The Credential Assembly Service is a mandatory fee-based service provided by LSAC. For a one-time fee of $195 (as of April 2021), LSAC collects an applicant’s required documentation (LSAT score, LSAT writing sample, letters of recommendation, and transcripts) and uses it to create a Law School Report for the applicant that is forwarded to law schools upon the schools’ request. A CAS account is active for 5 years.
Once an applicant submits a completed application to a law school, the school then requests a Law School Report for that applicant from LSAC. The report includes a cover sheet summarizing the applicant’s academic credentials (including all LSAT scores and a detailed breakdown of GPA) and encloses copies of the applicant’s transcript(s), letters of recommendation, and LSAT writing sample(s). A law school application file is not considered complete until it contains a Law School Report.
LSAC recommends that applicants sign up and pay for CAS at least 4–6 weeks before they plan to submit applications. Applicants should also try to submit their transcripts and letters of recommendation to LSAC several weeks before applying to law school. It typically takes 2 weeks for LSAC to process a transcript or letter of recommendation once received.
In addition to the CAS fee, LSAC charges $45 (as of April 2021) for each Law School Report that it sends.
See the following website for more information:
- Create an LSAC.org account if you have not yet done so at https://os.lsac.org/Release/Logon/Access.aspx.
- Sign up for the Credential Assembly Service a minimum of 4–6 weeks before you plan to submit your law school applications. To sign up for CAS, log in to your LSAC account and click on Credentials under the Apply tab. At the bottom of the Credentials page is a button labeled Pay for CAS. Once you click on Pay for CAS, the registration fee will be added to your LSAC shopping cart. Check out to complete the purchase.
- Add all institutions of higher education that you have attended for which you need to submit transcripts (see Requesting Transcripts handout) by clicking on Add Institutions at the bottom of the Credentials page.
- Submit the application components necessary to complete your CAS file, including transcript(s), letter(s) of recommendation, and an LSAT score (after taking the LSAT, no further action is necessary on your part to add the score to your CAS file).
- Pay the $45 Law School Report fee for each law school to which you intend to apply (can be paid when you submit each application).
- After submitting your applications, check your LSAC account periodically in order to confirm that LSAC sends a Law School Report to each of your schools. To do so, go to Applications then LSAC Completed.
- See the following sites for more information:
- How do I request a transcript?
- Which Transcripts Should I Request?
- How Does LSAC Summarize Multiple Transcripts?
Submit a completed Transcript Request Form to the Registrar’s Office of each undergraduate and graduate institution of higher education that you have attended, and pay any transcript request fees that the institution requires.
The Transcript Request Form is available in your LSAC account only after you (1) sign up and pay for the Credential Assembly Service and (2) add the institutions that you have attended in your LSAC account by clicking Add Institutions on the Credentials page.
Your transcripts must be submitted to LSAC directly by your schools and should be accompanied by the Transcript Request Form. LSAC will not accept transcripts submitted directly by you, even if they are official copies.
Don’t wait until the last minute to request your transcripts. It can sometimes take 1-2 weeks for the schools providing a transcript to mail it, and another 2-5 days for it to be received by LSAC. Then it typically takes LSAC up to two weeks to process the transcript(s), so request transcripts from your schools at least four weeks before you plan to apply to law school.
You must submit transcripts documenting all academic coursework completed at the following types of institutions:
- Undergraduate and graduate institutions
- Community colleges
- Law/medical/professional institutions
- Institutions attended for summer or evening courses
- Institutions attended even though a degree was never received
- Institutions from which you took college-level courses while in high school even though they were for high school credit (different than AP coursework)
- Institutions that clearly sponsored your overseas study, which means: (1) The courses received the sponsoring institution’s academic credit (not transfer credit); and (2) The course codes, titles, credits earned, and grades appear on the sponsoring institution’s transcript. Typically, these grades and credits are included in the sponsoring institution’s cumulative GPA.
- International institutions, if applicable (see http://www.lsac.org/jd/applying-to-law-school/international-transcripts)
Further, transcripts must be provided for an institution even if:
- Credit was transferred from an institution and it appears on another institution’s transcript.
- The institution is closed.
- Withdraw, incomplete, etc., are the only grades listed, or
- You have just enrolled.
For additional information, visit https://www.lsac.org/applying-law-school/jd-application-process/cas/requesting
LSAC calculates its own GPA for your undergraduate work at UW–Madison and also calculates a separate cumulative GPA for your entire set of undergraduate work at all institutions of higher education (including credits taken at a higher education institution during high school). With respect to these separate GPAs, LSAC has stated:
“There may be some variation between the GPAs calculated by LSAC and those calculated by colleges or students; however, the variation is rarely substantial. Because the law schools that use LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service understand its procedures, a slight variation in GPA is not likely to affect a law school’s admission decision.”