Law School Discussion

Admitted Studenst: What would you do differently in application process?


The applying to many schools thing is not bad, since at the time of applying you really don't know where you will end up and want to make sure you have more choices to choose from as opposed to less. I applied to schools I knew I wasn't going to go to (even without a fee waiver), but I knew I could and would only want one school.

My advice is as follows:
1. Study well and hard for the LSAT
2. Get 3-4 learned folks to read your PStmt (too many cooks ruin the broth and too few don't know diddly squat)
3. Draft an outline of your LOR and have your recommender edit it.I say this because you want to put your best foot forward (since you are the one going to law school) and make sure your recommender knows this.
4. Apply early to schools you believe you see yourself going to, not based on what other folks are doing or are your own destiny and what God has for you is for you.
5. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL: Apply with faith and hope..don't go lurking around LSN, LSD or gasp!!! (xoxo)..trying to gauge your chances based on others. Many of these posters are not like you, in spirit or in truth. If you believe God has a plan for you then trust Him... I don't care if you are a URM or ORM..what God has for you is for you..don't be posting crap like 160 GPA 3.5 what are my chances?? You've already set faith with hope and don't let the experiences of others affect your (this sounds preachy but I'm speaking from experience..which is the best teacher)...Also don't hate on others who have higher or lower scores than you who apply/get into better/worse schools than brings to mind Jesus' teachings on the first shall be the last and the last the first...try it and worked for me and I am in no way special.

Slow Blues

There is no need to apply to 20+ schools. If you're reasonably certain about where you want to practice, then focus on that area. You should be able to see yourelf attending that school if it's the only school you got into. I'd say a good list is 10-12 schools TOPS: 2-3 reaches, 4-5 targets, and 3-4 safeties or some such similar combination. If you're a minority, have a couple more reaches. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Like goodgal said, study very, very hard for the LSAT. Take a course if you need to, and don't whine about the cost. Yeah yeah, the course is $1800 but if you get a $2500 scholarship, then you made a good investment. Know every part of the exam. Don't accept the fact that you're deficient in games or too slow to work through all the arguments problems. That's slacker talk. Make sure you practice in real-world TIMED conditions. If you don't, you'll be in for a real sh*tty surprise come exam time.

Don't apply to schools just because they're near your boyfriend or girlfriend. That's teenager behavior. Do what's best for you and you alone.

A school is a safety for you if your LSAT/GPA are above their 75th percentile. It's a target if you're in between the 75th and 25th percentiles. It's a reach if you're at or below the 25th percentile. If you're a splitter (meaning your LSAT and GPA are divergent), use your LSAT as your guide. Most schools weigh that more heavily.

My LSAT and GPA are below UConn's 25th percentile, but I'm a cheerleader!! That's nice. Everyone thinks their LOR or their PS is hot sh*t. It may very well be, but your LSAT and GPA are the two factors with predominant influence on your application.

Try to be well-rounded. It may be a little late in the game, but I honestly think volunteer experience looks good on your application. Good work experience helps too, especially if you can relate it to law in some way.

You don't need to apply super-early, just don't apply late. By late I mean late January or February. I applied in early October, but I think November would've been fine. But applying in September is not helping your cause.

Think hard before doing binding Early Decision; i.e. be careful what you wish for. Make sure you love your ED school and make sure you can afford it, because you lose all your scholarship leverage.

Get a couple extra copies of your letters of recommendation. A lot of outside scholarships want letters of recommendation and it's better to just have a few on hand rather than pestering your recommender again.

Proof-read your attachments and applications thoroughly, but one typo will NOT sink your application. Harvard isn't going to turn down a 178/3.9 applicant just because their personal statement had "teh" in it.

Don't blow smoke. Most people who go to law school go into private practice. So, don't write about how you want to help starving orphans with your law degree unless you already have some hard evidence of your commitment or experience.

