Before you start applying to law school, keep these tips in mind:
- Research the law schools you are interested in applying to. 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.
- How will you finance law school? Explore secondary scholarship options and financial aid packages, paying close attention to deadlines.
- 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 information is incomplete or you need more time to fine-tune elements of the application, it is best to wait.
- 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.
- You should send addenda with applications for any information that is inconsistent. Use the addendum to address issues that may raise questions or any discrepancy with your application.
- Give full disclosure of misconduct. Provide complete explanations of any questionable information.
- 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.
- Personal statements and essays are extremely 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.
- 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.
- Pre-Law program office will complete a Dean’s Letter or Certification. Some law schools will require a Dean’s Letter or Certification. This document is provided by the law school as part of the application. If you encounter this, please forward the letter to the Pre-Law office for completion.
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.
Good luck, and we thank you for your interest in the Pre-Law Program!