Applying to Law School?
All applicants are encouraged to use the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) on-line application form, called the Credential Assembly Service or CAS. You must register and pay a fee to open a account (~$155) with LSAC in order to begin the application process, but you may conduct research on their website beforehand without committing to a paid account. The account is good for five years.
By using the online Credential Assembly Service through LSAC, you don't have to repeat all the mundane questions--such as addresses, schools attended, etc. However, it is not a fully "common" application process; there will be segments of the application that are customized by each school. Most US Law schools require applicants to use the CAS, and all of them prefer it. Some will even waive their school application fee. Letters of recommendation can also be sent through the service, and different letters can be sent to each school so that you can ask faculty to personalize or target them. One official copy of academic transcripts should also be sent to LSAC CAS.
The completed law school application or "report" consists of the following:
- Your LSAT score (plan to take the test ONCE, and prepare EXTREMELY WELL).
- Your official transcripts from all US colleges/universities attended, with overall GPA (LSAC recalculates GPA!). You are required to use a preprinted form on the LSAC website; fill in the required data, print off the form, and mail it or take both forms to the UNH Registrar's Office in Stoke Hall, to place your order. UNH does not charge for the first five official transcripts ordered unless you need a "rush" order.
- Letters of recommendation 2 - 4 from PhD faculty preferably, if you are a current student or recent graduate, on professional letterhead, sent directly to LSAC. Again, enter the data online and print off the form, then bring that form to your letter writers with an unofficial transcript, your resume, a copy of your personal statement, and any additional supporting documents (old papers you wrote for the professor, other statements or addenda).
- Dean's Office certification (from your UNH school/college Dean's office) for your UNH academic and non-academic disciplinary records
- Your criminal record if you have one; failure to disclose is a far more serious offense than minor crimes and violations.
- Your resume (have it reviewed by a UNH UACC Career Counselor or a Prelaw Advisor).
- Your personal statement and any supplemental documents or statements (PDF format preferred)
- All required application fees
Even though individual law school application deadlines can be anywhere between January 1 and May 1, the UNH Prelaw Advising Committee strongly advises students to complete applications by November 15 or earlier. (This is why it is recommended to take the LSAT in the fall or before). Many law schools use a rolling admissions process, allowing those applicants who apply early a better opportunity and less competition. This will ensure a careful and thorough reading of your complete application before admissions officers are faced with the thousands of applications that they receive over winter break. Earlier applicants also have an advantage when being considered for scholarship and grant opportunities. In addition, the more acceptances or rejections you receive from law schools early on, the better you will be able to make decisions about your future, such as whether to apply to more law schools or whether to accept an offer. Here is a podcast with a suggested timeline.
- Law School Podcaster
- University of Massachusetts' Prelaw Advising page
- University of Vermont's Prelaw Advising
- Additional Resources for applicants, LSAT prep, and career information