Pre-law at OU

Varner Hall, Room 425
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2362

Applying to Law School

If, after thoroughly researching and investigating what is involved in attending law school and practicing law, you feel as though law school is the right choice for you, you will need to see to the details of applying.

To apply to law school, you will need to take an exam called the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT. The LSAT is a standardized test which is required for admission to all American Board Association (or ABA)–approved law schools. The LSAT is created and administered by the Law School Admissions Council, or LSAC. The LSAC is a nonprofit corporation that was founded in 1947 in order to coordinate and facilitate the law school admissions process for applicants and the council’s members. The members of the council consist of the 185 law schools located in the United States and the 15 law schools located in Canada. In addition to assisting with the testing and application processes, the organization also provides programs and services related to legal education.

To fully utilize the services offered through the council, you will need to register for the council’s Law School Data Assembly Service, or LSDAS, and pay the required fee. In return, the LSAC will track the law schools to which you have chosen to apply, compile all of the information the individual schools require for application (including your LSAT scores), and forward all the information to each respective school as required.

Participation in the LSDAS is required by almost all law schools, and is highly recommended for applicants. Once you register, you will be able to sign up to take the LSAT and can send the LSDAS transcripts and other required documents for compilation. The LSDAS will prepare a report about you that includes your calculated GPA and ranking among other students from Oakland University. Your registration with the LSDAS will remain active for five years after registration.

For a full explanation of the services the Law School Admissions Council provides, or to register for the LSDAS and the LSAT, please visit
The Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, is a standardized test that all applicants to law school must take as a part of the application process. The test is required for admission to all American Board Association-approved law schools, as well as to most Canadian law schools and many non-ABA approved law schools. It is designed to provide a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills, and is one of the largest factors in determining whether or not you will be accepted to the law schools to which you apply.

The test is administered by the Law School Admissions Council four times a year, and can be taken at hundreds of different locations all over the country. The test will take a half-day to complete, and consists of sections of multiple choice questions as well as a writing sample. Because your score on the LSAT will be seriously considered by each school you apply to, it is essential that you prepare seriously and thoroughly for the test. Take the test only when you are well-studied and feel ready. The higher your score on the LSAT, the greater chance you will be accepted to the law school of your choice.

To register to take the LSAT, you will need to visit the Law School Admission Council website at Here, you will find a complete description of the LSAT, the skills it measures and how the test is scored, as well as a schedule of upcoming test dates. The site also offers preparation materials such as sample test questions, and tips on how to study and prepare for the test.
Other factors that will be considered by law schools along with your application include the written personal statement and the letters of recommendation you will be required to provide. The first offers you the opportunity to present yourself and your strengths, and to offer an explanation of why you will be a valuable addition to the school. The second allows faculty members and other respected associates to validate the statements you have made, and to attest to your abilities.

Your personal statement should be carefully and meticulously prepared. It should include the same type of information that you would provide to a potential employer during an interview for a job; that is, it should highlight your “selling points,” and the factors that make you the best candidate for the position for which you are applying: that of “law student.” Unlike a personal interview, however, a written personal statement allows you the opportunity to correct your grammar and your sentence structure. Your statement is a testimony to your ability to communicate clearly; as such, you will want to be sure that it adheres to the standards of good writing. It should begin with an introduction, flow smoothly from point to point, and end with a conclusion. It should not contain typographical errors, spelling mistakes, or poor punctuation. You will want to share your statement with several other people in order to be sure that it is clear, interesting and convincing. Be sure to proofread it carefully, and then ask someone else to do the same. The Oakland University Writing Center is an excellent resource for assistance with the editing and proofreading process.
Letters of
The number of letters of recommendation required by each school will vary; however, regardless of the number required, you will want to be certain that at least one of the letters you provide is from a faculty member at Oakland University. You are, after all, applying to schools. The committee charged with deciding whether or not to admit you will want to know that you will be able to handle the academic challenges of law school. When you ask a faculty member to write a letter of recommendation for you, they may wish to meet with you to discuss your goals and aspirations. They may also wish to see your transcripts or a recent resume. It is to your benefit to cooperate and provide whatever is requested of you. The more specific and detailed the letter of recommendation is, the more effective it will be.

Other sources for letters of recommendation include academic advisers, employers, or supervisors; bear in mind, however, that what law schools want to hear about is the skills you possess that will help you succeed in law school. Explanations of your outstanding personal qualities are less useful to admissions committees than testimonies of your analytical, writing, or academic skills.

The Law School Admissions Council, or LSAC, provides a letter of recommendation service that can assist you through the process of obtaining and submitting letters to the schools you would like to apply to. For more information on this service, visit
Your Education
While attending Oakland University for your undergraduate education, you will benefit from attending one of the most affordable universities in the state. Beyond maintaining reasonable tuition rates, OU also offers financial assistance to any student who may require it in the form of scholarships, grants, and student loans. (You can learn more about the types of assistance available through the Financial Aid Office.)

However, if you are thinking about applying to law school, one of your major considerations should be how you will finance your graduate education. The cost of a three-year law education can be substantial, with tuition costing anywhere between several thousand to more than twenty thousand dollars a year, depending on the school you choose to attend.

And that is just for your classes! When you are estimating the potential cost of your law education, you must be careful not to focus solely on the cost of tuition. In addition to being able to pay for your classes, you will also need to pay for books, food to eat, a place to live and a means of transportation. You must also remember, while making these calculations, that your opportunity to work or obtain outside income will be severely limited by the attention that will need to be devoted to your schoolwork.

Most students must rely on student loans to finance either a portion or the total cost of their law education. These loans are available both through the government and through private resources. It will be your responsibility to research the financial aid opportunities available to you at the school you would like to attend. You may also want to research whether the school offers any opportunities for assistance in the form of grants or scholarships.