Top 10 Law School Admissions Tips
Here we present our top 10 law school admission tips. Not all of these may apply to your particular situation, but we still adamantly believe that the law school admissions process is navigable even if it may seem overwhelming at first, so hang in there and never give up!
10. Make the decision to go to law school for you. Don’t go because of family/peer pressure or another similarly ‘insincere’ reason.
9. Have realistic expectations and know what you are getting into. Law school is even more intensive than the law school admissions process and many lawyers regret their decisions to practice the Law later in life.
8. Prepare for the LSAT adequately. If you can afford to make the 3 year investment, you can certainly invest 100 or so hours and self study with some good LSAT prep books, take a reputable prep course or work with a quality LSAT instructor.
7. Invest the “up front” time to determine which law schools and programs are best suited for you. Once again, this is a huge investment that you are about to make. You don’t want to attend a school where you will not be happy and/or adequately prepared for your future career. There are a lot of choices out there. Don’t settle for a “good” law school experience when a “life altering” one is quite feasible.
6. Develop a good “story” to tell the law school admissions committees. Think about who you are, why you want to become a lawyer, and what makes you unique. It is much more effective and efficient to complete your applications once you know what story/theme/message you need to advocate. The top law schools are extremely competitive and good grades and LSAT scores alone will not get you admitted. You need to differentiate your candidacy from the many other applicants who have similarly high GPAs and LSAT scores.
5. Research the law schools. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without first conducting some research on your prospective employer, right? So why would you not do the same for a law school? Find out all you can about the school’s culture, specialties, faculty, etc. Do not base your decision solely on rankings.
4. Write your personal statement. You’re writing about a topic you know better than anyone else: you. If you’ve followed the steps outlined above, writer’s block should not be much of a problem. Above all else, take the time to write a separate statement for each law school. According to University of North Carolina Law School Assistant Dean for Admissions Michael J. States, the most common mistake that law school applicants make is submitting the same personal statement to different schools. By doing so, they risk sending in a statement that does not adequately respond to the school’s admission questions, and are wasting an opportunity to say why a particular school is right for them. (Click here to read the full transcript of our interview with Dean States.)
3. Obtain your letters of reference. Select who you want for references and determine how to approach them. Tell them what you would like them to say and explain your “story” to them. They should certainly substantiate that story to the best of their ability.
2. Practice for the admission interview – in the event one is required. Review your application from a third person’s perspective. Anticipate what questions they will ask you. Arrange one or more mock interviews to ensure you have your story down and it flows naturally.
1. Sit back and relax. You’ve done everything you can to the best of your ability to manipulate your law school admissions chances to your favor. With some luck, you’ll be deciding which of your many offers to accept!