Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?

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Offline LSAT Eliminator

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2010, 10:50:19 AM »
What I'm doing is focusing on the ranking of the school and then also the location. I want to go to a decent school, but the most important thing to me is the location. I want to go to a school somewhere in the South. Are there other things I should be looking at?

That's a start, but there are a lot of other factors that come into play. For example, if you are really interested in environmental law, you might want to add that as something to look at when considering schools because not all schools have a program specifically for that area.

I bet Anne will have a lot more to say on that front when she logs in.

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Offline Anne

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2010, 01:13:28 PM »
What I'm doing is focusing on the ranking of the school and then also the location. I want to go to a decent school, but the most important thing to me is the location. I want to go to a school somewhere in the South. Are there other things I should be looking at?

That's a start, but there are a lot of other factors that come into play. For example, if you are really interested in environmental law, you might want to add that as something to look at when considering schools because not all schools have a program specifically for that area.

I bet Anne will have a lot more to say on that front when she logs in.

Eliminator, you know me too well. :)

Steely, where you're at right now is definitely a solid start, but there are many, many more things that you can (and should) consider when selecting law schools. Location and ranking are good initial points, but also consider:

"National" vs. "Regional" reputation: This ties in to what you're already looking at with rankings. Typically, the higher a school is ranked, the more "national" it is considered. The more "national" a school is, the easier time you'll have getting a job outside of your school's region upon graduation. To use an extreme example: A recent graduate of New England Law (a school in Boston) would likely have a much harder time getting a job in California upon graduation than someone who attended Harvard Law. This is due to what essentially boils down to "brand recognition" and reputation. Employers in California are much less likely to have heard of and dealt with students from New England Law, whereas they will have heard of Harvard. However, a graduate of New England Law will probably have no trouble within New England in general, and Massachusetts in particular. In your case, since you already know you want to practice in the South, you can tailor your search to both "national" and "regional" schools within that region (i.e., Emory Law would be an good example of a "national" school, whereas the University of Alabama Law  or the University of Georgia Law would be a good "regional" schools).
 
Accreditation: This should go without saying, but make sure that the schools you select have been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Graduates from unaccredited schools often have a much harder time finding employment, and their degree is not at all portable (meaning, they usually have to stay in the state where they got their law degree if they want to practice law).

Class size and section size: A lot of students don't think about this, and they should. Are you comfortable being a part of a very large incoming class (Harvard, for example, has over 500 incoming students every year)? Or do you want to be a part of a much smaller school (Notre Dame, for example, only has around 180 incoming 1Ls every year)? Although larger schools make every effort to reach out to every student and make sure everyone is taken care of, the fact remains that a larger school will probably be much more impersonal than a smaller school. Is "being more than a number" or a close-knit student body important to you? If that's the case, then you should consider only looking at smaller schools.

Religious affiliation: This doesn't come up often, but it is worth considering if religion is important to you. There are a few schools where religions is very much a part of the school, not only in everyday life, but also in discussions. BYU Law, in Utah, is the primary law schools for those of Mormon faith. Cardozo Law (part of Yeshiva University, in New York City), has a strong Jewish tradition. Notre Dame is imbued with the Catholic faith (and even has a chapel on site within the law school), and Boston College lauds its Jesuit heritage. All of these schools integrate their religious roots into their discussions and curricula; if that's important to you, then perhaps one of these schools is a good fit.

Specialties and programs: Like Eliminator said, if you're strongly considering practicing in a specific area of the law (environmental law, health care law, international law, tax law, etc.) then you should definitely start by looking at the schools with strong programs in the specialty you're interested in. Not every school has an environmental law or health care law program, while others are known nation-wide for their strength in those departments. Start by looking at each school's website and seeing if the specialties are mentioned. Schools are proud of the things they know they're good at, and will have tons of info on them if they have the specialties you're looking for.

Job prospects upon graduation: Particularly in this economy, thinking three years into the future at your job prospects is a smart move. Take a look at a few things: Does the school have a Career Services Office on site? How many counselors do they have working there? Do they host on-campus interview programs? What kind of resources do they have available for students searching for jobs? What is the school's employment-upon-graduation rate? How about employment rates nine months after graduation? Where are their graduates working? All of these things are important not only for you to gauge how successful a school is at producing employable attorneys, but also to get you started in thinking about what you want to do with your law degree.

Cost and scholarship opportunities: Law school is expensive. Have you thought about how you'll pay for it? It easy to just say you'll take out loans, but with tuition for many schools creeping past the $40k mark, that means taking out at least $120k in loans just to pay for tuition (and we haven't even looked at living expenses). That's a LOT of money that you'll have to pay back. You HAVE to consider if that's something you're comfortable with. If it's not, then perhaps you should only look at schools with in a certain cost range, or consider in-state schools for where you're currently living (which are usually much cheaper for residents). Also look at which schools offer scholarships and grants. Some don't, and all they offer in the form of financial aid is loans. If you're not comfortable with taking on just loans and want a school that also gives merit or need-based aid in the form of "free money," then make that part of your consideration.

Academic environment: Some schools are very competitive, others are not. No school will ever advertise this on their site (they'll all say they're "convivial" :)), but if you Google the schools you'll get some pretty good student feedback.

Proximity to home: Consider if being close to family is important to you. If it is, that will drastically narrow down the schools you're interested in, simply by sheer location.

Extracurriculars: Smaller schools tend to have fewer student groups and extracurriculars than bigger schools. If a vibrant out-of-class student life is important to you, that may be something to consider.

