Advice on 5 Major Parts of the Law School Application

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This month, I traveled to UC Berkeley to speak to members of two pre-law groups. I decided to share with them tips on the five major parts of the law school application that had not already been covered on every blog and forum. I encouraged them to embrace mantras including “Grunt work is good!” and “Surprise the reader.” For these and more tips on cultivating letters of recommendation for law school, creating your law school resume, personal statement, optional essays, and addenda, read this recap of my Berkeley visit on Above the Law.

11 thoughts on “Advice on 5 Major Parts of the Law School Application

  1. Brittany on said:

    Thank you for posting this, Ann! As a URM I feel compelled to write a diversity statement. It looks like my time is better spent writing a Why X Law School statement instead.

  2. Hi Ann!

    I have learned an incredible amount from your discussions/posts and have followed many of their suggestions during my entire prep/app process. I’m in the final stages of my app process now, and after examining a majority of your posts and numerous other law school admissions officers’ discussions on resumes; I am left with one unanswered question regarding a subject that has received no attention:

    What is your opinion on mentioning secret societies on a resume? Would this be appropriately placed under an ‘Affiliations’/’Membership’ section of a Resume, or in an ‘Interests’ section? This is an issue that I have yet to resolve, especially due to the overlap of said membership with volunteer/philanthropic experience.

    I would love to hear your input on this!

    – Steve

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Steve, sorry for the delay in responding.
      This is a great question. The answer is – what is the culture in your secret society? If the culture is to leave it secret, then list a summary of your volunteer experience without saying what organization it has been through. Great question! No one has ever asked me this in 10 whole years!

  3. Can I email law schools an addendum explaining why I think my most recent LSAT score should be given stronger wait after I have already submitted my application. I submitted a while ago but was just waiting for the December LSAT score to be reported.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Chris, if I understand your question correctly, you want to email an addendum after submitting your application. And, yes, you can and should do so.

  4. Hi Ann,

    I have two odd situations and I’m wondering if either warrants mention ( and if so, what to mention) in an addendum.

    Firstly, my first LSAT went poorly, I scored a 160. Nerves aside, I was not wise enough to practice with a scantron and on test day I botched the bubbling of a section pretty badly (double bubbling, poor erasing, etc.). I retook the test 2 years later and scored a 170. Besides practicing with a scantron, I also became more self-confident and capable since the first period (the first time around, my highest practice score was a 168). Does the score increase speak for itself, or should I plan to address it in an addendum? If so, do I mention the scantron?

    Secondly, it turns out I failed a PE class my senior year (I thought the class had been dropped, didn’t know the “UX” on my transcript was considered a “fail” until I got my Academic Summary Report; my school didn’t consider the grade to be punitive so it had no effect on my GPA at the time). I tried to drop the class due to an injury, and am currently negotiating with my institution for a corrected transcript. Should that not work out, do you think an addendum mention is necessary? Lowers my GPA from a 3.75 to a 3.71, the main impact is on my senior year GPA with falls from a 3.89 to a 3.71, as well. Other than the PE class, my grades got noticeably better throughout college. If I call it out, is there a good way to position/explain the “fail” other than that I made a huge clerical issue with an add/drop form and wasn’t smart enough to question the UX at the time?

    I don’t want to make excuses, I’m not sure if explaining two different aspects would be a net negative‚Ķ

    I really appreciate any guidance!

    Ally

  5. Hello Ann,

    Thank you for posting this extremely helpful blog. I have a question about the resume portion of the application. I have been out of college for a couple of years and have held a few different positions. Normally when I apply to a job, I cut my resume down to one page and list the most recent and most relevant information. For a law school application, should I list every position that I have held through and since college, or should I send the abridged version? I did include everything in the employment history of some of the applications.

    Best,
    Jessy

  6. Hello Ms. Levine,

    Thank you for posting all of this advice. I have a question about the resume portion of the application. Under the employment section of the applications, I have listed all of my employment through and since college. My resume that I submit to job applications, on the other hand, is one page and lists only my most recent and relevant jobs. Should I submit a complete resume that matches my employment section, or is the abridged version sufficient, like on a job application?

    Best,
    Jessy

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