Law School - Timeline

Planning Timeline


Apply Early

It is always a good idea to complete your applications long before schools' deadlines. It allows you time to address any problems that may arise during the submission of your materials. Applying early will also put you at an advantage if the schools you are applying to use "rolling admissions," i.e., they review applications as they arrive. When rolling admissions are used, law school seats may be filled throughout the admissions season. So, if you wait until the school's stated deadline, you may have less of a chance of gaining admission.

One year prior:

  • Watch this "Admitted Law Student Panel" video where recent Cal alums talk about the application process and share their experiences. 
  • Continue exploring the legal field
  • Attend the Cal Law School Fair in the fall
  • Watch our Law School videos on applying and writing the statement.
  • Obtain LSAT & CAS Registration information from the LSAC website
  • Register for the June LSAT
  • Register with the CAS - the Credential Assembly Service 
  • Allow 3-6 months to prepare for the LSAT
  • Consider taking a test prep course to help you prepare for the LSAT
  • Review your Academic Summary (viewable in the 'My Academics' tab in CalCentral) for any discrepancies; Review previous institutions' unofficial transcripts if you're a transfer student
  • Start requesting letters of recommendation - Access to LSAC's Letter of Recommendation (LOR) services is included in the CAS registration. This service allows you to manage your LORs through your LSAC account. 
  • Start gathering info about law schools
  • Arrange a visit to a law school by working with their admissions office. You can request a tour of the school, get connected with a current student, or ask to sit in on a law school course

Summer before application cycle: 

Fall of application cycle: 

  • Finalize letters of recommendation
  • Order official transcripts from Cal Central 
  • Finalize personal statement; get it proofread by your letter of recommendation writers.
  • Take October LSAT if necessary
  • Request financial aid information from law schools
  • Complete and send admissions applications before Thanksgiving

Spring of application cycle: 

  • Contact law schools to see if applications are complete
  • Complete and submit financial aid materials
  • Evaluate admissions offers
  • Thank letter writers and inform them of your plans

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