Does it seem like you just finished your undergraduate applications for admission, and now here you are applying to law school? Or maybe you did your undergraduate more than a few years ago, and are returning to law school after an academic hiatus. Either way, it’s important to know what admissions committees are looking for BEFORE you start working on your application. You need a strategy.
Choosing Your Target Law Schools
Here are some of the factors you’ll need to consider when choosing which law schools to apply to.
The first thing to know is that the numbers that schools list on their websites are real. Yale really does look for an LSAT score in the mid 170’s, whereas Tulane is happy with a 160. So look at the sites of the schools you’re interested in, and make your list accordingly. Of course, you should always reach for the stars by including a couple of reach schools, but you also need to be realistic.
When making your list of schools, other things to consider include location and whether or not you are able and willing to move to attend law school. For someone in their early 20s, this often is not an issue, whereas if you are returning to law school a little later in life, you might be settled where you are and therefore are not able to relocate. From a financial point of view, the local school may also be more affordable.
At least as important as location and affordability is focusing on what kind of law you want to study, what you want to do with the degree, and which programs will therefore be the best fit. Are you interested in corporate law or do you see yourself working for LegalAid after graduation? Different schools have different specialties. Do your research and make sure that the schools you are including on your list match your interests and goals.
Assessing Your Competitiveness
Once you have done your due diligence and figured out where you can reasonably hope to be admitted, which schools have the best program for your interests, and which two or three schools fit into the “reach” category, then it is time to assess the potential strengths and weaknesses of your application. Suppose you have an excellent LSAT score, but your GPA suffered your junior year, thereby bringing your overall GPA down. Instead of seeing this as only a weakness, you need to make sure that you frame this in the best possible way. (Our professional consultants can help you.)
Writing Your Personal Statement
After assessing and summarizing your professional, extracurricular, and community service activities, the single most important part of your application is your personal statement. This is your opportunity to make your story come to life and give the admissions committee an authentic look into who you are. Make sure you dedicate the appropriate time and energy into this essay. We cover the personal statement extensively in this post.
For now, figure out your strategy, make a plan, and get started. You’re ready!
Do you need help creating a law school admissions strategy or executing that plan to create a winning application? Accepted’s expert consultants have helped thousands of applicants gain admission to their top choice law school programs, and would be happy to help you! Contact us now to get started.For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top law schools and LLM programs. Our team of admissions consultants features former admissions directors, lawyers, and professional writers who have guided our clients to acceptance at top programs including Yale, Stanford, Harvard, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Penn, NYU, and many more. Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• The Law School Admissions Guide: 8 Tips for Success, a free guide
• How I Wrote a Personal Statement That Got Me into Harvard Law School
• 5 Law School Personal Statement Mistakes to Avoid