Pre-Law Timeline of Activities

Freshman Year

  • Establish good study skills. Academics come first!
  • Become familiar with the university and all of the resources available to you.
  • Evaluate your interests and think about the major(s) that you may wish to consider. (Meeting with a Career Counselor may be helpful.)
  • Consider joining the UWM Pre-Law Society.
  • Meet with the Pre-Law Advisor at least once per semester.
  • Stay focused. Poor performance during freshman year will come back to "haunt" you academically.
  • Consider volunteer opportunities in the University Legal Clinic. (Union E343)
  • Read extensively in a wide-variety of academic disciplines.

Sophomore Year

  • Maintain academic focus.
  • Meet with Pre-Law Advisor at least once per semester.
  • Apply for the Wisconsin State Bar Mentoring program through the Pre-Law Advising office. (Holton 130)
  • Continue involvement in the Pre-Law Society, community service, or other student organizations.
  • Narrow your choice of academic major.
  • Take time to develop relationships with faculty members. You will need letters of recommendation for law school!
  • Consider purchasing one of the commercial LSAT review books.
  • Continue to read extensively.

Junior Year

  • First Semester: Start serious investigation of law schools. You will be spending three intensive years of study at law school. Variables you may wish to consider include location, size, prestige, cost, special programs, student body, and likelihood of admission. If possible, visit prospective law schools. Take advantage of on-campus visits made by various law school admissions representatives.
  • Consider attending one of the annual Law School Forums sponsored by the Law School Admission Council.
  • Academic performance during junior year is critical. If you plan to attend law school immediately upon graduation, the grades you earn during junior year are the last grades considered with your application.
  • Most law schools request two faculty letters of recommendation. Begin to consider whom you will ask for letters.
  • Start preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). You may study on your own or consider enrolling in a commercial preparation course. See the pre-law advisor for information on these courses.
  • Second Semester/Summer: Pick up LSAT/LSDAS registration packet in the Pre-Law Advising Office. (Email notification is usually sent to all registered pre-law students when the packets are available.) Read the materials carefully.
  • Register with LSAT. Plan to take the JUNE LSAT! The advantage of taking the June test is that you will know your score before August and will therefore be able to select an appropriate range of law schools. In addition, if your June LSAT score is below your expectations, you will have time to re-test in October. If you absolutely can not take the June test, plan to take the October exam.
  • Do not write to law schools for catalogs and applications until late August. Their printing deadlines for current year materials are usually late summer.

Senior Year

  • (September) Request applications from law schools using the postcards in the LSAT/LSDAS packet.
  • Begin drafting your personal statement.
  • Finalize your letters of recommendation.
  • Use the transcript matching forms in your LSAT/LSDAS packet to request that the Registrar send your transcripts to LSDAS. (Mellencamp Hall 274)
  • If you intend to apply for financial aid, contact the financial aid office for federal financial aid forms. Explore financial aid at the law schools to which you plan to apply.
  • All of your application materials should be submitted before Thanksgiving, if possible. Law schools typically admit on a rolling-basis. If you wait until the official application deadline dates, you may miss your best opportunities!
  • Now comes the waiting game! Good luck!
  • After you have heard from the law schools, please inform the Pre-Law advisor of your results and decision.
  • Finish your undergraduate studies and graduate!