Law School Application
Applying to law school is a challenging process. You should start early for a strong application as a substantial amount of time and effort is required for this process. The law school application packet includes the following components.
The LSAT is the most common standardized exam required for law school admissions. Offered digitally, the LSAT is composed of five 35 min. sections of multiple choice questions measuring analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension. There is also a writing section sample that law school applicants must complete before their scores can be released.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LSAC is offering the LSAT-Flex, a three-section test measuring the same skills as the traditional LSAT. However, starting in August 2021, the LSAT will return to the pre-COVID practice to include an unscored variable section along with the three scored sections so that LSAC can validate new test questions for future use. Although taken separately, the writing section is also part of your LSAT. Please complete your LSAT Writing as soon as possible so that your scores can be released on time.
Avoid taking the LSAT multiple times because law schools see every score. You should take the LSAT when you are truly ready to take it –and this is when you are reaching your target score on your full-length, timed practices. Please do some research to find target scores using the LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools or the ABA Standard 509 Reports.
You should take the LSAT no later than one year before you plan to attend law school. Ideally, take the June or July LSAT, but if you are not ready, then take either the October or November LSAT, when latest. Plan to prepare for the LSAT 250 hours or more. You may use Khan Academy for test preparation, with no cost.
To discuss some LSAT strategies, contact your prelaw advisor.
You should submit your official transcripts from all your undergraduate institutions, even if you took high school courses whose credits were transferred to an undergraduate institution. Law schools will look thoroughly at your academic performance trend as this may signal your academic potential in law school. For more information on academic records, visit the LSAC website.
To address your specific questions or concerns, contact your prelaw advisor.
Letters of Recommendation
The most valued letters of recommendation are written by your college professors who will be able to describe your academic performance and personal achievements. Letters that compare you to your academic peers are frequently the most valuable. Use your good judgment to select a professor who knows you well and is willing to write a strong letter for you. Additional recommenders may be your work, internship, or volunteer work/community service supervisors who may write about your professionalism, work ethic, problem solving, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Please research the law schools you intend to apply to and learn how many letters of recommendation each individual law school accepts.
To address your specific questions or concerns regarding letters of recommendation, contact your prelaw advisor.
A well-written personal statement can differentiate you from other candidates with your same credentials. It is your opportunity to tell the admissions committees what you want them to know about you and should reflect who you are, show your character and values, and explain your motivation to attend law school. Therefore, before writing your personal statement, take some time to self reflect and self examine.
Research law schools’ application requirements. Follow the instructions given by each school as each may provide its own instructions and prompts for the personal statement, so avoid writing a general statement for all schools. Personal statements should not reflect information already stated in your resume or address weaknesses in your application. If the latter is the case, write an addendum.
Your personal statement also shows your writing abilities, so write clearly and concisely. For the editing process, utilize the Writing Center or Career Services, and for substantive review, contact your prelaw advisor. Please email draft for the prelaw advisor to review at least three days in advance.
An academic resume differs from a job resume. Your academic resume should stress your academics and intellectual skills and accomplishments such as honors and or merit scholarships. It should include your extracurricular activities and work experience and convince the admissions committees that you are fit for their law school and will be beneficial to the class, and you are not just numbers. Treat your resume with the same care that you would invest into your personal statement.
Addenda and Optional Essays (Unique to a Particular School)
An addendum may be used to address a specific weakness in your application such as a weak GPA or LSAT score, or a character and fitness concern. When writing your addendum, focus on facts and not on excuses or emotions. Weaknesses should be considered as challenges that were overcome and led you to a learning experience.
Optional essays are opportunities that law schools provide applicants to add relevant information. These statements are helpful for law schools to admit and assess if you are a good fit for a particular law school, and for you to make your case that you are certainly appropriate for that specific law school. The most usual types of optional statements are Why X Law School essay and Diversity essay. When writing these essays, please do not repeat information already addressed in your personal statement.
Please contact your prelaw advisor to discuss your concerns with your law school application or to review your addenda and or optional essays.