Congratulations! You’ve decided to apply to law school! While this is an exciting opportunity, you may be wondering, “Where do I start?” Applying to law school takes a lot of effort and dedication, and it can be stressful at times. It is important to remember that getting accepted takes more than a refined application; it is also highly dependent upon how you spend your time leading up to filling out that application.
So in order to help relieve some of the stress that comes with the application process, here are 5 ways to become a more competitive applicant for law school, to ensure you are putting your best self on display:
- Work Hard to Build your GPA and Prepare for the LSAT
Any person who works within the admissions office of law schools will tell you that the most important part of your application is your GPA and your Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score. Essentially, law schools want to see that you are a dedicated student above all else, not to mention the fact that a high LSAT score and a strong GPA can only increase your chances of receiving scholarships and grants. As an undergraduate, maximize the effort you put into your classes, and efficiently study for the LSAT when you reach that point in the process.
- Develop Your Reading and Writing Skills
Reading and writing will always be useful abilities in any professional environment, but these skills are especially important in law school. In order to impress the admissions office, it is critical that you polish any personal essays and open response answers in order to reflect your best writing abilities. Read your essay aloud, have a peer critique your writing, and ensure that your piece has no grammatical or punctuation errors. The Career Center also offers personal statement critiques for graduate school applications through career coaching appointments. On average, it takes about 6-8 drafts to craft a really effective personal statement, so it is important to be patient with your writing process.
- Form Meaningful Connections with Mentors
Letters of recommendation are crucial to any application. Build meaningful relationships with your professors, advisors, and any other mentors you may have. Getting involved in research that allows you to work directly with a faculty member is a great way to form a strong relationship with someone who could potentially write you a recommendation in the future. Go to office hours and meet with faculty members one-on-one so you can develop that professional bond; this allows mentors to truly speak to your character and academic abilities.
- Demonstrate Interest in the Field of Law
Gaining experience within the field of law can only strengthen your application; plus, it better prepares you for law school’s coursework. Join your school’s Mock Trial team, reach out to a law firm or a state office and inquire about potential internships, assist a professor in law-related undergraduate research – these are all great ways to enhance your application.
- Perfect Your Resume
Your résumé is a vital part of the law school application. Include experiences that are relative to law school and put your best face forward. Remember that admissions officers prefer quality over quantity: you don’t need to have numerous jobs in the field of law to be considered a viable candidate, what they really want is a hard-working student who demonstrates dedication to their extracurriculars and spends their time participating in fulfilling activities related to their career. Also, ensure that your résumé has a professional format and does not contain any writing errors; consider getting it critiqued by UConn’s Center for Career Development before submitting your application!
Ultimately, preparing for law school can be a lengthy process, so remember to give yourself ample time to complete everything. Make a list of the things you need to get done before pressing submit and create a timeline to ensure you don’t fall behind on tasks. Give yourself the best possible chance of getting into the law school of your dreams by applying all the above techniques!
The content for this blog was collected from “What Do Law Schools Look for in Your Application” by New England Law Boston https://www.nesl.edu/blog/detail/what-do-law-schools-look-for-in-your-application