Applying to Law School
Student Organizations and Leadership
Students are advised upon entering UMass Dartmouth to actively engage with student organizations and build a history of engagement and leadership on campus and in the community. Students are encouraged to visit MyOrgs to identify opportunities to participate in student organizations, encouraged to engage in athletics on teams or intramurals, or find community opportunities such as volunteering for local organizations. Each individual student is unique and should genuinely tailor their engagement around their interests and future goals. These activities are an important component of the resume and even personal statement when applying to law school.
Internships, Research and Work Experience
Students should meet with their pre-law advising team and academic program faculty to identify valuable work, research and internships to complement their program of study. All UMass Dartmouth students have access to the Career Center to search for job and internship opportunities, and several events are held on campus with prospective employers. Students, similar to choosing volunteering and leadership opportunities, should identify experiences that will complement their future law school and career goals. Students have interned, for example, with District Attorneys, local law practices, and with related advocacy groups.
LSAT and GPA
Two important variables in determining law school admissions are Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores and grade point average (GPA). LSAT scores are required by virtually all law schools. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT and helps facilitate the admissions process for most U.S. law schools through its Law School Credential Assembly Service (LS CAS). You can apply online to take the LSAT. The LSAT is administered throughout the year on dates announced by LSAC. Students are highly recommended to take the writing section of the LSAT as well.
Personal Statement and Addendums
The personal statement and addendums, as well as optional questions, are an important component of applying to law school. Students should read each application closely and answer the questions posed on each application. All students have access to writing support on campus and through pre-law advising. Pre-law advising recommends students start reflecting on personal statements in the year prior to their application. Students are also highly encouraged to answer all optional questions on each application.
The September and October LSAT exam date is the most popular, followed closely by the December exam. The February exam is generally taken by students who, for a variety of reasons, are applying late in the process. The June test is popular with students who are applying to very competitive schools, are studying abroad in the Fall, or would like to test early.
The application deadline varies by school. Most law schools accept for fall only starts, and most applications are recommended to be submitted no later than January or February of that year. For most students, this means they should begin the application process no later than the Summer prior or Fall semester of their senior year. UMass Dartmouth students may apply to UMass Law one year early through the 3+3 program and should review the timeline with pre-law advising.
If applying for non-loan financial aid, students should apply sooner rather than later in order to increase your chances of receiving an award. Law school applications for financial aid are usually separate from the application for admission to law school and many schools begin offering awards and admission on a rolling basis.