Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer to your question here or elsewhere on our website, please feel free to contact us directly.
When is the best time to apply?
Our application for first-year students opens October 1, and we encourage you to apply as early as is practicable. Of course, it would not behoove an applicant to submit a rushed and haphazard application. Take the time you need to make sure that what you are presenting to the Admissions Committee is thought-out and polished. That said, be aware of our deadlines and use them to set (and hold yourself accountable to) goals for submitting your application.
When should I take the LSAT?
We encourage applicants to take the LSAT no later than December of the application cycle, and it is often advisable to take the LSAT by the summer prior to the application opening. Please bear in mind that LSAT scores are not released until several weeks after sitting for the test. Typically, you must take the LSAT by February or March in order for the score to be released by our April 15 regular application deadline.
For those who have taken the LSAT previously, an LSAT score is valid and reportable during the testing year in which the test was taken (where a “testing year” runs from June 1 to May 31) and for five testing years thereafter. For example, if you took the LSAT in October 2016, the score would be included on your official LSAT score report through May 31, 2022.
How should I prepare for the LSAT?
The best way to prepare for the LSAT is a matter of personal preference. Several companies offer courses or tutoring (for a fee, of course), or you can make use of self-study materials available for purchase or at your local library. LSAC even offers an in-house suite of preparatory resources, some of which are free of charge. We at Louisville Law do not offer LSAT prep ourselves, nor do we endorse any particular company or method.
However you choose to prepare, that you prepare and give yourself ample time to do so is nonnegotiable. We highly recommend that you spend at least three months seriously and committedly preparing for the LSAT.
Should I take the LSAT more than once?
It is more common today than in the past that an applicant has taken the LSAT more than once. If you are dissatisfied with your LSAT score and believe that you can significantly increase your score, retaking the LSAT may be a reasonable option. Should you choose to do so, it is important that you give yourself enough time and opportunity to demonstrate significant improvement.
Law schools must report data based on applicants’ highest LSAT scores, and so we give special regard to your high score. That said, all of your scores (as well as score cancellations and test absences) from the past five testing years are included on your LSAT score report, and the Admissions Committee will consider all such information, both as context for your high score and as a reflection of your judgment.
LSAC sets limits on the repeating the LSAT, the most frequently applicable of which is that you may only take the LSAT three times in a single testing year. Bear in mind that if the last time you took the LSAT was not within the past five testing years, you will need to retake the LSAT, as those previous scores are no longer valid and reportable.
If I apply by April 15 but will be taking the LSAT thereafter, will I have met the regular application deadline?
No, if you do not have an LSAT score on file with our office by April 15, your file will not be complete by that date and therefore will not have met the regular application deadline. Likewise, applications submitted by January 15 that do not include an LSAT score will not have met the priority application deadline.
This is also true for applicants who apply by either deadline and have an LSAT score on file but request that their applications be held for a future LSAT score. Holding your file from review beyond a deadline means that you have not met that deadline. For example, if you apply March 31 and have an LSAT score on file but will be taking the April LSAT and ask to hold your application from review until your new score been released at th end of April, your application will be considered late.
What LSAT score or GPA do I need to be admitted?
The Admissions Committee reviews applications holistically and looks at all factors of an application in rendering a decision. As such, there is no set minimum required LSAT score or undergraduate GPA. That said, comparing your credentials to those of our recent incoming classes can offer a sense of how it will be regarded comparatively. Below are the LSAT and undergraduate GPA statistics for our 2020 incoming first-year class:
|75th Percentile (Upper Quartile)||157||3.88|
|50th Percentile (Median)||155||3.63|
|25th Percentile (Lower Quartile)||151||3.35|
For more detailed statistical information on our recent incoming and graduating classes, please refer to our ABA Standard 509 Required Disclosures.
What should my personal statement be about?
