Tag Archives: Personal Statement

What are the requirements of law school?

download (1)If you have your eyes set on building a career in the field of law, you’d be one of the several thousand other hopefuls who are sharing your ambition. Every year, these very hopefuls embark upon the procedure to apply to different business schools, with varied levels of success. While there are various factors that play a role when it comes to gaining admission, one needs to put forth an application that centers on our strengths.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that every law school uses its own yardstick to measure every student’s application. It is nearly impossible to accurately gauge what determines an admission, however, there are certain efforts you can put in to make your application stand out.

Shortlisting Law Schools

Before you begin the actual process of application, you need to make a list of colleges that you’d be applying to. This list needs to be ambitious and realistic at the same time. A cautious approach would be to select approximately 10 colleges, instead of 4 or 5, which broaden your chances of getting into a college of your choice. Again, don’t let the cost of bearing the application fee deter you, as you can consider it to be the first step towards building your dream career.

So how does one go about selecting the colleges to apply to, out of the hundreds of options? With a little research, you can safely list around 4 colleges that you think you can realistically get into. These are colleges in the “safe” category, where you know you’d surely secure a place.

Next, you can choose another 3 colleges where you have a considerable chance of gaining admission. Applying to these colleges would be slightly ambitious, but getting into them wouldn’t be impossible.

Choosing the final 3 colleges would require a detailed and thoughtful study on your part. These would be colleges that you think are out of your league, but since we’re completely unaware of what exactly determines an admission, it would only make sense to try your luck with it. After all, applying to such colleges at the very least gives you some hope, rather than completely losing out by not applying.

While selecting this list of colleges, you need to consider each school’s requirement regarding LSAT scores and GPAs. Also, there are a few colleges that give precedence to in-state applications. You need to make a thorough study of the curriculum they offer keeping your specialization in mind, the faculty members, and importantly, tuition and boarding costs as well.

Admission Prerequisites

Grade Point Average (GPA)
This is as basic as it gets, but a good GPA does take you places. At the very least, a high GPA puts most of the top-ranked law schools within your reach. While most law schools do not strictly require students to have a bachelor’s degree in a specific field, it would help if you’ve studied subjects like U.S. History, Economics, Jurisprudence or Government. However, of late, top law schools have been encouraging applications from students with diverse backgrounds in order to dismiss uniformity. Therefore, you should not let your undergraduate specialization deter you from applying to the law school of your choice. Ultimately, the transcript that you send to the admission office will play a major role in getting you a positive answer, rather than your undergraduate specialization.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Score
It is mandatory for law school aspirants to take the LSAT before they begin their application procedure. This exam gauges a student’s proficiency through its sections on reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, and logical reasoning. One can say that the importance of having an impressive LSAT score is at par with possessing a good GPA. These two factors, in combination, more or less decide the fate of your application.

Personal Statement
The personal statement that you send along with your transcript and LSAT score, provides the admission officer with an additional aspect to assess your capabilities. A good personal statement focuses on your background and achievements, along with your ambitions. Your academic accomplishments are clearly reflected through your transcript and LSAT score; the personal statement carries your character sketch. It is okay to highlight your achievements here; just be mindful of sounding boastful and over-the-top. Keep the tone formal at all times. You could also ask your college professor or senior to evaluate it.

Recommendation Letters
While some schools insist on at least one recommendation letter, others do not require them. However, having said that, a recommendation will surely increase your chances of getting a seat in a law school. If you have had any experience working for a law firm, you could get a letter from them as it would build your case. Otherwise, you can include recommendations from your professors at the undergraduate level.

Other Requirements
There has been a definite shift of focus when it comes to the admission requirements for any graduate course today. While law schools, until a few years ago, used to rely on the student’s academic performance to make a judgment, they’re now looking at the overall personality to come to a decision. So what does suitably manage to impress them? It’s really hard to pinpoint one aspect. Rather, it is the combination of several factors at play. Admission officers like to see a well-rounded resume that contains work experience, participation in extra-curricular activities, community service; basically, everything that does not restrict your personality to be simply described as academically-inclined.

A lawyer in the making needs to be hardworking, passionate to seek justice and possess a sharp acumen. The process to become a top-notch lawyer begins with selecting the right law school. Hopefully this writeup has shed some light on the correct way to go about the procedure.