Loyola University Chicago

Pre-Law Advising

Division of Student Academic Services

Applying to Law School

 

Q: What’s included in the law school application process?  

A: Academic Record, LSAT Scores, and Letters of Recommendation 

The Credential Assembly Service (CAS), administered by the LSAC, compiles three important pieces of information in your law school report: your academic transcript, LSAT score, and letters of recommendation. 

Academic Record 

Undergraduate performance is generally an important indicator of how someone is likely to do in law school and is taken into careful consideration by law school admissions committees. Avoid taking too many pass/fail courses, and focus on excelling academically throughout the tenure of your academic career. Average GPAs of admitted law school applicants vary widely by law school; review the school’s admissions website to gauge expected academic performance.  

LSAT Score 

The LSAT is a half-day standardized test required for admission to all law schools approved by the ABA. The LSAT does not cover a certain set of subjects or disciplines (e.g., history, political science, etc.). Rather, it measures skills that are considered essential for success in law school. The multiple-choice sections of the test -- reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoningreflect this emphasis. The test also includes a non-scored 30-minute writing sample. Detailed information on the LSAT is available on the LSAC website. 

Generally, 4-6 months of preparation is advised for the LSAT, and it is in your best interest to take the test once, since every score you receive on the LSAT will be reported in your law school application. Many students choose to use a course or test preparation service to help them prepare; popular vendors are included below for your reference.  

Vendor/Course 

Website 

7Sage 

https://7sage.com/ 

Blueprint 

http://blueprintlsat.com 

LawSchooli 

https://lawschooli.com/ 

LSAC LSAT 

http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/preparing-for-the-lsat 

Manhattan LSAT 

http://www.manhattanlsat.com 

NextStep Test Prep 

http://nextsteptestprep.com/tests/lsat-tutors 

PowerScore 

http://www.powerscore.com/lsat 

Testmasters 

http://www.testmasters.net/lsat-prep-courses 

 

Letters of Recommendation 

Law schools usually require 2-3 letters of recommendation. Faculty members are typically the best contributors of such letters. Supervisors from related internship or work experience are also good references. Consider the following advice as you request letters of recommendation:  

  1. Allow appropriate time for the request; at minimum allow two weeks to complete the task. Set an earlier deadline for your letter writer than the actual deadline that is provided for the application.  
  1. Choose people who can speak to your academic potential and performance as well as your personal attributes 
  1. Compile details about yourself for your references to give them specifics to refer to in their letters, such as your major and cumulative GPA, LSAT score, resume, personal statement, and a brief description of your subjective abilities or personal traits.  
  1. Review LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service guide on letters of recommendation and follow their tips for submission, including waiving your rights to review the letters. Provide detailed information to your writers about how they can submit their letters of recommendation to CAS. 

 

What a Good Recommendation Says 
The following is a list of specific topics your references might want to incorporate in their letters: 

  • Comments on outstanding projects or papers, unique academic experiences or accomplishments, 
  • Overview of the class that you attended, its specific requirements, its level of difficulty, and your performance compared to others in the class, 
  • A note about special interests and motivation; personal qualities or background information that distinguishes you from others, 
  • Observations about your character and integrity, 
  • Remarks on academic promise in a rigorous professional program, 
  • Notes about contributions to college or community in non-academic endeavors, 
  • Comments on intellectual capacity, motivation, emotional maturity, and seriousness of purpose, 
  • Explanations of any weaknesses in your file (e.g., Although x's GPA is low...; Grading in this department is very rigorous, however...; X's choice of classes and performance demonstrate an ability to take on challenges and ...). 

 

 

Personal Statements and Resumes

Personal statements and resumes are an important part of the application process. Review best practices