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How to Apply to Law School

Published July 31, 2017

So you think you want to go to law school? If you are considering a legal career, here is where you get started. 

Before you sign up to take the LSAT or start researching schools, consider your professional aspirations and what you intend to do with your law degree. Be confident that attending law school is necessary for your career goals. Once you have weighed the cost and time that is required for a JD, you are ready to get started. 

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC)

First and foremost, familiarize yourself with The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is the gatekeeper of all things law school including administering the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and law school applications. They provide help and information on how to apply to law school as well as information about individual schools you may be interested in. They host several forums where over a hundred law schools attend and meet with prospective students.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Next, you should begin studying for the LSAT. Make sure you have enough time to be familiar with the material and practice. It is not wise to rush studying for the LSAT or to go to the test completely unprepared. While most schools will take your highest score (if you take it more than once), they still will see the record of all the scores you have received. Once you have registered for the LSAT, it is time to gather all the required documents and information for your application.

Application Materials

Be sure to read all law school application instructions very carefully. Each school is unique and may require different documents. All schools will need transcripts from every higher education institution you attended, including a transcripts from AP or community college credits. They will also require at least one letter of recommendation. The earlier you request transcripts and your letters of recommendation, the better. Since you are relying on factors beyond your control, it is best to give plenty of time to the registrar office or your recommender to get those documents in. You can use your LSAC account to apply to as many schools as you wish. It doesn’t hurt to email the admissions offices and request a fee waiver for their application. LSAC imposes its own fees when applying to schools and those typically will not be waived.

Once you have applied, you can check your status via your LSAC account and typically by an online status checker that is sent to you once your submit your application. There you will find your most up-to-date status while you are waiting for a decision on your application. Here is a very helpful infographic provided by LSAC for the application process. 

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Amber Melvin, Esq.'13 is the Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator for the Office of Admissions.


Office of Admissions
University at Buffalo School of Law
309 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260