5 Summer Tips to Put Your Law School Applications Ahead of the Curve
If you’re applying to law school, the month of July isn’t just about barbecues and beach volleyball. This month is an opportunity to make important early progress in your law school application process. Here are five key priorities through the month of July:
Create an Account on LSAC.org
The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is an essential tool for law school applications. Think of it as the Common App for law school. Your registration for the LSAT, applications, transcripts, and letters of recommendation are all submitted through LSAC.
At lsac.org, you will see the prompt “create new account” on the top right hand side, with a drop down menu underneath. Select “Future JD student” and hit enter, and you will be prompted to create your account.
LSAC will provide guidance how to submit each component of your application. Request copies of your most current transcripts and get those uploaded now so there is one less ‘busy work’ thing for you to do as you are writing essays.
Develop an LSAT study strategy – and prioritize it
Prioritize getting your LSAT score as high as you can possibly get it. If you haven’t yet taken the LSAT, or if you are retaking it this Fall, now is the chance to really dig deep in your LSAT preparation.
Most LSAT courses are now registering students, or will be registering soon. Private tutors are also available for the LSAT, via Noodle Pros. A strong LSAT score is critical to success in your law school applications.
Make a formal ask for recommendations
Make a list of the top 4 or 5 people who you might ask to write your letters of recommendation. You should prioritize college or graduate school professors who will write stellar letters of recommendations. Law schools want to see your capacity for academic rigor, so prioritize professors who can give detailed descriptions of your hard work and analytical abilities.
Consider also asking former (or current, if you feel it is appropriate) bosses to write about your capacity for discipline and hard work. You should have a minimum of 2, and potentially up to 4, strong letters of recommendation for your applications.
Write a brief email to each recommender asking them to write a letter for your law school applications. Give them a suggested deadline for when the letter should be ready — say August 15. Be sure to follow up if you haven’t heard back from them one week after sending your email.
Begin outlining your personal statement
Essays are an important piece of the law school application process. It is good to get a head start, especially if you do not like writing! Begin by making a list of the key academic, professional, or personal experiences that have led you to think about a career in law. Develop an outline with an introduction and three body paragraphs, and fill in each body paragraph with these examples of your academic, professional and personal experiences.
Like your recommendations, your Personal Statement is a chance to demonstrate your capacity for academic rigor, discipline, and hard work.
Continue researching schools
You may have your top 10 law schools in mind already, but it is important to research as many law schools as you can to get a feel for the landscape and determine whether it meets your needs. Create an excel spreadsheet that includes the name, city, tuition, class size, post-graduate employment data, and other key features of each law school that interests you.
Each school’s website should be able to tell you where the alumni from their school are landing after graduation: big law firms, corporations, government, judicial clerkships, legal aid, policy organizations.
Scholarship offerings, journals, and clinical opportunities offered by each school may also factor into your research. Use all of this information to help you determine which schools are the best fit for you.
Stratus Admissions Counseling is a full service admissions counseling firm distinguished by its team based, multi-step process ensuring each application is crafted for optimum impact. Each law admissions team member has graduated from a top-14 law school and our collaborative team provides the depth and breadth of legal experience to maximize your chances of admission to your top choice law school.
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