Give your recommender a lot of time to draft your letter. I'm talking at least 6 weeks. It's okay to work with them to help them draft the letter; there's nothing unethical or disingenuous about it. I would include some outside info about yourself like your resume, a paper you did for their class, what your interests are, and why you want to go to law school. It can help them come up with content for your letter. Follow up maybe once every 2-3 weeks to make sure they haven't forgotten about it. They can and often do forget. And have a backup recommender or two in case the first one turns out to be a delinquent shithead.

Ok, so you got a fee waiver. Nice. Good work. It doesn't mean anything. You're not guaranteed admission. The school is merely soliciting an application from you on the basis of one or more factors, whether that be your LSAT, location, minority status, or stated interests as submitted to LSAC.

One other thing: I really think a 3.3 in Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is just like a 3.9 in English at Yale. If you had a hard science major (PoliSci is not hard science, by the way), I think schools will have mercy on your soul. My opinion.


1. Don't apply until you are ready to. It's better to turn in a polished app one month later than it is to turn in an app you know isn't your best (assuming, of course, that you do not exceed the deadline).

2. Unless you are very well-versed in marketing yourself, purchase a guide. Richard Montauk's book was especially helpful when it came to positioning myself, and Anna Ivey's gave me a great idea of what the whole process was about. In hindsight, I am so grateful for those books.

3. Have faith. Especially if you're a URM, don't let Chiashu or the other calculators break your heart.

 Get them now so they are with LSDAS when you send out your apps.

I totally agree. Also with LOTR, be sure to give your recommenders your resume and if you are highlighting some good quality you have (leadership, research skills, etc.) in your PS, be sure to see if you can get your recommended to agree that you have those skills. It works. I did that with my LOTR.

And I don't care if you are a rich white middle class guy, if they have an optional diversity statement, think of something to say. Don't get caught up in the word "optional" because really, it ain't, unless you are a 3.9/175+.

And be sure to write at least two or three drafts of your PS. And don't be afraid to apply to reach schools.


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The entire process is rather arbitrary beyond your LSAT and GPA.  Buy Montauk's or Anna Ivey's book.  Do what they say.  Read these boards and talk to people who are where you want to be.  That's about all you can do.

As a person who had a deadbeat recommender, definitely get started on those LORs now. I ended up having my applications be delayed for a month because I had to get another recommendation that was sent in right before the holidays and didn't get processed until they were over.  

I think the importance of applying early is overrated, especially if it means rushing into the LSAT.  If you don't feel like you are going to get what you hope to get on the June test, by all means postpone until October.  Gaining 5-10 points on the LSAT is going to do so much more for you than turning in your application EA versus regular admission.  Ten points on the LSAT can mean the difference between a tier 3 and a tier 1.  If you aren't ready to take the LSAT until December, don't stress.  In addition, if you need a GPA boost from fall semester's grades, you may also want to wait.  You want to make that application as attractive as possible, not send it out as early as possible.

Don't go overboard on applications. I didn't apply to a ton, but now there are a few I wish I had skipped.  

Mr. Pink

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Thank you...great
many thanks..

Don't go overboard on applications. I didn't apply to a ton, but now there are a few I wish I had skipped.

Same here. And when I say apply early, I mean get your applications done by November. Remember a lot of schools will take your applications and wait for your LSAT score, so you can send it in December and it'll go complete when your LSAT score arrives.


Agreed to much of the above. My personal two cents:

(1) I wouldn't have sent out my apps before getting my LSAT score.

(2) As many posters have also commented, I applied to too many schools, chiefly safeties. Basically, if your numbers are around the 75th percentile at a school, you are GOING to get in, barring a murderous backgound. You only need 2-3 safeties to give you some options, not 13.

Hybrid Vigor

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One last thing - do not take Lawschooldiscussion (or xoxo for that matter) as the gospel. Many people here have no clue what they are talking about. Talk to people in REAL LIFE that are in law school or are already practicing lawyers. I took up a file clerk position at a firm and am very glad I did so - many of my FC coworkers were also thinking about LS and about 3/4ths have decided not to apply for various reasons. Learn something about what practicing attorneys do, and talk to REAL LAWYERS - if you do, you'll find much of what is spouted here (with the exeception of BLSD) is utter BS.