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What Law Schools Look For
For those of you who are interested in attending law school, we have compiled a list of what admission officers look for and the things you can do to ensure admittance.
by Carina Zaragoza
 
If after looking at the price of law school, you are still interested in attending, then it is important to know what law schools look for in potential students. Law schools want to see high academic achievement along with a desire to become a part of the legal profession. Here is a list of what admissions officers look at:
  • Academic record

  • The course completed along with level of difficulty (also, did you take available honors or advanced placement classes?)

  • GPA; GPA over time

  • Class rank

  • Standardized test scores

  • Activities outside the classroom

  • Recommendations
If you want top law schools vying for you, then you must prepare well before the summer before your first year of law school. To ensure success, follow the steps below.
  1. Strong academic background
    The application process is highly competitive. There are only a few slots open each year, and hundreds of candidates are applying. Thus, you must demonstrate your potential for success by displaying your undergraduate academic success.

    • Starting in your freshman year of college, develop a rigorous course of study. This shows admissions officers that you can challenge yourself.

    • Develop and maintain a high GPA. If your grades are mediocre to begin with, not all is lost. Improvement over time does reflect well.

    • Take LSAT prep courses. If possible, take the LSAT a couple of times to try to improve your score.

  2. Interest in Legal Field
    Law schools are looking for individuals who are not only interested in the legal field, but who also want to make important contributions. An "I want to be a lawyer" attitude is not enough. At the law school level and beyond, a serious desire to add to the field is necessary. Demonstrate this by

    • Joining student groups and legal association, such as the pre-law student coed fraternity Phi Alpha Delta.

    • Taking on leadership positions.

    • Getting some law office experience.

    • Developing strong relationships with faculty and advisors.

  3. Research law schools

    • Start early and develop a timeframe. Create an spreadsheet of the law schools to which you want to apply, the requirements for each school, and their deadlines. Submitting applications materials early is advisable.

    • Learn the average GPA, LSAT scores, etc., of incoming 1Ls to see how you compare. Here are some good resources:
      princetonreview.com/law
      stu.findlaw.com

    • Attend law school-recruitment forums.

  4. Develop your writing skills

    • It is imperative that you have excellent writing and speaking skills before entering law school.



 


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