Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Applying to Law school

I recently had the opportunity to review someone's law school application.   Here are some do's and do nots to consider when writing those entrance essays.

Do mention what attracted you to the legal profession.
Do pick a theme and stick with it. "I want to attend law school because I am interested in proving legal service to those who cannot afford it."  Your essay then should support this theme of social justice.
Don't say that you want to go to law school to make a lot of money or allude to the fact that you want to make a lot of money.  Do I really need to explain?
Do provide examples of why you would make an excellent law school candidate and ultimately a great lawyer.
Do highlight what makes you stand out from other candidates, especially if your LSAT scores or grades aren't within the average for the school. If you are coming to law school from another profession, focus on how that will be an asset to you in law school and to the legal profession.

Do explain discrepancies in your resume and spin in a positive light.  For instance,  you could write, "My grades are a more accurate reflection of my ability to succeed in law school.  I maintained a 3.75 GPA while volunteering for a pro bono legal clinic and tutoring students at  nearby elementary school. My desire to attend law school grew out my volunteer service, because I saw that there is a need for all individuals to have excellent legal representation."
Do mention why you want to attend the specific law school (s) you are applying to.  "I was attracted to your international law program and really want to take the course in global commerce law and apply to be on the Journal of International Studies"   or "I really want to practice in X city and am excited about participating in one of the clinics that are available at this law school in order to get practical experience"   You get the idea. 

My last piece advice is to have someone review your essay and look over it for grammatical errors.  I think a poorly written law school essay can hurt a candidate more than a well-written essay can help.

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