5 Characteristics That Help People Get Into The Best Law Schools Best law schools
Many aspiring lawyers try to get into selective law schools, but getting accepted is no easy task.
In most of the cases, law schools that are highly rated in the United States Best law schools rankings have low acceptance rates. These schools generally admit students with excellent grades and test scores. For example, the No.1 school in the 2019 ranking of best law schools – Yale Law School – had an acceptance rate of less than 8.4% as of fall 2017. The median LSAT score among incoming students was 173 out of a high of 180, and the undergraduate GPA was 3.91 out of a 4.0 scale.
With that in mind, experts say JD applicants with these five key attributes have a better chance of getting admitted to top law schools than their peers.
Exceptional academic degrees
Without solid college gradesit’s extremely difficult to get accepted into competitive law schools, say alumni.
Thomas Simeone, alumnus of Faculty of Law of Colombia and a managing partner at Simeone & Miller law firm in the District of Columbia, says students who want to attend a top law school shouldn’t slack off in their college courses. No matter how extraordinary a candidate’s extracurricular activities are, it will be difficult for them to make up for a low GPA, he says.
“Having activities is helpful for applying to law school because it shows a well-rounded approach to life,” Simeone said via email. “However, the best law schools have to determine if you can do well during your stay and beyond, and good undergraduate grades are the best indicator of that. Schools have no way of knowing how well your activities are doing. been stimulating or beneficial, but good grades indicate that someone did what it took to be successful, despite the challenges of being a student. “
Steven Yoda, partner in the California law firm Walzer Melcher LLP and alumnus of the University of California — Berkeley School of Law, states that academic performance is the primary determining factor for a candidate’s admission to a major law school.
“First and foremost, you have to have a really high GPA, and you have to have as good an LSAT as you can get … It’s obviously years of work and years of preparation before the application process even goes down. begins. ”Yoda said.
Martin Salvucci, third year student at Stanford Law School, says JD applicants should be aware that LSAT scores are strongly highlighted in the law school admissions process. The scores are so weighted that they are the “most important factor” in determining whether someone can be accepted into a top JD program, Salvucci says.
He says JD candidates should put a lot of effort into LSAT preparation. “It’s a fairly straightforward exercise, but it takes a lot of repetition and time,” says Salvucci.
Simeone said that at university, his pre-legal adviser persuaded him to wait until after college to apply to law school. “He told me that working makes a person a whole different candidate,” Simeone said. “Not only are you older and more mature, but the job allows you to bring real-world experiences to law school.”
Rosenzweig says Emory receives thousands of letters of recommendation, but the letters that resonate with him are the ones that defend someone, instead of providing a lukewarm approval.
A clear argument for pursuing law school
Another way law school applicants can stand out is if their application has a striking theme, Rosenzweig says. He highlights a compelling candidacy that he read, where every element of the candidacy dealt with the candidate’s interest and commitment to a immigration law career.
He adds that of the approximately 4,500 law school applications Emory has received this year, “only a handful tell a full story.”
Rosenzweig says that when law school applicants tell a coherent story throughout their application, he is much more likely to admit them.
“Sometimes letters of recommendation are a missed opportunity because the recommender may not know what the topic of the student’s essay is, so if the candidate can work closely with the recommender to have some synergy, he has the chance to stand out even more, “he says.
Irresistible personal statements Explaining why you want to become a lawyer can increase your chances of being accepted into the school of your dreams, says Rosenzweig. He adds that he doesn’t expect law school applicants to write about the area of law they want to practice, as most won’t know what kind of lawyer they have yet. intend to become. However, law school applicants should be able to give a sophisticated argument as to why they want to attend law school, Rosenzweig says. Applicants who can communicate their interest in the law in an engaging manner, without using clichés, can impress admissions officials, he adds.
One personal statement Rosenzweig enjoyed reading, he says, is one where the claimant explained how his interest in board games with complex rules led him to discover his desire to be a lawyer.
“This essay really stood out for us because it didn’t tell us exactly what area of law he was looking for, but he knew enough about the skills lawyers need – analytical thinking, argumentation, being able to analyze. arguments, listening to customers – that we knew this was the right solution, ”said Rosenzweig.
Compelling academic projects or extracurricular activities
Yoda says extracurricular activities that demonstrate volunteerism, leadership, or athleticism can help law school applicants participate in the JD admissions process. He adds that law school applicants who take rigorous undergraduate courses and complete interesting academic projects will have a head start in the JD admissions process.
For example, Yoda says that a history student who scores law as could prepare for a strong application to law school, regardless of their extracurricular activities. However, someone who has the same stellar academic record and who has also produced an honors thesis and published papers would have an even better application, he says.