The application process for American law schools is challenging but very rewarding. In this blog, I’ll give you some tips based on my experience getting into an American law school.
In my third year of university, I decided to pursue a career in law. Your GPA (Grade Point Average) and your LSAT (Law School Admission Test) score are the most important components for your application to law school. As I intended on going to law school right after college, I started my LSAT preparation the summer before my senior year.
You might be wondering: How do I know if I’ll get accepted into law school? Fortunately, there is an LSAT diagnostic test that allows you to take a free mock LSAT. It gives you an idea of where you stand before you invest time and effort into the application process. After you’ve taken your mock LSAT, pair it with your GPA, and match them with the graphs provided by law school admissions websites. If your combination is within the parameters of the schools listed, congratulations! You may proceed to the next step.
If you need to improve your LSAT score, I suggest you enroll in a course or get a private tutor to prepare for the LSAT. You won’t regret it. If you’re still in university, you should also try to improve your GPA as well.
Once you’ve taken your first official LSAT, start researching schools. To maximize your chances of admission, I’d recommend having three tiers of schools on your list: 1) higher-ranking schools that might be difficult to get into; 2) schools where you stand a good chance of getting in; and 3) safety schools. Another factor to consider is school location because some states, such as Oklahoma, have a higher bar exam pass rate. On the other hand, California has the lowest bar exam pass rate, in addition to the most competitive market for jobs after graduation.
Once you’ve finalized your list of schools, look at their applications and start writing your personal statements. Based on my experience, schools generally ask for similar topics, but some schools may have specific prompts. Once you submit your application, sit back and wait anxiously for those acceptance letters to roll in.
Law schools generally send out acceptances, waitlists, and rejections within a few months after submission. If you receive offers from various law schools, which I hope you do, you can create a shortlist of options to consider. Without any financial assistance, American law schools are expensive. A private school costs around $50,000 per year in tuition, plus expenses. Many law students accumulate student loans of up to $300,000 by the time they graduate. But the good news is, many schools offer scholarships to exemplary students. For instance, schools that have a good chance of accepting you, like your safety schools, are more likely to offer you a scholarship. Getting a scholarship at one of the higher-ranking schools will be more challenging. If financial support is an issue, I strongly suggest that you weigh your options and consider various offers.
Once you’ve made your decision on which law school to attend, accept the offer, and you’ll be on your way to becoming an attorney!
Before you start law school, search for internships at law firms. Internships will give you a sense of your future profession.
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