You’ve dreamed about it, you want it, you’re almost there: law school. So how do you make your application stand out from the hundreds of applications that law schools receive every year?
Your application demonstrates your qualifications; making sure it’s neat, professional and presentable is the first step to getting into law school.
“A great applicant is someone who has taken time with the application process,” said Kelly Fragiacomo, Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of La Verne College of Law. “These are the people that haven’t rushed to write their personal statements the night before or feverishly filled out their application minutes before the deadline; they have been organized and efficient, and allowed themselves time to really think about what they want the admissions committee to know.”
Your application should include a personal statement, letters of reference, LSAT scores, and a transcript. But remember, each school is different and may require other materials. So be sure to research the schools you want to attend.
Another great tip is to send your application as soon as possible. Some schools even have an early admissions program; sending your application in early increases your chances. So be diligent and take the time to make sure you have everything prepared well before the school’s deadline.
Also, keep in mind that a personal statement should not only follow the guidelines of the school, it should also illustrate examples of leadership, maturity and perseverance. Use the personal statement to show how you have surmounted difficulties and obstacles in your life. Finally, talk about your extracurricular activities, such as community service and related work experience that have made you the qualified candidate that you are today.
Make sure you have:
- A neat, professional, and presentable application.
- A strong personal statement that’s been proofread and polished.
- Strong letters of recommendation from professors and employers.
- A list of school application deadlines.
- All the right forms and materials for the schools you’re applying to.
- Realistic expectations of what you’re about to commit yourself to for the next few years.
Finally, apply to several schools. Don’t limit yourself. Try picking schools that are “within reach,” a “strong possibility,” and are your “safety” options.
Most law schools don’t grant interviews so applicants need to make sure their applications shine. Remember, applying to law school is one of the most important things you will do and getting it right is the first step to becoming a great lawyer.
- Apply as-soon-as-possible and consider applying for the school’s early admission program if the option is available. The longer you wait, the worse your chances are to getting accepted.
- Make a list of application deadlines so you don’t miss out.
- Vary your school choices and send applications to seven to 15 schools. Apply to “within reach,” “strong possibility,” and “safety” schools.
- Make sure your personal statement is grammatically correct and logical. Have a couple of friends help you edit your statement.
- Be organized; make a checklist of the forms the schools you’re applying to require. Remember, you need your transcripts, letters of reference, LSAT scores and a personal statement.
- Make sure the presentation of your application is neat and professional. Presentation is important; you want your application to stand out from the rest.
- Do your due diligence and research the schools you want to attend. Make sure you know what you are about to commit yourself to for the next few years.
- Finally, photocopy all your applications and keep them on file. Track your applications and add interaction notes to your files whenever you hear back from a school.