The Credential Assembly Service (CAS), administered by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), is the online service that stores your college transcript(s), LSAT score(s), letters of recommendation, and more.
Think of it like an online basket and delivery system that holds all your application goodies.
After you send the CAS your transcript(s), letters of recommendation (LORs), and online evaluations (if needed), the CAS will put all these together, along with your LSAT score(s) and LSAT writing sample, into a Law School Report. When you apply to law schools, you will pay for your Law School Report ($28 each) to be sent to each law school that you apply to.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THE CAS?
You should care because the CAS is what you will use to apply to law schools. Pretty much all ABA-approved law schools, and a few non-ABA-approved ones, use the CAS for processing applications. Back in the old days, you could apply to law schools through mailing in paper applications. Now, everything is done online and through the CAS.
WHEN DO I SIGN UP FOR THE CAS?
Sign up for the CAS before you request transcripts and LORs. If you’re applying to law school this fall, sign up for the CAS by June and at least by September.
HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR THE CAS?
Go to www.lsac.org and create a login to register for the CAS.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
As of this post date, the CAS costs $165. Once the fee is paid, your account is good for five years.
WHAT DO I SEND TO THE CAS?
You must send transcripts from all higher education institutions that you’ve attended. That includes community college, college, professional and/or graduate school, and law school.
Log in to your account at www.lsac.org and print out the Transcript Request Form and then deliver, fax, or mail the form to your school’s Registrar. Your school must send your Transcript Request Form with your official transcript.
Allow LSAC two weeks from the time of receipt to process your transcript(s). After two weeks, log into your LSAC account and look for your Academic Summary Report. Here you will find your LSAC GPA—the GPA that includes all of your college grades. Check it over to make sure everything looks correct.
WHEN DO I SEND MY TRANSCRIPTS TO CAS?
If you are applying to law school this fall and have already graduated college, I recommend sending your transcript(s) right after you register for the CAS.
If you are applying to law school this fall and have not graduated college yet, I recommend sending your transcript(s) about 3-4 weeks after you finish your spring term (or summer term). Make sure all grades have been posted before you send the transcript!
NOTE: Even if you are not applying to law school until December or January, do not wait until your autumn term grades are posted. Just send the transcript(s) you have at the end of spring or summer.
HOW DO I USE THE CAS FOR LORs?
After you talk to your recommender about writing you a LOR, you log into CAS and fill in your recommender’s contact information. An email is then sent to your recommender asking him/her to complete and upload a LOR for you. You can also print the required recommender form to give to your recommender if he/she would rather submit a paper LOR through the mail. Remember, your online account with the CAS is good for five years. So, even if you aren’t planning on applying this year, you can still request LORs and have them sent to CAS.
Well, folks, that’s the basic FAQs for the CAS. For more details, go here.
Have questions or comments about the CAS? I’m here to help. Post your questions below and I’ll respond.
Photo Credit: Huevos de Pascua by Tamorlan.