Part 3 of your law school guide: tips on the application

law school admissions

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Do not apply to law schools that you do not actually want to attend.

It is particularly important for you to have non-reach schools that you are excited about. Sometimes students get so focused on their dream school that they don’t give enough thought to the schools to which they will probably be admitted. Relatedly, students should ideally go into the law school application process of a very real sense of the legal job market, and the difficulties getting high-paying corporate jobs can be from non T14 schools. Helping educate students on this can be an important part of your role.

Submit your application as soon as you possibly can.

Admissions at most law schools are rolling, meaning that schools admit students throughout the year, rather than waiting until they have received a critical mass of applications. Many schools fill up their class and give away scholarships before their last-round application deadlines. Apply early to increase your chances of acceptance. That said, never encourage a student to submit an application early that you feel has the capacity for major quality improvement.

Address any arrests or disciplinary issues proactively.

Most law schools will ask about whether you’ve committed crimes or been subject to disciplinary action by a college or university. It is very important that you answer honestly and include everything, even if the record has been expunged.

Why? The bar exam asks these same questions and insists that you disclose everything (and will conduct an investigation). If your disclosure does not match your disclosure on your law school application, that can cause serious trouble for you.

If you’re not sure whether or not to disclose your history, you should probably disclose.

If you have something to report, give a succinct summary of the facts and consequences. Very few things are bad enough to actually keep you out of law school. In general, the school will care more about the disclosure than the underlying offense.

On a related note, if you have done something that will keep you from being admitted to law school, it will also keep you from practicing law – something you’d rather know now than later.

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Part 1 of your law school guide: before even beginning to study...

Part 2 of your law school guide: the application process