Presentation on theme: "PRE-LAW ADVISING OFFICE OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION Everything You Need To Know About Applying To Law School."— Presentation transcript:
PRE-LAW ADVISING OFFICE OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION Everything You Need To Know About Applying To Law School
Things to Think About: Why do you want to go to Law School? (pros and cons) Do you truly understand what it means to be a lawyer and go to law school? (Have you talked to lawyers? Had any experience in a law firm?) Have you thought about taking time off between Tufts and Law School? Some schools appreciate that you have taken time off (Northwestern, Harvard)
Application Process LSAT Transcripts Letters of Recommendation Personal Statement/Diversity Statement Resume
Application Process Timeline Early September Applications Open September-Thanksgiving: Work on Applications and Submit December-April: Wait on decisions
Where to Start: First Step Visit LSAC.org and create an account More than 200 law schools in the US and Canada use this online system to administer the law school application process Also provides resources such as law school locators, FAQ’s and additional resources for the application process
Credential Assembly Service Central Application Service for applying to Law Schools Can sign up through the LSAC.org website Sign up at any point prior to applying Will assemble your letters of recommendation, transcripts and LSAT scores to be sent to individual schools You can check online to be sure that all of your items have been received Cost: $160
What is the LSAT? Necessary to apply to an ABA-approved law school. The LSAT is an admissions test, not an aptitude test, unlike the SAT’s. It is designed to test your logical reasoning abilities under timed conditions. LSAT’s predict first-year grades and the ability to pass the bar exam. LSAT is a learnable test.
When to take the LSAT Offered four times a year: June, October, December & February If applying next year, should think about taking the June or October test date Why can’t I take the December test? o Puts you late in the admissions cycle o Significantly hurts chances for admission o Hurts chances for merit-based aid Visit LSAC.org to register It takes about three weeks to receive your score Can I take the test more than once? Not advised. o Law schools will either average your scores or use the highest score, but they will see ALL of your scores.
Study, Study, Study 12-15 FULL, TIMED, LSAT practice exams are necessary to perform your very best. Blocks of questions alone will not improve an LSAT score. You CAN improve your score with practice. There are Commercial prep programs. It depends on your study skills, but can do just as well on your own. Free LSAT practice exams are available through the Pre-Law website and LSAC.org.
Letters of Recommendation Secure 2 academic recommendations (Prof, TA, Advisor) Pick a professor that knows you very well and you think is going to write you a good letter of recommendation. Don’t ask someone just because they are well known (judge, DA, etc.)
Personal Statements Should be two pages, double spaced in an easy to read font Must directly, clearly answer the question that is asked by each school Think about the following: Why do I want to be a lawyer? Why do I want a legal education? How will a legal education help me fulfill my goals? What experiences make you feel ready for the ethical, professional and moral responsibilities of a career in law?
How Many Schools Should I Apply to? For risk-takers: 5-7 schools. For more security in the process: 8-12 schools 2-4 “reach” schools 3-5 schools with a good probability of acceptance 2-4 safety, or “money” schools
The Search Process: How to Select Schools 70% of the admissions process is your GPA and LSAT score However, your personal statement and letters of recommendation do matter Use the UGPA and LSAT Score Search from the LSAC website: https://officialguide.lsac.org/Release/UGPALSAT/U GPALSAT.aspx https://officialguide.lsac.org/Release/UGPALSAT/U GPALSAT.aspx If you don’t have your LSAT score, use your latest practice test This will give you a sense of your likelihood of being accepted to a particular school
Factors To Think About: Where you will be happy for three years, location of the school: urban, suburban, college town Cost: tuition, room & board, likelihood of grant or scholarship Programs offered: Clinics & Externships Student body: competiveness, community feeling, diversity Career opportunities through the placement office Facilities: housing, classroom, library, technology Take tours of different law schools you are interested in to get a feel of the school
When Should I Apply? You should aim to have all of your applications submitted by Thanksgiving. Law school is on a rolling admission so the earlier you submit your application, the earlier the admissions officers will read your application
What should I expect? When should I expect…? It all depends on the applicant profile…something you can’t know. Don’t be upset if you don’t hear anything by early March.
Summing Up The Application Process 1. Register for the LSAT and CAS 2. Practice, practice, practice for the LSAT 3. Arrange letters of recommendation 4. Get recommendations and transcripts to CAS 5. Work on personal statement/diversity statement 6. Research law schools in your GPA/LSAT range 7. Apply!
How to stay connected with Pre-Law Advising Register for the Pre-Law Newsletter through Webcenter Register for Applicant Emails Attend Law School Panels and Events Stay in touch with the pre-law advisor as I offer advising to alumni Visit the pre-law website: http://uss.tufts.edu/pre- law/