4-Year Timeline

  • Master the college academic environment! Your GPA will be one of the most crucial pieces of your law school application. It is imperative to perform well academically from the start. Learn how to manage your time and stress levels effectively. Doing so will help you to be a better student.
  • Spend time in self-exploration and reflection, gaining clarity on your individual interests and passions, skills and talents, and values and motivations. Being clear on these areas is a necessary part of proper career development, even if you already have a career in mind. In fact, taking time to understand yourself on this level will help you to be more focused on how you may want to use a law degree.
  • Research the field of law and legal careers to help you define your career goals more clearly. Also, take some time to explore other careers besides law. Considering other options may expose you to careers you had not known about previously and may help you confirm whether or not law school is right for you.
  • Develop a well-rounded curriculum that develops skill sets that will be key for law school, such as strong writing skills, analytical and logical reasoning skills, and research skills. Emphasis should be on planning a program that meets your needs and interests. Don’t let your career choice limit your educational experience.
  • Once you have gained control of your academic work, consider getting involved in extracurricular activities to develop leadership skills and a service orientation.
  • Get to know faculty members and let them get to know you. Be sure to visit their office hours or see if you can work with them on a project. Establishing relationships with faculty early will help secure strong recommendations in the future.
  • Continue strong academic preparation! If you plan to attend law school directly out of college, this will be the last full year of grades that law schools will see in your application.
  • Continue fostering relationships with faculty. Start narrowing down your potential list of recommenders. You may choose to start contacting professors about letters of recommendation in the Spring semester if you are applying during senior year.
  • Attend workshops offered by the Pre-Law Advisor to learn more about the application process or schedule an individual appointment as needed.
  • Begin to establish your criteria for law schools and investigate programs that meet your needs and interests.
  • Begin preparing for the LSAT exam. If applying as a senior, plan to take the LSAT in June after your junior year, if possible. Or, register for the October test if June is not feasible. Either way, plan ahead and start practicing early — the more practice, the better!
  • If applying to law school during senior year, register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through the Law School Admission Council in the summer following your junior year.
  • If applying as a senior, meet with the Pre-Law Advisor as needed to be sure you are on track with your applications. If you are not applying as a senior, begin working on your job search with your assigned Career Advisor at The Career Center. Meet with the Pre-Law Advisor to discuss components of your application that still need to be addressed while you are in school, even though you’re not applying during school.
  • If you did not take the LSAT in June, be sure to take the October exam (for those applying to law school).
  • Attend the LSAC Law School Forum in Atlanta and Emory’s Grad School Fair to meet with law school admissions representatives.
  • Complete the application process, preferably by mid-November. Be sure to complete financial aid paperwork as soon as possible for best chances at scholarships.