If you want to be an attorney you’re going to have to go to law school. Though it may sound like an easy task once you’ve finally decided to go to law school, it’s not quite so easy. There are hundreds of law schools to choose from, and getting into law schools in the first place isn’t an easy task.
The first thing you’re going to have to do when applying to law schools is to get an undergraduate degree. The subject matter isn’t particularly important; I’ve worked with attorneys who majored in dance and vocal music as undergrads. However, your grade point average is important, and law schools usually favor candidates who show particular strengths in writing and speaking. Don’t bother with a pre-law major; you’ll learn everything about the law you need to know in law school. Major in what you’re interested in.
Once you have an undergraduate degree you still can’t start applying to law schools; you need to take the Law School Admission Test first. The LSAT is offered four times a year, and it’s usually a good idea to take the LSAT in the June a year and a half before you plan on entering school, i.e. if you wanted to start law school in August of 2008, take the June 2007 LSAT. Many students take the LSAT in October, but if you do poorly on the October LSAT you won’t have time to retake the test before you need to turn in your applications.
Once you have your LSAT score it’s time to start applying to law schools. Fortunately, the Law School Advisory Council makes this a relatively painless process, handling applications for virtually all ABA-approved law schools online. You can apply to as many schools as you want, though most will charge application fees between $50 and $75.
Eventually you’ll have to make a decision on what law school you eventually want to attend. This decision often depends on many factors including finances, geography, and reputation. You can find all sorts of law school rankings in various publications and online, and though these ranking systems can give you a good idea of what law schools are highly regarded, the rankings aren’t very scientific and don’t tell you a whole lot about the law schools you may be applying to. One of the best things you can do to help make your decision easier is to visit all of the schools that accepted you, though this can get expensive if you’ve applied to schools on both coasts.