If you didn’t get into law school this year, it’s never too early to start planning a strategy for next year. Below are five tips that will help you change the results next time you apply if you did not get into law school this time.
1. Evaluate your application.
After you’ve licked your wounds, take a hard look at your application and see what needs to be improved. Is it LSAT scores? Grades? Letters of recommendation? Think about yourself as an applicant and what you should focus on and improve during the next 12 months.
2. Retake the LSAT.
If your LSAT is under 160 and you are applying to top programs, I strongly suggest retaking it. I recommend to set aside at least three months to study for the LSAT. Your LSAT score is the single, most important element you can work on to increase the competitiveness of your application.
I recommend that you work for a law firm in an area of law you are interested in so that you can get an idea of how the law works. If that isn’t an option, consider another business-related job or intern at a district attorney’s office or judge’s chambers. The goal: get relevant legal experience. It will demonstrate your interest both to law schools and potentially to future employers.
I recommend using LinkedIn to contact alumni of your top choice law schools and talk to them about their experience and their current work. It can be valuable to have an idea of the student profile for your target law schools and will give you a good idea of what post-law-school life is like.
5. Try again.
Come August, some schools may still be looking for students. You won’t get into a top-tier school, but other schools might still have spaces. You may also want to consider part-time programs or schools that will allow you to start in the spring or summer – these terms generally have fewer applicants, so you will be more competitive.
It’s hard when you don’t get accepted into law school, but the best response is to use the opportunity to fine-tune your application and make yourself more competitive for next year. Most schools welcome reapplicants, particularly those who have made significant steps to show their interest in law school and improve their qualifications.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!