Law School Apps

Applying to law school can be daunting to say the least. It is never too early in your collegiate career to begin thinking about things such as: where you want to attend law school, what is suggested to increase your chances of acceptance, and if law school is really for you.

Choosing the Right Law School:
Currently, there are about 200 ABA-Accredited law schools. These law school are broken up into four tiers based on their rankings. You can find an alphabetical list of ABA-Accredited school at: The American Bar Association Website. You can obtain an updated list of the top 100 law schools at: Top-Law-Schools.com. The list can seem exhausting and when considering what law schools to potentially apply to, you can base your decision on the following main factors:

  • Undergraduate Cumulative GPA
  • LSAT Score (offered three times per year)

A website you will need to get familiar with is: LSAC.org. Through this website you will browse law schools, register to take the LSAT, submit recommendation (both professional and educational), and eventually apply to the law schools of your choice.

When browsing law schools, trying to choose, LSAC.org provides an important tool called the UGPA/LSAT Search for helping you choose schools based on your predicted chance of being accepted. You will be able to use this tool when you have received an LSAT score. However, you can also use this tool immediately to see what LSAT score you need in order to give you the best chance to get into the school of your choice.

Every institution varies in how they weigh applications and it is best to contact each individual law school to obtain their specific recommendations. Other factors schools may take into consideration are as follows:

  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Community Service
  • Life Experience
  • Foreign Language Proficiency
  • International Experience (Work/School/Traveling)

Applying:

The actual application process is not as overwhelming as it may seem. This is primarily due to the ease of LSAC.org and the ability to fill out applications to various law schools online. You should apply to as many schools as you can and also as early as possible. The importance of applying early is that most schools use a ‘rolling admission’ style whereby they make decisions on students as they receive the applications. You will be giving yourself a better chance for admission by being one of the first to apply. That being said, applying to law school is not cheap. Application costs can run from free to $80/per application. It is best to apply to a few schools you know you will get admitted to, call these your ‘safety schools’. Next, the bulk of your applications should be to school you have a greater than 50% chance of being admitted to. Finally, apply to some schools you would really like to attend but maybe you fall outside the desired numbers for admissions. Call these schools your ‘reach schools’. Once you have filled out all the applications to the desired schools, make sure to double check your applications to make sure you did not miss any requirements or make any errors while filling out the various applications. Next comes the waiting game.

What to do while waiting for decisions:

The process of waiting for decisions can be exhausting and nerve wrecking. While waiting on a decision you can do a number of things that can not only calm your nerves but also possibly help your chances. The first thing you can do is contact the school and get an update on the status of your application. Of course, don’t do this a week after your submission because it is unlikely it has even been entered into the system. You can also contact the school and request and interview/meeting with someone from admissions. By doing this, you are not only showing your interest in attending but your also putting a face with your application that could help come decision time. Finally, you can contact the school and ask them if there is anything you can do to improve your chances of admissions. They may suggest something along the lines of re-taking your LSAT if your score was under their suggested marks. Through calling the school they may suggest the best course of action during the waiting process as well.

Receiving your decision:

The possibilities for decisions are: Acceptance/Rejection/Waiting List/Further Review.

If accepted, the law school will likely require you to submit a deposit in order to hold your seat at the specified law school by a certain date. The law school will also inform you of scholarships offered or when you can expect to receive information regarding a possible scholarship.

If rejected, there is no real reason to dwell on this for too long. You could have been rejected for an array of reasons, none of which may have to do with your achievements. Sometimes the law school is just looking for a different type of candidate that year. Some schools allow you to inquire as to why you were rejected and this may be helpful if you plan to re-apply next year.

If waitlisted, the law school can not necessarily accept you at this point, and they can not necessarily reject you either. Every school has a different style of waitlist and it is best to inquire to each school for any questions you may have about their specified waitlist. However, if you have no already done so, this would be a good time to visit the law school and meet with admissions or merely take a tour. You need to show that you want to attend more than the next person on the waitlist and that you deserve admissions. Some schools allow you to write an additional essay to increase your chances of admittance or submit another letter of recommendation. At this point, it is best to do all that you can if you really want to attend this law school.

If further review, the law school is likely saying they need more time to review your application and are just updating you on the situation. This may occur if it has been a substantial amount of time since you have applied.

**Every school is different and it is best to contact each school in order to decide the best path to take during the waiting period**

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