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Personal Statements

After your LSAT and GPA, your personal statement is the most important part of your law school applications. You should plan to spend a significant amount of time on it. While every personal statement is, by its nature, different, there are a few basic points to keep in mind as...

Criteria for choosing a law school

What you’re looking for in a law school depends largely on your career goals—why do you want to be a lawyer in the first place?  But it also depends on a number of other personal factors, including geographic preferences, intellectual interests, and desired learning environment.  The...

Loans

Most law students finance some part of their education through loans.  This overview should help you understand the different types of loans available, and their relative advantages and disadvantages. For more information on federal loans, the US Department of Education has an extensive explanatory website. These days, students primarily...

When should I take the LSAT?

You should take the LSAT no later than the summer or fall of the year in which you intend to apply, a full year (or more) before you intend to begin law school. If you are still in college and plan to go to law school right after graduation, you...

Working during law school

During your first year of law school, you can expect to log 12-15 hours per week in the classroom. The most often-cited benchmark for outside study time is 2-3 hours of study for every hour of class time. Please note that that figure is an average—some students will study...

Grades

Attaining good grades in hard courses demonstrates academic excellence. Compiling an impressive record is a critical first step in the process of getting admitted to the law school of your choice. Avoid using the pass/fail option as it doesn’t give enough information to evaluate your performance in that...

Resumes

Every law school accepts, and most require, a resume as part of the application package.  You should always submit one—it’s one more way to tell your story.  There are any number of resources available to help you create a persuasive resume, including the UMass Career Services...

Optional essays

A handful of law schools offer students the opportunity to write so-called “optional” essays.  For example, Northeastern University School of Law “encourages” (but does not require) you to submit an additional one-page essay telling them either about your commitment to social change, or how you would use their co-ops ...

University Discipline/Conduct

Law school applications ask about both academic and non-academic sanctions. These questions are generally open-ended enough to include everything from a suspension for failure to maintain a minimum grade point average to an R.A.’s warning for violation of the bathroom policy. All end up on your disciplinary record...

Criminal records

All law school applications ask about your criminal record. One purpose of these questions is to fulfill the schools’ mandate to ensure that applicants for the Bar are of “good moral character”. Depending on the states in which you eventually apply for law school admission, your application materials may be...

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