Applying to law school

You’ve done your research, and now you’re ready to apply to law school.  The process may seem overwhelming at first, but once you are more familiar with it, you’ll see that it’s really pretty straightforward.  These pages are designed to smooth the way for you.  Start with the Overview and the timeline to situate yourself, and then explore the pages specific to each aspect of your application.  And never hesitate to contact the Pre-Law Advising Office with any questions, big or small.


The law school application process should ideally begin about a year and a half before you intend to start law school.  At that time, you’d want to think about when to take the LSAT and how to prepare, who you’ll ask for letters of recommendation, and where... read more »
Also in this section: Application Check List...Application Time Line...

Application components

To the left (and below), you’ll find the primary categories of law school application components.  Within each category, there are several articles and links to additional resources that will help you understand each application component, and ensure that you are able to put together the best package possible.... read more »
Also in this section: Credential Assembly Service (CAS)... LSAT (Law School Admission Test)... Transcripts and grades... Statements, essays, resumes and addenda... Letters of Recommendation... Disciplinary and criminal records... Financial Aid...

Where to apply

There are some 200 law schools in the United States that are accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Applying to law school is a costly and time-consuming endeavor, but not nearly as costly or time-consuming as attending law school. Since you will likely leave law school with a personal debt... read more »
Also in this section: Criteria for choosing a law school...Researching law schools...Rankings...

Law school decisionmaking

Most law schools first rank applicants based on an index calculated from the LSAT and GPA. Each school determines its own formula for weighting these factors, but in general, the LSAT weighs more heavily than the GPA. Based on the index, the applicant pool is divided into three categories: presumptive... read more »

Deciding which school to attend

The law schools have made their decisions; now it’s up to you to decide which offer of admission to accept. How do you decide between the prestigious school that offered you no scholarship, and the somewhat less prestigious one that offered you a free ride? Or between the East... read more »

Financing Law School

Attending law school is extremely expensive. Tuition and fees at a private law school, plus living expenses and books, can run to nearly $100,000 per year. Only the wealthiest students can afford to pay this amount as they go through three years of law school. Most law students have to borrow... read more »
Also in this section: Nuts and bolts of law school tuition and financial aid...Scholarships...Loans...Working during law school...Loan repayment options...

Applying after taking time off

Applying to law school after you have been in the workforce may present some special challenges, but remember that you’re in the majority: over two-thirds of applicants are no longer in college. Among the most common questions for “returnees” involve letters of recommendation and the weight accorded a college... read more »

How can the pre-law office help?

The UMass Pre-Law Advising Office can help you explore legal careers, apply to law school, and even help you manage the stress of doing so.  If you’re a UMass Amherst student or alum and you haven’t found the answers you need on these pages, please email the... read more »