Now that I am at the point in the process where I’ve successfully been admitted and registered to a law school, I’ve got some tips for those in a position similar to mine prior to being accepted.
As a woman, minority, children of immigrants and with no direct connections to the legal industry, I found that my admissions process was going to come with a little difficulty. For this reason, I sought out my own resources. It is very important to recognize the resources you need early on in order to get where you need to be. Luckily, I am very self aware with my situation and I was proactive about my choices as soon as I knew I wanted to apply for law school.
- Join a pre-law organization. Whether it’s a pre-law fraternity, club or just a group of friends. I highly suggest joining anything pre-law related because you meet many people, and through those people you meet professionals.
- Special note: Try to hold a leadership position with double duty in the organization. I held the professional development chair in my pre-law fraternity for two years. I was exposed to an innumerable amount professionals. Since it was my job to reach out to our legal community, I was able to get my name out and learn the background of the professionals I may want to connect with. I was even able to meet and speak with law school deans, which is pretty cool. I can’t recommend this enough because it is a double duty position that pays off for the organization and personally.
- Work at law firms. Yes, work at more than one. As soon as I decided I wanted to go to law school I set my sights on positions at law firms that fit my interests. This helped me see the behind-the-scenes action of the area I may want to practice in eventually. Even if you have no idea what area interests you, work at firms to find out what you DON’T want to do. Working at law firms also increases your direct connections to the legal industry, the lawyers!
- Make friends with a professor. This is the one piece of advice I regret not fulfilling, and never got a good chance to make up for because I was never told how important this would be later down the road. I decided to go to law school a little late into undergrad. By the time someone told me that letters of rec should be written by professors, I couldn’t find a professor who I could link up with and not seem like I was doing so just for the letter. It was a huge bummer. Don’t be like me.
- Join an organization outside of school. I joined an organization that is dedicated to Filipino lawyers in my state. It has paid off in so many ways. Just like joining a pre-law organization, it added numerous resources to my collection. I got my current legal assistant position because I met the head attorney through this organization.
- Free webinars. Something I found out about later in my admissions are free webinars offered by law schools everywhere. Gaining access to these webinars may annoy you, but it will pay off. Once I signed up for the LSAT, I authorized LSAC to give my information to schools that are interested in students like me. Then came the loads of annoying emails. If you can tolerate it and sift through the emails, there are schools who hold various informational webinars for free! I took part in many invaluable webinars such as, Letters of Rec, General Admissions Process, Personal Statement, etc. They even had Q&A sessions after the formal webinar. I listened to these while I worked and I don’t regret just listening in to what they had to say. I highly recommend doing this because I was exposed to information from law school staff around the country FOR FREE. I can’t recommend this enough , seriously, I don’t think many people are aware of these so take my advice and keep a look out for these.
- When all else fails, utilize the internet. I utilized countless numbers of forums, read through a lot of articles, and I gained a lot of information about the process on my own. There are a lot of people on the internet who are willing to share their experience or create forums with information to help you in the law school admissions process. Below are some of my helpful favorites.
- Law School Numbers let’s individuals post their LSAT and GPA information, which school they applied to, if they were accepted and scholarship information. It looks like it’s updated every admissions cycle, so it is dependent on those who are applying and willing to post their information. This helped me a lot when picking schools because it gave me a good idea of my chances of getting into the school and if I would get some money. Don’t heavily depend on this information. I just used it as general information to help me make decisions.
- LawSchooli has a lot of articles I’ve mentioned in past blog posts. I have utilized a lot of advice shared on this site. I especially love the interviews with deans and current law students.
- The Girl’s Guide to Law School is another site with various articles and advice. You guys know how much I love supporting women in the legal industry so I was immediately drawn to this site.
- I don’t have a link for this last one, but never forget the infinite amount of blogs on the internet about law school. I have met many bloggers who write about their law school experiences. I highly value these blogs because they are personal experiences being documented on the internet, and the advice is genuine, unique to each writer and honest. Shout out to my law school blogs! Here’s a previous post of blog recommendations.
It may be difficult to find your own resources, but it is possible. Just remember to recognize when you need them and what you need, then you’ll know what to do. Whatever point you’re at in the admissions process, do what you can to get ahead NOW.