0L, Law School

Secrets To The Law School Admissions Process

Because I created this blog for law school as well, I thought it might be helpful for me to share some secrets to the law school admissions process! Are you applying to law school? Have you applied already? Drop any questions or tips you might have in the comments, I would love to hear from you!


Though I am mostly going to highlight the admissions process, it would be wrong to not briefly mention the LSAT. The LSAT is just as important as everyone says it is, so be sure to really focus on your studying and simulate the test-taking environment. Your LSAT score is obviously only one part of your application, but it could be the thing that gets you in to a school or an additional scholarship. Take it early and leave yourself time to take it again if you need to. Many schools will accept application well into the spring, but remember that scholarship money will run out.

I have a separate blog post here on everything you need to know about the LSAT, so be sure to check that out!


I know many schools are accepting the GRE now instead of the LSAT. While I am not familiar with the GRE since I did not take it, I did look up the list of schools that were accepting it and saw some great schools. Sorry I don’t have more to offer on this one (though sometimes I wish I took the GRE and sat through the math instead of taking the LSAT!).

The Timeline and Staying Organized

Most schools will open their applications sometime in September. My biggest tip of this entire blog post is to create a spreadsheet to track your information. I used Google Sheets to create my spreadsheet so I could access it anywhere. Some things I included were:

  • School name
  • GPA and LSAT 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles
  • Application deadlines
  • Rankings
  • Personal statement requirements (such as length, font, size, spacing, and headers) and prompts if applicable
  • Letter of recommendation requirements
  • Resume requirements
  • Supplemental essay requirements
  • Scholarships and their requirements and deadlines
  • Public Interest Programs offered by the school and their application information
  • Login Tracking for the username and password for each schools’ application portal to check the status of my application
  • Status (from the portals)
  • Acceptance information including log in to admitted student portals and accepted students days

Using a spreadsheet really helped me keep track of all of the requirements and deadlines for each school I was applying to.

Most schools work on a rolling admissions process. The earlier you apply, the better. BUT, I will say that I submitted all of my applications in November and heard back from my first school, with a scholarship, a week later. Most of my schools got back to me in December and January, again, with scholarships to almost all of them. SO, if you want to take the LSAT again in September/October, don’t stress and go for it if you feel ready. You can always apply and ask the school to hold your application until your score is released.

I also used LSData to keep track of all of my portals and to view my stats on relevant graphs to determine my chances of admission. HOWEVER this started to be a bit of an unhealthy habit for me since I would see other users getting accepted to schools that I was still waiting on and freak out. Although, this was probably better than Reddit, which I also developed a sort of unhealthy obsession with checking… don’t do that.

Your LSAC Account

My second biggest piece of advice would be to make your LSAC account “public.” This allows schools to see your GPA and LSAT score. Interested schools will spam your e-mail with application information and fee waivers. Before you take the LSAT, you can set your information to public and schools will start contacting you based on GPA alone.

If you don’t get a fee waiver from a school, e-mail them and ask for one! I got the application fee waived for more than half of the schools I applied to. These fees can range from like $50 to almost $100 depending on the school, so do not skip out on this!

The CAS assembles your application materials for a one time fee of $195. This is on top of the $200 you have to pay to register for the LSAT, the $45 per application to generate the law school report, and the individual application fees set by the school that I mentioned above. You can apply for a fee waiver directly from LSAC that applies to the LSAT and CAS. I believe this covers two LSATs, the CAS, and 6 law school reports. Unfortunately I was not eligible for that, which is where my parents came in and helped with those additional costs. Again, I know I am SO lucky!


I was waitlisted at one school and eventually accepted off the waitlist. The most important thing to do when you are on a waitlist is to send Letters of Continued Interest (LOCI) and an additional letter of recommendation. HOWEVER be careful that you are not sending these unsolicited. Some schools may not want or accept them until a certain point. You can also call the admissions office to reiterate your interest and check on your status. I did not personally do this, but I know it has worked for many students.


LOCIs show the school that you are very interested in their program. You must be specific. State why that school. Mention programs or courses you would be interested in participating in. Take a tour of the school and mention your impressions. Research the mission statement and incorporate how your values are reflected in that statement. But, keep it relatively short. The number of LOCIs you send will likely depend on the school and how often they are contacting you about the waitlist. I ended up sending two LOCIs and an additional letter of recommendation from a graduate of the law school that I worked with.

If you’re on a deadline waiting to let another school know the status of your attendance, let the school you are waitlisted at know. Also let the school who has the deadline know and they could be incentivized to increase your scholarship or give you an extension because they want you. Finally, be patient. Being stuck on a waitlist is NOT fun, but remember that it’s not an outright denial!

And, if you’re wondering, I did not accept the school where I was admitted off the waitlist. I used my acceptance to that school, where they offered me NO aid even after requesting a second review for a scholarship, to increase my scholarship offer at the school where I was deposited and am ultimately attending!

Scholarships & Financial Aid

After taking the LSAT, I was incredibly disheartened by my score. I wanted to take it again, but decided not to risk getting a lower score. I spent hours working on my personal statement and ensuring that I had the best recommenders in my corner. Ultimately, I applied to schools where I knew my LSAT and GPA would stand out to increase my chances of getting a scholarship. (Save two “reach” schools- one of which I ended up getting into!)


Apply to every single applicable scholarship that the school has to offer. Yes, you will end up writing very similar essays. But do it and do it well for each school. Many schools will have you include these optional essays in your application package. Some may make you wait to get accepted before you can apply. Remember that spreadsheet? Add a line for scholarship requirements and deadlines! The earlier you apply to the school and the scholarship, the more money the school has to offer.

Big tip here: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

If you get more money to a comparable school, send that offer letter to the school you want to attend. Explain that you REALLY want to make attending the school a reality, but you have a competing offer. The worst thing they’ll do is say no they cannot increase your offer/offer you anything at all. I ended up getting scholarships to almost every school and used those offers to get my scholarship increased at the school I am attending- even before I used an acceptance without aid to get it increased even more.

Financial Aid

Add a line in your spreadsheet for financial aid deadlines if you hope to apply for/receive aid. Remember the FAFSA from undergrad? It’s about to be your new best friend again!


Similar to scholarships, financial aid grants can run out early. Once you have been accepted to the school, apply for financial aid. These generally do not have to be repaid.


Federal loans can be confusing. I’ve most commonly heard of Stafford (no credit check) and GradPLUS (credit check) loans at the law school level, in addition to loans from the school and private lenders. These all have interest associated with them. Your school’s financial aid office should be able to help you with these loans once you’ve filled out the FAFSA.

You can visit the Federal Student Aid website to learn more about applying for financial aid and loans. Be sure to check out school websites during the application process to learn about their loan forgiveness rates, financial aid, work study, and scholarship opportunities.