Adhering to the Application Timetable and carefully planning the completion of tasks such as taking the LSATs, requesting recommendation letters, identifying schools, and writing your personal statement and additional essays for each law school program is essential for your success in the Law School Admissions Process.
Law school culture, atmosphere, work load, and intensity are closely related to professional work. You must approach law school as if it were a job that requires diligence and perseverance on a daily basis just to keep up with the work. When you are completing the application process, you should distinguish yourself from other applicants through your professionalism. This professionalism denotes that you are a serious student who understands the serious decision you have made to attend law school.
Consider your application to be your persuasive argument, your sales pitch. You need to work on how to present your strengths and how to develop the theme of your entire application. You need to plan what you want Law School Admissions Offices to think about you when reading your application.
To frame your persuasive argument, you need to understand your target audience: the Admissions Office. You need to understand the Admissions Process. Consider the following questions:
If you can work within a timetable, then you will maximize your chances of being admitted to law schools. Eight months to one year is the optimal amount of time for the application process. Here is an example of a Ten Month Optimal Law School Application Timetable:
Law school applicants use the LSDAS, which is managed by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), to apply to most law schools. This enables law school applicants to quickly and efficiently organize their applications and apply to law school, to monitor their application to see if it is complete, and to streamline the application process — they only need to send one transcript to the service. Additionally, recommenders send a letter to the service, and then applicants can decide which schools receive the letter from that professor or employer. You should register for the LSDAS as soon as you have determined that you will be applying to law school. To create your online account, go to www.LSAC.org.
You can contact the LSAC through email at LSACINFO@LSAC.org or at 215-986-1119.
Consider whether you want to take the LSAT in June or in October. You should register for the LSAT as soon as you have decided when you are going to take the test. If you put off registration, you may not be able to take the exam at your requested testing site. (Villanova is a testing site).
The career development activities that will help you investigate the legal profession will also helping you investigate careers. By approaching law school from a career development approach, you are not limiting yourself to one potential field; instead, you are able to consider the totality of your interests.
Many law school applicants simply ask recommenders to write them a letter and then check that requirement off their long to-do list. However, rather than just securing a recommendation letter, ensure that your talents and accomplishments are highlighted by professionals and professors who know you, who know your interests, and who know your achievements.
Writing an effective personal statement is a highly individualized process. The personal statement should represent the individual, and should be a unique essay that is based on your personality, experiences, and qualities. The most important element to remember is to be specific and to keep in mind that the reader is hoping for interesting and engaging writing. Schedule an appointment with the Office for Undergraduate Students to discuss your personal statement.
Many law school applications have optional questions and essays. You should seriously consider completing the optional essays. They are looking for additional insight to you as an applicant. The Admissions Office also wants to know specifically why you want to attend that law school.
An Addendum is useful if you need to explain a discrepancy on your record such as time you took off from college, a poor grade in a course, or disciplinary issues. You should reserve explanations of any of the above discrepancies for the Addendum and should not explain these circumstances in your personal statement.
Many law schools require you to submit your resume. Before you do, you need to analyze it. Are the information, format, and structure of your resume clear and concise? Your resume represents you and can add points to your application. Contact the Career Services Office to schedule a resume review before you complete your law school application. Ask professors, professionals, family members, friends, and especially those with a critical eye to review your resume. The more people that review your resume, the more feedback you will have to make necessary changes.
After completing your applications, dive into the following activities: