Best: Do not pay money to apply to safety schools. Trust that your cycle will be as predictable as everyone else's, and let the fee waivers take care of your safeties for you.
Worst advice I did not follow:++ Several items from my undergrad pre-law advisor. She told me to only apply to two or three schools total; she told me to use the paper-trail method rather than the LSDAS electronic apps; she told me to apply in the month of February; she told me that the school would not deliver a certification letter that I had completed my BA; she told me that no more than a few grads of that school per year can attend law school because the LSDAS has "quotas"; she failed to respond to my initial queries in March because she was on sabbatical and had not placed anyone in charge of delivering mail to her.Amazing, no? It's part of her JOB to know more than any of that.Worst advice I did follow:++ Don't bother with much LSAT studying, the test is pretty much "genetic" and therefore you can't prep for it. (Also from idiot pre-law advisor, above.)Best advice I did not follow:++ Apply early.Best advice I did follow:++ Get out of school and develop a real life and real job experience. You'll be a much better candidate, much more tempting to the admissions committees, if you're someone OTHER than the typical "I majored in English / History / Poli-Sci and now I don't know what I want to do with my life so I'll go to law school as a backup plan."++ Take time out of your life to complete applications, to keep an eye on the electronic side of things, to generally "be involved" with the process. It's really incompatible with a full-time job, and it really requires adequate reliable home-based internet access. Though you COULD do it "by hand" and "by mail" you will be out of the loop. I therefore bought my first "real" internet access for my home. I now have DSL with the company's modem, my wireless router, and a laptop with Wi-Fi in my house. Glad I did it.
Quote from: aporia on June 21, 2008, 07:45:02 AMBest: Do not pay money to apply to safety schools. Trust that your cycle will be as predictable as everyone else's, and let the fee waivers take care of your safeties for you.I sort of disagree with this. Sure you'll get a lot of fee waivers from schools, but not all schools will give you them. For me, the idea of a "safety" goes beyond just knowing you'll get into the school. You want your safety to be a regionally strong school, and in a region you wouldn't mind practicing. Additionally, if you will be attending a "safety" school, you'd want to go with a large scholarship. Fee waivers, in my opinion, are not an indicator of acceptance, let alone large scholarship offer. I applied to a bunch of "safety" schools (doling out some cash); in case I had to attend one of these, at the end of the day I was able to see which schools offered me more money, etc. As it turns out, some of my largest scholarship offers came from schools who did not offer me a fee waiver.So, I'd preach sort of the opposite: If you have the cash, and know that there are some "safeties" which you would be happy attending with a large scholarship, pay the price of the application, and see what happens. I'm going to be attending a school that, I guess, I knew I'd be admitted to based on my numbers with a large scholarship, and I can't tell you how thrilled I am. At the beginning of the cycle, I would not really have thought I'd be attending this school, but the scholarship offer got me thinking about them seriously. After visiting, and weighing my other options, I knew this was the school that was for me.