I thought about starting a new blog dedicated to law school- applying, visiting, accepting and living through it..but I’ve decided to just combine it all into this one. I think I’d like for people to see how it all began and some of the obstacles I’ve had to overcome.
As the admission cycle continues to roll past us and acceptances (or denials) begin to flood our inboxes, I’ve been asked a lot of questions by classmates who are interested or intending to apply to law school. I’ll attempt to answer some of those questions here. Disclaimer- I am NOT an expert and I 110% accredit my “success” to favor and grace, but I have learned some things that are worth sharing.
LSAT- Everyone knows that this is the MOST important factor in any law school application process. People will constantly beat into you how significant those three little numbers will be in determining where you’ll be able to compete for admission. I ordered my first set of LSAT books in July of 2011. I originally planned to take the December 2011 administration but didn’t feel ready and ended up waiting until October 2012 to take it. Honestly, I still didn’t feel ready. This test is quite intimidating on its own but that combined with the pressure of scoring high enough to get into a GOOD law school is a lot to bear. My advice is to get your hands on as many preptests as possible, review your results and try to understand why you missed any questions. I’d write paragraphs trying to understand the logic in every question/answer combination. I still didn’t end up doing as well as I thought I would on the actual exam but I really do think that my writing sample helped me out a bit. I know some people say that you shouldn’t waste your time worrying about the sample argument because supposedly Law Schools don’t really look at that. I think they do! This is the part of the exam where you’ll actually use skills you’d need to do well in law school and in practicing. Here you are arguing a case and though it isn’t scored by LSAC, I do believe law schools read them and I did my best to approach that section as a “wanna be” attorney. I highly recommend the PowerScore Bibles for Logical Reasoning and Logic Games. I also found the SuperPrep Tests available though LSAC to be quite useful. I would definitely NOT recommend that anyone attempt to cram for this exam. Expect to spend quite a bit of time studying and familiarizing yourself with the material.
Law School Rankings: Another thing you’ll hear as you begin to apply to law schools is that the economy has been harsh to the profession. Law school grads are having to fight for the few really good jobs that are available. With that said, please do your research into your potential school’s employment number and rankings. Law school is a huge investment of time and money, you need to make sure your school is in a position of giving you access to some good opportunities when you’re done. That’s not to say a good job is guaranteed for any law school graduate, but just do your research. I used Law School Transparency quite often when deciding where to apply. The website gives you a good synopsis on the job placements of each law school.
Applications: My method when applying to law school was to cast a pretty wide net. I had my number one “reach” school, a few super reaches and more than a couple safeties. I didn’t really anticipate getting accepted into anything above T4s but thought I should try to apply anyway. Much to my surprise I got into my number one school! So long story short, I’d suggest putting a good bit of applications out there. You never know what can happen.
And I guess the main thing to remember is don’t get overly consumed by what people tell you. You’ll hear a lot of people spitting out statistics about where your “numbers” are likely to place you. They’ll say things like “_____ School of law has never ever accepted anyone with a GPA lower than ___ and a LSAT lower than ___” and while that may be true you just never know! Law school applications are tedious and time-consuming (AND expensive) but it gives you an opportunity via your personal statement and letters of recommendation to compensate for less than favorable statistics. If you look back a few entries ago you’ll see that I was in no way the “ideal” candidate for the school that ended up accepting me. Matter of fact, just today I got an acceptance letter from another law school that I didn’t think I’d get into. Not only did they accept me but they offered me a pretty decent scholarship. I know my numbers alone would not warrant these scholarships. Try to perfect the whole package and when there are obvious weaknesses in your application, make up for them in other areas. Sell yourself, argue your first case! Best Wishes 😀