Tagged: law school Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Rachel Lindsey 11:59 pm on November 8, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: admissions, , , law school, personal statement   

    Five tricks to preparing your Personal Statement, from the Admissions Committee 

    It’s early November, September LSAT scores have arrived, and if you plan to matriculate in the fall of 2017, you are probably deep in the work of law school applications. If you’re like many students, the part of the application you dread most, and may even be avoiding, is the personal statement. This blog offers some guidance to help you through that process.

    Last week, admissions representatives from Berkeley Law, Northwestern Law, USC Gould School of Law, and Texas Law were on campus speaking with AU students about the admissions process, and turned to the topic of Personal Statements. If you weren’t able to join them, here is a taste of what they shared.why-i-want-gq4ub0

    First, the basics. Follow the directions. This includes responding to the exact prompt posed, the page limits, the specific information requested, and any other guidance. Don’t cheat with tiny fonts – admissions committees are wise to that trick. They will use your personal statement to judge your writing skills, for sure. They will also use it to assess your judgment, decision-making, and ability to read and follow specific instructions.

    Now that you have the formatting down, consider the statement itself – what you will share, how you will share it, and what it will tell admissions committees about you. Use this moment to be genuinely introspective and tell a story – your story, in your own words. Think of your life as a path. You don’t want to write about where you are now on the path, or where you plan to go next. Instead, consider your backstory. How did you get where you are now? Avoid starting your statement with a quote – the best stories are in your own words and voice, not someone else’s.

    Give the admissions committee the opportunity to get to know you beyond your LSAT score. Don’t repeat your transcript or your resume in narrative format. Instead, share how you got here from there. Write in more depth about that experience from your resume and why it matters. Explain how it has become part of your story.

    Treat your personal statement as if it is an admission interview. Answer the questions you wish they would ask. Share something new that the admissions committee can’t learn elsewhere in your application. This is your chance to make your case for admission and to communicate what law schools should know about you, but otherwise won’t. writing scrabble

    Avoid answering questions asked elsewhere – for example, if there’s a supplemental question that asks Why Our Law School? don’t use two paragraphs of your personal statement to explain that. Use the optional questions as clues to what is best covered elsewhere. Each part of the application is a chance to enhance the committee’s sense of who you are, and how you will fit into their community of scholars. Use each and every piece you can to your best advantage. And when you have done that, hit Save, and walk away.

    Share
     
  • Rachel Lindsey 4:22 pm on April 21, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: law school, , , , , , , ,   

    More Than the Registration Fee: Reasons to Invest in LSAT Prep 

    There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about the best strategy for taking the LSAT – how long to study, how many times to take the test, and even about how “good” a predictor it is of anything at all. The one thing everyone seems to agree on? The LSAT is not just a test; it’s an investment. And it’s an investment that can significantly impact how much you palsy for law school down the line. One major theme that emerged for hopeful law students who attended The True Cost of Law School: Budgeting Beyond Tuition on April 6: Invest in a quality LSAT prep program.

    You’ve probably heard that law school admission is based on two things: LSAT and GPA. Of the two, many admissions officers will say the LSAT score is their priority in assessing how aid will be distributed. This is also true for merit-based aid. As the number of law school applicants has dropped, schools have begun to compete more actively for the best-qualified applicants – often using merit-based financial aid as incentive to attract those applicants. In this competitive environment, the higher your LSAT score, the better your odds not just for admissions, but also for scholarships. According to Benjamin Leff, professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, a three-point bump on the LSATS can mean the difference in thousands – or tens of thousands – of dollars in financial aid.

    Another reason to commit your time and your money to preparing for the LSAT? It’s an opportunity to spend small (relatively – compared to law school tuition down the line) early in the process and figure out if law school is right for you. Though it’s often debated, research suggests that the LSAT is a key predictor of bar performance. Law schools often claim that your score is the most consistent predictor of how well you will do the first year in law school and on the bar exam. If studying and then sitting for a test like the LSAT isn’t something you’re willing to do, consider how you’ll handle the three or four months of studying you’ll eventually need to commit for preparing to pass the bar and become a practicing attorney.

    For the budget-conscious law school hopeful, investing $1500 or more in an LSAT prep program might seem like a lot to ask. Be creative, and use all of your resources. Above the Law suggests online options like podcasts and videos, which may cost nothing. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) makes available (for free) Official Prep Materials, including sample questions with explanations, old tests, and videos. There are even free apps you can download to practice exam questions, connect with instructors in a community forum, and more. However, even if your hope is to get your LSAT prep for free, Above the Law still recommends that you invest in real LSAT materials to use for practice. At a minimum, take your LSAT prep seriously. Don’t try to take the test cold, or with only minimal preparation. Look for high quality test prep materials with strong reviews from actual test takers at every price point.

