Law School Preparation Timeline

Freshman Year

  • Work on your grades from day one. Grades weigh for law school admission. Having a strong GPA and LSAT score will allow you to attend the law school of your dreams –and get scholarships and grants. Do your best from the start.
  • Connect with your prelaw advisor. Your advisor can give advice on course selection useful to prepare for law school and the LSAT. 
  • Explore majors that may interest and challenge you. Law schools do not require any specific major for admission, so choose a major that will serve you best.
  • Seek challenging courses that will allow you to develop a well-rounded education while developing the skills suggested by the American Bar Association 
    • Problem Solving
    • Critical Reading
    • Writing and Editing
    • Oral Communication and Listening
    • Research 
    • Organization and Management
    • Public Service and Promotion of Justice
    • Relationship-building and Collaboration
    • Background Knowledge
    • Exposure to the Law
  • Start exploring whether the legal career is what you want. Law school is an investment of time, efforts, and money, so make sure you continue to confirm your interest to pursue a legal education while revealing your commitment when applying to law school. 

Contact your prelaw advisor for suggested ways to explore if the legal career is for you. 

Sophomore Year

  • Continue boosting your GPA. Your GPA and LSAT score are essential for law school admission.
  • Meet with your prelaw advisor to learn about extracurricular activities and LSAT preparation.
  • Take philosophy courses such as PHI 1049 Critical Thinking and PHI 2043 Introductory Logic that will allow you to hone skills useful and needed for law school and LSAT. 
  • Consider participating in UTSA Summer Law School Preparation Academy (SLSPA) and earning the Certificate in Legal Studies. Both will help to confirm the idea to pursue a legal career and provide the skills recommended by the ABA and for the LSAT.
  • Work hard to build not only your GPA but also rapport with your professors. Excel in your classes. Your professors are your potential recommendation letter writers.
  • Seek extracurricular and life experiences without detracting from your academic performance. Participate in volunteer work projects in community organizations or public service agencies. Seek internships such as Archer Fellowship and Legislative Scholars programs, or in law firms or other legal environments. Participate in student organizations or associations. Over-involvement in such activities should not adversely affect your GPA. 
  • Consider taking on a project that requires broad library research and the analysis of substantive amounts of information from that research. Talk to your prelaw advisor about ways to conduct academic research.
  • Read to make yourself more educated on diverse subjects and increase vocabulary. Reading suggestions: Peer-reviewed academic papers, The Economist, New York Times, and John Grisham’s novels. Use the UTSA Library.
  • Create an account with the Law School Admission Council and gain familiarity with LSAT and law school admissions process.
  • Attend prelaw advising events and panel presentations regarding law school. Visit the prelaw advising services at the Institute for Law and Public Affairs website.

Junior Year

  • Continue focusing on your academics and boosting your GPA. 
  • Meet with your prelaw advisor to discuss your LSAT preparation plan, law school application process, and personal action plan. 
  • Study for the LSAT. Have a plan to spend 250+ hours of study without negatively affecting your GPA.
  • Research law schools. Contact your prelaw advisor to learn ways to have an accurate research that reflects your credentials, interests and goals. 
  • Continue attending prelaw advising events and panel presentations regarding law school. Visit the prelaw advising services and events at the Institute for Law and Public Affairs website
  • Continue cultivating good relationships with your professors. Law schools expect to receive letters written by your professors to learn about your academic skills and talents. 
  • Subscribe to the Law School Admission Council and register to take the LSAT during summer, but only if you are ready. (Talk to your prelaw advisor to discuss if you are prepared to take the LSAT. If you are not, take it in the fall.)
  • Learn about the law school application components and process. 
  • Identify your recommendation writers. Employers and supervisors can also write the letter of recommendation, but you should give priority to your professors. 
  • At the end of your junior year, ask your recommenders to write the letters. Have good judgment to select your recommenders. 
  • Start working on your academic resume and personal statement. For the editing process, utilize the Writing Center or Career Services, and to ensure that your resume conveys your strengths, contact your prelaw advisor.

Senior Year

Fall semester: 

  • Take the LSAT if you have not taken it in the summer. 
  • Check application deadlines and submit applications to law schools. Apply no later than early December. The earlier you apply, the more seats, scholarships, and or grants will be available to you.
  • Attend the UTSA Law School Fair or LSAC Law School Forums. Ask relevant information to law school representatives. Do not ask questions that can easily be found on the schools’ websites.
  • Make sure to thank your recommenders once the letters appear in the Credential Assembly Service system. Visit or send a thank you card to show your appreciation to your recommenders.   
  • Send your transcripts to the Credential Assembly Service.
  • Fill out the free application for FAFSA.

Spring semester: 

  • Send your updated transcript reflecting fall grades to the Credential Assembly Service.
  • Follow-up with law schools to make sure your files are complete.
  • Wait to hear from law schools.
  • When admitted, evaluate acceptance offers and scholarships or grants.
  • Make a decision!
  • Pay seat deposit and inform other schools that accepted you so that they can offer your place to another applicant. Be considerate and courteous at all times!