For those of you applying for Fall 2013 admission (or even Fall 2014 if you’re taking time off) here are 3 things you can do this month (May 2012) to get things underway!
1. Make your LSAT Decisions: Decide on your date and choose a prep program. Consider your schedule (work, school, family) and budget, how well you study on your own, how much it helps you to sit in a class versus following along online, and how much you struggle with standardized testing. Based on this information, choose whether to do an in-class prep program, private tutoring, a self-study regimen, an online class, or any combination thereof. Prices can range from a couple of hundred dollars for self study programs with materials to several thousand dollars, but there is really no need to spend more than $1500-$2000 on LSAT prep if you choose wisely.
2. Get your Letters of Rec Going: Choose people to write letters on your behalf. Ask them if they can write a “strong” letter of recommendation for you. If so, give them the information they need to include details about you. Prepare them by giving them the form they need from LSAC and memorize everything you need to know about the procedure by reading this page about law school letters of rec. Make sure you are asking the right people, meaning people who law schools will want to hear from. For more about this, you can read Chapter 4 of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert. Then make sure your LORs are received by LSAC by the end of the summer.
3. Explore Career Choices. Make sure to spend some time seriously considering your reasons for going to law school. Read everything about law school – good and bad – that you can get your hands on. Talk to lawyers. Talk to law students. Visit law schools. Get as much information as you can so you make informed decisions throughout the law school application process. If you haven’t already read The Law School Decision Game: A Playbook for Prospective Lawyers then start there. For the realities of starting your own law firm, read Make It Your Own Law Firm. Read articles about recent law firm hiring trends and student loan debt. Read blogs about different lawyering careers. Lawyers make their best arguments by knowing their facts, so if you do your research you’ll be able to justify your decision to go to law school when people harangue you about it!