School is out, summer is here, and some intrepid souls are turning their thoughts to law school. If you're thinking of applying in the coming admissions cycle, it's not too early to start planning. For the next couple of weeks, I'll be devoting each post to a concrete step you can take so that you're ready to go when the fall rolls around.
Your first step: Make friends with LSAC, which stands for Law School Admission Council. (You've become a true insider when you know that the "A" in LSAC stands for "Admission" and not "Admissions," even though the latter sounds much better!)
LSAC is the gatekeeper for all your application logistics, and will also be the digital hub for all your online applications. Almost every component of your applications will be funneled through LSAC (either digitally or in hard copy), so you'll need to pay close attention to LSAC's processes and rules.
Yes, all those rules can seem prissy and annoying. Yes, their website can be hard to navigate. But every summer we hear from applicants who didn't know LSAC had anything to do with their applications beyond administering the LSAT, so here are some things you can do now:
- Create your LSAC account and poke around the LSAC website. Figure out where the different pieces of information are, especially anything to do with rules and deadlines. (Should be really easy, but it's not.)
- Familiarize yourself with their logistical checklist for using LSAC during the application process. Know their FAQs inside and out. (LSAC buries their FAQs in various subpages. Here's an example you should bookmark.)
- Pay the fee (currently $155) to sign up for CAS, their Credential Assembly Service, which handles your transcripts and recommendations. It's OK to pay the fee now even if you're not going to use the service right away, because your account will be active for 5 years.
Even if that's all you do this week towards your eventual law school applications, you've taken an important step.
More to come next week. Stay tuned.
Former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and a recovering lawyer, Anna Ivey founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process. Read more admissions tips in The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, recently updated and available as an e-book. Follow Anna on Twitter (@annaivey), or come introduce yourself and join the conversation on Facebook.