People from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds realize they want to attend law school. Law school admissions requirements are complicated and not what many would expect. This article introduces the reader to the important factors in applying and encourage people from a variety of places in life to apply.
1. Law School Admissions Test:
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) measures reading and logical reasoning skills and takes a half day to complete. It is offered four times per year. Many prospective students study for months to prepare for this test. Campus bookstores, as well as many private bookstores, offer handbooks for sale to help people study for the LSAT. The higher a student scores on the LSAT, the better her chances are of being accepted to a law school.
2. Undergraduate Degree:
While each law school has its own specific admissions requirements, most accredited law schools require a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate students are well advised to study what interests them, rather than to choose a major in the hopes of some day impressing a graduate school’s admissions council. It is not necessary to choose a pre-law course of study in order to get into a good law school. Doing well in school, however, is extremely important. In general, a psychology major with a 3.75 grade point average (GPA) stands a better chance of getting into a good law school than a pre-law student with a 2.98 GPA. Law schools require that applicants provide their school transcripts, and a high GPA counts favorably in the decision who to admit.
3. Undergraduate Work:
Students with a wide range of skills are more likely to be accepted into law school. While GPA is more important than majoring in a pre-law field, so is taking a variety of classes and showing aptitude in a variety of subjects. Law school admissions committee members will look for both diversity and excellence when evaluating applicants’ transcripts. Undergraduate students who wish to go to law school should not be afraid to try their hand at many disciplines; on the contrary, they should be encouraged to do so.
An applicant’s character is considered by the admissions committee members, and it is an important element that should be taken seriously by the applicant. Some law schools will ask for letters of recommendation from college professors, employers or prominent community members. An applicant’s character is also shown by extracurricular school activities, community involvement and the personal statement or essay that most law schools require for admission.
5. Time Frame:
It is not necessary to apply to law school right after graduation. Many people pursue a career or complete other graduate work before deciding to apply to law school. Being out of the academic environment should not discourage a person from applying to law school. Their transcripts, work history, community involvement and personal statement will be considered by the admissions council much more than how long ago they were last in school.