Applying to law school is a challenging task, but your application process began years ago. Top-tier law schools place a significant amount of consideration and weight on your undergraduate grade point average and the rigor of your coursework.
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Choosing a challenging major that cultivates your writing abilities, critical thinking, and your ability to develop and maintain a reasonable and logical argument are key to your law admission process.
Choose A Major Wisely
Choosing a challenging undergraduate major is a decision that should not be taken likely. Law school admission officers want to see that each candidate has a broad range of rigorous academic courses from various disciplines.
Your undergraduate coursework needs to prepare you to succeed in law school. Academic majors that are reading-heavy and develop your logical thinking are seen as highly favorable upon admissions committees.
The primary majors to consider if you want to pursue a legal career would be English, Philosophy, and History. Still, many specialized forms of law also include engineering (patent), agricultural (fishing and maritime), and business (contracts). As a law student, you’ll spend countless nights reading and going over legal textbooks and briefs, analyzing each word’s placement in the sentence.
As a lawyer, you’ll have to present logical, cogent arguments cited by evidence to prove your point and make your case. Choosing the proper rigorous undergraduate major is critical in the law school admissions process. It can pave the way for a specialized type of law that makes you an in-demand commodity in your field once you graduate. Decide wisely.
The Fine Points of A Successful Letter
The key difference between a strong letter of recommendation from your faculty and a letter that truly stands out is all in the fine points and details. Ensure that when you select the person to ask for a letter that you allow enough time from someone who you have taken an academic course from, preferably an upper-division course in your major that has some correlation to the type of law you plan to pursue or has transferrable skills that your faculty member can highlight in the letter.
You also want to allow ample time for your faculty members to write the letter and submit an online recommendation, which typically means an extra effort for them to engage in on the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website.
In addition to the academic reference, you want to get one additional recommendation from a mentor, community member, or community service partner that you have worked with.
Below is an example of a letter you can send to your recommenders:
[INSERT HOME ADDRESS FIRST LINE]
[INSERT HOME ADDRESS SECOND LINE]
[INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS]
Dear Mr./Ms. _________:
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to write a strong recommendation letter for me for college - I greatly appreciate it. I enjoyed [INSERT CONTEXT OF HOW YOU KNOW RECOMMENDER, AND SOMETHING YOU ENJOYED OR LIKED ABOUT THEIR CLASS AND/OR INTERACTION].
My goal is to gain admittance to a few colleges. In particular, focusing on the following items in your recommendation would greatly help my candidacy:
Indicating the context under which you know me and my work.
Telling specific, personal stories that are indicative of my intellectual curiosity, research and writing ability, analytical skills, motivation, work ethic, and capacity to think critically and challenge myself.
Discussing my writing and analytical ability through specific examples such as a research paper I wrote, a presentation I gave, or my contribution to a seminar discussion.
Qualitative comparisons to my peers and illustrative anecdotes.
My leadership potential is illustrated by specific examples.
Personal characteristics such as maturity, professionalism, leadership potential, and ability to work with others, as illustrated through personal stories in addition to classroom experiences.
Please avoid incorporating aspects of my resume into your recommendation letter unless they relate to the points above.
Thank you once again for your help and for agreeing to submit the recommendation letter online by the deadline of [INSERT DEADLINE]. I can be reached by e-mail at [INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS] if you have further questions or run into complications meeting the [INSERT DEADLINE] deadline. I have enclosed a copy of my resume, transcript, and [**MY PAPER FROM YOUR CLASS**]. Thank you once again.
[INSERT ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE]
Enclosure: resume, transcript, [**MY PAPER FROM YOUR CLASS**], online submission instructions to submit.
Personal Statements That Shine
Your personal statement is your opportunity to shine. Use your personal statement to highlight abilities and hobbies that a law admission officer will find appealing and aid in your successful completion of law school.
Spend a good amount of time in developing your story and writing your personal statement. A well-written essay can be the difference between admission or rejection. You have to start with a “hook” and draw the reader into your personal story.
Remember, law school classes are not interested in a well-rounded student; they are looking to put together a well-rounded class of interesting thought leaders that will provide something unique that no one else can offer.
A common mistake that candidates make when writing their essays is that they fail to illustrate and show how they stand out from the pool of applicants. Instead, applicants will “tell” the reader how they stand out from the crowd, but will not add any animations or life to their story.
Give yourself time to develop your personal statement, crafting an outline of what you want to stay, leaning far away from cliché statements. Your personal statement essay will likely take you multiple drafts to complete, so go over various drafts with a strong editor before achieving your final draft.
It’s imperative that you give yourself a significant amount of time in developing and writing your essay to get the strongest narrative possible. Law school admissions officers have read countless personal statements and will be able to quickly identify and reject a rushed, grammatically incorrect, poorly written essay.
Don’t be that candidate.
Along with a superb, well-written essay, your undergraduate transcripts need to stand out. Top-tier law schools are notorious for their low acceptance rate. You’re competing against top-tier candidates, who average a 3.91 on a 4.0 scale and an average LSAT score of 173 out of 180.
Your undergraduate transcript will need to be nothing short of spectacular, with very few if nothing less than A’s on your transcript. It must reflect rigorous and challenging coursework. Keep in mind that even if you decide to pursue a graduate degree prior to applying to law school, law schools only use the undergraduate degree GPA in their academic review of your file.
In contrast, the graduate GPA will demonstrate a strong level of intellectual vitality, which is important, but will not boost your GPA or academic profile.
Best Foot Foward
A great way to prepare to put your best foot forward in preparation for law school admissions is to go with a pro that has helped hundreds of students gain admission to law school.
Solomon Admissions Consultants offer the deepest bench of any admissions consultants out there and have a proven track record of securing admissions at the top law schools in the country.
Our two founders are experts in law school admissions, and that know-how has translated into the recruitment of a top team of law school admissions experts that are ready to get you noticed.