Because I plan on attending law school in the fall of next year, I have been doing extensive research on the subject, and I would love to share the information I have gathered with other law school hopefuls. Preparation for law school starts long before you graduate from college. My decision to attend law school came when I was 7 years old, and I am aware of the fact that others may have made that decision later in life. But if you are one of those people who made a decision to attend law school early in life, you have a greater chance of achieving your goal. I have not made all the right decisions on my journey to law school, but I have learned from them and I would love for others to learn from my mistakes so you do not make the same ones.
Law School preparation begins in high school! How well you do in high school determines your chances of getting into a university compared to a community college and your chances of getting into a good university which improves your chances of being accepted into a top law school. Even if it’s not always true, law schools (just like anyone else) view people who attend a university right after high school compared to a community college in higher regard. I, for example, attended a community college right after high school. This was not because I was unable to attend a university but that was just the decision I made at the time. But that’s not the assumption that would be made. The assumption would be that I did not do well enough in high school and on my SAT to get into a university. Also, if you are able to get into a top university to achieve your BA degree, this would be looked upon favorably by law schools.
Getting into a university, and a top university, right after high school will increase your chances of getting into a top law school. You also want to avoid transferring if that’s possible. I attended four different schools before receiving my degree. Two of them were community colleges and two of them were universities. I moved a lot during my college career and with that had to change schools. At the time, I did not think about how that could affect my chances of getting into law school. Now that I am applying to law schools, I see how this could cause an issue. When applying to law schools, you must submit your transcripts from all colleges attended. Not only is this annoying and cost a small expense (sending transcripts cost between $2-$5 for regular mail and about $15 to be expedited), but it also makes you look unstable and not a good fit for law school. Law schools don’t want students that are going to drop out after the first year or switch school. In fact, the top law schools do not accept transfers from other law schools. Law schools base their expectations of your performance on your performance in college and it is a safe assumption, even though it may be incorrect, that if you transferred a million times during college, you may attempt to do the same in law school.
Try to get your degree in four years. Because of transfers, it took me seven years to complete my degree. If you are able, try not to take breaks during your college career. Law schools typically take three years to complete and law schools want to know that you will be able to receive your degree in that amount of time. As expected, law schools are concerned about statistics and they would prefer students that will have a positive effect on their statistics. If it comes between choosing between the student who completed their college career in four years and the one who took seven years, it makes sense to say that they will choose the student who took only four years.
Grades are important! You do not want to be one of those students that say I will get serious once I get to law school. Grades are one of the things that law schools consider when picking students. It is just as important as an LSAT score. You have to keep in mind that you are competing with a large number of students and you want to provide yourself with the best chances possible. Research the law school that you want to attend and the grade average that they consider acceptable. For example, I knew that the law school I wanted to attend accepted all students who had a 3.5 average and a certain LSAT score in previous years so this was the goal I worked towards. If I did not have at least a 3.5 average, I probably would not even attempt to apply to that particular law school.
If you are well prepared, you will be able to eliminate a lot of the stress that comes with applying to law schools. You will be confident in knowing that you have created the best chances possible for yourself and will have no regrets. Good luck on your endeavors! I hope that you are able to fulfill all of your law school dreams.