Creating A Competitive Coastal Law Application

How do you put together a competitive law school application? We share some great step-by-step tips for prospective law students.

Tips for Assembling a Competitive Application

Components of an application

  • Application
  • CAS report – Includes: Letters of Recommendation, Transcripts, Writing Sample, LSAT score
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Addendum(s) – Optional

Application

  • Be sure to answer all questions thoroughly and accurately. If you are ever in doubt as to what a question means, do not hesitate to reach out to Admissions for clarification. The Admissions staff is always here to help.

CAS Report

  • Send all undergraduate transcripts to LSAC.
  • You will create your writing sample during the LSAT. The Admissions Committee reviews the writing sample to gauge writing skills and analytical ability.
  • Letters of Recommendation are sent directly to LSAC.
    • Tips for Letters of Recommendation:
      • If you are a recent graduate, try to obtain at least one letter from a professor. They can speak to your scholastic ability and work ethic.
      • If you are not a recent graduate, you may ask an employer or someone who can speak about your work ethic.
      • Do not ask family or friends to write you a letter.
      • Make sure the person you ask knows you well and supports your decision to attend law school.
      • Provide the recommender with your resume and personal statement so they may gain further insight into why you want to attend law school and why you will be a valuable addition to the classroom.
      • Make sure to ask the recommender is they will be able to provide you with a positive/strong recommendation.

Personal Statement

  • This statement allows the reviewer to gain insight into whom you are beyond your potential for academic excellence and why you might be a strong addition to the incoming class.
  • The personal statement is also reviewed for writing ability and attention to detail.
  • The personal statement may also be used to gain insight into an applicant’s motivation and interest in law school.
  • Keep in mind what you are trying to communicate to the reviewer.
  • When brainstorming topics, ponder the following questions:
    • What abilities, skills, or talents do you have that will help you become an outstanding law student and lawyer?
    • Why do you want to earn a law degree?
    • What life experiences or people have inspired and helped you become the person you are today?
    • What are your professional goals?
  • Be authentic.
  • Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!

Resume

  • Some tips for writing your law school resume include:
  • Physical appearance: Make your resume easy to read. Use a template, good spacing, and a standard font (such as Times New Roman). Do not include photos or designs, avoid different colors. Remember, you want to make it look professional.
  • Education: Focus on college not high school. You can mention any honors, awards, or student organizations you were involved with during your time of attendance.
  • Work Experience:  This section is where you will list and elaborate on any jobs or internships you have had. You can include both paid and unpaid work experience.
  • Bottom of Page: This is where you can list any extra-curricular activities; community service, publications, sports, etc. This gives the reader more insight into who you are and what you have to offer.
  • Proofread: Your resume must be error free. Read it out loud to yourself and ask at least one other person to review it as well. Remember, spell check doesn’t catch every error.
  • Length: Your resume should be one page. Focus only on the positive aspects of your previous career, education, and volunteer work.

Addendum(s)

  • These supplemental statements can be used to address any concerns you believe the Admissions Committee may have about your application. For example: academic probation, character and fitness issues, gap in time on your resume, low LSAT score, etc.
  • You may also provide a supplemental statement to inform the Committee of any information that was not provided in the required portion of the application such as, diverse professional or personal life experiences.

For more detailed tips, check out our webinar on Tips for Assembling a Competitive Application.

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