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Applying to Law School as a Premed

Applying to law school with a premed background can be scary. You might be self-conscious about a lack of experience or even about having a lower undergraduate GPA. But, experts say, there are strategies available for premeds applying to law school.

Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently offered a few tips for how premeds can best approach their law school application.

“Law school applicants who were once premeds have no reason to feel like outcasts. Law and medicine are dissimilar paths, but they are not incompatible,” Kuris says. “Indeed, a surprising number of law students come from medical backgrounds, and some older applicants are even licensed doctors or nurses.”

DO EXPLAIN LOWER GRADES

Premed courses aren’t easy. And many premed students’ GPAs may suffer from difficult curves in courses such as organic chemistry. Still, if you’re applying to law school, it’s best to add context around why your undergraduate grades are lower.

“If any low grades on your transcript stand out, write a transcript addendum that puts them in context,” Kuris says. “You could provide evidence like the average grade in the course or external circumstances that hindered your performance.”

Context around the grading curve can be especially helpful for admissions officers to know about.

“Tell the adcom about that notoriously difficult logic class you took, or your psychology professor’s one-woman crusade against grade inflation,” according to 7Sage Admissions. “Admissions officers won’t know that kind of thing on their own. On the other hand, they will know that math and science classes tend to produce lower grades than humanities classes.”

DON’T OVEREXPLAIN YOUR CAREER SHIFT

Premed applicants might get caught up in their lack of experience or not taking the “traditional” path to law school. But, Kuris says, there’s no need to overexplain your shortcomings.

“There’s no reason to be defensive or apologetic about what you lack, when admissions officers are far more interested in who you are and what you bring to the table,” Kuris says. “While it may make sense to use your personal statement to explain your change in career goals from medicine to law, there’s no need for regrets. Don’t go overboard explaining the twists and turns of your intellectual or personal journey, either. Instead, focus on your future and how you are well prepared for the challenges ahead.”

Sources: US News, 7Sage Admissions

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