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Best advice for getting into a law school?

Hello! I posted a question earlier today about the best tips to become a lawyer and I have some follow up questions like what is the best path to take? Is it hard to get into a law school? And what should I do in my 4-year college to get ahead/have an advantage? Lastly what’s the best law school to go to?

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Mahi’s Answer

Maintain a strong academic record: Law schools typically place significant emphasis on undergraduate GPA and the rigor of coursework. Strive to maintain a high GPA throughout your undergraduate studies by taking challenging courses and excelling in them.

Excel on the LSAT: The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a critical component of the law school application process. Dedicate ample time to prepare for the LSAT by familiarizing yourself with the test format, taking practice exams, and enrolling in LSAT preparation courses if necessary. Aim for a competitive LSAT score that aligns with the average scores of admitted students at your target law schools.

Craft a compelling personal statement: Your personal statement is an opportunity to showcase your unique experiences, motivations, and qualifications to admissions committees. Use this essay to articulate why you're passionate about pursuing a legal education and how your background has prepared you for success in law school. Be genuine, introspective, and concise in your writing.

Secure strong letters of recommendation: Obtain letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your academic abilities, character, and potential for success in law school. Choose recommenders who know you well and can provide specific examples of your strengths and achievements.

Gain relevant experience: Participate in internships, volunteer work, or employment opportunities that expose you to the legal profession and demonstrate your commitment to pursuing a career in law. This could include working at law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, or legal clinics.

Conduct thorough research: Research law schools extensively to identify programs that align with your academic interests, career goals, and preferred learning environment. Consider factors such as faculty expertise, curriculum offerings, location, and opportunities for experiential learning.

Demonstrate leadership and involvement: Engage in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, or community service initiatives that demonstrate your leadership abilities, initiative, and commitment to making a positive impact. Active involvement in campus organizations or community groups can enhance your application and demonstrate your well-roundedness.

Prepare a polished application: Pay close attention to the details of your law school application, including your resume, transcripts, and any supplemental materials required by individual schools. Ensure that your application materials are well-written, error-free, and tailored to each law school's specific requirements.

Seek feedback and guidance: Utilize resources such as pre-law advisors, mentors, and current law students to seek feedback on your application materials and gain insights into the law school admissions process. Consider participating in mock interviews to prepare for law school admissions interviews.

Submit your applications early: Submit your law school applications well before the deadlines to demonstrate your eagerness and preparedness. Early applications may also receive priority consideration for scholarships or financial aid.

By following these strategies and putting forth your best effort, you can enhance your chances of gaining admission to the law school of your choice. Remember to stay focused, resilient, and proactive throughout the application process.
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Earl’s Answer

Well, I believe research, writing, and reading as much as you can. These skills will be of great help when it comes to being in the legal profession. Public speaking also is a asset. I majored in History with an eye towards law, however I never made it. Diligence, perseverance and patience, it will be tough.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello again, Karyssa !

It's good to hear from you again ! While you are in high school you can prepare for application to college for now. Just some reading of colleges to see their requirements. I will go into some factors that may determine how difficult it may or may not be to be accepted to Law School but that is going to be determined from your results of your Bachelors Degree and other things. Not so much your high school. You have an ideal high school education process and I applaud to for your tenacity and determination !

First you should explore undergraduate colleges for good majors that you'd like to major in. Look at the school's requirements and choose one that seems suitable for you.

All colleges have an acceptance rate and that is a big determining factor as to how hard or easy it would be to get into Law School. You should apply to all the Law Schools that you're interested in. I will give you some examples. Take the New England School of Law. It has an acceptance rate of 74% which is really good and encouraging. It means that out of tens of thousands of applicants, they choose 74% of them. You will need to do some research on individual Law Schools to see what their acceptance rates are. This way you can determine a little bit what your chances may be for any particular school. Also look at what the Law Schools require as far as grades on the LSAT exam, the entrance exam for Law School.

Something that you can do now would be to find volunteer work at a law firm or assisting a paralegal. Make contact with various law firms and also contact any Legal Services non-profit agencies that you may possibly have a volunteer experience at. Look into Northeast Legal Aid at https://www.northeastlegalaid.org/
This will be good for entering undergraduate college as well as give you great experience now your high school studies.

Also while you are working on your Bachelors degree, volunteer work, Work Study job on campus, an internship and special projects assigned by your professors will all be available experiences for you. Join any law or government related groups, events and activities on campus, too. Most likely there will be a Career Center on campus that you can visit to seek out opportunities connected to law, political science or government.

