Be Advised: The views expressed by this timeline do not necessarily reflect those held by Boston College, the Boston College Pre-Law Advisory Board, or the Boston College Career Center. The timeline is intended as a general guideline and need not be followed strictly. Before deciding upon a timeline that is right for you, it may be useful to speak with a Career Counselor at the Career Center.
- Freshman Year: Being a Student
- Sophomore Year: Being a Member of the Community
- Junior Year: Being a Leader
- Senior Year: Applying
Freshman year is about being a student. You are in a new environment: get used to it, learn about it, discover things that you would not have known, and take risks. The best way to prepare for law school as a freshman is to adapt physically, mentally, and academically to your new environment.
Skills for Freshmen:
- Study Skills
- Organizational Skills
- Join an on-campus club or activity; pick something that you enjoy and in which you believe.
- Take a variety of courses and decide upon a major.
- Join the Bellarmine Society Mentoring Program.
- Practice your writing - keep a journal or collection of creative works.
- Join an intramural sport. Develop your ability to function as an individual in a team - learn discipline, responsibility, and how to work hard.
- Participate in the Pre-Law v. Pre-Med Flag Football competition.
Sophomore year is about becoming an active member of the community. Ask challenging questions in class, make suggestions about activities for the clubs in which you are involved, volunteer for responsibilities in your club, and get to know a professor professionally - find a common interest and become known as a serious student.
Skills for Sophomores:
- Researching Skills
- Writing Skills
- Presentation Skills
- Join the Bellarmine Society Volunteer Program.
- Consider taking a recommended Pre-Law course.
- Begin to consider study options for the LSAT.
Junior year is about being focused, serious, and a leader in your community. If you can demonstrate these three things to the law schools to which you apply, your application becomes much stronger. When applying to law school, as when applying to college in general, junior year is the most important year. Use this time to demonstrate your involvement, abilities, and will. The single most important thing to do this year is get your GPA as high as possible.
- Pick one or more courses and read beyond the syllabus - research which works your professors have written (or are writing) and read a copy.
- Meet with your professors and discuss the class, your favorite works in the class, and how you can become more involved in class discussions.
- Think about taking more than one class with a professor whom you enjoy in a subject area that is meaningful to you.
- Buy LSAT prep books (e.g. Barrons, Princeton Review, Kaplan) and review the table of contents; skim the chapters.
- Buy past LSAT exams - you can purchase copies of every single LSAT administered!
- If you are considering a commercial test prep, begin researching the available on-campus test prep vendors.
- Serious law applicants plan their semesters at least 3 months in advance.
- Keep up the practice in your LSAT prep books.
- Take as many of the past LSAT exams as possible; complete a full exam on a weekend day.
- If you are considering taking an LSAT test prep course, consider venue size, teacher, and cost of the course. Make sure you have the time (and take the time) to do all of the homework.
- Plan to take the June administration of the LSAT, but ask yourself if you should focus on this test or your GPA. If your GPA is not as high as you feel you are able, plan on taking the October test to use the summer in preparation. The Bellarmine Society recommends preparing for whichever administration of the LSAT you will take at least one (1) year in advance.
- Consider whether you are prepared to take the October test. If necessary, delay taking the test until December, the absolute latest test administration to apply for admission directly after senior year.
- Consider whether you are prepared to apply during senior year. If your GPA or LSAT scores are not as high as you would like, think about applying one year after graduation. If you have a distinct advantage in GPA and/or LSAT score(s), think about applying early. Remember, law schools use rolling admissions, so it is often best to apply as soon as your GPA and LSAT scores are at your target levels.
- Check out law schools! Visit their websites and facilities. Request a copy of their magazines and brochures. If possible, check the BC Career Center page to see if any alumni attended the schools in which you are interested. Contact them and ask additional questions.
- Write a draft of your personal statement.
Senior year is a time to complete your application. Polish your resume, acquire recommendations, and perfect your personal statement.
- Procure your recommendations.
- Create a resume tailored for your applications. See the Bellarmine Society Resume Guidelines, visit the Career Center for advice, and attend a Career Center Resume Workshop.
- Attend the BC-BU Law Forum in the end of October.
- Choose the schools you would like to apply to.
- If necessary, take or retake the LSAT in October.
- Take or retake the LSAT in December (only after careful consideration of your post-graduation options).
- Complete your applications and send them by early December.
- Send your first semester GPAs to the schools to which you applied.
- Send any additional documents (e.g. one page thesis summary).