Follow an October Law School Application Checklist

October is the time to finalize LSAT prep, review application essays and polish your resume.

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Use October to ensure that your application essays are unique and highlight your strengths and ambitions.
Use October to ensure that your application essays are unique and highlight your strengths and ambitions.

As a continuation of my September guide to law school applications, now it is time to set goals for October to keep your momentum going and stay on track to submit this fall. These October guidelines aim to build off of the progress that you made in September.

For those of you taking the October LSAT, the first week of the month should be dedicated to test review and practice. However, do not take so many practice tests that you burn out. Instead, complete no more than one or two per day and take it easy on the day before the exam. 

If you have adequately prepared, then it is time to allow your brain to relax before sitting for the test. If you feel that you are absolutely not ready, meaning you have consistently missed your target range, consider taking the December exam instead. 

[Learn how to submit a successful top law school application.] 

Next, work on a second draft of your essays. At this point, you should still mainly focus on content and structure. Make sure that your ideas transition smoothly and will form an impression on future readers. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself at this stage: Is my story unique? Do I highlight and elaborate on my strengths? Do I demonstrate my interests and passions? It is important to reflect on the effectiveness of your essay now so you have time to make changes, if necessary. 

By the middle of October, be sure to write or update your resume. Ask someone to review it and ensure that it is flawless and accurately represents your experience. 

[Get tips to write unique law school personal statements.] 

This person should ideally have a legal or career service background, such as being a law school admissions counselor, prelaw adviser or officer from career services at your college. You can also ask a friend or family member to review your resume. 

You should use your time mid-month to write and edit your short answer questions as well. 

At the end of the month, begin editing your essays for grammar and style. This includes editing for spelling, punctuation and verb agreement as well as stylistic edits such as varying your vocabulary. 

This may take a few iterations, but each will likely take you less time than your first two drafts since the bulk of the material is already down on paper. Once you feel satisfied with your essays, ask for feedback from friends, family, your admissions counselor or an adviser and go through another draft to incorporate their constructive insights. 

[Prepare yourself to remain focused on LSAT test day.] 

If you follow this timeline, you will be on your way to having your application components completed by the end of the fall or sooner. If you are taking the December LSAT, this is particularly important as you will have more bandwidth to commit to studying if you finish your essays, recommendations, resume and short answer questions early. 

If you have already taken the LSAT and are happy with your score, you can submit as soon as you complete the rest of your applications! 

What is your plan for October? Let me know in the comments, email me or contact me via Twitter at @StratusPrep.