Frequently Asked Questions
In what should I major as a "pre-law" student?
There is no pre-law major; choose any major in which you can seize a high GPA. Law schools accept students from virtually all majors
Should I participate in many, many extra-curricular activities?
EC's are not completely trivial. But they're certainly not going to get you into a school where your LSAT is not remotely competitive.
What GPA and LSAT score do I need to gain admission to law school?
Aim for the highest possible: GPA (4.0) and LSAT score (180) Keep in mind that the LSAT is normalized...
For the average score for accepted students at specific law schools, look in the helpful book U.S. News Ultimate Guide to Law Schools.
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT is an examination administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), intended to provide law schools in the United States and Canada with (to quote the LSAC) "a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants."
It has five 35 minute sections
Reading Comprehension (RC)
Logical Reasoning (x2) (LR)
One Unscored Section (no one knows which is the unscored section. If you count more than one RC or Analytical Reasoning section, one of those is the unscored section; likewise if you count three logical reasoning sections, one of them is the unscored section. No matter what, do your best on each section, even if one of them may be the experiemental/unscored section)
And one 30 minute section
The writing sample is given in the form of a decision prompt, which provides the examinee with a problem and two criteria for making a decision. The examinee must then write an essay favoring one of two provided options over the other. The decision generally does not involve a controversial subject, but rather something mundane about which the examinee likely has no strong bias.
The writing sample is NOT SCORED! But is scanned and sent along with your score.
The writing sample is essentially an extemporaneous essay, hand-written in pencil at the conclusion of a four-hour examination. Between the quality of the handwriting and that of the digital image, some admissions officers regard the readability and usefulness of the writing sample as marginal. Additionally, schools require that applicants submit a "personal statement" of some kind. These factors sometimes result in admission boards ignoring the writing sample.
How long does it take to study for the LSAT?
A few months before the exam seems to be the general consensus, keeping in mind that collegiate level analysis in humanities classes prepares one for the Reading Comprehension section, that the logic games for the LSAT must be studied prior to the exam, that out-of-school reading is necessary in order to quicken the rate at which one reads text during the exam, and that one must focus upon one's GPA in order to get into law school. However, some may study for a year prior to the LSAT. This is acceptable for students who wish to employ a less vigorous study for the LSAT. Keep in mind the QUALITY of your study is more important than the QUANTITY of studying you perform.
When do I take the LSAT?
It is offered four times per year: June, October, December, and February.