Prelaw FAQs

What is the LSAT?

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, standardized test administered four times each year at designated testing centers. Most law schools in the United States and Canada use LSAT results as part of their admission process. The LSAT is designed to measure skills considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.  The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple choice questions.  Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker’s score. These sections include one reading comprehension section, one analytical reasoning section, and two logical reasoning sections. The unscored section, commonly referred to as the variable section, typically is used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms. The placement of this section in the LSAT will vary for each administration of the test. The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180, with 180 being the highest possible score. A 35-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. LSAC does not score the writing sample, but copies are sent to all law schools to which a candidate applies.*

Why law school?

Consider this. To become a lawyer is to take part in shaping the life of a nation and its people. Lawyers are central figures in the life of a democratic country.  About 73 percent of American lawyers are in private practice, most in small, one-person offices, and some in large firms. Roughly 8 percent of the profession work for government agencies.  About 10 percent work forprivate industries and associations as salaried lawyers or even as managers.  About 1 per cent work for legal aid or as public defenders, and 1 percent work in legal education. A law school education is a good, solid back ground for many professions. In fact, many teachers, business people, and writers working today obtained a legal education before pursuing their respective careers.*

Why law school?

About 73 percent of American lawyers are in private practice, most in small, one-person offices, and some in large firms. Roughly 8 percent of the profession work for government agencies.  About 10 percent work for private industries and associations as salaried lawyers or even as managers.  About 1 per cent work for legal aid or as public defenders, and 1 percent work in legal education. A law school education is a good, solid back ground for many professions. In fact, many teachers, business people, and writers working today obtained a legal education before pursuing their respective careers.

Who is applying to law school?

For fall 2008, about 25 percent of all law school applicants were 22 years old or younger; about 38 per cent were 23 to 25; and about 19 per cent were between ages 26 and 29.  Applicants who were 30 to 34 years old made up about 8 percent of the applicant pool, while 8 percent wereover 34 years old.  A growing number of women began to apply to America’s law schools beginning in the early 1970s, when only 10 per cent of all law students were women.  Currently, nearly one-half of all applicants are women.  For fall 2007, there were over 83,300 applicants ofwhich almost 25,100 were minority applicants. The proportion of all applicants who identified themselves as being from a specific minority group has been relatively stable over the past 10 years at between 27 percent to 30 percent of the total applicant pool. And, the number of minority applicants has nearly tripled over the past 22 years.*

How do I finance law school?

In addition to need-based scholarships, government loans through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and numerous grant opportunities, each law school offers a variety of merit-based scholarships that students are generally automatically considered for upon acceptance into law school. Each law school's financial aid office will work with admitted students in finding resources to fund their legal education. See more scholarship information at both University of Kansas and Washburn University.

*Source: Law School Admission Council