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Typical Application Timelines

The best plan begins at least 18 months before you start law school. But many people can't reorganize their lives for a year and a half. They're studying abroad, or have a heavy course load, or don't feel ready for the June test and defer. Most applicants can squeeze everything into a slightly shorter time, if nothing goes wrong.

A Comfortable Plan for Applying to Law School

May

Begin studying for the LSAT

June

Begin essays

 

July

Study for the LSAT

 

August

Prepare
resume,

Take practice exams

September

Select recommenders

LSAT!

 

October

Polish essays,

research law schools

March

Read law school success books

February

Submit applications

 

January

Draft supplemental essays

December

Complete applications

 

November

Choose law schools

April

Pay seat deposits, read enrichment materials

 
May Withdraw from other schools, watch history on YouTube

June

Take Prep Course
hold farewell parties

July

Move.

Learn your new city

August

Begin law school!

 

 

This timeline is fine if you don't have to re-write essays six times, and if you don't need to retake the LSAT. November, December and January become quite a scramble if you need to retake.

A Slightly Uncomfortable Application Plan

May

Begin studying for the LSAT

June

Begin essays,
strengthen writing skills

July

Study for
the LSAT
find DMV and court records

August

Prepare
resume
,
Take practice exams

September

Select recommenders

LSAT!

 

October

Polish essays

decide whether to retake LSAT

March

Read law school success books

February

Submit applications

Complete applications

January

Choose law schools

December

Draft supplemental essays

LSAT!

November

get LSAT tutoring

April

Pay seat deposits, read enrichment materials

 
May Withdraw from other schools, watch history on YouTube

June
Take Prep Course

strengthen writing skills

July

Move.

Learn your new city

August

Begin law school!

 

I urge applicants on this schedule to apply to schools with February 15th and March deadlines. If the majority of your chosen schools have February 1 deadlines, you'll almost certainly make the mistakes caused by too little time.

What if you procrastinated, or felt unready for the LSAT in October -- can you map a course from a December test date to a March application deadline? You can apply to law school in a even shorter time if you don't mind stress and sleepless nights.

 

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