The Key Components Of A Law School Application
As a number of prospective law students decide to apply to law school this fall, it’s important to take note of the key components required for a law school application.
Julie Ketover, a contributor at U.S. News, has provided an easy, personal checklist that encompasses everything you’ll need to submit if you’re applying to law school and why each component is important to your acceptance.
GPA and LSAT
These components are probably the most straightforward requirements for being accepted into law school. Yet, high GPA is only one part of the picture. According to Ketover, while a high GPA does demonstrate diligence and hard-work, a high LSAT score or significant work experience can balance out a low GPA.
“The LSAT remains important in the law school landscape, is still viewed as a strong predictor of success in law school and will likely be needed, unless you wish to apply only to schools that accept the GRE in place of the LSAT,” Ketover writes.
However, a 164 on the LSAT can mean acceptance at one school and rejection at another. In a Tipping The Scales piece, we determined how a 164 LSAT score would impress adcoms at various schools.
At Columbia Law, ranked fourth overall by U.S. News, a 164 score would actually rank in the bottom 25th percentile. Meanwhile, at a school like Boston University, the 75th percentile tops off at 164–with the median score being 163.
The key takeway from this is that the LSAT is important, but it’s also crucial to determining the rankings of a school and analyzing what percentile your score falls in.
The personal statement is an opportunity for you to explain who you are outside of your test scores and grades.
“Your objective is to craft a compelling essay about an event or life experience that reflects meaningful character attributes that position you for success in law school,” Ketover writes.
While the personal statement is an opportunity to tell your story, it’s important to keep it brief, factual, and comprehensive.
“Describe your experience briefly but concretely, and why it had value to you, whether it is a job, your family, a significant accomplishment, or your upbringing,” according to LSAC. “You are simultaneously trying to add information and create structure. Be brief, be factual, be comprehensive, and be organized.”
Letters of Recommendation
In general, law schools will require at least two letters of recommendation. Ketover advises applicants to have “at least one academic recommender who can write on your behalf.”
Timeliness is key when putting together your application. Be sure to give your recommender ample time to write you a strong recommendation letter.
While these key components all play an integral role in your application, GPA and LSAT scores tend to outweigh the other aspects. With this checklist, hopefully you can strengthen your application and make the application process seamless.
Sources: U.S. News, LSAC, Tipping the Scales