The personal statement is an opportunity for the Admissions Committee to learn more about you as an applicant. If you have trouble developing a topic, consider the path that has led to your decision to apply. Was there a moment when the idea of law school “clicked” for you? Are there challenges that you have overcome and that have made you the person you are today? Is there an accomplishment or experience that has shaped your worldview or your career goals? These questions might not ultimately be what you choose to discuss in your personal statement, but the answers might help get your gears turning.
The personal statement should share new information about you. A personal statement that simply restates an applicant’s résumé (or other submitted materials) adds little to the application and typically does not reflect well on the applicant’s judgment. That does not mean that you should avoid discussing an experience that appears on your résumé, but if you do so, you should expand on that experience in a meaningful way.
Whatever topic you choose, your personal statement should be focused, coherent and well-written. Develop a single, centralizing theme and clearly organize your writing so that the Admissions Committee can follow your narrative. Your personal statement, just like the rest of your application materials, should be free from grammatical and spelling errors. Consider having others review your personal statement to catch any mistakes and offer their feedback.
How should I format my résumé?
Your résumé should be a clearly organized and visually appealing overview of your qualifications and experiences, especially but not exclusively your education and work history. Other appropriate information for a résumé includes extracurricular activities, awards and recognitions, military service, community involvement and other information that you believe would assist the Admissions Committee in evaluating your application. An objective statement is unnecessary and typically unhelpful.
Please note that our application asks for a résumé, not a curriculum vitae. The grand majority of applicants’ résumés can fit on a single page, especially those for current and recent undergraduates. For applicants with significant work histories, a second page may be reasonable, but résumés longer than two pages are not recommended. The pages of your résumé need not be double-spaced, so take advantage of the space and use it wisely.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
Consider your audience and the purpose of your application when selecting sources for your letters of recommendation. Your recommenders should have significant direct experience with you and should be able to reflect positively on your academic and professional readiness for law school and a future legal career. The Admissions Committee looks to the letters of recommendation both for the insight of the authors and as a test of your judgment in choosing those authors.
For any applicant currently or recently enrolled in a full-time academic program, the Admissions Committee strongly encourages at least one letter of recommendation to come from a faculty member who has taught the applicant in a traditional classroom setting for one or more upper-division courses. We understand that for some applicants who have been out of school for a substantial amount of time, it may not be feasible for them to request a letter from a former professor. For those applicants, professional letters of recommendation from direct supervisors or employers are perfectly appropriate.
You are strongly discouraged from submitting personal letters of recommendation, including those from friends, family members, religious leaders or others who cannot directly speak to your academic or professional credentials.
What should I include in an addendum?
There are two types of addenda that may be included with an application: a character and fitness addendum and a general addendum. The character and fitness addendum is required if you answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the Character & Fitness section of your application, and it must provide a sufficiently detailed explanation of your answer before your application will be considered complete and eligible for review.
The general addendum is optional and is intended to address an aspect of your application that you feel calls for further explanation in order for the Admissions Committee to properly understand it. For instance, it might explain an irregular fluctuation in your GPA or a notable gap in your education or work history. A general addendum should be brief and to the point; it should not be treated as an additional personal statement. It should serve to provide illuminating context but should not be written in such a way that it comes across as making excuses for your behavior or performance.
What character and fitness issues do I need to disclose?
The questions in the Character & Fitness section of our application require the disclosure of information pertinent to your character and fitness to study and practice the law. We strive to make the questions abundantly clear, but in the event of any uncertainty, the safest choice is to err on the side of disclosure.
Many jurisdictions, including Kentucky, require a copy of your law school application to accompany your petition for admission to the bar. Failure to answer character and fitness questions truthfully and completely could affect your eligibility for admission to the bar and could even place your JD in jeopardy. Withholding character and fitness information is often far more damaging to an applicant than the underlying issue itself.
Can I transfer credits from another school?
If you are applying to transfer from another ABA-accredited law school after successfully completing your first year of study, it is possible to receive credit for your previous JD coursework. For more information, please review our section on transfer students. No credit will be awarded toward the JD for any coursework completed prior to matriculating at an ABA-accredited law school.