In Preparation for Application
This blog post goes out to anyone who thinks they might possibly have even a casual interest in applying to law school. There are a few things I did that aided me greatly, and one or two that I wish I’d done that would’ve been a huge help.
Firstly, something I wish I did:
Get to know a professor whose subject you love.
One irritating reality of applying to law school is that law schools require letters of recommendation. At least one of those letters needs to come from a professor or someone else in academia with whom you are well-acquainted. If you go to a large public school (like I did), such members of academia can be difficult to come by. If you go to such a school, take a seminar or become a regular visitor at office hours so that you can make at least one professor at your school familiar with your awesome personality and stellar work (I’m assuming you’re awesome and stellar, pat yourself on the back).
If you go to a smaller school, lucky you. You probably can’t avoid being noticed by your professors. While I’m sure the situation has some drawbacks (much harder to watch internet porn during class), it also means you won’t have to look as hard when searching for someone to write a letter of recommendation. Whichever type of institution you attend, it is imperative that you endear yourself to a professor because frankly, the difference between a letter from someone you know and a letter from someone who gave you an “A” is a Grand Canyon-esque gulf.
Now, something I actually did that I feel redounded to my benefit:
Take a year off before law school.
Let’s say you absolutely know you’re going to go to law school. Stupendous. You are endowed with a level of purpose to which most can only aspire. Since you have such purpose, I know you want to get into the best law school possible. Through my powers of deduction, I know you thus also want the best LSAT score possible. I took the LSAT twice. The first time I took it, let’s say I was less than pleased with my score. I studied for it while taking a full load of college courses and wasn’t able to dedicate the amount of time needed.
The second time I took it, I earned a score worthy of being able to teach people how to kill the LSAT. I took a year off, worked, and was able to give the test my full academic attention. Huge difference. Let’s also not forget that taking a year off will give you the opportunity to gain some valuable work experience and perhaps give you something interesting to write about in your Personal Statement (not that you aren’t already interesting).
Another thing that helped A LOT:
Take an LSAT prep course.
I know, I know. This advice seems like it’s in my personal self-interest. Guess what? It is. You know what else? It’s also in your personal self-interest. Unless you are a grammatical whiz and logical prodigy, chances are that college didn’t equip you with the tools necessary to do well on the LSAT. The LSAT is unlike other tests you’ve taken. It’s not a test of knowledge. It’s a test of skill. You gain and maintain skill through proper practice. You learn to practice properly by taking a prep course. Had I gone it alone, I would have been lost. But I learned the skill necessary to dominate and did so. You can too, but you have to give yourself the proper tools. You’ll thank me when you end up at a good law school.