Pre-Law Student Calendar

Suggested Planning Guide

Law school requires a major commitment of time and money:

  • Throughout your undergraduate education, focus upon your course work and be very mindful of the importance of excellent grades. All undergraduate grades are counted.
  • Take classes that will develop your reasoning, writing and analytical skills, such as those suggested in the Pre-Law Minor and the Jurisprudence Major.
  • Be sure to maintain a good credit rating, as your ability to obtain financial aid in law school will depend upon it.
  • Many law schools now use "rolling admissions". This means that they will make admission decisions far ahead of their application deadlines. It is important to prepare your application early, in December of the year in which you intend to apply.
  • Some law schools have part-time programs and/or programs that begin in months other than September. Consider these alternatives in your planning.
  • Get to know  http://lsac.org/ , the essential guide and resource for the law school application process.

This calendar will help you to organize your Pre-Law preparation.Starting as early as your freshman year, the "Pre-Law Student Calendar" will guide you through the law school preparation process.    


FRESHMAN AND SOPHOMORE YEARS

FALL SEMESTER

Take some time out and visit a Pre-Law advisor at MSU.

  • Dr. Tayler, University Pre-Law Advisor, Di258 Phone: 655-4196
  1. Attend the Annual New Jersey Law School Admissions Day  in the Fall of each year. The event alternates between Montclair State and Rutgers-Newark. Pick up law school catalogs and applications to look over.
  2. Drop in at the Political Science and Law office, Di204, or the Career Development office and pick up law school catalogs andbulletins. Start a file for your own personal review.
  3. Organize a study group. Apply for a tutor, if needed, through the Tutorial Center or the Writing Center.
  4. Explore clubs and other available extra-curricular activities available. The Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity and the Pre-Law Society are especially recommended. Also, try to sign up for any law- related activities offered on campus. However, balance your time so that extra-curricular activities do not interfere with your course work.
  5. Plan to take "JURI210 United States Legal Process and System" or "LSLW200 Introduction to Law " plus "Legal Research."
  6. Develop good rapport with your professors. Remember, you may want recommendation letters later from these same professors!
  7. You may want to visit the Career Services or the Alumni office to get the names of practicing attorneys who are willing to meet with you as mentors and give you ideas on future legal careers.
  8. Prepare a current resume.

SPRING SEMESTER

  1. Check out the resources that Political Science and Law or E.O.F. Legal Studies may have at your disposal-- tutors, computer programs, Law Schools Admissions Test (LSAT) assistance, scholarship information, etc.
  2. Visit the Career Development Office to discuss employment opportunities in the legal profession will give you some helpful ideas about a career in law.
  3. Meet with your Pre-Law Advisor again and plan your courses for the next year.
  4. Keep the college's requirements for graduation in mind.
  5. Plan to take "JURI210 United States Legal Process and System" or "LSLW200 Introduction to Law " plus "Legal Research."

SUMMER

  1. Use the summer to read through some of those law school applications and see what types of questions they ask.
  2. Begin to formulate your personal statement for law school.
  3. Prepare an up-to-date resume.

JUNIOR YEAR

Remember!!

  • Many law schools now use "rolling admissions". This means that they will make admission decisions far ahead of their application deadlines. It is important to prepare your application early, in December of the year in which you intend to apply.
  • Some law schools have part-time programs and/or programs that begin in months other than September. Consider these alternatives in your planning.
  • Get to know  http://lsac.org/ , the essential guide and resource for the law school application process.
  • Be sure to maintain a good credit rating, as your ability to obtain financial aid in law school will depend upon it.

FALL SEMESTER

  • Same as Freshmen and Sophomore years.

SPRING SEMESTER

  1. Consult with a Pre-Law Advisor and decide when you plan to take the LSAT, June of your junior year or October of your senior year. Begin preparing for the LSAT. Determine what prep course your plan to take or how you will prepare methodically if you opt not to take a prep course.
  2. Sign up for the Law School Credential Assembly Service (LSCAS). Send your transcripts to LSCAS.

SUMMER

  1. Secure law school applications including financial aid applications. See what types of questions they ask and begin to formulate your responses.
  2. Begin to formulate your personal statement for law school.
  3. Prepare an up-to-date resume to include with law school applications.
  4. Register for the October LSAT.

SENIOR YEAR

Remember!!

  • Many law schools now use "rolling admissions". This means that they will make admission decisions far ahead of their application deadlines. It is important to prepare your application early, in December of the year in which you intend to apply.
  • Some law schools have part-time programs and/or programs that begin in months other than September. Consider these alternatives in your planning.
  • Get to know  http://lsac.org/ , the essential guide and resource for the law school application process.
  • Be sure to maintain a good credit rating, as your ability to obtain financial aid in law school will depend upon it.

 FALL

  1. Visit the Political Science and Law office located in room 204, Dickson Hall. Consult with a Pre-Law Advisor.
  2. Attend the annual LSAC Law School Recruitment Forum in the New York.
  3. Attend the Annual New Jersey Law School Admissions Day in the Fall..
  4. Organize your law school applications, catalogs, and financial aid forms into a neat file and begin to work on the ones that are due first. Decide where to apply, based upon your credentials.
  5. Make an initial contact with recommendation writers. Make sure that you have a good selection of recommendation letters.  Have materials organized for them.
  6. Meet with a Pre-Law advisor and narrow down your list of law schools.
  7. Continue to research scholarships and other financial aid resources.
  8. Take the LSAT (if you selected October).
  9. Register for the December LSAT, if necessary. [Remember that this may be too late for some law schools!]
  10. After receiving your LSAT score, make a realistic judgment of your chances for admission into particular schools. Include some "back-up" schools, where you are relatively certain of admission. File your applications as early as possible.
  11. Complete all of the forms to ensure that your college transcript(s) and LSAT score(s) have been sent to the right places.
  12. Confer again with your recommendation writers. Remind them of anything special that you think would be of interest to admission committees.
  13. AT THE VERY LATEST, try to complete all of your applications by the middle of December. Try to submit them before the holidays.
  14. Re-evaluate your admission picture regularly. As soon as you begin to get results from applications, decide whether you need to apply to additional schools or investigate alternative programs.
  15. Complete financial aid forms.
  16. Develop a Progress Chart, such as the one below:

 

SAMPLE PROGRESS CHART
Law School Application Status Personal Statements Recommendations Contacts
Rutgers Finished Ask Pre-Law Adv. to proofread. Ask Dr. Drake Dr. McMorrin
Columbia Ready to be typed. Completed first draft. Ask Dr. LeClair Dr. Tayler

 

SPRING SEMESTER

  1. Send fall semester grades..
  2. You may want to visit the University Pre-Law Advisor or the Alumni Office to get the addresses of practicing attorneys who are willing to meet with you and give you ideas on future legal careers.
  3. Continue to look for scholarships and other sources of financial aid.
  4. Send to the law schools where you have applied supplementary materials such as new awards or anything else that may help your candidacy.
  5. Wait for decision letters.
  6. Once you have heard from your law school (s), it may help your decision if you visit the campuses one last time or look at the law school's placement records.
  7. After admission, carefully check deposit and notification deadlines. Out of consideration for fellow applicants, notify schools at which you no longer wish to be considered as soon as you have made a decision.

 

                                                            Revised 2012