On Monday I watched the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars, had a pumpkin latte, and wore tights to work. It’s officially fall.
Which means, dear LSATers, that in addition to the fun of studying for the LSAT, it’s time to start applying to law schools. As an aside, October test takers don’t need to worry about applications until after the test on the 9th. Decemberites, however, should work on their applications now so that the LSAT score is the final piece of their application.
There’s a fair amount of law school application advice housed in the annals of MSS, including how to get good letters of recommendation, tips for writing the personal statement, and how to use the LSAC website to target schools.
However, a new admissions resource recently landed on my desk, fresh from the parcel post guy (so did a fudge brownie from Starbucks, but that’s another matter). Sent from Ann Levine, it’s her book The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.
The nice thing about Levine’s writing is that it’s refreshingly blunt. It can be difficult to get a straight answer from law schools about applications, but not in this book. She writes about older candidates: “For those of you a few years out of college who have held 2-3 jobs that weren’t promotions within the same company or industry, then applying to law school can appear insincere. It can look like you’re foundering and still trying to find yourself.”
For addenda, she cautions: “When considering whether to include an addendum, I urge people to stay away from anything that will make them appear to be high maintenance or complainers in general. Law school faculty and staff won’t want to touch you with a ten-foot pole.”
And my favorite for additional essays: “I know it just seems like more work, but if you’re faced with an optional essay topic that applies to you, stop bitching and just do it.”
After reading the short but pithy tome, here’s the main advice I gleaned;
—Your LSAT score and GPA are really important.
—Apply earlier rather than later if possible.
—Letters of recommendation unfortunately stand out more if they’re bad than good, so make sure yours are stellar.
—Your personal statement should convey maturity while maintaining reader interest. Also, don’t worry if your story isn’t absolutely unique–most aren’t.
—Explain any mistakes in an addendum with clarity, brevity and without whining.
—Be sure to write optional essays if they pertain to you in any way.
While this is not necessarily new information for an educated set like our Blueprint students, it’s always helpful to receive confirmation from a former law school admissions dean. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a brownie that requires my attention.
Article by Jodi Triplett of Blueprint LSAT Preparation.