Career Center


Career Center
315-859-4332 (fax)

Graduate School

Pre-Law Advising at Hamilton College

The Career Center’s Guide to Law School Planning

Law School Preparation Timeline

Freshmen and Sophomores:
  • Meet with a pre-law advisor and visit LSAC.org to learn more about the LSAT and admissions process.
  • Engage in self-assessment and career exploration to be sure that a career in law suits you.
  • Keep your grades up! Your GPA must be higher than a 3.4 for you to be competitive.
  • Learn about the LSAT -- all its different types of questions and start to prepare for the actual test.
  • Choose courses and extracurricular activities that will help to develop your writing, speaking and analytical skills and demonstrate your interest in law.
  • Find a summer Career Related Experience related to law or policy.
  • Progressively increase your GPA as evidence you have the ability to handle the academic rigors of law school.
  • Continue to prepare for the LSAT. Take 5-10 practice tests, and decide if you will take the test in June or October. Register with LSAC early to ensure you get a seat at your preferred test site.
  • Develop a list of prioritized law schools of interest to you. Research them thoroughly and visit them, if possible.
  • Talk to alumni currently attending or who recently graduated from your schools of interest.
  • Plan to attend LSAC Law School Forums and/or the Colgate Law School Fair in the Fall.  Be certain to ask for business cards from the law school representatives with whom you communicate and ask questions.
  • Draft a cover letter for your first-choice school. Mention the names of law school representatives and/or the alumni with whom you’ve connected in your first paragraph. Explain your interest in and why you believe you’re an excellent candidate and fit for that school.
  • Register with the CAS, the credentials assembly service on the LSAC website to store your transcript and letters of recommendation.
  • Read the personal statement and optional essay prompts for each law school on your list and look for similarities. Start writing your personal statement and optional essays for your first-choice school and then.
  • Request 2 – 3 letters of recommendation from professors in the spring or in the first weeks of your senior year. Open an account on Interfolio to house your recommendations.
  • Confirm that your transcript and letters of recommendation are on file with LSAC.
  • Complete your personal statements and optional essays and other application materials (cover letter, resume, addendum, etc) for each school to which you are applying.
  • Apply early, ideally in September, if you plan to attend in the following fall.
  • Let your advisor and professors know about your success!

Additional Information