When should I take the LSAT?
Taking it the summer after your junior year can be great because you can study over the summer without your typical semester obligations. This also gives time for a re-take if you would like. However, it’s up to you! There are typically 6 LSAT test dates throughout the year.
How do I sign up for the LSAT?
Through the LSAC (Law School Admissions Council) website: https://www.lsac.org/
How long should I study for the LSAT?
This depends a lot! A general rule of thumb is to study for about 3-6 months and to try to keep up with your studying weekly. Kaplan suggests that students spend at least 150-300 hours preparing over the course of 2-3 months, which is about 15-20 hours a week. Princeton Review suggests 250-300 hours of preparation over 3 months.
In general, you probably don’t want to start studying more than 6 months in advance though. This can lead to burnout.
How should I study for the LSAT?
There are 3 main approaches: Self-study, a free course, or a paid course. Each has its own drawbacks and benefits, and you’ll have to decide what works best for you. Some people also hire private tutors. These are some external links (we cannot guarantee the quality of their content or their ability to affect a score) for LSAT studying:
LSAC has a few free resources: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/prep
The LSAT Bible provides both paid and free resources: https://www.powerscore.com/lsat/
You can also look into other study programs like Kaplan or Princeton Review
What major should I choose?
There are a few typical majors (English, political science, business, economics, criminal justice, psychology, sociology), but you should choose a major that you feel passionately about! Law school attendees have all types of majors. You want to choose a major that motivates you to do well in school because your college GPA will be an important part of your law school application. You may also want to consider your future career path; if you intend to work as a corporate attorney, a business or accounting major may make more sense for you. Or, if you want to go into intellectual property law (inventions, patents, etc.), a STEM major might be a good fit. These are all very individualized decisions, however, and there is no required major for law school.
Are there any classes I should take at Boise State to prepare for law school?
There are no specific classes, but there are some areas that might be helpful. Keep in mind that you are likely going to be more focused on building skills, rather than knowledge, at this stage. Lawyers write a lot, so classes that focus on reading and writing can be good preparation. You also want to build your analytics and critical thinking skills. Law courses (which can be found in many disciplines at Boise State – Business, Criminal Justice, Political Science) can give you some exposure to what law school might be like. Courses based on reasoning and logic (such as philosophy) can also be useful, as can government, social science, and history.
What are the most important factors in my law school application?
The two most important factors tend to be LSAT and GPA. However, those are not the only important aspects! Schools also pay close attention to letters of recommendation, personal statements, and other activities (jobs, extracurriculars, clubs, volunteering, etc.) from your resume.
Who do I ask to write a recommendation letter? How?
Law schools want to know that you will succeed in an academically challenging environment. So, it’s a good idea to choose mostly professors who know you well and who can speak to your classroom performance. You can also ask work or extracurricular supervisors, but these letters should still have some relevance to your academic capabilities. How you ask is up to you and will likely depend on your professors. A polite email where you introduce yourself, explain why you’re applying to law school, and describe why you’re asking them in particular can be appropriate. You can also ask in person (or Zoom) if you feel more comfortable.
Where do I find information about various law schools?
LSAC is a great resource for this! You can even enter your GPA and LSAT (or anticipated LSAT if you haven’t taken it yet) and get a rough estimate of the likelihood of acceptance to a law school based on those two factors. You can also just google “law school” and the state you’re interested in. Keep an open mind in the early stages of law school searching – you never know what might be out there for you!
How many law schools should I apply to?
This is wholly up to you. Some people apply to only one and others apply to thirty. (Somewhere in the middle is probably a good idea). It can be helpful to apply to a few “safe” schools, a few middle schools, and a few “reach” schools to give yourself options.
How do I decide which law schools to apply to?
This is again a very personal decision. There are a number of factors to consider, including (but not limited to, and in no particular order): location, first year section size, faculty-student ratio, cost, scholarships/grants awarded, specializations, clinics, reputation, job prospects, bar passage rate. Some students find it helpful to create a spreadsheet based on which factors will influence their choice.
How important is my personal statement?
Your personal statement is critical! Schools want to know who you are, beyond what they can see in your resume and hear from other people in your recommendation letters. This is your chance to really showcase your writing abilities and explain why you’re a great candidate for their school.
How do I write a personal statement?
Start by just jotting down some notes on a few things: 1. Why do you want to go to law school? 2. Why will you succeed in law school? 3. What is unique about you? 4. What do you plan to do after law school? 5. What makes you a good fit for each particular school in general?
Then, spend some time trying to fit these into a coherent narrative in 2-3 double spaced pages. Pay VERY close attention to any word/page limits imposed by the school. Applicants who go over the limit may be penalized.
Ask someone who you trust to read over it for you. Other peoples’ eyes can help!
On campus, you can contact the Writing Center (https://www.boisestate.edu/writingcenter/make-an-appointment/) or the Career Center (https://www.boisestate.edu/career/appointments/online-appointments/) for help. Use your available resources!
What if I have more questions?
Join the Pre-Law Society! We cover these topics and many more in our monthly meetings. As of the 2021-2022 school year, we are alternating between Zoom and in person meetings. Sign up via Engage: https://engage.boisestate.edu/actioncenter/organization/pre-law-society/