Four Things Law Schools Consider In Applicants - JD Advising
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Four Things Law Schools Consider In Applicants

If you’re aspiring to one day become an attorney, the first major step is to go to law school. While you may have had no difficulty getting into your top undergraduate college or university, law school is different. Law schools consider different aspects of an applicant’s profile when compared to those used by colleges and universities. One reason is that law school is much more of an intense environment when compared to undergraduate academics. Law school is designed to foster competitiveness between classmates, encourage difficult workloads, and teach students stress and time management.

The second reason why law schools consider different metrics from undergraduate institutions has to do with their end goal. Law schools have one job: to prepare you to pass the bar exam and become an attorney. Your undergraduate school didn’t focus on you fulfilling a certain career role after graduation. For example, communications majors don’t all go into communications. Economics majors don’t all become economists. However, in law school, almost every student becomes an attorney.

So, given the above, what exactly do law schools consider when selecting students for admission?

Four Things Law Schools Consider In Applicants

LSAT Score

When evaluating applicants, the first thing law schools consider is the applicant’s LSAT score. The LSAT (or law school admissions test) is a test taken prior to law school that measures reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and verbal proficiency. A student’s score on the LSAT can range from anywhere between 120-180. The higher the score, the better your chances of getting into law school. Law schools consider LSAT scores as one of the most important components of an applicant’s profile. Many law schools also use LSAT scores to determine scholarship eligibility.

Undergraduate Grades

Law schools also consider undergraduate academic performance when evaluating whether to admit an applicant.  How well you did during your undergraduate career directly impacts whether you get admitted into law school. While there’s no way of knowing how students will perform when in law school, law schools can make an educated guess by looking at your undergraduate academic performance. So, even if you crush the LSAT, your undergraduate grades still play a significant role in admissions decisions!

Letters Of Recommendation

The third thing that law schools consider when determining admissions is the strength of your letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are very important and can be the deciding factor in admitting some applicants! Try and secure letters of recommendation from people who know you well and can attest to your unique strengths. Law schools can usually spot a generic letter of recommendation, and a generic letter may hurt your chances of getting admitted!

Personal Statement/Writing Sample

Law schools consider an applicant’s personal statement or writing sample for one very simple reason. A personal statement allows the admissions team to learn information that they can’t gather from your LSAT score, undergraduate grades, or letters of recommendation. Your LSAT score and undergraduate grades may do a great job of showcasing your academics. However, they do not show who you are as a person. Only your personal statement can tell the tale about your experiences, hardships, or personal growth. Your grades and LSAT score also do not explain what you can bring to law school, its programs, or its students. While LSAT scores and grades are certainly important, law schools look to an applicant’s personal statement to get a sense of who that individual actually is.

Rachel Margiewicz, Director of Pre-Law Services, wrote this post. Rachel is a licensed attorney with years of admissions experience across three law school programs in different markets of the country. She knows what schools are looking for and how to make your application stand out!

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