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Grades

Earning good grades in challenging 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 office,...

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 (internships). ...

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...

Letters of Recommendation

Law schools normally ask for a minimum of two letters of recommendation. The best recommendations come from instructors who know your academic work well, who can evaluate your intellectual capabilities and potential to study law, and who can give specific examples of your stellar qualities. Try to get at least...

Scholarships

Law school scholarships The posted tuition cost for any given school is just the starting place. All schools offer scholarships to some extent, and an increasing percentage of students are able to attend school with some kind of institutional grant aid. Think of the tuition number as your sticker price,...

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is an admission requirement for almost* all ABA-accredited law schools in the United States. Beginning in 2018-19, the LSAT will be offered six times a year (September, November, January, March, June, and July), and by 2019-20, it will be offered in every month except...

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...

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...

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