Planning to Attend Law School?

Are you thinking about a career in law? Start by checking out this UM Pre-Law Handbook, which contains information about what you can study as an undergraduate in addition to information about the LSAT and law school admission process.

Additionally, one of your first steps during the planning process is to learn more about the law school application timeline by stopping in the Toppel Career Center for assistance. Our staff can provide you with an overview and your next steps in the process. Additionally, as you begin preparing for your law school applications during your Junior and Senior years, the recommendation is to meet with one of Toppel's coaches to receive the guidance needed. Our coaches at Toppel can assist you with all aspects of the application process, from reviewing the various phases of the application process, sharing what law school admission officers are seeking in candidates, helping you to identify law programs, and providing resources to aid in researching law school programs.

Join the Pre-Law Community: Register here to stay in the know of upcoming pre-law events and opportunities.

Law School Application Timeline for Pre-Law Students

Whether you're a freshman eager to embark on the path to law school or a senior just starting to explore, our timeline is flexible to your needs. If you're starting to explore law school later, don't worry — refer to earlier steps and meet with a career coach at Toppel for personalized guidance. Your path to law school is unique, and we're here to support you along the way.

Accordion Group

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  • Freshman Year

    Fall

    • Meet with a pre-law coach at Toppel to discuss law school interests.
    • Join the pre-law community to stay in the know of upcoming pre-law events and opportunities.
    • Sign up for Law Hub to receive access to practice tests, legal research tools, law school databases, and law school application aid.
    • Meet with your academic advisor to share your pre-law interest and develop a 4-year academic plan, infusing your pre-law interest.

    Spring

    • Build connections with campus faculty and staff as they will serve as your primary resource for obtaining letters of recommendation.
    • Take on an internship or paid job of interest (does not need to be related to law) to gain valuable experiences and essential skills such as leadership, communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.

  • Sophomore Year

    Fall

    • Meet with your pre-law coach to review your academic plan and ensure you are positioning yourself to be a competitive candidate.
    • Consider joining a pre-law organization and other student organizations.

    Spring

    • Create an LSAC Account to begin registering for the LSAT exam. Your LSAC account allows you to complete Law School Applications, track your application status, manage letters of recommendation, and communicate with law schools.
    • Refer to Law Hub and this LSAT prep courses and materials resource for current test prep materials.

  • Junior Year

    Fall

    • Begin researching law programs to build a list of schools you would like to attend. For researching schools, use the Search for Law Schools – LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs.
    • Create a spreadsheet using your GPA & LSAT/GRE as a guide to create a “reachable, competitive, and safety schools” list and organize deadlines.
    • Register for LSAT exam via LSAC. Take law school application deadlines into consideration when signing up for an exam date.

    Spring

    • Identify and contact recommenders for letters of recommendation.
    • Review resume and personal statement with a career coach at Toppel.
    • Take LSAT Exam.

    Summer

    • If needed, retake the LSAT exam held in the Summer
    • Revise and update list of schools based on LSAT scores.
    • Follow up with recommenders for the status of your letters of recommendation.
    • Request official transcripts to be sent to LSAC (home, high school, and/or study abroad institutions).
    • Update your resume and personal statement. Stop by the drop-in career coaching hours at Toppel to get it revised.
    • Go to the writing center to proofread your personal statement for grammar, writing style, and spelling feedback.
    • Invite multiple reviewers to proofread your revised personal statement before submitting to law school.
    • Participate in a workshop focusing on financing law school, where you'll be equipped to complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile/School forms. Don't forget to explore AccessLex financial aid resources and workshops for additional support.

  • Senior Year

    Fall

    • Meet with pre-law coach at Toppel to finalize application materials.
    • Attend a Law School Forum. Network with law school admissions representatives and gain insight into the application process for different schools. Law schools offer application fee waivers when candidates attend the Law School Forums.
    • Sign up and pay for Credential Assembly Service (CAS). CAS simplifies the law school application process for both candidates and law schools. With CAS, your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and any other documents required for each of your law school applications only need to be sent one time to LSAC and are available for 5 years.
    • Begin submitting Law School applications in the Fall (latest early Spring) when your application is strongest and has been reviewed by multiple supporting coaches and advisors.

