The most significant step in becoming a lawyer is getting accepted into a law school. This process isn’t drastically different from what you faced when you applied for college. However, you’ll have to compete with thousands of other applicants for a chance to study law.
It’s important to find ways to showcase your unique skills and achievements. That way, law school admissions teams can determine if you are a good fit for their programs. Here are 5 tips to help your law school application stand out.
Law School Admissions Requirements
It’s worth noting that all law schools share standard expectations for applicants. These include:
- Earn an undergraduate degree.
- Take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
- Compose a personal statement.
- Request letters of recommendation.
- Share relevant work experiences.
Granted, some schools may have additional requirements for applicants. For the most part, all law schools apply these measures to assess their potential students.
Factors That Affect Law School Admissions
Obviously, the norms for entrance into the top law schools around the country are different than schools that are not as popular or that have higher acceptance rates. When applying for law schools, you should keep the following information in mind.
1. Your undergrad degree is less important than your GPA and academic growth.
Law schools want to see a strong GPA (typically higher than 3.0 and preferably higher than 3.5). They also take into consideration the rigor of your coursework and whether there’s an upward trend in your grades. For example, earning a 3.9 GPA in your last year shows maturity and growth.
2. Your LSAT score is more meaningful than your GPA.
A high GPA followed by a low LSAT score can have a negative impact on an applicant’s chances, but the reverse can also be true. While not ideal, a low GPA coupled with a high LSAT score can still work in your favor.
Law school admissions statistics reveal that achieving an LSAT score higher than the average (150) is a good place to start. Obviously, top law schools seek applicants with the highest scores (over 170).
3. Your Personal Statement Can Set You Apart
Some law school admissions requirements include a specific prompt for the personal statement. This provides an opportunity to express your worldview and separate yourself from the numbers on your transcript as well as from other applicants.
Regardless of the prompt, transparency in answering the “Why law?” question is an integral strategy that will help you stand out. Admissions teams read thousands of applications, so beware of a standardized effort. Your experiences and reasons for wanting access to their program can be remarkable if you’re willing to take some risks.
4. Letters of Recommendation Matter
The people you ask to recommend you matter in the admissions process. Consider that in the world of legal proceedings, reputation counts for practically everything.
Schools want to see letters from people who know you well, but not from family and friends. They want to know that someone reputable who has also supervised your education and mentored you will speak to your talents, skills and contributions to the community.
5. Work Experiences Can Make an Impact
Summer internships, residencies and long-term commitments to various organizations or service projects can aid in separating you from other applicants. If you’ve been wondering “Which law schools should I apply to?” apply the above ideas to stand out.
If you’re pursuing a future in law, why not sign up for a Premium Membership with CCWC today to stay connected. We can connect you with women attorneys of color who can share their experiences with you. It’s yet another way to separate yourself from your competition.
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