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The Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
Law School Admission Council (LSAC):
When you apply to law school, you send information in two ways. The first is the law school itself that you’re applying to that may ask for particular materials that vary from other schools. The second is where most of your application materials will go through, which is the Law School Admission Counsil (LSAC).
The LSAC is a non-profit membership organization composed of all ABA-accredited law schools in the United States. The LSAC is responsible for coordinating the application process, administering the LSAT, as well as collecting transcripts and reference letters for applications. The LSAC website is an excellent resource for information. You can obtain LSAT prep materials, including some free copies of past LSAT exams. The site also features extensive information on ABA approved law schools. The LSAC law school database is searchable and makes comparing law schools easy.
To visit the LSAC website: http://www.lsac.org/
What is the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)?
The Credential Assembly Service is maintained by the LSAC and coordinates the submission of some application materials to law schools. The three central purposes of CAS are:
- to centralize the collection of college transcripts required for law school admission decisions;
- to combine a summary of these transcripts with LSAT scores and basic data about law school applicants; and
- to produce a Law School Data Assembly Service report for each applicant period.
How does CAS work and how do I register?
All applicants to ABA-accredited law schools must register with CAS. You can be registered, but once you officially decide to apply to law schools, it’ll create a file on you that includes your LSAT score(s), transcripts, and letters of recommendation. When a law school receives an application, they contact CAS, who in turn sends all requisite information directly to the law school. Applicants can check on the status of their file online, and both applicants and law schools are periodically sent up-to-date summary reports with all pertinent information.
Once you register for CAS, your subscription is good for 5 years. You will need to purchase one report for each law school you apply to. However, you do not need to notify CAS of which specific law schools you will be applying to.
Should I register for CAS at the same time I register for the LSAT?
You can register for CAS at the same time that you register for the LSAT, but it is not required. If you are certain that you will be applying to law school, it is easiest to register for CAS at the same time that you register for the LSAT. You can register later, but make sure that you do so at least six weeks before you plan to submit your applications so you have time to assemble the needed materials. If you are not certain that you will apply to law school, you can wait to register with CAS until you decide. Remember that law schools start looking at applications by early January, and that it is best to be complete your application early in the review cycle.
LSAC & CAS Fee Waiver
For those who are underresourced, LSAC offers a program that waives fees associated with the law school application process. Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, LSAC is offering a two teir program to assist applicants of varying financial need.
For the LSAC Fee Wavier application and more information on eligibility: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/register-lsat/lsat-cas-fees/fee-waivers-lsat-credential-assembly-service-cas
What are the LSAC law school forums?
Every year, LSAC hosts forums where you can learn about law school and get the opportunity to talk personally with law school representatives from all around the country. You’ll be able to learn about financial aid, collect admission materials, and ask questions that will help you decide whether to apply. These are held both in-person and online, and you can attend as many — or as little — as you want!
There are normally forums at the University of Oregon and Portland State University in November that are open to anyone, although you may need to register.
To visit the LSAT Law School Forums page: https://www.lsac.org/lawschoolforums
Planning ahead for an LSAC forum
- Make a list of schools you want to visit or pick up information from.
- Create a set of questions you have not yet found answers for.
- Plan to visit with schools outside your geographic region as well as those in your neighborhood.
- Do your research. Use the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools to learn more about schools that interest you.
- If possible, determine what your own requirements are for choosing a law school (for example, any geographical limitation), so that you can choose wisely whom to talk to and how to manage your forum time efficiently.