    Spring

    • Track your application progress through your LSAC account: Applying to Law School Infographic | LSAC.
    • Discuss waitlist procedures with pre- law coach and develop a plan. This involves understanding what it means to be placed on a waitlist, the potential implications for your application, and strategies for navigating this phase effectively.
    • Visit schools and/or take virtual tours of the schools where you applied.
    • Contact programs where you submitted applications to confirm applications are complete and/or submitted.
    • Submit financial aid paperwork and apply for scholarships/grants. Additionally, exploring scholarship and grant opportunities tailored specifically for law students can significantly alleviate the financial burden associated with pursuing a legal education. This may include scholarships offered by law schools themselves, private organizations, bar associations, or other legal entities.
    • Begin to prepare for possible law school interviews via Big Interview and drop-in career coaching for practice interview sessions.
    • Evaluate law school acceptance offers and financial aid packages carefully to make informed decisions regarding your legal education and financial commitments.
    • Decide where to pay a seat deposit by the deposit deadline (respective to each individual school).

Available Resources

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UM Pre-Law Organizations

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  • Above the Bar

    Above the Bar

    Above the Bar is a multicultural organization for University of Miami pre-law students to ensure their matriculation into law school. The mission is specifically to educate, elevate, and demonstrate ways to thrive utilizing tools, forums, and platforms. 

  • Debate Team

    Debate Team

    It is the mission of the debate program at UM to provide participating students a valuable educational activity with a primary emphasis on intercollegiate debate competition. Public debate experience and community service to middle school, high school and developing college programs are important secondary components of the mission of the UM debate team.

  • Ethics Society

    Ethics Society

    The UM Ethics Society endeavors to spread understanding of ethics and critical thinking throughout society – in law, medicine, politics, business, and all other aspects of life. We will delve into these issues mainly through competitive debate, but also through special programs, panel discussions and collaborations with student orgs. 

  • Model United Nations

    Model United Nations

    The purpose of the Model United Nations Team is to provide opportunities for students at the University of Miami who are interested in developing leadership, diplomacy, research, and debate skills. The students focus on global issues by actively participating in various activities and attending collegiate conferences throughout the nation.

  • Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity

    Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity

    The purpose of Phi Alpha Delta is to provide undergraduate students with opportunities to learn about the law school admissions process, legal institutions, and careers involving law. The goal of Phi Alpha Delta is to present students with sufficient information for them to make informed decisions about applying to law schools and eventually becoming professionals in the field of law.

  • Sociology and Criminology Club

    Sociology and Criminology Club

    We offer a positive learning environment for students with an interest in the fields of sociology and criminology. We regularly have guest speakers and are involved in events such as Relay for Life and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.

  • UM Mock Trial

    UM Mock Trial

    UM Mock Trial is a competitive team in the American Mock Trial Association national circuit that works towards fostering interest and growth in the fields of litigation and trial advocacy, as well as providing a unique, learning-through-doing experience.

Summer Experience Programs & Institutes for Pre-Law Students

Please visit this site for additional programs and information.

Recommended Courses to Consider

  • Intro to Sociology SOC 101
  • Social Problems SOC 103
  • Criminal Justice
  • Social Inequalities SOC 303
  • Criminology
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Industrial & Organizational Psychology
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Logic and Law
  • Ethics
  • Intro to American Gov POL 201
  • Constitutional Law 1&2 POL 373/4
  • Administrative Law
  • Intro to International Politics POL 203
  • Comparative Politics POL 202
  • Politics of Civil Rights
  • English Composition ENG 105/6
  • US History
  • Public Speaking COS 211
  • Advanced Oral Advocacy COS 311
  • Argumentation COS 377
  • Intro to Economics
  • Business Law BSL
  • Corporate Law
  • Negotiations
  • Art of Government in Greece & Rome

 

For additional information about pre-law events, email Toppel at toppel@miami.edu.

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