The law school application is a task that shouldn’t be approached lightly. Packed with essential items such as a resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts and, most importantly, a personal statement, your application to law school needs to be as perfect and precise as possible. In order to help you with this daunting, yet rewarding, process, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
DO: Be Clear About Your Goals and Passions for the Future
A school wants to make sure they are the right choice for your specific wants and needs as much as you are the best choice for them as a student and successful alumnus. Articulate exactly why this specific school is will help you achieve your goals.
DO: Show Your Academic and Professional Strengths
It’s okay to brag a little bit about what you have done in the past and how you have succeeded in times of adversity. Highlight awards and recognitions and how you applied your specific strengths to jobs or projects in the past.
DO: Have Several People Look Over All Aspects of Your Application
Rewrite, edit and revise your personal statement and any additional essays. Make sure your resume is perfect with zero spelling or grammar issues. Revisit questions on the application to make sure you have answered them clearly and correctly.
DO: Plan Out Your Personal Statement with an Outline
Plan your approach to your personal statement and make sure it is well-researched, sounds like you and provides a sense of your personality that cannot be found in your transcripts. Make sure the content is unique, interesting and clearly illustrates your goals and aspirations for wanting to enroll in law school.
DO: Start Writing as Soon as Possible
Your application is your first impression to prospective law schools and you want to impress. All written statements and essays will need to be well crafted and edited multiple times before the submission deadline. Start early so that you have plenty of time to turn in a complete and impeccable application.
DO: Visit the Law School in Person
Just as you did when researching undergraduate programs, take a campus visit and see if you can meet some of the advisors or professors who will be reviewing your application. Having a face and personality to match to an application will greatly improve your chances of being accepted.
DO: Search for Scholarships and Grants
The cost of law school is a serious financial investment. To set yourself up for financial health and stability upon graduation, take the final price tag into consideration before enrolling. Is a certain school offering you a full-ride? Is this other school willing to cover half of your tuition? These are important factors to consider when applying for law school.
DON’T: Wait Until the Deadline to Apply
While you do want to take your time with your application, it is best to start early instead of waiting until after the holidays and working right up to the deadline to apply to law school. The earlier you get in your application materials, the better.
DON’T: Leave Any Blank Spaces on Your Application
Every question should have a clear and precise answer that answers the question in full. Do not leave admission committees wondering about what you meant to say.
DON’T: Try and Be Clever or Funny
Law school is a serious endeavor and academic professionals take each of their applicants very seriously.
DON’T: Lie on Your Application
This includes not exaggerating certain accomplishments or feats as well as making up any awards or recognitions. Not only will it reflect poorly on your enrollment prospects in general, but any lie could be basis for not being accepted to a state bar and allowed to practice.
DON’T: Take the LSAT or GMAT Without Studying
These tests are not meant to be taken lightly and your score will carry a heavy percentage of your overall application. Begin studying for the LSAT as early as possible in order to achieve the highest score.
Whether you are coming from a USC online background or you have been pre-law since day one of college, never be too arrogant to ignore advice from those who have gone before you.