I could go on :), but those are some of the most important ones that I would consider if I were choosing a school to attend.
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline SteelyDan

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2010, 01:17:09 PM »
Whoa, that's alot to consider. I would be afraid that I would be overthinking it if I considered all that though.
"Forsan Et Haec Olim Meminisse Juvabit."

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Offline Anne

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2010, 01:36:24 PM »
Whoa, that's alot to consider. I would be afraid that I would be overthinking it if I considered all that though.

I think anything that you spend over $100k on and has the ability to drastically affect your life is worth "overthinking," even if just a little bit.  ;)
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

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Offline SteelyDan

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2010, 02:33:29 PM »
True. Thanks, Anne. :)
"Forsan Et Haec Olim Meminisse Juvabit."

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Offline ninjasrule

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2010, 07:16:53 PM »
Hey, I actually have another question.

I looked at some of the threads about researching different schools, but I guess I didn't read too carefully for them to be helpful. When I'm "researching" schools, what should I be looking for? I really have no idea what kinds of criteria to use (except for the obvious ones like scholarship money, location, etc.)

The "obvious ones" (and, believe me, they're not so obvious to many people--far too many students don't take the time to consider "obvious" things like location) are the ones you should definitely be focusing on: Location, cost, potential scholarship money, strength of faculty, placement in rankings (yes, you should still consider rankings, just not as the end-all-be-all), religious affiliation (this is important both for those that are religious as well as those that are not), incoming class size, 1L section size, etc.

There's no magic to "researching" schools; at the end of the day, what you're doing is looking for schools that fit what YOU'RE looking for. Take a moment to consider what kind of school would make YOU happy, and then look for those specific traits as you research schools.

Thanks. I also heard that some schools have secondary essays. I don't know what the specific topics are, but if they fall into the "Why X school" category, would what I have been researched be enough? I'm wondering if I should try to track down some alumni from my current college who currently go to those schools so I can get an "insiders" perspective.

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Offline Anne

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2010, 11:27:33 PM »
Ninja, by the time you're writing essays, you should have done enough research that telling a school why you want to go there should be a piece of cake. Your idea to talk to alumni that have attended each school is a great one--there isn't anything quite like hearing about a school from someone who's actually attended. I would make an effort to both talk to an alum that's been out in the real world for a while as well as a very recent alum, so that you get both perspectives. If you talk to older alums, ask them how their degree and school have served them professionally, and if they would have done anything differently. With years in between them and their schooling, you're likely to get some very interesting responses!
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Addy

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2010, 12:11:33 PM »
Thank you for the thorough information! I think I need to make myself a checklist :)

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Offline Anne

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2010, 12:27:23 PM »
Thank you for the thorough information! I think I need to make myself a checklist :)

That would definitely be a good idea. Make sure to write down what your "ideal" scenario would be for each of the categories you're looking for, so that you don't lose sight of it while you sift through all that information! :)
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline Anne

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2010, 12:12:08 PM »
...one last bump to remind everyone that applying to law school is not just about the LSAT, and that it's good to start thinking about the applications, too.  ;D
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline Dismen4Sykes

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2010, 06:23:54 AM »
Hi,
I am new to the Forum so thought I should say hello!

This forums looks like its full of good info.
i am recently done my graduation want to take admissions in law can any one here to  suggest me what i do now??

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Offline LSAT Eliminator

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2010, 12:33:45 PM »
Hey Dismen,

There's a lot of different things that one needs to do to get a law degree. The first place to start is by looking at schools that interest you, and then reviewing their application forms. Each application will tell you all the pieces that you will need to apply, and those include an LSAT score, a personal statement, a copy of your academic transcript, letters of recommendation, and various other essays. Let's just say it's a lot of work, so starting early is critical!

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Offline Anne

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2010, 07:47:50 PM »
Hi,
I am new to the Forum so thought I should say hello!

This forums looks like its full of good info.
i am recently done my graduation want to take admissions in law can any one here to  suggest me what i do now??

A few places to start:

1. Think about studying and taking the LSAT.
2. Start thinking about which law schools you'd like to attend, and what their requirements are.

You can find more information on that on www.lsac.org.

It's a lot of work, like Eliminator said, so start as soon as possible! Best of luck! :)
Director of Admissions Consulting for PowerScore LSAT Preparation. I can be reached at [email protected]

Check out my Law School Admissions Tip of the Week on the PowerScore LSAT and Law School Admissions Blog

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Offline nannypoo

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2011, 12:19:06 AM »
Hello--thanks for being willing to assist with questions. 

I am a second semester junior at a prestigious university.  My first year at school wasn't great, second year better, and this year--my junior year--is stellar (all A's in very difficult subjects).  My GPA is improving by leaps and bounds, and I anticipate it will be about 3.6 by the time I graduate. 

My concern is that if I apply early in my senior year to a law school of my choice (University of MI) my GPA will not be as high as it would be if I waited until graduation and applied after being out a year or two. 

Should I wait and get those grades up?  Will improvement be looked at favorably?  I do have some impressive activities, alot of community service, and some other things going for me like some very cool summer experiences.   

Any thoughts?  Many thanks. 

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Offline lawerguy12

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Re: Do you have questions about the law school admissions process?
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2011, 03:02:47 AM »
If I didn't get the best grades in college, but score high on the LSAT, what are the chances I get in a quality school?  Is a student interesting in studying to become a lawyer depend more on their grades or the LSAT score?  It's getting close to my exam and I would like to know how important the LSAT is to getting me into a good law school.
How safe is investing in a emergency seed bank compared to other investments?  I want to get one, but I'm not sure if it's the best way to spend my money.  PM me if you have any suggestions.  Is kratom legal in the US for example?