Dec 11, 2009

Getting an Edge in the Law School Admissions Process

The National Jurist reports on an extensive Kaplan survey of law school admissions officials, asking about the factors important to admissions committees around the country. I know there are plenty of students out there just dying to know how to put a shine on that resume so that law schools will take special notice of that application. So . . .

What's the best tactic, according to admissions professionals?

Do well on the LSAT.

Not only that, but take some time to write a good, solid personal statement for the application.

Oh, and do great academic work as an undergraduate.

For those hoping for some less traditional ways to get ahead, the study was less helpful. Law-related internships are not all that helpful, though some work experience is always a plus.

Let's face it: law professors would rather see a transcript reflecting a solid liberal arts education, filled with good opportunities for writing, analysis, and thinking, than extensive exposure to business law or con law as an intern or as an undergraduate. That goes for pre-law programs, too. As my colleague Craig Stern says, an admissions committee does not want to see 'junior law' as part of a pre-law program.

So if you're thinking about law school, choose a major that's interesting to you, study well and deeply in that area of specialization, but make the effort to also study broadly in political theory, philosophy, theology, history, and other disciplines.

Then crush the LSAT.

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