5 Things Law Schools Want To See In Applicants

Download our special report on what to avoid while writing a personal statement!

Law schools will look to your personal statement to see how clearly you can express yourself

1. Law schools want people who are likable. Contrary to any bad lawyer jokes, law schools are looking for people who like people. They are looking for people who will contribute to classroom discussions and engage with other students in a positive way. This attribute can be shown through the personal statement as well as thoughtful letters of recommendation from people who know you and your work well.

2.  Law schools are looking for people who are interesting. Grades and LSAT scores are important, but law schools also want people with interests outside of school. Anything that you’ve engaged in for a significant length of time can qualify.

3.  Law schools want a diversity of backgrounds. Sometimes people think they should enter the law because they are good at debate. But, in fact, law schools look for people of all backgrounds – people who’ve studied the liberal arts, people who’ve studied economics, people who’ve studied political science, people who’ve studied the physical sciences.

4.  Law schools want people who are eager to learn. Most law schools do not anticipate that you know exactly what type of law you’d like to practice when you apply. While many applicants have some experience in a legal setting, it’s not essential to emphasize that you understand the law. Instead, you should focus on what about the study of law interests you. Is it working with people? Is it analytic thinking? Is it writing and research? As many schools move to an emphasis on advocacy and hands-on experiences during the third year, it can also help to think about what sort of clinical experience you’d like to gain.

5.  Law schools wants people who can write well. While law is changing as a field, the cornerstone of law school is reading and writing. Law schools will look to your personal statement to see how clearly you can express yourself.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement

 

 

 

 

Learn how Jessica can help you get accepted!Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success
Your Law School Personal Statement…It Needs To Be, Well, Personal!
6 Item Checklist Before Hitting ‘Submit’

5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statement

Editing your essays is a critical step when applying

You have your rough draft and you’re revising. What should you watch out for?

You have your rough draft and you’re revising. What should you watch out for?

1.  Don’t repeat your resume. Your personal statement shouldn’t be a resume-in-prose. It shouldn’t list awards or various types of praise you’ve received. That information is in your resume and letters.

2. Don’t complain about the legal profession. People tell lawyer jokes, but the admissions committee isn’t interested in what you think is wrong with the legal profession. Remember, you want to join them.

3.  Don’t be cute. A touch of light-heartedness can work, but don’t put yourself down, be sarcastic, or write a fake legal memo in lieu of an essay. It just doesn’t work in personal statements.

4.   Don’t be vague. This goes back to “show don’t tell.” Don’t make vague statements that sound like they would be found in an advertisement for law school. Show the admissions committee exactly what you mean.

5.  Don’t have errors. Your essay should be error-free and easy to read. Avoid too-long sentences and make sure you have someone else proofread it. Law is a writing profession and mistakes are generally inexcusable.

8 Tips for Law School Admissions

JessicaPishkoJessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on Your Law School Application
The Biggest Application Essay Mistake
5 Tips for Your Law School Personal Statement

5 Tips for Your Law School Personal Statement

Writing about overcoming an obstacle can be a powerful narrative.

Writing about overcoming an obstacle can be a powerful narrative.

Writing a law school personal statement can be daunting task. Below are a few tips to help you craft a unique and eye-catching personal statement.

•  Choice of topic matters less than how you write about it. Don’t feel that your essay needs to be about a particular kind of experience. There’s no one thing admissions officers are looking for. Instead, write about something that will capture your personality and show off your unique qualities.

•  It’s okay not to be perfect. Law schools aren’t looking for “perfect” people. They want people who have learned from their experiences and thought carefully about who they are and what they want. Writing about overcoming an obstacle can be a powerful narrative.

•   Be yourself. Your essay should give the admissions officers an idea of what you will be like in the classroom as well as what kind of lawyer you might be. They are looking for people who are likable as well as interesting. Law is essentially a people profession, after all.

•   Show, don’t tell. This is a mantra you’ve heard, but it’s true. Are you analytical? Good with people? Give an example or share a detail that shows you illustrating those traits.

•   Just start writing and leave time to revise. Are you having trouble getting started? Set a timer for fifteen minutes and just write. If you get stuck on a word, write X. Write gibberish. A polished personal statement doesn’t fall from the sky; it comes from spending time writing and rewriting.

The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success

Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Law School Personal Statements
How I Wrote a Personal Statement that Got Me Into Harvard Law School
3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

An NYU Stern Grad and Strat Consultant Helping Vets Get Into School

GusGiacomanWest Point grad. Iraq war vet. NYU Stern MBA. Engagement Manager and Senior Associate at Strategy&. Co-founder of Service to School.

Gus Giacoman, our guest this week, is a fascinating individual, dedicated to helping vets get into school of all kinds – everything from community colleges to law school, business school and diverse graduate programs.

Tune in to our conversation with the highly accomplished and tireless Gus for the low-down on how he helps vets get into school, advice for vets and other MBA applicants, as well as tips for future management consultants. Oh, and he tells some great stories.

00:02:38 – Service to School: Networking and guidance for veterans headed to college and grad school.

00:05:55 – The revenue model (you can’t charge family, right?).

00:06:55 – A breakdown of where Service to School applicants are applying.

00:10:28 – What success looks like (How about 3 Wharton/HBS admits!).

00:12:29 – Business school as the path returning vets to civilian life.

00:17:33 – The advantages and challenges of being a veteran in b-school and consulting.

00:21:41 – Why NYU Stern? And why consulting?

00:25:49 – The best skills for a future consultant to cultivate.

00:27:30 – 3 things Gus looks for in choosing a consultant for his team.

00:28:57 – What a college grad should do pre-MBA to prepare for a career in consulting.

00:33:01 – A great piece of advice for b-school applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Service to School 
Service to School on Twitter 
Service To School: Helping Veterans Get Into Top Schools

Related Shows:

• Breaking Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw
• How to Become a Management Consultant
• Case Interview Secrets and More with Victor Cheng

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Management_Consulting_Report

PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

lydia-frank-payscaleTrying to figure out if grad school will pay off? How much you’ll earn with your career of choice? Which graduate program will position you to for the best payoff?

If so, tune in to our conversation with Lydia Frank of PayScale to find out how to get the stats and info that you need to make an informed financial decision.

00:03:11 – PayScale: who they are and what they do.

00:04:35 – The College Salary Report (and the recent inclusion of grad school data).

00:05:53 – How PayScale collects data (and why you should complete their survey, too!).

00:09:13 – Helpful resources for folks in the research stage.

00:12:47 – What surprises people about the PayScale survey results.

00:16:46 – Different uses for the (many!) resources at PayScale.

00:24:28 – New data we’ll be seeing in the future reports.

00:29:03 – Accounting for the opportunity cost of education in the salary report. (Yes, they do.)

00:30:28 – Advice from Lydia for balancing what you love with what pays.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Which Grad Schools Produce the Highest Earners?
• Lifetime Earnings by Degree & Major
Social Mobility Index

Related Shows:

• Career Direction: It’s Ok to Love Your Job!
• How to Become a Management Consultant
• The Facts About Financial Services
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
• Interview with Anna Runyan of Classy Career Girl

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes: Get your free copy!