Preparing for Law School: Admissions Criteria
Some college graduates and pre-law students may think that getting into a good law school is easy. Law schools don’t just look for a great LSAT score when choosing students to fill the limited number of seats available each Fall. Once a student understands admissions criteria for entering a good law school, their chances of getting in multiply tenfold.
Most law schools have a limited number of seats available for each new freshman class. Because of this, the committee that decides who gets in needs to be extra careful when evaluating applicants. Admission committees want to choose freshman classes that will have the best chance at graduating. In order to simplify evaluations, most committees break down admissions criteria into two categories, objective and subjective.
Objective Admissions Criteria
Evaluators use objective criteria to predict how first-year law students will do in school. Committees take a good look at the criterion, which includes Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores, undergraduate grade-point average (GPA), and undergraduate coursework.
All law school applicants must take the LSAT before applying to law school. The test itself takes half of a day to complete, and the student’s scores are sent directly to the designated law school for review.
GPA and Coursework
Admission committees evaluate official transcripts, which show the student’s undergraduate work. GPAs are important, but coursework is also equally important. Committees look at what cousrses contributed to the student’s GPA, giving more weight to advanced coursework
Admission committees use subjective criteria to take a look into the student’s character and to see how well the student communicates their ideas.
The applicant’s personal statement tells admission committees why they should admit the student into their program. Evaluators look for a strong, well-written statement, which helps them figure out who the applicant is. Applicants should revise their personal statement, and have a professional review it before submitting to make sure all grammar is correct.
Letters of Recommendation
Most law schools require applicants to submit letters of recommendation from professors, employers or other professionals. Letters should give committees a bit of insight into the applicant’s character and personal strengths.
Pre-law students who work in the legal industry have an advantage when admission committees look at an applicant’s experience. Evaluators search for abilities relevant to the legal profession when evaluating this subjective criterion. For applicants who have no work experience, evaluators can take a look at a student’s extra-curricular activities and internships to fill this criterion.