In recent years, law schools have updated their policies to no longer require the LSAT for admission. The shift is, in large part, to draw a wider pool of students with a variety of backgrounds.
Having an unconventional background can be actually serve as a benefit when it comes to applying to law school. But how exactly can you position your unique experience when applying for law school? Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and a contributor for US News, recently discussed how applicants can explain an unconventional background when applying to law school.
BE ASSERTIVE AND CONFIDENT
Applicants without a law background may feel anxious about applying to law school especially when compared to students with a pre-law background.
But Kuris says it’s important for applicants with unconventional backgrounds to be assertive when telling their story.
“The admissions office is eager to hear you explain the experiences that shaped you and your interest in law school, especially if your story is authentic and refreshing,” Kuris writes. “Write with confidence that your leap to a legal career makes sense, even if it is counterintuitive. Strike an upbeat tone that you are ready for the challenges ahead. Doubt or uncertainty will undermine your argument that you are committed to law school, which is especially important for those coming from artistic careers.”
HIGHLIGHT SKILLS AND POTENTIAL
Kuris stresses the importance of showing academic potential and conveying to admissions officers that you can handle the rigors of law school.
“When possible, emphasize experiences that required skills like research, writing and analytic thinking,” Kuris writes. “Encourage the writers of your recommendation letters to give examples of times you demonstrated such skills, if they can speak knowledgeably about them.”
Regardless of whether you have a pre-law background or unconventional experience, all applicants should be humble when telling their story.
“Show some humility by conceding setbacks and missteps,” Kuris writes. “Credit other people who have helped you on your path. Focus on the work you want to do and who it will help. After all, law is a service profession. It may resemble a performing art, especially for trial lawyers, but there is little tolerance for divas.”