You’ve excelled in your undergraduate studies, achieving dean’s list recognition semester after semester. Moreover, you are also a presidential scholar, one of a handful of students that is the top of his class. With such academic success behind you, getting into law school should be a no-brainer, right? Don’t count on it.
Instead, you should concentrate on writing a thoughtful and memorable essay, and obtaining the highest possible LSAT scores to go along with your high GPA. Nail all three criteria and you’ll stand the chance to get into the top schools including Yale Law. Here’s what you should consider when applying for law school.
Look Beyond Criminal Justice
Gunning for a criminal justice degree may be alright, but it may not be considered as academically rigorous as other programs including philosophy or political science.
Schools are looking for students that embrace research, and are interested in programs that require analysis and much introspection. Look beyond the standard programs and find a speciality that you would like to study and pursue after you graduate.
Write a Persuasive Essay
High grades and excellent testing make it easier to get into law school. But what if your average is below a B? Do you stand a chance of gaining admittance? You do if you write a persuasive essay and make a case for admission.
You may need to explain your lower GPA or LSAT scores. Perhaps you had other responsibilities to tend to including family. If so, weave that into your essay. Schools look for other areas of achievement including extracurricular activities including community service, church involvement, and even family help.
Complete an Internship
You can also familiarize yourself with the legal profession by taking an internship while yet an undergraduate. Law offices are one place to consider as government, journalism and community activism organizations.
Internships fill up fast, so plan early. Ask your school for assistance in helping to find an internship. While interning you can learn from attorneys on what schools to apply to.
Dress the Part
Expect that once you apply to law school that you’ll be contacted for an interview as part of your application process. Know that the same type of clothing worn at a job interview should be worn at your law school interview.
Men are expected to wear a suit and tie and wear a coordinating shirt and shoes. Men should also be clean shaven, hide their tattoos and remove excess jewelry. Women should be similarly attired, choosing a business suit that conveys confidence. Keep your makeup at a minimum, avoid too much jewelry and style your hair. You have just a few moments to make a positive impression — put your best foot forward early on.
Arrive about 15 minutes before your interview is scheduled to start. Do not chew gum and allow enough time to tidy up in the bathroom before your interview. When interviewing, maintain eye contact. Have certain questions ready to ask; don’t provide answers only.
Always apply to law schools that best suit your needs. Consider class size, faculty, tuition and board, and grade/test requirements before applying. Visit the campuses of each school and try to sit in on some classes. If you know students currently enrolled, find out from them about their application experience as well as their current academic success.