So, I haven’t gotten into law school yet, but I already feel like a law student. Preparing for law school is hard work, leaving me to imagine how difficult law school itself must be! Still, I am pressing on through the preparation process and though I am certainly no pro, I can offer some beginners guidance to any Liberal Arts majors looking to head to law school in the near future.
1. Stay ahead of the game!! From what I have researched so far, almost all law schools utilize rolling admissions. For many schools, this means the earlier you apply, the better chance you have of getting in. However, this concept applies to all aspects of the application process, including recommendations and LSATs.
– The LSATs: Start preparing early. Sign up early. Show up early. You can create an account with LSAC online (lsac.com) and find all the information about registering for the LSATs. I signed up for the October LSAT in early September and there were only a few seats left at the testing center. For some early decision applications, the October LSAT is the latest possible test to send in, so it is crucial that you have your spot reserved.
– Recommendations: You will need at least two of these for most schools, and you want to give professors and employers optimal time to write the perfect letter. I put together a packet in a manila folder for each recommender, including a copy of my transcript, resume, personal statement (which means this needs to be written in advance too), a writing sample, forms they need from LSAC, and an addressed and stamped letter. Make this process as easy for them as possible!
Most law schools require applications be sent in through LSAC, requiring you to purchase Credential Assembly Service (CAS) from LSAC as well. Like everything else, I recommend doing this early as well. You can begin working on recommendations early, so there will be no need to crunch.
2. Utilize your resources. Once you register an account with LSAC, you will be able to email your pre-law advisor who can help you find law schools in your GPA/LSAT range, and just give you more advice on the process. However, this is not the only person who can help you with the process! At Duquesne University, we have many law students on our campus, as well as law professors, and other lawyers you may know. They can provide insight and guidance on the process and the field of law in general. Additional resources can be found all over campus, such as the Writing Center. I have my first appointment with the Writing Center just last week to discuss my personal statement and found the advice they offered to be extremely helpful! To schedule an appointment with the writing center, you can click here: http://www.duq.edu/academics/resources-and-technology/writing-center/schedule-an-appointment
3. Stay current, informed, and positive! It is important to be informed and current about the options available to you as a prospective law student and later, as a lawyer. In terms of actual law schools, books on personal statements, top law schools, and the application process can be purchased on Amazon for under $10 (these were a great help to me!). Additionally, it is important to be aware of different scholarships, fellowships, and opportunities available to you. But don’t let the stress of the application process get you down, before you know if you will have the stress of law classes!!