Thinking about a career as a lawyer? Wondering when to apply to law school?
Becoming a lawyer can be a stressful process. Staying organized and focused can help make things a bit easier, but there are many other factors to take into consideration before you start sending off those law school applications.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of 5 things to consider before applying to law school!
1. Your Skill Set Is More Important Than Your Knowledge
This might sound a bit counterintuitive, especially if you grew up in an environment that placed a lot of importance on academic knowledge.
Of course, academic excellence is highly important. However, what we’re saying here is that there is not just one specific undergraduate degree that makes you a good fit for law school.
Law schools don’t look to see if you’re an English major, a biology major, or a political science major. They want to see if you have the necessary, relevant skills to succeed in law school.
Writing, communication, and analytical thinking skills are all highly valued by law schools. Whether you gained those skills through a music degree or a humanities degree, make sure you can demonstrate them throughout your entire application.
2. It’s Not Like TV…
…but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
TV portrayals of lawyers have given us a very narrow image of what to expect from someone in this career. You may envision some lone champion, spending hours in the courtroom fighting for justice before gaining a dramatic victory.
Alternatively, you might have a picture of some heartless, greedy “bad guy” working in a “corporate law office” and making big bucks.
Of course, the reality usually falls somewhere between those two extremes. The truth is that there are actually many different types of lawyers, which we don’t usually see portrayed on screen.
You should choose your law niche based on what matters to you most. You could be an estate planning lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer, a DWI lawyer, an immigration lawyer… the sky’s the limit!
3. Your GPA and LSAT Scores Matter When Applying to Law School
How to get into top law schools, you ask?
There are many different factors that come into play in crafting a good law school application. However, the solid truth is that if you want to get into the best law schools, then you must have a competitive GPA and LSAT score.
A strong LSAT score can help to counteract a mediocre GPA, so make sure you study and prep well in advance of the test!
4. Extracurricular Activities Matter, Too
We’re not just talking about sports and debate team (although that second one probably would be an excellent asset to a law school application).
In addition to the fun things you did in high school and undergrad, you should also think about your internship and volunteer experiences. Even if they weren’t directly related to law, you should still be able to highlight these activities on your application.
Your internships, clubs, and other extracurricular activities should have helped you to gain the interpersonal and organizational skills that are so highly valued in the field of law.
5. Know How Much You Want It
Ever heard of a little thing called law school depression?
Being a lawyer is a challenging profession. Many people talk about going into law because they want to make big bucks, but if the money is your only motivation, you’ll likely find yourself burnt out and frustrated early on in your career.
To truly achieve success and happiness in law, you need to have a real passion and desire for that career. A passing thought of “I want to go to law school” simply won’t be enough to keep you going.
If you’re currently on the path of applying to law school, know that it may get tough at times. However, you have an exciting and rewarding career ahead of you!
Check back often for more tips and information like this!