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Getting into Law School 101 What do law schools look for? What is the LSAT and LSAC? What law school should I go to and when? What should I do to prepare?

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Presentation on theme: "Getting into Law School 101 What do law schools look for? What is the LSAT and LSAC? What law school should I go to and when? What should I do to prepare?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting into Law School 101 What do law schools look for? What is the LSAT and LSAC? What law school should I go to and when? What should I do to prepare?

2 What do law schools look for?  What do law schools look for when they consider my application?  How many recommendations do I need and whom should I get them from?  What is the personal essay?

3 What do law schools look for when they consider my application?  GPA  LSAT Score  Personal Statement  Letters of Recommendation  Coursework  Extracurricular Activities  Work Experience  State of Residency  Ethnic/Racial Background Lsac.org

4 How many recommendations do I need?  Most law schools require two to three Consider sending one more if wait-listed “Usually grades and LSAT scores factor in most heavily; however, your letters of recommendation could be the deciding factor in the admission process. Strong letters of recommendation can strengthen your application and if there are deficiencies in your application, they can help to outweigh them.” - UC Berkley Career Center

5 Whom should I get them from?  People who know you well Professors Supervisors from job/internship Letters from people with well-known names (such as political figures) are usually discouraged if they do not know you well/have not supervised your work

6 What is the personal statement?  Short essay on a topic of your choice  Typically about 2 pages (double-spaced), but each school specifies its length requirement  Serves as evidence of your ability to write  Important opportunity to tell the law school about yourself UC Berkley, Boston College, Top-Law-Schools

7 What is the LSAT and LSAC?  What is the LSAT?  When should I take it? When is it offered?  How should I prep for it?  What is the LSAC?  How can I take advantage of the LSAC's services?

8 What is the LSAT?  Law School Admission Test  Required for admission to most law schools  Provides a standard measure of acquiring reading and verbal reasoning skills  Designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school Reading and comprehension of complex texts Organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences Ability to think critically Analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others

9 More on the LSAT  Offered in Feb., June, Oct., Dec. Usually administered on a Saturday June: Monday afternoon Many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by Dec. for admission the following fall  Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes  Score range:  Cost ~$140 + subscription to Law School Data Assembly Service ~$120  May not take the LSAT more than three times in any 2 year period

10 What does the LSAT test?  Five 35 minute sections of multiple choice questions 4 of the 5 sections contribute to final score Experimental section  Multiple-choice question types Logical reasoning Analytical reasoning (logic games) Reading comprehension  Essay

11 How should I prepare for the LSAT?  Start early  Do what’s right for you Test prep companies: Kaplan, Princeton Review Test prep books Practice tests: LSAC, Legalese  “Very few people achieve their full potential without some preparation.”- LSAC

12 What is the LSAC?  Law School Admission Council  Gateway to the entire law school admissions process  LSAC account number is primary identifier of all LSAC services Applications LSAT Transcripts Letter of Recommendation Calendar and deadlines

13 Where should I go and when?  What factors should I consider?  Which should I apply to?  What GPA & LSAT score do I need?  Should I take time off before going?  When should I apply?  When is the deadline to apply?

14 What factors should I consider when applying to law schools?  Evaluate multiple schools and their student experiences  When evaluating, take note of: Locale: Metropolitan city vs. small & tranquil School reputation School atmosphere: Highly competitive? Faculty accessible? Best to go to a law school where you plan to settle down and practice. Another reason for this is because most schools prepare you for their state’s BAR exam. Lsac.org

15 Other factors to consider:  Cost  Programs offered (specialization, joint degrees)  School size and composition Take away: there are multiple factors to consider when applying- try to rank them in order of importance! Lsac.org

16 Which should I apply to?  Apply to a wide range: Dream schools Slightly higher range/difficult ones Realistic Schools Safe Schools Lsac.org

17 What GPA & LSAT score do I need to get into law school?  No single LSAT score or GPA applies for all schools  Wide-range depends on which school  For GPA, law schools look at the general trend of improvement or regression There is no perfect GPA or LSAT score for every school. You can still get in if you don’t have very high scores. Lsac.org

18 When should I apply?  Gap year(s)? Sometimes it might be beneficial to take some time off before going to law school  Rolling Admission Many law school evaluate and admit candidates continuously over several months Excluding Early Decision, earlier means less competitive and more seats available, plus earlier notification Finish by Halloween or at latest Thanksgiving If you are going to apply, apply early. Also weigh in the possibility of taking a gap year. Pre-Law Handbook, Top-Law-Schools

19 Deadlines  All American law schools have Fall Admission but few offer admission in January  Rolling admissions mean deadlines are spread over a wide-range of months  Each letter of acceptance has expiration date  “There is no regular pattern” for application deadlines Law schools generally operate via rolling admissions; however, there are not regular patterns for application deadlines. Have them marked! Pre-Law Handbook, Top-Law-Schools

20 What should I do to prepare?  Is there a pre-law major?  What should I major in?  What classes should I take?  Should I work or get involved in extra- curricular activities?

21 Is there a pre-law major?  “We accept students with a wide variety of majors, from political science to drama to biochemistry” - Yale Law School  “No single path will prepare you for a legal education” - LSAC

22 What should I major in?  “Rather than select a major because it is ‘good preparation for law school,’ you should make your choice because the discipline seems interesting and engaging to you.” - Duke Law School  Major in something you can do well

23 What classes should I take?  “We look favorably on applicants who have taken a wide-ranging, challenging curriculum and developed skills in writing, close textual analysis, and critical thinking.” - Duke Law School  Introduction to Law Good introduction to what law school is like  Reading/writing intensive courses

24 Should I work or get involved in extra-curricular activities?  “No specific activity or employment that we specially favor… we look for students who will be fully engaged in the life of the law school, take on leadership roles.” - Duke Law School  In-depth exposure to the legal field is NOT required  Post under-grad before law school


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