Excel on your the U.S. Law School Application

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    Mansi Topa

    Content Curator

    During admissions, a strong law school application is necessary as it is the first look of the applicant and the only medium of communication with the reviewer in the initial round.

    According to QS World Rankings, the top 10 law schools in the U.S. rank below the world’s top 30 law schools making the U.S. the most preferred destination for law schools.

    QS World University Ranking - The U.S. Top 10 Law Schools 

    Name of the Institution Ranking
    Harvard University 1
    Yale University 4
    Stanford University 5
    New York University 6
    University of California, Berkeley 8
    University of Chicago 10
    Georgetown University 21
    University of California, Los Angeles 22
    University of Michigan 29
    University of Pennsylvania 30

    According to QS world ranking, Harvard law school top the list and has retained its 1st position since long time. With the acceptance rate of around 16%, the school is very selective while providing admissions. In the initial round, the content of the application decides the fate of the aspirants.

    Therefore, applicants must be very careful while preparing their application esp. personal statement and Letter of Recommendation.

    All about the U.S. Law School Application 

    A lawyer is not bound to a singular occupation. He works under a broad spectrum which includes corporates, governmental or non-governmental organizations and international settings.

    There is so much to bring together while applying to law schools in the U.S. such as LOR, SOP, essay, LSAT score and GPA. You must be aware that you are amongst the thousands who apply for law school every year. Therefore, the quality of the application must be high enough to beat other competitors.

    Law schools find out those prospective students who are strong in communication, writing and have exceptional analytical thinking. The subjects does not matter but skill does.

    Metrics to Examine the U.S. Law School Application: - 

    Mentioned are the factors based on which the application is reviewed. This will benefit in creating a nearly perfect application for the U.S. institutions.

    1. Scores (H4)

    GPA from the previous institution and LSAT (Law School Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are evaluated to receive an overall score of the applicant for further comparison.

    LSAT Score

    It holds the maximum weightage in the application. It examines reasoning and analytical skills of the examinee and is widely accepted around the globe. One must take at least 3 months of preparation time before attempting the exam.

    Mentioned are the combinations of LSAT score and GPA to select the U.S. schools within the reach: -

    LSAT Score Range
    GPA >155 >165 >170
    3.7 – 4.0 T-30 schools T-14 schools Top 5 schools
    3.4 – 3.6 T-15 schools T-14 schools Top 14 schools
    3.1 – 3.3 T-50 schools Top 30 schools T-14 schools

    GRE Score

    You can also take GRE instead of LSAT. GRE tests the reasoning skills and subject knowledge such as math of the examinee. Unlike LSAT, which is held 6 times annually GRE could be taken all around the year. But, GRE is not accepted at all schools in the U.S. as it is too early to understand the exam and decide the impact on your chances.

    The major U.S. institutions accepting GRE score: -

    Harvard University Columbia University
    St. Johns University, Brooklyn Northwestern University
    Arizona University Georgetown University
    Hawaii University Washington University
    University of St. Louis Wake Forest University
    Cardozo School of Law Texas A&M University
    John Marshall Law School Florida State University

    LSAT is still preferred over GRE as it is the only exam for law accepted by all the institutions offering law.

    1. Narration

    Law schools require strong analytical and narrative skills. A personal statement and resume showcase the same in the applicants’ application to judge their intellect and ability.

    Personal Statement

    Avoid stereotype topics and write about your journey and your future. While writing, you must highlight your qualities, accomplishments and experiences in life.

    The personal statement is the most important component of your application. Share your ideas with your mentor or take help of advisors to create an excellent personal statement.

    How to write an excellent Personal Statement?

    Step 1 – Shortlist skills

    What do they demand?

    Law students are expected to be smart, confident, intellectual, passionate and have exceptional writing skills. They must have a challenging attitude and are able to handle the pressure.

    What you must plan to write?

    Highlight your unique skills in your writing such as honesty, self-confidence, commitment and positive attitude along with your experiences (if any).

    While writing…

    Once you have written about your skills and experiences, showcase them through a story and provide some theme to it. Finally, you need to present your personal statement as a single image to the reviewers.

    It is suggested, you must not write about the routine and content with dates as you need to highlight your skills in an intelligent way.

    Step 2 – Analyzing the decision for admission in the best law school decided by the applicant

    How to analyze?

    • What is the inspiration and the reason behind applying for law?
    • What after law school education?
    • What will I add to the society?

    You have a choice to select a professor who would mentor you in educational and professional issues. Describe the reason to select the particular professor or the institution. This would let the examiner know about your keen interest in law.

    Step 3 – Creativity

    Rather than choosing professional language, it would be better if you write your personal statement with creativity.

    Writing is not all about your achievements, it is also about your analytical thinking and professional attitude. The essay should describe your journey including all aspects creatively embedded in the article.

    Personal statement is an essential document required at the time of application submission in the various U.S. universities but there are 64 universities in the U.S. which do not require personal statement.

    Mentioned are few well-known universities which do not require Personal Statement: -

    California State University University of Hawaii
    University of Iowa Kansas State University
    Eastern Michigan University Western Michigan University
    University of Mississippi Utah State University
    University of Missouri University of South Florida

    Letter of Recommendation

    The purpose of writing LOR is to get an insight of the applicants from the perspective of another person who can build a strong case of the applicant.

    How to find a nearly perfect recommender?

    Recommenders must be those people who know you well and can project their thoughts about you on paper. They could be anyone such as your professor, mentor and supervisor.

    Minimum 2 LORs are required out of which 1 should be from your professor. The chosen professor must have been closely associated with you in the past and know well about you. Share your highlighted experiences which you think would work.

    There are universities in the U.S. which do not require LOR as they follow “No rec letter” policy but you must check with universities individually before making a decision.

    Mentioned are the universities which do not require LOR in the U.S.

    • University of Minnesota
    • Penn State University (unless specified by a program)
    • University of California schools
    • University of Washington
    • University of Texas

    1. Resume 

    The final narrative document is your resume. Here, you may present your scores, achievements, professional accomplishments and any other reward received by you. It must be polished.

    Mentioned are the steps in the order of accomplishments and experiences discussed in resume: -

    Step 1 – Education

    List the educational institutions, scores, degrees or certificates.

    Step 2 – Experience

    List the employers’ name, location and the duration of work with them. In part time, mention the number of hours worked per week.

    Provide the details of job in the organizations and make sure to write about the recognition or special achievements. Make use of strong words to describe the topic.

    Step 3 – Interests and Accolades

    Mention your area of interest by letting the reader know about your hobbies, being part of an organization or experiences worth sharing. This section is all about your personal experience.

    Why is it remarkable to be a lawyer in the U.S.? 

    You probably heard of a thousand reasons why being a lawyer in the U.S. is so fascinating. The U.S. is a big country and has numerous career possibilities in almost any field of work.

    Secondly, the legal system of United States is surprising, transparent, straightforward and challenging.

    Last but not least, the lawyer profession is extremely rewarding from any point of view. Being a lawyer is amongst the most respectable and well-paid jobs in the world. The salary of a fresh lawyer starts with 160,000 USD annually.

    A lawyer is a hero for many people who can actually make a difference in their lives.