Let’s say you’re a college junior considering applying for law school in the fall. What can you do now to prepare?
1. Study, study, study for the LSAT.
A high LSAT score is important, especially if you went to a lesser-known college or have a lower GPA. Consider taking a course to prepare. There’s no real advantage to taking the summer LSAT except to get it out of the way. Plan for three months to study.
2. Forge relationships with professors.
Come fall, you will need to ask for letters of recommendation from professors and/or people who have overseen your work. Start going to office hours for the professors whose classes you enjoyed or excelled in. Excellent letters of recommendation come from people who know you well. Don’t discount professors in classes where you didn’t get an “A” if you really connected with the instructor or the material. Some professors grade harder than others and will write an excellent letter.
3. Spend time around lawyers.
If you don’t intern with a lawyer or law office, consider asking people if you can observe them for a day. Maybe you can tag along with a public defender or accompany a solo practitioner to court. It’s helpful to get an idea of what lawyers do and the types of options available.
4. Start brainstorming for the personal statement.
Application season is busy between the LSAT and your classwork. Start jotting down ideas for the personal statement so that you aren’t panicked in the fall. Giving yourself time to think makes the final product much stronger.
5. Start researching schools and programs now.
Take time to evaluate and decide what types of programs best fit your career goals.
What conclusions can you draw? The summer is the time to gather your resources and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in preparation for application season. The fall moves quickly, so it’s best to be as prepared as you can in advance.
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. Want Jessica to help you get accepted to law school? Click here to get in touch!