Law School: Timeline

Getting Started | Timeline | Applying | LSAT | Selecting | Contacts

1st and Sophomore Years

  • Meet with the pre-law advisor.
  • Sign up for the Law/Government targeted email sent out twice a month by the Career Center via ObieOpps.
  • Choose classes that will help you master skills in critical reading, analytical and logical reasoning, and technical writing.
  • Watch your GPA. Dipping below a 3.0 limits your options. More competitive law schools require a 3.5 or higher.
  • Start to think about whom you may want to ask for letters of recommendation. Establish a relationship with these individuals, which could mean taking more than one course from a faculty member. They will get to know your work even better and see how you progress.
  • Begin to compile a portfolio (your best papers/projects in a file) that can be shown to individuals you ask to write letters of recommendation. This will remind them of who you are and what you can do.
  • Pursue extra-curricular activities. Consider volunteer work (the Bonner Center for Service and Learning at Oberlin can help). Develop leadership skills. But remember, it's quality, not quantity that counts.
  • Talk to people in the legal profession. Have the Career Center help you connect with alumni.
  • Consider doing a winter term internship or project that will expose you to law practice. Check out the winter term internships offered through the Career Center (the deadline to apply is usually in the second week of November).
  • Consider doing a summer internship. Use the resources of the Career Center to help you find an internship.
  • Develop a resume with the help of a Career Advisor.

Junior Year

  • If you are planning on going immediately to law school after Oberlin, you should ideally take the LSAT in June, following your junior year. October or December of your senior year are the other options.
  • Take a practice LSAT.
  • Prepare for the LSAT (September-June).
  • Register for the LSAT (April-May). Deadline to register is usually one month prior to the test date. When you register for the LSAT, be sure to check YES in the appropriate box on your form, which releases your data to your pre-law advisor. The information will remain confidential, but is essential for the pre-law advisor in order to better advise students.
  • Continue with extra-curricular activities.
  • Consider a winter term or summer internship.

Senior Year (or Year Before Entering Law School)

  • Beginning in the summer before your senior year, start researching law schools. Request catalogs, applications, and financial aid information from law schools. (June-September)
  • Subscribe to The Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS), a service of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). (August-September)
  • Have official transcripts sent to LSDAS. (August-September)
  • Take LSAT, if you didn't take it in June. (October)
  • Meet with the pre-law advisor to review list of schools. (September-October)
  • Check LSDAS report for accuracy. (September)
  • Select persons to write letters of recommendation, and talk to them. Officially request letters of recommendation for all the schools you have chosen. (September)
  • Write a personal statement. (September-October)
  • Meet with admissions representatives. Check out the Law School Forum and other LSAC sponsored events. (September-November)
  • Fill out and send law school applications. (October-December)
  • Follow up with law schools to be sure application file is complete and that all letters of recommendation have been received.
  • File your financial aid applications. (January or sooner)
  • Receive decisions. (March-April)
  • Select a law school. Be sure to pay your seat deposit on time. (March-June)
  • Have a copy of your final transcript (certifying your graduation) sent to the law school you chose. (June)
  • Inform your pre-law advisor of your choice. (June)