Before you start applying to law school, keep these tips in mind:
1. Do your research
For the law schools you’re considering, pay attention to things like bar passage rates, employment statistics, average student debt, and what opportunities are available to the students while in school (i.e. clinics and internships, summer clerk recruiting, research, journals, etc.). Talk to students at the law school and ask for contact information for alumni.
2. Explore your funding options
How will you finance law school? In most cases, law school scholarships are awarded based on LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA. Explore secondary scholarship options and financial aid packages, paying close attention to deadlines.
3. Take the LSAT
LSAT! The Law School Admissions Test is one of the most critical elements of your application. Make sure you put the necessary time, energy, and effort into preparing to give yourself an opportunity to make the best score possible.
4. Obtain strong letters of recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be strong, not lukewarm. Also remember that if a waiver for letters is not signed, those letters will not hold much weight.
5. Clarify any issues in your application
You should send addenda with applications for any information that is inconsistent. Use an addendum to address issues that may raise questions or any discrepancy with your application such as a poor academic semester, a notable change in LSAT score, a gap on your resume, or anything else that you feel needs to be addressed.
6. Be forthright about misconduct
Give full disclosure of misconduct. Provide complete explanations of any questionable information related to academic or non-academic misconduct.
7. Provide a detailed resume
Your law school resume should be very detailed. A resume for law school admission is slightly different from a resume for a job. Any information regarding clubs, organizations, jobs, advancement/promotion, etc. since high school should generally be included. Be sure to include leadership positions and community service.
8. Craft a strong personal statement
Personal statements and essays are important. Make sure in your writing samples that you stay focused, they are technically written well, you have attention to detail, they are interesting, and make sure that you are writing about something that will help the law school admissions committee get to know you personally; include information that they cannot ascertain from your resume or transcript. Services are offered through the Writing Center and through the pre-law advising office to proofread personal statements and essays. Take advantage of these resources.
9. Request your transcripts
Request academic transcripts at Student Services. This is part of your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) file. You must have an official transcript sent from every college or university you have attended.
10. Submit your application early
Submit applications early if possible. Pay careful attention to deadlines. While law school deadlines are not until the spring, set a “self” deadline to have all of your application materials in by mid-November. This will give you the best chance at scholarships and other possible opportunities. However, do not submit early at the expense of quality in your application. You want to be the best applicant possible when you submit, so if the information is incomplete or you need more time to fine-tune elements of the application, it is best to wait.
Bonus: Need clarification or direction when filling out applications? Contact the schools you’re applying to. Also, if you didn’t get admitted to a school, call and ask if there is anything that could have made your application stronger.
Questions about the pre-law program or need assistance? Contact us anytime.