Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I enroll in the prelaw program?
What is the acceptance rate to law school for UM students?
In 2014, 78% of UM applicants were accepted in a law school overall. The acceptance rate among students who did not participate in the prelaw program was 75%. Among students who did participate in the prelaw program, it was 92%.
Can I major in pre-law?
What major is the best for getting into law school?
Which classes should I take to get into law school?
What is the minimum GPA to get into law school?
Do I need to engage in extra-curricular activities to get into law school?
While not required, it is highly encouraged. Law schools are interested in students with true commitment to service and proven leadership and social skills. There are no specific set of activities which increase your chances to get into and succeed in law school. In particular, your activities do not need to be law-related. That said, law schools will favor consistent and deep commitment in a few activities over superficial involvement in many disparate activities. Being seriously committed to a cause you truly care about will not only help you getting into law school: it will also help you getting a job after law school. You extracurricular activities should reflect your personality, values and personal intellectual path.
What are the components of a law school application?
What should my personal statement be about?
In your personal statement, you have the unique opportunity to give a sense of who you are, and why you are interesting, to admission committee members. You should not repeat any information that is already in your transcripts or résumé. Instead, you need to explain which event(s) shaped your personality. You may explain your decision to apply to law school, but that's not necessary.
Note that some schools give some specific instructions about which topic to address in your personal statement. If so, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
To learn more about how to write your personal statement, look into "Personal Statement and Essays"
How long should the personal statement be?
Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
Law schools typically ask for 2 to 3 letters of recommendation. At least two letters should be written by Facutly members who can speak about your academic skills. A third letter might included from a non-academic source. Make sure that all letters is actually useful to admission committee members. Importantly, how well-known is your recommender is far less important than how well s/he knows you. A letter from a Federal Judge who happens to be your dad's friend does NOTHING unless the Judge knows you very well, and has something to say about you that is relevant to your chances of success in law school.
To learn more about how to choose your recommenders, and about crucial strategies to get good letters, visit the "Letters of Recommendation" page.
What are addenda for?
Should I disclose an offense that has been expunged from my record?
Which law schools should I apply to?
When should I apply to law school?
Contrary to what many think, it is not necessarily an advantage to go to law school right after college. Many law schools appreciate students who are more mature, and who have taken the time to learn about themselves and the world, before they apply to law schools. Participating in programs like Peace Corps, or Americorps, is especially valued.
To learn more about when to apply to law school, visit the "Application Timeline" page.
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT is the Law School Admission Test. It is a standardized test required by nearly all ABA-approved law schools and administered by the LSAC -- the Law School Admission Council. The test consists of five 35 min. sections, four of which are scored. The sections include one reading comprehension section, one analytical reasoning section, and two logical reasoning sections. The unscored section is generally used to try out new test questions. There is also a writing sample, which is not scored, but is sent to all the law schools to which the student applies.
When can I take the LSAT?
When should I take the LSAT?
You should take the LSAT when you are ready to score your best. Now, assuming that you can plan according, you should take the LSAT in June a year before you plan on attending law school. So, if your plan is to go to law school right after college, you should plan on taking the LSAT in June during your Junior year. If your plan is to take some time off, you have more flexibilty. One strategy is to take it in December of your Senior year, i.e. while you are still in "school mode" (taking it in June after graduation may not be a great idea). Another option is to take after you graduate, once you have enough time and motivation to prepare your best.
To learn more about the best timeline, visit the "LSAT" page.
How should I prepare for the LSAT?
The best way to prepare is to practice. The LSAT is a highly learnable test. In fact, you are tested just as much on your discipline and commitment as on your skills. Many students choose to self-study, other register for private courses/tutoring. Note that the University of Montana offers an LSAT preparation course for a modest fee. In any case, preparing for the LSAT should be seen as a 3 months serious commitment.
To learn more about how to prepare for the LSAT, visit the "LSAT" page.
May I retake the LSAT? Which scores will law schools take into account?
What is the LSAC?
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is a nonprofit corporation that is part of the admission process for law schools. It is best known for administering the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Among other services, the LSAC processes academic credentials for law school applicants, and publishes LSAT preparation books and law school guides.
To learn more about the LSAC, visit the LSAC webpage.
What is CAS? Do I need to set up an account with CAS?
From the LSAC website:
"The Credential Assembly Service streamlines law school admission by allowing applicants to have all transcripts, recommendations, and evaluations sent only once to LSAC. LSAC summarizes and combines that information with LSAT scores and writing samples into a report that is sent upon request to the law schools to which the applicant applies. The applicant's fee for this service also covers electronic applicationprocessing for all ABA-approved law schools as well as transcript authentication and evaluation for applicants educated outside the US. Nearly all ABA-approved law schools and many other law schools require the use of the Credential Assembly Service for JD applicants."
Where do I send my transcript(s)?
Where should the letters of recommendation be sent?
The LSAC offer a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) and Evaluation service to Credential Assembly Service (CAS) registrants. Letters may be submitted electronically or on paper, depending on the recommender's preference.
Use of LSAC's LOR or Evaluation service is optional unless a law school to which you are applying states that its use is required. These services allow you to use your LSAC.org account to have your LORs and evaluations sent to law schools based on each school's requirements or preferences.