Transcripts & GPA
Admissions committees require official transcripts from every higher education institution attended, both undergraduate and graduate, even if you took only one or two courses. Competitive applicants should strive for a minimum 3.5 GPA, but this number is higher at many law schools. (Consult the ABA Official Guide to Law Schools to find the minimum GPA for schools that interest you.)
Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
The LSAT is the standardized test required for law school admissions. The test will be offered six times a year and consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions, and a 35-minute writing sample. Section questions measure reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logic skills. Competitive applicants should strive for a minimum score of 160, but many schools look for higher scores. We advise taking the LSAT in June of the year in which you will apply, with September as a backup date. A number of ABA-accredited law schools also accept the GRE General Test in lieu of the LSAT (check www.ets.org for a list of schools).
As most law schools do not offer interviews, the personal statement may be the only time for an applicant to speak directly to the admissions committee. Applicants should reflect upon and think carefully about how to describe themselves—their values and motivations—and how to go beyond their résumé and transcript. It is recommended to consult with the Writing Center and attend workshops sponsored by CAS Preprofessional Advising.
Two letters of recommendation from instructors are highly recommended for those applying in their senior year of college and recent graduates. Letters should speak to the applicant’s academic performance, intellectual promise, creative abilities, writing and research skills, communication skills, etc. One additional letter may be submitted by a recommender who can speak to an applicant’s leadership ability, professionalism, work ethic, and/or personal character.
Résumé and Extracurricular Experiences
Applicants should submit a résumé that highlights their education, professional experiences, community service, and other extra-curricular activities. Law schools prefer well-rounded applicants who have done more than simply attend classes and pay close attention to your extracurricular involvement. Applicants are strongly advised to take full advantage of the Wasserman Center to create a résumé that speaks to their strengths.
Some law schools require a Dean’s Certification Form to verify a student’s good standing in the NYU academic community. CAS students seeking certifications should complete a Dean’s Certification Request Form. Certifications typically require two weeks for processing. (Students in other NYU divisions should go to their own Dean’s Office.)
Timing of Applications
Students and alumni are advised to apply to law schools in the fall (November is ideal), as law schools admit applicants on a rolling basis.