Tips for College Students Considering Law School

Law School Expert Blog

If you are more than 18 months away from college graduation, here are some suggestions that will help provide a strong foundation for a possible application to law school in the future. Since your GPA is still within your control, work hard. Pick classes that interest and excite you and do well in the most challenging classes you can take. It helps to have a sincere interest in the subject matter. People tend to perform better when they are engaged in what they are learning.

Best Majors for Law School

If you just started to think about law school, keep in mind that it’s not necessary to major in political science or another prelaw field. Business can be practical in law practice, while more scientific fields like engineering and biology show academic inclination and problem-solving skills, which are especially applicable to a career in intellectual property (IP) law. Subjects like English, philosophy or art history hone your writing and argumentation skills; language and cultural knowledge will allow you to serve diverse populations.

If your classes are in a topic that doesn’t demonstrate exposure to legal issues and your work experience doesn’t cover that either, consider taking a class or two in a law-related topic. In addition to showing interest in the subject matter, it will help you decide whether law school is really something that interests you. Take some writing-intensive courses or write a thesis to help demonstrate your research and writing abilities.

Cultivate Strong Letters of Recommendation

Take more than one course with a couple of different professors so you can cultivate a relationship that will later allow you to ask for a strong letter of recommendation (LOR). Take the initiative to visit them during office hours, speak up during class, and ask the professor for outside research or mentorship opportunities. You can even approach your professors at the beginning of a course and explain your goal of attending law school, and that you hope to earn an LOR from them. They may watch you more closely and be more likely to remember you at the end of the semester, especially in a large class.

Show an Upward Trend in your Grades

If your college performance began on a rocky note, keep in mind that law schools will note upward trends. It’s not too late to pull up your grades. Many law schools will forgive a poor or lackluster start if you redeem yourself during your last two years of college. If you really need to show an upward trend, consider taking a gap year after college so that law schools will be able to consider grades from your senior year, and you can keep cultivating faculty letters of recommendation.

Start Studying for the LSAT 6-8 months Before You Take It

Before your first LSAT attempt, give yourself plenty of time to prepare adequately (knowing that life will inevitably get in the way). Choose a good, online LSAT prep program without breaking the bank. Avoid trying to teach yourself the LSAT from the get go and learning bad techniques that you have to unlearn later. This wastes valuable time. If you were learning to play tennis, trying to teach yourself to serve, you’d never be a good player and when you finally invest in help you’ll be undoing bad habits. Instead, start by learning things the right way and use your time wisely.

Plan to Apply in the Fall of your Senior Year

This means starting to prepare for law school applications in your junior year, or at least by the summer after junior year. This should be your main focus so you’re prepared and ready to take advantage of the rolling admission process.

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