4 Tips for Getting Into the Law School of Your Dreams
- Make sure you understand the application process thoroughly. All law schools have their own application requirements and deadlines. The best way to find this information is to visit their Web sites and make sure you set up a system to keep you on track. Another part of this is understanding that applying to a law school is a long process that needs to start at least two years before your expected start date. Make sure you understand the LSAT and GPA requirements of the school of your dreams before jumping through all of the hoops that are part of the application process.
- Do everything you can to ace the LSAT. This is critical. Make sure you study, take prep classes, take practice exams. Do whatever you can to make your LSAT score the absolute highest it can be. The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120-180. Even though the average is only 160, many schools like Harvard have a median range of 170-175. If you don’t score as well as you’d hoped, there are schools that accept lower scores but may require higher GPAs or more extra-curricular activities or awards. This step is important, but it isn’t the be all, end all.
- Get good grades. This becomes even more important than the previous tip if your LSAT scores aren’t up to snuff. In addition to grades, law schools will look at coursework. “Easy A” coursework is not impressive to law school admissions offices. They expect to see good grades even through your junior and senior years along with increasingly advanced coursework. Many undergraduate institutions don’t offer a “Pre-law” specific program, so don’t worry about that. Law schools in particular love to see majors in subjects that represent analytical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. Things like Literature, Philosophy, English, and political science are all very popular undergraduate degrees for law school.
- Select the right school for you. Straight A students with 175 LSAT scores should be in a much more competitive school environment that the 3.2 GPA student with 160 LSAT scores. Not because one is better or smarter than the other, but because law students will be spending a lot of time with one another and like tends to work better with like. Additionally, knowing your focus (personal injury, corporate, tax, etc) will help you choose schools that are traditionally known for that element.