Do not simply pick the easiest major at your university. Law schools want students who have been challenged academically.
Getting into law school is not easy. If it was, there would be many more lawyers in this county. If you hope to become an attorney in the future, you should start the process early. That means taking steps to set yourself apart while you are still an undergraduate. Here are some tips to help you get into your dream law school.
1. Pick an Interesting and Challenging Major
Some colleges offer pre-law tracks for students. If your university does not have a specific program for aspiring lawyers, choose a major that interests you and is relevant to your career goals. History, political science and communications are good options. If you enjoy writing and reading, consider studying English in college. After all, you will need to write a lot of motions and complaints as a lawyer. You could also study criminal justice and learn more about the legal process. Your classes should expand your mind while improving your rhetorical and reasoning skills.
Ideally, you will be accepted into an undergraduate school that offers one or more of these intriguing majors. If you are not sure you can afford one of these universities, try applying for student loans.
2. Maintain a High GPA
Do not simply pick the easiest major at your university. Law schools want students who have been challenged academically. However, you still need to keep up a high GPA. Law schools frequently look at college grades when deciding which students to admit.
Of course, it is hard to get consistent As and Bs when you are studying a subject that bores you. That is why choosing an interesting major is important.
3. Find Time for Extracurriculars
Still, law schools do not look at grades alone when deciding which students to admit. They want well-rounded students with different experiences and thoughts. You can demonstrate your unique personality by getting involved in extracurricular activities on campus.
You may want to try different clubs to see where you best fit. However, once you have found your niche, you should stick with just one or two extracurriculars. Law school admissions officers usually prefer an applicant who has become the leader of one club over someone who has joined a bunch of clubs but has not made a major impact within any of them.
4. Write a Thesis
A thesis can demonstrate the vision and critical thinking skills that good lawyers need. Researching and writing your own paper should also show law schools that you can master complex subjects.
5. Spend Time on Your Personal Statement
If you have completed a thesis as part of your undergraduate work, you can mention this accomplishment in the personal statement that you submit to law schools. Be sure to talk about your extracurricular activities, as well. Since good writing skills are essential for law school success, your statement should demonstrate your strong grasp of the English language. Your essay should use colorful wording and strong verbs, and it should be free of jargon and fluff.
Do not assume that law schools are looking for individuals who fit the typical attorney profiles. Universities want those who have unique stories to tell. Your essay should thus describe what makes you different, especially if you are part of an ethnic group that is underrepresented in the legal field. Use an addendum essay to explain any red flags on your resume, such as a bad grade or a gap in your education.
6. Study for the LSAT
Law schools still weigh Law School Admission Test (LSAT) results when deciding which students to admit. Study hard in the months prior to the test date. Consider taking an LSAT preparation course or using a study guide. You can find and take sample tests online, as well.
To get into an undergraduate university, you had to get good grades, participate in extracurricular activities, excel on a standardized test and write a strong personal statement. A successful law school application requires similar actions.