Law School Applications: What to do in September | Law Admissions

Many law school applicants might agree with writer TS Eliot that April is the cruelest month, especially if they receive rejection letters then. They might feel much happier in August when they finally start law school.

And September? September is the most crucial month for law school applicants.

While it’s best to start preparing to apply to law school over the summer, many people find it too easy to procrastinate when fall seems so far away. In September, it’s time to get to work.

Applicants have a better chance if they submit their applications early as law school admissions roll.

The law school admissions process is not a race. No prize is awarded for being the first to cross the finish line. On the contrary, applicants have a better chance when there are still plenty of places left in the class. From late November, space can be increasingly limited, although lead times can be months away.

Here are five tasks to make the most of the pivotal month of September:

  • Check app logins.
  • Work on your essays.
  • Pass the LSAT.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation.
  • Consider a quick decision.

VSdevil for application openings

Generally, most law schools make their applications available between mid-August and the end of September. Once you have created an account with the LSAC Credential Assembly Service, you can access all online applications.

While submissions generally don’t vary much from year to year, it’s important to check the most recent version to understand what needs to be done before you can submit.

Work on your essays

It can seem daunting to complete your resume, personal statement, supplemental essays, and addenda.

Next, complete a draft. At this point, don’t worry about length, language, or style. Just try to put your ideas in a logical order and figure out what works best. In later drafts, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to tweak and polish your writing.

Take the LSAT

September is usually the most popular month to take the LSAT, due to the number of people studying during the summer.

If you haven’t taken the LSAT yet, September is a good time to do so to plan a backup date in October in case something goes wrong. If you missed the registration deadline, register for October or November before registration closes.

Even if you have already taken the LSAT, consider taking it again if you are unhappy with your score. Since law school will go with your highest score, there is no penalty for taking the LSAT multiple times.

Ask for letters of recommendation

Law schools require at least one letter of recommendation and usually allow between two and five. It’s a good idea to request these letters about a month before you apply, to give your recommenders plenty of time to write them.

This means that if you plan to apply by October, you must request letters of recommendation by September. Aim for the beginning of the month, before teachers get too busy with the start of classes.

Consider an early decision

Many law schools offer binding early decision options, and some even offer non-binding early action options. Typically, the earliest decision deadlines are around November, but the sooner you submit, the sooner you’ll receive a decision.

If you apply for an advance ruling in September, you may be able to receive a ruling before the deadline closes. If you receive an unfavorable decision, you may even be able to seek an early decision from another school.

If you make progress on all of these fronts, you’ll stay on track to submit your applications well before Thanksgiving. Week after week, you can get closer to your goals to build a solid, timely app with minimal stress.

Nancy I. Romero