What are the law school admissions committees looking for when reviewing applications? They’re looking to build a class consisting of strong students who will join together to create a solid class and an impressive crop of future lawyers. In particular, they’re looking for these 5 things when they look at your application:
1. People who like and 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. People who are interesting and interested in various subjects
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. Students with diverse backgrounds
Sometimes people think they should go into law because they are good at debate. But, in fact, law schools look for people of all backgrounds – students of liberal arts, economics, political science, physical sciences, and others.
4. Students who love learning and 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. Good writers
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.
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 Postbac Program and teaches writing at all levels. Want Jessica to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!