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Author Topic: What Do You Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)  (Read 84097 times)

FossilJ

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UPDATED: DECEMBER 11, 2006

Okay, let's face it.  Applying to law school is a pain in the ass because there are a million and one different forms needed.

I thought it would be a good idea to brainstorm and come up with a checklist of every and any form that may be required by law schools for a file to go complete.

I will list a few that I can think of off the top of my head, wait for more suggestions, and add them as they come.  If anyone knows of specifics -- that is, School X requires Y form that no other school does -- list it anyway and I'll add it with a note beside it to demarcate the school. 

Let's hop to it!


So far, we've got:


Register for LSDAS

          Okay, the rest of this makes no sense without registration.  The earlier you register, the better.  Go to the LSAC website for more information.

Academic Transcript

          To procure, according to rtqw, "once you're signed up to LSDAS you can print out a form with your name and other information. You sign that form and then ask your school's registar's office to send a copy of your transcript along with that signed form to LSAC for processing."

          And, according to ....., "sending actual transcripts would be silly.  LSAC sends copies with your summary report--schools will know what classes you took."

Personal Statement

NOTE: For Yale, the 250 is the required personal statement.

HERE is a great thread providing links on the personal statement.  I checked them out -- they are good!  PLEASE read over these if you haven't started your PS yet.

Diversity Statement

          So far, we have:
               
  • Columbia
  • Duke
  • Georgetown
  • Penn
  • Wake Forest
  • Tulane
  • Northwestern
  • NYU - "brief statement to discuss your ethnic/racial/cultural identity.  Also invite you to submit any relevant additional info."
  • Cornell - Here's their prompt:
                       
    Quote
    "In making admissions decisions, we give consideration, among other things, to diversity factors (including but not limited to racial or ethnic group identification, cultural, linguistic or economic group; sexual orientation; or other factors), obstacles that applicants have overcome, and/or discrimination that you have experienced. If you choose, please submit a separate statement (in addition to the required personal statement) discussing any or all of these issues to the extent they apply to you."
         
          This is about as good an explanation as you're ever going to see:

To those who have questions about diversity statements, this is a good prompt (one of U Mich's optional essays) that I posted on the other board:

How might your background and experience enhance the diversity of our student body or of the legal profession?  You might discuss perspectives or experiences relating to socioeconomic disadvantage, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, or religious affiliation.  You might also discuss atypical career goals, employment history, educational background or special talents or skills.

The diversity statement speaks to what makes you different from the rest of the applying class.  It doesn't have to be about a specific experience or obstacles that you've overcome.

          IF YOU KNOW OF SCHOOLS THAT ASK FOR A DIVERSITY STATEMENT OR ALLOW ONE, PLEASE POST AND LET US KNOW!

Letters of Recommendation (2 required most likely, but 3-4 is good to have)

          Some schools ask for separate recommender forms.  Stanford is one such school.  Columbia also has a school recommended form.  IF YOU KNOW OF OTHERS, PLEASE LET US KNOW.

Resume

          This is useful for most applications, but some schools are very specific.  Thanks to MoniLi for the following list:
         
  • Columbia: Recommended
  • Duke: Required
  • GWU: Optional
  • Georgetown: Required
  • NYU: Optional
  • Northwestern: Required
  • University of Chicago: Required
  • University of Florida: Required
  • UVA: Optional
  • Vanderbilt: Optional
  • Harvard: Required (as of 2006/2007)
  • University of Texas: Required

          For more information on resumes, or to join the debate on what they should contain, head to THIS THREAD.

Dean's Certification

          For more information and a list of schools that require Dean's Certification, go HERE
          (That thread makes me miss some old posters, especially Jason240, who always wore his heart on his sleeve.  Paranoid as he was.  Also, it's very detailed.  Thanks rtqw for the link, even though I'm too stupid to notice it stickied right onto the forum  :D.)

          UPDATE: As of 2006/2007, applicants to Harvard will no longer need to provide certification for their file to be considered complete.  For more information, read Toby's blog posting.

Here's a good question from asdfgh:

What is a certification letter?

On the wisconsin-madison app it has this included at the end:

note: If you are applying electronically via LSAC, print out and sign your certification letter instead of signing this application.

Where is it? And do what with it then? I feel like this is probably a really stupid question, but...I'm asking anyways.

Bass's reply is helpful:

You will not find it on the application.  You will find it only once you've submitted.  Then you'll have access to it.  It's a form you'll print out and mail.

I was pretty confused by this sort of thing last year.

Addendum 

          This could be to explain:               
               
  • Low GPA (overall, or for a particular period).
  • Low LSAT.
  • Minor criminal record.

        U Penn actually prompts for a GPA/LSAT related addendum.

(THERE'S MORE -- CONTINUED ON NEXT POST...)
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

dusya4

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 07:17:20 PM »
I didn't see not one school that requires 3 recommendations.
All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
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FossilJ

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 07:20:40 PM »
THE LIST -- CONTINUED!

