Freshman and Sophomore Years
Consult immediately with the pre-law advisor to see if you might qualify for the 3+3 or 4+3 programs. The 3+3 program allows students with outstanding credentials to be approved for early admission to the Stetson University College of Law, while the 4+3 program provides direct admission to the Stetson University College of Law when certain academic qualifications are met. To get ready for law school, follow these tips:
- Work toward strengthening your critical reading, writing and logical reasoning skills.
- Work to strengthen your GPA, but don't pad it with "soft" courses.
If you're still undecided about a law career, read the following books:
- The Practice of Law School: Getting in and Making the Most of Your Legal Education, by Stetson University College of Law Professor Kristen D. Adams and Christen Civiletto Carey, Esq. Published in June 2003 by ALM Publishing, the book is intended to help new law students find out what to expect and how to succeed at every stage.
- The Official Guide to Legal Specialties, by The National Association for Law Placement.
- Careers in Law, by Gary Munneke.
- Start investigating potential law schools early. Consider the school's admission statistics, ranking, specialties, size, location and costs.
- Visit the Pre-Law Fair in the fall semester to speak with law school admission representatives.
- Consider which faculty members you will ask to provide letters of recommendation. Law schools value letters of recommendation from faculty that know your work well.
- Begin LSAT preparation by becoming knowledgeable about the test's format and question types. Consider a variety of information, including LSAT preparation books, sample LSAT exam and LSAT preparation courses.
- Consult the Law School Admission Council website and Stetson University's Office of Career and Professional Development for LSAT registration, fees, deadlines and testing center locations.
- Register to take the LSAT by the spring semester of your junior year. The LSAT is offered in the months of June, September, October, December and February.
- Register with LSDAS to consolidate all academic materials for the application process.
- Review information from requested catalogs and begin to complete law school application forms and scholarship/financial aid forms. Photocopy all forms before mailing them. Keep a record of all correspondence you receive from each law school. Keep close attention to due dates for these forms.
- Begin asking for letters of recommendation from faculty and other individuals who are very familiar with your work and academic potential. To ensure quality letters, make your request at least four to six weeks before they're due. Provide your recommenders with the following information in package form:
- LSAT scores, if available.
- Most recent copy of your academic transcript and ACT/SAT scores.
- Typed resume that summarizes your academic and work experience. Make sure to include all academic honors, community service, special projects, and clubs and organizations of which you are a member.
- Signed recommendation form provided by either LSAC/LSDAS or law school with a stamped and addressed envelope.
- List of law schools to which you are applying.
- Make sure you're registered to take the LSAT no later than September or October. If you're not happy with your score, you still have time to retake the test in December. Retaking the test in February is useful for those candidates who are on a law school waiting list and wish to improve their chances of admission or those who apply to a law school with rolling admission.
- Write your personal statement/essay. Pay close attention to each law school's directions for how the essay should be prepared and the information they request. The personal statement isn't always a "one size fits all" essay. Consult with your pre-law advisor and the Office of Career and Professional Development when constructing your essay. Pay close attention to grammar and writing style.
- Send your college transcripts to LSDAS. Remember to include transcripts from all colleges or universities in which you have taken a class.
- All application and financial aid materials should be sent by early January.
- Call each law school after about two weeks to see if they've received your materials and if your admission file is complete.
- Thank your letter writers or remind them to send your letters.
- You should start receiving word from law schools if you're accepted in February and March. Decide by April 1 which school you'll attend. Reserve a seat by sending a tuition deposit.
- Be courteous and notify other schools that you have declined their offer. Inform your pre-law advisor of your results and your decision.
- After graduating, send your final academic transcript to the law school of your choice.
- Send an email to the Office of Alumni Engagement informing them of your choice of law school. The university is proud of you and we like to keep record of our distinguished graduates.