    If you decide to enroll in a commercial preparation course, do your homework – before and during the class. Talk to others who have taken the same course at the same location, ideally with the same instructor. Be skeptical of any course that makes outrageous claims about raising your score. Commit to the program – showing up for the classes is not the same as participating and will not be enough to improve your score. You’ll need to devote significant time outside the classroom to master the material. And lastly, ask about discounts or scholarships. Though not widely advertised, some of the larger prep companies provide discounts to students with demonstrated financial need.

    Most importantly, remember that becoming a lawyer is embarking on a career, not just finding a job. Taking the LSAT is one of the earliest steps in beginning your legal career on solid ground. Take it seriously, and invest your resources accordingly.

     
  • Sue Gordon 6:33 pm on January 12, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , law school,   

    Time to think before you jump into law school 

    As their final semester of college arrives, many seniors are pondering thoughts of law school.   For some, this is more than a “ponder”, it’s a set goal that they have had for many years.  For others, it’s a way to delay jumping into a down economy or simply to avoid facing the “real world”.    Whatever  a student’s motivation, this is the year to stop and think before enrolling in law school.    According to the New York Times article “Is Law School a Losing Game?” , recent law school grads are facing unanticipated rates of un-and-under employment, and are left shouldering tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

    So, does this mean don’t go to law school at all?  No, but do know why you are going, what you can reasonably expect upon graduation, and how you will fund it– now and when the loans are due.    Carefully consider where to enroll– this article had a focus on a struggling graduate from a “fourth tier” institution.    If in doubt,  wait it out.   Work a year, or two, then reassess if law school is for you.

     
  • Sue Gordon 2:44 pm on September 13, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , law school, Senior Day, , , ,   

    Seniors, NOW is the time: Can’t miss events just for you 

    Seniors, NOW is time to prepare for your post-graduation plans! Whether you are thinking of graduate school or working after graduation, the Career Center is hosting an event that is just for you.

    Thinking of Law School? On Thursday, Sept 16 at 4:00 pm come hear representatives from WCL share insights into legal careers and law school admissions.  Learn more and RSVP at http://www.american.edu/careercenter/calendar/?id=2619665

    Wondering when to start your job search? On Tuesday, Sept 21 the AU Career Center is hosting Now and Later: Career Spree for Seniors, a full day dedicated just to Seniors. We’ll have drop-in advising throughout the day.   In the afternoon, we’ll host programs that will inform you on why it is important to begin your job search NOW;  what not to do  in an interview– you’ll see mistakes to avoid;  and you’ll learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media for your job search.  We’ll end the day with an informative Employer Round Table Discussion in the evening—hiring managers will tell you what they expect in resumes, interviews, and more!  For details on time and place, visit the Career Center events calendar at http://www.american.edu/careercenter/calendar/?id=2606982

    Want to find a job or internship? Don’t miss our Fall Job and Internship Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 29 in Bender Arena

    Interested in applying to grad school? On Thursday, October 7 American University faculty will share their thoughts on what makes a great applicant and application.   RSVP at http://www.american.edu/careercenter/calendar/?id=2618612

    Remember, through  your senior year and beyond, AU Career Advisors are ready to help you plan for your next steps.

     
  • Travis Sheffler 9:51 pm on August 26, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: law school,   

    8 Random Thoughts on the Law School Application Process 

    As a pre-law advisor in the Career Center, these are some points that I feel need emphasizing to AU students and alumni regarding applying to and attending law school:

    1. When applying to law school, it is often a benefit to apply early in the process (if prepared), even when you are not planning on applying early decision, which is binding, as many law schools do have certain markers that they try to hit during the application period and the bulk of applicants are not applying until January or later.  For example, a representative at one northeast law school informed me that only 18-20% of their applicants apply by their earlier deadlines (generally around mid-November), yet they try to have around 30% of the class decided upon by the end of the calendar year, and those decisions are generally made from that earliest applicant pool.  Still, those applying to law school should not rush their applications.  This is especially true with the LSAT; don’t take the LSAT unprepared.
    2. Also, applying early doesn’t automatically mean that you will hear a decision early.  In the rolling admissions process that most law schools utilize, first completed generally means first reviewed, but it doesn’t necessarily mean first decided on.  (More …)
     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel