Law school applications: Transcripts
Every law school requires that you forward your complete official undergraduate transcript to LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service. CAS will both forward your transcript(s) to the law schools you apply to, as well as recalculate your GPA based on certain uniform rules for its law school report. You’ll need to send to LSAC transcripts from every college or university at which you completed any course for credit, even if those courses appear as transfer credit on your UMass transcript. The only common exception is for those classes you took through a UMass Study Abroad or Domestic Exchange program. LSAC’s complete rules about which transcripts to request can be found here. Transcripts should be transmitted directly from the institution to LSAC.
Your GPA as computed by CAS may not be exactly the same as your UMass GPA. This is because LSAC handles certain grades differently. The most common difference for UMass students is when you retake a class—UMass does not include the first time you took the class in calculating your GPA (assuming your grade goes up the second time). LSAC does include that first grade, so your GPA as reported by LSAC may be lower than your official UMass GPA. Rest assured that this minor difference will not have a dramatic impact on your law school admission chances.
The LSAC law school report will include an “academic summary” that summarizes your transcript(s) and provides a combined, cumulative GPA for all of your undergraduate work.
Requesting Your UMass Amherst Transcript
If you are a current UMass Amherst undergraduate student or recent graduate who still has access to SPIRE, you should order your transcript through SPIRE. Instructions for doing so can be found on the UMass Amherst Registrar’s website. Your request will go through Parchment, the electronic transcript transfer service the UMass Registrar’s Office has contracted with (which is one of the LSAC-approved transcript services). You should request that your transcript be transmitted electronically directly to LSAC, not to you. (LSAC should pop up as one of the address options when you enter it into Parchment.)
If you do not have access to SPIRE, you can still order your transcript through Parchment, via the link provided on the Registrar’s website.
The Registrar will charge you a small fee for the transcript request processing.
If you are still in school at the time you apply to law school, you will need to repeat this process at the end of the Fall semester, after Fall grades are posted. Note that you will need to pay an additional small fee at that time.