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The Do’s & Don’ts of Law School Applications

So you’re applying to law school… in the middle of a pandemic. Sounds daunting- I know. A lack of guidance, motivation, and plain-old inspiration can bring you to a stand still. Campus tours are unlikely, and dreams of law school in fall of 2021 might be altered to fit a more ‘virtual’ setting. Don’t get discouraged though! I’ve compiled a list of do’s and don'ts for your upcoming law school application, in order for you to keep that determination alive.

Do Sign up for CAS - as soon as possible:

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Law School Admissions Council site- which is a requirement to enroll in for your LSAT. Have you ever heard of the Credential Assembly Service though? This can be found through the LSAC site, and it is nothing short of a blessing. This service completely renovates the modern day application process. It compiles all of the information necessary for a law school application, and with the click of a button, you’ve finished applying to ten different law schools at once! All accredited law schools utilize it, and even though it may cost an extra $195 dollars, it pretty much is a requirement. Don’t sleep on this though! It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to go through, so I would definitely recommend signing up for it sooner rather than later. 

Don’t Wait to submit your transcripts:

Transcripts are one of the simplest aspects of the application process. All you need to do is go through your undergraduate’s portal and request for the transcript to be sent to LSAC. This process is fool-proof- but also takes at least two weeks to complete. Make sure you get to this before the last minute. It is required for every law school application- so do not forget this. 

Do Ask for letters of recommendation early:

Letters of recommendation could be that aspect of your application that tips you over the edge. You may have an average LSAT score, and a good GPA, but alone you probably wouldn’t have a shot at getting into your dream school. With a stellar recommendation though, you just might achieve that acceptance letter! I would highly recommend asking for these letters early, in order to give your recommenders enough time to think of all the wonderful things about you. 

Don’t Hesitate to retake the LSAT:

The LSAT may be difficult, but it is predictable. If you initially bomb the test, do not be afraid to retake it! Almost every law school out there will solely look at your best score, and they truly do not care if your initial score was exponentially low. Also, the better you do on your LSAT, the more scholarship money you’re likely to receive. Retaking the LSAT may give you a couple thousand dollar bonus instantaneously!

Do Complete your LSAT writing before your actual LSAT date:

The LSAT writing is arguably the least important aspect - but it is required. Try to complete it before your actual test date, that way you can complete your exam, and never look back. 

Don’t Be afraid to apply to ‘reach’ schools:

Good news! The admissions teams for each law school are human. This means that based upon the weather, their mood, or even just their preferences you may be selected to go to that ‘reach’ school you never assumed you’d get into. Although your LSAT and GPA make up for a large percentage of the decision making process, it is not the totality of their decision process. Don’t hesitate to click on that school you’d never dream of applying to- because you just might be accepted. 

Law school applications are not easy, and they often can be intimidating, but they’re not impossible. With the aforementioned tips, it can be a much smoother and less stressful process to ensure that you do the best you can do! All of the resources you come across within this process aim to help you, and there are a ton of outside resources (like Her Campus!) that can assist you in your law school journey. On a final and more generalized note, make sure to be yourself, and embrace your individuality, because law schools want the diversity that you have to offer.

Madison Andrade is a senior studying Political Science at Arizona State University. Her favorite pastimes are reading, playing piano and rough-housing with her Great Dane puppies! She aspires to make a positive change in one person's life, every day. If you have any questions for Madison, feel free to email her at: maandra3@asu.edu.
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