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3 Last-Minute Application Details to Know

As law school application deadlines near, it’s important for applicants to take note of a few important details that can have a large impact down the road.

Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently clarified common last-minute application questions that all applicants should be aware of as they near deadlines.

LISTING SCHOOLS YOU’VE APPLIED TO

If you’re asked on an application to list schools where you’ve applied, Kuris says applicants should answer truthfully, but strategically.

“Good lawyers know the difference between answering truthfully and showing all your cards,” Kuris writes. “Unless an application specifically asks for every school to which you are applying, consider including only nearby or similarly ranked law schools.”

STICK TO ONE-INCH MARGINS, DOUBLE SPACING AND STANDARD FONTS

When it comes to personal statements that are too long, simply adjusting the margins, font size, and spacing won’t cut it.

“Here’s where attention to detail really counts,” Kuris writes. “Law school admissions officers review thousands of personal statements each season. They will notice when applicants disregard the instructions.”

Rather than trying to adjust the font and space settings, Kuris recommends that applicants review and revise their personal statements.

“Good legal writing is clear and succinct,” Kuris writes. “If your personal statement is too long, consider cutting redundant or showy sentences. Edit out extraneous modifiers like adjectives and adverbs. In some cases, material from your personal statement might fit better elsewhere in your application, like a diversity statement.”

Experts recommend including supplementary essays if a law school allows for it.

“Many schools will have an optional diversity statement as a second essay, and some schools will have a shorter school specific essay (why are you interested in our law school?), or other short supplemental essay,” Hillary Mantis, director of the Pre-Law Program at Fordham University Law School, writes for National Jurist. “Where possible, do the supplemental essays to show interest in the schools you are applying to.”

ONLY CONTACT ADMISSIONS IF NECESSARY

If you made a mistake in your application, Kuris cautions against immediately reaching out admissions.

“Generally, the only reasons to contact a law school after you have applied are to provide an update about a significant change in your candidacy or to correct an egregious mistake, like failing to disclose a past disciplinary issue,” Kuris writes. “If you made a typo or other minor error, you may just have to live with it.”

If you made a big mistake, such as submitting the wrong essay, it may be worth reaching out, Kuris says.

“Of course, the best approach is to catch oversights before it is too late,” Kuris writes. “Proofread all your materials carefully before submission. Consider reading essays aloud or asking a friend or relative to help proofread. Sometimes a fresh perspective can reveal sneaky typos.”

Sources: US News, National Jurist

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