You’ve heard it a million times: your law school application must be unique to get into law school. But how do you ensure your application is unique? Read on to learn about how to elevate your application so that it stands out!
When you apply to law schools, you’ll be competing with thousands of other students with similar credentials. When everyone has LSAT scores and GPAs in the competitive range, it can seem impossible to stand out amongst the crowd.
However, aside from having the right scores, there are several ways you can strengthen your application to ensure it’s memorable and impresses the admissions committee. This guide will go over what looks good on a law school application and give you our top law school application tips!
Law school applications aren’t simply a numbers game. While your GPA and LSAT score are important factors the admissions committee will consider, they aren’t the only ones. Here’s what looks good on the other parts of your application:
While it’s difficult to separate easy courses from difficult ones, you want to ensure your transcript has a diverse range of challenging courses. If you only pick easy courses, the admissions committee will have a hard time assessing your ability to handle the academic rigors of law school.
Try to take courses from multiple disciplines to prove you’re able to excel in various fields! You should also take courses that can help you build the fundamental skills you’ll need to thrive in law school.
Some great options are history courses to help you understand the legal system better, writing-intensive courses to strengthen your reading and writing skills, psychology to help you understand human behaviors and actions, and communications classes to sharpen your speaking, persuasion, and rhetorical skills.
Lawyers are leaders. They take charge of courtrooms, advise and advocate for their clients, and ensure justice is upheld. As such, having significant leadership experience on your resume can help you stand out by proving you already have an essential quality to succeed in law.
This leadership experience can come from places you’ve volunteered, worked, or your extracurriculars. Ideally, it’ll come from all three.
A good way to obtain leadership experience is to join school clubs, volunteer for various organizations, or places of employment early into your undergrad. Make sure you stick with them for the duration of your pre-law track.
Prove you are a dedicated member of the organization or club, and over time, you’re more likely to be offered or be eligible for executive positions.
Your academic potential is one of the most important factors the admissions committee assesses through your application. Having several academic achievements aside from just a high GPA can help you stand out and prove your academic excellence.
Consider applying for academic awards or participating in academic contests at your school.
If you’ve built strong connections with your professors, you may also be able to help them with their research and have your name on the published paper. The legal field involves extensive research and writing, so having experience writing an academic article is sure to impress the admissions committee.
Now that you know what looks good on a law school application, here are some tips on how to further differentiate your application.
You want to demonstrate that you have strong writing skills and you’re committed to joining the law schools you’re applying to. Silly grammar, spelling, or syntax errors tell the admissions committee you either have poor writing skills or simply don’t care enough to edit your work.
To avoid this, ensure you edit every aspect of your application several times, even your resume.
If you can, get someone else to edit your application as well. A second pair of eyes will almost always find mistakes you overlooked.
We’ve stated you should have significant leadership experience on your application to stand out, and that the best way to gain this experience is to stick with the same extracurriculars for a few years.
With that being said, it’s important you don’t join multiple extracurriculars just to fill up your resume. Law schools will find it far more impressive if you make meaningful contributions in a few extracurriculars, than if you join several and show little growth within the organizations.
You should mention your future aspirations as a lawyer in your personal statement. Having a specific career plan will demonstrate that you’re dedicated to the legal profession.
You should also mention why law school is the next logical step for you and how the specific schools you’re applying to can help you achieve your goals. Ensure you also prove how you would be an asset to these schools and how you can bring valuable perspectives to their communities.
If you’re an unconventional applicant, have gone through significant obstacles, or have otherwise experienced circumstances that give you unique perspectives on law, you should mention these through a diversity statement or in your personal statement.
Law schools have a strong commitment to increasing the diversity and richness of their schools and are always seeking applicants that can help them achieve this goal!
Law school admissions committees strongly value the perspectives of the professors that taught you and witnessed your academic potential first-hand. Accordingly, you should choose your recommenders carefully to ensure they can offer detailed insight into your best qualities and accomplishments.
Do not simply choose your recommender based on the prestige you think their name will hold. These letters will be ungenuine and generic, which will ultimately weaken your application. Instead, choose recommenders you have formed the closest relationships with and whose classes you have excelled in.
Most law school applications open around August and close sometime between February to June. However, to ensure you have the best chances of gaining admission, you should apply to your desired law schools as early as possible.
The majority of law schools admit students on a rolling basis, meaning they review applications as they come in. This means there are more seats available near the beginning of the application process than there are at the end.
For any remaining questions about what looks good on law school applications, read on to find your answers.
There isn’t a list of perfect activities you can pursue to guarantee admission to your top law schools. The exact activities you choose to participate in matter less than the accomplishments and contributions you make in those activities.
Admissions committees value quality over quantity, so having a few activities that you’ve participated in for several years and been promoted in will make your application stand out far more than having multiple activities in which you’ve contributed little to.
While it’s impossible to tell you how to create a perfect law school application, demonstrating the following traits can get you pretty close:
The top four criteria for admission to law schools are a high LSAT score, a high GPA, relevant skills and experience to excel in the legal profession, and a clear dedication to pursuing law.
Law schools will want to see that you’ve first and foremost put effort into your application. It should be thoroughly edited before you submit it. Additionally, they will want to see that you're academically talented, an active member of your local and school community, and have a clear commitment to the legal profession.
Good grades and a high LSAT score alone won’t convince the committee of your law school candidacy. By following the law school application tips we’ve shared in this guide, you’ll have a differentiated application that captures who you are as a person and what you can offer your desired law schools!