You are approaching the end of your junior year at Lawrence. You have already carefully chosen your major, taken rigorous, relevant courses, and earned a strong GPA. You have also completed several pieces of research, become an excellent writer, and accomplished a great deal in an internship, specific extracurricular activity, or on-campus job. Now you are ready to start seriously thinking about your law school applications. How will you stand out from all the other applicants?
To stand out in a competitive pool requires a multi-pronged approach. Here are some specific actions you can take:
Maximize your LSAT score: This often carries the most weight. While aiming for a top score is ideal, consider retaking the test if you think you can improve significantly.
Tell your unique story: The personal statement is an especially important part of your application. Do not just list achievements. Instead, highlight your motivations, experiences, and how they shaped your passion for law.
Highlight specific skills and qualities: Use your personal statement and CV to demonstrate strengths like analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership through anecdotes and examples.
Highlight relevant work experience and education: Your CV should also be used to highlight your academic achievements and any legal internships, or paralegal jobs you may have held. Unrelated jobs can also be included if they demonstrate responsibility, time management, and transferable skills.
Proofread meticulously: Eliminate typos and grammatical errors.
Get someone to review your material: Have someone with expertise in this area review your application material. Career Center staff and faculty members are extremely helpful in this regard.
Tailor your application to each school: Highlight features that align with their specific interests and programs.
Provide strong letters of recommendation: Choose faculty recommenders who know you well and can speak to your academic strengths and potential.
Consider optional essays: If offered, use them to address potential weaknesses or provide further context to your story.
Be genuine and authentic: Let your personality shine through, showing the admissions committee who you are beyond numbers and scores.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, by focusing on academic excellence, crafting compelling narratives, highlighting diverse experiences, and presenting a well-polished application, you can increase your chances of standing out in the competitive law school application pool.