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A complete application consists of the following:

  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores
  • Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report
  • Transcripts
  • 2-3 Letters of recommendation
  • Written Statements (Personal Statement and optional essays/addendum)
  • Resume
  • Dean’s Appraisal (only when requested)

Apply Early

Applications generally open in September and 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 as most law schools 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 to applying:

  • 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
  • Register for the June LSAT and allow 3-6 months to prepare for the LSAT
  • Register with the CAS – the Credential Assembly Service
  • Identify 2-3 potential letter of recommendation writers
  • 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 gathering info about law schools and explore your financial aid options
  • 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 your personal statement; get it proofread by 2-3 people who know you well
  • Take October LSAT if necessary
  • Complete and send admissions applications before Thanksgiving

Spring of application cycle:

  • Check your LSAC portal to make sure all applications are complete
  • Complete and submit financial aid materials
  • Evaluate admissions offers
  • Thank letter writers and inform them of your plans