Checklist: Senior Year

Senior year is finally here. You’re ready to submit your applications and your mind is on graduation. You may be working on a senior thesis or planning for a break between college in law school. Either way, you need to continue to keep your grades up. Senior year grades matter, particularly for students who opt not to go directly to law school.

So much happens in the pre-law process senior year, we’ve broken this out by semester.

Fall Semester:

  • Meet with the pre-law advisor. Stay in touch regularly via email and come into the office when you need more in-depth conversations.
  • Update your resume.
  • Attend a personal statement workshop if you haven’t yet done so.
  • Finish personal statements and other application essays. Remember, optional essays are rarely, in fact, optional.
  • Submit your resume and application essays to the pre-law advisor for critique. Do this early to allow for time to review before deadlines.
    • You should have already done significant editing on everything before submitting to the pre-law office for critique. Consider working with the Writing Center or having a peer review your materials first.
    • The pre-law advisor should be the last, not the first, person to review your application materials.
  • Request transcripts from the Registrar be sent to LSAC/CAS.
  • If you did not take the LSAT in June, take it in September.
  • If you took the LSAT in June and feel that your score does not accurately reflect your abilities, consider re-taking the LSAT in September.
  • Attend the UConn Law School Fair in October (even if you’ve attended before).
    • If you’ve met with law school representatives before, let them know that. They may not remember you, but showing continued interest in a school is a good thing.
  • Attend the LSAC Forum in either Boston or New York City. This is usually held in October or November.
  • Continue visiting schools on your application list. Research them. Talk to current students. Get a sense of the culture. Ranking is important, but it’s only one factor.
  • Keep up your GPA.
  • Request your letters of recommendation early in the semester to allow time for your professors to write and send them.
    • Monitor your status on LSAC to ensure that your recommendations are received. If, after a reasonable period, they aren’t, politely check in with your professors to ensure that they haven’t forgotten.
  • Submit your completed applications, ideally by December 1st. Most law schools use some form of rolling admission and the earlier your application is submitted, the better your chances are for those schools.
  • As soon as you’ve received fall grades, send an updated transcript to LSAC.

 Spring Semester:

  • Wait. Relax. Breathe. If you finished your applications fall semester, you can take a little time now to relax and recharge. You’re not done yet, but the pace is a little easier.
  • As you hear from schools, update your list. If you’re not getting into the schools you chose, you may need to reassess your list. If you’re getting in everywhere you apply, maybe try to apply to a new reach school.
  • Once you’ve heard from all your schools, including their aid packages, update the pre-law office.
  • Start seriously thinking about the cost of attendance. Schools may try and woo you with grants and scholarships. Investigate these.
    • For grants and scholarships, find out what you need to do to maintain the scholarship. How many people lose their award, on average? These questions are important to ask.
    • Do some math. What is the actual cost of attendance at each school, adding in cost of living and subtracting scholarships. The higher scholarship doesn’t necessarily mean the cheaper school.
  • Visit the schools where you’ve been accepted. Get in touch with current students and alumni. Find out if the school is a good fit for you. Law schools are similar, but not identical. You want to go to the school that’s right for you.
  • Meet with the pre-law advisor as necessary to talk through your acceptances and help navigate the selection process.
  • If you’ve been waitlisted, send the school a letter of continuing interest. Update them periodically, particularly with new information.
  • Maintain your GPA.
  • Update your transcript after spring grades are finalized.
  • Once you decide where you’re going, let the pre-law office know your post-graduation plans.