These top 10 law school admissions tips are presented here for your easy perusal as you being the law school application process. We realize there is more to do than just follow these top 10 law school tips, but we hope it provides a starting point as well as a reference point for you to check back to from time to time.
10. Make the decision to go to law school for you. Don’t go because of family pressures, “Trump effect,” etc. (We have this listed at number 10, but a strong argument should be made for it being the first of our top 10 law school admission tips!)
9. Have realistic expectations and know what you are getting into. Law school is very intensive and many lawyers regret their decisions to practice the Law.
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 or take a prep course with a reputable instructor. (We may update this to include the GRE, but as of August 2018, it is barely a double digit percent of law schools that are also accepting the GRE and the ABA declined to consider other tests for accreditation purposes.)
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.
6. Develop a good “story” to tell the admissions committees. Think about who you are, why you want to attend law school, 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 properly align their candidacies with the school’s unique character. (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. Remember that nearly every applicant has recommendations willing to say positive things. The key is to ensure the letters best advocate for your particular strengths and weaknesses. (And hence why something that may seem so simple made our top 10 law school admissions tips list.)
2. Practice for the admission interview — if 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. And remember that if you don’t practice out loud, you’re not really practicing effectively!
1. Kick back and relax. If you have followed our top 10 law school admissions tips, then you can rest assured you have done everything to the best of your ability. With any luck, you should be deciding which of your many offers to accept!