To get started applying to law school, you will need to set up an account through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). All applications are processed through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) which allows applicants to upload all application materials. Application materials will then be compiled and summarized into a report. The report will be sent to the law schools to which you choose to apply.

Overview of the Application Process

To have the best options possible, you are recommended to apply between October and December, depending on the selectivity of the school’s admissions process. Schools have varying timelines so review each school beforehand. Check out the Overview of the Application Process for more information.

Application Materials

Law schools have a number of different application requirements. Pay close attention to the requirements of each school as many vary.

Personal Statement

This is your chance to show who you are beyond your numbers and let the admissions committee know more about you, your interest in law, and why you would succeed in law. Discover general tips from the Career Center and a few example essays.

Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

Most schools request two to three LORs and, if you are a recent graduate, most admissions committees will expect two of these to be from faculty members. For more information on how to provide the right information to your recommenders to gain the best results, discover these 5 Ways to Get Standout Law School Recommendations.

LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) or GRE (Graduate Requirement Exam)

The LSAT or GRE is arguably the most important part of your application to law school. All schools accept the LSAT while only some accept the GRE. Review each school’s testing options and determine which exam is right for you. 


You must submit a transcript from every school you have attended post-high school. Information on how to request a transcript are available through LSAC and the Carleton Registrar. Keep in mind that LSAC calculates GPAs differently than most academic institutions so do not be alarmed if your GPA in CAS is slightly different from your Carleton transcript.


Having a well-formatted and detailed resume that quickly highlights your accomplishments, interests, and skills gives you the freedom to use the personal statement to add new and interesting details to your application. This should be 1-2 pages depending on your level of experience.

Other Addenda

Many law schools require or encourage other addenda to your application including a diversity statement, optional essays with varying prompts, an academic addendum to explain any issues on a transcript, college disciplinary issues, or criminal records. Most of these are not required but should be considered depending on your background and overall application. When in doubt, set up an appointment with the pre-law advisor to discuss.