Three Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety About the Upcoming Law School Application Cycle

If you are thinking about applying to law school this year, no doubt you are anxious about how everything will work. Will the LSAT be given online or in person? Will you be able to visit law schools or take tours before applying? Will your own school be open?

While no one knows when everything will return to normal, there are some positive elements already in the current application cycle.

The LSAT-Flex: 

The new online LSAT- Flex, for example, is shorter than the usual LSAT. And you can take it from home. So it is a shorter test, which you do not need to travel to take. Although it is still stressful to take it from home, most complaints I’ve heard about the test from former students involve problems with the test center, the desks, the proctors, or the noise level. So the opportunity to take the online at home version for now might actually be a good thing. LSAC will also try to work with applicants who need help obtaining a computer or equipment. 

Law School Admissions:

I have a general sense that law school admissions offices are also trying to be very accommodating and flexible during this time. So if you need more time to make a decision, or need to appeal a scholarship, or just have general questions, I think that they are doing their best to accommodate applicants now. They have already been through an admissions cycle where they offered information sessions by Zoom, so are now fully prepared to offer online sessions and tours again this cycle, if need be.

The Legal Job Market: 

The job market for entry level lawyers showed signs of strength, according to NALP’s, Jobs and JDs report. Although the pandemic has caused the job market to be unstable, right before it hit the employment figures showed that the entry level jobs were in a good place, better than they have generally been in the past few years. So, although things are unpredictable right now, at least we are coming from a position of strength(see www.nalp.org for more detailed information).

Even if it takes some time to bounce back, there will no doubt be some growth areas as a result of the times we are experiencing. Areas such as healthcare law, bankruptcy law, and careers involving the intersection of law and technology, may be on the upswing, to name a few. And even if there may not be as many opportunities for legal internships at the moment, there are many opportunities to volunteer in your community at the local level. At the national level, we are in a Presidential election year, so there may be many opportunities to volunteer on campaigns as well.

Hillary Mantis consults with pre-law students, law students and lawyers. She is Assistant Dean for the Pre-law Advising program at Fordham University, and author of career books, including Alternative Careers For Lawyers. You can reach Hillary at altcareer@aol.com.

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