option if you can reasonably do so.
- Regarding brushes with the law or other discipline, IF you are in doubt as to whether a given incident should be reported, either call the school's admissions office and ask, or disclose! Always err on the side of disclosure!
- For questions about your disciplinary record at IUB, consult the Office of Student Ethics, 801 N. Jordan Street, phone: 812-855-5419.
- Submit any Dean's Certification forms that may be requested by your schools. Only a few schools require these.
- For majors in the College of Arts & Sciences, submit the form to College of Arts & Sciences Academic Assistant Deans' Office, Kirkwood Hall 012, 130 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, Phone: (812) 855-8245 Fax: (812) 855-2060. They may ask you to fill out this form first, and will forward the Certification to your law school(s) for you. Call ahead to confirm that these procedures are still in force.
- For all other majors, give the form to the Office of Student Ethics, 801 N. Jordan Street, phone: 812-855-5419, email email@example.com. They will arrange for the form to be forwarded to your law school as well.
- GET YOUR APPLICATIONS IN BY THANKSGIVING if you can, but don't cut corners to do so. The latest you should apply, if at all possible, is early January. If you take the December exam, it is fine to submit all of your material, and have your CAS file complete, BEFORE you receive your test results. In any case, do NOT wait for the school's application deadline unless you must. By the time the deadline arrives many schools may have very few open seats available (but see the next note). Admission at most schools becomes more competitive as time goes on.
- NOTE: in these times of declining applications, many schools have extended their application seasons. For example, MANY will even now gladly take the results of the February exam. Contact your individual schools for details. However, earlier is always better.
- Follow-up: this is crucial. Assume nothing and check everything. Make sure the CAS has all of your information, and forwards same to your law schools. Be sure the CAS has forwarded ALL letters of recommendation, and that all have actually been received by the schools. If any law school does not let you know independently that your file with them is complete, or notifies you as to what items are missing---be sure that YOU check with each law school to make sure your application package is complete.
- You, and you alone, are responsible for getting all application materials in on time. Make copies of everything and keep track of dates. Allow sufficient time when requesting supportive materials for your applications. All offices experience delays, especially during peak request periods.
Spring Semester of Senior Year
- When fall grades are released, send the CAS copies of your updated transcript.
- If applying for financial aid, fill out the FAFSA form by the end of February. Do your taxes early, as the FAFSA form will ask for information it contains. If necessary to meet the deadline (very important!) answer the FAFSA questions based on last year's tax return, and update the information later. See "Financial Aid for Law School Basics" for details.
- If waitlisted, send schools a "letter of continuing interest" (LOCI) and any relevant information about honors, projects, etc., along with another letter of recommendation. See the HPPLC Prelaw Publication Waitlist Procedures for detailed information. Click here for additional information and sample LOCI's.
- Note that financial aid is negotiable. If you get a good offer from one school, consider using it as a bargaining chip with another ("I'd really like to attend your school, but XX has made a very generous offer that I can't ignore. Is there any way you can review my financial aid package?").
- Be aware that all deadlines are also potentially negotiable. If you haven't heard from a top-choice school and the deadline for another is approaching, try to get an extension. They are usually granted, if at all, one week at a time.
- If you have been accepted to the #1 school of your choice, put down a deposit and be sure to meet ALL DEADLINES for submitting subsequent deposits and paperwork. Withdraw applications from your other schools.
- Please let HPPLC know the results of your applications!
- Donate your LSAT preparation materials to HPPLC.
- Good Luck!!!