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Author Topic: Any tips for Class of 2016?  (Read 3259 times)

salc90

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Any tips for Class of 2016?
« on: July 22, 2009, 04:19:20 PM »
Hi,
I am going into my first year of undergraduate in the Fall. I am a Political Science major that is planning on going to law school and was hoping that someone in the application process could give me some tips. I know I am only an incoming freshman but I believe the application to law school starts early in the activities you are involved in, etc. When should I start studying for the LSAT? Should I go buy a study book and look through it right now? When is a good time to take the LSAT? I have already planned my schedule for the Fall but I do not meet with the prelaw advisor until later this year and I want to have some knowledge before I go into the meeting. I'd like to get into volunteering. Would volunteering at a courthouse look good on a law school application? Any other tips or activities that you can recommend to me I would appreciate.

I am going to school in Los Angeles so I think I may want to stay here because I have lived here my whole life but I have compiled a list of possible law schools I would be interesting in applying. Do you think this is a nice diverse list? I am interested in health, probate, entertainment and criminal law.

Loyola Los Angeles
Southwestern
University of San Diego
UC Hastings
Seton Hall
St. John's
Temple
Georgetown

I look forward to hearing responses.
Thanks

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 04:24:56 PM »
Maybe you should try to enjoy undergrad?

salc90

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 04:29:46 PM »
Maybe you should try to enjoy undergrad?

I assumed I would get some responses like this. I do plan on enjoying undergrad but like I said I believe the application process for law school starts right away. I just want some tips. Enjoying undergrad is nice until you're a sixth year who doesn't know what they want. I don't want to spend that much time in undergrad. I want to work hard and get out. I hope to get more informative responses.
Thanks again

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 04:33:46 PM »
Ok, do not start studying the LSAT now.  I think most people do best when they study for a couple months hardcore versus over the next four years.  After all, there's only a finite number of prep tests.  You don't want to exhaust those years before the actual test.  Building stamina is so important for the LSAT and it'll be hard to keep up without available tests.

Two, hardly anyone enters UG knowing what they want to do and then does that thing post-graduation.  Interests and stuff evolve.

Also, clubs 'n *&^% don't really matter that much.  Just get good grades.  Work hard, have fun, and do well.  That's all you can hope for over the next couple of years.

salc90

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009, 04:47:18 PM »
Maybe you should try to enjoy undergrad?

I assumed I would get some responses like this. I do plan on enjoying undergrad but like I said I believe the application process for law school starts right away. I just want some tips. Enjoying undergrad is nice until you're a sixth year who doesn't know what they want. I don't want to spend that much time in undergrad. I want to work hard and get out. I hope to get more informative responses.
Thanks again

Oh come on. Could you be more condescending? There aren't only two options for undergraduate experience - "getting in and out" or "enjoying until you're a 6th year." The law school admissions process is about two things: GPA and LSAT. The rest of it doesn't matter, and if you spend your whole college experience obsessing over how you look on an application rather than enjoying the experience, you will leave college having spent four miserable years to get no discernible admissions-advantage.

I don't know, I think you can spend four years in undergraduate, participate in a lot of activities, do well and still have a fun experience but maybe I am wrong. I  just figured there are so many applicants to law schools that a good GPA and LSAT may not be good enough, especially in 4 or 5 years because it's only going to get more competitive. I thought law school admissions committees look at the complete person, their experiences and their activities. I guess it's pretty outrageous for someone to think this?

salc90

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 05:01:19 PM »
Maybe you should try to enjoy undergrad?

I assumed I would get some responses like this. I do plan on enjoying undergrad but like I said I believe the application process for law school starts right away. I just want some tips. Enjoying undergrad is nice until you're a sixth year who doesn't know what they want. I don't want to spend that much time in undergrad. I want to work hard and get out. I hope to get more informative responses.
Thanks again

Oh come on. Could you be more condescending? There aren't only two options for undergraduate experience - "getting in and out" or "enjoying until you're a 6th year." The law school admissions process is about two things: GPA and LSAT. The rest of it doesn't matter, and if you spend your whole college experience obsessing over how you look on an application rather than enjoying the experience, you will leave college having spent four miserable years to get no discernible admissions-advantage.