Statement of Purpose

          A few schools require these.  So far we have:
               
  • Vanderbilt (apparently in lieu of a Personal Statement) - "Why do you want to study law?", or something like that
  • UConn
  • Boston University

PLEASE POST IF YOU KNOW OF MORE SCHOOLS THAT DO.  WE WILL COMPILE A LIST.

Why X Essays

          So far, the schools we know that ask "Why Us?" are:
               
  • Penn
  • Michigan
  • SMU - "Why do you want to study law in Dallas?", or something like that
  • Pepperdine - Something about religious values
  • Northwestern
  • Loyola Chicago
  • WUSTL
  • Columbia (optional)
          PLEASE POST AND ADD MORE IF YOU KNOW OF OTHERS THAT REQUIRE THIS ESSAY OR A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.

Optional Essays (or means 1 of 2, and means that you can write more than one)
         
  • Duke - "Academic essay"
  • University of Michigan allows up to 2 (but none are required) from the following:
    • Why Michigan
    • Future Career Plans
    • GPA/LSAT not reflecting your ability
    • Descirbe a failure/setback that you've overcome
    • Describe an experience that speaks to the problems and possibilities of diversity in an educational of work setting
    • Skills/values of a good lawyer
    • Diversity statement
  • Yale - a personal statement apart from the Yale 250
  • William and Mary - "about an event in your life of which you are especially proud."

Lots and lots of $$$


What am I missing?  TELL ME!  We could all use this thread as a reference.  Instructions on how to achieve these objectives are also welcome -- dealing with your own university can be a pain in the ass as well.


Thanks to the following contributors:

rtqw
goosenesque
cassise
dusya4
GreyStreet
stevo87
paige84
Auelan
.....
r85
stotan12
mike245
Alamo
xkz
MoniLi
dcarealsattaker
diamondinthesky
madison07
Argh
goaliechica
szerena


A final word from GreyStreet (RIP):

Anyway, applying is really not as complicated as it sounds.  All you need to do is tailor your resume to the study of law (should be easy), then write a few general personal statements about why you want to go to law school (a diversity statement if applicable), and an addendum if it applies to you. (i.e. I had a M.I.P. my freshman year of college --- not a big deal at all) ... Apply before November and the rest will really take care of itself.

All I am saying is that it is good to be concerned in advance, but donít sweat the small stuff.  I would again stress the importance of your LSAT score (you CAN help this) and your GPA (you CANíT help this) above any of the aforementioned documents.  Just take it one step at a time, you will learn as you go.
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

rtqw

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2006, 07:30:45 PM »
Resume - if I remember correctly, of the schools I'm applying to, only Georgetown requires it, but many other schools invite you to submit one and some others allow you to submit a resume in lieu of completing application info about work experience. It seems that it is okay to submit an expanded resume for law school applications, so I'm working on creating a 1 1/2 page version of mine.

Dean's certification- I know Columbia requires one, I don't know which other schools (including the ones I'm applying to) require it as well.

Obviously addendums aren't required, but something to put on the checklist for those who need to explain something.

Edit: And although it's obvious, for the sake of creating a complete checklist you'll want LSAT score and processed transcript.
University of Michigan Law School, Class of 2010
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FossilJ

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 07:32:24 PM »
Beautiful, thanks.

Addendums will be added to the list.  What sort of addendums are we looking at?
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

FossilJ

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 07:35:06 PM »
Oh, also, how does one get Dean's Certification?  Instructions wouldn't be a bad idea on this page, either.  I will be adding instructions as people provide them.

Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

rtqw

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 07:38:40 PM »
Beautiful, thanks.

Addendums will be added to the list.  What sort of addendums are we looking at?


I don't expect to write one, but I know other people do in order to explain low GPA (or low grades during a given period of time), low LSAT, or a minor criminal record.

Also, there are optional essays- some strongly reccomend that an applicant complete these, especially the 'Why Our Law School' essay.

As for reccomendations, all the schools I've looked at required at least one, most require two. I don't think I've seen any schools reccomend more than two (whether more than two is a good idea regardless, I'm not sure). I'd predict for the vast majority of applicants, two will be the minimum required by at least one of the schools they apply to. 
University of Michigan Law School, Class of 2010
LSN

rtqw

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 07:44:17 PM »
This thread has info on the Dean's certification. Cornell, Harvard, Stanford, BU, and some other schools require it.
University of Michigan Law School, Class of 2010
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FossilJ

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 07:45:39 PM »
Again, you rule.  Thanks!
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

cassise

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Re: What Do I Need To Go Complete? (A General Forum for Specifics.)
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 09:00:38 PM »
Statement of purpose for the very few schools that ask "why law school"

A collectiong of "why X essays (Penn, Michigan, etc).

LOTS OF $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$