Applying to law school can be a jarring process. However, experts say, one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with a law school is to attend recruitment events.
Daniel Waldman, a contributor at US News, recently discussed what applicants can gain from these events and how to make the most out of them.
“Every year, dozens of law school recruitment forums are held throughout the country that provide a great resource for current and future law school applicants to familiarize themselves with different schools, the admission process, life in school and the work of an attorney,” Waldman writes.
A number of recruitment events offered targeted workshops where applicants can learn more about the application process.
“Many forums – the LSAC ones in particular – offer workshops and panels that allow you ask questions, listen to those presented by others and even take self-assessment tests,” Waldman writes. “This is all aimed at getting you better acquainted with the admissions process, from taking the LSAT to navigating financial aid.”
On top of learning about the process, these recruitment events can offer an opportunity to connect with school officials, current students, and alumni.
“Law schools aren’t created equal, and having the opportunity to talk to representatives (and sometimes alumni and students) from different schools will give you a unique opportunity to compare and contrast them,” Waldman writes. “This is especially valuable if you already have your sights set on a particular, somewhat-niche area of the law, such as sports and entertainment or immigration law, and want to learn more about specific schools’ programs in the field.”
Experts suggest that prior to attending these events, applicants should consider preparing an “elevator pitch.”
“Your elevator speech is exactly what it sounds like – the 30 seconds or so that you get in which to describe what it is you do when someone asks you what your job is, like if you were to get in an elevator and only had as much time as it takes to get to your floor to explain your value,” Lindsay Griffiths, of ABA For Law Students, writes.
Waldman says applicants should find the middle ground between making a good impression and being pushy.
“Engage, ask insightful questions (as opposed to asking about the school’s ranking or your admission chances), and follow up via email if you’re handed a business card,” Waldman writes. “But don’t force your information or resume on the school’s representative unless you’re asked to, or embark on a two-minute monologue on how great you are and why the school should take you.”
Regardless, these events are what you make of it.
“These forums can certainly be overwhelming, but with the aforementioned advice in mind, you can make the most of it,” Waldman writes. “At the very least you’ll depart with some swag items, from pens to stress balls to phone cases. And who doesn’t like free stuff?”