I hope that this is helpful and I wish you well ! Keep up the good work !
Thank you comment icon Your advice was so helpful! karyssa
Thank you comment icon Glad it could be of help, Karyssa ! Michelle M.
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Job’s Answer

Karissa,
My advice would for you to try to either join The debate Club or a school newspaper if you have one. A lot of this determines on what kind of lawyer you wish to be. Trial attorneys make the most money so The debate Club as well as toastmasters would be good for public speaking and research skills.
The law school you get into will be determined by four factors. First your score on the LSAT. The LSAT is a reasoning test more than anything else. Prior to taking the LSAT take one or if possible to preparation courses as well as using one or two workbooks to practice the forms of questions they ask you. Your LSAT scores will possibly be the most important aspect of your background that they look at.
In high school you obviously want the best grades you can attain. I had to take the SAT to go into college I think now they call it ACT. Again you will want to take one or two preparation courses and use one or two workbooks for 9 to 12 months before the test to get well versed in it and so you don't get nervous. People get too nervous with tests they tend to forget a lot of their knowledge you must make yourself comfortable with the process. Additionally I would tell you to do some type of community volunteering. Something that brings value to the community that you enjoy. I would strongly encourage you to join the debate club at your high school if you have one. Toastmasters is an organization where you learn to give speeches to others as well as researching the material you were talking about. If you have no problem with public presentations then it's kind of fun.
For college as well as Law School learning how to be a good researcher in public speaker are important for your education. You'll use research skills no matter what you do and for the field of law research is absolutely essential. You will have to know how to read case law to learn how the court is going to make their decision on your arguments as an attorney.
Next you need to get strong study habits. What I did was when I was assigned a reading or math assignment I would read the material. I would immediately make an outline of the material for you to look back at later. You will want to revise these outlines at least three times and then make flashcards from them for big tests. Most people when they write something three times they remember it much better. You do not do the same outline Three times as the course continues you expand the outline. When the test comes up then you make an outline of the outline. You make the flashcards after the third outline which by then should be condensed into a fairly short document.
In college study something you truly love that is functional. Be on The debate Club and apply for volunteer positions at either law firms or legal aid or any other free legal service to the community. That will get you a lot of points in getting into law school. It will also give you an understanding of the law almost more so than law school. Law School teaches you how to pass the bar exam. There are 26 areas of law on the bar exam. If you enjoy it stay with toastmasters. The organization will teach you very good research and public presentation skills.
In college make sure you take classes and philosophy and reasoning. And art degree will not be a big help getting into law school.
It's deciding what law school you want to go to you have to determine what type of law you want to practice. Different schools have different areas of expertise. It's possible you might not get to practice the type of law you first desire but eventually you'll be able to practice what you want when you've got the skills and a reputation. Life experiences, community involvement, speech and reasoning skills and background will be important as well as committing involvement which is essentially volunteering.
You want to get into the very best law school you can. Law schools with high rates of acceptance normally do not produce the best lawyers. In reality it is what you make of any schooling that educates you, but for a financially rewarding and fulfilling work life you want to get in to the best law school you can. My best friend's son just graduated from Harvard Law School. He's making over $350,000 a year. Your LSAT scores, your college grades and competing involvement as well as activities the grow your research and public speaking skills will be valuable.
You are choosing a good path for your life. By working very hard when you're young you can build a successful career and retired a younger age if you so desire with assets. I would just Stanford I was number one in my class in college after college I worked on the floor of the New York stock exchange becoming a broker in 22. Highly financially rewarding but horrible working environment. I left Wall Street and went to law school to study taxation real estate and permitting. I worked at the legal clinic we had attached to the law school helping underprivileged people, but learning how to be a real lawyer law school will not teach you that.
Law school was the first time in my life I got a C. In the fields of taxation real estate estate planning and litigation I got A's in law school. I went there to make money a lot of people were there to save the world. Law School can be very difficult it's a different type of reasoning than what you were used to but if you take to it it will become fairly easy. Unfortunately you have to take classes and Fields of law that you know you will never practice nor do you desire to learn about it. That is how I felt about constitutional law. The only time I walked in the class was for the final. I had someone record classes for me. I got to be plus but I would not advise doing that.
The best thing you could do for yourself now is trying to determine what area of law you want to practice. That will allow you to focus on classes and skills to compliment the area of law you want to practice. Pick something that you're fairly excited about because you're going to work very hard in that field for a while. Upon graduation from law school and passing the bar you will probably join a firm. You will probably work up to 80 hours a week for 2 to 5 years, then you will start to make serious money and have people below you.
Please remember the study technique that I told you about and I wish you the very best of luck. Shoot for the stars do not settle for less.
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Claudia’s Answer

Hi Karyssa-- Like Earl said, sharpening your writing, reading and research skills is crucial to becoming a great lawyer. In terms of the best path to take, that depends on what areas of law interest you. I would recommend participating in internships or conducting informational interviews of attorneys in different areas of law--this will allow you to get a good sense of the different areas of law and start to help you narrow in on what you like. I wouldn't say it is "hard" to get into law school but it can be very competitive depending on which schools you apply to. In order to set yourself up for success on law school applications I would suggest making sure you have a great undergraduate GPA and study for the LSAT so you can get a great score on that. You can study anything in college and go to law school, but majors that emphasize reading and writing would be the best if you want to build on the skill set that you will need to succeed in law school and as a lawyer. For example, I majored in Criminology and Philosophy because that was interesting to me, but I also have friends who majored in Political Science, English, and Communications and they all went to law school and succeeded as well! Best of luck!
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