If you’re like many other law school applicants, you’re likely going to simultaneously complete undergrad studies and law school applications. This often means studying for finals while prepping for and practicing the LSAT. It means trying to enjoy the waning days of undergrad while drafting personal statements. It means juggling quite a bit with not a lot of time.
Before you reach your senior year, U.S. News’ Shawn O’Connor advises to start planning and preparing for law school early. In his weekly law school admissions column, O’Connor offers some suggestions.
First, O’Connor says to start early. That means that even if you’re a freshman, you can start planning and taking steps to ensure a productive and efficient undergraduate experience. At the same time, O’Connor notes, starting early will allow you to space out the process. A good strategy is to take the LSAT during your junior year. That way, you can focus solely on the LSAT for one year and then focus solely on the rest of application during your senior year. O’Connor also suggests not taking the December LSAT. This is probably a no-brainer as that’s finals season, but pretty much any other LSAT option (February, June, or October) would be better.
Second, O’Connor encourages you to balance your course load. If you are applying to law school for admissions immediately following undergrad, you’ll likely be filling out applications during the fall semester of senior year. Try to plan your schedule to make that semester light. Load up on tough courses during your sophomore and junior years, if possible. But also be cognizant of the studying required for the LSAT. O’Connor recommends planning on 10 to 15 hours of studying a week for four months before the LSAT.
Lastly, during the fall semester of your final year, make a detailed plan for that semester. Know which law schools you want to apply to, what the application packets entail, and when each application is due. This will allow you to create a strategic and intentional plan to be efficient with time. Looking at the syllabus for each class during that semester will allow you to pick out the times that will require more academic work. It will also shed some light on when you’ll have a lighter workload for applications.
The broad strategy O’Connor provides is to plan as early as possible and be intentional. The earlier you decide to go to law school and begin working towards that goal, the better.
Source: U.S. News
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