Applying to Law School in December: A 30-Day Plan

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For those of you who just took the LSAT, or those of you who have simply been procrastinating, here is a plan to help you move through the application process as speedily as possible without freaking out that you are late in the game.

December 5,6,7:  Brainstorm ideas for your personal statement. Review the following resources before getting started:

December 8,9:  Make sure all letters of rec are received by LSAC or in the mail. Same with transcripts.
December 10 – 16:  Fine tune your personal statement draft. This may include using the services of a law school admission consultant, but if not then be sure to at least have someone proofread it before you submit it.
December 17-19:  Revisit your resume.
December 20-23:  If you are going to need an addendum to explain a moral character infraction or undergraduate GPA or other episode, work on it now. Read Chapter 9 of The Law School Admission Game, which covers how to explain weaknesses in a way that doesn’t open up a can of worms. If you plan to write an LSAT addendum, you should wait until you have your December score. Otherwise you don’t know how to spin your argument.
Late December/early January:  When LSAT scores come out, come up with your schools list and create a spreadsheet of each school, the essay prompt(s) and requirements, and start working your way down them. I generally recommend doing the easier ones (those without optional or secondary essays) first. Aim to do 2 applications per day. Again, make sure to proofread them – especially the first one you fill out – so that errors don’t sneak in and ruin all of your hard work on everything else.
I’m happy to take questions!

21 thoughts on “Applying to Law School in December: A 30-Day Plan

  1. CoolCat on said:

    Is it necessary to write an LSAT addendum if we retook the LSAT? I don’t really have a good reason besides me studying more…but I feel like I should something strategic.

    • CoolCat, It’s not necessary unless a school says that if your LSAT increased by X points, you need to explain. However, just a simple sentence saying you dedicated yourself more to preparation would be sufficient for those schools.

  2. Paul S on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I just submitted an electronic application through LSAC but after I submitted it, I noticed in the overview PDF receipt that under the “demographics” section that the permanent country blank all of a sudden specified to non-US citizens. This was not at all clarified when the application was active. Before submitting the application, the blank simply said “permanent country” not “permanent country (if not United States) as it appeared in the summary PDF. I put down the United States in the “permanent country (if not United States).” Should I contact the school about this mistake?

    If you need a screen shot, please let me know.

    Peace,

    Paul

  3. Author on said:

    Hi Ann

    I’m a senior in college and I just submitted all my applications in. I authored three books and I did mention it in my personal statement. Should I send a physical copy of the books to each school?

    Thanks.

    Paul

  4. Author on said:

    I have authored three books, should I send a hard copy to all the schools I am applying to?

    Thanks.

    Your blog is fantastic by the way.

  5. Concepcion on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I started the research/ application process REALLY late (aka now) and won’t be taking the LSAT’s until February. Do you think it’s still worth it to even apply? I’d have to ask for my recommendations now.

    • Concepcion, I think you should take your time – take the February LSAT (assuming you’re ready for it) and apply for Fall 2013. Don’t rush through this process – it’s too important.

  6. Hi Ann,

    I have been waitlisted to my top choice which is GW. I received an email from the admission office stating that they expect to accept people off the waitlist as late as orientation. I was wondering if I should send them a letter of intent and a new letter of recommendation in January. It is my top choice but I have also gotten into one of my other top choices and I am under review at two other top choices as well

    • EG, you need to follow up with WLs and make connections but you don’t have to do it in January. You have time. I write about waiting lists in The Law School Admission Game. You can get the book here: .

  7. Daniela on said:

    Ann,
    Holy &%$# I just realized I sent the wrong draft of my personal statement to the schools. While both drafts were basically the same, there was one ridiculous error on the drafts the schools received. Instead of using the word “grateful”, I used the word “gratuitous”…I realize they’ll understand what I meant, but this makes me look like a total moron. My essay was a big part of my application because of a few weaknesses throughout and I was hoping to really shine in this department. Should I email admissions and explain that I sent the wrong draft, or will this make me seem like I wasn’t thorough enough the first time? Should I just cross my fingers and hope they forgive the error? I was seeing spots by the 10th time I proofread the PDFs and cannot believe after how careful I was I still had this horrible slip. Oh the humiliation.
    Please Help.
    -Daniela

  8. Hi Ann,

    Thank you for the blog. It has been very helpful.

    I would like to know what my chances are of getting into a Tier 2 law school for Fall 2012.

    I have a 3.8 LSAC GPA in Political Science, but my LSAT is 147 – a lot lower than I had been scoring on practice tests (157-161). I am retaking in February (this is my third time because I cancelled October) and believe I can raise it at least a few points. I want to go to law school in the fall, and I know my chances are low because its late in the cycle.

    I do have strong softs, I have a physical disability that left me in a wheelchair in high school, and I have been on crutches since freshman year of college. I was thinking about explaining my Greek culture in a diversity statement to improve my chances. I lived in Greece for a few years and I grew up in an area with a prominent Greek community.

    I would appreciate your feedback. Thank you again.

    • Ili,
      I think you have a lot of questions that would be best answered by reading The Law School Admission Game. It sounds like you have better stories to tell than about Greek culture, but that might be the basis for a diversity statement. I can’t comment on schools for many reasons, but especially because I don’t know where you are enrolled in college, what other accomplishments you have, and what T2 schools you’re considering. I hope the February LSAT goes well for you.

  9. Hi Anne,

    I decided late that I wanted to take the LSATs and so my score was not as high as I feel it could have been if I devoted a few months to studying. After I received my 164, I decided that I was only going to apply to William and Mary which I though I could get into, and since I was also applying to masters programs, it didn’t feel like a terrible idea. However, once I got into W&M, I decided to throw out a few more applications to see what would happen. I have since heard that I am wait listed to GW.

    My problem is that I have been accepted to the London School of Economics for a one year masters, and I am definitely going, but I still want to go to law school after. So my question is, do you think it would be wiser (assuming I can get a deferral, which are binding) to simply commit to W&M, which would be cheaper, or wait to see what happens with GW, since it’s a “better” school and I would rather attend there? Or should I just wait and reapply next year?

    Thank you so much.

    –Emily

  10. Hi Anne.

    I have a question about resume.

    I am an international student applying for law schools. And while writing down the activities that I have done in my resume, I thought it would be helpful to explain what I have actually done in short sentences.

    But while doing that, I found out that I needed to write ‘I’ in some sentences.

    Is it ok to put ‘I’ in the resume or should it be avoided?

    Thank you so much~

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Joo, I work with a lot of international students applying to law school in the U.S. I promise you can do your descriptions without “I” – but if you’re struggling, just use it consistently throughout.

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