I don't know, I think you can spend four years in undergraduate, participate in a lot of activities, do well and still have a fun experience but maybe I am wrong. I  just figured there are so many applicants to law schools and a good GPA and LSAT may not be good enough, especially in 4 or 5 years because it's only going to get more competitive. I thought law school admissions committees look at the complete person, their experiences and their activities.

Yes, you can participate in a lot of activities, do well and have fun. I know that I did. But if your ultimate purpose in doing all of those things is to get into law school, that is greatly misguided. Do what you want to do for the sake of it, not because you think it will give you an advantage.

As for the admissions process, it is currently dominated by GPA/LSAT. Will it be different in 5 years? Maybe, maybe not. None of us know. All the more reason to not preoccupy yourself thinking about it now!

First, thanks for your replies. I think we can all agree that no matter what changes in the next 4 or 5 years in applications, the process is not going to get less competitive and you may need more than just a good GPA and LSAT. The only thing I came on here for is to ask what I can do to make my application stand out more and when I should start to study for the LSAT. Any tips are still appreciated.
Thanks again

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 05:04:11 PM »
Why can we all agree that it won't get less competitive?  The law market and especially BIGLAW markets are floundering.  Firms are not doing so well.  So why should the competition to get into a struggling market get more difficult?  Moreover, maybe if it's harder to get a legal job, less students will apply to law school.  Maybe not, but we can't just "all agree" that it's not going to get less competitive.  It might.  Who knows.

CTL

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009, 05:07:34 PM »
Get involved in on or off campus extracurriculars right away (something you actually will enjoy and care about), stick with them throughout undergrad, and try to take on leadership roles wherever possible.  Try to get to know your professors so that you have some who can write meaningful letters of recommendation when the time comes.  At the end of your second year I would start to get familiar with the LSAT in general, then put together a timeline for LSAT study.  

If you do this, you'll be fine.  

See you in three years.

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Jamie Stringer

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2009, 05:13:01 PM »
First, thanks for your replies. I think we can all agree that no matter what changes in the next 4 or 5 years in applications, the process is not going to get less competitive and you may need more than just a good GPA and LSAT. The only thing I came on here for is to ask what I can do to make my application stand out more and when I should start to study for the LSAT. Any tips are still appreciated.
Thanks again

I know this sounds hardcore, but really, schools care predominately about your numbers. There's really not much you can do in the way of clubs and what not that will make you stand out. But like I tell others in your same position, if you intend to get involved in activities, get involved in activities for depth and not breadth (meaning it's better to choose a few activities and rise through the ranks into leadership positions than to be a member of every club on campus). Take courses that are writing intensive and rigorous that you will enjoy and in which you will excel. If you can, try to take a couple of classes from one professor because that person can speak to your strengths a lot more in depth than someone with whom you took one class.

These are small things that can be helpful, but as previously articulated, GPA+LSAT are number one, especially for someone like you coming straight from UG.
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salc90

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Re: Any tips for Class of 2016?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2009, 05:16:20 PM »
Why can we all agree that it won't get less competitive?  The law market and especially BIGLAW markets are floundering.  Firms are not doing so well.  So why should the competition to get into a struggling market get more difficult?  Moreover, maybe if it's harder to get a legal job, less students will apply to law school.  Maybe not, but we can't just "all agree" that it's not going to get less competitive.  It might.  Who knows.
You're right I shouldn't have used those words but the longer you stay in school, the better. Having an education is important and there are people who go to law school who have no intentions of working in the legal field after they graduate and with the way the job market is heading many people will probably continue to attend higher education programs like law, pharmacy, etc. Having a law degree could is valuable to other types of employers too, not just legal fields.