Tips for Preparing a Competitive Law School Application

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Are you currently in the process of applying for law school and need help preparing your law school application packet? We understand the admissions process isn’t exactly an easy one. We’ve put together these tips that will guide you step-by-step on putting together a competitive law school application.

Components of a Law School Application Packet

First, let’s break down what’s included in your law school application packet.

  1. Law School application
  2. CAS report – includes: letters of recommendation, transcripts, writing sample, LSAT score
  3. Personal Statement
  4. Resume
  5. Addendum(s) – optional

Completing The Law School Application

All law school applications are different. 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 an Admissions counselor for clarification. Our admissions team is always here to help.

CAS Report

  • Send all undergraduate transcripts to LSAC.
  • You do not need to submit a separate writing sample. Instead, your writing sample is part of your LSAT. The Admissions Committee reviews the writing sample to gauge writing skills and analytical ability.
  • Letters of Recommendation submitted directly to LSAC by your recommenders.

Submitting Letters of Recommendation

  • If you are a recent graduate, try to obtain at least one letter from a professor. He or she 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 he or she 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 if he or she will be able to provide you with a positive/strong recommendation.

Law School Application Personal Statement

The personal 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.

When brainstorming topics, consider the following:

  • 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! As your reviewing edits to your personal statement, keep in mind what message you are trying to communicate to the reviewer.

Law School Application Resume

We previously shared some tips for preparing your law school application resume. Remember the following:

  • 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 on preparing a law school application, check out Coastal Law’s webinar on Step-by-Step Guide to the Law School Admissions Process.

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