What should I be doing now to prepare to apply to law school?

Question:

I was wondering what (aside from studying for the LSAT- I’m signed up to take the October test), I should be doing between now and the start of the fall semester to prepare to apply to law school?  I have compiled a list of schools in the cities I’m interested in — what else can I do now?

- S.

Answer:

It’s great that you want to get as much done now as possible, before classes start and you are swamped with school activities. If I were you, I would make it a priority to get your letters of recommendation requests in ASAP. Professors are notoriously busy during the first few weeks of the fall semester, just as you are. They are generally fielding tons of recommendation requests from other students too, not just those applying to law school, but those applying for jobs, or other types of grad school.

Another item that would be nice to check off your application list is your personal statement. If you can get at least a first draft done now before other school papers are de, you will make your life a lot easier. Topics vary widely, so don’t worry too much about having to fit into a preconceived topic— focus on an experience that has been meaningful to you, and hopefully has in some way brought you to the present time, where you are ready to apply to law school. Once you get a preliminary draft done, you can show it to your pre-law advisor, professors, former employers, or others whose opinion you trust for feedback, then get to work on a final draft.

Finally, I would use the last few weeks of summer to visit the schools that are at the top of your list. There’s nothing like walking around a campus to help you decide if you would feel comfortable at the school. Hopefully, getting your recommendations and personal statement done now, as well as your campus visits, will enable you to more easily focus on final LSAT prep this fall. Then, when you get your October LSAT score back, you can finalize your list—and get your applications in!

Good Luck,

Hillary Mantis

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Hillary Mantis is a Director of Pre-Law Advising at Fordham University, private pre-law and career consultant, and author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers.