Applying to law school is a lengthy and complex process. It requires careful planning on the prospective student's part to be able to meet the requirements, which tend to take a few years. Requirements vary among schools, and law school admissions committees not only look for an applicant who did well in school, but also one who can complete a stellar application for admission. Here are some pointers on mastering the application process.
The basic requirements for law school include: an outstanding undergraduate grade point average, completion of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), a personal statement and two or three letters of recommendation. These are the minimum requirements that will enable you to submit an application for consideration to your desired law school. Most competitive applicants go beyond and above these requirements.
Although not usually stated in the application, extracurricular activities are carefully considered by the admissions committee. Law schools look for individuals with a strong intellectual capacity as well as those who hold a strong record of achievements. Most successful prospective students have had previous employment or volunteer experience at a legal firm.
Types of Law Schools
Law schools are categorized into three tier levels. The first tier is the most prestigious level, and in this level the top 20 schools hold the most prestige and the requirements tend to be more rigorous. Cutthroat competition for admission at the upper levels runs rampant. This means that applicants need to have a minimum GPA around 3.5 and an LSAT score around 170 in order to compete with other applicants.
Since students apply a year before their desired matriculation semester, a student planning to start law school soon after senior year graduation needs to have met the requirements by early senior year. Most aspiring law students start preparing for law school as early as sophomore year in college, taking undergraduate law classes that admissions committees will favor, such as Intro to Law.
The effect of knowing these requirements and working toward their full completion before applying will increase a student's chances for admission since she will be able to produce an application that admissions committee will favor. An individual who is serious about going to law school will show his commitment by sending a completed, comprehensive application and going beyond the basic requirements.