One of the big barriers to starting the law school process is that there seems like there’s so much to do, so many steps to take, that it’s hard to know where you should even start. And frankly, this profession loves its exclusivity so it doesn’t make its process super accessible or knowable or affordable. If you’re going to go through the application process alone, it’s daunting enough to make you procrastinate or talk yourself out of it. But, nah! you can do this. Let’s what it through!
When I applied for law school I just “knew” it was time because I didn’t take a gap year, but even though I was doing things “on time,” there were still a lot of stumbles (like my whole LSAT studying process) that didn’t make the process easy. So as you start to consider law school, or know you want to go to law school in the near future where do you start?
You start by adding a timeline to your goal–the magic question is: when do you want to start your first semester? Once you know what year you want to enroll, you go from there by focusing on three main milestones: LSAT, statements, and financial aid.
Let’s use this as an example:
You want to start Fall of 2022, then a streamlined process can look like this-
(1) Studying for LSAT winter of ’20/Spring ’21
(2) Take LSAT in Spring/Summer ’21. Once you receive your scores, you can better identify which schools to apply for based on your interests, desired location, and the median scores for each school (allowing you to create safety and reach schools).
(3) As you identify your schools, spring summer ’21 drafting your statements and compile your applications (letters of rec, LSAC fee, etc)
(4) Submit applications as early as possible, preferably in Fall ’21.
(5) File FAFSA as early ’22, and begin applying for private scholarships; make decision on where to enroll by late Spring 2’2.
(6) Spend Summer ’22 prepping for 1L year
(7) Start orientation Fall ’22—yay!!
First, you can see that this is lengthy process, but every step is achievable and even if it seems long it should deter you. Create at timeline of what you should be focusing on for this moment in time and give yourself actionable steps so you’re moving closer to the next level.
But mostly what I have found is that once you move past the first question of “can I do this?” and start seriously asking “how do I do this,” there is a shift in your progress. I know it can feel overwhelming and yes, it’s likely you will have to navigate yet another Higher Ed system without much help. But having gone through the college system, you already know that you have tools and know-how to figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your goals. More than anything, don’t let the fact that there are so many unknowns from letting you take the first step. You are able to become an attorney and getting to law school, while it feels like a far off concept is actually achievable, one step at a time. Tu puedes!