How to Apply to Law School as an Older Applicant

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on March 02, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Many of you have heard the euphemism "non-traditional" law school applicant. This term has been used to encompass persons who seek to go into law from other careers, who took some time off and have decided on the path to law school, or pretty much anyone who didn't go straight from undergrad to law school in their early twenties. As we've written in the past, it's never too late to go to law school.

Older applicants can and do get into law school, though they may have to work at it a bit more than their younger counterparts. Here are few things you'll have to face if you're an older applicant looking to get into the best school you can.

  • Digging up Records: If you're an older applicant, you'll be tasked with hunting down your undergraduate GPA at your old college. It doesn't matter that your grades are decades old, the Law School Admission Council is going to ask for it and you'll have to provide. This is a lot harder for you older applicants because the records are not as fresh fo you as they are for other applicants who are still wearing their mortarboards and grad uniforms. This will take about a month of your life.
  • LSAT: The Law School Admission Test is the key to getting into law school. Unless your GPA was something amazing, 3.8+, you're going to have to do well on the LSAT -- we're talking 160 and above at a minimum. The LSAT is weighed by schools more heavily than your undergrad GPA so look at scoring well on this test as an opportunity if you're really set on going to law school. Again, it cannot be overemphasized -- you must aim to score well on this test and you must score as high as possible within the fewest number of takes as possible. This isn't a joke. Do well on the LSAT.
  • Recommendation Letters: When you apply, you will need recommendation letters from academia and this could also be a problem. If you're much older than the average applicant, your professors might be missing, hiding out in an old-folk's home. If you cannot find an old professor willing to write you a letter, you might have to find an alternative route. Solutions have come in the form of recommendation letters being written by community college professors with whom you've taken a class.

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