One of the most common questions I get, from both friends/family and blog readers, is about preparing for law school. I’m certainly no expert (I’m not in law school yet, after all), but I’ve done a fair bit of research on the topic. Since I decided that I wanted to go to law school after my freshman year of college, I’ve been doing whatever I can to prepare myself for law school. Keep reading to find out my main pieces of advice on preparing yourself to apply for law school!
If you’re interested in the book pictured in the cover photo of this post, it’s available on Amazon here. It’s a really fantastic resource for all things law school.
Do what you’re passionate about
Law school admissions are a bit of a numbers game, but law schools also want interesting, passionate people. If you structure your entire undergraduate experience on what you think will look good on a law school application instead of what you’re interested in, you’re going to a) lose out on some amazing opportunities, and b) probably end up with a pretty standard application instead of something that stands out.
Passionate about the environment? Do things related to that. Interested in finance? Go that route. You get the gist. Just about every subject in the world has a legal component as well (environmental law, tax law, etc.), so you can easily connect these activities to your passion for law school in a personal statement.
Take your grades seriously
As previously stated, law school applications are a bit of a numbers game. While it would be awesome if we lived in a world where applications were reviewed holistically and not based on grades, the truth is that your GPA and LSAT score make up a significant chunk of your law school application. Grades matter, so do whatever you can to keep your GPA up (check out some of my favorite study tips for a little advice on that).
But also, take courses that will challenge you
Law school isn’t easy; there’s a ton of reading, writing, and critical thinking involved. Admissions officers like to see some sort of demonstration on your transcript that your undergraduate experience has prepared you for that. Taking some logic-based or writing-intensive classes will help prepare you to think like a law school student.
LSAT prep is important
After I took the SAT and ACT in high school, I really thought I’d be done with standardized tests for forever. Wrong. The LSAT is different than any previous standardized test I’ve ever taken before, so it’s really important that you prepare for it properly. (It’s also ridiculously expensive, so avoid taking it twice if you can.) Get serious about your studying, as that one test score matters a lot. If you need somewhere to start on your LSAT prep journey, I’ve got just the thing for you right here.
Attend admissions events
In all likelihood, your university probably has some sort of pre-law program. These programs regularly hold admissions events: law school fairs, panel discussions, and advising sessions. Seek out your school’s pre-law program and get involved with their events. You’ll be able to talk with admissions representatives, as well as people who really understand the admissions game. The LSAC (Law School Admissions Council) also puts on an annual event in major cities where a huge amount of schools are always in attendance. I went to one in the fall of my junior year, and it helped me immensely in building the list of schools I want to apply to.
Build yourself a community
Find people you can get advice from and experience the law school application journey with. These can be people who are applying on the same timeline as you or they can be older – it’s just good to have other people around to talk to and get help from. I’ve talked to countless older students for their tips, and it’s part of the reason I’m always so happy to help anyone who asks me questions about it. You can find your own little community either through organizations you’re already affiliated with (a sorority, for example) or by seeking out pre-law organizations on your campus.
Any other pre-law related questions you want me to address? Let me know!
I think you have done an amazing job preparing!! As a practicing attorney for over 20 years, I would like to add something. Once you get to law school, it can really help to join your local bar association. They usually have either free dues or extremely low dues for law students. I wish I had done something like this when I had been in law school. You can even join a section that you are interested in – such as business law or real estate, etc… that way you get to develop a relationship with attorneys who practice in that field and can ask them questions and get inside information about that practice area. Once you take a job in a certain practice area, it can be tough to just switch areas (unless you are working for yourself). Firms tend to box people in. So, if you can find out early on what kind of law you want to pursue, you can start working on that goal while you are still in law school. I hope this helps!