Law School Application Costs

Law School Application Costs: An Expense Breakdown

Law school is an expensive endeavor. What many candidates might not realize is that the expenses roll in before you even get accepted! The fees associated with preparing for the LSAT, registering for the test (possibly more than once) and actually applying to law school add up quickly. So, how much are law school application costs?

Law School Application Costs: An Expense Breakdown

Here’s a 5-point breakdown of law school application costs!

Cost #1: Preparing for the LSAT

The cost of preparing for the LSAT can differ greatly for applicants and depends, in large part, on how a candidate learns best and what they can afford. Test prep books start around $50 each and online or in-person courses can cost upwards of $1,500.

Many students decide to use a combination of methods to study. For those interested in individualized instruction to enhance their study, private tutoring is also an option. (JD Advising offers one-on-one LSAT tutoring to fit your schedule.)

Khan Academy also offers free resources for LSAT preparation. It’s a great place to start but make sure you supplement your study with a method of instruction that works best for your learning style.

Though the LSAT prep fees are pricey, remember that this as an investment in your future. Signing up for an LSAT prep course or private tutoring may earn you an LSAT score in the range for scholarship awards. This will make a huge difference in the number of student loans (if any) you’ll need to take out to finance your legal education.

Cost #2: LSAT Fees

The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT. In the 2018-19 year, the test alone costs $190. Be sure you sign up for an exam that works with your schedule. It will cost you an additional $125 to change either your test date or your test location ($250 for both). Keep in mind that $50 is refundable for the LSAT but the other fees are non-refundable.

These figures add up quickly if you plan to take the LSAT more than once.

Cost #3: Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

LSAC also manages the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). CAS offers services to candidates that streamline the application process. CAS bundles your transcripts, letters of recommendation, LSAT score history and other documents together so that you only upload them once. (This saves your professor from submitting multiple copies of his letter of recommendation to every school you apply to.)

The CAS registration fee is $195.

CAS also produces a report synthesizing your academic background. The report includes academic summaries based on your grades (including a recalculated cumulative GPA), GPA major, LSAT score and a comparison of you to other law school applicants.

The cost of sending the CAS report (mandatory) to each school is now $45 per school.

Keep in mind that most schools will require applicants to use CAS.

Cost #4: Application Fees

These are fees put in place by the law school (not LSAC) as a cost for applying and reviewing your application. Application fees range from $0-$85 per school. Most of the law schools that do impose fees hover in the $75-$85 range.

Fee waivers are available at most law schools. Applicants may qualify for waivers by meeting certain GPA/LSAT criteria or simply attending recruitment events. If you haven’t yet received a waiver from a school, email them with a waiver request. Provide your LSAC number, GPA/LSAT statistics, and a brief statement about your interest in the program.

Cost #5: Interview

 A law school may request that you conduct an interview prior to admission. Though many of these interviews take place over Skype (free!), some schools might prefer an in-person meeting.

In this instance, alumni in the area will likely conduct the interview. This may require you to take a train or drive into a nearby city.  In the rare instance where a school requests an in-person interview at their school, or where you request it, you’ll need to factor in the price of an airline ticket ($200-$500), possibly a hotel ($150), and transportation and food during your stay. The cost of travel varies greatly depending on where you’re flying to/from and how long you stay.

Law School Application Costs

Preparation For LSAT: $50-$1500

LSAT Registration: $190 per exam

LSAT Location Change: $125

Changing LSAT Date: $125

CAS Registration: $195

CAS Report: $45 per school

Application: $0-$80 per school

Interview: $0-$650

Though the cost to apply to law school may be high, it shouldn’t deter your from pursuing your dream. Budget accordingly and aim for LSAT scores within scholarship range for the schools you’re most interested in!

Rachel Margiewicz, Director of Pre-Law Services, wrote this post. Rachel is a licensed attorney with years of admissions experience across three law school programs in different markets of the country. She knows what schools are looking for and how to make your application stand out.  Contact us with questions and for more information on our application assistance services! We look forward to hearing from you!

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