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Private practice vs. public service/public interest

Another distinction among lawyers is between those who work in private firms and/or for companies, and those who work for government or in non-profit work.  The first type is generally referred to as “private practice” while the second is called “public interest” (or, occasionally, “public service”).  Attorneys...

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...

Tips for Recommenders

If you are a graduate student, faculty member or employer who is new to writing recommendations in general, or to writing law school recommendations in particular, this page is for you. Law school admission committees look to recommendations first to confirm their sense of the student’s academic potential, and...

Law school admission decisions

Most law schools first rank applicants based on an index calculated from the LSAT and GPA. Each school determines its own formula for weighting these factors, but in general, the LSAT weighs more heavily than the GPA. Based on the index, the applicant pool is divided into three categories: presumptive...

Application Components

To the left (and below), you’ll find the primary categories of law school application components.  Within each category, there are several articles and links to additional resources that will help you understand each application component, and ensure that you are able to put together the best package possible....

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...

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 ...

Deciding where to attend

The law schools have made their decisions; now it’s up to you to decide which offer of admission to accept. How do you decide between the prestigious school that offered you no scholarship, and the somewhat less prestigious one that offered you a free ride?  Or between the...

Regional vs. national firms

Law firms can be either regional or local in their reach, or national or even global.  Much depends on the size of the firm, the area(s) of law in which they practice, and the nature of their clients’ industries and needs. Lawyers who work interstate or internationally must...

Nuts and bolts of law school tuition and financial aid

The first step in your financial planning is to figure out how much law school is going to cost.  Every school publishes its current tuition figures on its website.  Each school also calculates and publishes its annual “cost of attendance,” or COA (sometimes referred to as the “student...

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