If you took your LSAT in September your scores are out and you can heave a sigh of relief. You know that the hard part is over. No, we are not going to tell you otherwise. Hard part IS over. Now it’s time to focus on the application process to ensure that you make it to Law School.
While it’s true that what comes next is not hard, you have to put your best step forward to get through the door of your chosen law school. It means you have to streamline your application process and we are here to help you do just that.
Eight-week timeline to take the weight off your shoulders
We have chalked out a straightforward eight-week timeline for LSAT takers to ensure they are on top of things from Day 1. It’s helpful to everyone who took the test in September but can be followed by all LSAT takers.
Week 1 – Submit transcripts and strategize
Start with submitting transcripts from all schools you have been to. Then you have to focus on what your application is going to look like on the whole. Highlight key themes of the application like extracurricular, any specific activities, internships. If you have a few weaknesses like low GPA score strategize how you are going to overcome it. It’s advisable at this stage to make a list of 10 – 15 schools you want to apply to.
Week 2 – Get in touch with recommenders and outline essays
You should get in touch with recommenders at an early stage because you are not in control of when the letters come in. Ideally you should have a letter from at least one professor. If you have more than a year’s work experience, get a recommendation letter from your boss, someone who has direct knowledge of your work.
Meanwhile also have a theme and outline for your essay, which should complement other aspects of your application.
Week 3 – Write your personal statement
The personal statement should describe why you want to go to Law School, and why do you think you are prepared for it. It has to be convincing to the admission officers and reflect the real you. Hence it’s important that the statement is in your own authentic voice. You are better off with saying things you want to through anecdotes. Make sure you proofread the statement so that there are no mistakes.
Week 4 – Write down diversity statement
This might be applicable for only certain schools and if you don’t fit the criteria, don’t write it. But when applicable, focus on the narrow and broad prompts. The former is in the more traditional sense of diversity like socioeconomic background, race, religion etc. The latter could be about an experience that makes you a unique candidate. Make sure you describe how the experience and background add to the law school’s community.
Week 5 – Work on school specific essays
You are already half way through the process; now it’s time to focus on why you are applying to a particular school. That’s the most common topic of the essay here and you can tackle it by finding a medium between your interests and professional goals. Focus on any offerings, faculty members at the school, which help you get to that goal. These essays are often optional but you should still submit them to add weight to your application.
Week 6 – Create your resume, write down the school-specific essays
Unless you have years of work experience, keep your resume one page long. Your academic background should be at the top. Write in line with research, critical thinking that you had to do in your extracurricular, internships or at work.
You already have an idea of what you are going to write in school specific essays. Put them down in a long version and edit where necessary. Here it’s important to take into account a law school’s writing specifications like margins, length of the essay and font.
Week 7 – Write Addenda
Your Addenda could be about lower GPA, several LSAT attempts or any explanations regarding character and fitness. Remember they are not essays and should be short. They should only have relevant information to anything you feel the need to explain. But don’t make excuses or apologize. Rather take a positive approach and tell them what you have learned from the experience and how it will help you.
Week 8 – Finalize, proofread and submit
There is nothing more unappealing than an application filled with errors. Proofread your applications several times. Take help from a friend or family members to go over your essays to make sure they sound authentic. You also don’t want the school specific essays and recommendations going to wrong schools. Double check everything before you send your application.
This weekly plan has been designed to make the application process simpler for you. Once you have made your applications you might have to consider interview prep, waitlist strategy etc. At any point if you feel it gets overwhelming it’s a good idea to get expert guidance. We are here to help!