The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Applying to Law School?

Before you jump in to the application process, talk with alumni, faculty, friends, and family in the legal profession. Work on articulating your motivation to study law and ask contacts about their experiences in law school and legal careers.


Freshman and Sophomore Years

  • Select a major in a field that interests you and allows you to excel academically. There are no major requirements for law school. Choose a field in which you will thrive!
  • Begin to form relationships with professors so that they will know your work well enough to serve as recommenders in the future.
  • Expand your education by seeking summer jobs or internships in fields of interest.
  • Check out to learn more about law school.
  • Sign up for Reed's Pre-Law Google group.

Junior Year

  • Meet with Hayden Todd or any of the Reed Faculty with an interest in the law to assess your academic, extracurricular and work experiences and to discuss the application process.
  • Over winter break, begin preparing for the LSAT; if you are ready, register for the June administration.
  • Secure a summer job or internship, if possible, in a law-related field.
  • Research law schools and compile a list of tentative schools.

Senior Year, or one year prior to law school entry

  • Make an application timeline, including when you plan to take the LSAT.
  • Register for LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
  • Have transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended sent to the CAS.
  • Ask potential recommendation writers if they would be willing to write letters on your behalf. Provide them with the CAS recommendation forms or the school's forms along with sufficient information to write detailed letters.
  • Make arrangements to have dean's certifications sent to schools that require them.
  • Take the September/October LSAT if you did not take the test in June or earlier.
  • Begin drafting and revising your personal statement.
  • Meet with the pre-law advisor, who will help you assess the strength of your application in relation to schools you are considering. Request a critique of your personal statement draft.
  • Complete applications by early to mid-November.
  • Take the LSAT in December if you did not take it previously or are re-taking the test.
  • Complete the FAFSA and other need analysis forms such as Need Access as well as any institutional financial aid applications as soon after January 1 as possible.
  • Meet with the pre-law advisor in the spring to assess your options as schools respond to you.
  • Take appropriate action on acceptances, wait-list status, and financial aid packages.
  • Before leaving campus, have a final transcript sent to any schools still considering your application.

Applying to Law School – ready to do this thing? Start here!