When to Apply

Completing law school requires a significant amount of time and energy as well as money. Prior to applying, then, you should engage in meaningful reflection about your educational and career goals, and consider whether or not a law degree is the credential you need to achieve these goals.

The majority of law school applicants, including those from Brown, apply one or more years after completing their undergraduate degree. In fact, many successful applicants have found that gaining experience in the workforce has strengthened both their interest in a legal career and their application credentials. Overall, law schools seek to admit a diverse class not only in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender, but also in terms of personal and professional experience. If you are not certain that applying directly out of Brown is right for you, take at least one year after graduation to pursue activities and interests that can inform your choices of professional direction. If you then decide to apply to law school, you will be a stronger candidate. Explore the schools to which you plan to apply in great detail so you can make an informed choice when you apply.  Some key factors to consider are the curriculum, location, alumni networks, clinics, academic and practice focus, financial burden and assistance, as well as graduates' employment statistics. The ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, individual school websites, the ABA Employment Summary Report and ABA Legal Education Statistics are some of the key sources to explore. For more, consult our Resources page. 

Should you choose to apply to law school for admission directly following your graduation from Brown, begin the application process in the summer following your third year of study or in the fall of your fourth year. By this time, you should be able to solicit strong letters of recommendation from at least two members of the faculty at Brown. It is best to have your letters on file with LSAC by October. You should also plan to take the LSAT as early as feasible before you submit your application.  While many law schools would accept ascores from a December LSAT test, these dates are best avoided unless you plan to use your score for the following application cycle. 

Most law schools consider applications on an ongoing basis, but it is wise to submit all of your application materials by November. Generally, law schools will not examine your application until all necessary elements are on file and your application is considered complete. A variety of admission factors, including financial assistance offers, are closely linked to the timely submission of your application, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. 

Brown's Law Careers advisors arrange a great number of diverse information sessions, admission panels and a law school fair that expose students and alumni to valuable perspectives to help them reflect on their choices and prepare for the application process. Check our Events and Programs page for upcoming sessions. We also recommend that you read our Law School Applicant Guide which provides comprehensive information about the admission process to law school.